Good Reading : April 2015
You now have three novels under your belt. What themes unify your stories? My novels explore the many roles that people play throughout their lives and assumptions about how they should behave. They also explore the way people wear masks, how they become defined by those masks and how they become unmasked. You’re a composer as well as a novelist. Can you tell our readers about your music? I play keyboard and compose lyrics and music. I was in a band for years but held down a day job at the same time. The music industry is intensely competitive, and to make money you have to be on the road – and I didn’t want to do that. Music still holds a place in my life though. I now compose lyrics and music to help me focus on character relationships, my novel’s concerns and to move beyond writer’s block. Why tell Australian stories? My father was a migrant. Even though he built a successful life in Australia, he never felt that this country was his home. Having inherited my father’s restlessness but not understanding its root cause at that time, I travelled extensively as an adult. It was only through travel and by living in the United States that I came to understand how deeply I identified with Australia – its values, culture and landscape. I realised what made us unique, although that is changing with time. I wanted to share those realisations through storytelling. What was your debut novel about? The central plot of In and Out of Step revolves around Cassie Sleight’s quest to belong, set against a backdrop of a world undergoing social change in the late 1980s. Cassie arrives in the fictional coastal town of Keimera, south of Sydney. She has left the familiar circle of friends and family in search of a sea change. As the story unfolds she gradually realises that something potentially sinister may be happening in her new community. Until this point she has been a bystander in life due to past trauma. Confronted by a so-called good guy, she has to work out if he really is a wolf in sheep’s clothing or just a man out of step with the times. readers about your music? culture and landscape. I realised what made us unique, although that is changing with time. I wanted to share those realisations through storytelling. What was Multiple Muses GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING APRIL 2015 30 GR PROMOTION Australian novelist CHRISTINE M KNIGHT talks about how composing music feeds her life as a writer and the importance of telling Australian stories.