Briefly tell us about your book.
The Morbids is a support group for people with death anxiety, and the book follows Caitlin,
one of the Morbids, as she comes to terms with her past and navigates her way through the
present. It’s about anxiety but it’s also about the power of friendship and kindness and
finding courage in unexpected places.
If I looked at your internet history, what would it reveal about you?
A tendency to get obsessive about the most random things and fall down extremely specific
rabbit holes – anything from why certain neighbourhoods in the US have so many mattress
stores, to the sales history of every house I’ve ever lived in, to the days and days I’ve lost to
reading about Survivor. And also my love for online jigsaw puzzles – they’re soothing and it’s
much harder to lose the pieces.
Tell us about your background and what led you to write this book.
I grew up writing, but it was something that always filled me with a lot of anxiety, and when
I hit adulthood that anxiety got bigger, and I put it on the backburner. At uni, I started a law
degree and then switched to architecture. I worked for an architect for a couple of years,
but while I still love parts of the process, I became disillusioned really quickly. From there I
went into magazine production, which allowed me to ever-so-gently start writing again,
mostly news pieces and reviews.
When I left that job to have my first child, my husband was offered a transfer to his home
town of Newcastle, and that gave me an opportunity to start over. I volunteered for the
National Young Writers Festival, spent a weekend immersed in writing and writers and
inspiration and ideas, and I realised that I had to give writing – fiction writing, which I hadn’t
done since uni – a shot again. I started off with short stories but I’m not one for brevity, so
The Morbids followed not too long after!
What’s the easiest and most difficult parts of your job as a writer?
The easiest is the writing. The hardest is putting it out there – it’s always terrifying!
What’s some great advice you’ve received that has helped you as a writer?
She almost certainly doesn’t remember this, but I met Candice Fox at the National Young
Writers Festival, and when she asked if I was a writer I got all awkward and started making
excuses. She just said, ‘If you write, you’re a writer.’ It’s not really advice about how to
write, or how to get published, but for someone like me, who is constantly battling imposter
syndrome and fearing being judged as not good enough, it was what I needed to hear.