When Dinuka McKenzie first sat down to write a novel, she had no dreams of publication – or understanding of the craft of fiction. She was the working mother of two young kids, feeling like everyone wanted something from her all the time. All she wanted was to do something that was purely for herself.
Now she’s the award-winning author of The Torrent, a police procedural set in small town Australia.
In episode 51, we talk to Dinuka about why she chose a pregnant small town detective as her main character, how her own experience as a working mum influenced her story, and how she even managed to find time to write with everything else going on in her life (especially when she had a grumpy four-year-old hiding her phone after a Very Important Call)!
Dinuka also shares what it was like to win the 2020 Banjo Prize, the anxiety that comes with achievement, and how she needs to remind herself to step back and enjoy it all.
Dinuka McKenzie is an Australian writer and book addict. Her debut crime-fiction manuscript The Torrent won the 2020 Banjo Prize. She works in the environmental sector and is part of the Writers’ Unleashed Festival team. She lives in Southern Sydney with her husband, two kids and their pet chicken.
Books and authors discussed in this episode
– The Housemate by Sarah Bailey
– The Others by Mark Brandi
– The Shadow House by Anna Downes (from ep 5)
– The Good Mother by Rae Cairns
– Wake by Shelly Burr
– Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor
– Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding
– How to End a Story: Diaries 1995-1998 by Helen Garner
– Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
– A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris