Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Author of the month - November 2008

Joy Jobbins: The Rural Bohemia of Eltham

Eltham Library
Tuesday 11 November 2008
7.00pm - 8.00pm

Joy started writing anecdotal stories and when her daughter, Sheridan (herself a writer) read what she had written she wanted to know how Joy found herself climbing the hill from the Eltham railway station up to Stanhope with two little boys, knowing that I was such a dyed-in-the-wool Sydneysider. So Joy began to think about those years and it seemed best to go back to where and when it all began. ‘Shoestring’ therefore starts in 1927 and ends in 1972.Slowly the book began to take shape and became a story that was part social history, part the trials and tribulations of juggling a marriage and career as a female executive in a major, male dominated industry and partly about the little M-roofed cottage bought from Arthur Munday, the local greengrocer and doyen of Justus J├Ârgensen’s Montsalvat. Joy named the house, ‘Shoestring’ as that’s what we were buying it on, but the lifestyle they enjoyed at the time was rich in friendship, fun and folly and thus the title for her book Shoestring

Joys answers the the YPRL 5 quick questions

1. Can you tell us why you became an author/illustrator?
When I was a child I wanted to be either a writer or an artist. My youth was largely spent reading and scribbling.

2. What is your all time favorite book? How would you describe it to other readers?
As for my all-time favourite book, I guess it would have to be Axel Munthe’s ‘The Story of San Michele.

‘The Story of San Michele’ was first published in 1928 and I came across it when I was in my late teens. ‘The Story of San Michele’ is about Munthe’s life as a doctor; his love of animals; the cholera plague in Naples; the use of hypnotic suggestion in healing; his vision and the discovery of precious antique marble fragments from the villa of Tiberius, the Roman Emperor who used Capri as his get-away home from the summer heat.

3. Where or from whom have you been inspired or given ideas?
I began writing little anecdotal pieces about the wonderful years we spent in Eltham and about the fabulous people who populated the rustic hills and dales. When my daughter, Sheridan (herself a writer) read what I had written she wanted to know how I found myself climbing the hill from the Eltham railway station up to Stanhope with two little boys, knowing that I was such a dyed-in-the-wool Sydneysider.

4. What is something fun from your childhood that you can remember about yourself?
During the primary school years I spent most of the time at school looking out the window at Bondi Beach and daydreaming about the swim across the beach to the baths at the southern end, where we kids would toss our penny tram fares home into the deep end and dive for them.

5. What advice would you give to new writers/illustrators?
Most importantly don’t give up. You might need to polish your words over and over until they say what you want them to say and remember what Omar Kyam said:

‘The moving hand doth write
And having writ moves on
Nor all your piety nor wit
Can lure it back
Or cancel half of it’

Also, the written word is a powerful tool - the pen is mightier than the sword!

1 Comment:

yplocalhistory said...

Joy's story is an inspiring one. To also face the challenge of writing her autobiography is also inspiring. Well done Joy and we look forward to listening you speak at Eltham library.

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