The Hobart

Heather Rose

by Emma Castle
Heather Rose

Heather Rose is an awardwinning author of eight novels, including her latest, Bruny.

What do you love about where you live? The sound of the waves on the shore.

What’s the best thing about Hobart? The people. The beauty. The clouds.

And the worst? How many people are doing it tough. The way our beaches are closed through summer through complete incompetence in caring for our river. Our overcrowded classrooms. Our under-resourced hospital. Our under-resourced schools. Poor literacy and numeracy outcomes. Unemployment. Underemployment. Poor casual rates of pay. Should I go on?

Tell us a little about your work? I write novels so it takes intense discipline. I work at home. I’m at my desk by 9am, if not before. To write I need seclusion, quiet and tea. I write for 6 – 8 hours each day. Often more. It’s rare to take a whole day off. There is an intense amount of research in every novel. I do some of that research from home or in libraries. I often interview people for my books too. The writing life is a strange mix of a being extremely private and then having to be a public person. I have to travel quite a bit at the moment to attend festivals and events. Travel eats into writing time but it’s part of what’s expected of writers now. It’s also lovely to meet readers around Australia and overseas – and my fellow writers. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young, so fulfilling that dream is quite amazing for me. I wake up every day so grateful to be able to work from home doing something that I love. There’s no security in the writing life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Where’s your favourite eatery? My kitchen.

Drink of choice and where do you head for it? Tea with friends on the back deck.

Guilty pleasure? I rarely feel guilty about anything.

Favourite team? Argentina.

What do you never leave home without? Water, a journal and a pen.

When there’s nothing to do, I . . . Read.

Favourite Hobart secret? The blue skies of winter.

What do you love doing outside work? Seeing my grown-up children, hanging out with friends. Gardening, swimming, making cake, dancing, taking walks, being outside under the stars.

Where to next? A memoir, another children’s book and a novel that begins in the 18th century.

Quote to live by? ‘Every day is a great day.’ (My Dad) ■

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July 2024

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

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