First NationsInterviewLisa FullerThe Garret At HomeWriterYA

At home with Lisa Fuller

Lisa Fuller is a Wuilli Wuilli woman from Eidsvold, Queensland, and is also descended from Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka peoples. Ghost Bird is her debut YA novel. She received the 2017 David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer, the 2018 Varuna Eleanor Dark Flagship Fellowship, and was a joint winner of the 2018 Copyright Agency Fellowships for First Nations Writers.

Lisa is an editor and publishing consultant, and is passionate about culturally appropriate writing and publishing.

At home with Lisa Fuller

TRANSCRIPT

ASTRID: Lisa Fuller is a Murri woman from Eidsvold, Queensland. Her 2019 debut novel Ghost Bird has taken out several awards in 2020, and in this interview Lisa reflects on her writing process, the respect required for telling other people's stories and she gives us a hint at her next works in progress.

Welcome to The Garret, Lisa.

LISA: Thanks for having me, Astrid.

ASTRID: It is such a pleasure to talk to you. Now. I remain in lockdown in Melbourne, but I know that you are not in Victoria. Where are you at the moment, Lisa?

LISA: I'm in Canberra. So we're pretty lucky. I think we've had max just under 120 cases and we're all free at the moment. Sorry.

ASTRID: No, look, I envy you and well done. Lisa, today, we are going to talk about Ghost Bird, which is your debut, YA novel, but before we jump into Ghost Bird, I actually have some questions about a piece you recently published in Kill Your Darlings. This was published on the 5th of October and it was called ‘Why Culturally Aware Reviews Matter’. Lisa, I think that the Australian book review industry has so many problems. It has structural problems and it has kind of social community problems, for want of a better description, but I was astounded by your piece. Thank you for writing it.

Can you, for those listening who obviously haven't read your piece, can you introduce us to what your point was and one of the many flaws in our book review industry?

LISA: I think it just came out of that feeling that every time I go to read a review about Ghost Bird, it's a really unsafe space. It's quite scary actually sometimes. And it's not even just bad reviews, because I'm even grateful like for the one-stars. I mean, it stings, it's not fun, but there's always that dread of what you're going to get when you open that up. Because there's just so much ignorance in this country about the way we use racist language and the systemic racism and the structural racism that's worked its way into our society. So people can be very well-meaning and I can really be very nice. And look, I have actually been really, really lucky with my reviews. People have been really nice and I haven't had to deal with anything super bad, but there's always that hint of stuff going on and the piece opens up with a call from my Mum because I call her my stalker because she gets all the news about Ghost Bird and she calls me and tells me. And yeah, so she she's like, ‘Daughter, you've got a really good review. It's super nice. I love it. We'll just, we'll ignore it, those words’.

So yeah, it came from that place of being a first-time writer and having to kind of deal with this in the first instance for the first time, especially when I'm writing about my community, my culture, my spirituality.

ASTRID: Mothers are number one fans aren't they?

LISA: Oh my God. She's hilarious. She's so obsessed. It's not even funny.

ASTRID: I like to think that she's proud. I'm really glad that you made the distinction between you don't mind getting a one-star review. It's the content of the reviews and the language of the reviews and the perspective, I guess, of the reviews that is more of a problem. I mean, obviously everybody wants a five-star review, but that's not what you're critiquing in this piece in Kill Your Darlings, you're talking about culturally safe spaces, which are not always available in the Australian literary and publishing industry.

I don't think that we're a bad industry, but I also don't think that we've got anywhere near where we need to yet. And I include myself in that. I'm a white woman who is constantly learning and trying to do better in the industry, but I just wanted to thank you for that piece. Because as I said before, I do think there are so many problems in our review culture, but you've added another one that I would like to pay attention to and do better in my own life as well. So thank you, Lisa.

LISA: No worries, thank you.

ASTRID: But now for the exciting bit, can you introduce our audience to Ghost Bird?

LISA: Oh, mate. I suck at this. Ghost Bird is actually about twin girls, Stacey and Laney. They're in their last year of high school and Stacy's the good girl, she's studying, but she's doing it all because she's just desperate to get out of her hometown. She's convinced there's something better out there than the racist world of a town of 500 people in rural Queensland. And then Laney is very much about, she wants to stay. She wants to fight. She's often doing things she shouldn't be doing, but yeah.

