Anita Heiss

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Anita Heiss

Goodreads Author


Born
Sydney, Australia
Website

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Member Since
June 2012


Professor Anita Heiss – bio

Anita is a proud member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, and is one of Australia’s most prolific and well-known authors, publishing across genres, including non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial fiction and children’s novels.

Her adult fiction includes Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming, Paris Dreaming and Tiddas. Her most recent books include Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms which was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Prize and was named the University of Canberra’s 2020 Book of the Year.

The anthology Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia which Anita edited, was named the Small Publisher Adult Book of the Year at the 2019 Australian Book Industry Awards
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Popular Answered Questions

Anita Heiss I’m often asked for advice on writing chick lit and so I thought I’d put my top tips here for those on the road to writing their first novel! Hope the…moreI’m often asked for advice on writing chick lit and so I thought I’d put my top tips here for those on the road to writing their first novel! Hope they’re helpful.

Write characters you yourself would like to hang out with. The kinds of women you would have fun with, would empathise with, would feel comfortable sharing your oh so embarrassing stories with.

Read in the genre, read around the genre to understand the difference between chick lit and romance. In chick lit our characters don’t have to end up with Mr. Right, but they do have to evolve and grow.

Think about what YOU like as a reader of chick lit and work your own story and style around that. I’ve learned that readers of my work appreciate characters they can relate to and settings they live in, have lived in, have been to, or want to go to. Entice your readers through your settings to want to go to the places you write about. i.e. Canberra, Melbourne, Paris, Manhattan. I have also written about towns I love that may never be on the literary map otherwise: Moree and Deniliquin (Paris Dreaming), and Goulburn (Manhattan Dreaming) for example.

Research is just as important in Chick Lit as any other book. To me research is as important as the writing. I wouldn’t have much of my material without extensive research. I don’t write about places I haven’t been to, because I want my settings to be authentic. So I go and sit in the suburb or the town and I watch, listen, eat local produce, smell what’s around me, talk to locals and ask them things like local myths, or where’s the best coffee, what’s the most significant land mark. I ask them, what a story about their place must include. I spent a lot of time researching in Melbourne for Avoiding Mr Right. I had to eat cakes and other delish pastries from every shop in Acland Street. I do suffer for my craft.

Best research tip: Always make a schedule for your research. Have a plan of what you need to see, who you need to speak to, where you need to go. I am very structured in my research and usually compact it into a certain period of time early on in the process. I don’t usually start writing until the bulk of research is complete.(less)
Average rating: 3.9 · 3,863 ratings · 653 reviews · 26 distinct worksSimilar authors
Growing Up Aboriginal in Au...

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4.34 avg rating — 1,739 ratings — published 2018 — 10 editions
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Am I Black Enough For You?

3.81 avg rating — 339 ratings — published 2012 — 3 editions
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Barbed Wire and Cherry Blos...

3.67 avg rating — 299 ratings — published 2016 — 7 editions
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Tiddas

3.25 avg rating — 283 ratings — published 2014 — 6 editions
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Who Am I? The Diary Of Mary...

3.92 avg rating — 259 ratings — published 2001 — 5 editions
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Manhattan Dreaming

3.28 avg rating — 170 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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Not Meeting Mr Right

2.95 avg rating — 160 ratings2 editions
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Paris Dreaming

3.52 avg rating — 97 ratings — published 2011 — 2 editions
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Avoiding Mr Right

3.10 avg rating — 101 ratings — published 2008 — 4 editions
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I'm Not Racist, But ...

4.20 avg rating — 56 ratings — published 2007 — 4 editions
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More books by Anita Heiss…

January 26 – what you can read, view and do

I started writing this in early January and my social media timelines were already full of the angst that appears every year in the lead up to January 26. The conversations don’t change much, but the emotional and mental exhaustion that comes with having them does – it gets worse.

