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Jane Harper: library lover to best-selling author

A smiling person.

Just a few years ago, Jane Harper was dreaming up her first novel at City Library. Little did she know that The Dry would become an international best-seller, nor that Reese Witherspoon would want to make the story into a movie. We invited Jane to share a little about her remarkable journey.

Why do you enjoy writing at City Library?
I’ve always felt very at home in libraries, and what could be more inspiring for a writer than to work while surrounded by books? I love the atmosphere of libraries. They are peaceful while at the same time having the buzz of a community. And it gave me a chance to pick up a few books to read on my way out.

What inspires you to write?
My books are always very character-driven because I’m interested in the ways people respond to pressure and confronting circumstances. I also love writing about the Australian landscape and while working on my latest book, The Lost Man, I became fascinated by the lives of those in far-flung outback communities.

How has your life changed since the whirlwind success of The Dry in 2016?
I’ve been absolutely thrilled by the way readers have embraced my books. When I wrote The Dry, I had been working full time as a newspaper journalist for 13 years. Now I’m a full-time author, and it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work on something I enjoy so much.

What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Focusing on the things within your control can help you take significant steps towards your writing goal. You can’t control what people will think of your work, or whether a publisher will like it, but you can make time to work consistently on your writing.

You can improve your writing skills through practice, and you can rewrite and edit thoughtfully until you are happy you’ve told your story in the best possible way.

Do you like to write? Are you a book lover? To find free creative writing workshops, book clubs, podcasts and much more, visit Libraries.

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