What social issues interest you the most? The plight of refugees is a raw wound in Australia at the moment. I don’t have the answers but I know that the resolution is not to demonise people who are running from a nightmarish situation. I find it very difficult to blame people for wanting just a little bit of what most people in Australia take for granted.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “If there’s no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters…, then all that matters is what we do”. I just looked up who said this, and it turns out it was Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
When and why did you begin writing? I was telling my partner about my life soon after we first met, and he said that I should write a book. I thought about it for a while and decided that I wanted my story to still be here after I am gone. All that lives on after us is the impression we’ve made on others, be it in writing or via a personal relationship. I didn’t want to go quietly.
How did you come up with the title? The title is from an incident where my Mother defended us from an actual flesh, blood, toothed and clawed tiger. After all we had been through there was no way she was going to allow some overgrown tabby to take one of us.
Who designed the cover? Michelle, my wonderful publisher from Odyssey Books.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Reliving the pain all over again, and not just remembering it but turning it over and over in my mind, scene by scene and word by word. I had never thought I would do that; I had never spoken about it to any of my family or even my ex-husband during the years we were together. We all lived through the same terror and did not want to show our mental scars.
How much of the book is realistic? All of it, from the first word to the last. It no doubt contains inaccuracies, but everything is how I remember it. What I can’t do is take the reader there and make them see and smell the Killing Fields, although I’m glad that I can’t. They would never forgive me and they would be right.
Do you have any advice for writers? Write first for yourself, and then see if anyone else is interested.
If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be? This is not a test. You didn’t exist for almost all of the past and you’ll be dead for almost all of the future. Do something, anything, with the time you have, and do it now.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG13
Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.