Coming soon to a Zoom near you

Wednesday 22 July 2020, 6.30-7.30PM, I’m greatly looking forward to talking online about Mother of Pearl as part of the Yarra Valley Writers Festival Book Club. Book club hosts Michael Veitch & YVWF Director Brook Powell invite you to join in a conversation in two parts. First, they have a chat about the book among themselves–you can listen in and send questions and comments via the chat function on zoom; then they invite me in to talk to them a little more about my process, answer questions and join in the conversation. These evenings are inclusive, accessible and about readers indulging in talking books for an hour a month. And it’s free. Details here and you can sign up to be part of the Book Club here.

Recently I was interviewed by Justine the Librarian (aka Justine Hanna) for her wonderful podcast Literary Elixirs, which works like this: ‘Matching books to food and drink! Justine is a librarian who loves good food and drink and can’t stop talking about what book she’s read which would pair perfectly with that delicious cheese, wine, coffee, beer, chocolate … you get the idea! She is on a mission to chat with purveyors of delicious elixirs and suggest some literature which would be a perfect match because books go with pretty much anything!’ In the podcast, I chat with Justine about Mother of Pearl, then talk about what I food I would pair with two books I’ve recently read and loved: Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (2019), and Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch (2006), both published by UQP. One of my matches is literal, the other lateral! Be warned: once you start listening to Justine’s podcast, you’ll find yourself mentally pairing every book you read with food and/or drink. You can read more and listen to our conversation here.

I feel truly fortunate that despite the cascade of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I still get to participate in this kind of literary activity.

One of my recent online festival sessions is also available to view for free online (click on the title): Tapping the Zeitgeist, part of Willy Lit Fest Vision 2020, was a conversation between me and Alice Robinson, chaired by Kate Mildenhall, about writing ‘issues novels’: why do it, how to make it work, and the value of fiction in exploring contemporary life. As an added incentive, Alice’s wonderful novel, The Glad Shout, has just been longlisted for the 2020 Colin Roderick Literary Award, which is awarded to the best original book, in the judges’ opinion, that is published in Australia in the previous calendar year.

Finally, a large segue: after a decline in COVID-19 cases and an easing of restrictions on 25 May, my home town of Melbourne has experienced a surge in new infections. We are still fortunate to be experiencing very low numbers overall compared with other countries, but the trend is worrying. Residents in 12 suburban postcodes have gone back into lockdown (my place is only a few blocks from one of these locked down suburbs). Also locked down, as of yesterday and with no notice, are nine, high-rise public housing residencies in inner Melbourne. A fundraising page has been set up by the Victorian trade union movement to support these vulnerable communities. You can donate here. The Victorian union movement will work with community groups, residents and the Victorian Government to ensure every dollar raised goes to residents.

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The Gambler: A tribute to my mother

My beautiful mother Olgamary Savage died on 27 May 2020 at the age of 79.

There is much I want to write about in terms of her life and death. But to even contemplate the big picture feels overwhelming. Instead, I am writing vignettes, including one for a website I love called Stereo Stories.

Stereo Stories ‘is music and memoir, narrative and melody, story and song.’ It invites writers to share memories attached to music. I’ve written about my mother, her love of country music, and what the Kenny Rogers song ‘The Gambler’ (penned by Don Schlitz) taught me about life, death and cancer. I actually started writing this piece two years ago, but found I couldn’t complete it while Mum was still alive. As it happened, she and Kenny died within five weeks of one another.

Follow the link below to read the story.

THE GAMBLER by KENNY ROGERS. Story by Angela Savage

Vale Kenny Rogers, 21/08/1938 – 20/03 2020
Vale Olgamary Savage, 25/02/194127/05/2020

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Literary Birds: A competition

To mark World Wide Knit in Public Day (yes, it’s a real thing), I’m running a little competition that combines my love of reading and writing with my love of knitting, crochet and birds. I’m calling it Literary Birds and here’s how it works.

I’ve knitted two sets of birds inspired by great books by Australian women writers, and my own novel, Mother of Pearl. To win one of the two sets, all you have to do is post a review of Mother of Pearl. It doesn’t have to be a long review (a sentence or two is fine) or a rave review (though feel free to rave if so inclined). You can post to your blog or instagram account, Goodreads, Booktopia, Amazon, or wherever you normally review books. Once you’ve posted your review, tweet the link and tag me on Twitter @angsavage, or tag me on Instagram @angela_savage_author or send the link to me via email angelasavageos(at)gmail.com

Everyone who writes a review gets their name put into a hat. Multiple postings of reviews gets you multiple entries, e.g. post to both Goodreads and Instagram and receive two entries. I will draw two winners at random and mail the birds to you free of charge. Overseas entries welcome. Entries close midnight on Friday 24 July 2020.

