Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 19, 2015

Meet an Aussie Author: Craig Sherborne

Craig Sherborne

I owe Craig Sherborne an apology … He sent me his contribution to Meet an Aussie Author last month, and I drafted most of it, but I was distracted by Aged Parent Duty in Queensland and mislaid the author photo file.

Now that he has been shortlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award, I have scoured my email files for the photo – and voila! here he is:)

Craig is a writer of memoirs, novels, poetry, and journalism.  Readers of this blog may know him as the author of the memoir Hoi Polloi (2005), which was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards; and for its sequel Muck (2007), which won the Queensland Literary Award.  He has also published two books of poetry, Bullion (1995) and Necessary Evil (2005); and a verse drama, Look at Everything Twice for Me (1999).  I discovered his writing in 2011 when he produced The Amateur Science of Love (see my review and a Sensational Snippet), a wonderful novel which was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and a NSW Premier’s Literary Award, and won the Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award, (and you can see a photo of him accepting the award here).   But the novel for which he has been shortlisted is Tree Palace.   With a body of work like that – and the journalism which you can easily find with a bit of a Google search, Sherborne – who lives right here in Melbourne — looks like a potential entrant for the Melbourne Prize, eh?

Here are Craig’s answers to my questions:

1.  I was born … by caesarean section. My mother was anaesthetised and my father was at the Warwick Farm races. That’s all I’ve been told about the incident.

2.  When I was a child I wrote ... a story about a rabbit for class and my teacher accused me of plagiarism. He was wrong and I cried and then had a sausage roll and chocolate milk.

3.  The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write is/was… Nobody has inspired me.  I use the people who discouraged me for motivation.

4.  I write in … an attic.  I sit at a pinewood school desk or lie on a bullskin rug I call Carlos the Impaler.

5.  I write… very early in the morning in the mild weather and much later in winter providing the heater works.

6.  Research is … very boring. I hardly ever do it. Fortunately I’ve not led a sheltered life and can use that instead.

7.  I keep my published works in … removalist boxes in case I need to flee due to fire, flood or a neighbourly dispute.

8.  On the day my first book was published, I … found a typo in the first chapter.

9.  At the moment, I’m writing … a novel about a person who is convinced of the benefits of lying.

10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I … drink excessively and ride a horse named Killarney, though seldom at the same time.

Isn’t it interesting to see how some authors featured here enjoy research and others don’t?  Somebody should be doing a PhD about that, I reckon.

Do see Angela Meyer’s review of Tree Palace at Literary Minded.

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  1. Oh be still my beating heart! Carlos, the Impaler indeed! I was totally there with Craig until he said he rarely drank excessively and rode Killareney at the same time and then my interest wavered. LOL. Seriously, though, you know how much I love this series Lisa. Thanks!


    • I love the way that authors somehow convey their style, even in 10 very short Q&A. I must read Tree Palace, it sounds quite different to The Amateur Science of Love, such a clever, wistful title….


  2. I knew Craig at school in Sydney, and I dare say he has aged better than some of us, assuming the photo is a recent one! Craig always had a flair for the arts at school and I can see from his comments that he’s still up for a drink!………. Last time I saw you Craig, it was the 80’s and you were living in London and looking after Sam N’s London pad. You had just started to pen to paper at the time….. and with such wonderful results now over time. Take care mate. Jason Cavanagh


    • Hello Jason, isn’t it great when someone you know writes a book! I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see this comment of yours.
      Best wishes, Lisa



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