author of Perfect Stranger
Ten Terrifying Questions
1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?
· Born in Melbourne, Australia. Local high school then Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and currently studying my Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics. Growing up in suburbia gave me an unquenchable thirst for exploration.
At 12: an astronaut, from reading science books and the scary mystery of it all. At 18 and 30: writer and writer – there was no choice.
3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?
I can’t think of anything I’ve been so disillusioned by that has changed my fundamental beliefs. I briefly lost faith in humanity but surviving cancer and witnessing the love and generosity of friends, family and medicos, I have my faith completely restored. I believe in myself more than did at 18.
4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?
Deciding, against prevailing wisdom and financially tricky times, to take a year off work to write fulltime. It changed the way I thought about myself, gave me confidence and thoroughly exercised the writing muscle.
Deciding to risk everything for love and having it blow up in my face.
Deciding to write about those events.
5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?
An amazing book deal from Penguin is pretty persuasive.
6. Please tell us about your latest book
A true story, my story, of turning forty, wanting a baby and falling for a charming charismatic handsome man – who turned out to be a violent narcissist. He almost killed me and turned my life upside down. It’s a story of love and war. I wanted to tell people about this monster preying on women so that hopefully he can’t do it again.
(BBGuru: the publisher’s blurb –
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO FOR LOVE?
Kay Schubach almost has it all – a great job, a beautiful apartment, a life of champagne and mixing it with Sydney’s A-list, and a steady relationship.
By chance she meets handsome and charismatic Simon. He sweeps her off her feet with promises the one thing her younger boyfriend won’t give her – a baby. She takes the biggest risk of her life, leaving all certainties behind for love.
All too quickly, the romance turns sour, and Simon goes from charming to controlling, from magnetic to threatening. By the time Kay uncovers his violent past, Simon has decided he will not let her go – and he’s not a man to be argued with. Trapped in a terrifying relationship, isolated from friends and family, Kay must decided what she values most, and fight for it.
A brutally honest cautionary tale, this is a true story of obsession and desire.)
7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?
I want to explore and explain people’s motivations and the forces acting on them: from mental illness to domestic violence to the difficulties and wonder of human communication and relationships. I hope to help some people who might otherwise feel isolated by the circumstances they might find themselves in.
8. Whom do you most admire and why?
My friend Dr Phillipa Castle. A single mum who raised a gorgeous son, gained her Doctorate, paid off the mortgage and has worked tirelessly without fanfare and little financial reward for ‘at risk’ children and vulnerable families. She has been the most amazing friend to all of us, and I hold her in the highest regard.
In general, for the ‘quiet achievers’. I really admire people who are driven to make a difference for the sake of the cause, not their egos.
My family: extraordinarily generous and non-judgemental people with the kindest hearts in the world
9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?
Having my first book published in my forties and recovering from cancer, I now want to write as much as I can while I can.
10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?
If you can, take some time off from EVERYTHING else and concentrate on doing nothing but writing and researching. You need to hone the writing muscle.
Kay, thank you for playing.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.