Here are the birds and the books that inspired them. Literary Birds Set 1 contains:

Red-tailed black cockatoo: This beautiful parrot features in Melbourne crime writer Aoife Clifford’s wonderful second novel Second Sight. We first meet the bird in a flashback to New Year’s Even 1996, when schoolgirls Amy and Grace — who later disappears — are in the bush at night: ‘A loud mournful scream from overhead made [Amy] jump… ‘That’s a black cockatoo flying over from Main Beach,’ came Grace’s voice. ‘Another one bothered by the bonfire and the crowd.’ Amy switched the torch back on. ‘If there’s a flock of them it means that rain’s coming,’ said Grace.’

Rainbow lorikeet: My novel Mother of Pearl is partly set in Melbourne during the drought of 2008-09; one of the characters, Meg, reflects on the presence of birds that she didn’t see growing up, including rainbow lorikeets, that ‘flocked to the city’s flowering scrub like poor relatives fleeing the countryside.’ In chapter 48, an interaction between a company of rainbow lorikeets and a lone wattle bird serves to shed light on Meg’s emotions as she thinks about the surrogate mother who is carrying her baby.

Galah: Birds and bird noises permeate The Crying Place, Lia Hills’s poignant and powerful debut novel, set on country in Australia’s Western Desert. Lia narrated an early draft of the book using a dictaphone, which picked up and transliterated sounds made by birds, animals, even the wind. And so in chapter 60, ‘Edge edge, taunted a galah from a battered eucalypt. It flew off, a dog’s muzzle monitoring its arc and that of the pink and grey squadron that joined it.’

Both Literary Birds sets contain a Rainbow lorikeet, as featured in Mother of Pearl. In addition, Set 2 also features:

Kookaburra: Carrie Tiffany’s award-winning novel Mateship With Birds opens with an account of several dramatic magpie swooping incidents. But most memorable is the kookaburra family that lives on the diary farm in Cohuna where the story is set. Harry, the farmer, keeps notes on the kookaburra family in the spare column of an old milk ledger: ‘The day starts in their throats. / Dad first, then Mum, / Tiny and Club-Toe. / The four of them in the red gum / by the diary. / As regular as clockwork / they make their request for air.’

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo — bilirr in Wiradjuri language — is one of many birds that feature in Tara June Winch’s award winning novel The Yield. In the Wiradjuri dictionary entries written by Albert Gondiwindi that form one strand of this stunning narrative, he describes the bilirr as ‘a magnificent bird, strong, eagle-wise. Black as a fire pit, the yellow feathers in the tail visible in flight. I saw the yellow-tailed black cockatoo all my life. All the Gondiwindi loved bilirr. Before Prosperous Farm my mummy was living in Tent Town four miles downstream, where she birthed me there on the flat warm sand, below the caw of bilirr.’

Remember, it’s only the birds, not the books, that are up for grabs. But I recommend you get hold of the books, as they are all excellent reads.

Any questions? — Use the comments section below.

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Willy Lit Fest Vision 2020

The Willy Lit Fest has been an annual fixture in the beachside Melbourne suburb of Williamstown since 2003. Not to be undone by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fabulous organisers have pivoted (a key 2020 word) to bring selected events to audiences online through the Willy Lit Fest 2020 Vision program.

Starting tonight Thursday 21 May 2020, I will be part of the first of online program in a session called Tapping the Zeitgest, 7.00-8.00PM via zoom. Here’s the blurb:

The immersive, gratifying window in which we stare when we read stories that deal with our immediate present, cautionary tales and prescient clarion calls. Do not miss three powerful authors delving into the visceral, sinewy depths of the issue novel; why write it, how to make it work, what is the value of fiction in exploring contemporary life? Join Angela Savage, author of Mother of Pearl, and Alice Robinson, author of The Glad Shout; moderated by Kate Mildenhall, author of Skylarking.

I’m particularly excited to appear on this panel alongside Alice Robinson, whose The Glad Shout was one of my favourite reads of 2019, and Kate Mildenhall, whose forthcoming novel, The Mother Fault, I had the honour to puff, and which I’m sure readers will love as much as I did.