So one night Laney sneaks out with her boyfriend and she doesn't come home. So Tace has to, well, they can't get a police interested in finding Laney because they figure she's just another runaway and the mob comes together and they stop looking for her, but Tace gets excluded and pushed off to the side and she sort of has to battle family taboos, cultural taboos, community taboos, spiritual taboos, and she's got to take it all on to figure out what happens to her sister.

ASTRID: It's quite a different YA novel. I'm a 30-something-year old woman who does dabble in YA and read quite a bit of it. I think everybody should actually, and I struggled to categorise the novel. I mean, obviously it's YA, but it didn't have a lot. And I mean this in a very positive way. It didn't have a lot of the really obvious tropes that you sometimes find in YA. YA is about firsts, often and this was not the first kiss or the first breaking of the rules or whatever. This was much more profound. And I don't know, much more... I don't is the wrong word, but it was just much more. You're not speaking to a potential YA audience as if they don't have real life experience already. Even though it's not as much as adults and they don't have real life consequences in their day-to-day decision-making et cetera. I really appreciated that. What has been the response of your readers? Because of course Ghost Bird was published in late 2019 and has taken out lots of awards in 2020.

LISA: It's actually been really lovely. When I was writing Ghost Bird I was convinced it wouldn't be YA because of there's a lot of swearing, there's violence, there's mature themes in there. And I just didn't think back in our day you couldn't even get a, if a book had a single swear word in it, it was not allowed in the school. But then when I won the David Unaipon, the beautiful people at UQP were just like, ‘Well it's way YA to us. But if you want it to be adult it's up to you’. And they kind of gave me that choice. So I actually called a fair few people who are fellow writers and friends, and I had a yarn with them and I chose YA deliberately, because when I was writing this, I was really thinking about what I went through as a kid and how isolating it was to not see anybody in any form of media that looked like me, that sounded like my Mum, that was dealing with the things I was dealing with that I wasn't really able to articulate yet what I was going through.

And then also thinking about my nieces and nephews and my younger cousins who are of that age now and getting older, I just don't want them to grow up in a world like that. And I wanted them to be able to pick something up and see themselves in it and be really proud of themselves. Because a lot of the stuff that's out there about us in the mainstream is it's all very negative. It's all we're the problem, we have problems. I'm not saying we don't have problems. Everybody's got problems. And I'm also not saying we should sweep stuff under the rug and ignore it. There's a long history there that needs to be acknowledged, but that is not all who we are. Nobody's all one thing.

And my experience, I was dirt poor growing up, but oh my god, we were rich in love and community and family. And it didn't matter how broke you were, if you had no food, people would come together and that's... I've heard people say Ghost Bird reads like a love letter to my community, and that is what I hoped all along.

ASTRID: That's a really beautiful description and response to get from readers.

LISA: I'm a bit annoyed though, because none of them back home have read it.

ASTRID: Well, they haven't read it?

LISA: Only my Mum and my sisters have read it that I know of. I know a couple of people from Eidsvold have read it, but I don't know anyone in my actual family, like my extended mob, who've read it.

ASTRID: I am surprised by that. So, we're about the same age and you referred to in our time growing up, I was a massive reader as a child and as a teenager and like you, I never read a story with First Nations characters and that is a gap in my education. I mean, it wasn't there for me to read, but it is not an experience I had and I'm genuinely interested in if a kid like me now had a better choice of reading, would it just be part of their world as it should be? Or would they notice? I'm just wondering about as Australian literature gets better and more inclusive, what the kids think and feel and how they respond.

LISA: It's a weird thing, most of the people I've spoken to are adult women like us in our thirties! I've had a couple of really nice reviews. So, the Squishy Minnie bookstore had I think his name was Fergus, he was 16 years old and I loved his review. It was so thoughtful, and just to actually have people who of that age reading it and saying that they enjoyed parts of it, it made them think, was really great.

ASTRID: Yeah. That's something for me to contemplate more.

LISA: I don't really know to be honest. Because yeah, I've had people call me, like I said, I've had people call me and say, ‘Oh, I gave it to my 16-year-old. I gave it to my 17-year-old. They loved it’. I've had so many teachers and librarians get in touch with me and they're excited, but the students don't really sit there and say much in those talks books and yeah. I'd love more feedback. I'd love to know what they think.

ASTRID: So how long did it take you to write?

LISA: It was part of my Masters. The whole process was really long because I had to go home and sit down with my aunties, do the whole permissions and protocols. And I think I started it back in 2014 or 2013, somewhere in there.

