• Wild Colonial Girl

  • A blog for lovers. Of reading and writing. With a dash of pop culture.

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    A room with a view + Emma Donoghue: Varuna/Sydney Writers' Festival
    Here and Now: Felicity Castagna and me – Varuna/Sydney Writers' Festival
    Every holiday was father's day: writing fathers + daughters at Clunes Booktown
    A little farewell...
    Anthony Lawrence: poetry, passion and plagiarism

A little farewell…

Hi folks In a bid to focus more on my work (a new job editing Australian Author magazine) and writing (a TV script then second novel in the making), I’m taking a break from social media and blogging (except for a thing or two I’ve already planned) until the new year. A part of this process is letting go of just_a_girl. I didn’t realise how hard it would be to say goodbye to a little-book-that-could and the characters within. But it’s time to move on. I’m heading old-school and can chat via The Email. So still feel free to use the contact form if you like as it will find me. I hope youse are all going well with your own reading and writing…  

Every holiday was father’s day: writing fathers + daughters at Clunes Booktown

SinCanCanCover

At Clunes Booktown, I shared the stage with my dad for the first time (at my first festival) and we talked about writing fathers, writing daughters, creating unique voices (we both feature 14-year-old girls in our work), what our characters share, how we translate family stories into fiction, and whether our memories ever come at things from the same angle. It was a very moving session for both of us (perhaps more than the audience realised), a sharing of ideas, sad moments, and joys too. Here are the edited highlights (thanks to Damon Girbon for the video and editing): Dad (Nigel Krauth) is a writer who’s had many novels published, both for adults and YA audiences. He wrote a play Muse of Fire that was performed by the Adelaide Theatre…

Looking beyond the labels: Tara Moss

Tara Moss' new memoir The Fictional Woman

At the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival, crime fiction writer Tara Moss appeared on a panel with Irvine Welsh and Damon Young, talking about writing the body. As she held her new memoir ‘The Fictional Woman’ up to the audience, I was drawn immediately to the cover, a close up of her face, with labels written on in black: Dumb Blonde mingling with Feminist, Model with Bleeding Heart. It started me thinking about the names I’ve been called, especially when I was a teenager, and how they’ve defined or ignored the essential parts of me – and how often they were contradictory, exposing the labels as fabrications. Here are some that people have aimed and fired at me (friends, bosses, family, boys yelling out of cars as they…

Doug Anthony Allstars give good head: balustrades, bubblers + barking mad

Tim Ferguson, Kirsten Krauth, Paul McDermott, Jane McAllister, Flacco, Doug Anthony Allstars,

  I always vowed I’d never be like the baby-boomers: going to Rolling Stones and Beach Boys concerts, looking beyond the thinning hair and artificial hips and dementia. The lyrics written on cue cards for those fading memories. And then I find myself at the Violent Femmes at Revesby RSL where bald men line the walls and I sit elegantly on garish carpet waiting for the band to start at 7.30. Or dancing to Stone Roses where the line-up well and truly looks resurrected. Twenty years on, the band desperately clings to the same look, the same haircut, as if fearful that their fans will just walk down the street and pass on by. And then there was Dexy’s Midnight Runners at Harvest Festival. OK, I can…

Bendigo Writers’ Festival: girls, grief, guts

Kirsten Krauth + Jenny Valentish, Radio National's Life Matters, Bendigo Writers Festival

On the radio oh oh The Bendigo Writers’ Festival kicked off with ABC Radio National’s live broadcast from the Banquet Room in the Capital theatre. Fellow Castlemaine writer, editor and troublemaker Jenny Valentish joined me to talk with Natasha Mitchell (Life Matters), Michael Cathcart (Books and Arts Daily) and Fiona Parker (ABC Central Victoria) about girls growing up too fast and what it’s like to be a regional writer. Both of us have ended up in Castlemaine via circuitous routes but she wins — Jenny’s from Slough, UK. (I vaguely remember The Office being set in Slough. Great claim to fame there.) Our novels Cherry Bomb and just_a_girl are quite eerie in their shared sensibility: teen girls moving through the world with irony, detachment and the desire for sexual conquest. You can listen to…

