Bush Lit Babes
Those of you who have been around these ridges for a while will know I don’t mind a good book. Despite being pretty time-poor (or poorly organised anyway), I do manage to sneak a few paperbacks into my schedule on occasion. Or even (being the e-savvy girl I am, *cough cough*) reading books downloaded into my ipad.
I am a gorger, when it comes to reading. I love getting immersed into the pages of a novel. I love reliving events in an autobiography. And if I like it, once I get into a book, it gets INHALED.
I admire greatly those who have the energy, focus and persistance to get stories onto paper or screen, and even more those who manage to get them published.
This week I was lucky enough to get along to a special writers forum, held during the annual Ekka - Queensland’s Royal Show. It was a Rural Literature event featuring three best-selling authors – one of whom I know In Real Life (Alice Greenup) and one whom I have called my friend for a couple of years, since meeting online through our blogs (Fleur).
Alice Greenup (Queensland beef producer), Fleur McDonald (West Australian sheep farmer) and Nicole Alexander (New South Wales grazier) joined fabulous ABC Landline presenter Pip Courtney on stage to explore the issues that rural writers face, and the joys and pitfalls of making writing a career.
I adored listening to every second of this panel sharing their take on their work and how it fits into their lives. I admit to having some writing ambitions (although the current state of potential manuscripts doesn’t reflect this ambition particularly well) and hung on every word these hard-working women shared with the audience.
Fleur was so honest and generous with her tips on juggling the myriad of issues facing a wife, mother, carer, farmer and writer.
The irrepressible Alice didn’t disappoint – all energy and action and cut-through-it-all summations. I just love that she threw three earlier versions of her best-seller ‘Educating Alice’ in the bin before she released it to the waiting publishers. That would take some guts.
Our Alice has plenty of intestinal fortitude. I love that she urges others to wait til you are happy with your work. It gives me hope…
The incredibly talented Nicole Alexander had pretty much just stepped off a plane from the USA, and (despite some jetlag) shared her wisdom on the importance of authenticity – of getting the details in your writing spot on.
The woman knows her stuff – she also produces best-selling historically rich books on an annual basis.
I know everyone in that audience was hanging off every word these girls shared!
All three writers are incredible advocates for rural Australia – capturing the bush way of life unique to each corner of this country, and sharing it around the world.
And as for compere Pip Courtney – who hosts the most-watched rural program in the country and is a personal hero of mine – what can I say?
The woman is everything a journo should be – sharp, smooth, eloquent, perfect. (And so tiny she totally makes me look like a heffalump – but what she lacks in beef, she makes up for in sweetness. I think I may have told her my life story after the event was over… heh. Sorry Pip!)
I walked away feeling soooooo much richer for having experienced this one-off event.
Please take the time to check out the Landline story (hosted by Pip of course) on female rural authors here - it’s fantastic and well worth getting a coffee to sit down with and savour.
And in case you are wondering, the term for rural literature is NOT Chook Lit. Or even my term: Bush Lit (say it carefully now). It’s RURAL literature.
Have you read any good bush books lately?