Hello and Welcome

For a long time, I resisted the idea of having a website of my own because there are any number of perfectly good and comprehensive websites about my work, maintained by people who are devoted fans and utterly meticulous as well as being gifted in a cyber sense, unlike me. I am the sort of person who goes onto those websites to find out what I am doing. Once I stumbled on a mention of a speaking engagement I had forgotten about, in time to prevent me being a no show. Another time I was sitting in a restaurant having a conversation about my books with someone and a fan happened to be sitting nearby and that ended up online, where I found it. A friend kept telling me cyberspace was the way of the world and that I ought to be more accessible. I felt a little taken aback because in a way one of the reasons I became a writer was because I was a Misfit and out of the world’s loop in so many ways. Also, aside from the difficulty of a cyber idiot actually setting up a website, just logistically how would I manage yet another form of communication when I am already always late with deadlines? Wasn’t my writing more important than an endless dialogue with readers? Wouldn’t they rather me work?

Aside from all else, I was already barely coping with emails and I hardly give my email address to anyone! I am a snail mail girl. I even write with a proper ink pen and I love good paper. Mind you I am in such a mess of paper and letters and pens and rubbers and books that I do sometimes lose letters for a while… But I love getting letters and writing them.

Then one day, about the time Tina, who designed this website, made me an offer I could not refuse, it struck me that I need not regard having my own website as a leash or a bind or a tie or any of those inhibiting things, any more than I allow my mobile phone to rule me. I treat it as a convenience to me, and I have it switched off a lot of the time, or on silent mode. But I do sms anyone who sms’s me, as soon as I realize it though that might take a few days if I am working hard at something; Especially in the last stage of a book or story, when I am inevitably incommunicado in a big way. In short, I use it; I do not let it use me. I make no apologies for what might seem an arrogant statement, because I do think that the job of a writer is to write.

So, here it is my idiosyncratic website which will be to other websites what a bohemian lay about is to a serious suit. It will not detract from the other websites run by fans and other folk and I will link to all of them, eventually, and to the Penguin website as well. I will not make any attempt to be encyclopedic about my own work, as some of them are, or indeed as creative about being in cyberspace. Instead, I will offer regular features here, which might be of interest to the people who read my books and like my writing.

I will offer information about talks or workshops I have been invited to give and about where I am with current projects, tidbits of ongoing work, a running dialogue about the unsteady art of writing, with a little help from writer friends. There will be impromptu lists of the books I am reading, the movies I am seeing, and the cds I am listening to. There will be photos, again idiosyncratic and disorganized as my desk. In fact, that would be the perfect way to see this site – as a writers’ desk (and take note that this writers’ desk is generally the kitchen table complete with plates of half eaten vegemite toast (my daughters’), newspapers with the margins heavily written in (my partner Jan wearing his poet’s hat), music scores, letters to be posted, letters to be answered, National Geographic’s, dentist/hairdresser/dry-cleaner reminders. Notes to myself to remember I am flying here or there on this date or that etc etc.) And last and maybe least will be a bloggish kind of thing where I can waffle on about any old thing – sort of like the ‘What’s on your mind’ bit of facebook, where I can write as little or as much as I want.

So, step in and feel free to rifle and nose about as much as you like.