2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Winners

People’s Choice Award

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Click here for more details


Fiction

Coal Creek

by Alex Miller

Bobby Blue is caught between loyalty to his only friend, Ben Tobin, and his boss, Daniel Collins, the new Constable at Mount Hay. ‘Ben was not a big man but he was strong and quick as a snake. He had his own breed of pony that was just like him, stocky and reliable on their feet.’ Bobby understands the people and the ways of Mount Hay; Collins studies the country as an archaeologist might, bringing his coastal values to the hinterland. Bobby says, ‘I do not think Daniel would have understood Ben in a million years.’ Increasingly bewildered and goaded to action by his wife, Constable Collins takes up his shotgun and his Webley pistol to deal with Ben. Bobby’s love for Collins’ wilful young daughter Irie is exposed, leading to tragic consequences for them all.

Miller’s exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution. It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller’s richly evocative novels.

Click here for more details


Non-Fiction

Forgotten War

by Henry Reynolds

Australia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas. Why are there no official memorials or commemorations of the wars that were fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists? Why is it more controversial to talk about the frontier war now than it was one hundred years ago?

Forgotten War continues the story told in Henry Reynolds seminal book The Other Side of the Frontier, which argued that the settlement of Australia had a high level of violence and conflict that we chose to ignore. That book prompted a flowering of research and fieldwork that Reynolds draws on here to give a thorough and systematic account of what caused the frontier wars between white colonists and Aborigines, how many people died and whether the colonists themselves saw frontier conflict as a form of warfare. It is particularly timely as we approach the centenary of WWI.

This powerful book makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.

Click here for more details


Young Adult

My Life as an Alphabet

by Barry Jonsberg

Candice Phee wants to bring light and laughter to those around her, and somehow she succeeds despite the bizarre mix-ups and the confusion she effortlessly creates. An uplifting comedy-drama from award-winning author, Barry Jonsberg.

This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life.

Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching, My Life as an Alphabet is a delightful novel about an unusual girl who goes to great lengths to bring love and laughter into the lives of everyone she cares about.

Click here for more details


Poetry

Liquid Nitrogen

by Jennifer Maiden

Jennifer Maiden’s poems are like verse essays, subjecting the political issues of our time, and the figures who dominate them, to a fierce scrutiny, while allowing the personal aspects of experience to be portrayed in the most delicate and imaginative ways. This is the quality of liquid nitrogen which gives the book its title “the frozen suspension which is risky/ but also fecund and has beauty” it is a substance which permits the most intense and heated interactions, and at the same time, the survival of delicate organisms.

In the cool medium of Maiden’s poetry Julia Gillard confronts her mentor Nye Bevan, Kevin Rudd shares a flight with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eleanor Roosevelt plays Woody Guthrie for Hillary Clinton. The poems focus on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Breivik in Norway, dissidents in Beijing, the protests in Tahrir Square and Gillard’s way of governing, alongside tributes to friends and family, cats and dogs, birds and music. Few poets are as political as Maiden, and as intimate.

Click here for more details


IN THE NEWS: 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards – Full Profile

The shortlists for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards have been announced, with some old favourites mixing with some exciting new authors.

In fiction one of Australia’s brightest new stars Hannah Kent joins established names Tim Winton, Alex Miller and Alexis Wright while 2013 Miles Franklin winner Michelle de Kretser finds herself in the same field as the early favourite for the 2014 gong Richard Flanagan.

Check out the full lists below.


Fiction

burial-ritesBurial Rites - Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul.

.

Click here for more details…


The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanaganthe-narrow-road-to-the-deep-north

When Richard Flanagan produces a new book, you know it will come freighted with Big Themes. As an essayist, Flanagan is political, provocative, passionate. As a novelist, he is capable of shape-shifting across genres, from high literary gothic to popular psychological thriller.

His latest novel is as eloquent and powerful an affirmation of his empathy and understanding of humanity as anything he’s ever written.

