In a month long two-way email interview with award winning Melbourne author Alec Patric, I uncover writing craft inspiration and a mutual love of beautifully crafted guitars. Patric is the author of Black Rock White City (2015), acclaimed novella Bruno Kramzer (2013), Las Vegas for Vegans (2012) and The Rattler & Other Stories (2011).
Alec Patric. Image copyright Alec Patric
Caroline Barron: Tomorrow is Saturday, the beginning of the school holidays. We’re heading off as a family to Lake Rotoiti, which is in the middle of the North Island. Maori legend has it that a young warrior was hunting for delicacies for his pregnant wife when his dog ran off chasing a Kiwi through the forest. When the dog returned a few hours later, wet and sicking up half-digested fish, the warrior realised there must be a lake nearby and searched the forest until he found Lake Rotoiti (and Lake Rotorua). So, tomorrow, I have no work commitments and it’s looking like the perfect day.
Saturday, no work commitments; how does the perfect day look?
One year ago, Katharine and I took time out from real life: Kath spent three months in Wanaka with her family, and I travelled to Hong Kong, France and Spain over two months, with mine. We exchanged letters, posted here under ‘Letters to a Friend’. We promised each other we’d retain the sense of peace and clear direction we’d garnered from our time away.
A year on we rekindle our letters to examine what remains from last year’s discoveries. Katharine is in Bali for a two-week holiday and I’m…I’m at home, sweet home.
17th October, 2014 @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland, NZ
“I can’t give you one favorite book. How ‘bout five?” I say, squeezing my beer bottle for inspiration.
“Nope. Cheating. You gotta give me one.” Willy Vlautin – award winning author and alt-country superstar – rocks back and forth on his toes and smiles a smile that stretches like telephone lines from his eyes to his chin. My carriages are momentarily uncoupled.
“Here’s a song I wrote for my horse, Rudy.” Willy Vlautin at the Tuning Fork, Auckland, NZ. Image copyright Caroline Barron