Recently I had the opportunity of asking Sandie Docker a few questions in the lead up to her debut The Kookaburra Creek Cafe. Many thanks to Sandie for taking time out to answer my questions and it was lovely to met you in person at my local library, you are such an inspiration. THE KOOKABURRA CREEK CAFÉ by Sandie Docker is published by Penguin Random House Australia, RRP $34.99, buy it here. A big thank you to the Penguin team for sending me a review copy and you can find a link to my review at the end of the interview.
The Kookaburra Creek Cafe is your debut novel. How does it feel to become a published author?
SD- It’s very exciting – all that hard work now being realised in a dream becoming reality. It’s also terrifying – opening yourself to public judgment and worrying you’re going to let down the people who believe in you and helped you get published. Mostly it’s surreal – I’m still waiting for that Bobby Ewing Dallas moment where I wake up and realise it’s all just a dream!
This book centres around strong women (from all age groups). Why do you think it is important to celebrate strong women through literature?
SD- Because women are strong. Literature is supposed to reflect our society, and the stereotypes of damsels in distress or strength in a woman equalling villainy are not a true reflection of women in our society. Everyday women eat strength for breakfast – the mum, the wife, the business owner, the all-of-the-above and we need to see these women in the stories we tell. I think as women writers we owe it to our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, ourselves, to portray strong, amazing, everyday women.
It was very emotional reading the fire scene with Joey and Tammy. Was it as difficult to write as it was to read?
SD- It was incredibly hard to write. There were a number of earlier versions of that scene and each one tore my heart out as I wrote it. One of the earliest pieces of writing advice I received was, ‘if you’re going to go there, GO THERE.’ I don’t plot out my novels and when I realised where this part of the story was going, I actually stopped writing for three months. Could I go there? Could I do it well? How do I find the balance between too much and not enough in that scene? But I had to trust the story knew where it needed to go and I had to follow. Hopefully I got the balance right.
The recipes in the book sound amazing and I personally can’t wait it to try them. Is baking something you are fond of or was it just something you picked up for the book?
SD- I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. My paternal grandmother was a great cook and I have fond memories of standing on a chair in her kitchen so I could reach the bench as she taught me how to knead and fold and beat. My mum is also a great cook. She and Dad actually owned a café when I was growing up and her carrot cake is second to none.
Lastly, do you have any ideas for your next book or are you working on something at the moment?
SD- My next book, due out in early 2019, is already written and we’re in the midst of editing it now. It centres around a cranky hermit with a heart of gold, a quirky book club, and stash of hidden letters from a WWII widow. I can’t wait to share it with the world. Book three is a seed of an idea at the moment and includes a book shack on the beach, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it.
Thanks for having me Jodie ☺
Where to buy a copy:
Head over here for my review and as always, happy reading x