When an author drops their book on your door step from the plane as they fly into Australia, it’s an exciting moment!
I am very excited because next week I will be seeing Maggie Alderson, fashion journalist and novelist extraordinaire, do a reading of her new book Everything Changes But You. While I will review it here, I haven’t read enough to review it just yet. I promise to get it up soon, after the reading.
I was lucky enough to meet Maggie at her last tour, and meet her in London where we went to the V&A and Selfridges. Shopping with Maggie was definitely a dream come true. After reading her fashion columns for years, I had imagined longing after shoes and sighing over dresses with her. And we did. And I gushed.
Maggie kindly did an interview for me.
Carly: Tell me about your new book Everything changes but you.
Maggie: “Everything Changes But You is a story about the complications that arise when people from two different cultures get married – even if those cultures are as closely linked as Australia and the UK! We all travel so casually now and have such easy contact with people on the other side off the world on the internet, I think we’ve collectively lost our respect for distance. It’s great in so many ways, as it creates a very positive sense of the global village, but it still takes nearly 24 hours to get from London to Sydney in real time.”
Have you based your book on your own experiences? Are characters based on your friends?
“I will always been torn between England and Australia, so that aspect is very personal to me. I never base a character on one person, they are all products of my imagination, but I have drawn from the experiences I’ve observed in couples who are from different countries.”
Where is home for you?
“That is a very hard question for me. Nowhere. London is home, but it isn’t. Sydney is home and it isn’t. I’ve spent so much time in Paris and New York over the years, I have a sense of homecoming every time I go there. But my family are scattered around and I left the town where my mum still lives thirty five years ago, I’ve lived in Hastings for ten years, but it will never be my home, so there is no one place. It does make me sad sometimes, but I’ve learned you can carry a sense of home around inside you and it’s more about being with certain people than in a place.”
How is being a novelist different from being a columnist?
“It takes a lot longer! You have to sustain an idea for 130,000 words, rather than 650… You have to immerse yourself in a novel for months and month, it takes over your life, but a column is a one night stand.”
Tell me about your love for Twitter? What has this meant for you as a writer?
“Twitter is the best thing ever for a lonely novelist. I spend all day sitting in a room on my own, which can be hard when you’ve worked for twenty years in buzzy newspaper and magazine offices. Twitter is like the office kitchen where i can go and have a chat and a laugh with lovely people, when I need a break. People think it’s frivolous, but i’ve made real friends on Twitter – like you, Carly!”
(Follow Maggie on Twitter too – she’s @MaggieA.)
You can see Maggie on the rest of her Australian tour:
– Melbourne – Tuesday 30 October, 7.00pm, Matilda’s Books, 15 Hamilton Place, Mount Waverley. Event is free, but bookings essential on 03 9888 1433
– Melbourne – Wednesday 31 October, 6.30pm, Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn. This event is free, but you must book on 03 9819 1917
– Canberra – Thursday 1 November, 6.00pm, Paperchain, 34 Franklin Street, Manuka. This is a free event, but please book on 02 6295 6723
– Bowral – Friday 2 November 10.30am. Bookshop at Bowral, at The Gibraltar Hotel, Cnr Centennial Rd & Boronia St, Bowral. $20 per person, includes morning tea. To book, call 02 4862 1634
Note: I was not paid for this post, but I was gifted her book. Thanks Penguin!