The Intervention: An Anthology – Introduced by Co-editor Dr Rosie Scott

Anita Heiss and I decided to publish an anthology gathering together some of Australia’s best writers and thinkers to analyse and illuminate one of the most invasive, puzzling and unprecedented actions by a government in Australian history – the 2007 Intervention by the Howard Government.

nt-assimilationWe think that these writers and Indigenous leaders will bring anew perspective and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.

We believe that the basic premises of this intervention are deeply flawed, resulting in a serious breach of human rights.

It has never been fully debated nationally nor has there been significant consultation with the Indigenous communities most affected.

In June 2007 Prime Minister John Howard announced after the tabling of the ‘Little Children are Sacred’ report, ‘It is a disgrace that a section of the Australian population, those little children should be the subject of serious sexual abuse.’

A week or so later the Howard government staged a massive military and police Emergency Response costing $587 million, as outlined in the NT Emergency Response Act.

This Act prescribed a number of drastic measures which appeared strangely irrelevant to their stated aim of combating child abuse. Some of these measures contravened the Racial Discrimination Act and several revolved around land use. Nowhere in this very extensive legislation was there a significant mention of a child or children.

Since then there has been little or no change in the figures of child sexual offending in the Northern Territory.

This extraordinary, costly and largely unexplained action has had immense and long-reaching effects on the very cornerstones of Indigenous community and identity. There has now been substantial evidence gathered that much of this change has been negative. As the Intervention has morphed into Stronger Futures for another ten years in a disgraceful bipartisan agreement, many commentators have been asking what the justification for this continuation is, given the alarming figures of increasing suicide rates, child health problems and unemployment.

Editor Dr Rosie Scott

The fact is the real motives of this intervention have never been fully explained or justified and in spite of constant opposition by Indigenous communities, most significant Elders, peak human rights organisations as well as other Australians across a broad spectrum, the situation remains the same with only a few cosmetic touches.

We have published the voices of the Elders and other Northern Territory Indigenous community leaders in their many communiqués, media releases and statements issued throughout the period. As time goes on, the tone of these statements becomes angrier, more despairing and anguished as their very reasonable requests are simply ignored by the authorities and the Intervention is kept in place.

We believe this collection of essays, fiction, poetry, and memoir by leading Australian writers and statements by the Elders will give a new perspective, power and clarity to an issue that will continue to be highly controversial. And most importantly, we believe the role of the writer in this instance is to make Australian readers think about the plight of other largely voiceless Australians.

Many voices both Indigenous and non-Indigenous have been raised in eloquent protest against the Intervention ever since its first announcement by John Howard. Contrary to the carefully managed spin that there is deep disagreement within the Indigenous community, the fact is there is strong consensus about the Northern Territory Intervention amongst most experts, people on the ground and organisations.

Editor Anita Heiss

Editor Dr Anita Heiss

Most importantly, the majority of Elders and community leaders in the Northern Territory oppose it, some of whom have petitioned the United Nations. These include Rosalie Kunoth- Monks of Utopia, Djiniyini Gondarra of Galiwin’ku, Harry Nelson of Yuendumu, Djapirri Mununggirritj from Yirrikala, Yananymul Mununggurr from the Laynhapuy Homelands, Diane Stokes at Muckatty Station, Maurie Ryan and John Leemans at Kalkarindji, Reggie Wurridjal and Helen Williams at Maningrida, Joy White with the Larrakia mob in Darwin, Barbara and Walter Shaw in the Alice Springs Town Camps, Harry Nelson at Yuendumu, Dhanggal Gurruwiwi from Wallaby Beach and Matthew Dhulumburrk Gaykambayu from Ramingining, Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann of Nauiyu, Rachel Willika,Yalmay Yunupingu and George Gaymarani Pascoe of Milingimbi.

