On Tuesday the 9th of August I found myself boarding the train into the city. I did this with some trepidation as I hadn’t caught the train for ages and I had never been to the Parmelia Hilton, my destination. Turned out that it was easy and the Parmelia Hilton was less than a 15 minute walk away from the train station. Consequently I arrived early and had time to sit down and have a coffee before the event, morning tea with Liane Moriarty, kicked off.
For those of you who don’t know of her, Liane Moriarty is the author of 6 bestselling novels and also a children’s series (written as L.M. Moriarty). She is the first Australian author to have reached number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in the first week of publication (Big Little Lies) and that novel is currently being adapted for television by HBO, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. She is a BIG deal in the world of writing.
For all of that I had never heard of her until about 2 weeks before the morning tea. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I don’t tend to read the sort of books she produces unless recommended by a friend. So with that in mind I decided to not read any of her work before attending. I wanted to see her as a person and not be influenced by how I perceive her writing style. I had read only 1 article about her shared on Facebook and that was it. I went to see an author I knew barely anything about.
It was illuminating. For a start I was sitting at a table with 8 other women who loved her books (except for one, who had read none of them but was there to support a friend). I was unsure how they would react to my being there but they were lovely, especially one in particular who I got talking to (the best thing about these events is the fans, they truly make or break it). The food was awesome (well done Parmelia Hilton, your staff were really nice as well) and the atmosphere on the whole was pretty good. During this time I also bought Liane’s latest book, Truly Madly Guilty. Then Liane and Amanda Ellis (West Australian Features Writer) started talking (kind of like an interview) and then Liane took questions from the audience.
She was nice, friendly and very patient. I was intrigued to see how she interacted with everyone and it was awesome to see this person who has had tremendous success still seem fairly down to earth and generally a pleasant person. Then time was up and we could line up to get our books signed by her. I did have a question to ask but couldn’t get the courage up in time to ask it in front of everyone. I figured I had lost a golden opportunity, but decided not to dwell on it, I had still enjoyed myself.
While in the line I decided to start reading her latest novel. The line moved along fairly quickly but I still managed to read 2 chapters before it was my turn (they aren’t that long and I’m also a quick reader). Before I knew it I was before Liane and my mouth opened and I asked her my question. “Would you still write if you didn’t have all this success?”
I think we were both surprised. I certainly hadn’t planned to ask and she took a moment to think before answering. She replied that she didn’t know, that the publishing contracts certainly gave her incentive and that she was happier when she was writing. She did say that she would definitely still write in her journal if nothing else. She also told me it was a good question, a very good question, which made me pretty happy.
So I came away thinking about that, surprised that she didn’t know the answer. I know that I would still write (not that I am anywhere near her here in regards to success!). It is a part of me and I thought it was the same for other writers. So that is my new mission when ever I get the chance, to find out if other writers would still write without success. I can’t wait to find out (FYI, the lady I got along with at the morning tea is a writer and would).
I think my morning tea with Liane Moriarty (and over 200 other people) was a success. I got to meet other people in the book community, I came away with a new book (always awesome) and I was inspired to find out more about authors and why they write. The only thing I was disappointed about was the fact that I didn’t think to ask her for a photo!
For those of you who like to know these sorts of things, the morning tea was organised by Dymocks Garden City.