Interview with Goldie Alexander

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Goldie Alexander writes books, short stories and articles for adults and children of all ages. You can find out more about her on her website, which can be found here. Here she talks a bit about writing, and her latest novel for younger readers, Hedgeburners.

When and how did you start writing?
I began writing professionally some 20 years ago. Before that I had some seriously weird jobs until I finally found myself teaching English and History in a number of high schools. That’s why I still love visiting both primary and high schools when they invite me in to talk about my work, take workshops or teach Creative Writing.

Could you tell me a bit about your mystery novel for tweens, Hedgeburners?
"Hedgeburners, an A-Z Mystery".(Illustrated by Marjory Gardner) is loosely based on a series of actual crimes committed in the recent past. This suspense-filled detective book aimed at a ‘tween’ readership poses the question: Who is setting fire to the old cypress hedges in Anna’s suburb?

Anna Simpson insists that her best friend Zach Santisi help her find the culprits. But Zach has other things on his mind and he’s an unwilling participant. Just about everyone these young detectives come across has a motive, and as time goes on there are more and more fires and more and more serious confrontations…

You can find out more and even see a youtube presentation at:

What inspires your writing? Are there any authors who particularly influence your work?

I read very widely (both adult and kids books) so I can’t say any one writer is a greater influence than another. Of course some books appeal to me more than others. When it came to being influenced on the writing of ‘Hedgeburners’, I went back to when I was a kid and those wonderful Famous Five mysteries by Enid Blyton. I wanted to write something that would appeal to Aussie kids living today in settings they’d recognize.

What other books have you written that you can tell me a bit about?
I have written over 60 fiction and non fiction books for adults and kids of all ages. So there are too many to mention individually. Those still in print can be found on my website ( I write science fiction, mystery, historical fiction, magic realism and contemporary stories. I am probably best known for the first of the series My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney Cove, a story about our First Fleet. This is now coming out in its 10th edition next March with a brand new cover. My latest books include a story picture book for readers 7 to 9’s: Lame Duck Protest; and 10 stories for older girls: My Horrible Cousins and Other Stories . Next year this anthology will have a follow up with 10 stories for boys called: Space Footy and other Stories. Also coming out next March is a novel for young readers about Anzac Cove called Gallipoli Medals. I have lots of publishers so I can’t send you to any one in particular, just to my website which has lots of notes about all the stuff I write. Some of my non fiction is co-authored with Hazel Edwards and we enjoy writing plays where we act out the lines and having ideas rushing between us.

Complete this sentence: Outside of writing, my life is...
just as busy. Sometimes I try to imagine myself doing nothing, but I think I could go mad with boredom and look for another activity that is equally creative and demanding. I think I would work at becoming an illustrator.

What are you working on now?
An adult ‘memoir’ cum ‘how to write non-fiction’ I’m calling “Where do you get your ideas?” I hope it will answer some of the questions posed above in more detail.
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