Local groups like Stop the Intervention Collective, Sydney and Intervention Rollback Action Group, Alice Springs which have worked so hard to publicise the facts, organisations representative of local Indigenous people like Yolŋuw Makarr Dhuni, eminent Indigenous and non-Indigenous figures like Tom Calma, LowitjaO’Donoghue, the late Malcolm Fraser, Alastair Nicholson, Chris Graham and Olga Havnen as well as international organisations like the UN, Amnesty and church groups have all stated their strong opposition.

One dissenting voice had a particularly powerful effect on me personally. Rachel Willika, a Jaowyn Elder from the remote community of Manyallaluk spoke at a protest meeting we at Women for Wik convened in 2007 in Sydney when news of the Intervention had broken. This meeting was chaired by Dr Anita Heiss and addressed by eminent Indigenous women we’d invited from the Territory. These women included Olga Havnen, the then national Indigenous leader from the newly formed Combined Aboriginal Organisations, Eileen Cummings, and former advisor to the Chief Minister of NT on Aboriginal and Women’s Affairs,her daughter Raylene Rosas and Rachel Willika. An emotional and attentive audience packed the hall and spilled out into the foyer.

Rachel Willika had never been on a plane before, or to Sydney but she stood in front of us with quiet dignity and grace. Her speech was one of the most eloquent and powerful I’ve ever heard and moved many of the audience to tears. And, in my case anyway, to action. Her description of the fear in their community when the soldiers came has stayed with me permanently and so in part inspired this anthology.

In a statement to The Guardian at around the same time she said,

That John Howard has no heart. This intervention is hurting Aboriginal families.

It is no coincidence that eloquent speech has the power to spur people to political action.And as always, writers, film makers, painters and other artists have been major players in this history of analysis and dissent.

There are some towering examples of this; The Swan Book by Alexis Wright and the movies Charlie’s Country by David Gulpilil, Our Generation, a superb documentary film by Sinem Saban and Damien Curtis, and John Pilger’s Utopia. All of these have received serious recognition, mostly internationally. David Gulpilil received a standing ovation and the prestigious prize for best actor in Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes, also winning best lead actor for the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts awards. Charlie’s Country won best film and best director at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards. It’s safe to say this film will receive more awards.Stoptheinterventionrally21Jun2015

Our Generation was voted Best Campaign Film in the London International Documentary Festival, and Pilger’s Utopia was voted by the London Film Review as one of the five best films of the year. Alexis Wright’s critically acclaimed book, which I believe will become an Australian if not international classic, was shortlisted for all the major prizes including the Miles Franklin, the NSW Premiers, the Stella and the Voss. A review in the Sydney Morning Herald described The Swan Book as possibly ‘one of the most important Australian novels yet,’ another in the Sydney Review of Books ‘… and perhaps the first truly planetary novel.’

Other more direct examples of eloquent voices raised are those of people like Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Djiniyini Gondarra, Pat Dodson, Jeff McMullen, Tom Calma, Jon Altman, Judy Gurruwiwi, Barbara Shaw, Paddy Gibson, and many others. Their passionate speeches around Australia are a powerful example of inspiring oratory when all too often dumbed down, evasive, clichéd and impenetrable bureaucratic language is the norm for the authorities defending the Intervention. These people are true Australian heroes. They spend many hours travelling around Australia speaking and campaigning about what the Intervention actually means to the people who are suffering through it.

When we decided to compile this anthology we were delighted with the calibre of writers who agreed to contribute and felt very confident about putting our proposal forward to publishers. Six months later not one publisher took the project on, though most said it was a great project with an excellent list. But thanks to heart-warming support from the community –a dedicated group of women, who called themselves Women Inspired to Action, or WITA for short, raised funds for us through crowd-funding – with generous contributions from people all over Australia; a generous grant from the CAL Cultural fund; keen interest and support from Michele Harris and the members of ‘concerned Australians’, an extraordinarily generous offer by Graeme Jones and Tracey Kirby of Kirby Jones to do our typesetting and design free, the committed work of Tara Wynn of Curtis Brown and people like Pamela Hewitt and Danny Vendramini who have donated their time and expertise; we have been able to continue with our plans to publish this book in 2015.

