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Literary inspirations – an interview with Christos Tsiolkas

As an aspiring writer, it’s helpful to have successful published writers believe in you and your writing. When I approached Christos Tsiolkas at an ‘in conversation’ at Readings in Carlton almost two years ago, I never would have imagined that I would have gained not only an inspirational mentor, but a good friend.

Apart from providing feedback on multiple drafts of my manuscript, Misplaced, he’s also talked me through dark moments in my writing, and provided wisdom on the challenges in the publishing industry. Being from similar backgrounds, Christos has encouraged me to rise above cultural pressures and to tell my story without fear.

Mid last year, I interviewed Christos for forty minutes, asking him questions that would help aspiring and emerging writers. An article based on the interview, ‘Christos Tsiolkas on Faith’, was published in the Emerging Writers Festival’s The Reader. I was only able to cover about one-third of the content discussed with Christos in the article. After listening to the interview, I thought other emerging and aspiring writers would find it helpful and insightful. Thank you to Christos for allowing me to release it.

It was a sunny, spring day when Christos and I had coffee. We sat outside a small café in South Melbourne, so please forgive the cars driving by, and also my interruptions – I never intended the interview to be released. Christos covers a lot of ground in this interview and is open and frank about issues such as creative writing courses, rejection, getting published, bad reviews, the publishing industry and provides advice on making a career out of writing.

Visit my blog to listen to the interview.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Koraly is a widely published Cypriot-Australian writer and performer. She is the author of the controversial Love and F**k Poems. Koraly received an Australia Council ArtStart grant. She presents on 3CR radio and has a residency at Brunswick Street Bookstore. Her 2013 La Mama show is Exonerating The Body. She is mentored by Christos Tsiolkas.

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