Tell us a bit about your new poetry collection, Comfort Food. Comfort Food is inspired by food, and what it means to us, our families, our relationships with each other. The poems are about identity, sovereignty and love. You’ve had a long and exciting career in fiction already. What got you into writing, and what’s…

“The fly-road from closet-pan to dinner table is very short.” This fabulous little quote turned up while I was researching an article on epidemics in Townsville in the early twentieth century. It was a warning to residents during an outbreak of typhoid fever in 1915 from a doctor who was concerned that householders were not…

One of the beautiful things about a good book is the ability to travel from your armchair. A book can act as a passport to another country, another time – even another world. And in some books, the setting is as much of a character as the novel’s protagonist. What would Harry Potter be without…

ANTON Chekov, renowned playwright and writer, is famously quoted as saying that ‘if there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first act, it must fire in the last’. This is a great quote that illustrates the power of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is the technique of laying down clues and hints throughout a story that…

My debut novel ‘Sing Fox to Me’ (2016) is about lots of things: Tasmania, Thylacines, twins, loss, grief, displacement, dementia, kookaburras, sibling rivalry, masculinity, and Down syndrome. I don’t want to say that my novel is mostly about Down syndrome but it is, at least in my mind, mostly about fourteen-year-old Samson Fox, and Samson…

While I’ve had three novels published (using a different structure each time), book number four, The Other Side of the Season, is my first dual time period piece, with the storytelling load spread over two winters—1979 and 2015. The obvious benefit of the dual time period structure over the use of other methods is having…

Characters: we love them, we hate them, sometimes we want to be them, but the most important thing is that, no matter how we feel about them, they are our guides through the stories we read. So, how do you ensure (and when I say ‘ensure’ I mean ‘do your level best’) that your characters…

In March, if:book took part in a panel on Science and Story at the World Science Festival in Brisbane. We are increasingly reliant on the applied science of technology, but our access to science communication has only become more fraught. As physicist Len Fisher notes, science begins with stubbornly checking out your beliefs against reality. But…

Do you remember being scared of the dark? How it felt when your BFF abandoned you at little lunch? You do, don’t you? All too painfully, I bet. Resurrecting childhood memories is an important part of writing for middle-grade readers, since rejection, fear and exhilaration are as real today as they were then. But here…

Crime fiction is often characterised by pace… a sense of urgency. Rarely do people read crime novels to discover themselves or contemplate the meaning of the universe. Although the genre often examines and reflects the social, historical and cultural contexts in which its books are set, the primary attraction of a good crime novel remains…

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