Trudi Canavan and Kaaron Warren at 10.30 – 11.30am
Sean Williams, Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestier at 11.30am – 12.30pm
Karen Miller and Glenda Larke at 12.30 – 1.30pm
Pamela Freeman and Katie Taylor at 2.30 – 3.30pm
To take my mind off the award, I’m sorting papers as I unpack our boxes. I found a folder of early notes for Walking the Tree, when I already had the story in mind but was thinking about the themes, layers and the nitty-gritty.
There is one precious piece of paper where my brilliant mathematician friend, Phil Kilby, figured out the size of my island. In Walking the Tree, schooling consists of the children leaving their home communities at the age of 8 and walking around the tree, stopping in other communities to get to know and understand the people living there.
Given the number of days the children walk and how manyhours a day they could be expected to walk, Phil figured out that my island was approximately 772,882 km squared. Approximately equal to Turkey.
It was important to know how big the island was to give me a sense of space. at first, I thought there would be many hundreds of communities, but as I wrote, a sense of isolation came through, of separation. knowing how big the island was meant i could imagine how far apart the communities were.
Phil is not related to Steve Kilbey, an Australian musical genius. This is the Church’s “Under the Milky Way“, one of those songs guaranteed to stop conversation at parties while everyone sings quietly and reverently.