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The Women in the Lobby

Sydney Writers Festival - Podcast

 

February 2014

Fabulous of you to drop in…

I’ve been doing what writers do the past year or two - writing. Between my sixth novel, Dorothea Goes Wild, and my travel writing, I’m at my laptop 7 days a week. Sometimes the juggling of fiction and non-fiction is exceptionally difficult, but I’m happy to say that Dorothea is finally finished and ready for editing. Over to you, Penguin Random House!

Last year, I started an online travel magazine with my husband Tony Amos,
Mr and Mrs Amos. You may know that he’s a brilliant photographer of travel, lifestyle, interiors and portraits and who works editorially as well as on his own art projects, which he exhibits. You can find his work here. We’ve been travelling together for a very long time producing pictures and words. The new web magazine is intended to be inspirational with gorgeous travel stories (if I do say so myself) that are entirely original. Please visit the website and subscribe to support us. As we say, we’re a real trip!

I now write a weekly travel column for Fairfax Traveller called Luxe Nomad. You can find it on the Sydney Morning Herald or Age sites or catch up with the column here. I continue to write travel for a number of international publications such as Vogue Living, Qantas Australian Way, Thai and Chinese Vogues, CN Traveller UK and China.

The film project for my first novel Fabulous Nobodies is well underway, thanks to the brilliant guidance of producer Julie Anne Quay. Casting has begun! IMDb lists it as ‘in development’ but you can follow its progress here. There’s a Facebook page as well.

While you’re waiting for Dorothea Goes Wild to be published, you might like to catch up with the eBook of my last novel, The Woman in the Lobby, here.

I have lots of travels planned for 2014 – Oman, Sicily, France and New York for starters. Wishing you happy travels and reading over the forthcoming few months.

Keep checking in and I’ll update you on all these exciting projects.

 

April 2011

Fabulous of you to drop in…

Lots of activity here in April and May. After a long-overdue visit to my friends in New York and L.A, I'm in Melbourne on Sunday May 8 to join Helen Garner, Anna Goldsworthy and Alice Pung at the Wheeler Centre. We're all former residents of the college Janet Clarke Hall at Melbourne University.

On Friday May 20 I'll be the participating chair in the session French Kissing at the Sydney Writer's Festival. I'll be talking Carolyn Burke and Lucinda Holdforth about 'la vie francais.' On Saturday, May 21st I'll be chairing 9/11: I was There. I'll be joined by Anthony Bourdain, James Gleick, Michael Cunningham and Emma Forest in a discussion of what it was like to be in New York when the Twin Towers came down – ten years ago this September. I'm interested to know what questions you might have for these distinguished authors.

The B-format edition of The Woman in the Lobby is still going strong. You can find it in good independent bookstores in Australia and New Zealand or via the Penguin website. I'm still hard at work on my next novel but it's a slow process as there's so much historical research. I've been chasing real-life characters all over the world from Shanghai to Hollywood to Paris. I'm hopefully in Spain at the end of May to pick up some information on the Spanish Civil War.

I'm also fortunate to have joined the team at Vogue Living as Travel Editor. This means I'm travelling every few weeks. Just wish I were able to concentrate enough on those long-haul flights to write on the plane! If you want to know more about the magazine, please like Vogue Living's Facebook page.

The film project for my first novel, Fabulous Nobodies is coming together under the wing of producer Julie Anne Quay. The brilliant director of The September Issue, RJ Cutler, (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0191712) is on board. Expect more news soon. Follow Fabulous Nobodies on Facebook.

And you can find video of my interview with the lovely Tara Moss for cable channel Thirteenth Street here.

