Susan Duncan – Author Talk @ Hornsby Library
When I heard that Susan Duncan would be the guest at our author talk in Hornsby I was excited. I first read Susan Duncan while overlanding through South Africa in 2007 on my first big solo adventure. I had picked up her book Salvation Creek by chance at my local Borders Book store, which sadly is no more. The book was about a woman who had a ‘sea change’ and moved to Pittwater to start a new life in a part of the world only accessible by boat!
I find the life story of Susan incredibly inspiring. From the words on her website she was a woman who at 44 seemed to have it all …
“Editor of two of Australia's top selling women's magazines, a happy marriage, a jet-setting lifestyle covering stories from New York to Greenland, rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty, the world was her oyster.
But when her beloved husband and brother die within three days of each other, her glittering life shatters. In shock, she zips on her work face and soldiers on - until one morning eighteen months later when she simply can't get out of bed.”
I find it inspiring to read about successful women who have the courage to chuck it all in the quest to search for a different life. She came to Hornsby to promote her latest book, Briny Cafe. I look around the room and find it is mostly filled with Anglo women in their sixties. I smile to myself, used to being in audiences where I am the minority and sneak a glance at Steve. He seems unfazed to be one of only a handful of men there. Perhaps, Susan herself is curious because as I approach her to get my book signed, she takes the time to chat to me, asking about the meaning of my name as she autographs my book. I tell her a little about my own ambitions to be a writer and photographer as I carefully pack away my copy of The Briny Cafe. It is her first fiction book and she talks about how hard it was to make a start on this one. She had first researched writing a thriller and even as she starting reading the gruesome, gory, graphic details of scary scenes described in the many books flooding the market in this genre, she realised it was a dark place she didn’t really want to enter.
A chance encounter with a fan in a bookstore confirmed what she knew inside.. the stories she really wanted to tell were really all about the small close knit Pittwater community she now calls family. Steve is intrigued by her description of the sense of community she describes as he is in the midst of writing how we can transform the way we build our cities.
I listen intently as she describes the colourful, quirky characters that make up life in Briny cafe and I can’t wait to get stuck into this book. She explains there are bits and pieces of people she has known from around the world, interwoven into the story and talks about how important it is to encourage people to be individuals and not judge them for being slightly ‘odder’ than the norm :)
I feel thrilled that I met a writer I have admired and enjoyed reading these past few years and I file away another inspirational encounter.
William Shakespeare – Movie “Anonymous”
There have been a few interesting movies showing at the moment and I thought I should post a blog about Anonymous, a political thriller that poses the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford who penned Shakespeare's plays; The movie is set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her, during turbulent times of deceit and deception in England. The movie is a fictionalised version of the life of De Vere who uses the plays to start a rebellion led by his son who he fathered with the Queen.
The movie questions whether an impoverished man such as Shakespeare who could barely write and didn’t have a very good command of the language could have had the ability to write these plays. In those days, it was only the nobility who would have had access to the education needed to extend the English Language in the manner in which Shakespeare did. It was an interesting story of intrigue that certainly left us wondering who wrote those now famous plays. I would recommend you watch this movie!
“ To be or not to be, that is the questions.” William Shakespeare