#WriteRoundOz w/ Deborah O’Brien (WIN!)

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At home with Deborah O’Brien from the Southern Tablelands of NSW.

(And what a clever, clever cover. Can you make the connection between the title and the design?)


Deb! Thank you for letting me park my rig on your…

Oh, you have a paddock! Wonderful.

You’re very welcome, Jenn. Just watch out for the wombat holes.

And what’s that I see written on your ‘welcome mat’, Deb?

Carve canem – which simply means ‘Beware of the dog!’ I have two dogs – a kelpie/cattle dog cross and a Border collie – both very friendly, but potential burglars don’t know that.

(And they like freeloading grey nomads?)

I miss my HUGE refrigerator. If I looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

Oh my goodness – a stack of Lindt chocolate bars, several half-empty bottles of white wine, leftover roast beef and far too many jars of mustard, chutney and pesto – I seem to collect them!

Downsizing my life into a 24 ft caravan meant leaving lots of things behind in boxes. What (or who!!) would you have trouble leaving behind if you took off in a caravan?

My dogs could come with me, but I’m not sure how my eighteen-year-old tabby cat would cope. So no caravan trips for me.

Whose home would you like to visit in your van?

My relatives in Parkes NSW.

Do you REALLY have room at your house to park a fifth wheeler caravan and do you mind visitors? Oh, sorry, you don’t have to answer that one!! 🙂

Of course, Jenn. You’re welcome any time.

Country curiosities…

My latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, has a strong horse theme. (I love what horses can teach us). If you were an animal what would you be?

I love horses too for their nobility and grace, but if I were an animal, I would want to be my kelpie, Angel. She’s tough, resilient and clever.

You’re cooking and your food is going up against the best cooks from the CWA (Country Women’s Association). What would be your winning dish?

My apple strudel, which was adapted from a family recipe belonging to a German friend, Sonja. The trick is to add a dash of lemon juice to the apple mix.

About you…

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

For me, the hardest part of writing is not being able to do it whenever I want to. Sadly, real life keeps getting in the way – all those relentless domestic chores like washing, ironing, grocery shopping, and cleaning.

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?

‘It’s Never Too Late’ inspired by the George Eliot quote: ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been’. It refers to the fact that although I’ve been writing all my life, I was a closet storyteller and wrote non-fiction for publication. It wasn’t until six years ago that I started my first novel. Actually I found myself working on two manuscripts at once – making up for lost time, I suppose!

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

  1. What do you like most about writing?
  2. I love the element of make-believe, the ability to escape into a fictional world and go to places, both physical and psychological, that I wouldn’t normally visit in real life. Occasionally, though, the world I create is so dark I’m quite relieved to return to reality.

Favourite four

Favourite place in Australia: Apart from the Southern Tablelands of NSW, my favourite place is Rose Valley (near Gerringong).

Favourite holiday destination (anywhere): Paris

Favourite movie: David Lean’s ‘Brief Encounter’

Favourite quote: ‘When it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?

I’m hopeless at singing and dancing so, as an artist, I’d probably draw something for you – a quick portrait perhaps.

Or you could tell us about your book: THE TRIVIA MAN

If only his life was a quiz . . .

From the author of Mr Chen’s Emporium comes a quirky and heart-warming tale about finding your true place in the world, set against the backdrop of a weekly trivia competition.

‘Trivia is a serious business, not a social occasion’

Kevin Dwyer, the ‘trivia man’

 Dubbed ‘brainbox’ by his peers and ‘weirdo’ by his sister, Kevin Dwyer is a middle-aged forensic accountant who has never had a real friend, other than his eight-year-old nephew Patrick. When Kevin joins the Clifton Heights Sports Club trivia competition as a one-man team, and convincingly wins the first round, he is headhunted by the other contestants. But Kevin would prefer to be on his own. That is, until he meets Maggie Taylor . . .

Maggie is a Latin teacher and movie buff, who’s good at her job but unlucky in love. In fact, she’s still besotted with the man who dumped her years ago. Nagged by her friend Carole about getting out and meeting people, Maggie reluctantly joins the trivia team founded by Carole’s husband Edward.

Over a season of trivia nights, Kevin, Maggie and her team will experience arguments and crises, friendships and romances, heartbreaks and new beginnings.

And maybe, just maybe, Kevin will find his happy-ever-after.

Win a signed copy of The Trivia Man, complete with a cover postcard. Leave a comment below.

(Aust postal addresses only)

Connect with Deborah…

Website: www.deborahobrien.com.au

Publisher – ‘The Trivia Man’ page


4 thoughts on “#WriteRoundOz w/ Deborah O’Brien (WIN!)

  1. Susanne Bellamy

    This sounds such a fun read. Interestingly, I’ve heard this title mentioned by several different friends so I know I’m going to enjoy it when I get my copy.
    Best wishes, Susanne

  2. Michael Potter

    I’m intrigued. Not since I made a rookie mistake in answering, ‘Who holds the UK record for most amount of Christmas Number Ones?’ with, ‘my great-grandfather’ have I been so keen to discover the real answer… to, ‘Will Kevin win his happy-ever-after?’ Bring on The Trivia Man!

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