Q&A with J.D. Barrett

On Thursday, 29 September EWF is teaming up with Hachette Australia for a unique event that will take you inside – literally inside – one of Australia’s biggest and brightest publishing houses. We spoke with Hachette author J.D. Barrett ahead of her appearance at Inside the Publishing House next week. 

You’ve worked as a TV writer and script editor on hit shows like Love Child, Love My Way, East of Everything and Wonderland, before publishing your debut novel The Secret Recipe for Second Chances with Hachette earlier this year. How did you find the experience of moving from working on scripts to working on a novel?

I found it incredibly liberating and incredibly scary! Liberating because I had the freedom to travel where I wanted and create the story I wanted without any limitations like budgets, locations, actor availability, network preferences…. and scary because I was on my own and I was solely responsible for the world, story and characters I created.

Could you tell us a bit about what interests you as a writer?

I am incredibly interested in what makes people tick, why we as humans do what we do, how one experience can inform different people in such incredibly different ways. So character is a central interest, and the themes of love, fate, memory and relativity.

What have you been working on lately?

I am editing my second novel, The Song of Us. I’m in the thick of it which is intense and exciting. Editing is an amazing process, if you have an editor you connect with it can lift a manuscript immensely, it also provides the opportunity to revisit your work before it’s released. And I’m working on a TV show, LoveChild.

Can you tell us about the last book you read and loved, and what’s currently on your to-read pile?

I’m reading Anais Nin, Delta of Venus, partly as research for my next novel, it’s great. In the preface I learnt she was concerned her writer’s voice had been suppressed for the sake of writing erotica, but after time she reread the work and felt it was her own voice after all. Time and subjectivity at play again. I’m also reading Precious Things by Kelly Doust and enjoying and my next book to read is Trust by Mike Bullen, he’s a screenwriter too and has a terrific humour. The book I always keep close by for comfort and inspiration is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because I love his insights and believe he’s the master of Character.

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for emerging writers?

Write, write, write! Be kind to yourself and allow yourself to write with abandon. You can always change it later. Write, the world needs your story, so be brave and write!

 J.D. Barrett is an Australian television writer and script editor with a passion for good food and creating great meals. She has worked on the writing teams for Love My Way, East of Everything, Bed of Roses and Wonderland. J.D. lives between Sydney, Byron Bay and Los Angeles. The Secret Recipe for Second Chances is her debut novel and she is currently working on her next book.

Don’t miss J.D. in conversation with her publisher Vanessa Radnidge at our industry day Inside the Publishing House on Thursday 29th September at Hachette Australia. Tickets are strictly limited, so be sure to book yours today!

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