7. On process

What do writers actually do?

We talk to two acclaimed writers of fiction about their process: where do they start, what do they think about, how does it feel, what on earth do they do all day?

Between them, Charlotte Wood and Paddy O’Reilly have published more than a dozen books and countless short stories, essays and articles, and have survived to laugh about it. They both think deeply about the work of writing, teach or mentor emerging writers, and share their experiences with us on Unladylike.

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom, Stitcher or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guests

Photo of Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood
Photo credit: Wendy McDougall

 

Charlotte Wood is the author of five novels and two books of non-fiction, as well as essays and features – often about food, nature, or writing.

Her latest novel is The Natural Way of Things, a parable of hard-won friendship in a nightmarish prison farm for women. It won the 2016 Stella Prize, the Indie Book of the Year and Novel of the Year, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.

Her next book is The Writer’s Room, a selection of interviews with Australian authors.

 

 

Photo of Paddy O'Reilly

Paddy O’Reilly

 

Paddy O’Reilly is the author of three novels, a novella, screenplays, and two award-winning collections of short stories, including her recent collection, Peripheral Vision.  She is the editor of a series of memoir collections, beginning with It Happened in a Holden.

Her latest novel, The Wonders, is the story of three people whose bodies have been artificially altered, and who become global superstars. It won the Norma K Hemming award and was nominated for the Kirkus Prize.

 

Here are some of the writers’ tools Paddy and Charlotte mentioned:

Charlotte Wood’s The Natural Way of Things is published by Allen & Unwin in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and Europa Editions in the US. The Writer’s Room will be published by Allen & Unwin in August 2016.

Paddy O’Reilly’s Peripheral Vision is published by University of Queensland Press, and The Wonders by Affirm Press in Australia and New Zealand. Her comic novel The Fine Colour of Rust was published by HarperCollins in the UK and Australia. Both were published in the US by Simon & Schuster.

Cover of The WondersCover of The Natural Way of Things

6. On translation

Ann Goldstein has one of the best literary jobs in the world, as chief copy editor at The New Yorker. But in her spare time, she translates some of the planet’s most popular books from Italian into English – the Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante.

Kelly caught up with Ann Goldstein at her first major literary event, the Auckland Writers Festival. (That faint sound you hear in the background from time to time is distant applause and discussion in the main theatre.)

And we also asked some readers at the Festival and beyond: what makes the Neapolitan novels so compelling?

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guestPhoto of Ann Goldstein

Ann Goldstein began her career in publishing as a proofreader at Esquire in 1973. A year later
she joined the editing desk at the
New Yorker, and has been the chief copy editor there since the 1980s.


In 1986, she and some colleagues decided to learn Italian.

Since then, Ann has become one of the world’s leading translators – in her spare time. In the last few years, she has edited new translations of the complete works of Primo Levi, and translated In Other Words, the new book by Jhumpa Lahiri, written originally in Italian.

But she is perhaps best known as the translator of the phenomenon that is Elena Ferrante, especially the dangerously addictive Neapolitan novels, beginning with My Brilliant Friend. These four books chronicle the lifelong friendship of two women – Elena and Lila – born into poverty in Naples, and growing up and growing older in a post-war Italy affected by crime, politics, identity, ideology, modernity and loss.

Book Cover of My Brilliant Friend

The novels have sold more than a million copies in English and led to Elena Ferrante being named as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet by Time magazine.

But Ferrante doesn’t want to reveal her real identity. Nobody knows who she is.  Not even her translator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann Goldstein’s translation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words is published by Bloomsbury. Her translations of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) are published by Europa Editions in the US and UK, and Text in Australia and New Zealand.

The Auckland Writers Festival is held each May. The 2016 line-up included Hanya Yanagihara, Gloria Steinem, Jeanette Winterson & Susie Orbach, Vivian Gornick, Tusiata Avia, Helene Wong and Eleanor Catton.

5. On swearing

Our guests in this episode create very different work. Patricia Cornelius writes uncompromising, realist drama, while Toni Jordan is the author of best-selling contemporary fiction. But we’ve brought them together to talk about something close to both their hearts – swearing.

(Note: This episode may include swearing. A bit. Well, actually, a fucking lot.)

