When I started writing it I was living in the Eastern Suburbs and every day my run would finish at a tiny beach off Rose Bay promenade. One day I was stretching and watching the water when a woman popped into my head — she lived in a hut by the shore in convict days, she was a bit of a loner, she was running away from something and she really loved the harbour. I wrote the story to find out what happened to her. It’s more sad than I thought it would be when I started.
Where do you get most of your writing done?
We live in a tiny apartment and there’s not really any room for a desk, so I tend to get most of my writing done on my bed or at the kitchen table. My cat’s favourite place is right between me and my laptop, so I’m normally trying to work around him as well.
What book is closest to you right now— don’t lie!
A Donna Hay recipe book. I’m making dinner soon.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten about your writing? And what’s the best advice you still ignore?
I like Anne Lamott’s advice on perfectionism, from Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life: ‘Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.’
Advice I still ignore? In Year 2 my teacher suggested I try and stick to one tense a bit more and I still find myself switching from past to present in the middle of sentences for no reason at all.
What you like to read?
I’ve read a lot of great books recently. I loved Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, it has such a great twist! For pure comfort reading though, probably Harry Potter or Persuasion (again).
Picture of an animal?
This is my cat making it had for me to get any work done.