Talented author and local resident Maggie MacKellar is going to be our first Guest Blogger on Life A L'Orange. Her novel 'When It Rains' exquisitely captures life in the country along with all the benefits and unusual experiences that come with it. I couldn't put the book down when I started reading it earlier this year and I highly recommend getting hold of a copy if you get the chance. I asked Maggie a host of juicy questions I thought you would enjoy:
What is the most unusual thing that has happened to you since writing ‘When It Rains?’
Probably being asked to do Australian Story.
What do you love most about living in the country?
The space. The people. The independence my children are learning growing up on a farm. The physical beauty right outside my window.
What do you miss least about Sydney?
The traffic. The pace of life. The competition.
What is your newest animal addition?
We have a new poddy calf, ‘Twitch’. He was a twin but his mother rejected him. My son had responsibility to feed him morning and night but he’s been lucky. My daughter’s milking cow ‘Hettie’ has adopted the new calf along with her own and is raising both of them as well as providing enough milk for two families.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of making a move from Sydney to rural NSW?
Give yourself time to settle in. Don’t expect to find your niche straight away. Realise that wherever you have moved is not Sydney and try to resist making comparisons.
Do you have a favourite cafe or restaurant in the area you would recommend?
Ummm, so many. We are super spoilt around Orange for beautiful food and wine. I had a lovely lunch at Racine Kitchen Café the other day. It was so reasonable but absolutely delicious, fresh flavours. Oh and honourable mention to Lavendilli Blue’s coffee and egg & bacon rolls on Saturday mornings… Hawke’s General Store has beautiful coffee and beautiful things = trouble.
Is there a favourite book you have read this year?
These are really hard questions. Lots. My current favourite is usually the one I’m reading. I’m in the middle of Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder and I’m loving it. So clever, gripping and covering all of the big issues. She’s amazing the way she makes the unbelievable completely believable. As far as Australian writers – I loved Fiona McGregor’s Indelible Ink. Memoir – Patti Smith’s Just Kids - amazing on the artistic process and New York scene in the 70s….I could go on.
Where do you usually write?
I’m writing all over the house at the moment when the kids are either at school or in bed. I haven’t settled into this new book yet so the writing is happening wherever I am.
Do you have another book in the pipeline?
Yes, I’m working on an historical novel. At the moment it’s still in the research stage but I’m getting bolder at playing with the different characters.
How are you coping with the snakes?
Fine. It’s winter!