Farewell to 2017…

2017 has been, for me, a year of overlapping intensive research and the task of drawing the threads of that research together. All of that has left me little time for anything else, but here’s a wrap-up of what happened in and around that work.


During the year, I had the opportunity to speak to the Curtin Writers Club (that’s Curtin University, not my own private gang!), Edith Cowan University students studying The Sinkings as part of third-year unit ‘Diverse Voices in Literature’, the Karrakatta Club, the Bassendean Wider Vision group, Lakelands Library (part of the Write Along the Highway festival), and several book clubs who chose to read The Sinkings or Elemental.

I also conducted a workshop on editing for the lovely Out of the Asylum Writers group, and took part in UWA Publishing’s very successful WA Writers Professional Development Day (part of the WinterArts program).

Thanks to all for inviting me.


Research took me far and wide, to London and New Zealand and, closer to home, to Albany and Mt Barker in Western Australia’s South West, and I worked like a demon during a four-week residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.


National Art Library, London


West coast, NZ South Island


Writing desk, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland


Although I’ve read constantly for research throughout the year, time for other reading contracted to almost nothing. But in the last few weeks I’ve read, and loved, Hannah Kent’s The Good People (historical fiction at its finest), and Sarah Krasnostein’s absorbing and lyrical biography of Sandra Pankhurst, The Trauma Cleaner.

This year I also discovered an Irish writer who has gone straight onto my favourites list: Nuala O’Connor. I read two of her novels, You and Miss Emily, and her 2017 short story collection Joyride to Jupiter, and am looking forward to a new novel forthcoming in 2018.


Guests on looking up/looking down during the year were Nicole Sinclair (Bloodlines), Tracy Farr (The Hope Fault) and Julia Lawrinson (Before You Forget), each speaking about their wonderful new novels. All of them would be great book club choices.

I was invited to contribute guest blogs for two writer friends: Maureen Eppen’s ‘Shelf Awareness’ series (on the parlous state of my to-be-read pile and what you’ll find on my many bookshelves) and Lee Battersby’s ‘Precious Things’ series (in which I talk about a ring my father found at a ghost town). Thanks for having me, Maureen and Lee.

Looking ahead

I will be featuring, in the first few months of 2018, new novels by Michelle Johnston, Louise Allan, Laurie Steed and Susan Midalia, with others to come throughout the year. And of course the Perth Writers Festival, newly styled as Perth Festival Writers Week, is coming up in February.

And I am looking forward to introducing my new book, the culmination of all the research I keep mentioning, later in the year. More on that later.

In the meantime, thanks so much for reading and warmest wishes…

Wishing you a safe and happy Christmasand a wonderfulNew Year!Amanda x


Filed under Uncategorized

Did you know…

buying a local book

1 Comment

December 6, 2017 · 1:49 pm

Suburban glories…

I am pretty much fused to my desk these days, and my to-read pile has languished. But I hope to rectify that before too long.

In the meantime, early-morning walks with Ric keep me sane. And what a fantastic start to the day—ibis and mudlarks, wagtails and magpies, the plaintive keee-lah of red-tailed cockatoos, the occasional appearance of mama ducks and their duckling broods.

And then there are the glories…











Filed under Uncategorized

In praise of ducks…

It’s that time of the year again. With the approach of warmer weather, ducks begin apearing around the neighbourhood—scuffling about in gardens, looking for nesting sites; surveilling the terrain from chimneys; landing in stormwater drains and swimming pools. It’s one of the things I love about spring.

Here are a few of my favourite duckscapes (although they are from a bit further afield than my neighbourhood)…


DSCN1767 canal st martin



DSCN1743 canal st martin



Filed under Photo-reminders looking up/looking down


A few favourite skyscapes of recent months…









Filed under Photo-reminders looking up/looking down

And another new release: Hounds of Love

A new post from Ric about a film so tense that I had to remind myself to breathe…

Ric Curtin

hounds-of-love-cinema-australia-1.jpgHounds of Love, now playing in cinemas across Australia, was written and directed by Ben Young and is his first feature film. After premiering at the Venice Film Festival, the film has propelled Ben’s career onto the world stage, and he is already directing big-budget American movie Extinction.

The film has had great reviews all over the world, including 4 out of 5 stars from Australia’s leading film critic, David Stratton. This is not a film for everyone but, as one critic said, ‘brave audiences will be rewarded’.

My role on the film was the sound design and mix. As the subject matter is very confronting, the film was a great sound challenge. Much of the action is implied rather than on the screen., and the film relies on the soundtrack to tell the story.

For the house backgrounds, I used all natural sounds—cars, birds, etc.—so that…

View original post 294 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Until it’s gone…

I was in early adolescence when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister in 1972. I’m afraid to say that I was not a politically minded adolescent. I had other things on my mind—important things like problem hair, who was coming to the Perth Entertainment Centre, and how I was going to get out of dissecting a frog in Biology.


Spare a thought for my long-suffering grandfather, whom I made drive around Perth following the Radio 6PM van so I could win this T-shirt


And yes, I’m a bit of a hoarder…

But recently I came across this quote by Whitlam:

A healthy artistic climate does not depend solely on the work of a handful of supremely gifted individuals. It demands the cultivation of talent and ability at all levels. It demands that everyday work, run-of-the-mill work, esoteric and unpopular work should be given a chance; not so much in the hope that genius may one day spring from it, but because, for those who make the arts their life and work, even modest accomplishment is an end in itself and a value worth encouraging. The pursuit of excellence is a proper goal, but it is not the race itself…

I look at our current politicians, and those of recent times, and can find no trace of this civilised and civilising attitude towards the arts and their place in our cultural life.


Filed under Uncategorized