The session is sold out, but check out the rest of the program here.

This panel, and its composition, actually came from an idea I pitched to Willy Lit Fest, long before everything was corona-cancelled. I’m delighted that it will go ahead, albeit in a different format. As Brook Powell said of online festivals, ‘No, it’s not the same, but it is of the moment.’

Tapping the zeitgeist, even!

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Peter Carey Award longlist

In a week when I really needed some good news, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that my short story, ‘The Black Feather’, has been long listed for the 2020 Peter Carey Award.

The award is named in honour of Bacchus Marsh’s most famous son and is administered by the Moorabool Shire Libraries. Although Peter Carey is probably best known as a novelist–he is one of only two authors to win the prestigious Booker Prize twice (for 1988’s Oscar and Lucinda and 2000’s True History of the Kelly Gang)–his big break as a writer started with a short story collection, The Fat Man in History (1974). Prior to this, Carey had made three attempts to write a novel; in his interview with Paris Review (Issue 177, Summer 2006), he says, ‘I had been trying to build grand palaces, and now I was building little sheds and huts. If they fell down and rotted it didn’t matter.’ Although he subsequently abandoned short story writing, ‘addicted to the dangers and pleasures of the novel’, the award immortalises Carey’s coming of age as a writer.

The 2020 Peter Carey Short Story award committee writes: ‘It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year unlike any another. And so we were delighted to receive well over 300 entries for this year’s award – our highest number of entries yet – from writers all across Australia. It is a fantastic tribute to both the ongoing influence of Peter Carey, and the strength and resilience of the Australian short-storytelling community.’

My grandmother Ruby is back row, 2nd from left; her sister Maudie is 3rd from right

My longlisted story, ‘The Black Feather’, is set in Cairns in the 1920s and based on a true story, told by my late grandmother. Not a nostalgic kind of family story, but the kind of family story that makes you feel ashamed nearly 100 years later. I was inspired to write it by something someone said (possibly Storyland author Catherine McKinnon) about trying to imagine the child in the adult they became. The story is narrated by nine-year-old Ruby, an imagined version of my grandmother. Ruby has an older sister, Maudie, as my grandmother did. While writing the story, I had photos of the real Ruby and Maudie propped up on my desk, including the one above of the girls at a costume party in the early 1920s, their outfits sewn by my great-grandmother, the ‘villain’ of the story.

The shortlist for the Peter Carey Award will be released late-May and the winners announced in an online ceremony on Sat 13 June. Given the calibre of writers on the longlist, I don’t expect to win. But I’m delighted to be among them:

Alice Mantel – ‘Once Were Three Sisters’
Allanah Hunt – ‘The Doll’
Allee Richards – ‘Tight Lines’
Andrew Roff – ‘Bock Bock’
Angela Savage – ‘The Black Feather’
George McElroy – ‘Company’
Charlotte Guest – ‘Flight Mode’
Deborah Wardle – ‘Love Letters’
Jenni Mazaraki – ‘Caravan’
Joseph Earp – ‘The Cockatoo’
Katerina Gibson – ‘Preparation’
Mirandi Riwoe – ‘What Would Kim Do’
Morna Seres – ‘The Boy on the Blue Bike’
Myles McGuire – ‘Youth in Chiaroscuro’
Rebecca Slater – ‘Prawn Fishing with Medusa’
Samantha-Ellen Bound – ‘Splinter’
Scott Limbrick – ‘Flames’
Tanya Vavilova – ‘Jobs Galore’

I’m taking the opportunity posed by Mirandi Riwoe’s inclusion on this list to mention her recently released novel, Stone Sky Gold Mountain. Set in northern Queensland in the late-nineteenth century, this exquisitely written and illuminating novel is told from three narrative points of view: sister (though masquerading as a male) Ying and brother Lai Yue, who flee their home in China to seek their fortunes on the Australian gold fields; and Meriem, a young white woman whom Ying befriends when circumstances force them to abandon the diggings and head to Maytown. The brutality of the story is offset by moments of tenderness, and the harshness of life, especially for outsiders, is vividly evoked. Highly recommended reading.

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Yarra Valley Writers Festival

The inaugural Yarra Valley Writers Festival was broadcast online last weekend and, as Festival Director Brook Powell put it so eloquently in her opening remarks, ‘No, it’s not the same, but it is of the moment.’ While I missed not being in the beautiful Yarra Valley, mingling with readers and writers, engaging in lively conversations over local wines, I did get to listen, learn, share ideas, question and reflect. As an added bonus, I got to do this with friends.