 

July 2009

Fabulous of you to drop in…

I’ve been frankly spoiled rotten the past couple of months. I’ve been at Ledig House, international writer’s residency, set on 400 acres in the beautiful Hudson Valley, New York. Thanks to the Literature Board of the Australia Council I was given a grant to travel to New York state to spend eight weeks – well, writing. Nothing else – no worries about cooking or shopping or cleaning the house (that was all done for me). I was a given a duplex bedroom/study in a renovated barn that looked out on to a beautiful garden and in this peaceful environment I managed to write 40,000 words of my next novel Dorothea Goes Wild. At any one time, a maximum of ten writers co-habit the colony, with the added spice of guest editors, publishers and literary agents joining us on the weekend. I made what I hope will be lasting friendships with some extraordinary writers from countries as far flung (for we Aussies) as Mexico, Switzerland and Ethiopia. The distinguished American poet Alfred Corn , who spent five weeks at Ledig House during my residency, writes eloquently about the experience in his April/May blog. I spoke about the experience to Peter Mares on ABC Radio National’s superb The Book Show on May 5 and you can download a podcast here.

The B-format edition of The Woman in the Lobby is now available in bookstores in Australia and New Zealand. I’m very flattered to hear that the novel received a commendation in the FAW Christina Stead Award, announced in May.

The film project for my first novel, Fabulous Nobodies , is moving into an exciting phase, with the script from novelist Elisabeth Robinson in hand and producer Julie Anne Quay actively working on putting the talent together. Julie Anne threw a fabulous (of course!) party to celebrate pre-production in New York at hip burger joint Pop Burger on June 9 – my last night in New York on the recent trip. Check out Stylelist and Style File or join the Fabulous Nobodies page on Facebook.

What’s next? A quiet winter working on the novel, I hope! One highlight will be the 50th birthday party for Vogue Australia on July 31 where lucky guests will be receiving an advance copy of the book I co-authored with Vogue Editrix Kirstie Clements, In Vogue: Fifty Years of Australian Style. The lavish, 320-page hardcover will be released on September 1.


March 2009

Fabulous of you to drop in...

Sydney’s summer has been beautiful. Not that I’ve seen much of it. I’ve had my head down, working on two books. The first, a gorgeous coffee table book to celebrate Vogue Australia’s 50th birthday this year, which I’m compiling with Vogue’s editor Kirstie Clements, and the second, my next novel, Dorothea Goes Wild, which I expect will be published late 2010/early 2011.

I’m off on other Silversea cruise, this time starting in Hong Kong and going up the coast of China visiting old ports. While the last cruise was totally indulgent, this one has a point – I’m doing research for Dorothea. I’m back for two weeks after that and then I’m on a plane again for New York City and Ledig House in New York state. I’ll be away for 10 weeks on that trip and I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done.

An update for fans of Fabulous Nobodies – the film project is well underway. Facebook users might like to join the group Fabulous Nobodies to keep in touch with the news.

The B-format edition of The Woman in the Lobby will be released in May, so please look out for it.

My husband, Anthony Amos, is having an exhibition at Depot II Gallery, Danks Street, Waterloo in Sydney from March 24-April 4. If you’re in town, do drop in. For a preview of his work, go here.


August 2008

Fabulous of you to drop in…

I spent part of June and July cruising Alaska on the chic Silver Shadow, part of the Italian-owned Silversea line. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming on board, but from the minute we pulled out of Vancouver harbour I was hooked. What was most wonderful about cruising was the number of passengers playing Scrabble and Bridge, building jigsaws, sitting in deck chairs wrapped in blankets reading and challenging each other to games like shuffleboard and table tennis. There was satellite TV, of course, but the Internet connection was dodgy, so we were forced into old fashioned pursuits. It was like that scene out of Brideshead Revisited when they cross the channel – without the waves. Bliss.

You can catch me in Melbourne in early September at two events. On Wednesday September 3 from 2-3 pm I will be appearing on a panel discussion called Doing the Block: Fashionable Melbourne at the State Library of Victoria. This panel discussion is part of the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week official program of activities. Doing the Block refers to an art work by iconic Melbourne artist ST Gill, created in 1880 depicting the fashion and ‘fashionistas’ of 19th century Melbourne. He describes ‘It was Saturday morning and fashionable Melbourne was ‘doing the Block.’ Collins Street is to the Southern city what Bond Street and the Row are to London, and the Boulevards to Paris …’ A panel of Melbourne ‘fashion’ experts have been assembled for an entertaining discussion to determine if this trend still continues today in Melbourne. For further information check the State Library website.

