You’re dead to me!

I was delighted to be approached to help out with some research on La Maupin for this BBC4 episode of You’re Dead to Me, a terrific series hosted by Greg Jenner, which takes a different person from the past each episode, digs into their story, and combines that with bona fide comedy.

You can listen here or subscribe on your usual podcast app. It’s great fun.

Greg is joined by Dr Sara Barker and returning special guest comedian Catherine Bohart to travel back to 17th-century France and meet the notorious Julie d’Aubigny.

Having spent so many years researching her for Goddess, I love hearing people respond to her story, and I also love hearing historians engage with the materials – both dubious and as-legit-as-we-can-get when it comes to La Maupin.

Here’s the image they discuss (I think):

A contemporary portrait of la Maupin - a woman in a heavily embroidered costume with extravagant headdress.
It’s a contemporary engraving made of La Maupin, in costume and as if on stage (published by J Mariette, rue St. Jacques aux Colonnes d’Hercule, Paris and colourised later).

PS: There’s also an episode on Grace O’Malley, about whom I’ve also written (but not yet published).

Historical fiction podcast series

Had a fabulous time recording this series of interviews with authors of historical fiction, as part of the lead-up to our big historical novel conference in September.

Imagining the Past is presented by the Historical Novel Society of Australasia,  and produced by the good folk at Swinburne University (thanks team – they even composed the music!).

You can hear me chat to:

Here’s the conversation with the lovely Kate Forsyth:

 

The conference runs from 8-10 September,  at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus, with these great writers and many, many others – you can see the full programme here.

For anyone interested in learning to use Scrivener, I’m running a workshop on the Sunday (10/9) to introduce people to this wonderful software for writers – and there are a whole lot of other workshops too, on topics from research to armour (how cool is that?).

There’s also an academic stream, including a panel on biofictions.

Hope to see you at the conference.

Coming up

March is a busy month.

But what fun.

I get to chat with my old mate Kate Mildenhall about writing 1917, and especially about the research and writing about war and politics for young readers. That’s a special event for teachers and librarians at Readings Books in Hawthorn on 7 March 2017. Details and bookings here.

But that’s not all.

It’s Women’s History Month, and there’s stacks going on, including a whole program of events based around Eltham.  First up is a full day of discussion about writing history and historical fiction, starting with a panel (Oh look! Kate again)  on why women write history on 5 March.

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There are events every weekend, and then I’m back again in Eltham for a debate on 25 March on the powerful and different ways that nonfiction and fiction tell the stories of the past, and why women are so good at telling these kinds of stories. The panel includes:

  • Professor Josie Arnold
  • Barbara Gaskell Denvil
  • Glenice Whitting
  • Me.

Details of all the events for Women’s History Month at the gorgeous Eltham Library are here.

But that’s not all.

I’m hosting a discussion on researching and writing biography on 21 March at State Library Victoria (I’m lucky enough to work there). I’ll be talking with Minna Muhlen-Schulte  and Sandra McComb about their work in history and biography, and particularly their new articles in the La Trobe Journal.

And then the very next day, Unladylike podcast records live for the first time, as part of the Castlemaine State Festival. Unladylike co-host Adele and I will be interviewing Lynne Kelly and Robyn Annear about writing nonfiction – how they manage to convey incredible detail and knowledge for their readers.  That’s on 22 March in beautiful Castlemaine.

Phew! Well, we wouldn’t want to sit still for too long, would we?