Joanita Wibowo

5 minutes with author Bridie Jabour

5 minutes with author Bridie Jabour
Photo credit: Tiger Webb

In 5 minutes with author, Over 60 asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in the series is Bridie Jabour, journalist, editor and writer. She regularly appears on the ABC, Sky News and Triple J. Her 2018 debut novel, The Way Things Should Be is getting a UK release in the coming August under the title My Not So Functional Family.

Over 60 spoke with Jabour to discuss her favourite literary cliché, the book that made her rethink the world, and the ultimate tip to make writing easier.

Over 60: What is your best writing tip?

Bridie Jabour: Write the first draft as if nobody is going to read it, not your spouse, not your best friend, not your kids, not your mum. Self-consciousness can be the biggest difference to writing or not writing, so just remember nobody else ever has to see it.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

The Erratics by Vicki Laveau-Harvie, which everyone has already read, and Terrific Mother by Lorrie Moore – it’s slim but a punch to the guts.

What book do you think more people should read?

Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis. It taught me a lot about the world.

Paperback, e-book or audiobook?

Paperback! But my son is slowly banishing my books from the apartment to make way for him so I think I will be getting a Kindle soon.

How many books do you read each year?

About 30. Sometimes I can read one in a month and other times I can read three in a week – it depends on what I’m supposed to be doing with my time.

What books do you go to for a literary pick-me-up?

Novels by women that you just devour, such as American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld or I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

What is a literary trope that you can’t help but love, if any?

Adult siblings reunited.