Tee by Vernon Ah Kee, Dark & Disturbing

This year I am taking myself off Twitter and Facebook mid-January to save my san

Read more of this blog post »
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Published on January 14, 2021 22:17
Our Race For Reconciliation
(1 book)
by
3.94 avg rating — 36 ratings

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Anita’s Recent Updates

Anita Heiss wrote a new blog post

January 26 – what you can read, view and do

I started writing this in early January and my social media timelines were already full of the angst that appears every year in the lead up to January Read more of this blog post »
Anita rated a book it was amazing
Throat by Ellen Van Neerven
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Anita rated a book it was amazing
Arkie's Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing by Lisa      Walker
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Loved it. Perfect holiday read.
Anita rated a book it was amazing
You Don't Know Me by Sara   Foster
You Don't Know Me
by Sara Foster (Goodreads Author)
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Another gem by Sara Foster. Unputdownable!
Anita wants to read
Every Morning A Foot Is Looking For My Neck by Bonita Lee Penn
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Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss
" Loving historical reads and the fact that Cowra is only a few hours from where I live, I have always had an interest in the Cowra Breakout and that time period. The love story of Mary & Hiroshi was slow and gradual and I just loved it. With Mary sne" Read more of this review »
" Carolyn wrote: "I wish that cleansing dance could be added to the treatment plan for every teenager with anxiety issues - what a blessing for them tha ...more "
Anita rated a book it was amazing
Comfort Food by Ellen Van Neerven
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Anita answered a question about The Intervention:
The Intervention by Rosie Scott
Hello Unreconstructed,
There are 13 statements from grassroots NT people or Aborigninal communities impacted on by the Intervention spread throughout the book.

The ‘concerned Australians' publications (http://www.concernedaustralians.com.a...) additio See Full Answer
Who Am I? The Diary Of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 by Anita Heiss
"
I came across this book because of my yearly aussie author challenge, and what a delight it was. Who Am I? The Diary Of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 is written with a target audience of young teens and adults, but I soon find myself immersed into Mary's" Read more of this review »
More of Anita's books…
“How can you possibly be an agent of positive change in the world when you are full of bitterness and hatred?”
Anita Heiss, Am I Black Enough For You?

“Who do we know in Canberra who wears a suit?’ Libby asked. ‘More importantly, who looks good?’ I asked. ‘Stephen Smith,’ Libby offered. ‘Wayne Swan,’ Denise countered. ‘Peter Garrett?’ Libby asked ‘Greg Combet, most definitely,’ I insisted. ‘Julia Gillard,’ Libby said adamantly. Both Denise and I looked at her strangely. ‘What? Seriously, she wears a suit better than any of those guys. Especially that purple one she has.”
Anita Heiss, Manhattan Dreaming

“Using Wiradjuri language on the cover of my novel makes a strong statement … regarding the reclamation and maintenance of the traditional language of my family.”
Anita Heiss, Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray: River of Dreams

Polls

What should be our October Read Around the World book (Oceania)?

 
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  9 votes 25.7%

 
  7 votes 20.0%

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (Australia)
 
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35 total votes
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Aussie Readers: Indigenous Australian Literature and Authors 55 213 Oct 03, 2011 09:46PM  
Aussie Readers: February Challenge - Read an Indigenous Author 77 116 Mar 23, 2013 06:26PM  
The Next Best Boo...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Title Game 20241 14292 May 30, 2013 12:53PM  
The Great Barrier...: Aboriginal Books 3 5 Sep 19, 2013 03:45AM  
Australian Women ...: Sally906's 2013 Challenge 20 54 Nov 14, 2013 03:20AM  
“Who do we know in Canberra who wears a suit?’ Libby asked. ‘More importantly, who looks good?’ I asked. ‘Stephen Smith,’ Libby offered. ‘Wayne Swan,’ Denise countered. ‘Peter Garrett?’ Libby asked ‘Greg Combet, most definitely,’ I insisted. ‘Julia Gillard,’ Libby said adamantly. Both Denise and I looked at her strangely. ‘What? Seriously, she wears a suit better than any of those guys. Especially that purple one she has.”
Anita Heiss, Manhattan Dreaming

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message 2: by Anita

Anita Thanks Karen - I'm just getting the hang of this but will pop over to your page right now (and I'll tweet your link!). Much peace, Anita


message 1: by Karen

Karen Tyrrell Thanks Anita for friending,
Please check out Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness,
A Teachers gutsy story of parent harassment, mental breakdown & Recovery. How did I reclaim my life?
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...
Cheers,
Karen :)


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