Screen shot of my online interview with Christos, courtesy of LJM Owen who was watching from Tasmania

In a real treat, a number of bloggers wrote up the sessions, including the two that I chaired. I say this is a treat because I always want to write posts after the festivals I’m part of, but try as I might, I’ve yet to master the art of simultaneously chairing and live blogging (or even tweeting).

Sue at Whispering Gums blogged the session I did with Christos Tsiolkas, The Road to Damascus. She writes, ‘I’ll start by saying it was a lovely conversation, held between two people who obviously know each other well. That’s one of the lovely things about these writers festivals – you get to see the camaraderie that exists between some writers, and discover some of the ways they support each other. In this case, it came out that Savage had read some of Tsiolkas’ drafts and had had discussed them with him. She praised him for the time he takes with his work, for the way he honours his art.’ (Read the whole post here).

The lovely thing about Sue’s response is that Christos and I had decided in advance that there was no point in pretending we didn’t know each other as well as we do and we made this part of the conversation. It turned out that this was a big part of why we were programmed together. Said Brook, ‘There is something wonderful about watching people communicate that have a genuine love for each other. I really wanted the audience to feel and experience that – whilst also being given so much in the actual literal content too. In a time where people are missing connection, some desperately, I felt it was important to share that with them wherever we could.’

There is a particular joy and ease in interviewing people whom you know well as friends as well as writers. For one thing, I think it makes it easier to forget about the technology and delve into the conversation. After interviewing Christos, in a slightly nerve-wracking jump from one Zoom room to another, I chaired a session with my crime writing mates Emma Viskic, Jock Serong and Robert Gott. In addition to talking about their work, we also talked about their 2019 US tour as ambassadors of the genre, together with another dear writer friend, Sulari Gentill. Again, Sue did a terrific write up of the session on her blog, capturing in particular Jock’s response to the question of what defines Australian crime fiction besides the setting: ‘we are bringing indigeneity into our stories, and are exploring Australian identity in terms of how far you can push the Australian character.’

You can read about other festival sessions (several of which I attended) at Whispering Gums, ANZLitLovers, and Resident Judge.

Heartfelt congratulations to Brook Powell, Program Direector Hannie Rayson, and all the team behind this adventurous event. It lifted my spirits to be part of a writers festival during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

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New reviews & interviews

The disappointment of multiple event cancellations due to COVID-19 in an optimal year for promoting my most recent novel Mother of Pearl is tempered somewhat by the reviews that the book continues to attract and the conversations I get to have about both the content and the writing process with readers, both in person and (occasionally) in the media.

The literary journal Antipodes recently posted a thoughtful review of Mother of Pearl, The Near and the Far. ‘The novel’s focus is international surrogacy,’ writes Mark Azzopardi, ‘which Savage seeks to both humanize and complicate.’ In a unique angle, Azzopardi also compares the different ways that Christos Tsiolkas (who kindly provided a blurb for the book) and I write about Southeast Asia. I love being described as ‘a less rebarbative writer compared to Tsiolkas’–especially after I looked up the meaning of ‘rebarbative’. Read the whole review here.

Rana Gaind also posted a positive review of Mother of Pearl online on the Australian Public Service News website here. ‘[Mother of Pearl is] rich in portrayals and emotion and looks at social issues that are opportune,’ Gaind writes. By contrast, Patricia Johnson in her review in Westerly magazine writes that she ‘want[s] to hear the primal scream’ in relation to one character in particular. Still, she also concludes favourably with, ‘[Angela Savage] reveals the situation of both sides of surrogacy in a way that makes the reader alive to its many implications and ways in which it can go wrong, not only medically but in psychological/emotional damage as well… As they say in the classics, it’s complicated. Read it and see.’

Some weeks back, I recorded an interview with Sarah L’Estrange for Radio National’s The Book Show on a topic that’s close to my heart: how to write ethically about cultures that are not your own, both in the context of writing Mother of Pearl and more broadly. The program went to air on 27 April 2020; the podcast is here, and my interview with Sarah starts at the 27:47 min mark. However, I’d highly recommend listening from the start to hear Claire Nichols interview award-winning US sci-fi writer NK Jemisin. Jemisin’s new novel, The City We Became, which imagines New York as a sentient city, sounds amazing and eerily prescient.

