Library Podcasts

CHATS with Notable Newcastle Authors

Episode One: features Dr Wendy James, the author of 8 books including Out of the Silence, which won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Crime fiction and was shortlisted for the Nita May Dobbie Award for women's writing. Another of Wendy's novels The Lost Girls is set in Newcastle and has been chosen to be adapted into a Hollywood film. Wendy has lived in Cooks Hill for ten years with her husband and two of their four children, she is an avid reader and we're happy to say a regular visitor to Newcastle Libraries!

Episode Two: Newcastle author and playwright Grahame Cooper isn't one to follow the crowd. Graham’s trademark humour and wit deal with everyday issues such as relationships, social justice, mental health, and popular culture. Graham has written for theatre, radio, and television since the late 1980s. His numerous plays have all been described as funny, poignant, and thoughtful. They have been critically acclaimed in Newcastle and received numerous CONDA nominations.

Episode Three: Mayfield author Susan Francis talks about her debut memoir The Love That Remains. Susan’s extraordinary story is about love, lies, and loss. Susan devoted 20 years of her life searching for her biological parents. She decided to sell everything she owned and go on an adventure of a lifetime. She moved to Spain with the love of her life Wayne but suddenly Wayne died unexpectedly, leaving Susan to uncover a dreadful secret. Susan still lives and works in Newcastle. She loves books and reading, she has a passion for writing the truth and is currently working on her second book, a crime novel. 

Episode Four: Meet local author and academic Dr Elsa Licumba as she shares her personal story of her journey from Mozambique to Australia. Elsa’s emotional memoir explores the blending of African and Australian cultures. It is a journey driven by questions about identity and belonging. Elsa’s message is clear. Belonging is not just about place but what is in our hearts that gives us the freedom to belong.

Episode Five: Join Hunter based author Barry Maitland as he talks about his journey into his life as a crime writer. Barry moved to Newcastle in 1984 to take up a position of the head of architecture at the University of Newcastle. The 1989 Newcastle earthquake became the catalyst for his book The Marx Sisters the first book in Brock and Kolla Series. The second book in the Belltree Trilogy, Ash Island is set in and around Newcastle. The background of Ash Island provides an eerie backdrop to this atmospheric thriller.

Know Your Rights!

Episode One:  It is your right to feel safe and healthy with your support workers during times of COVID-19 and beyond. Become more aware of your rights and responsibilities as well as how to assert your rights.

Episode Two:  It is your right to feel safe from fraudsters at your doorstep and online. Know more about how to recognise a fraud and report it.

Episode Three: It is your right to feel safe in your own home so get to know more about recognising early signs of problems in your family relationships and seeking legal assistance.

CHATS with Fabulous Children's Authors and Illustrators!

We ask those in the know. Why is Newcastle such a hub of children’s book authors and illustrators? Can you offer any advice to kids who love writing and drawing and want to take their passion further? Do you prefer dogs or cats? Shining a spotlight on local children’s authors, illustrators and events, Newcastle Libraries asks the big questions to inspire your family on their reading journey.

Episode One: Lynn Jenkins. In this episode we chat to Lynn Jenkins, a practicing and experienced clinical psychologist, who has authored the Lessons of a LAC series alongside Illustrator Kirrili Lonergan. With the release of her latest book Tree, we ask her about storytelling as a way of teaching life skills to children and parents alike.

Episode Two: Deb Kelly. Deb comes in to tell us about her CBCA Notable Book 'The Thing about Oliver' and the inspiration behind this honest account of the impact that autism can have on siblings, sometimes known as glass children.

Episode Three: Jess Black. The Mr. Walker series has a dedicated following. Author, Jess Black, takes us through her fourth installment, Mr. Walker and the Dessert Delight, letting us know where she finds inspiration for her range of characters and scenarios. This is also a 2020 CBCA Notable Book.

Episode Four: Nicola Bolton. Join Nicola as she goes through her creative process as an artist and illustrator. Telling us about her book You Can’t Catch Me, Nicola tells us what it was like to write her first picture book and fills us in on the canine inspiration behind the story.

Episode Five: Sami Bayly. Hear about Sami's stunning debut, The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals, that has received several award nominations. Listen in as Sami tells us about her passion for natural history illustration and what is on the cards for the future.

Episode Six: Katrina McKelvey. Catch up with Katrina about her latest release, 'Isla’s Family Tree' and discover her inspiration for this story of a growing family. Hear about Katrina's journey as a writer here in Newcastle.