Q & A with Graeme Simsion

Q & A with Graeme Simsion
Authors at the National Library
28 April 2015

Graeme Simsion, author of best-selling novels The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, is coming to the National Library, Wednesday 29 April 2015 to share about his literary journey and raise awareness for autism spectrum disorder. But we grabbed him for a quick chat ... 

Why do you write?

I love telling stories, I love to share my ideas and I’m happy to put something back into the public well that I’ve drawn so much from.

What are you reading right now?

Nothing. I’m writing. But I just read The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky—an excellent first novel that will be published by Knopf later this year. 

What three titles should always be on the shelves of any self-respecting bookshop?

The Rosie Project, Data Modeling Essentials and Medea’s Curse

How would you describe your latest book?

Leonard Cohen said words to the effect of “Marriage is the greatest challenge …” I can’t find the quote but the word ‘crucible’ was in there…’  and Bob Dylan dedicated a performance of his song Isis to Mr Cohen: ‘This is a song about marriage.’ The Rosie Effect is a book about marriage.

What was the hardest part of writing your latest book?

The editing. I had detailed, thoughtful, expert, contradictory and passionate advice from seven editors around the world. 

What was the best part of writing your latest book?

Drafting the last quarter where I get the most comedic scenes, building sometimes deliberately, sometimes serendipitously on what has gone before. 

What’s the strangest piece of advice you’ve ever been given as a writer?

Write longhand.

What’s the strangest question you’ve been asked about your writing?

Are you Don Tillman? All the time. And every variant. It’s obviously not a strange question to the many people who ask it, but it is to me—and objectively, I think. 

What are you working on now?

Q and A’s.  In between, I’m writing a novel provisionally titled The Pretender. Or maybe The Candle. It’s about a love affair rekindled after 22 years. 

What do you love about libraries?

That they let me come and talk, make me welcome, sometimes give me a drink, and provide good PA systems. 

Any book recommendations from Don Tillman?

Don mentions Gödel Escher Bach by Douglas Hofstadter in The Rosie Project. It’s a good book.

Take the chance to meet Graeme, Wednesday 29 April, 5.30 pm at the National Library in the Theatre. You can grab tickets from Sticky Tickets