Episode 29 – 20 February 2019

Sonia Orchard joins host Mel Cranenburgh to tell us about her new novel, Into the Fire, out now through Affirm Press. Into the Fire is Sonia’s third book and second work of fiction that author Rosalie Ham (The Dressmaker) has described as ‘a perceptive, provoking story of friendship and intimacy’. Mel is then joined by Matters Journal editor Megan Anderson to chat about their new issue (https://mattersjournal.com/shop/issue3) and the pleasures of reading long form articles away from the...

Episode 28 – 13 February 2019

This week on Backstory, host Mel Cranenburgh talks to author, Emily Brewen, about her latest novel, Small Blessings, ‘a poignant and uplifting tale of secrets, motherhood, innocence and heartache, and ultimately what we’re willing to do for love’. Small Blessings is Emily’s second book following up from her first novel, Hello, Goodbye, which was described as ‘a powerful debut that will capture your heart’. In the interview, she and Mel discuss the genesis of the novel, her writing process and what it takes to kill off a character before they make it to the final draft. Mel is then joined by filmmaker Charlie Turnbull, whose documentary The Bikes of Wrath (http://bikesof.wrath.squarespace.com) retraces the journey the fictional Joad family undertook in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Armed with 420 dollars, 5 bikes and 2 guitars, Charlie, co-conspitator Leon Morton and several friends travelled 2600kms from Oklahoma to California talking to ‘real’ Americans about the same themes that characterised Steinbeck’s novel: migration, inequality, the wealth gap and their experiences of the so-called ‘American...

Episode 27 – 6 February 2019

In this episode of Backstory, Melissa Cranenburgh is joined by Elise Valmorbida, the author of the novels Matilde Waltzing, The TV President, and The Winding Stick, as well as The Book of Happy Endings. Her most recent work, The Madonna of the Mountains received the Prize for Fiction at the 2019 Victorian Literary Awards. Mel is then joined by Sam Cooney, head of the not-for-profit independent publishing organisation that produces the quarterly literary magazine The Lifted Brow, publishes books under its Brow Books imprint, posts new pieces of commentary and criticism online every day or two, stages events, awards writing prizes, and does a whole lot...