A couple of weeks ago I locked myself in a beach house, tried to finish the first draft of manuscript 2, had an existential crisis, wrote about it and today it is in edition 501 of The Big Issue. Because write what you know…
The Big Issue is one of my favourite magazines and every time I buy it I have the most interesting conversations with the vendors. It is such an important magazine and does so much to promote empowerment, self-esteem and opportunity.
This Saturday afternoon I’m super excited to be talking at the Lerderderg Library in Bacchus Marsh about my various travels and how these influenced writing The Bit In Between. Joining me is Anthony McGrath talking about his fly-fishing adventures in the Amazon. If you love both quaint explorations of the benefits of travel to the artistic muse and/or fly-fishing, why not come?! More info here.
I send myself emails all the time: reminders, shopping lists, ideas for stories or manuscripts or choice bits of conversation I’ve overheard. Sometimes I even send myself emails to remind myself to respond to an email I have just read, which is something I need to do now because the internet has ruined my memory-thingamy. So it took me several befuddled minutes to work out why, a few weeks back, I emailed myself a long self-addressed correspondence that I had no recollection of writing. Turns out there are many Claire Varleys in this world. Ego placed back into box.
Other Claire Varley – for this is how I refer to her in conversation so as not to sound like either a nut job or royal – was happily going about her business on Twitter when suddenly she started getting linked to tweets about my book. At this stage I wasn’t on the Twitter-beast so any Claire Varley’ll do, right? She ignored it for a while and then when it wouldn’t quit, wondered what to do about it. She contacted me, thereby doubling the number of Claire Varleys currently emailing my account, and we caught up to both ponder this conundrum and stare into the infinite abyss that opens up before you when you realise you are neither unique nor special.
Mostly, we chatted about who gets to be Claire Varley. Clearly we both do. It’s not really a prize, seeing as we’ve both been Claire Varley since birth, and unless one of us does something really demented or shameful it’s not much of a curse either. Undoubtably there are many other Claire Varleys out there and perhaps one day I shall organise a convention or some such. A Festival of Claires or Varley-palooza. The UN could declare an International Day for us. It’d be great, and long overdue.
Because Other Claire Varley is a savvy journalism student, she knew a story when she was one. She’s written about the whole thing here. (Just for everyone’s reference, in response to her question ‘Would the real Claire Varley please stand up?’, clearly I am the real Claire Varley because if I start to think otherwise I will no longer exist. Nietzsche et al etc etc)
The good people at Readings were kind enough to include me in this list of Aussie women writers you should read right now. This is pretty much my summer reading list, with the exception of my own book which, after the editing process, I am sick of reading.
Fun fact: Tomorrow night myself and fellow list includee Lucy Treloar are taking part in the Wheeler Centres ‘Next Big Thing‘, alongside non-list includees Rafael SW and Luke Beesley.
A lovely piece from The West Australian.
Warning: The image is quite big so initially it appears my big smiling mug is coming through the screen The Ring style, but don’t worry. It’s not.
Thus far, I’ve spent a majority of 2015 tearing my hair out and hiding inside the refrigerator (ie, finishing The Bit In Between and starting book 2). October is officially ‘Not-Writing-Book-2-Month’ because I need some time to grow back my hair, lower my fridge-induced cholesterol and see if there is any sanity left somewhere in the back of my mental cupboards. I’ve been trying to write other things and Seizure was lovely enough to publish one of them. Love the artwork by Sam Paine. Much better than the sad-faced stick figures I would have provided.
I’m so happy when people tell me the book left them wanting to discuss it with others, like in Terry’s review. I would like to clarify the Cinderella story he speaks of: my book was indeed picked out of the slush pile after submitting it to Pan Macmillan’s Manuscript Monday. The agent etc came after. And all up, I’d sent it to eight other publishers before Pan Mac swept me off my feet. So a fairly prolonged Cinderella story.
Really interesting review from Em Meller at The Lifted Brow. One of the most fascinating things post-publication has been seeing which parts of the book resonate with different people, and which characters people react to.
I did a book shelf tour for The Incredible Rambling Elimy. What a great idea for an interview! Such fun, didn’t bother to tidy beforehand. Oh well.