My latest review was focused on the novella The Toorak Jackpot by Australian author Rosemary Macindoe. I really enjoyed this read and was very pleased to get to e-meet the author who kindly agreed to an interview.
Thank you for agreeing to this interview. First, tell us more about yourself and your background. What led you to become an author?
R.M: I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne Australia. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I studied German and Russian Literature at Melbourne University when I completed an Arts Degree in 1986.
Since leaving University I have studied Graphic Design, and Business Computing. I am a self trained artist who has worked in retail and banking part time. I have a website www.rosemarymacindoe.com.au which show cases my exhibition history. For the last three years I have concentrated on producing this novel in memory of my late father, Jock Macindoe who spent most of his life living in Toorak where I grew up there. However now I live with my husband, Ian and our two dogs in Parkville. Parkville a suburb near the centre of Melbourne and is the subject of my next novella.
The Toorak Jackpot is your first novel. You told me that it took you three years to complete it and you even did the illustrations yourself! How did you come up with the idea for this plot and what are you most proud of?
I came up with the plot after I went out with a lawyer who said « You’re T.P. » meaning, I’m a « Toorak Princess ». A Toorak Princess is really seen as a girl who is rich and spoilt. In Melbourne there are jokes about Toorak Princesses. Somehow this joke triggered by thinking about how my father who was a « Toorak Prince » and how he had a very difficult life despite coming from a wealthy family. He was a soldier in the Second World War and spent four years in a German Prisoner of War Camp in northern Germany. He nearly died in the war but survived to come back to Australia and set the world on fire in a career in Law and marry my late mother, Diana. Together they had five children. I have four older brothers who all have a sense of humour. The plot developed round a character who struggles to become a Toorak Prince and was based on men I met at a Melbourne Shoe Shop where I worked for two years in my early thirties.
The thing I’m most proud of is simply completing it! I found it enormously difficult to be funny every day when I turned up to my studio in Richmond to write it. It took me a long time to bring it up to a publishing standard and had two round of editing and a number of friends give input.
Can you describe your writing process? What are your main challenges? What do you love the most about this journey?
I love creating a fantasy whether visual or literary. I love uplifting people by writing something with a happy ending. I find the main challenge is finishing something and knowing when to stop changing things.
Your book is set in Melbourne, Australia and offers a strong sense of the Aussie lifestyle (culture, politics, humour, etc.), which is not very common in the book industry. Most novels usually take place in the US or Europe. Was it something you had in mind while writing it? Do you think Australia should be more represented in fiction worldwide?
I wasn’t really thinking of a global context when I wrote the book but now that I have an ebook out there I am very excited about the potential audience for the work. I think it is fun to have a novel set in Australia. This country ought to be more represented in the media because Australia is a special country with a lot to offer the world. Melbourne is a very beautiful city.
There are countless books being published each month and it can be difficult to make one’s book stand out in this wonderful sea of novels. What would you say to readers to convince them to pick The Toorak Jackpot?
Readers who want to be entertained and find an uplifting quick dose of escapism can’t go past « The Toorak Jackpot »
Are you working on a new novel? If so, can you tell us what it is about?
I have ideas for a new novella but it may need some research and I do want to do some painting for a little while. I may start on the next writing project after I’ve done some reading at the end of 2017. It will be another comedy set in Parkville this time about an old crackpot and his two scheming children. Stay tuned…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Art has been important to me all my life. My mother Diana, encouraged me from the word go to explore my talents. Her sister Rosalind, was an accomplished Sydney artist who lived a bohemian life with a studio in Darlinghurst, Sydney in the 1980s. This world of painting and creativity seemed very exciting to me as a teenager. After leaving school in 1983, I was determined to study the History of Fine Art at Melbourne University and then pursue a more hands on artistic direction once leaving University. Design school followed and years of private training in life drawing and painting. I’m still learning although I am now largely self- taught.
I have had three solo exhibitions exploring different genres of Art from portraiture to landscape. I am about to start a new series of paintings about the joy of life in Richmond and South Yarra because painting is one of the most enjoyable things you can do and life just keeps getting better!
Currently, my studio is filled with paintings and drawings that I have brought out of storage along with my latest work. Most of these can be viewed on this website although this is just a sample of my work.
Anyone viewing this website is welcome to visit me in Richmond and see the full range of my work. I would love to hear from you!
VISIT HER WEBSITE HERE: http://www.rosemarymacindoe.com.au/