Click here for more details…


Coal Creek - Alex Millercoal-creek

Miller’s exquisite depictions of the country of the Queensland highlands form the background of this simply told but deeply significant novel of friendship, love, loyalty and the tragic consequences of misunderstanding and mistrust. Coal Creek is a wonderfully satisfying novel with a gratifying resolution.

It carries all the wisdom and emotional depth we have come to expect from Miller’s richly evocative novels.

Click here for more details…


The Swan Book – Alexis Wrightthe-swan-book

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.

Click here for more details…


Eyrie – Tim Wintoneyrie

Tom Keely’s reputation is in ruins. And that’s the upside.

Divorced and unemployed, he’s lost faith in everything precious to him. Holed up in a grim highrise, cultivating his newfound isolation, Keely looks down at a society from which he’s retired hurt and angry. He’s done fighting the good fight, and well past caring.

But even in his seedy flat, ducking the neighbours, he’s not safe from entanglement…

Click here for more details…


Questions of Travel – Michelle de Kretserquestions-of-travel

A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories – from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

Click here for more details…


Non-Fiction

Gardens of Fire: An investigative memoir - Robert Kennygardens-of-fire

In 2009, as the Black Saturday wildfires swept through the state of Victoria, Australia, writer and historian Robert Kenny defended his home in Redesdale. His fire plan was sound and he was prepared. But, the reality of the fire was more ferocious and more unpredictable than he could have imagined. By the end of the day, Kenny’s house and the life contained within were gone.

The years that followed were marked by grieving, recovering, and eventually rebuilding – a process starkly framed by the choice between remembering and forgetting.

Click here for more details…


White Beech – Germaine Greerwhite-beech

One bright day in December 2001, sixty-two-year-old Germaine Greer found herself confronted by an irresistible challenge in the shape of sixty hectares of dairy farm, one of many in south-east Queensland that, after a century of logging, clearing and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate.

She didn’t think for a minute that by restoring the land she was saving the world. She was in search of heart’s ease. Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass and soft weed and the impenetrable curtains of tangled Lantana canes there were Macadamias dangling their strings of unripe nuts, and Black Beans with red and yellow pea flowers growing on their branches … and the few remaining White Beeches, stupendous trees up to forty metres in height, logged out within forty years of the arrival of the first white settlers.

Click here for more details…


boy-lostBoy, Lost – Kristina Olsson

Kristina Olsson’s mother lost her infant son, Peter, when he was snatched from her arms as she boarded a train in the hot summer of 1950. Yvonne was young and frightened, trying to escape a brutal marriage, but despite the violence and cruelty she’d endured, she was not prepared for this final blow, this breathtaking punishment. Yvonne would not see her son again for nearly forty years.

Kristina was the first child of her mother’s subsequent, much gentler marriage and, like her siblings, grew up unaware of the reasons behind her mother’s sorrow, though Peter’s absence resounded through the family, marking each one.

Click here for more details…


Forgotten War - Henry Reynolds

forgotten-warAustralia is dotted with memorials to soldiers who fought in wars overseas. Why are there no official memorials or commemorations of the wars that were fought on Australian soil between Aborigines and white colonists? Why is it more controversial to talk about the frontier war now than it was one hundred years ago?

Forgotten War continues the story told in Henry Reynolds seminal book The Other Side of the Frontier, which argued that the settlement of Australia had a high level of violence and conflict that we chose to ignore.

This powerful book makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.

Click here for more details…


Madeleine: A Life of Madeleine St John – Helen Trinca

madeleineHelen Trinca has captured the troubled life of Madeleine St John in this moving account of a remarkable writer. After the death of her mother when Madeleine was just twelve, she struggled to find her place in the world.

Estranging herself from her family, and from Australia, she lived for a time in the US before moving to London where Robert Hughes, Germaine Greer, Bruce Beresford, Barry Humphries and Clive James were making their mark.

In 1993, when The Women in Black was published, it became clear what a marvellous writer Madeleine St John was.

Click here for more details…


On Warne – Gideon Haighon-warne

Now that the cricketer who dominated airwaves and headlines for twenty years has turned full-time celebrity, his sporting conquests and controversies are receding into the past. But what was it like to watch Warne at his long peak, the man of a thousand international wickets, the incarnation of Australian audacity and cheek?

Gideon Haigh lived and loved the Warne era, when the impossible was everyday, and the sensational every other day. In On Warne, he relives the highs, the lows, the fun and the follies.

Click here for more details…


Poetry

liquid-nitrogenLiquid Nitrogen – Jennifer Maiden

Jennifer Maiden’s poems are like verse essays, subjecting the political issues of our time and the figures who dominate them to a fierce scrutiny, while allowing the personal aspects of experience to be portrayed in the most delicate and imaginative ways.

This is the quality of liquid nitrogen which gives the book its title – the frozen suspension which is risky, but also fecund. It is a substance which permits the most intense and heated interactions, and at the same time, the survival of delicate organisms.

Click here for more details…


Autoethnographic – Michael Brennanautoethnographic

Michael Brennan’s third collection of poetry tunes into the feedback loops of consciousness in these fluid modern times. It develops the surrealism of his earlier poetry with an anarchic openness to experience underwritten by anxiety, dysfunction and the endless hunger for community.

Set in a radically changed but recognizable Australia, one that has evolved through the collapse of the West and the rise of Asia, Autoethnographic jaunts into late capitalism, following six characters who struggle to imagine their place in this brave new world.

Click here for more details…


travelling-through-the-familyTravelling Through the Family – Brendan Ryan

Travelling Through the Family bring rural Australia to life through a clear-eyed and provocative vision of the way the land and our treatment of animals moulds the people who work with them.

Family, its histories, inheritances and bonds form a powerful core to the collection. There are homages to fathers and daughters as well as self-portraits where the influence of a country upbringing is rendered in sobering, resonant style. Travelling Through the Family is an assured and beautifully crafted new book from one of Australia’s finest contemporary poets.

Click here for more details…


Young Adult

Friday Brown - Vikki Wakefieldfriday-brown

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run – running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started – and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Click here for more details…


Wildlife - Fiona Wood

wildlife“In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened. A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard. And I kissed Ben Capaldi.” Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

Click here for more details…


My Life as an Alphabet Barry Jonsberg

my-life-as-an-alphabetThis isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life.

Click here for more details…

‘The Returned’ by Jason Mott – a sneak peek

Romance Specialist Haylee Nash steps a little outside her genre to give us a sneak peak at the Next Big Thing, The Returned by Jason Mott.

Eighteen months ago I received an urgent email from a chief editor from the New York office asking me and my publishing colleagues to quickly read a manuscript that they were considering bidding on. By quickly, they meant overnight. They had to make their bid by morning. Despite having dinner plans, I read what I could. I was amazed. And excited – very excited. This debut novelist had managed to grab me from the first, not just with his unique concept and plot, but with the sheer beauty of his writing. I emailed back with ‘Make the bid, we’ll publish it’.

Fast forward and I’m now on the other side of the side of the fence, selling books rather than publishing them, and I’m even more excited about the book I read then. That book was The Returned by Jason Mott, and since it was bought at auction, the TV rights have been bought and The Returned will be gracing our TV screens in 2014 as ‘Resurrection’, starring Omar Epps and Kurtwood Smith.

Rather than write a review, I’m going to let Jason Mott himself tell you about it. Other than that, all I’ll say is read it. You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Reading: All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

On another rainy weekend we thought we’d scour through the interwebs and find some of our favourite clips of readers in action.

And don’t forget, we also have a huge collection of audiobooks in a range of formats to make life even easier.

