I'd wanted to be a writer since I was about ten, but life
always seemed to get in the way. I had to make a living, and when I left
university I fell straight into journalism. It involved a lot of shiftwork
and moving around, and I was too exhausted to give the writing dream a
go. After about seven years, when I'd completely lost the hunger for journalism,
Triple J radio in Australia sent me to Antarctica to cover a scientific
The trip changed my life in many ways.
I "crossed the line" as a journalist - fell in love with someone I
was interviewing. Martin was subsequently killed in an accident in Antarctica.
Well, my life was turned upside down. At the age of twenty eight I grew
up - it was like I was being hauled into adulthood. Grief gave me clarity,
it stopped the silliness. Martin's death taught me the importance of
following my heart, of attempting to do what I really wanted to do and
not letting people fool me into giving up.
I finally began the transition from journalism to fiction writing.
And ironcially, I had the gift of a story.
Shiver is my most autobiographical novel. After I completed it I felt
stripped. I'll never write in such a raw way again. All writers are
cannibals in a way, but with this book I cannibalised my own life more
than anyone elses.
I wrote Shiver as a gift to Martin.