Author Spotlight: Eleanor Limprecht

In partnership with COAST Publishing, we asked some of your favorite Words on the Waves authors burning questions about their writing process, inspirations, what they’re most looking forward to at the festival and more…

We’re excited to introduce you to the first author in the Author Spotlight series, Eleanor Limprecht. Eleanor is a talented writer whose work explores the complexities of family, love, and identity.

Here are some insights into her world:

What is your favourite childhood book and why? My favourite book was The Changeling by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It is about the intense, imaginative friendship between two girls and the world they inhabit in the forest: the Land of the Green Sky, away from their complicated families.

What is a book you recently read, what did you think? Frances Peters-Little’s biography of her father Jimmy Little –Jimmy Little, A Yorta Yorta Man. It is such a fascinating and deeply researched book about the preceding generations, about Jimmy Little’s approach to music and the path he forged.  It is an extraordinary tale of survival, dignity and creativity.

What books are currently on your nightstand? Horse by Geraldine Brooks, the latest edition of Meanjin, Untangled by Lisa Damour (about raising teenage girls) and Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House.

Who is your favourite Australian author? It changes a lot, but right now: Amanda Lohrey. I love the quality of her sentences and the layers of meaning in her books.

Did you have to research much for your latest book? Do you enjoy that part of the writing process? I spent about two years researching The Coast, because I had to learn a lot about a very complex disease and the long, varied history of it. I also did a lot of research and consultation to incorporate other aspects of Australian history like the treatment of Indigenous patients with leprosy. I do love research but I always feel a little anxious that I am not writing, that I will get lost in the research and do that forever because it is less draining than writing. So I set myself deadlines to stop researching and start writing.

Do you have an all-time favourite book?
Beloved by Toni Morrison because of the voice, the complexity, and the way she handles violence. Because of the way it brings the story back to history, immersing us in experience.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
It’s always bring-your-dog-and-ugg-boots-to-work-day. Also, reading and daydreaming are essential parts of the job.

Who are you looking forward to checking out at the festival and why?
There are so many amazing sessions and authors! But if I had to choose one, it would be Jennifer Down and Fiona Kelly McGregor talking about their novels (Survivors, Sunday June 4 11.30 am) because I loved Bodies of Light and Iris, and I think both books tell powerful, necessary stories in creative ways.

Catch Eleanor Limprecht as part of the ‘Outsiders & Outcasts’ panel alongside Pip Williams on Sunday June 4. Book tickets here.