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Give Up Your Day Job: What Attracts an Author to Write Historical Fiction

21 October 2023 | 3:00 pm - 1 June 2024 | 3:55 pm

Give Up Your Day Job

The Conference was both a live and online event with in-person sessions livestreamed to a virtual audience. All recordings of in-person plenary sessions, interviews and panels are included in your access ticket. There is no option to buy recordings of individual sessions.



How does an author’s profession (outside their role as a novelist) inform their books? Cecilia Rice will explore with Leah Kaminsky (a doctor), Alison Booth (an economist and academic) and Sue Williams (a journalist) whether switching ‘right and left’ brains impacts their research and writing. What led them to historical fiction? And what strengths or weaknesses do their ‘day jobs’ afford them as authors.


About Leah Kaminsky

Leah Kaminsky is a physician and award-winning writer. Her debut novel, The Waiting Room, won the Voss Literary Prize. The Hollow Bones won both the Literary Fiction and Historical Fiction categories of the 2019 International Book Awards, and the 2019 American Book Fest’s Best Book Award for Literary Fiction. She is the author of eleven books and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. DOLL’S EYE is her latest novel.

About Alison Booth

Alison Booth’s most recent novel, Bellevue, is her seventh. Her novels have been published by Penguin Random House and by RedDoor. Her awards include a Varuna Longlines Fellowship, the Highly Commended Award in the 2011 ACT Book of the Year Award and a Highly Commended Award in the ACT Notables Awards. Alison is an Australia Reads Ambassador, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and recipient of the 2017 ESA Distinguished Fellow Award. Alison is Professor Emeritus at The Australian National University and earned a PhD from the London School of Economics, and spent over two decades living and working in the UK before returning to Australia. She wrote her first novel at the age of nine, before other distractions set in.

About Sue Williams

Sue Williams is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist who has written two historical novels about Sydney’s colonial past. Her latest book is That Bligh Girl, the story of Mary Bligh, the daughter of notorious mutiny on the Bounty survivor and Government of NSW William Bligh. Her first was the best-seller Elizabeth & Elizabeth about the wives of Governor Lachlan Macquarie and John Macarthur. Non-fiction books are biography, true crime and travel and include Under Her Skin, about burns surgeon Professor Fiona Wood, Healing Lives on Australian icon Dr Catherine Hamlin and Father Bob, the biography of Father Bob Maguire.

About Cecilia Rice

Cecilia’s memoir for her sister Always Liza to Me was published by Allen & Unwin. It’s available in hard copy and online. Cecilia is active on the Management Committee of the Historical Novel Society of Australasia and she has a novel awaiting publication and a work of historical fiction in progress. For her day job, she is a Sydney lawyer and mediator who has practised in the private and public sectors. She specialises in media content – classification of films and broadcasting regulation. Currently, she works in the conciliation of privacy disputes.

Any queries should be directed to hnsaevents@gmail.com


21 October 2023 | 3:00 pm
1 June 2024 | 3:55 pm
Event Category:


Room 2

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