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.
Episode Six: Tea Cooper is an award-winning Australian author of historical fiction. Tea lives and works in the Hunter and has a passion for storytelling. She is the author of several novels, including The Horse Thief, The Cedar Cutter, The Currency Lass, The Naturalist's Daughter, The Woman in the Green Dress and The Girl in the Painting. Her next book The Cartographer's Secret is a mesmerising historical mystery set in the Hunter Valley. It is due for release later this year and is a book to look out for.