This is an event from the May 2016 Festival.

Code: 126  |  Type: Panel   |  Genres: Fiction

If a character in a novel has ever made you laugh, cry or groan in frustration, there’s a writer somewhere secretly thrilled. Novelists Kelly Doust (Precious Things), Antonia Hayes (Relativity) and Inga Simpson (Where the Trees Were) are experts in the art of creating fictional figures you can’t help caring about. They discuss the importance of emotional connection, getting the small details right, and how much material you should borrow from real life, with John Purcell.

Friday 20 May 2016 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Pier 4/5 The Waterfront, End of Pier 4/5, Walsh Bay

Antonia Hayes (Australian)

Antonia Hayes is an Australian author who grew up in Sydney, spent her twenties in Paris and currently lives in San Francisco. Her work has been published in Best Australian EssaysMeanjin, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Daily Life and others. Antonia has worked in publishing as a publicist and a bookseller, and co-directed Australia's National Young Writers' Festival. Relativity is her debut novel and, as well as being published in Australia, rights have been sold pre-publication to publishers in the US, UK, Germany, France and Turkey.

Inga Simpson (Australian)

Inga is the author of Where the Trees Were (2016), Nest, and Mr Wigg. Nest was shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and The Courier Mail People’s Choice Award, and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Stella Prize. Inga was the winner of the final Eric Rolls Nature Essay Prize, and has recently completed a PhD in English literature, which examined the history of Australian nature writing and its capacity as an environmental strategy.

Kelly Doust (Australian)

Kelly Doust is author of the memoir A Life in Frocks, vintage fashion bible Minxy Vintage and craft books The Crafty Minx, The Crafty Kid and The Crafty Minx at Home. She has also been a regular contributor to Vogue and Australian Women's Weekly. Kelly's first novel, Precious Things is published by HarperCollins in April 2016.

John Purcell (Australian)

John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian début author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for the last twenty years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Head of Product and Chief Buyer at



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