Oh, Melbourne, here we are again in Lockdown 2.0. We try and look on the bright side and discuss what we enjoyed about our first lockdown and what, if anything we’re going to do differently second time around.
Kate is heading into The Word Cave with Sarah Sentilles this coming week in an attempt to get some writing done.
Then (after winning an arm-wrestle for the privilege) Kate speaks to literary master, Kate Grenville.
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville’s debut novel, Lillian’s Story won the Vogel Award in 1985. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Dark Places and the Orange Prize winner The Idea of Perfection. Her recent works of non-fiction include, One Life: My Mother’s Story and The Case Against Fragrance. She has also written three books about the writing process. In 2017 Grenville was awarded the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. She lives in Melbourne. Her latest novel is A Room Made of Leaves, published by Text in 2020.
The conversation covers:
- Grenville’s literary idol moment with Patrick White
- first rejections
- reading the bad novels of literary masters
- the generosity of other writers including an early connection with Ian McEwan
- writing around motherhood and Elizabeth Jolley’s ‘the art of the little note’
- writing routine
- dealing with success
- Julian Barnes calling writing prizes ‘posh bingo’
- the story behind A Room Made of Leaves
- the ‘rules’ of writing historical fiction (spoiler: there are none) and ideas from Searching for the Secret River
- Grenville’s rules for editing
Kate Grenville’s advice to other writers:
Don’t write for the market or the readership…but out of a genuine passion.
You don’t have to start at the beginning.
Kate Grenville’s recommended debut book: