10 quick questions with Kath Engebretson…


Kath Engebretson, author of Red Dirt Odyssey,
answers 10 quick questions for us…

Read Kath’s full interview about her first novel and the writing process here.

#1 What’s your favourite book?

The one that sticks in my mind is Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. It’s the story of a young woman in 19th century America who refuses to sell herself short into an unsatisfactory marriage. I’ve read it three times and each time I love it more.

#2 Which authors do you most admire, and why?

I love Australian novels; I read anything by Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Richard Flanagan, Peter Carey, Tom Keneally, Christopher Koch, Sonia Hartnett, Eva Sallis, Charlotte Wood, and many others. I love everything Helen Garner writes including her non-fiction. I am always watching for new Australian novelists. I read most of Patrick White’s novels when I was young, and now I find myself going back to them. I read Ruth Park’s Harp in the South when I was at school and it has stayed with me. I must have read it five times by now. Christopher Koch’s wonderful book, The Year of Living Dangerously features my favourite literary character, the photojournalist Billie Kwan who is a dwarf. To some extent he has influenced my portrayal of Simon in Red Dirt Odyssey.

#3 What’s your favourite line from any book?

The main character (Lily Bart) in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth is very poor, and knows she needs to make a good marriage. She is travelling by train to a house party in the country and is joined by an eligible man who is travelling to the same party. She finds him a terrible bore, but knows that he is a good marriage prospect. The line is something like:

She settled down to be bored by him for the next hour, so that she could continue to be bored by him for the rest of her life.


#4 Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Definitely summer; I love the beach and warm weather.

#5. Would you rather have a cat or dog?

I am a dedicated lover of dogs.

#6. If you were attending a fancy dress party,
what would your costume be?

I really hate fancy dress parties.

#7. What punctuation mark best
describes your personality?

A question mark; I am endlessly curious and constantly reading.

#8. How do you feel about going to a movie alone,
or eating alone in a restaurant?

I do this all the time and love it. I enjoy watching people and wondering about their stories and relationships. I have a particular taste in movies and plays that not everyone shares so I often go alone.

#9. If you had your own talk show,
who would be your first three guests?

Josie Farrer, the indigenous Western Australian member for the Kimberley who is a model for a character in Red Dirt Odyssey; Pat Dodson; Thomas Keneally.

#10. Favourite place you have ever travelled to, and why?

The Kimberley. I’ve only just begun to explore it.


About Kit Carstairs

Kit Carstairs has background in book and magazine publishing, academic research, marketing and broadcasting. She has almost a decade of experience working with a wide variety of content including: fiction (adult and children’s), general non-fiction (craft, gardening, home improvement, general DIY, food titles, natural history, general reference, photography) as well as working with corporate (marketing and sales material, business reviews and papers) and academic content (research publications and thesis). Having worked both as a freelance editor and as an in-house editor and project manager in publishing, Kit has a comprehensive understanding of the importance of content development and the need for authors to be proactive in developing manuscripts that represent their full potential. As well as providing manuscript assessments Kit is also able to offer her editing and proofing services (POA) as well as fast and accurate transcribing services (POA). Contact Kit to discuss these services in more detail. Kit lives and works in the inspirational surroundings of the Blue Mountains, in Australia's New South Wales.


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