Continue reading

Sydney’s Poetry Trucks build excitment ahead of 2013 Writer’s Festival

The Sydney Writer’s Festival remains one of the most anticipated events on the calender of book lovers everywhere. With new hands on deck and fresh new ideas, the 2013 installment has created a huge buzz and looks like one of the best yet.

In keeping with new ideas, The City of Sydney’s cleansing trucks (formally known as garbage trucks) are being transformed into literary treasures this month, bringing poetry to life in unexpected locations thanks to a project curated by the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Eleven trucks decorated with verses by famous poets, including Irishman W.B. Yeats and Australian activist Judith Wright, will hit the streets today.

Each truck features two giant poems, measuring more than two metres wide and one metre high, with a total of 19 poems appearing in the series.

Continue reading

Recently discovered Winston Churchill poem expected to fetch five-figures at auction

Early attempts at poetry are one of those things that most of us want to keep hidden. For one of the greatest figures in the 20th century, it appears a sparse work of poetry has been found nearly half a century after his death.

Although former British Prime Minister William Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 “for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”, one doubts he ever wished for his early efforts at poetry to see the light of day, believed to be written as a 25 year old officer during the Boer War.

Roy Davids, a retired manuscript dealer from Great Haseley in Oxfordshire discovered the 10-verse work, the only known poem written by an adult Churchill. Davids said the poem “is by far the most exciting Churchill discovery I have seen”, while admitting the quality is “passable”. Andrew Motion, the former Poet Laureate, goes further, calling it “heavy-footed”.

Churchill was well-known for his love of poetry. He won the headmaster’s prize at Harrow for reciting from memory the 1,200-line The Lays of Ancient Rome, by Thomas Macaulay.

Douglas J Hall, from the Churchill War Rooms in London, was quoted in The Guardian saying Churchill “was truly a poet at heart…. speaking and writing with a rhythm which was almost poetic”.

“He arranged his notes for his speeches in a format closely resembling blank verse. Although he was never a prolific poet himself he greatly enjoyed poetry and had a remarkable capacity to commit to memory copious lines of verse which he loved to recall and recite at appropriate moments. In his writings and speeches he regularly quoted lines from Macaulay and was still able to recite long passages from memory well into extreme old age.” he said.

The pro-empire poem is filled with names of remote outposts defending Britain’s interests around the world – many of which he would have visited as a young officer and even fought at – including Weihaiwei in China, Karochaw in Japan and Sokoto, in north-west Nigeria.

The manuscript will auctioned off at Bonham’s auction house in London in April, and is expected to fetch up to £15,000.

Extract from Our Modern Watchwords

I
The shadow falls along the shore
The search lights twinkle on the sea
The silence of a mighty fleet
Portends the tumult yet to be.
The tables of the evening meal
Are spread amid the great machines
And thus with pride the question runs
Among the sailors and marines
Breathes there the man who fears to die
For England, Home, & Wai-hai-wai.

II
The Admiral slowly paced the bridge
His mind intent on famous deed
Yet ere the battle joined he thought
Of words that help mankind in deed
Words that might make sailors think
Of Hopes beyond all earthly laws
And add to hard and heavy toil
the glamour of a victim(?) cause

Joy McKean, author of I’ve Been There (and Back Again), answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Joy McKean

author of I’ve Been There (and Back Again): Slim Dusty and Joy McKean’s Lifetime of Travel, Stories and Songs

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 Singleton in the Hunter Valley of NSW and lived the first three years of my life on my grandparents’ farm in Doyles Creek. My dad was a country schoolteacher so we moved after that about every two years. We lived at various country districts in the Hunter, the Southern Highlands, Sydney and also the Tweed Valley before returning to Sydney in the mid 1940’s. Dad taught me to read and write; I had correspondence lessons when hospitalised with polio, and then from about fourth class was taught again by my father. Thence to Murwillumbah High School, and then again to Parramatta High School, my father’s old school.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve and eighteen I aimed my sights at becoming a school teacher. My father, uncle and aunt were teachers as were my grandfather and his brothers, and my great-grandfather before them. When my ambition was floored by the fact that I was polio affected in one leg, I turned to music. With my sister I performed onstage, recorded my own songs with her, and ran a half hour weekly radio programme on Radio 2KY, Sydney. By thirty, I was married and touring Australia; aiming to write and record country music and make a big success of my husband’s career and mine.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I believed that the world was my oyster and that I could overcome any obstacle because I knew all there was to know; these days I know that although I’ve learned a lot I still know little and I knew even less at eighteen.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

