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One Week at Bundanon: My account of a writing residency

I drove out of Sydney on Monday noon. The day overcast, a light drizzle settling in as I passed the airport. Further down the highway, where the speed hits 110km/hr, the drizzle became  heavy fog. I slowed to 40km/hr. Couldn’t see more than 50ft in front of me.  Switched on the hazard lights and willed the mist to lift. Should…

Vanessa Carnevale: Flowers, memories and second-book syndrome

It’s such a pleasure to welcome Vanessa Carnevale back to the blog. Apart from being one of the loveliest people in the writing world, Vanessa also produces heartfelt novels with a deeply emotional core. In 2017, Vanessa released her first novel The Florentine Bridge and she’s followed it up this year with The Memories that Make Us. This book has the most…

Getting Started on a Manuscript, Again

Five days before Christmas, I closed the manuscript I’d been working on after a furious final day where I cranked out 3,000 words while the kids were at their last day of vacation care for the year. For the next seven weeks, I did no writing. I thought deeply about the manuscript, but I didn’t touch the computer.  I walked…

How I Secured a Two-Book Publishing Deal with Harlequin – Part 1

I’ve written the headline for this post, and I’m shaking my head because I’m still in a bit of shock that I am going to be a published author with Harlequin Australia. To be frank, that post title is also probably a little misleading. Did I actually secure the deal? Or did I just happen to win the lottery? It’s…

The Story Behind the Story: ‘By Proxy’

In March 2016, my husband and I went on a holiday together to Tasmania for five nights. It was the first time we’d left our young children for more than a night. My parents stepped up to mind them. The occasion was my 40th birthday and Tasmania was a ‘bucket-list’ destination. The scenery, the food, MONA – it seemed to…

Keeping a Writer’s Journal: Thoughts on ‘Everywhere I Look’ by Helen Garner

I am a terrible diary-keeper, a fact which troubles me, mostly because every writing book I’ve ever read suggests the keeping of a diary as being fairly essential to one’s writing process. And I can see the point. If the aim of fiction writing is to capture a sense of emotional truth around made-up events, then surely it makes sense…

Meet Vanessa Carnevale, author of ‘The Florentine Bridge’

One of the best things about getting involved in the online writing community is the lovely people you meet – and Vanessa Carnevale is one of the loveliest. What first put Vanessa on my radar was her excellent podcast – Your Creative Life – which is a must-listen for any aspiring writer. Then, earlier this year came the truly wonderful…

Meet Sunni Overend, author of ‘The Dangers of Truffle Hunting’

Well, this is a Book Birdy first! Sunni Overend is the first writer to be featured twice on the blog, which I think is testament to the fascinating nature of her personal writing story and also her fabulous books, which are a really fresh take on contemporary women’s fiction. Sunni first came on my radar last year when I was…