author of The Boundless Sublime
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
I was born in the front room of the house where my parents still live. I went to my local primary school (and got married there too!) and now live ten minutes away, which makes me sound very boring. I went to Melbourne Uni and have a PhD in Creative Writing.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
12: I wanted to be Isobelle Carmody.
18: A film director. This was because my mum had recently become an author and I felt like I needed to do something original. I directed a bit of theatre at Uni and discovered I was quite bad at it, so back to writing I went!
30: An author. Which I was, so still an author, I guess. A better author.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
That I knew everything.
4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?
The Muppet Movie – the bit where Kermit the Frog says that his dream is singing and dancing and making people happy. I’m a firm believer that fun and funny stories can be just as profound as sad and depressing ones.
Allegri’s Miserere – having said all that about the Muppets, sometimes you need to get kicked right in the feels.
Tamora Pierce’s Alanna – the book that made me realise how great YA is at combining realistic coming-of-age drama with cool stuff like knights and magic and talking cats.
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?
It’s the thing I’m best at, and the thing I love the most. Making up stories is the best, and getting paid to do it is a dream come true.
6. Please tell us about your latest novel…
It’s called The Boundless Sublime, and it’s a psychological thriller about a girl who joins a cult. I’m fascinated by the idea of belief, and did a lot of research into various cults and new religious movements (I’ve made a webseries about my research, called Let’s Talk About Sects).
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
To be curious about the world, and not believe anyone who claims to have all the answers.
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Read everything. Figure out what makes the good stuff good, and the bad stuff bad. Be conscious of your internal biases – they can make you fall into tropes and traps that will flatten your stories. And keep writing – it’s a craft that must be honed. Everything you write makes you a better writer, even if nobody ever reads it.
Thank you for playing, Lili!
The Boundless Sublime
Ruby Jane Galbraith is an ordinary girl seeking peace in the wake of family tragedy. Her search leads her into a community that seems guided by love. And it's only after she's drawn into its web that she learns its sinister secrets.
Ruby Jane Galbraith is empty. Her family has been torn apart and it's all her fault.
The only thing that makes sense to her is Fox - a gentle new friend who is wise, soulful and clever, yet oddly naive about the ways of the world. He understands what she's going through and he offers her a chance to find peace.