Friday, 16 November 2012

Meeting another literary hero

So a couple of nights ago I went to see Kate Morton speak at the State Library. For those who don't know, Kate Morton has four books published (the newest, and the reason for the book tour, is The Secret Keeper), is one of the best paid Australian authors (so I've read), looks like a supermodel and is just about the sweetest person in the world. I have read all her books and I really enjoyed them, but The Secret Keeper was extra special, just as good as her first offering and my all-time favourite, The Shifting Fog.

Kate Morton
Elyse and I were the youngest people there by about 30 years, but I'm sort of used to that, having made author-stalking a sort of hobby. Kate Morton spoke beautifully. She is one of the most articulate people I've ever met, incredibly lilting in tone. Her accent is Australian, with the 'properness' of a British accent thrown in and it makes for delightful listening, particularly when she reads her own prose.

She spoke about the writing process, and how she allows herself 3-4 months of research, where she reads books, watches films, locates diaries and other sources from the time period and just generally gets to know the era. Then it takes her about 10 months to write the book. The whole thing sounded heavenly. Imagine having the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in a period of history that you loved, then invent some amazing characters and storylines and play with them for a year or so? That is why I'd like to be a writer, so if anyone could manage to make that dream come true for me, that would be great. Thanks.

She spoke about things in her life that influenced her work, and what it was like living with another creative soul (both working from home) and how she does motherhood and writing. She told us about the false starts in her writing career which gives me hope for my own. Afterwards she signed our books and I turned into a blushing, stuttering person with crazy eyes but she was really sweet. I told her that I loved the new book and that I had wanted to read it before hearing her speak because I'd been to author talks when I hadn't read the newest book and I wished I had a frame of reference to what they were talking about. And then she agreed with me and Elyse told her that I had introduced Elyse to her books and Kate Morton said I was a good friend and I blushed some more and grinned like an idiot and then we left and I could breathe normally. It. Was. Awesome.

And I'm totally reinspired to write.

Yes, I know it's backwards. I took it in the webcam. Geez.
It says 'For Emily, A pleasure to meet you - happy reading!'