It took me a while to do something about the dream I’d always had of being a writer. But when I finally quit my job as a Brand Manager for Maybelline Cosmetics and went back to uni to study creative writing, lots of things happened which made me believe I’d taken the right step. The first piece of writing I ever sent off to a journal for publication - a poem - was accepted. It was the best $100 I’d ever earned. This is easy, I remember thinking!
Of course, it wasn’t always that easy. But I was lucky enough to win the TAG Hungerford Award for Fiction and thus receive a publishing contract for my first book, What is Left Over, After. My second book, If I Should Lose You, is out now.
In between all that, I’ve had three children. Nowadays I write while the kids are sleeping, which is, of course, never for long enough.
What is left over, after
What is Left Over, After
When it comes to love, Gaelle is careful. But when it comes to friendship, her heart betrays her in unexpected ways. Gaelle flees her life with little more than her clothes, her camera and her cosmetics. In a tiny seaside town, she meets thirteen year old Selena whose friendship, unlooked for and unwanted, will help Gaelle face the legacy of a vagabond childhood and a charismatic but unreliable mother.
'...this haunting, wise book heralds the arrival of a remarkable Australian talent.' The Age
View the trailer for What is Left Over, After below:
What is Left Over, After, winner of the TAG Hungerford Award for Fiction, is available from all good bookshops. You can also buy it online here, or if you'd like the Kindle edition, please click here.
'...this novel is as luminous and delicate, clean and alive as the best of Sonya Hartnett or Amy Witting.' The Age
If I should lose you
Alix is a brilliant heart transplant surgeon. She sees hearts as purely functional – until she falls in love with Dan. Then a sudden tragedy forces Alix to rethink the way she views love and medicine and the consequences of this are felt many years later, by her daughter Camille.
Camille has two daughters of her own, and one is critically ill. Camille has no time to caretake her failing relationship with her husband, no time to face up to a niggling suspicion she holds about her mother. Because Camille is the one person who can save her daughter. Her daughter needs a new liver. Camille is an organ donor coordinator. How far will she go to keep her daughter alive and what might it cost another child waiting on the list?
'I was captivated by this honest, beautiful story that fuses love and art with the most profound challenges of motherhood. Written with extraordinary emotional wisdom and intelligence.' Liz Byrski
View the trailer for If I Should Lose You below:
Australian Writers' Centre
I'm so excited to be a part of the Australian Writers' Centre's launch of a Perth branch. I will be teaching their very popular Creative Writing Stage 1 course, which runs over a weekend from 10am-4pm both days. Dates available are:
- February 15 & 16 - now BOOKED OUT.
- March 22 & 23. Click here to book.
I'm running my popular Life-Writing: Turning Your Life Into A Story course for 5 weeks from 12 Feb, 2014. This is now BOOKED OUT, but you can put your name on a waiting list here to be alerted of the dates for the next course.
Writing the Perfect Pitch and Synopsis
So you've finished or are nearly finished writing your book. Now is the time to think about selling to to publishers and agents. This course will tell you all about how to write a Pitch and Synopsis that make the publishers want to read your book.
- Held at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre on March 29 from 1pm-4pm. Click here to book.
Interviews & articles
The reviews of If I Should Lose You are being published! Here's a selection:
- The West Australian - " ... a subtle and sensitive work that eloquently tackles loss, love and life."
- Canberra Times - "Well written and structured, this moody read will leave you thinking."
- ANZ LitLovers LitBlog - "Highly recommended."
- Great Aussie Reads - "Poignant and compelling ..."
- Write Note Reviews - "A profound and confronting novel... hard to put down."
- Q&A with Good Reading magazine
And here are some of the lovely things people have said about What is Left Over, After. Click on the links for more info.
- The Age: '... this haunting, wise book heralds the arrival of a remarkable Australian talent.'
- Herald Sun: ‘... a moving story about a woman gaining self-knowledge and maturity ...'
- Australian Women Online: '... a beautifully written, sensitive book.'
- Sydney Morning Herald: 'skillfully structured story ...'
- Flourish: 'Watch Lester ripen into an Australian literary favourite.'
- Scoop: 'This moving tale ... is an unforgettable one.'
- M/C Reviews: '...a beautiful, poignant novel...'
- Canberra Times: 'There's an overall sense of accomplishment here ...'
- Overland: 'My one complaint is that I wish it could have been longer ...'
I blog about once a week at While The Kids Are Sleeping.
If you'd like to know more about what I'm currently working on, courses I'm running and other bookish news, please sign up to receive my free monthly e-newsletter below.
I regularly talk about my book, my journey to publication and all aspects of writing at libraries, writers' centres, and at lunches and events. I also love to run writing workshops for schools. Please contact me if you are interested - this email contact form comes straight to me and I reply to all emails received. Or if you have any questions, let me know and I'd be happy to help!