author of Like I Can Love
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 six days early, and this ambition to be more mature than I was persisted throughout my childhood. I was often elected as class leader or student representative for this or that. I grew up in a conservative country town in the south east of South Australia, and then moved to Darwin at 19.
2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?
Twelve: Before understanding the importance of good mathematics grades – a doctor, who also writes novels. Eighteen: Creative director of a magazine, who also writes novels. Thirty: Still no good at maths and now with a toddler and a baby – someone who gets more than 90 minutes sleep in a row, and also writes novels.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
This is an embarrassing question, because I had so many. (I was a 90s teen: Salt-N-Pepa, high-tops and South Park.) What strikes me most, now, is how much I believed that what other people thought of me mattered. I had this belief that the perceptions of others were like a mirror, or were somehow legitimate judgements of who I was. If I could go back in time I’d whisper to that 18-year-old me: Be yourself, for yourself, because that is perfect.
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?
No singular piece, but rather collections of art en masse. Libraries and bookstores have always been my go-to places for influence and creative nourishment. If I could collect and bottle Essence of Bookstore, I would wear it on my skin. And I suspect I wouldn’t be alone. (You’d wear it too, wouldn’t you?)
If I could collect and bottle Essence of Bookstore, I would wear it on my skin.
5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?
Oh, I’m flattered by your suggestion that I could be skilled in innumerable artistic avenues. Is papier måché still a thing? I could probably give that a go. Although there’s a lot less spare newsprint laying around these days, what with the Internet and all.
6. Please tell us about your latest novel
Like I Can Love begins on a summer’s day in South Australia’s famous Coonawarra wine district, when a young woman draws a bath and slits her wrists. She leaves behind a two-year-old son, a husband, and her best friend with a key to a self-storage unit.
7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?
A feeling. Any feeling. Because to touch the emotions of a reader is to speak to them a little. The story no longer belongs to me – that novel has graduated and moved out of home. It belongs to the reader, and that it spoke to them in some way is all I can hope for.
8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?
I tend to fall deeply in love with writers as I’m reading their novels. Delicious prose, witty and flawed and delightful characters, storylines that make me think – when I read these books I have a mini-love affair with the author. I admire those writers whose voices are so engaging their work could be about the life cycle of a slug and it would be fascinating.
I admire writers who can handle self-promotion with confidence, who can read reviews about their work and keep writing, who can Tweet fabulous things with only 140 characters. So there’s probably far, far too many to list, but to narrow it down a little, I have had a lot of these love affairs with Australian women writers lately.
9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
Can I say that I’d love to see a novel I wrote turned into a film? And also, to get more than 90 minutes sleep in a row.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
Read. Read more than you write. Read books you love and work out why. Read books you feel you can criticise and work out why. Read for the pleasure of it, because that reminds you why this love affair with the written word is worth pursuing.
Kim, thank you for playing!
Like I Can Love
by Kim Lock
Jenna Rudolph, 26 years old, has left behind a devoted husband, an adorable young son and a stunning vineyard. But Fairlie knows she should have seen this coming. Yet Fairlie doesn’t know what Jenna’s husband Ark is hiding, nor does she know what Jenna’s mother Evelyn did to drive mother and daughter apart all those years ago.
Until Fairlie opens her mail and finds a letter. In Jenna’s handwriting. Along with a key. Driven to search for answers, Fairlie uncovers a horrifying past, a desperate mother, and a devastating secret … Read More
About the Contributor
Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.