Burringbar debut novelist shines

Burringbar-based author Jessie Cole will attend the 2012 Byron Bay Writers’ Festival as a panellist for the first time.
Burringbar-based author Jessie Cole will attend the 2012 Byron Bay Writers’ Festival as a panellist for the first time. supplied

BURRINGBAR author Jessie Cole's debut novel will be published one month before her first panellist appearance at this year's Byron Bay Writers' Festival.

Darkness on the Edge of Town will be published widely in July, to be precise.

Thirty four year old Ms Cole won HarperCollins' Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2009 for the novel she finished four years ago.

"It's been well worth the wait, and the long publication period simply means HarperCollins took time and care with it," she said.

She has been to the August festival many times as an audience member but not as an author sharing her experience publicly.

"I've never done anything like that before.

"I am nervous and I'm going to Maleny this weekend for a talk with Kate Grenville.

"It's an event in which a well known writer gets paired with a debut writer.

"I'm a big fan of Kate - my mum bought me a copy of her first book, Lillian's Story.

"I'm pretty sure she won the Vogel (award) at my age, which is for young writers."

Ms Cole said this book may have been a "pivotal read" that her mum bought with the intention of inspiring her daughter to write.

This and many other interesting anecdotes may arise during her appearance on three festival panels.

Her first will discuss writers' groups and "whether or not they work", she said.

"The second will address writers' residency - in which you win the chance to go somewhere and stay for a period of time in order to write - and whether or not it works.

"The third will simply be about being a debut novelist."

She described her novel as a story about a man who lives "on the edge of town".

"He comes home from the pub one night, and there's been a car crash out the front of his involving an injured woman and her baby."

Pick up a copy of Saturday's Daily News to learn more about our own young novelist.

Visit the official festival website for more information.

Topics:  author, books, burringbar, byron bay writers festival



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