Lia Weston had her first novel, The Fortunes of Ruby White, published in July 2010. You can read her article On Writing a Debut Novel and an interview with her. I caught up with Lia for a coffee recently in her home city of Adelaide. We sat at the outdoor wooden tables of the Prince Albert Hotel, comfortably shaded from the summer sun.
Lia is thrilled to have her first novel published and to have the support she has received from her publisher Simon & Schuster. Apparently not as thrilled as her father, however, who sends her a photo whenever he sees her novel in a bookstore. Getting published was not just a lucky break – Lia also did freelance editing work prior to writing her novel (in addition to running a bike shop with her husband). Since the publication of The Fortunes of Ruby White, she has also been a guest speaker at the University of Adelaide. Lia recently featured in an Adelaide Now article in which she was describes as one of “South Australia’s top female authors”.
Lia is very down-to-earth, good humoured and humble about her writing. She has a fresh attitude towards fiction, not dulled by common threads of academic theorising or writing manual rules.
Lia is currently participating a writing partnership set up by AusLit. She said that her writing partnership is going well and she has been enjoying the experience of giving collaborative writing a go.
We also discussed an AusLit short story anthology project (the details of which have yet to be announced publicly) for which Lia is writing a story. This project involves one author a month writing a short story involving the same character, building on the stories of the previous authors. Lia discussed how she is enjoying the challenge and the fun of writing her story to fit in with those of the previous authors and looking forward to where the stories will go with the future authors.
While speaking with Lia, the topic of comedy writing came up. She described The Fortunes of Ruby White as a comedy and intends for her next novel to be a comedy. Lia described the plot of a novel she is working on in which a mother moves to a small town and her love for a man she can’t have impacts on her relationship with her daughter, in a comedy which explores the nature of obsessive love. There may also be another Ruby book in the future.
You can read the first two chapters of The Fortunes of Ruby White here.
2010 was a year with a great selection of debut Australian novelists. Coming soon – a chat with another 2010 debut novelist from Adelaide, Ben Chandler.
The Australian Literature Review