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CS Live: Caroline Overington

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October 15, 2013 09:20amMessage by Culture Street

We are delighted that Caroline Overington will be joining us for a CS Live web chat on Friday November 1 at 1pm.

Caroline is the Associate Editor of the iconic magazine, The Australian Women's Weekly.

Caroline has won the Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism twice, and she's a former winner of the Sir Keith Murdoch prize for journalism, and of the Blake Dawson prize.

She is the author of five bestselling novels: Ghost Child, I Came to Say Goodbye, Matilda is Missing, Sisters of Mercy and most recently No Place Like Home.

Are you an aspiring writer? Do you want tips on how to get your novel published? Whatever your question, join Caroline here on Friday November 1 at 1pm. All you need to do is register to post a question.

November 1, 2013 09:57amMessage by Alex

Hi Caroline,
I have read all your books! How has your work as a journalist contributed to your novels?

November 1, 2013 11:03amMessage by Caroline O

Hello! I'm in! I'm just checking the system and will see you all at 1pm.
Caroline Overington.

November 1, 2013 12:58pmMessage by Caroline O

I'm early.
But only three minutes early which is good. What I don't want is people turning up an hour early when I'm making scones for afternoon tea and they're not in the oven, and I haven't even started making them, actually.

November 1, 2013 01:02pmMessage by Culture Street

Welcome Caroline!
We are delighted that you are our guest today on CS Live. We are big fans of your books and featured No Place Like Home as our Book of the Week.
Please join us in welcoming Caroline and start posting your questions now!

November 1, 2013 01:03pmMessage by Caroline O

Hello Culture Street, thank you for having me.
No Place LIke Home is certainly setting a cat amongst the pigeons. It was supposed to be a new, thriller kind of book but people have found a lot to argue about.

November 1, 2013 01:09pmMessage by Caroline O

Dear Alex,
Thank you for your question. I pick up most of the ideas for my novels from my journalism. It happens when I come across a story, or I'm asked to cover a story, and I have only a few pages - or even a few paragraphs - to try to explain what's going on. I think, no, there is more to this. People would be amazed if they knew how much more there is to this!
In particular, I'm interested in children, and it's very difficult to write about children in the media, because of privacy constraints. So I often turn the stories into novels, telling them from all different sides.

November 1, 2013 01:11pmMessage by Marwheels

Did you find writing such a sad ending to your book distressing?

November 1, 2013 01:11pmMessage by Jonny

Why did you decide to base your story in Bondi?

November 1, 2013 01:12pmMessage by Caroline O

Dear Marwheels,

You mustn't give away the ending! That's called a SPOILER and this is now a SPOILER ALERT


November 1, 2013 01:14pmMessage by Caroline O

Dear Jonny,

I live in Bondi. I've been here since 1997 - I remember when we moved to Sydney from Melbourne we couldn't believe how expensive everything was, and the real estate agent said something like, 'Oh, well, have you considered Bondi? I mean, I realise it's not great but ....'
It was exactly what we wanted.
We rented a three bedroom house for $440 a week in Nancy Street - twice what we were getting for our cottage in St Kilda.
Later, we bought our first house in Bondi for $300,000, if you can believe that.

November 1, 2013 01:15pmMessage by Caroline O

PS: Culture Street, this is a lovely font. Do you happen to know what font it is?

November 1, 2013 01:16pmMessage by Rebecca

Hi Caroline! Loved the book! Your characters are quite diverse. What was the inspiration behind Ali Khan’s character?

November 1, 2013 01:19pmMessage by Patrice

Hi Caroline,
I love your books, but noticed you are baking scones - are you a good cook?

November 1, 2013 01:21pmMessage by Caroline O

Dear Rebecca,

I remembered covering a number of cases for the newspaper where people had been 'lost' in detention - people who had never even meant to be there.
I could hardly believe it, in Australia, that there could be people in detention for years, who weren't supposed to be there.
I also remembered covering stories of Africans from the Kenyan refugee camps, being resettled in the United States (I worked there for a few years) and I knew from the BBC's excellent reports that some of them are albino, and they are treated with suspicion.
So I put all of that together and came up with Ali Khan.
Of course, he's also the symbolic stranger in the novel ... in many novels, the stranger turns up, and tells us something we need to know about characters who seem more familiar.

November 1, 2013 01:23pmMessage by Caroline O

Dear Patrice,

I'm not at all shy about saying that I'm an excellent cook.

A book cook!

I take to cooking as a science. I love the way you have to apply heat, or reduce it, and how you have to measure everything precisely, and if you do everything right, it works out. How salt will do something to food. How softening an onion brings out the flavour. How searing the meat is important. All those little things I've picked up over the years, I love.

But my specialty is scones - and like all serious cooks, I use the Country Women's Association recipe, which calls for cream in the mix.

What about you? Are you a good cook?

November 1, 2013 01:24pmMessage by Culture Street

Hi Caroline,
We found this book a bit of a break away from your previous novels. Was this deliberate?
by the way our font is Bembo Regular. Glad you like it!

November 1, 2013 01:26pmMessage by Caroline O

Bembo regular.
I'll try to find it.
This book is a break away from my previous novels. And yes, it was deliberate.
I wanted to write a book that had a siege at its heart, that would get hearts racing. I hadn't done a mystery style of book before, although all the books had twists.
I enjoyed it!

November 1, 2013 01:28pmMessage by Patrice

I'm a lousy cook. Can you let me know your next book signing event and promise to bring a cupcake!

November 1, 2013 01:30pmMessage by Caroline O

Yes. Definitely. But if you're a lousy cook maybe I should bring the cupcake ???

November 1, 2013 01:33pmMessage by Patrice

I'm also a lousy writer. I did mean can you please bring the cupcake?

November 1, 2013 01:35pmMessage by Caroline O

You make me LOL. Yes, I can bring the cupcake.
And now, because the dog needs to be walked and the washing needs to be hung on the line, and the cupcakes need to go in the oven, I'm over and out.
Thank you guys!
See you soon.

November 1, 2013 01:42pmMessage by Alex

Hi Caroline,
You mentioned earlier that readers found a lot to argue about over No Place Like Home. Did you expect the reaction the book received?

November 1, 2013 02:00pmMessage by Culture Street

Thank you Caroline!
We are out of time. Some fabulous answers to posted questions. Great discussion.
Stay tuned for our next #CSLive chat.

This discussion is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated.

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