PODCAST SHOW NOTES
Join hosts Veronica and Darren for their latest episode where they share some of the wonderful responses to the competition question of what romance means to you, bring you some industry and website news, and dive into a deep discussion about why a government is always an easy antagonist in fiction! There's also a fantastic interview with author Rebecca Bowyer, who discusses her approach to writing and delves a little deeper into some of the themes incorporated in her books Maternal Instinct and Stealing Time.
Is the closing tagline getting better? Hmmm, we think so, but then again we're biased! A jam packed episode that includes author cameos and an awesome book review, we hope you can join us real soon...
When did you first admit that you were a writer?
I love this question! It’s as though writing is a dark, secret identity that you must grapple with and eventually reveal. I’m sure there’s a thesis in there somewhere.
In retrospect, I find it quite ridiculous that I ever struggled to identify as a ‘real writer’. But I really did struggle, despite accumulating plenty of literary credentials.
I was around 10 years old when my first story was published in a newspaper.
At 18 I had a story published in a literary journal.
At 20 I had an article published in a book of historical essays.
I completed a degree in English literature, including a unit on writing fiction.
But it wasn’t until I was 34 – more than 2 years after I’d started writing online regularly and had been published in several online magazines – that I finally starting thinking of myself as a ‘writer’. The catalyst was completing the first 15,000 words of what would become Maternal Instinct.
To anyone out there wasting countless hours agonising over whether you’re a writer or not – tell me this: do you write? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you are a writer. Congratulations!
What was your favourite book as a child?
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody. I adored Elspeth. I also desperately wanted to be able to read minds so I could answer the question that continues to fascinate me: Why do people do what they do? Or in other words, What were you thinking?
I was lucky enough to hear Isobelle Carmody speak at the Melbourne Writers Festival twice when I was at high school. She was truly inspiring and I wanted to grow up to be just like her. I felt like a total failure that I didn’t manage to write a bestselling novel at age 14 like she did. It took me until age 39 to publish my first novel, but I got there eventually.
What inspired you to write Stealing Time?
A chronic lack of time in my own life. Time to sleep, time to write, time to think, time to binge-watch Marvel movies in timeline order. I thought I was busy before I had children. I had my first child in 2010 and my second in 2012. Being a parent has redefined the meanings of the words ‘busy’ and ‘tired’.
The thought of being able to pop a pill (or a ‘time tab’) and receive four hours of uninterrupted time to myself was so incredibly attractive. That was the kernel of an idea around which I built the world of Stealing Time. The concepts of Time Chips, time thieves and Rest Time ceremonies all came afterwards.
Is there anything specifically Australian about your book/books?
Both Stealing Time and my first novel, Maternal Instinct, are set in Melbourne. The novel I’m working on now starts out in Gippsland. As a reader, it’s such a joy to pick up a book and read about strange themes set in familiar places. I wanted to put a bit more of that joy out there as a writer. At times you’d be forgiven for thinking that all fictional events happen in New York.
Why do you think listeners should read your book/s?
To escape. My stories are designed to pull you out of the daily grind and into another world, if only for a few hours. If you choose to take away some philosophical points about birthing ethics (Maternal Instinct) or end-of-life ethics (Stealing Time) that’s up to you. Otherwise, they’re easy, immersive reads you can enjoy even when you’re totally knackered at the end of a hard day.
Who was your favourite character to write?
I loved writing Elena, Varya’s mother in Stealing Time. I want to be like her when I’m in my 60s. Utterly irreverent and self-assured but ultimately kind and generous.