Helen Milroy presents: Kathryn Lefroy on how ‘vomit drafting’ before learning how to write can be useful

The Fremantle Press Podcast
The Fremantle Press Podcast
Helen Milroy presents: Kathryn Lefroy on how ‘vomit drafting’ before learning how to write can be useful

Growing up, Kathryn Lefroy was not allowed to watch television, and was instead encouraged to create stories for herself and read books.

Kathryn gave up writing for fun when academia and university studies took her away from her path. So when she did circle back to it, Kathryn said she made a conscious decision not to learn how to write. Instead she says she ‘vomit drafted’ her first manuscript. She got it onto the page before she went back to learning her craft and the skills she needed to be a storyteller.

From there, Kathryn says she got many rejections before publication, ‘I’ve been rejected hundreds of times. Hundreds and hundreds of times. I’ve had people say to me “you’re really not as good as you think you are”. I’ve had people say to me “don’t give up your day job” and I’m like, this is my day job, that’s awkward. I’ve had people say all kinds of things and I just keep coming back to the fact that creative industries are so subjective. So if you get one bad piece of feedback that does not mean you should give up, that means, if anything, you should work harder to prove that person wrong.’

Topics covered:

  • Instilling hope in your writing
  • Never giving up
  • Not comparing yourself to others
  • Resilience and persistence

Books mentioned

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

About the host:

Dr Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She was born and educated in Perth and has a passionate interest in health and wellbeing, especially for children. She is currently a professor at the University of Western Australia, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission. Her books have been shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards (2019, 2020), the Readings Children’s Book Prize (2020) and the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year (2020, 2022). And her book, Backyard Birds, won the Whitley Award for the Young Children’s Reader Category (2021).

Backyard Beasties, Backyard Bugs, Backyard Birds and Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories are available in all good bookstores and online.

About the guest: 

Kathryn Lefroy writes novels, screenplays, articles – and the occasional shopping list. She has a PhD in marketing, several screenwriting credits and her stories have appeared in magazines, journals and online. Her debut novel, Alex and the Alpacas Save the World, was shortlisted for the 2019 WA Premier’s Book Awards. She spends way too much time in conversation with imaginary characters, and not-so-secretly wishes she lived in a dance movie.

Find this author at www.kathrynlefroy.com/, on Instagram @KathrynLefroy and Facebook @KathrynLefroyAuthor

Her books Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again and Alex and the Alpacas Save the World are available in all good bookstores and online.

Original music Steel Cap Serenadeby Aidan D’Adhemar, © 2021

Sound engineering Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire

Produced by Claire Miller with the Fremantle Press Marketing and Communications team

This podcast was produced in Walyalup in Wadjuk Boodja, on the lands of the Noongar people.

Books discussed
Backyard Birds
Backyard Bugs
Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories

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