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Tender morsels of the morning

Tasma Walton was used to sending ideas out to film people but when it came to her novel she kept it close for 10 years not wanting anyone to crush it before she was able to create it. Darren Groth, launching his fourth novel Kindling, had more 300 rejections but not all of those were negative rejections, and it taught him to celebrate his successes.

I just love listening to Cate Kennedy in panels. There she was sleeveless and in sandals and with her utter passion for craft she entrance an early morning audience most of whom were swathed in hats and coats. She talked about how in finding characters she looks as if at a tender morsel prodding it. She looks for the vulnerability of her characters, and likes to see them reveal themselves as they try to do something. And it’s a great pay off, she says when something you’ve foreshadowed ends up playing a pivotal role in the story.
She read a fabulous excerpt from her novel The World Beneath about Rich, a forty-something man who has dragged his adolescence through life with him, and who defines himself on one moment in his 20s. In the scene Cate read out Rich was trying to get laid and it was going badly. It’s a funny yet moving scene. Basically I think you should buy the book. And read it. The other thing I love about Cate is that she enjoys every minute of the festival and is generous that she always remembers to ask how your writing is going.
What a scream Hannie Rayson is. She likes to give her characters great dollops of nasty characteristics. Her characters live in her computer and she never knows what awful things they will do to each other next – affairs, indiscretions and barneys. I’ve always thought you can never predict how a reader or audience will interpret you. And Hannie had proof of this when someone rang the theatre where Inheritance played to say that at last a play had given Pauline Hanson a go!

Michael Robotham is jet-lagged this week. Too. We compared symptoms, dropping off to sleep at 7pm, awaking at 3 or 4 am (making me the only sleepy person during An Evening With Bret Easton Ellis last night – more on that later). Anyway Michael’s time on stage was somewhat squeezed but he managed to fit in a sex scene at the session even before morning tea time. Michael can’t contain his characters to the screen, they tend to move in, and take over at his house. His wife who is his first reader will ask him over dinner who he ‘did’ that particularly graphic sex scene with. When he answers, “You dear” she replies, “No way am I doing that with you.”


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