With Pitchaya Sudbanthad at AWW, Feb 2020

Meanwhile, with the COVID-19 pandemic all but bringing international and most domestic travel to a standstill, the fabulous folks at TripFiction have started a series called ‘Armchair Travel by Book’ on their blog. The third novel in my Jayne Keeney PI series, The Dying Beach, set in Krabi, was listed in their Armchair Travel by Book – THAILAND post alongside Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad, one of my favourite reads of 2019. I was fortunate to meet (and fangirl) Pitchaya at Adelaide Writers Week in February–back in another time when it was still safe to gather in public with people from all over the world.

‘One of crime fiction’s many virtues is that it allows us to travel to exotic locations from the safety and comfort of the couch or bed,’ writes the Sisters in Crime Australia. In Murder Takes A Holiday, Sue Morgan recommends The Dying Beach as ‘a real page-turner… Very much a dark tale in paradise.’

Speaking of Sisters in Crime, I had great fun being interviewed by Narelle Harris for the Quintette of Questions series on her blog. Read our interview here to find out which actors I would cast in the lead roles in Mother of Pearl, and my favourite literary couple. Answering Narelle’s question about a song that reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in my book (I nominated Tom Waits’s ‘Midnight Lullaby’) reminded me, too, that I made a playlist on Spotify of all the music referenced in the novel. You can listen/download here. Enjoy!

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Yarra Valley Writers Festival online

We’ve been in lockdown due to COVID-19 for over a month now in Australia. My partner and I are working from home. My daughter is doing her high school classes from home (my brother, a teacher, reminds me not to refer to this as ‘home schooling’). My work meetings are all online or by phone, as is my socialising.

I refuse to refer to what’s happening now as ‘the new normal’, however. For me there is nothing ‘normal’ about this time. I think of this as time to be endured, occasionally enjoyed, but not to be embraced. Lockdown, self-isolation, social distancing–these are necessary restrictions to avoid a public health emergency in the short- to medium-term, not a blueprint for living.

With the current period defined by uncertainty, it feels like tempting fate to plan anything at all. But the fearless Yarra Valley Writers Festival programmers have done just that, transforming what was to be a traditional writers’ festival in Healesville into a digital program over Sat 9 and Sun 10 May, teamed with monthly book clubs.

“We were right in the thick of everyone cancelling everything and it just felt like such a bleak landscape and we didn’t want to be just another organisation that said, ‘Oh well, we’ll do it again next year’,” says festival programmer Hannie Rayson. “So we thought, ‘No, damn it, we’re going to do it. We’re going to find another way to make it happen!’ And it’s paying off, it’s exciting.”

The whole program looks fabulous. And while I’m sorry to miss out on visiting the beautiful Yarra Valley I’m delighted to be chairing a couple of online sessions on Sat 9 May:

15:45     Road to Damascus | Christos Tsiolkas & Angela Savage

16:45     If I Tell You I’m Going to Have to Kill You | Robert Gott, Emma Viskic,  Jock Serong & Angela Savage

I’ll also be part of the Yarra Valley Writers Festival Book Club, an interactive and engaging monthly book club, taking place at 6.30pm (Melb AEST) on the last Wednesday of the month, hosted by YVWF Director Brook Powell and Ambassador Michael Veitch and joined by a variety of authors each session.

Wed 27 May       Tony Birch – The White Girl
Wed 24 Jun         Chris Flynn – Mammoth
Wed 29 Jul           Angela Savage – Mother of Pearl

Digital programming can’t replace my most cherished aspects of writers festivals–interacting with readers and networking with writers–but I’m grateful to have any alternative when it comes to shining light on my work and that of writers I admire.

I hope to have some more online events to announce in coming weeks.

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A novel virus

When I first starting reading about the emergence of a ‘novel coronavirus’, my first thought was, ‘What? Books can get it, too?’

To think, only weeks ago, I was able to make light of it.

Since then, the virus now know as COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. I am reminded of a quote I read decades ago, during my generation’s other terrible pandemic — the HIV/AIDS crisis — from a Brazilian doctor, who said words to the effect that a pandemic of this sort ‘exposes the cracks and gaps in society’s injustices.’ Certainly the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the impact of inequalities in health care systems globally, also highlighting the vulnerability of the elderly, frail and immuno-compromised.

