Welcome to Behind the Pen…for the second time this week, I know, but with so many fabulous releases, there just aren’t enough Wednesdays in the week, so I’m breaking with tradition and bringing you a second edition.
I am so pleased to welcome Glenna Thomson, author of the beautiful new release, Stella and Margie (reviewed on this blog today). Glenna has shared with me a few of her favourites, so without further delay…
What is your favourite…and why…
Character from one of your books?
Margie in my new novel, Stella and Margie. I learned who Margie was as I wrote about her. She evolved from this impatient and bad-mannered old woman, to a person I discovered had a difficult and lonely life. She’d suffered greatly and I grew to love and respect her. So did Stella.
Scene from one of your books?
The storm in my debut novel, Blueberry, page 278. I live on a farm, and I wrote that scene in real time as the storm was occurring outside. The thunder overhead was so loud and unexpected I actually did drop my pen. The birds did keep singing during the heavy rain, and surprisingly stopped when the storm was over. We don’t have leaking gutters, so that bit was imagined.
Movie of all time?
My all-time favourite movie is Cinema Paradiso. It was released in 1988 and was directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. I love this film because of its pathos, the slow camera, the intensity of young love, and the truth about how life sometimes turns out. It touched me so much I cried during it and could hardly get out of my seat afterwards.
Book that you always keep a copy of and recommend to others?
Anne Enright’s The Forgotten Waltz and The Green Road. She’s such a gifted, intelligent and gutsy writer, and I admire her enormously. I often read random pages of her work to be reminded of what is possible. I always recommend her novels to others. Other books I keep close are Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster, and Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing.
Fashion accessory that despite having plenty of, you still keep collecting?
I love a good-looking handbag. I’m currently flaunting a gorgeous blue leather bag big enough to hold a week’s shopping. It’s got all the compartments, zips and hidden pockets. But knowing me, it’ll be replaced sometime this year, even though it’s not worn out. Somewhere out there, sitting on a shelf, is its replacement waiting to be discovered.
Drink that you enjoy everyday?
Well. I do like red wine. Up here in north east Victoria there’s a number of wineries with excellent Shiraz and Merlot.
Treat you indulge in?
As above. Red wine.
Place to be?
My husband and I built our house, and developed our farm and garden. We’ve lived here for twelve years and everything is now established and settled into itself. Our property is also where I get my inspiration to write. The birds, garden, cattle, the granite outcrops, and sky. All the scenery descriptions in my books are authentic because it’s what I see. My home is absolutely my favourite place.
Person you admire?
Ita Buttrose. A long time ago I was head of media for an overseas aid agency. I invited Ita to be a patron for women’s projects in third world countries. She agreed, and we travelled overseas together to witness the work being done to empower woman and girls through access to education. Ita and I had some unique experiences, including sharing a bedroom in a nunnery in the north of Bangladesh.
I admire her because she’s a genuinely compassionate person, who is intelligently engaged in life and real issues. She’s also one of the hardest working people I’ve met.
Ita and I lost contact when I moved to the farm. I knew she’d love hearing that I was being published with Penguin Random House and I sent her a copy of my first book, Blueberry. She loved it. And I was thrilled when she agreed to read Stella and Margie and provide the endorsement for the front cover.
Season of the year?
Autumn. Perhaps because it follows the long dry summers, but I love the cooler days, the softer colours, the changing leaves, the smell of smoke from the first fire, picking figs and walnuts. I wrote Stella and Margie in this period of time – the end of summer and the change of seasons to autumn. It’s all in the book. Waiting for rain, happy birds in the garden, the gas gun from the neighbour’s walnut orchard. And the other thing I like about autumn, is the snakes disappear with the colder weather.
Stella and Margie was released on January 2nd, 2018. It is published by Penguin Random House Australia and is available in both paperback and ebook from all book retailers.