Friday, April 17, 2009

Q & A with Maree Eggleston

Maree Eggleston, author of Small secrets was kind enough to put fingers to keyboard and answer a few questions...

Q1. What are you writing at the moment?

I’m working on the sequel to Small Secrets. As many “real” nurses went overseas on working holidays after finishing their training, I thought I’d send Leah and some of her friends to England so they can run amuck over there.

Q2. Can you give us an idea of your typical writing day?

I get the things I have to do out of the way in the morning so I can have afternoons free to write. I often go back to the computer at night after my family has gone to bed, especially if the piece I’m working on is flowing – although I’m more likely to be editing the afternoons work.

Q3. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Apart from being a wife and mother, I work part-time in a delivery suite, read prodigiously (I’m in two book groups), enjoy doing Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and keep fit by walking, weight training and skiing in winter. And the odd coffee with friends.

Q4. What are you reading right now?

I’m thoroughly enjoying The Conjuror’s Bird by Martin Davies.

Q5. What inspired you to start writing?

On mother’s day about seven years ago my eldest daughter presented me with a beautifully bound journal and said, ‘We’re sick of you complaining that there isn’t anything realistic written about nurses, so you do it.’ And that is all it took.

Q6. What are you writing plans for the future?

I’d like to write a novel that doesn’t have so much as a bandaid in it, much less any nurses. Although some of my friends (who happen to be midwives) would like me to write a book that gets stuck into midwifery like I did with nursing in Small Secrets.

Q7. Most satisfying writing moment?

A few years ago I wrote a short story called People Don’t Know What We Do for an anthology of midwives tales, Labour of Love, published by Macmillan. I don’t enjoy writing non-fiction and had to have my arm twisted half way up my back before I agreed to do it, and therefore chose to write something especially confronting. The story follows two midwives as they make a memory booklet for the parents of a stillborn baby. But instead of an “in your face, I’ll show you what we do” story, it became a tenderly told glimpse into an esoteric world that has since elicited some very touching feedback.

Q8. Anything you would like to add?

The best thing about being a writer is that no matter how old and decrepit I become, as long as my brain and fingers still function, I’ll always have something to do.


Maree is speaking at Balwyn Library on Wednesday April 29 at 7.30 pm.

To book phone 9278 4666 or online at:

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