Good Reading : December January 2015
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING DECEMBER 2014 / JANUARY 2015 52 GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU 52 AUTHOR PROFILE 2 head for a long time. The book was published in 2002 and still sells well. I followed it with Now Is the Time, Be Happy, Make the Most of You and, most recently, High Hopes. Can you tell us about High Hopes? High Hopes aims to lift the reader’s spirits. We often find it hard to enjoy the present because we’re weighed down by the past or worried about the future. So I tried to develop thoughts that would encourage us to enjoy living moment by moment. One of my favourite themes is exploring our potential, so the suggestion is: Change your default settings Like digital devices, we start life on our default settings. But that’s operating at our most basic level. To discover our true potential, we must explore the outer limits of our settings. We’re works in progress, the possibilities are endless. ‘The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson Have you ever considered writing fiction? I have. I’ll probably try it in the near future. I have endless admiration for writers who can weave wonderful storylines and capture characters and places so that you’re transported there. Which books by other authors have inspired or influenced your own writing? Many years ago I was mesmerised by William Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice. Part of it is set in the Holocaust, and it’s a chillingly honest exploration of a mother’s unimaginable choice. I was influenced by the writing of my uncle, Ronald McKie, a wonderful journalist, World War II war correspondent and author. He wrote some superb books on World War II, such as The Heroes (about the commando raids on Singapore) and Proud Echo (the story of the HMAS Perth). He also wrote some excellent novels, including The Mango Tree and The Crushing. I also admire the work of Michael Robotham and Richard Flanagan, whose The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a masterpiece. What are you working on now? I’ve been commissioned to write the history of Telstra. It’s a huge job and I’m learning a great deal about the remarkable people who have transfor med a for mer government department into a global leader in one of the most competitive industries in the world. I was influenced by the writing of my uncle, Ronald McKie, a wonderful journalist, World War II war correspondent and author. He wrote some superb books on World War II, such as the commando raids on Singapore) and HMAS excellent novels, including GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU in one of the most competitive industries in the world.