Q&As and Interviews posts

Meet emerging children’s book illustrator Sophie Beer

We chat with emerging children’s book illustrator Sophie Beer about her craft and inspirations. We love how bold and fizzing your art is. Can you tell us a little bit about your process and the materials you use?

I usually start off with a mood board of things that inspire me. Photos! Other illustrations! Cross-stitches! A soup recipe! Interpretive dance! Anything can be inspirational. I then…

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Q&A with Sandra Pankhurst

St Kilda bookseller Kim Gruschow chats with trauma cleaner Sandra Pankhurst about her life and work – and what it felt like to see it all transformed into the critically acclaimed biography, The Trauma Cleaner. Many people haven’t heard of or considered trauma cleaning; what does the work encompass?

Our job is to clean up in the aftermath of trauma or tragedy. Unfortunately, a lot of people d…

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Mark Rubbo chats with Peter Carey

by Mark Rubbo

Our Managing Director Mark Rubbo chats with Man Booker prize winning author Peter Carey about his . A large part of A Long Way from Home takes place during one of the famous round-Australia endurance races of the late 50s, commonly referred to as the Redex Trial. Your descriptions of this race have an authenticity to them that thrills. What kind of research did you undertake to make these scen…

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We chat with Pilgrim Lee about her gorgeous new picture book

by Leanne Hall

Pilgrim Lee is a super-talented designer and illustrator, and she just happens to work at our Readings Kids shop. We chat to her about her debut picture book, The 12 Days of Christmas. How did you approach presenting a traditional Christmas carol in a modern picture book?

Initially the illustrations were just a fun self-initiated project. I’ve always loved the imagery of the song and it seeme…

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Josh Langley on exploring mental health in children’s books

In recognition of Mental Health Week (8 October to 14 October), we chat to Josh Langley, an Australian author/illustrator who has written two picture books that can open up discussions with young kids about taking care of their mental health. It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do is designed to get kids talking about their feelings. What inspired you to write this book?

It was my partner’s idea. I i…

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Our Teen Advisory Board interviews Zana Fraillon

The Readings Teen Advisory Board is a volunteer group of teens that meet once a month to chat about young adult books, learn about careers in the book industry and give us advice. The Board recently read The Bone Sparrow, a moving story about a Rohingyar refugee born in a detention centre. Here, they ask author Zana Fraillon their most pressing questions. How hard was it to maintain a balance…

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Mark Rubbo interviews Richard Flanagan

by Mark Rubbo

Our Managing Director Mark Rubbo chats with Man Booker prize winning author Richard Flanagan about his new genre-bending novel, First Person. Your new novel First Person has some connection to your own experience, in that it is about a young writer who is commissioned to ghostwrite the memoir of a notorious conman. You were commissioned to ghostwrite the memoir of notorious conman John Friedri…

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Alice Pung interviews Jock Serong

by Alice Pung

Alice Pung interviews Jock Serong about On the Java Ridge, his literally page-turning novel of politics, asylum seekers, a storm, a surf trip… and treason on the high seas.

Jock Serong tells me a true story about a British surfer who went out to ride the waves immediately after a tsunami struck Sri Lanka: ‘Tens of thousands of people were killed, but he went out the very next day. This guy wou…

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Jamila Rizvi interviews Briohny Doyle

by Jamila Rizvi

Jamila Rizvi interviews Briohny Doyle about her memoir of ‘adulthood’, Adult Fantasy.

Briohny Doyle and I are seduced by the same kinds of clickbait.

Acknowledged collectively with the hybrid term ‘listicle’, these are the stories Buzzfeed pioneered but that are now produced en masse by everyone from Cosmopolitan to Business Insider. Thirty things you should know by thirty, 12 signs you’re re

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Q&A with artist Adam John Cullen

by Adam John Cullen

Melbourne based artist (and St Kilda bookseller!) Adam John Cullen is one of 78 dynamic Australian artists featured in Melissa Loughnan’s Australiana to Zeitgeist. We chat with Adam about his practice, and the best ways to learn more about other Australian artists.

1. Tell us a little bit about your art practice.

My practice is largely based in sculptural installation, working with themes of …

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