Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 18, 2018

Meet an Aussie Author: Robert Lukins

Photo credit: Eve Wilson

I discovered Robert Lukins’ debut novel The Everlasting Sunday thanks to Amanda Curtin’s blog, and because I liked the book so much, (see my review) I asked Robert if he’d agree to be featured on Meet an Aussie Author.

Robert lives in Melbourne and has worked as an art researcher and journalist. His writing has been published widely, including in The Big Issue, Rolling Stone, Crikey, Broadsheet and Overland. The Everlasting Sunday was published by UQP in this year (2018) to critical acclaim:

“Striking. Lukins’ great achievement is to have created an atmosphere that is at once very much of this world, and musical and timeless. Everlasting indeed.” Michelle De Kretser.

“Robert Lukins’ powerful, assured writing cuts like a knife into a world cracking with secrets and tension.” Lucy Treloar.

“[A] remarkable book. David Malouf said it was one of the best novels he had read in recent times … I want to add a personal recommendation.” Stephen Romei, The Australian

I won’t be surprised to see this book turning up on shortlists over the next twelve months!

Here are Robert’s answers to my questions:

  1. I was born a fortnight after my family moved to Australia from ever-grey Cardiff. My parents and siblings still cling on to their accents.
  2. When I was a child I wrote endlessly. I would send my typewritten stories off with my father to his work so he could make use of their binding machine.
  3. The person who inspired me to write was Adrian Mole. I read his diaries when I was too young to understand that he was supposed to be a wally. His literary ambitions still seem commendable to me.
  4. I write in different locations whenever possible, rarely at home. I prefer bland rooms without anything inspiring to distract me. Food courts are good. Unlocked meeting rooms.
  5. I write whenever I can steal half an hour. I work fulltime so this usually means before clocking on, lunch time, and on the tram home.
  6. Research is something I’ve never incorporated into my fiction writing in any significant way. I’ve been employed as a researcher for a lot of my working life so prefer working from a blank page in my writing.
  7. I keep my published work in a box at the back of the shed. I’ve seen the cover too often; I love it completely but it makes me flinch a little.
  8. On the day my first book was published I had a very usual day. I don’t think I even had a beer waiting for me in the fridge. I don’t mind that it was an unspectacular occasion.
  9. At the moment I am writing my next novel. It’s messy in a way that I’ve never written in before. It’s dreary realist fiction but with some impossible happenings that have appeared out of the blue.
  10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I just steam on through, writing whatever comes to mind and hoping it all comes good in the end.

So, Melburnians, now you know, that chap labouring away on his laptop on the tram beside you might be Robert at work on his next novel:)

You can find out more about Robert at his website where there are also links to audio interviews with the ABC and BBC.

This is the blurb for The Everlasting Sunday:

During the freezing English winter of 1962, seventeen-year-old Radford is sent to Goodwin Manor, a home for boys who have been ‘found by trouble’. Drawn immediately to the charismatic West, Radford soon discovers that each one of them has something to hide.

Life at the Manor offers only a volatile refuge, and unexpected arrivals threaten the world the boys have built. Will their friendship be enough when trouble finds them again?

At once both beautiful and brutal, The Everlasting Sunday is a haunting debut novel about growing up, growing wild and what it takes to survive.

The book is widely available in all good bookstores.


  1. […] same award, and rightly so.  I was very impressed by this novel and I featured the author in my Meet an Aussie Author series.  (And it’s perfect reading for hot weather: we’re in the middle of a heat wave […]


  2. […] You can read an interview with the author at Amanda Curtin’s blog, and at Theresa Smith Writes. See also Meet an Aussie Author. […]


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