That same evening, September 3 at 6:45 pm, I will be guest speaker at a dinner, sponsored by Dymocks and Leader newspapers, at the restaurant Upstairs at Georges, 819 Burke Road, Camberwell. Ph: (03) 9882 0032

I would finally like to thank the Literature Board of the Australia Council for granting me a residency at Ledig House, Omi, New York for spring 2009. I’m thrilled to be able to take up this wonderful opportunity. Eight weeks in the quiet of the country to work on my next novel – priceless!



june 2008

Fabulous of you to drop in…

The Sydney Writer’s Festival is over and I’ve been to Mauritius and back since. This bucolic island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar was a perfect place to recover from the punishing promotion schedule for The Woman in the Lobby. It’s all a bit of a haze now, but I recall standing in the dark alone in an industrial estate north of Sydney outside a radio station one morning at 5:30 am, which was surely the low point. Lots of high points, though, including plenty of enjoyable tomfoolery on breakfast radio. It seems all the guys want to know, “How come women prefer rich men to funny men like us?” That I can’t answer. I always prefer the funny guys.

If you’d like to read more (including some very private stuff I shared with The Age) please check out my latest press clippings here.

And you can go here for a podcast of my session with Christine Cremen at the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

Many people have commented on the light box posters for The Woman in the Lobby that seem to be everywhere at Australia’s airports. When viewed six-foot high that pair of legs looks pretty sensational. I have been claiming that they’re mine, but my story was blown by Paris-based author Bryce Corbett who wrote to tell me they belong to his wife, Shay, who is a dancer at the Lido. No wonder they’re so shapely!

I’m talking with the lovely Julie McCrossin for her program “Up & Away” on Qantas in-flight radio throughout the month of June, so if you’re flying anywhere in the world with Qantas be sure to tune in.

My next adventure will be a cruise from Alaska to San Francisco at the end of June. I’ve never been on the high seas and have a pathological fear of waves, despite being married to a surfer but I feel it’s one of those experiences you have to have. Stand by…



April 2008

Fabulous of you to drop in…

The Sydney Writer’s Festival program has been unveiled at last. I’ll be appearing twice. On May 23 4-5pm I’ll be joining Thomas Kohnstamn, Marc Llewellyn and Grace Pundyk on the panel Traveller’s Tales. And on Sunday 25, 3:30 - 4:30, I’ll be talking to Christine Cremen about my new novel,
The Woman in the Lobby. It’s wise to book ahead for the latter.

I’m also thrilled to join Derek and everyone at Newtown’s wonderful
Better Read Than Dead
bookstore for Books@TheBank on May 6 at 6:30 pm.
I still fondly remember a dinner held in the bookstore when I was promoting Two Shanes a few years ago. I live on the other side of Sydney from the store, but every time I go across there I think, “These are my people.” Maybe I should move. Go here to book.

Madison magazine has posted a terrific review of The Woman in the Lobby in the April issue, which has stirred quite a few readers into rushing into bookstores to demand a copy. Trouble is, the novel is not released until May 5. I’ve posted a little of it on this website, with thanks to the editors at Madison: “Punch-in-the-guts substance and moral complexity. You’ll never look at a five-star lobby in the same way again.”

A brief interview with me is currently appearing in the May issue of Vogue magazine, the one with the glorious pink cover. Coincidentally, my feature on niche perfumers in Paris is also running in the same issue. Now that was a tough job!

Look out for an extract from The Woman in the Lobby in The Australian Women’s Weekly later this month.

And book clubs, do remember that you can contact me here for a list of topics that personally intrigued me while I was writing the novel. I’m also happy to answer questions about my other books.