Anita Heiss

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Anita Heiss

Goodreads Author


Born
Sydney, Australia
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Member Since
June 2012


Dr Anita Heiss is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales and is one of Australia's most prolific and well-known authors of Indigenous literature.

Her published works include the historical novel Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937, the poetry collection Token Koori, satirical social commentary Sacred Cows, non-fiction text Dhuuluu-Yala (To Talk Straight) - Publishing Aboriginal Literature, and a children's book entitled Me and My Mum. Anita has also edited Life in Gadigal Country and co-edited with Penny van Toorn, Stories Without End.

In 2007 Anita released three titles: Not Meeting Mr Right (Random House) for which she won the Deadly Award for Outstanding Contribution to Literature. Her poetry collection
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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…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)
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Not Meeting Mr Right

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Paris Dreaming

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Avoiding Mr Right

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I'm Not Racist, But ...

4.21 avg rating — 53 ratings — published 2007 — 4 editions
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More books by Anita Heiss…

Why I’ll be marching on January 26…


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It’s that time of year again when I feel incredibly tired and anxious. January 26 is only days away and my social media timelines are full of the angst the date brings to those who know, understand and embrace the true history of this country. At the same time, many others are in full swing ready to barbie and party in the name of ‘Australia Day’ (and it’s attached public holiday)....

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Published on January 22, 2020 18:40
Our Race For Reconciliation
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Why I’ll be marching on January 26…



It’s that time of year again when I feel incredibly tired and anxious. January 26 is only days away and my social media timelines are full of the a... Read more of this blog post »
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 M..." 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 ...more "
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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...) addi... 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 Mar..." Read more of this review »
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Back Burning by Sylvia Petter
Back Burning
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Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith
Whiskey & Charlie
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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

“When I met Oodgeroo, I met my mother: not just Dossie’s poise, eyes and Lindt-like skin, but the funny-bugger with a steak knife, buried, a serrated intensity that unsettled me—a boy of elocution lessons and an easier ride,      25 a man of lighter brown travelling, whose tab of overt intolerance came in at insults and one lost girlfriend. I wasn’t there when indignity did its daily round—rarely blunt, rather, a pointed      30 needling that cut near the core, left wounds that broke their stitches every morning I did know that the sharp steel about Oodgeroo was also about my mother. On campus—”
Anita Heiss, Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature

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

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

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Aussie Readers: Indigenous Australian Literature and Authors 55 200 Oct 03, 2011 09:46PM  
Aussie Readers: February Challenge - Read an Indigenous Author 77 115 Mar 23, 2013 06:26PM  
The Next Best Boo...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Title Game 20277 14214 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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