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Susan Johnson: Landing at Muse tonight

Beatrice Smith

Every writer has their personal quirks when it comes to their craft.

For some it’s having complete silence, others must have as much ‘white noise’ as possible. Susan Johnson, prolific author of novels, says her latest work was conceived in a strange setting: home.

Having written in various countries around the world, including a long stint in the UK, Susan returned to Australia to live in Brisbane and will appear with her latest work – The Landing – tonight in an intimate event at Muse in the East Hotel.

The Landing is based around the complex intimacies of a small coastal town…

“Jonathan Lott is confused. His wife has left him for a woman and he doesn’t like living alone. Is it true that an about-to-be-divorced man in possession of a good fortune is in need of a new wife? Would Penny Collins do, divorced herself, school teacher and frustrated artist? What about beautiful Anna, blown in from who knows where, trailing broken marriages behind her? There’s a lot happening at The Landing, where Jonathan has his beach house, and he’s about to find out how much love matters.”

We chatted with Susan about The Landing, writing and her favourite character.

 What motivated you to write The Landing?

I was a passenger in a car, going to a friend’s beach house in Queensland, and as we drove into town he was pointing out, “Over there was where this guy lived who ran off with the woman who lived in that house” and “that’s where the town drunk lives” and on and on.

It was really funny, and I’d been thinking about writing a book set in Queensland for some time — and this struck me as a perfect setting – small, incestuous, all the drama contained in one small space, as if on a stage.

Which character in The Landing was the most fun to write?

Definitely Marie — she’s French born, almost 90, still flirting with any man within shooting distance, terribly vain. She drives her daughter Penny mad — but Marie’s also very bright, and has a long and troubled history. I loved her.

Author Susan Johnson

Author Susan Johnson

What physical location do you find the most inspiration in?

Anywhere that’s not home. Writing The Landing was an exception for me — I usually feel most inspired when I am away from everything known, when I am cast among strangers.

What is your favourite line from The Landing?

“Art was not going to repair what living had wrecked and now she could not find a way to live her life as if it were her own.”

What do you think your next project will look like?

No idea! I’m dreaming my way towards it now…

You can hear Susan talk about her latest work tonight, Tuesday 6 October, at Muse at East Hotel from 7.30pm. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine or soft drink. For more information click here


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

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