1. NEW: Sherlock Holmes: However Improbable
Narrelle talks about the enduring popularity of the great detective Sherlock Holmes and his biographer, Dr John Watson.
She also explores the elements of a quintessential Holmes story within the context of modern interpretations: whether he’s depicted as a Victorian gentleman, a 21st Century detective, a cartoon mouse, a Japanese woman, or in a loving relationship with his best friend, John Watson
2. Growing up Reading
Narrelle discusses growing up in a house full of books, and what reading meant to her as a child and as an adult.
She shares the books she remembers most from her childhood and the life lessons she learned from some of her favourites, as well as new works such as The Hunger Games, F2M, and even the 16th century Sir Thomas Moore book Utopia.
Narrelle also invites attendees to share their own experiences of books in their lives.
3. Where do you get your ideas?
Writers joke about getting asked that question and have a range of flippant replies. However, I’ve noticed in my library talks and in general discussion with budding writers, that there is a genuine curiosity about how this part of writing works.
Narrelle actually this tricky question frequently asked of writers, sharing examples of where real life inspiration has appeared in her novels and stories.
4. Building believable fantasy worlds
Believability in stories is about two things – believing that the characters are real, so that we care what happens to them, and having them exist in a world that is as complex and textured as our own.
What techniques do writers use to create worlds and characters that the reader can believe in, no matter how fantastical?
5. From Stoker to Stackhouse: The vampire as metaphor
Throughout its literary life, the vampire has been a metaphor for many different things. That keeps changing, depending on the writer’s approach and the times they live in.
Narrelle discusses the history of the vampire novel and the different metaphors vampires represent in fiction: including fear of foreigners, anxieties about sex and death, the impact of the HIV crisis of the 1980s, and more recent commentary on overconsumption.