So this is our hope for the anthology – that our distinguished list of Australian writers and Elders will join in with these other artists, supporters and community leaders to provide an in depth, eloquent and thoughtful dimension to this urgent debate, so long neglected by mainstream Australia.

We believe that the truthfulness, clarity and passion of their language will provide an inspiring antidote to the spin and disinformation which has been the official language of the Intervention up until now.

Above all we intend this anthology of eloquent Australian voices to take the debate to a wider audience and through this unique compilation prove that the abuse of human rights by the Northern Territory Intervention has no place in this country.

Grab your copy of The Intervention: An Anthology here

the-intervention-an-anthologyThe Intervention

An Anthology

The Intervention: an Anthology is an extraordinary document –deeply moving, impassioned, spiritual, angry and authoritative –it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what lies behind this passionate opposition.

In this historic anthology, award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Dr Anita Heiss have gathered together the work of twenty of Australian’s finest writers both Indigenous and non-Indigenous together with powerful statements from Northern Territory Elders to bring a new dimension and urgency to an issue that has remained largely outside the public radar.

One of the most invasive, puzzling and unprecedented actions by a government in Australian history – the 2007 NT Intervention by the Howard Government- has resulted in an ongoing and flagrant breach of human rights. The introduction of this racist legislation has never been fully debated nationally nor has there ever been any significant consultation with the Indigenous communities most affected.

In compelling fiction, memoir, essays, poetry and communiqués, the dramatic story of the Intervention and the despair, anguish and anger of the First Nations people of the Territory comes alive.

The Intervention: an Anthology is an extraordinary document – deeply moving, impassioned, spiritual, angry and authoritative –it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand this passionate opposition.

Grab your copy of The Intervention: An Anthology here

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Anita Heiss, author of Tiddas, in conversation with Caroline Baum

9781922052261Tiddas

by Anita Heiss

A story about what it means to be a friend …

Five women, best friends for decades, meet once a month to talk about books … and life, love and the jagged bits in between. Dissecting each other’s lives seems the most natural thing in the world – and honesty, no matter how brutal, is something they treasure. Best friends tell each other everything, don’t they? But each woman harbours a complex secret and one weekend, without warning, everything comes unstuck.

Izzy, soon to be the first Black woman with her own television show, has to make a decision that will change everything. Veronica, recently divorced and dedicated to raising the best sons in the world, has forgotten who she is. Xanthe, desperate for a baby, can think of nothing else, even at the expense of her marriage. Nadine, so successful at writing other people’s stories, is determined to blot out her own. Ellen, footloose by choice, begins to question all that she’s fought for.

When their circle begins to fracture and the old childhood ways don’t work anymore, is their sense of sistahood enough to keep it intact? How well do these tiddas really know each other?

Read Caroline Baum’s Review

In Anita Heiss’ latest, likeable and breezy novel, five women, best friends (Tiddas means friend in northern Koori) for decades, meet to talk about each other’s lives at their book group. Romance and career dilemmas, baby yearnings, all get aired and shared with laughter and tears over chai lattes and in between sessions of retail therapy and Bikram yoga.

The lifestyle is upwardly mobile, the setting is urban Brisbane and the woman are justifiably proud of their status, earning power and confidence while never forgetting that their bonds of sisterhood have been passed down through a culture of strong women.

About the Author

Dr Anita Heiss is the bestselling author of Not Meeting Mr Right and Avoiding Mr Right, both published by Bantam Australia. Anita was recognised for Outstanding Achievement in Literature in the 2010 and 2011 Deadly Awards for her novels Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming. A writer, satirist, activist, social commentator and occasional academic, Anita is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a board member of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. She lives in Sydney and but dreams of living in New York.

