Masters series: Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of nine internationally bestselling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number one New York Times bestsellers The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies and Truly Madly Guilty, Nine Perfect Strangers and her most recent Apples Never Fall. Her books have sold over twenty million copies worldwide, including three million in Australia and New Zealand. Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers have both been adapted into phenomenally successful television series and a number of Moriarty’s other books are in the process of adaptation or production. She is also the author of a children’s book series a children’s book series (which she originally wrote for her little sister and with the name of friend and fellow author, Petronella McGovern) Nicola Berry and the Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella.

The conversation covers:

  • The Moriarty sisters (Jaclyn and Nicola are also writers) being paid to write stories by their father
  • The sibling rivalry that pushed Liane to begin writing fiction
  • Being ‘enthusiastically rejected by every publisher in Australia’ for a picture book before her first novel Three Wishes was published
  • Writing routines including writing notes to self, also mentioned in this How I Work interview (Kate compares this to Sarah Sentilles‘ ‘love notes’ from the Word Cave)
  • The importance of the ‘Things I Need to Fixx’ document to Liane’s process
  • Developing characters with specific attributes (Liane references the WTF podcast with Marc Maron)
  • Writing the follow up for Big Little Lies specifically for screen (particularly writing for Meryl Streep!)
  • Hollywood moments including being on set for Big Little Lies and coffee with Nicole Kidman
  • Managing the creative and publicity sides of full time writing life
  • Recommending touring with writer friends Ber Carroll and Dianne Blacklock (like a girls’ weekend away!)
  • Choosing to be off social media (and having someone else manage her facebook)
  • Being in the ‘flailing about stage’ of writing

Liane’s advice:

  • Try and lose your sense of self. Write like a child. Enjoy it – it’s meant to be a pleasure.
  • Thinking ‘I wonder what is going to happen’ as you write. It’s the story that matters.

Liane’s debut recommendation:

The Very Last List of Vivian Walker by Megan Albany

Follow Liane via her website.

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