Listen here:


(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guestsTIny Useless

Toni Jordan has been a newspaper columnist, a writing lecturer, molecular biologist, quality control chemist, and  door-to-door aluminium siding saleswoman.

Her first novel, Addition, was an international bestseller, published or about to be published in eleven countries. It was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick and long-listed for the Miles Franklin award.

Fall Girl (2010) was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards. Her latest, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts is out now.

 

Patricia Cornelius is one of Australia’s most innovative and acclaimed playwrights. She was a founding member of Melbourne Workers’ Theatre and has written over twenty-five plays including Savages, Slut, Jack’s Daughters, Max, and Lilly and May. She co-wrote Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?  and its film adaptation, Blessed. Her novel, My Sister Jill, was published in 2002. 

Patricia’s many awards include a Gold AWGIE and Green Room awards, the Jill Blewett Award,  the NSW and Victorian Premier’s Awards for Drama, and the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award.

Patricia’s play SHIT was presented by the Melbourne Theatre Company and at Forty-five Downstairs and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Cast photo of SHIT


Peta Brady, Nicci Wilks and Sarah Ward on stage in SHIT.
Production photo: Sebastian Bourges

 

Toni Jordan’s essay ‘Blue Meat and Purple Language’ appears in the anthology Purple Prose,  edited by Liz Byrski and Rachel Robertson and published by Fremantle Press. Her new novel, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, is published by Text.

The script for Patricia Cornelius’s play SHIT is published by Red Door.

4. On romance

Just as her heroines break conventions of their era, historical romance writer Tessa Dare dares to break the conventions of her genre.

Adele caught up with Tessa at the Romantic Times Booklovers conference in Las Vegas.

We also asked some readers what they love about the romance genre.

Listen here:

(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guest

Trained as a librarian, Tessa Dare’s writing career began after winning the first Avon FanLit competition in 2005.  The Romantic Times called her first novel, Goddess of the Hunt, ‘… a daring debut…From the hilarious opening to the poignant climax, Dare uses wit and wisdom, humor and sensuality .’

Photo of Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare.
Photo: Raphael Maglonzo

She is now the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirteen historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and multiple Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards.  Booklist magazine named her one of the ‘new stars of historical romance,’ and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

 

2. On friendship

Our three guests for this episode lead the vanguard of contemporary realism in young adult fiction written in and about Australia, and published internationally.

Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood write about grief, about place, about love, about coming of age and most of all they write about friendship.

And that’s what they’re talking about on Unladylike.

Listen here:


(If you’re on a mobile device, use iTunes, Audioboom or your favourite podcast app.)

About our guests

Photo of Cath Crowley

Cath Crowley

Cath Crowley grew up on a property that was a long way from town, reading the adventures of Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. After studying radio production and literature at university, she became a teacher overseas. In 2004, she published The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain, about a brilliant soccer player, and became a full-time writer.  The remaining Gracie Faltrain titles followed as well as Chasing Charlie Duskin and Graffiti Moon. It was for Graffiti Moon that Cath was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Ethel Turner Award for Young People’s Literature.

Photo of Simmone Howell

Simmone Howell. Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

 

 

Simmone Howell is an award-winning short story-writer, and screenwriter. Her short film Pity24 won an AWGIE award and has screened at film festivals such as the London Australian Film Festival and Los Angeles Shorts Fest. Her realist teen novels Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful and Girl Defective feature prickly outsiders, rebels and pop culture icons. Notes from the Teenage Underground won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Gold Inky Award.

 

 

Photo of Fiona Wood

Fiona Wood
Photo: Giulia McGauran

Fiona Wood started her writing career in scripts working on television dramas like The Secret Life of Us, Neighbours and MDA. In 2010 she debuted as a strong new voice on the young adult scene with Six Impossible Things. Her sophomoric title, Wildlife, won the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers, and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Queensland Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Ethel Turner Prize. Her latest book is Cloudwish.

 

Cath Crowley’s Gracie Faltrain trilogy, Chasing Charlie Duskin and Graffiti Moon are published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Knopf in the US. Her new novel, Words in Deep Blue, will be released in August.

Simmone Howell’s Notes from the Teenage Underground, Everything Beautiful and Girl Defective are published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Bloomsbury and Simon and Schuster in the US.

Fiona Wood’s Six Impossible Things, Wildlife and Cloudwish are also published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand, and by Little Brown in the US.