For me personally, as a writer, COVID-19 has meant the cancellation of much anticipated (and paid) festival gigs, talks and workshops that I’d lined up to promote my 2019 release Mother of Pearl. I got to do a wonderful event at Geelong Library with Enza Gandolfo in February, and to interview Tara June Winch and Miriam Sved at Adelaide Writers Week, before COVID-19 shut everything else down. I can’t deny the disappointment of not being able to do justice to a book that took me five years to write and publish. But several festivals I would have appeared at are exploring online options; fellow writers have been generous with resources like the Writers Go Forth. Launch. Promote. Party. group on Facebook, set up by my friend Kirsten Krauth (whose new novel Almost A Mirror was released yesterday); and the writing community is helping with blog tours, and pledges to buy local books. And I’m keen to find ways to promote the work of writers I would’ve been interviewing or appearing with on what was, for me, a dream program of events.

As the manager of a small, not-for-profit arts organisation, Writers Victoria, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant sleepless nights trying to figure out how to keep people in jobs while ensuring our organisation is still afloat once the maelstrom has passed. My staff team has been amazing, and I believe we’re doing an excellent job of adapting our program to the online environment, diversifying our services, and supporting our members — the aspiring, emerging and establish writers of Victoria. I can only hope that once the pandemic takes hold, people will have the money to renew their membership and continue to purchase our services to help ensure our long-term survival.

As a chronic extrovert who loves to socialise, I find social distancing (which I take very seriously) and particularly the current lockdown to be deeply challenging. Indeed, when my partner announced some weeks ago at the dinner table that COVID-19 could be transmitted by hugging and kissing, Miss Fourteen responded with, ‘Well, Mum’s f**ked.’ I’m grateful for the technology that enables me to drink wine with friends on Zoom, see my father’s face when I talk to him, laugh at the genius and creativity shown by others in response to the pandemic (the Marsh family being a favourite). But I miss not being able to hug my friends.

The last person I socialised with while it was still legal in Victoria (and at a safe social distance) was my cousin Mary, who shared with me a great idea to help get through these difficult times. Every time you wish you could do something that’s not possible due to COVID-19, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. Then once we get through this, start working through your wish list. I started mine on Monday with the note, ‘Hug Mary’. Four days later, there are already five slips of paper in my jar. Luckily I have a big jar.

Do you have any tips for getting through these troubled times?

 

 

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Yarra Valley Writers Festival 2020 Program

I’m thrilled to be part of the program for the inaugural Yarra Valley Writers Festival, to be held in Healesville from Fri 8 – Sun 10 May. The star-studded festival line-up includes Tony Birch, Helen Garner, Alice Pung, Christos Tsiolkas, David Williamson and Charlotte Wood–just to name a few.

I’m particularly excited about this festival as I will be appearing at three events,  representing different aspects of my literary career.

First up, toting my crime writing credentials, I’ll be appearing on the panel, ‘If I Tell You I’m Going To Have To Kill You’, part of The Crime Centre at Healesville Library, with the Godfather of Australian crime fiction, Garry Disher, and rising star Mark Brandi; Kylie Ladd will be our convenor.

In the afternoon, I’ll be joining Meg Mundell and Alice Robinson, two writers whose work I greatly admire, on a panel called ‘The Issues Novel’–an idea I pitched to the festival–where I’ll be talking about my latest (non-genre) novel, Mother of Pearl. Mark Brandi will be our interviewer.

For my third session, I’ll be wearing my  interviewer hat and talking with Christos Tsiolkas about his latest novel in a session aptly titled, ‘Road to Damascus‘.

In between, I’m hoping to catch sessions with Tony Birch, Jock Serong, Chris Flynn, Robert Gott, Alice Bishop, Charlotte Wood, Emma Viskic–assuming I can master the skill of bilocation before 8 May! You know it’s a great program when you have trouble choosing between concurrent sessions. Congratulations to Festival Director Brook Powell and Festival Programmer Hannie Rayson on putting together such a great program.

The full program is here and my session details are below. Hope to see you there.

Sat 9 May, 11.00AM-12.00PM
The Crime Centre @Healesville Library
If I Tell You I’m Going To Have To Kill You
With Angela Savage, Garry Disher + Mark Brandi
Convenor: Kylie Ladd

Sat 9 May, 3.00PM – 3.45PM
The Meeting Room
The Issues Novel
Angela Savage, Meg Mundell & Alice Robinson
Convenor: Mark Brandi

Sat 9 May, 5.00PM-6.00PM
MEMO Main Stage
Road to Damascus
Christos Tsiolkas
Convenor: Angela Savage

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