The most beautiful home movie ever made

Rachel Getting Married

I was sorry to hear, a fortnight ago, of the death of film director Jonathan Demme. The tweets and obits all namechecked the films he’s best known for: The Silence of the Lambs (1991, five Oscars), Philadelphia (1993, two Oscars), and (arguably the best concert film ever) Stop Making Sense (1984). But my thoughts turned first to … Read more…

‘A way with words: Writing as a physical activity’ for NZ Listener

New Zealand Listener has this year been running a regular feature, A way with words, in which they invite New Zealand writers to describe their writing day. I was thrilled to be asked to write a piece, and my contribution was published this week (the issue dated 6 May 2017, on newsstands the week before that) under the … Read more…

The Hope Fault – Notes, resources and references

Hope notebooks

Like most writers, I’m a magpie, taking shiny things from the world around me and making them my own, absorbing and transforming them in my writing. So, in addition to the acknowledgements printed in the back of the book (reproduced at the bottom of this page), I wanted to acknowledge some of the sources, resources … Read more…

Writing workshop at 2016 WORD Christchurch Festival

WORD Christchurch 2016

The programme has just been launched for WORD Christchurch 2016 Writers & Readers Festival, which runs from 26 to 28 August. I’ll be teaching a writing workshop on the Friday of the festival.   Teaching the monster to speak: Writing believable fictional characters Writing fiction is a licence to invent and transform. When we write, we might choose to … Read more…

Lena Gaunt by any other name

How To Name Baby

Names are funny things, important things, and they fascinate me; indeed, my second novel, The Hope Fault, is at least partly about names and naming. I spend a lot of (aka too much) time mulling over character names in my writing. I love to name my chapters, too, title them rather than just giving them numbers … Read more…

The merry month of May

Dancing round the May-Pole

O, the month of May, the merry month of May, So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green! ‘The Merry Month of May’ by Thomas Dekker (1599) The month just past (So frolic. Much gay. Many green. Wow.) would’ve warranted a celebratory skip around the maypole, if it hadn’t been a bit chilly … Read more…

‘The Undercover Soundtrack – Tracy Farr’ guest post

Playing theremin (photo: Matt Evans)

Writer, editor and writing blogger and teacher Roz Morris hosts The Undercover Soundtrack series, where she invites writers who use music as part of their creative environment, ‘perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold a moment still to explore its depths’. In a post for The Undercover Soundtrack (27 April 2016), I write about some of the music that helped … Read more…

Writing workshops at 2016 Perth Writers Festival

Perth Writers Festival at PIAF

I’ll be teaching two writing workshops (and taking part in a couple more sessions) at 2016 Perth Writers Festival (PWF), part of Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF).   Teaching the monster to speak Writing believable characters Writing fiction is a licence to invent and transform. Tracy Farr‘s novel, The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, has been described as ‘a … Read more…