Monday, October 21, 2013

Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant with an international reputation. His screen adaptation of The Rosie Project won the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy Script. Simsion lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children, and is currently working on a sequel to The Rosie Project.

A few weeks ago I asked the author about what he was reading. Simsion's reply:
I read a mixture of non-fiction and fiction. Probably half of my non-fiction reading is about writing in all its forms, from drama to songwriting. There’s always something new to learn or an idea that helps a problem I’m working on. Right now: The Cheeky Monkey by Tim Ferguson, who taught me comedy writing. My other non-fiction reading is very broad, with a good dose of science – I once wanted to be a theoretical physicist. Jared Diamond’s The Third Chimpanzee started me on a jag of reading about evolutionary psychology and provided material for The Rosie Project.

My fiction reading is driven by my wife, a voracious reader who knows what I will like, and publishers who send me advance copies to review. And occasionally I choose a book myself, based on reviews and recommendations. I read an advance reader copy of Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and enjoyed it so much I grabbed Silver Linings Playbook. As a screenwriter-novelist, I’m always interested in the craft of adaptation – and this one is a really interesting case study, as well as a totally recommendable book.

Writing has made me a critical reader: it’s hard to relax and just enjoy the story. Reading Ben Schrank’s Love is a Canoe (an advance copy for the Australian edition), I couldn’t help focusing on craft as he interwove his stories of past and present (I was reminded, just a little, of A.S. Byatt’s Possession). But in the end, content triumphed over form and I settled back and enjoyed an insightful take on relationships with a good dose of humor.
Visit Graeme Simsion's website and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Rosie Project.

The Page 69 Test: The Rosie Project.

--Marshal Zeringue