Susannah Fraser Interviews Kate Liston-Mills

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 Feature image from KATELISTON-MILLS 

Growing up as a young girl in Pambula, Kate was “super uncool”. She read the Silver Brumby while everyone else discussed The Baby Sitter’s Club. She watched the Man from Snowy River most days of the week and spent far too many afternoons bored at her Nan’s. These Australian themes appear to have left their mark on Kate and are explored in her new book, THE WATERFOWL ARE DRUNK! which launches on the 10th June in Wollongong. This short story collection is based in her hometown of Pambula and traces loss, hope and connection through a family living in a small coastal Australian town.

These short stories are woven together to paint a portrait of a family experiencing the ups and downs of life, in a community where relationships are important and tea and bickies are the comforts that make the roller coaster all the more sweet, and a little more bearable.  I won’t delve too much into the content here, but you can read our REVIEW.  I will highly recommend you grab yourself a copy and read it. It is a fantastic book.

I was running late for my Skype interview with Kate. As I clutched my bags and scrambled for a seat on the bus, I managed to text her a quick update on my whereabouts. Kate messaged back – she was in the garden and covered in mud. Would that be ok? She would feed the dog and get tea ready. She sounded like a character in her book – warm, friendly, domestic. 

As the bus jerked through tight inner city streets, I realised I have known Kate, distantly, for about ten years.  I met her on a stinking hot summer’s night in Sydney through a mutual friend. She has popped up in my life about once a year, at various gatherings. My impressions of her were always of fabulous hair, a hearty laugh, and an ability to talk to anyone. However, I knew nothing about Kate, the Writer, and on the verge of her book launch, I was curious to find out!  Continue reading