Grab a copy of Tiddas here

Anita Heiss, author of Am I Black Enough For You?, Paris Dreaming, Manhattan Dreaming and many more…answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Anita Heiss

author of Am I Black Enough For You?Paris Dreaming, Manhattan Dreaming and many more…

Six Sharp Questions

 ————–

1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

Thank you. My new book Am I Black Enough For You? is a memoir based on my identity as an urban Aboriginal woman, tracing my life growing up in the 70s right through to becoming a full-time writer, advocate for other Aboriginal writers and an Ambassador for Indigenous literacy.

This book will be one of my most significant as it comes at a time when I feel Australians are struggling for an identity as a nation, and in doing so have taken to irrationally targeting those who are strong in their own sense of identity, as I and many other Aboriginal people are.

I hope that by unravelling my own forty-plus years of life as an Aboriginal person, that the general Australian reading public and students in our schools and colleges, come to appreciate without criticism or concern, the diversity and complexity of Aboriginal identity in the twenty-first century, and that the power of self-identity and representation is a right we should all enjoy.

PRE-ORDER your copy of Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss
from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

2. Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

I’m an incredibly positive person and appreciate the good things that happen every day. But to narrow it down and considering my goals in 2011 I’d say the best moments for me would be:

* releasing Paris Dreaming;

* having a month-long writing residency at QUT in Brisbane (which allowed me to teach as well as research and start plotting my next novel Tiddas);

* visiting a school on Thursday Island;

* having Christmas Day in New York City;

* taping the pilot of my own TV chat show;

* going back to Wiradjuri country (Tumut and Cowra) for community events;

and taking time out to read deadly Australian literature like P.M.Newton’s The Old School, while lying under an palm tree in Noumea!

Because I try to find a positive in every negative, I don’t really want to dwell on the worst moments here, suffice to say though, as you will read in my memoir, going through a legal process to retain my right to be free from racial vilification wasn’t pleasant.

3. Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us?

It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

‘The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.’ Blaise Pascal

4. Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.

If I am difficult to live with I don’t think it’s because I’m a writer. Anyway, I live by myself and I don’t annoy me at all! :) Seriously, I made a conscious decision to move my ‘work’ away from home a few years ago in an attempt to have a better work /life balance.

Writing isn’t a hobby for me. And it’s not something I do part-time after I drop the kids off or plan meals for other people. Writing is my full-time job, it is my passion, it is my career. And so I rent an office where I can behave and feel like a professional writer.

My day begins with a long walk 3-4km to clear my head, plan my day, smell the roses as they say. I’m at my desk in Rosebery by 9.30am, tweet for myself, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (of which I am an Ambassador) and the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (of which I am a board member). I do Facebook updates, check blog comments and then go through my list of ‘To Dos’ for the day.

This may include: writing or working on edits of a new book, answering emails to students doing assignments, writing a post for my grateful blog (or working with a guest blogger), writing a travel story or article, preparing a lecture, conference paper or writing workshop, doing admin related to my bookings as an author and public speaker (for schools, luncheons, uni visits) and answering blog questions like this! :) And of course, then there’s my life on the road, which is the other 60% of the time!

5. Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

Of course I’m aware of the market because I want people to read my books, what’s the point in writing them if they’re not read. Cutting down trees is no joke, I don’t want to waste paper. And I want to engage every day citizens with issues that effect us all – politics, social justice, community responsibility, and so yes, I do take note of what’s happening in the market. Where are the gaps? What’s my niche going to be?

I’d rather there wasn’t an ongoing need to write books to educate Australians about their own First Nations peoples, but unfortunately there is still so much ignorance about the diversity of who we are in the 21st century that the gap is there to be filled. I think my women’s fiction was successful because it was the first time that Aboriginal women appeared on the page as having relationships, having careers, liking to shop and experiencing all the human emotions other women have. But at the same time, the works were more politically challenging to readers because the characters were political, had a sense of social justice and were actively involved in social change.

6. Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?

1. Too Flash by Melissa Lucashenko, because it’s the perfect novel for teenage girls in particular as it considers many aspects of self-image and the significance of belonging – to groups of friends, to family, to a culture, to a place.