For good, not profit: Kirsten Alexander, editor, Open Field magazine

Issue 3 of Open Field is out now

I first came across Open Field magazine when I was browsing through literary apps on iTunes, looking for inspiration. A philanthropic exercise, the magazine is digital-only, sources articles and art from world-renowned authors and artists, and all funds from downloads go to charity. I spoke to editor Kirsten Alexander about starting a digital magazine. What gave you the inspiration to put together Open Field magazine? This is a shameful story, but the truth isn’t always flattering. In September 2010, The New Yorker released a tablet version of their magazine using Adobe software. That was a big deal. Wired magazine had released their tablet version in May 2010, but it was a tricked-up and complex object, one that required an interest not only in the content but…

Shyness is nice: the beauty of inarticulation

Shy is the first book by Sian Prior

At the recent Sydney Writers’ Festival, David Marr did a wonderfully incisive interview with Christos Tsiolkas, author of Dead Europe, The Slap and, most recently, Barracuda. Throughout the session, in response to Marr’s questions, Tsiolkas took many minutes to speak, occasionally with his head in his hands as if trying to squeeze out the answers. The loud silence filled the room. But when he finally was able to seize the words, his ideas were rich in detail, nuanced, worth waiting for. Marr quipped that ‘he writes loudly and speaks quietly’. As I waited patiently for Tsiolkas to frame himself, I realised how rare this was: the chance to see a writer composing, having the courage to be uncertain, to not reach for the quick answer,…

Pushing your own cart: marketing, social media and author platforms

Kirsten Krauth, Darrell Pitt + Kate Forsyth, Forest for the Trees seminar, Sydney Writers' Festival

The second session I did at the Sydney Writers’ Festival (after Here and Now) was part of the NSW Writers’ Centre’s Forest for the Trees day-long seminar, where I spoke about being a published author with a small press, and how I’ve marketed just_a_girl since its release. The audience was diverse: from those who had never used Twitter to those creating their own films for YouTube. You can hear the entire session here (and many others from the day including an interview with Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Eimear McBride). Nicola O’Shea from ebookedit.com.au did a great summary of the session I did with renowned author Kate Forsyth and indie-turned-book-deal star Darrell Pitt. MARKETING + PROMOTION STRATEGIES FOR INDIE AUTHORS On 22 May, I attended NSW Writers’…

Renovating and housekeeping

I'm your number one fan: getting Frog Music signed by Emma Donogue - LOVED Room.

I’ve been having a few teething problems since moving Wild Colonial Girl blog to her new home. All the content was sorted and then subscribers got left behind! So, apologies, and hope you are with me now… If the blog is emailed to you, it might now be coming from the very official sounding KirstenKrauth.com rather than Wild Colonial Girl, but I need to get that worked out too. Just a quick update on what’s been happening the past couple of weeks. I was thrilled to be guest-blogger at the Varuna/Sydney Writers’ Festival and covered the following sessions: Richard Flanagan on my fave novel of past years, The Narrow Road to the Deep North Emma Donoghue on her novels Room and Frog Music Felicity Castagna and me on…

“Hell is a half-filled auditorium”: Richard Flanagan at Varuna/Sydney Writers’ Festival

Richard Flanagan + Geordie Williamson, Varuna/Sydney Writers' Festival

Richard Flanagan started his session quoting Robert Frost, while peering out to see the Carrington packed to the rafters. After watching him again down Sydney Theatre-way, I doubt he’ll ever have to worry about empty seats again. The Narrow Road to the Deep North is my favourite book of recent years. Its scope, its compassion, its use of poetry, its melding of the Australian/Japanese view, its horror and love, its strange and cyclical stucture: I have it by my bed to dip into, trying to learn its secrets, as it helps me start on my second novel. Taking part in writer sessions recently has helped me realise the importance of choosing a good interviewer. Geordie Williamson is always sensitive and assured, and I love how he challenges Flanagan with…

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