ASTRID: Okay. I'm going on a limb, that's six or seven years, which is not short Lisa, but also it is certainly not really long for a debut novel either. So, there is always that.

LISA: I did surprise myself with this one because it's not... You hear a lot of authors talk about how they've thought about a story for a really long time. And someone you're interviewing the other day, her name escapes me, but she'd been picky about her books and she was 18 or something. I'm like, well, I have those ideas, but this was one that came out of the masters. I was originally supposed to write my grandfather's story for my masters, but we lost him. And I had a really lovely supervisor, Anthony Eaton who's another YA write. He gave me all the time I needed to grieve And when we got back in he's like, ‘Okay, so what do you want to do now instead?’

And I sent him four ideas and of course he picked the hardest one. The one I didn't really want to do, which was about the twin girls back home in my community. Because I didn't, I'd been trying to write about my mob pretty much since I was a teenager, but I could never get it right, because it's partly small-town life, but it's also partly a culture in that you know each other's history, you know everything about each other. It's not just you're meeting someone, you actually know everything about them. And if you don't know that, you know all the gossip or the rumours.

So, trying to work that into a narrative without just doing these gigantic info dumps was so impossible for me for a really long time. So, when Anthony kind of chose that fourth one, which only he would do. It was kind of a chance for me to push all that other stuff that was bubbling around in my head aside and focus on just Stacy and Laney and who they were as characters. And I think I accidentally wrote quite a lot of me, my sister and my Mum in there. But I I think most debut authors will tell you that.

ASTRID: Yeah. It's always a question I want to ask, and I know that really a lot of first-time authors hate it. How much of you is in your novel? So thank you for coming out and helping me to avoid that question. But now that you've revealed that, what is that like? You've mentioned permissions, not just from your immediate family, but from your wider community as well. How do you navigate the personal interactions that you have in real life and the respect that you have for people in real life, with what you bring to the page?

LISA: It's been really difficult because I haven't lived on community since I was 17. I moved away for uni and that was kind of it. I had to follow the work. I was really lucky, I was a joint winner of a fellowship and the year I was doing my masters. So that actually allowed me to go home and sit down with my mob for six weeks. When I sat down with my aunties, the agreement we kind of made was no real people, no real mobs, so family groups and no real historical events. And that was kind of my promise to them. Things kind of changed a bit, but I did have to go back and get more permissions.

The grandfather in the story is absolutely 100 per cent my grandfather. Writing him was an important part of my grieving process. He was an amazing man and so I had to go back and talk to his children and get their permission to do that. The thing with the accidentally writing me, my sister and my Mum into the story, total accident. I thought I'd been completely original and totally creative and then my Mum and my sister started reading the first few chapters and they just they laughed at me ever since, but luckily they think it's really flattering.

I think my big sister said to me, ‘You could have been much meaner to me’. And I'm like, ‘Yes, I could've’. But I'm lucky in that they're really supportive. And they've never taken issue with that. My sister used to call me up and say, ‘Where's the next chapter of my story? I need to know what happens to me’. I'm like, ‘This not your story’. But, yeah.

With the community stuff, I was really lucky because I had my aunties there supporting me through it. It's been weird because I spent seven years in publishing. So I've got a fair bit more experience around appropriation and the bad things that can happen. And so, they gave me permission to do things that I didn't do in the book, because I feel very protective of it. And I'm very wary of things being taken that shouldn't be.

ASTRID: Thank you for saying this and bringing this to the audience of The Garret. I am aware there has been and continues to be lots of disrespect and appropriation and a variety of other things happening in the publishing industry around the world, but also in Australia. And because I've been Googling you Lisa, and because I've been researching you before this interview, I have seen you comment and say that you have contacted some authors and ask them about did they get permission and did they have the right to tell the story? And they never got back to you. That really struck with me. They didn't have to reply to you, but they do have to be accountable to the public and the people in their life and the people whose story they've taken or the people whose story they are telling. I guess, what was your impetus to contact them and were you surprised that they didn't get back to you?

LISA: Honestly, the impetus was usually I found a book that I love and I want to keep loving this author and their work. And I've picked up racist stuff before and I've just chucked it and just said, ‘I will never read that author again’. The reason I was reaching out is I wanted to have a conversation. I wanted to know, maybe it wasn't in the book, maybe they did do the protocols, maybe they've got it all down and it's just not there. And they can tell me, and then I can continue to enjoy their amazing writing. And then the silence. I mean, if you look, I'm not the fricking arbiter for everybody else's culture, a lot of this stuff is not even about my culture, but being a First Nations woman, I know the problems there. And I think with my own writing, I've just become extremely cautious about it and very worried about it.