2. Sweet Guy by Jared Thomas because it’s the story of the complex lives that young men lead, even though they might pretend they don’t. It unravels the relationships they have with each, their fathers and with girls – those who steal their hearts and those who steal their loins. It’s a great coming of age book for teens.

3. Post me to the Prime Minister by Romaine Moreton because it’s a collection of spoken word pieces that also comes with a CD – so the group can listen and read at the same time. Moreton’s poetry asks many questions, about wanting and inspiration, about renouncing poverty, about unnoticed dying wildlife. She also challenges the reader on issues of petrol sniffing, “Crimes of existence”, black deaths in custody, and the reality of self-colonising. And she does this because “all writers should have a message”. Unexpectedly though, Moreton’s writing has a gentle, free spirit. Her language is rhythmic and delicious. Her words are soothing although her issues confronting.

4. The Little Red Yellow Black Book: An introduction to Indigenous Australia by Bruce Pascoe, because it’s an accessible / illustrated pocket-sized guide, giving an invaluable introduction to Australia’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture. It’s perfect for ‘civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents’.

5. Who Am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 by yours truly, because I’ve seen the change it makes to those young people who don’t realise how fortunate they are until they understand what happened to thousands of Aboriginal children under policies of protection. The book, I would hope would say to these ‘ill-educated adolescents’ to pull-their-heads-in and start to understand their history.

Anita, thank you for playing.

You can follow Anita on Twitter – here (I do)

Am I Black Enough For You?

I’m Aboriginal. I’m just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want
or expect me to be.

The story of an urban-based high achieving Aboriginal woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia.

What does it mean to be Aboriginal?

Why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity?

Anita Heiss, successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school. She is Aboriginal – however, this does not mean she likes to go barefoot and, please, don’t ask her to camp in the desert.

After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too ‘fair-skinned’ to be real Aborigines. Such accusations led to Anita’s involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue.

In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness.

Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?

PRE-ORDER your copy of Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss
from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

About the Author: Dr Anita Heiss is the bestselling author of Not Meeting Mr Right and Avoiding Mr Right, both published by Bantam Australia. Anita was recognised for Outstanding Achievement in Literature in the 2010 and 2011 Deadly Awards for her novels Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming. A writer, satirist, activist, social commentator and occasional academic, Anita is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a board member of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. She lives in Sydney and but dreams of living in New York.

COMING SOON: Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss (Available April 2012)


I’m Aboriginal. I’m just not the Aboriginal person a lot of people want
or expect me to be.

The story of an urban-based high achieving Aboriginal woman working to break down stereotypes and build bridges between black and white Australia.

What does it mean to be Aboriginal?

Why is Australia so obsessed with notions of identity?

Anita Heiss, successful author and passionate campaigner for Aboriginal literacy, was born a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but was raised in the suburbs of Sydney and educated at the local Catholic school. She is Aboriginal – however, this does not mean she likes to go barefoot and, please, don’t ask her to camp in the desert.

After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too ‘fair-skinned’ to be real Aborigines. Such accusations led to Anita’s involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue.

In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness.

Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?

PRE-ORDER your copy of Am I Black Enough For You? by Anita Heiss
from Booktopia, Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

About the Author:  Dr Anita Heiss is the bestselling author of Not Meeting Mr Right and Avoiding Mr Right, both published by Bantam Australia. Anita was recognised for Outstanding Achievement in Literature in the 2010 and 2011 Deadly Awards for her novels Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming. A writer, satirist, activist, social commentator and occasional academic, Anita is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, an Indigenous Literacy Day Ambassador and a board member of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy. She lives in Sydney and but dreams of living in New York.

Anita Heiss reviews the winner of The Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction, Shake A Leg by Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod

Boori Monty Pryor  is a stellar storyteller. I’ve seen him in action wowing young people and adults alike at schools, libraries, community events and major literary festivals. There’s no surprise at all that his most recent book Shake A Leg  – with lively illustrations by the talented Jan Ormerod – was named the 2011 Winner (Children’s Fiction) in the prestigious Prime Minister’s Awards.

