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13; her lat­est of­fer­ing.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Cover - The Ex­tremely In­con­ve­nient Ad­ven­tures Of Bronte Met­tle­stone by Ja­clyn Mo­ri­arty (Allen & Un­win, $22.99) is out now.

iane says be­ing at the school gates one day and on an Emmy red car­pet the next is sur­real, but that the process of col­lab­o­rat­ing with Kid­man was a to­tal joy. “Of course it was spe­cial,” she says. “I must ad­mit I thought that ev­ery­body in Hollywood would be quite ego­cen­tric and shal­low, but in fact they were so wel­com­ing and made me part of the process, which they don’t have to do. [Ni­cole] has been so lovely and warm, and that has been one of the un­ex­pected ben­e­fits of this whole thing.”

A sec­ond se­ries has been mooted and yet Liane re­mains trailed by what she calls the “whole sub­ur­ban mum thing”. As she tells Stel­lar, “I spoke to a young jour­nal­ist once who ob­vi­ously thought Big Lit­tle Lies was my first book. Maybe be­cause I was so much older than her, I seemed like some mum who’d scrib­bled it down in the kitchen while cook­ing the lamb chops, rather than a mid-list writer who man­aged to break out.”

There is ar­guably a note of la­tent sex­ism in the mum nar­ra­tive. Women’s com­mer­cial fic­tion (where Liane and Ni­cola’s books sit) and young-adult nov­els, which is what Ja­clyn writes, tend to be sniffed at by crit­ics who con­sider them a lesser art than lit­er­ary or gen­eral fic­tion. As Liane points out, “I do doubt a male au­thor would ever b be de­scribed that way.”

More per­ni­cious is the as­sump­tion that three fe­male sib­lings work­ing in the same in­dus­try must be com­pet­i­tive, and riven with jeal­ousy to­wards who­ever has achieved the most com­mer­cial suc­cess. “I have been asked, ‘Are you en­vi­ous or com­pet­i­tive?’” Ja­clyn says, “And I al­ways say ab­so­lutely not. I am so happy that we all write, can act as each other’s first read­ers and sup­port each other that way. Liane can be ruth­less but I trust her ed­i­to­rial judge­ment. And be­cause we all un­der­stand the im­por­tance of praise, she will al­ways read any­thing of mine and im­me­di­ately say this is the best thing I’ve ever writ­ten.”

Still, she con­cedes, “All au­thors have crises of con­fi­dence. I’ve def­i­nitely wo­ken up at 2am think­ing, ‘Why am I writ­ing when my sis­ters are such stars?’ But in the day­time, I feel con­fi­dent in my writ­ing and the space I’ve carved out for my­self. Even grow­ing up I al­ways thought of Liane as the leader, so I just get happy for her and think, ‘Well, maybe I will be a New York Times best­seller and get movie deals, too.’”

Liane adds, “Like both my sis­ters, I’ve been asked on many oc­ca­sions if there is sib­ling ri­valry be­tween us. I have al­ways an­swered that our only ri­valry is over the use of fam­ily anec­dotes in our books.”

Ni­cola says she grew up “idol­is­ing” Liane and Ja­clyn. And as the last to join the fam­ily busi­ness, she tells Stel­lar that she ben­e­fited from her sis­ters’ in­dus­try ex­pe­ri­ence, while at the same time feel­ing the weight of their name. For a time, she con­sid­ered sub­mit­ting her first man­u­script to agents with a pseu­do­nym. “It was def­i­nitely good and bad,” she says of the fam­ily con­nec­tion. “I didn’t re­ally know how you go about be­com­ing a writer, un­til Ja­clyn and Liane did it and you start to feel it is pos­si­ble.”

Given her sis­ters were al­ready so well es­tab­lished, Ni­cola re­veals that “I couldn’t even ad­mit to my­self that I was writ­ing a novel, in case I pan­icked and couldn’t do it. It prob­a­bly wasn’t un­til I was five or six chap­ters in that I started to feel more con­fi­dent to let that be my aim – and con­fess to my sis­ters that’s what I was try­ing to do.” Ni­cola’s third book, The Fifth Let­ter, was re­leased this year; she is cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing film rights for one of the three.

With their cap­puc­ci­nos emp­tied, the sis­ters be­gin to gather their things in prepa­ra­tion for – yes – the school pick-up. (Liane and Ni­cola each have two chil­dren.) As they head their sep­a­rate ways, Liane re­flects on their mu­tual suc­cess. “I have al­ways felt like any­thing good that hap­pens to one of us hap­pens to all of us,” she ex­plains. “Ja­clyn has re­ally good legs, so that means I have re­ally good legs, too. And Ni­cola has that Ju­lia Roberts smile, so we’ve got that cov­ered as well.”

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