And as somebody who loves speculative fiction, I'm now starting to realise just how much of that stuff gets taken either inadvertently accidentally or deliberately. And I think once upon a time, that's how it was, but I don't think that's the case anymore. There is so many resources out there for writers to understand the ethics of this process. And we're having these discussions in our communities, literary communities, about this stuff. What I say to my students is you can write whatever you want, absolutely. I don't believe in censoring people, but at the same time, I absolutely have the right to judge your work as well as. As does everybody else. Once you let a book out to the world, it's really kind of no longer yours. And so, when the silence though is the thing that gets me more than anything, because it just smacks of privilege.

And that I just cannot stand. I'm not asking people to justify themselves to me. I just want to know so that I can make an informed decision as a reader. I actually have, I work as a freelance publishing consultant. I've worked with non-Indigenous writers, writing content about Aboriginal characters and anybody who works with me, the first thing I will say to them is, ‘I'm a Murri woman, this is I'm from this location. I can't give cultural permissions, but I can help guide you through a more appropriate process’. So anybody who works with me has to be working with the mob and the community and the elders of that community, that they're writing about before I'll even have anything to do with it.

It's one of those things where working with someone like say Trace Balla, her books, you open it up and either in the front matter of the end matter, there's a huge explanation of who she's worked with, what the permissions, protocols were, who she's spoken with, who's helped her. And that's all I'm looking for. I'm looking for people explaining. Because as soon as you go through that process, because it's long and it's hard and it's difficult. As soon as you go through that process, you want to shout it from the rooftops you did all that hard work. Where somebody who doesn't say that stuff I'm immediately wary.

ASTRID: And of course for your readers, you do include an author's note in Ghost Bird. And you acknowledge who you spoke to and the approach that you took. I'm a reader, I'm not a writer, Lisa, but I am a reader and a person who loves writers and the work that they do daily. I feel, I love having this conversation with you and other writers because I'm horrified when I look at my own bookshelf and the patterns of my reading as a teenager and in my twenties.

LISA: Don't be horrified. It was what was going on at the time. I've got the same thing on my bookshelves.

ASTRID: I'm sure. We're the same age. I'm sure you do, but I'm horrified because the conversations weren't happening and now they are happening. And although that's not enough, it is a beautiful thing. Like you, I love speculative fiction and my goodness, that genre as well as science fiction and as well as fantasy, as much as I love them, has a lot to answer for.

LISA: It really does. And look, as much as I love speculative fiction, it's pretty upsetting because I feel like their 30 years behind where everybody else is. And I've had very strange encounters with writers who feel entitled to take cultural elements. And I mean, I say this to my students all the time, I absolutely think being inclusive is an amazing thing for all writers to do and think about. But the reality is, if you don't know, if you don't know the people, if you don't know the experience, if you're not part of any minority, I don't care what minority you're LGBTQI+, neurodiverse people, anyone of a minority culture. If you don't educate yourself correctly, you will inadvertently spit out stereotypes. You will inadvertently perpetuate ignorance. And that is not okay. It's 2020. Back in the 1990s, okay. It was a darker time where we're grown up, we're more grown up now. So, let's act like it.

ASTRID: Oh look, absolutely. I could not agree more Lisa. And we've just had this discussion and I feel like I might not have made this clear enough for those listening to The Garret, Ghost Bird is an exceptional work. Not only has it won quite a few awards, including the 2020 Readings Young Adult Fiction Prize, but it's a captivating read that honestly it should be on everybody's Christmas lists. And I don't say that about every book that I read on The Garret.

LISA: Aw, thank you.

ASTRID: My only wish is that my nieces were old enough to read this yet. They're not quite, but it's on the future nieces of Astrid reading list. Now changing tack a little bit, Ghost Bird came from your masters. And I know that you are undertaking a creative writing PhD at the moment, not all writers have to do higher study, not all writers have to go and do a PhD to learn the craft or to produce their works. But I am always fascinated by writers who choose to do so. Can you tell me about that choice that you made to push through the academic side as well as obviously the creative side?

