1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I am nearly 45, which seems quite old. I appear to have spent those years either writing, travelling or studying. I have no career to look back on as such, just a series of ‘nothing’ jobs to finance my expensive habits. I have two lovely daughters and one lovely husband, two dogs, several chooks and (guilty pleasure) a number of horses.
2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books? I loved reading as a child (still do). It’s hard to pick a favourite but I remember being so lost in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ one day that I came back to the real world with quite a start.
3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write? I actually love to both read and write Young Adult fiction. I was so impressionable at that age, I remember how good books could inspire me and ‘bad’ ones could really drag me down. I would love to inspire young people with my writing.
4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you? I expect every author has influenced me. I know when I was a young writer, my writing would change to mirror the style of whatever author I was reading. It was very dismaying and thankfully doesn’t happen anymore! To pick a favourite, I think I would choose Jessica Anderson.
5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? I don’t think I’ve ever known that. But from the age of 10 I knew I wanted to write. My teacher praised one of my pieces of writing and something about her turn of phrase (which of course I can remember to this day) made me think that this was something I would pursue.
6. How did you go about becoming an author? I wrote and I read. There’s no other way.
7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? I would be a gardener, growing food because it makes so much sense.
8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do? I like to ride horses with my family in the Strezlekis.
9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? The Strezlekis. And also I would like to sit on a pebbled beach in Ireland because I fancy that is where all the best writers have sat to craft their work.
10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why? I would choose Julia Gillard because I respect her greatly and because I figure that anyone who can get herself elected to government must be a good conversationalist; Pope Francis because it takes courage and integrity to cast off the trappings of his position and champion for the poor and my husband because he’ll always be my best friend.
Pastor Lydia Waters has a career plan.it is straight-forward, logical and more than likely to succeed. That is until she is stymied by her boss, the slightly sinister, can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it-but-I-wish-he’d-stop-smiling-at-me-like-that- Reverend Gordon Bates.
Lydia flounders and she doesn’t have a plan for floundering. Loss of a job she can handle, but loss of belief in the job she is qualified to do? What does it mean to pastor a church anyway?
In the lull answers come unexpectantly. Sid and Viv Vincent, with their awkward kindness, reinstate church as that place where you get a cuppa and bikky afterwards (sometimes even cake). Her mother Phyllis Waters leads Lydia into the wide expanse of Australia’s interior, where Luke’s Gospel demands of her an exploration of self. And then there is Malcolm Preston who can’t be dimissed quite as easily as she first though.