Wednesday 10 June 2009

Helen FitzGerald, This Is What You Get When You Google Yourself

Last night I was at Helen FitzGerald's double book launch for MY LAST CONFESSION and THE DEVIL'S STAIRCASE

Two books out at once. The reason for that, according to her agent, is that after he read the first three chapters of DEAD LOVELY, he asked to see more of her writing - so she sent him four manuscripts. He described her books as "exciting, fresh, fun, disturbing fiction."

Helen described how odd it was to be an author, where your duties are:
  • spend 8 hours a day alone
  • google yourself obsessively every hour
  • stand on a stage and talk about yourself (she was sorely tempted to dance while whistling as if she was on Britain's Got Talent).
The two new books draw on her own experiences as a criminal justice social worker, living in a squat, being Australian, and being debauched.

Her writing is inspired by the question "Wouldn't it be terrible if..." She is a binge writer and takes about three months to write a book and then she collapses in a heap for a couple of months. She doesn't suffer from writer's block - she terms it "I can't be bothered."

MY LAST CONFESSION features the protagonist from DEAD LOVELY and Helen is currently working on a adapting the Krissie books for TV. I'm not sure how close that is to happening, but I hope it's soon! She's also written a teen novel called AMELIA O'DONOHUE IS SO NOT A VIRGIN.

Helen FitzGerald is an excellent speaker and very funny. If she comes to a town near you, do go and see her. Waiting to get a book signed at the end of the evening, she greeted a friend of hers in the queue as "Oh, hello, it's Lovely Bum." If I ever meet her again and she says "Good evening Fat Arse" I shall cry.

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