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Episode 13

Tune in to our latest episode where hosts Veronica and Darren explore climate change themes in literature and how it allows us to discuss the survival of the human race! There's a spectacular interview with author T.S. Simons who delves into the philosophical inspirations for her Antipodes series, plenty of industry and website news, another fabulous author reading and a whole lot more...


When did you first admit that you were a writer?

To be honest, I still haven’t! I suffer terribly from imposter syndrome. But as more books are released I am hoping to embrace the title a little more!

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton. It was so magical. I can still see the Land of Take What you Please, the Land of Birthdays and Land of Presents!

What inspired you to write/this book/these books?

It was a combination of things. The overwhelming sense that our society has its priorities screwed up. We focus on new phones, brand name clothing and prestige over people. After a year of horrendous bushfires, I watched young people in my community struggling with our world and their place in it. Climate change. Politics. An overwhelming feeling of helplessness. The overriding premise for the Antipodes series is, ‘If we gave young people a chance to start over, would they? Would they do things differently, or would they replicate the mistakes of preceding generations?’

Is there anything specifically Australian about your book/books?

Absolutely. I believe in writing about your passions. My books start in Melbourne, with Australian characters. There is also a piece in the second novel about the Alpine region of Victoria, where I live. But then there are sections in Scotland, another place in the world I feel very much at home.

Why do you think listeners should read your book/s?

It took me a long time to realise that not every reader likes every book. As an author you desperately want people to like what you have written. My books are technically dystopian in genre, but really focus on the “what ifs” …not the negatives. The relationships, the sense of community. This is what we have when all of our stuff is taken away. Each other. So if you like to be challenged with something a little different, this series is for you.

Who is your most or least favourite character to write?

I started these books with a male protagonist. But after two novels, I realised that I actually liked one of the female characters more! So books three and four in the series are from her point of view. I do kind of feel like I cheated on Cam, but I love the direction the series has taken with a strong female lead.

What’s the best response you’ve ever had to your writing?

Some of the wonderful reviews I have on GoodReads blew me away, especially from overseas. I wasn’t sure that the themes would resonate with an international audience, but apparently they have.

What genre/s do you write in?

Dystopian, but with a focus on sustainability and community, not on the dark and dire parts.

As a writer, are you a plotter or a pantser or somewhere in between?

In my real life I am absolutely organised. As a writer, much to my horror, I am a pantser. I sit, and I write. It just flows.

How much research is involved in your writing?

Quite a lot, especially the scientific concepts.

Where do you write?

Everywhere! I keep a voice to text app on my phone so if a storyline strikes me when I am driving or walking I can record it.

What’s your favourite writing food and drink?

Coffee of course! I also have a jar of macadamias on my desk to nibble on.

What’s your writing goal for the next twelve months?

Finish book five in the Antipodes series – Caim. Then see where inspiration strikes!

Any final words for potential readers or writers? 

If you are contemplating writing, just do it. You can always edit a poorly written page. You can’t edit a blank page.

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Click below to learn more about this author's spectacular literary work!

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