Our podcast episode this week is published in tribute to Julian Leatherdale who sadly passed away this year. He was a true gentleman with a great sense of humour and a love for the grandeur and history of heritage buildings in Sydney’s Blue Mountains where some of his books were set. Our host, Greg Johnston, chaired a session with Julian, Robyn Cadwallader and Belinda Castles exploring the nuance of point of view. Please enjoy this recorded live session from the HNSA 2019 conference program, and subscribe to Imagining the Past to catch future episodes.
Elisabeth Storrs, Chair, HNSA
I am a camera: exploring the nuance of point of view
When starting to write, deciding which type of point of view will be exploited is a significant decision with far-reaching consequences. Who knows what? Who sees what? How much do you want the reader to know? And when? Once the decisions are made, they can be both liberating and confining. Greg Johnston will explore ‘the slings and arrows’ of point of view with Robyn Cadwallader, Julian Leatherdale and Belinda Castles.
About our speakers
Julian Leatherdale was a researcher/photo editor for the Time-Life Australians At War series, a picture researcher for the State Library of NSW and later co-writer/researcher on ABC-Film Australia TV history documentaries The Forgotten Force and Return To Sandakan. His historical fiction novels are Palace of Tears (Allen & Unwin, 2015, HarperCollins Germany, 2016, Bolinda, 2016), The Opal Dragonfly (A&U, 2018, Bolinda 2018) with City of Shadows (working title) to be published by A&U in 2020. His debut children’s novel The Phantasmic Detective Agency was posthumously published by Eagle Books in 2020.
Robyn Cadwallader lives among vineyards in the country outside Canberra. She has published a poetry collection, i painted unafraid (Wakefield, 2010) and a non-fiction book about virginity and female agency in the Middle Ages. In response to the government’s punitive treatment of asylum seekers, she edited collection of essays on asylum seeker policy, We Are Better Than This (ATF, 2015). Her first novel, The Anchoress, was published in 2015 in Australia (HarperCollins), and internationally. Her second novel, Book of Colours, was published in 2018. Robyn is the reviews editor for the online literary journal, Verity La.
Belinda Castles won The Australian/Vogel’s literary award for The River Baptists in 2006 and was one of the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Best Young Novelists for 2008. Her next novel, Hannah & Emil, won the Asher Literary Award for 2012-13 and her most recent novel, Bluebottle, was longlisted for the Stella Prize for 2019. She has is currently a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Sydney and was previously Director of the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Exeter. Belinda lives with her husband and daughters on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
G.S. Johnston is the author of three historical novels – Sweet Bitter Cane (2019), The Cast of a Hand (2015), and The Skin of Water (2012), and a fourth novel set in contemporary Hong Kong, Consumption (2011). The novels are noted for their complex characters and well-researched settings. After completing a degree in pharmacy, a year in Italy re-ignited his passion for writing and he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. Feeling the need for a broader canvas, he started writing short stories and novels. Originally from Hobart, Tasmania, Johnston currently lives in Canberra, Australia.