LISA: I think it helps that I'm a learning addict. I am a little bit sad I'm doing my PhD now because I'm like, ‘Where do I go from here?’ But I think every time my work life balance has tipped too much to the work side and I've become too tired and all my creativity vanishes and then slowly but surely I start to get punished for not exercising my creativity. So then I'll end up, I must make space in my creative writing. I know, I'll go off and I'll go to a graduate diploma. And it's just constantly been that, it's like forcing space in my life for my writing. And there is no having somebody else to be accountable to and deadlines where you've got an assignment and it must be written, but also having somebody like Anthony Eaton supervise me, give me comments.

I honestly feel that man has made me a better writer. He's so awesome. And being able to work with all the people out at UC where it's so supportive and we're all really creative. And, but like anybody, work life gets in the way, people have families, people have jobs and then your creativity is always the last thing on the conveyor belt. And it just keeps getting pushed back, pushed back. So that's why always with the research, I think in the university.

ASTRID: I love that. Also that is a mark of a good teacher. You said that he chose the hardest one that you didn't want to write and now you're thanking him for it. So, there's always that. In your PhD, do you know what creative work will come out of it that you intend to publish?

LISA: Yeah. It is a YA novel. Maybe more near adult, I don't know yet. It's actually a young Aboriginal girl living and studying on a very non-Indigenous campus so it's, yeah, kind of replicating what I went through. Suddenly being completely cut off from community, dumped in a completely different culture, having a weird accent that people judge you for, having no understanding of cultural difference or how the communication styles are completely different and struggling to be in that moment. But she gets drawn into a self-development group, which she thinks will help her develop those skills. And there's something very sinister going on underneath it all. It's actually turning out to be spooky again, which was not my goal, but...

ASTRID: That's what you like to play.

LISA: Apparently.

ASTRID: Will there ever be sequel to Ghost Bird?

LISA: Yeah, I'm working on it. I miss the characters. It sounds so bizarre, but I miss Tace and May and yeah, and I've got a really big crush on Sam, man.

ASTRID: I think everybody who reads the book has a crush on Sam, but May was my favourite character, Mad May.

LISA: Oh, really?

ASTRID: Yeah.

LISA: Why?

ASTRID: I'm no longer 17. So that might have something to do with it. But also, she felt like I would have liked to know her story when she was 17. And I also feel like maybe one day I would like to grow up and be a woman like that.

LISA: What, crazy?

ASTRID: Well, how she is at the end – she has an arc! But yeah, I don't know, I'm not a teenage reader of YA fiction and I find myself interested in Mad May. So, if she's in the sequel, I'm going to be very happy.

LISA: I actually had this really lovely email from a teacher saying that her and her grade nines had just read it and they were really stocked with it. And they wanted to know if there was a sequel and I sort of said to them, ‘Yeah, well, ideas of popping’. But I said, ‘Who would you like to narrate the next novel?’ And they actually wanted Mad May to write it. Which I found fascinating. I did not think that they would go there.

ASTRID: That's very cool. Good class.

LISA: Oh yeah. Some of these teachers and librarians, man, they're so cool now. They're so open to it.

ASTRID: When you get a good teacher or a good librarian, the whole world can open up for someone.

LISA: Absolutely. Yeah.

ASTRID: Just the whole world. Now you have published your first work, Ghost Bird. It's done very well. You've attracted the critical acclaim, but also there are readers and there are reviews. There will be a sequel. I'm interested in your personal experience in the Australian publishing industry, which is relatively small by global standards. Sometimes there is quite a bit of support or fuss around a first time novel and then nothing much happens. And it's almost like you went to the Valley of Death and I'm... Well, the Valley of Death, that's a really harsh way of saying it, but there's kind of no longer that first time gloss around an author and there's just the expectations and the deadlines and the timelines and all of those kind of more business procedural, commercial type considerations. And I'm interested, almost a year after you publish Ghost Bird, how are you finding that and have your perceptions of the industry changed as a professional in it?

LISA: That's a big question. Like I said, I was in a small publishing house, but it was non-fiction for seven years, but it's been very weird sitting on this side of the desk. All the things that I knew not to do, like don't do the grateful author thing and just sign everything without reading it first and I actually went to my old director for help with that one, because I never dealt with contracts. I never dealt with rights. I was always the editorial and production side. So, she was amazing. I don't know, see because I sit in Canberra, right. And sometimes it can feel really like you're, because you're not in Sydney and you're not Melbourne, you're not in Brisbane, those big publishing spaces, you're kind of just off on your own and that's really odd question just because of where I'm sitting.

