Trigg au­thor’s fam­ily fic­tion

Stirling Times - - Front Page - Sara Fitz­patrick

FAM­I­LIES are per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing of all so­cial ex­per­i­ments, ac­cord­ing to Trigg au­thor-jour­nal­ist Car­rie Cox.

“If aliens were to visit us, they would prob­a­bly look at the model of ‘fam­ily’ – a small group of po­ten­tially vastly dif­fer­ent in­di­vid­u­als thrown to­gether in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment for 18-plus years – and say ‘What a ridicu­lous idea – this will never work’,” she said.

Her new book – the Perth writer’s first fic­tional novel – After­noons with Har­vey Beam cen­tres on the com­plex­i­ties of fam­ily.

“My fam­ily is prob­a­bly no more or less dys­func­tional than the next one, but the fact that I’m fas­ci­nated by fam­ily and the way it shapes us or doesn’t makes life harder for my fam­ily be­cause I’ve been watch­ing ev­ery­thing over the years through ac­tive rather than pas­sive eyes,” Cox said.

“I’m very sen­si­tive to the way fam­ily dy­nam­ics set up all fu­ture re­la­tion­ships.”

Cox cre­ated cen­tral char­ac­ter, talk­back ra­dio host Har­vey Beam, as a step away from her fa­mil­iar world of jour­nal­ism.

She likened the process of writ­ing the novel to start­ing on a 5000-piece jig­saw.

“Ini­tially it’s very in­tim­i­dat­ing and the idea of reach­ing the end seems like a bridge too far,” Cox said.

“But as you move on, the re­main­der grows smaller and the pic­ture gets larger and richer in de­tail and it just some­how be­comes more doable and also ul­ti­mately en­joy­able.

“I think the big­gest dif­fer­ence about writ­ing a novel com­pared to writ­ing jour­nal­ism is that your mind is on the story 24-7 with a novel – you’re liv­ing it and breath­ing it and you have to stay in the zone.”

Au­thor Car­rie Cox.

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