Whose work do you turn to for inspiration, as a novelist?
Alexis Wright, Melissa Lucashenko, Sarah Foster, Ashley Hay, Pamela Freeman and the late Rosie Scott.
Do you remember why you started writing and what prompted an interest in literature?
I started writing because I wanted to see more Aboriginal people and stories in the Australian literary landscape, and I wanted to read about women like me in Australian novels. My interest was prompted and is maintained because we need to be telling our side of the shared history, and we need to write our stories in our voices.
Aside from Tiddas, what else have you got in the works this year?
I’m working on an epic historical novel – River of Dreams for Simon & Schuster. – about the Great Flood of Gundagai in 1852, and life on Wiradjuri country in the decade that follows. It will be released in May 2021.
I’m also working on an anthology with Elders from Wagga Wagga. Titled Growing Up Wiradjuri, it will be published by Magabala Books.
On top of that, I am doing a new edition of my memoir Am I Black Enough for You? and a junior fiction work around that same memoir.
If you could give one piece of advice to emerging writers, what would it be?
Read - across genres, genders and geography. You can’t expect to be a good writer if you don’t nurture a love of words on the page by reading the work of others. By reading you come to find your own voice, your own style.