If there is one lesson Annette Marfording carries with her from her childhood, it is the misguided advice to never make your hobby your work.
“That is so stupid, because if your work is your hobby, then you are having fun all the time,” Annette said.
After a long career in the legal world, Annette is now pursuing her passion, the one she has always had, books.
Reading, reviewing, interviewing authors and more recently, writing.
And while Italian literature is her ‘thing’ at the moment, not so long ago Australia was her focus.
“I was so shocked to find many of my friends did not really know Australian authors, so I made it my mission to introduce people to those authors.”
The introductions started with interviews aired on Bellingen’s 2BBB, which Annette did either by phone or more often in situ at literary events such as the Sydney or Byron Bay Writer’s Festivals.
“One of my first interviews was with David Malouf, who for me is one of the most amazing writers. I spotted him at the Sydney Festival in a bookshop, oh my God! I thought, should I ask him for an interview … and my father’s voice came to me: “you always have to ask, the worst is they can say ‘no’”. So I did and he said yes … it went really well and after that I took the recorder with me whenever I was at an event.”
All the interviews have since found themselves into Annette’s first book, Celebrating Australian Writing: Conversations with Australian Authors, which was launched at the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival in 2015.
“It took a long time but I loved the process … it was one of the best times of my life.”
Stocks of the book are nearly all gone, however there remain a few … and the opportunity of giving a great gift, twice.
“All profits from the books are going to the Indigenous Literary Foundation, which takes books and sometimes authors into remote schools and communities. Education really is the key and the work of this organisation is so important.”
The books cost $25 and can be purchased directly from Annette by emailing her on amarfording<at>gmail.com.