This is a Dark Matter Zine podcast and it’s all about love, actually. Or so my guests tell me.
Originally this panel was supposed to be the final podcast for 2019, rounding out the year. First the Silly Season then the apocalypse delayed this recording. Then DMZ opened 2020 with a short podcast series on the Authors For Fireys challenge. Last I heard, this challenge raised $480,000 to fund the firefighting effort and charities to help survivors. Yay team! Each of today’s guests, Meg Mundell, Rohan Wilson and Tabith Bird, were involved in this amazing fundraiser.
This panel brings these three authors together to discuss their novels and why they chose a similar setting – the mid- to late- 21st century – and yet wrote such different stories. Two of these novels, The Trespassers and Daughter of Bad Times, are dystopian fiction, warning us of impending disaster in the form of fears of a pandemic and climate change. The third novel, A Lifetime of Impossible Days, is a genre-bender, blending literature and fantasy and self-help fiction to follow a character climbing out of a well of depression caused by childhood abuse.
All the guests are unanimous: their novels are all about love, actually.
Meg Mundell is a writer and academic. Born and raised in New Zealand, she lives in Melbourne. Her previous day jobs include freelance journalist, policy analyst, nightclub DJ, ventriloquist’s assistant, and deputy editor of The Big Issue Australia. Meg’s academic research focuses on place, spatial justice, and narratives of homelessness. Black Glass (2011) was Meg’s first novel, and Things I Did for Money (2013) is a short story collection. Her second novel, The Trespassers (UQP, August 2019) was named Readings ‘Fiction Book of the Month’ for July 2019, and has been optioned for a TV series.
Meg has been a guest on Dark Matter Zine previously; find all her interviews and podcasts here.
Born and raised in Launceston, Tasmania, Rohan Wilson holds degrees and diplomas from the universities of Tasmania, Southern Queensland and Melbourne. His debut novel, The Roving Party, won lots of awards. In 2014, His second novel, To Name Those Lost, won more awards. According to Wikipedia, Rohan still lives in Launceston although he works at the Queensland University of Technology; obviously he has a very long commute. (Not really: he lives in Brisbane, affectionately known as BrisVegas to Australians.)
DMZ featured Rohan as a guest and I’ve reviewed his latest book. All posts featuring Rohan are here.
Rohan can be found on Twitter.
Tabitha Bird is a writer and poet who lives and works in the rural township of Boonah, Queensland. By day Tabitha paints, works on her next book and spends time with her Chihuahua, husband and three beautiful sons. Her hope is that through her work she might be blessed enough to champion others into wild acts of bravery and self-love A Lifetime of Impossible Days (June 2019- Penguin Random House) was selected by Australian Women’s Weekly as their book of the month for August and is her debut fiction.
DMZ has previously reviewed Tabitha’s book and interviewed her. All posts relating to Tabitha are here.
Also, Tabitha’s book is available WORLDWIDE: (free shipping!) from BOOKDEPOSITORY.
Once more I’d like to thank Authors For Fireys organisers, everyone who contributed to the fundraiser, all those who bid on items, the lucky winners whose full purchase price went to approved organisations. And most of all I’d like to thank our firefighters and those supporting them.
Here in the Australian Capital Territory, firefighters have been holding a line to protect the city and essential infrastructure including solar farms, communications, cultural and heritage sites. The fire maps and photos, including photos of pink landscapes after fire retardant has coated the landscape, show the incredible effort that is going in to keeping Australia’s federal capitol city, Canberra, safe from fires raging nearby. Thank you to all those who are holding the line to protect us. We appreciate your heroic efforts. Our response is all about love, actually.
Despite the floods causing mass evacuations even in Sydney and leaving more without power, bushfires are still burning. (There are more bushfires nationwide, that map is for the state of NSW alone.) And the firefighters are still holding the line, protecting Canberra.
In closing, I’d like to acknowledge those who have died in these fires, many of whom have been firefighters putting their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. They are heroes.
This has been a Dark Matter zine podcast and I’m your host Nalini Haynes. Thank you for listening.
If you’d like to listen to more podcasts about the Authors for Fireys challenge or read blogs from contributors, you’ll find all of Dark Matter Zine‘s Authors For Fireys series here.