Susanna Freymark, author of Losing February
Tell us about your latest creation…
Losing February – my first book. It is a story about love and loss and lots of bad sex.
Where are you from / where do you call home?
I was born in Melbourne but grew up in the dusty steelworks town of Whyalla in South Australia. Even though I live in Sydney, I call Federal, in the Byron Bay hinterland, my home. I lived there for 10 years.
I wanted to be an air hostess (as they were called in those days), a wildlife conservationist (like in the film Born Free), a teacher (which I became) and a writer.
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?
I couldn’t possibly answer that. And I don’t believe I have done anywhere near my best work yet. Can I get back to you in ten years time?
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?
A study with lots of fun things on my desk like blue gorillas, a Dexter and Superman doll, a pig painted as a tiger by my daughter and lots and lots of books and inspirational pieces of poetry on the walls. It is eclectic but tidy. My mind is chaotic so I need a tidy desk. I look out of four big windows across the train line and trees.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?
I love to read. Helen Garner, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, Raymond Carver – so, so many wonderful writers.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?
All the Famous Five and Secret Seven AND The Magic Faraway Tree ( I still fantasise about the pop biscuits and topsy-turvy land). Standouts include February Dragon by Colin Thiele, I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall, The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I could go on. I lost myself in books.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?
One of the kids who ate those pop biscuits in Magic Faraway Tree? I think I’d like to Heidi. I read that book so many times and the goats, the mountains, the bed in the haystack, I sooo wanted to be Heidi- she was a little social activist too.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?
I gaze – I sit in the garden with the chooks and the dog and simply look at the sky. I love to be on, in or near the ocean. Eating out, walking, annoying friends and making up stories about strangers on the street.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?
Favourite food is pancakes – there isn’t anything that doesn’t go with a pancake. I am waiting for them to be the height of culinary fashion again. Whisky is a favourite, and real old-fashioned lemonade – but not together.
Who is your hero? Why?
Nelson Mandela- because of his resilience and his ability to forgive. Can I choose Winnie-the-Pooh and his friend Tigger. What characters – what a wonderful philosophy they have on life. They remind me not to take myself too seriously.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?
Reaching an audience- there is so much noise competing on the airwaves of life. the internet, television, YouTube. Everyone, it seems wants to be famous. We will have to be more discerning when we realise how much time we waste (even though it is fun) looking at funny dog and cat videos.
- Website: http://www.susannafreymark.com
- Blog: http://www.susannafreymark.com
- Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/susann
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusannaFre