Player Profile: Roger McDonald, author of The Following

IMG_0241Roger McDonald, author of The Following

Tell us about your latest creation:

“The Following” is a novel about Marcus Friendly, who became Australia’s sixteenth prime minister, and his line of descent through to the present day, in the person of a politician who may or may not have been his son, Max Petersen.

9781742759913Where are you from / where do you call home?:

Growing up in country towns inoculated me against the romanticism of village life, so I live outside of one, on a high ridge 800 metres up in the Southeastern NSW Dividing Range.

When you were a kid, what did you want to become?  An author?:

I wanted to be an aeroplane pilot but became a writer so never really came to earth.

What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:

My latest book is always my best book, because it gets to where I only tried to get in my previous book (although leaving out where I hope to reach in the book after this one, should I be able to write it).

Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:


When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:

At the moment, sea stories.

What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:

There wasn’t one. I’ve tried to write it since.

If you were a literary character, who would you be?:

I would not like to be a literary character because I would be the prisoner of its creator…But putting that one side, I would settle for being Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1707-54).

Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:

Most of the year I gather firewood and stack it for the following winter. In the summer I go to New Zealand for a couple of months where I mess around in boats.

What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:

Raw fish and Japanese

Who is your hero? Why?:

Charles Darwin for his vision of creation.

Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:

What it has always been – finding readers.

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Jon Page

Jon Page is a bookseller and author of the Bite the Book Blog.