When not writing, Belinda Castles works as an editor, and lives with herhusband and daughters in Sydney. She has a Masters in Novel Writingfrom the University of Manchester. Her first novel was Falling Woman, and her second novel, The River Baptists, was the winner of the 2006 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award. Her latest novel is Hannah & Emil.
When did you start writing?
I used to write poems and stories as a child but really it began for me with a creative writing course at summer school in the States when I was on an exchange program at uni.
Who or what was the biggest inspiration for you to become a writer?
The books I loved as a child. I read everything I could get my hands on.
What are you reading at the moment?
Other Country by Stephen Scoursfield. It is incredibly evocative of a particular kind of Australian landscape.
Who are your three favourite authors and why?
Tim Winton, Peter Carey, Ian McEwan. Tim Winton’s novels have such grace and heart, Peter Carey’s are so inventive and stylish and Ian McEwan is just like a drug to me.
What inspired you to write The River Baptists?
The stories and characters on the Hawkesbury, but probably most of all the landscape itself. It is bewitching.
Are any of the characters taken from real life?
No, although the odd incident might come from a rumour or a story in the pub.
Where do you do your writing?
Wherever I can get some quiet! The car, the library, home when everyone’s out, other people’s houses when they’re away (I ask them first).
What’s the last piece of writing you hated and threw in the bin?
My entire second novel.
When you’re not writing what do you do?
Edit books, look after small children, watch British comedies with my husband, try and leave the house occasionally...