Housekeeping, headshots &Trent Dalton on second books & golden hearts

We catch up on what’s getting us through this last little bit of lockdown.

Katherine is laughing with JT Firstman on Instagram and watching The Real Housewives of Potomac.

Kate is finally watching (& loving) Schitt’s Creek and sobbing over My Octopus Teacher & the new David Attenborough. She’s listening to a new and fabulous podcast Bibliotherapy with State Library Victoria – a bunch of bite sized episodes designed to soothe the soul during Covid Times.

We bid farewell to our Conversations with Friends series and try and pick some faves from the season (although we note it is like picking a fave child).

We also mention an upcoming event with Kate and Jane Harper for Harry Harthog on November 4.

Our Agony Aunt Charlotte Wood answers a question from an author feeling silly about getting a professional headshot.

Then Kate speaks with Trent Dalton. This interview was recorded for the ABA earlier this year in July (feels like 1000 years ago) for a bunch of wonderful booksellers before either Trent or Kate’s book had hit shelves (or extended lockdown, or Trump getting…you get the drift).

Trent Dalton is an award winning journalist and writer who currently writes for The Weekend Australian Magazine. He’s a two-time Walkley Award winner; three-time Kennedy Award winner for excellence in NSW journalism and a four-time winner of the national News Awards Features Journalist of the Year. In 2011, he was named Queensland Journalist of the Year at the Clarion Awards for excellence in Queensland journalism. His debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, published by HarperCollins in 2018, is a much-loved national bestseller and critically acclaimed, winning the 2019 Indie Book of the Year Award, the MUD Literary Prize, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the People’s Choice Award at the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. In addition, at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards, the book won a record four ABIA Awards, including the prestigious Book of the Year Award. Boy Swallows Universe has been published across thirty-four English language and translation territories. His new novel, All Our Shimmering Skies is out now with Harper Collins.

Our conversation covers:

  • His start in journalism
  • The phenomenon of his debut novel
  • Responses from readers
  • The ‘muscle draft’
  • Being inspired by his daughters for the character of Molly Hook
  • Spending time in amazing places for research
  • Getting advice from Tess Atie in a tour of Litchfield NP
  • Writing and holding darkness – specifically in his piece on the 2020 bushfires for The Australian
  • A map to get through this year
  • How not to hug people in a book tour this year

Writing advice?


Recommended debut book:

Stasiland by Anna Funder (Also listen to Funder’s interview with Jemma Birrell on her podcast The Secret Life of Writers)

Follow Trent Dalton on Twitter or Instagram.

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