Monday, August 24, 2009

Melbourne Writers Festival...

Hi everyone...

So, I'm sitting in a cafe in Federation square, making good use of the free wireless, on my second coffee of the morning, and trying desperately to convince myself that I'm actually *not* nervous about my first Melbourne Writer's Festival schools session in a couple of hours. No, I'm really not. I mean, I'm just talking about writing. How hard can that be?

The fact that my session is sold out is also not doing much to calm my nerves...

I had a lovely time yesterday, doing a seminar session in the adults part of the festival, alongside the amazing Margo Lanagan. (That's her on the right) One of the things I love about being a writer is that I get the opportunity to listen to all these other writers talk about their process, and I've never heard two people say exactly the same thing. Everyone writes in their own way, and often the tiny differences in process from one person to the next make such huge differences in the stories that people are able to tell. I love it - the whole 'lack of rules' thing - it appeals to the anarchic side of my personality, I think.
Margo was particularly fascinating to listen to. I'm two thirds of the way through 'Tender Morsels' at the moment - try as I did, I didn't manage to get it finished in time for our session together, but that was largely because I keep stopping to re-read pages, just to swim in the language and storytelling. The last time a book did this to me was Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. Margo's book is proving to be one of those that fascinates me because it's something I know I could never, ever, even when I'm at my absolute best, come close to writing.  I just don't think that way about story and narrative, and I envy her her ability to do so. I'm certain that her approach to planning and writing, which is very different from my own, is a big part of the reason she can write the way she does, but - and this is the cool part - I know that if I tried doing things her way (She approaches her novels by thinking of them as short stories which just need to be vaguely linked in some way, but then allowed to run off on whatever tangents the story desires/requires) then I'd write complete rubbish. 

Anyway, it was fun. And writing about it has distracted me from my nerves for a few minutes, which is also good...

So, today I'm talking about Into White Silence, which should be a doddle, you'd think. This afternoon I'll be meeting a couple of people I've been looking forward to putting faces to for some time now: Author Scott Westerfield, and Librarian idol Andrew Finegan; the three of us are on tomorrow morning, in a panel session which should be a lot of fun.

Anyway, my coffee is nearly gone, and through the window I can see all sorts of student-y people walking through fed square, so I'm going to head over to the festival green room and see what's happening.

Have a good day, everyone...


  1. Hello Anthony

    I was at your seminar yesterday and really enjoyed it. Just wanted to say thanks.

    Enjoy the rest of the festival

  2. Thanks Jack - I always feel like I'm babbling on at these things, so it's good to know you enjoyed it. Thanks for coming along.




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