My writing was originally aimed at songs and I began doing that when I was eleven or twelve. This was probably because there was music in our home; my mother played piano and piano accordion. Both of my parents played Hawaiian steel guitars, and owned a gramophone. They bought early country and ballad records and I learned the songs from them. I could vamp on both piano and steel guitar to accompany my singing, and then my yodelling. So writing my own songs seemed a natural progression.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book – aren’t they obsolete?

English teachers at high school encouraged my essay writing, and by the end of high school my sister and I were singing and performing semi-professionally. So my writing was channelled into song writing and continued so for years. When my husband Slim Dusty was asked to write his autobiography and was offered a ‘ghost’ writer, we recalled the amount of work we did on a previous project and I decided that it would be less work to do it myself. So that is when I branched out from writing songs, to writing stories or telling stories of our life on the road and onstage. I had been asked many times to consider doing a book of song lyrics presented as poems with photos to illustrate the poems. From there the idea expanded to the stories and people behind the songs. And no, I don’t think books are, or will become, obsolete.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

I’ve Been There… And Back Again is a coffee table book of song lyrics presented as poems, together with beautiful photographs from friend and colleague John Elliott. I have told the stories behind each of these songs by telling how the song was written and why, what was happening in our lives at the time, and anecdotes about the people and places we were travelling in at the time. I included lots of historical photos from our own family collection… some taken by my father, others by Slim and myself. Most of these have never been seen before. The book tells about a way of life that no longer exists here. There is also a limited edition of the book; gold edged pages, leather cover, autographed photo and a CD of the soundtracks of the songs included in the book.

(BBGuru: publisher’s description -

A stunning, full-colour hardback filled with the songs and stories of Slim Dusty and his wife and fellow singer and songwriter, Joy McKean.

The perfect gift book for Slim Dusty s legions of fans, whose numbers are still strong even years after his death.

Joy McKean wrote many of her husband Slim Dusty s most well-loved songs, such as Lights on the Hill and When the Rain Tumbles Down in July . She is a natural writer and now she turns her talent to telling us the stories behind 25 of their most popular songs. Through the lyrics and stories she gives us an intimate insight into her life on the road with Slim. This couple were famous around Australia for their performances and for their love of the outback and its people. Slim and Joy were awarded a total of 37 Golden Guitars between them, and Joy is respected by other performers both in and out of the country music scene, such as Troy Cassar Daley and Paul Kelly.

This beautiful, fully illustrated hardback will comprise of a selection of 25 lyrics, Joy s stories and reminisces about each song, photographs from the family collection and outstanding shots by acclaimed photographer John Elliott, who has been photographing Slim and Joy, their band and family for decades.)

Click here to order a copy of I’ve Been There (and Back Again) from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

If my book could change the tendency to believe that everywhere else in the world needs to be admired and copied more than the values based on our own natural character and lifestyle, then I would be happy.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

I can’t answer that question; there are too many great people out there and their greatness awes me.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I want to write another book some day, and maybe some more songs. But the first ambition to fulfil is to see the opening of the completed Slim Dusty Centre and Museum in Kempsey in the Macleay Valley of NSW.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Actually, I don’t give advice as I don’t believe I’m qualified to do that. I am not a disciplined writer of either words or songs. That is why I avoid participating in songwriting workshops and such. All I might say perhaps is to write with meaning… not just for the sake of stringing together some nice sounding words or lines. Try to say something!

Joy, thank you for playing.

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