Reading Roald Dahl as a child, Brooke decided to become a writer.
“He made me understand magic of words and where they could take you,” she says, citing Matilda as her favourite children’s book.
She enjoyed a magical childhood in the Australian bush. “Roaming free, we’d make up these imaginative games,” she says. “My mother was a great reader and she encouraged our creativity. My younger brother is now an artist.”
After taking a degree in Creative writing, though, Brooke found it hard to start a writing career. “I felt like I had nothing to say.” So she travelled for a while, floating around trying different jobs.
Everything changed for her when her mother died, suddenly, eight years ago. Brooke took a PhD in Creative writing, and that bought her the time and space to write. Her debut came out of her grief.
Who is Brooke Davis
Date of birth: 7th July 1979, in Geelong near Melbourne.
Education:, Belmont High School. University of Canberra, Creative Writing, then a PhD in Creative Writing at Curtin University.
Home: Perth. I share an apartment across the from the Ocean. It’s beautiful!
Family: Father and two brothers; one has written a novel.
The Day Job: Brooke works in an Independent Book store and occasionally teaches Creative Writing.
Interests: “I love cycling, playing tennis and keeping fit. I like being out in nature, being around people and stories and going to plays.”
Favourite Writers: Alice Munro; George Saunders; Janet Frame; Peter Carey; Jonathan Saffron Foer.
Second Novel: “I’ve started one. It’s at the composting stage.”
Top Writing Tip: “I love Hemingway’s quote, ‘The first draft of everything is always shit,’ because it relaxes me. And the only way to write better is to constantly read and write.”
The Debut: Lost and Found. Hutchinson: €18.75. Kindle: €11.89
When Millie Bird’s mother abandons her in a department store, she hides there, hoping her mum will return. She doesn’t, but Millie is befriended by Karl, an escapee from an old People’s home, and Agatha, an embittered widow. Together, they set out on a journey.
“Many readers have shared their stories with me. They’ve said the book has helped them through their grief.”
The Verdict: Funny and tender; whimsical, but deeply felt.
Published in the Irish Examiner 31st January, 2015
© Sue Leonard. 2015.