1. What’s currently in your ‘to read’ pile?
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday; The Book of Dirt by Bram Presser; The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna.
2. What are you reading now?
From the Wreck by Jane Rawson. It’s so peculiar and hypnotic. I don’t usually read much in the realm of science fiction, but I think it might be turning me.
3. Do you have a book that you always find yourself coming back to?
If I’m even feeling a bit stuck with whatever I’m writing, I’ll open a page of Carry Me Down or This is How by MJ Hyland. Her novels are disturbing and so tightly written. Hyland is a master of tension and a beautiful writer, and writes about horrible people with such empathy.
4. Do you think your reading influences your writing?
I suppose I try and influence (or inspire) my writing through what I read. When I’m writing a story, atmosphere is always at the fore, and usually what comes to me first, so I find myself drawn to novels that perhaps have a similar tone to what I see manifesting in that particular project. When I was in the thick of writing The Yellow House I was reading a lot of claustrophobic and unsettling Australian novels—Wake in Fright by Kenneth Cook, All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld, The Well by Elizabeth Jolley. All very different to The Yellow House, but definitely influential in terms of the mood of the book.
5. Are there any events you’re looking forward to seeing at the festival?
I’m very much looking forward to seeing Sofie Laguna, a writer I love, in conversation about The Choke. I’m also excited for Whitely on Trial. I haven’t read Gabriella Coslovich’s book yet, but am fascinated by art forgery and the Brett Whitely fraud case in particular.