Q&As and Interviews posts

Hear from one of the contributors to They Cannot Take the Sky

They Cannot Take the Sky is a collection of first-person accounts of the reality of life in mandatory detention. It has been compiled and edited by Behind the Wire, an award-winning oral history organisation. Amir Taghinia is a 23-year-old man who has been in immigration detention on Manus Island since 2013. His story appears in They Cannot Take the Sky, under the title ‘We are all convicted to …

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Q&A with Alison Evans, author of Ida

We chat with debut Australian author Alison Evans about their debut YA crossover novel, Ida, an evanescent story of doppelgangers, time travel and deciding what to do with your life. Your protagonist Ida has the intriguing ability to move between parallel universes – an ability that grants her power and control, but also brings her much confusion. What were the origins of this idea?

I was wor…

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Q&A with Matthew Griffin, author of Hide

by Jason Austin

American author Matthew Griffin chats with our own bookseller Jason Austin about his powerful debut novel, Hide. (You can also read Jason’s rave review of the book here.) First of all let me say congratulations! I loved Hide so much, not just for the exquisite writing but also for the subject matter. Your novel tells the story of two men, Wendell and Frank, who meet and fall in love at the con…

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Mark Rubbo interviews Tim Winton

Mark Rubbo interviews Tim Winton about his new memoir, The Boy Behind the Curtain.

Mark Rubbo: Some of the pieces that appear in your new memoir, The Boy Behind the Curtain, have appeared in various journals, but some, like the title piece, only appear now for the first time. What prompted you to collect these often very personal pieces in one volume?

Tim Winton: Well they’ve been written ove…

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Jayneen Sanders on Body Safety Education in children’s books

by Jayneen Sanders

In recognition of National Child Protection Week (4 – 10 September) we chat with Jayneen Sanders – an experienced primary school teacher, author and publisher who actively advocates for sexual abuse prevention education. Tell us why you decided to write children’s books that address personal safety.

I have three daughters so when they were very young I naturally taught them that their body wa…

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Q&A with Miles Franklin winner A.S. Patrić

Congratulations on being named this year’s winner of the Miles Franklin! How did you react when you got the news?

It’s near the end of winter in Melbourne so my wife and daughters were all home on a Monday because of a shared cold. The news came via a phone call near lunchtime and when I hung up and told my family, there was lots of hugging, cheering and dancing around our kitchen. And then, sin…

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Emily Bitto interviews Kate Mildenhall

by Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto interviews Kate Mildenhall about her debut novel, Skylarking.

At a low point during the writing of her debut novel, Skylarking, Kate Mildenhall wrote herself a letter in the voice of her main protagonist, a young nineteenth-century woman called Kate Gilbert.

‘I don’t totally believe in that idea of channelling characters,’ Mildenhall tells me, ‘but writing the letter did have the …

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Inga Simpson interviews Rajith Savanadasa

by Inga Simpson

Inga Simpson interviews Rajith Savanadasa about his debut novel, Ruins.

Rajith Savanadasa’s debut novel, Ruins, is a vibrant portrait of a family, city and country in the midst of change. It is set in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, around the end of the thirty-year civil war, in 2009. Initially, the conflict is off in the distance, reflecting Savanadasa’s own experience. The war was ‘Something …

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Q&A with Readings Children’s Book Prize winner J.C. Jones

We sat down with J.C. Jones – author of the 2016 Readings Children’s Book Prize winner Run, Pip, Run – and asked her about her ideas, her road to publication, and what we can expect next. Where did the first spark of the idea for Run, Pip, Run come from?

When I was growing up, I always loved stories about kids who weren’t afraid to take their destiny into their own hands. Shortly before I wro…

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Q&A with Ben Pobjie

by Chris Gordon

When I read Error Australis I thought… This is a history book but not as we know it. This is a book that could be used in schools, but it’s not like the textbooks we had in the 1980s. This is a book that shows irony is not lost on us as Australians. And I wondered, what was your intention in writing the book? Was it to help readers learn more about history, or was it to make people laugh at how l…

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