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SWF 2011

SWF2011 VIDEO: LA Larkin: Author, The Genesis Flaw

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LA Larkin is the author of The Genesis Flaw, and the soon to be released Thirst. She writes edgy thrillers that tackle hot topic issues like climate change and genetic engineering. The Genesis Flaw is the story of Serena Swift, an advertising executive who takes on the world's most powerful biotech company. With hackers, hired killers and international chases, it's hard to put down.

As a lover of the thriller genre, she shares her favourite authors, an excerpt from her book and explains the tactics used to keep your reader engaged.

SWF2011 VIDEO: Kristin Cashore: Author, "GRACELING" and "FIRE"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kristin Cashore is the author of two fantasy books GRACELING and FIRE, and her third book Bitterblue is currently in the revisions stage of writing. GRACELING was nominated for the Andre Norton and William C. Morris award.

Cashore's books are set in the Seven Kingdoms world, and Cashore describes her stories as part of the medieval fantasy niche.

Cashore shares her advice on writing, the issues with using real life people as your characters inspiration, the different challenges of writing your second novel, and how her third book is developing.

SWF 2011 REVIEW: How much of yourself should you put in your travel memoir?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Guest post by Monique Germon

Claire Scobie gave a informative workshop yesterday at the State Libray of NSW, as part of The Sydney Writer's Festival workshop program. This sold out, day-long workshop was on the art of the travel memoir and how one goes about putting their travel experiences onto paper.

Claire shared with participants her intimate knowledge of this genre,speaking about her own experiences of exploration and how this led to the publication of her travel memoir, Last Seen in Lhasa. Topics were covered such as honing in on the unique elements within your particular story, the difference between narrative and emotional arcs, the several ways one can craft plot and the different genres within travel writing itself.

What should you reveal?
The most notable conversation began with that big question 'How much of yourself are you willing to put into the story?' This of course led the group into a thorough critique of Elizabeth Gilbert's best seller, Eat Pray Love. As always, the room was divided into two camps and we discussed the "how brave-ness" (or "oh god-ness") of the author's willingness to bare all as well as the question, was it a well written travel memoir anyway? I had a personal "a-ha" moment, as I privately battle with both camps inside of myself. I loved the book, I read it at home and then in the Himalayas when I really needed a familiar "friend" but most of my more intellectual mates despise it with a pride-filled passion and deep down I know that I would rather quote Robert Dessaix any old day.

Claire was asked by a workshop participant about her own choices concerning privacy whilst writing Last Seen in Lhasa, which is as much the story of Claire's intimate friendship with a Tibetan nun, as it is a tale of adventure. Her reply, "Of course the first thing I did was give Ani a new name. It's important to get permission from any potential characters in your story."

Allow readers to create and explore
Regardless, what I realised is that those who were critical of too much of the personal, too much 'I' in the travel memoir felt robbed of the freedom and joy that author's give readers, through an invitation to create and explore, which comes only from not being told too much. Certainly something to think about before we put pen to paper and share our personal adventures, as well as the ethical questions around sharing the lives of others, which was also a big topic and rightly so. Though I am sure that Ketut, the palm reader/medicine man from Eat Pray Love who prophesied Liz's journey, is probably quite okay with it all!

By Monique Germon


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