Inspired by members of his own family, Boori  – who hails from Northern Queensland and the Birrigubba and Kungganji nations – has cleverly woven his ancient traditions, culture and stories in a modern day yarn.

Through the story of three young fellas hunting for pizza we get an insight into contemporary Aboriginal life. It’s a place where Blackfellas speak Italian (in fact, they go to Italy which takes the meaning of ‘going walkabout’ to a whole new level). Where Murris are chefs, nurses and sound engineers. Where crocodile pizza is washed down with milkshakes (now that’s what I call culinary fusion). Where the busy street acts as the bora ring today. And where people can live in cities and still respect and value thousands of years of culture.

Teachers often ask me about titles for use in the classroom, especially in relation to discussing Aboriginal identity.  Shake A Leg is perfect for that in-class engagement and it even comes with teachers’ notes, so half the work is done already.

Thank you, Anita for allowing us to share your review with our readers.

Visit Booktopia’s Anita Heiss Author Page here.

Order your copy  of Shake a Leg from  Booktopia here.

Anita Heiss, author of Paris Dreaming, answers Five Facetious Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Anita Heiss

author of Paris Dreaming, Manhattan Dreaming and many more…

Five Facetious Questions:

———-

1. Every writer spends at least one afternoon going from bookshop to bookshop making sure his or her latest book is facing out and neatly arranged. How far have you gone to draw attention to your own books in a shop?

Only one afternoon? I do it in every airport I walk into and I do it with all my friends’ books also! I take them out and line them all up along the shelf facing outwards.

2. So you’re a published author, almost a minor celebrity and for some reason you’ve been let into a party full of ‘A-listers’ – what do you do?

I go in and shine!

3. Some write because they feel compelled to, some are Artists and do it for the Muse, some do it for the cash (one buck twenty a book) and some do it because they think it makes them more attractive to the opposite sex – why do you do write? (NB: don’t say -‘cause I can’t sing, tap or paint!).

I write because it makes me happy.

4. Have you ever come to the end of writing a particularly fine paragraph, paused momentarily, chuffed with your own genius, only to find you’ve been sitting at the computer nude or with your dress half-way over your head or shaving cream on your face or toilet paper sticking out the back of your undies or paused to find that you’re singing We are the Champions at the top of your voice, having exchanged the words ‘we are’ for ‘I am’ and dropping an ‘s’? No? Well, what’s your most embarrassing writing moment?

Sitting in the Bowen Library with tears streaming down my face from laughing at some dialogue I wrote in Avoiding Mr Right. I thought it was hilarious. Those are the moments when the solo activity of writing is not so much fun.

5. Rodin placed his thinker on the loo – where and/or when do you seem to get your best ideas?

I’m with Rodin! There’s a literary breakthrough to be had every morning!

Anita, thank you for playing.

Want more of Anita?

Read Anita’s answers to my Ten Terrifying Questions HERE

Anita Heiss, author of Paris Dreaming, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Anita Heiss

author of Paris Dreaming, Manhattan Dreaming and many more…

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 Gadigal country – the city of Sydney, and spent my childhood in Matraville, where I played street cricket and tennis, and had weekends at the Matraville Skyline drive-in where Mum worked. I went to St Andrew’s primary school with the ‘Pizza Hut Church’ and swam down La Perouse in summer. I went to high school at St Clare’s College in Waverley for secondary and spent summers down Bronte and south Maroubra.

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

When I was twelve I just wanted to be popular because I felt like a square peg.  At eighteen I wanted to be an investigative journalist because I liked the thought of working in the media. At thirty I wanted to be the best writer in any genre possible. I’d already published poetry and satire and was writing my doctoral thesis on literature and publishing.

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

At 18 I believed it was possible to have a relationship with someone who had different political beliefs than I. Now I know the reality!

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?

I can’t say these have influenced my writing, but they do inspire me as writer.

One: Mervyn Bishop’s iconic land rights photograph of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam Pouring Continue reading

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