Like a teenager in full flight, it’s a hard novel to define or pin down. Like a teenager, it’s a debut with flights of fancy, bravado and wild schemes. It’s on the verge of greatness, oozing potential and grand ideas. But unlike living with teenagers, I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to see what Arnott does next!
- Flames was shortlisted for the 2019 Miles Franklin Award.
- Awarded the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists for 2019.
- Winner of the Margaret Scott Prize 2019 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes.
- Shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier’s Literary Award.
- Shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Award.
Thunder crashed through the walls; lightning licked trees; the wind grew fangs and chewed barns into splinters…
…her body draped over the branches like a nightgown hung out to dry.
Perhaps if he had been older, he wouldn’t have done it. With more winters in his bones he may have been kinder, less jealous, more contemplative. Or maybe not-inside this boy there was a bitter kink, and perhaps no amount of time or experience could have untwisted it.
- I’m always fascinated to know how and when writers write.
- I discovered this passage on Show Your Working over at Kill Your Darlings. The highlights are mine.
Describe your writing practice?
For the first few days of each week I get up at six and write for an hour and a half, then go to work. I usually finish around six, walk home, have dinner, and write for another hour or so until I can’t think anymore. That routine all goes to shit by the end of the week, though. Thursdays and Fridays I always plan on getting some writing done, but barely do any. I have a solid crack on either Saturday or Sunday, then start all over again.
How do you encourage inspiration to strike?
Whenever I don’t know how to solve a problem I’ve written myself into, or if I can’t think of something interesting to write about, I go for a walk without my phone.
The best advice I think I’ve ever heard came from Michelle de Kretser….She was talking about how plot is important, and character is important, but ‘literature lives in the sentences’. Nothing has ever resonated with me so much. Hearing that made me feel like I had a license to obsess over language.