Because I actually won a Black & Write Fellowship back in 2019 and I had the enormous privilege of working with the lovely women there and people there and it means that my next book is already has an offer from a publisher.

ASTRID: Congratulations.

LISA: Thank you. That's real exciting. It came through last week.

ASTRID: Oh my goodness! That is new news. Congratulations.

LISA: Thank you. I'm really, really stoked because this one's middle grade and I wrote it actually is this really cool process where I would send chapters to my nieces and it's my two oldest nieces and they're off on an adventure and they would have to send me back letters with drawings, either from the chapters I sent them or where they think it's going to go. And then I would have to try and find a way to surprise them.

ASTRID: Okay. So let me get this straight. You have a contract for your next work, which will be a middle grade book. And this actually came from a world that you were creating for your nieces and they have participated by inspiring the direction or inspiring you by providing artwork?

LISA: Yep. 100 per cent.

ASTRID: That is, I don't even know what adjective – that is amazing, that is gorgeous, that is fascinating. So well done.

LISA: Thank you. And yeah, so it was odd because this was all happening as the Ghost Bird stuff was happening that I was writing all this stuff. I didn't have the pressure of the second book. Since Ghost Bird has been out, I've had the extreme second bookitis happen, even though it's technically third book, I guess. It's interesting because I feel like people are chasing me now and asking me for my opinions and to write things, which is a little bit scary. Because before this, nobody gave a shit about what I thought and I was okay with that. I'm an introvert, I like sitting there in my corner and doing my thing. But now people are actually looking at me and going, ‘So what do you think?’ Do you care? Do you really want to know?

ASTRID: I think that's a good thing. Can I also say when I was Googling you and read your bio, in your bio, you actually refer to your niblings, your nieces and nephews. And firstly, I love that word and consider it underused. And secondly, I am also a very feisty aunt of niblings and I love the fact that you have it in your bio and that you are actually going to publish a work written for and almost in collaboration with kind of your niblings. There should be an award for that.

LISA: Oh my. The display book where I've got their letters is just, it melts me every time I look at it.

ASTRID: Will that be a series?

LISA: Oh, I'm so excited. Yes, because the younger ones are really upset that they don't have a book, but it was always the plan because it was never going to be this published thing. It was always just me wanting to one, I was missing them like crazy. As you would know, being an auntie, they're my world, I love those kids. I was missing them like crazy, they were at that age where build their bit of support with some literacy is always a good thing. I want them to be readers, I want them to be writers even. I'm excited to see what they want to do with their creativity. It was always built in that there was going to be extra ones for the younger ones as they get older.

And it was very cool because once lock down hit, I was actually reading the completed book. Because I just finished editing it with the lovely people at Black & Write. I started reading them the edited version and they would set me up on Bluetooth and my Mum, my sister and her six children would all be in this room listening. And it was so cool because one, they got super excited about it. My Mum started recording the conversations the kids would have after each chapter. Because they were just like, ‘Oh my God, what's going to happen next. And then there's this’. And then out of the blue, my nephew would be like, ‘And we're going to be knights’. And there was no knight mentioned, but, okay. I think I've got to make him a little warrior now, of course. Yeah. And then there was the stuff about my second youngest nephew, he was convinced him and his sister, the youngest sister, were convinced I was inside the Bluetooth speaker. Mum actually caught him one day tapping on it going, ‘Aunty! Aunty!’

ASTRID: Oh, that's hilarious and gorgeous all at once. Does this book have a name?

LISA: Oh, it's called Wash Pool at the moment.

ASTRID: Wash Pool. All right.

LISA: Yeah.

ASTRID: Listeners, Ghost Bird should be on your Christmas list. And I'm so very excited about Wash Pool coming up.

LISA: Aw, thank you. I'm excited too, because it sort of takes me back. It's kind of almost Narnia-esque. The girls go off on an adventure, they get transported to another world, they've got to fight battles and protect adults from doing stupid things and, yeah.

ASTRID: As adults I want to do.

LISA: But yeah, I feel like I've got a bit of a track there though. What did you ask me originally?

ASTRID: No, that was perfect. I just asked you about the process and how it worked with your niblings and your explanation just reinforces the power of good storytelling.

LISA: Oh, I hope sorry. You grow up around all these amazing storytellers and you just feel like you just want to do them proud of me.

ASTRID: I think you are doing them proud. Lisa, thank you so much for coming to The Garret.

LISA: Thank you so much for having me. It was lovely to talk to you.