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Liam Pieper is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist and columnist. His 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of The Year, is a true story of loss, grief, addiction, and mental illness. It’s a comedy.
Feel-Good was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and the Ned Kelly Best True Crime award and widely praised for its honesty. This was followed by Mistakes Were Made, a volume of humorous essays that collectively make up a craven apology for being too honest in Feel-Good Hit. He was co-recipient of the 2014 M Literary Award, and was the inaugural creative resident of the UNESCO City of Literature of Prague, where he completed his first novel The Toymaker, released in 2016.
As a writer and speaker, he uses a light touch to explore serious social issues through storytelling. He has a passion for helping others use story craft to express themselves and better understand the world around them.
On stage in the music room of a crumbling neo-classical mansion in a kind of hippy community in Melbourne. Really. The building was condemnable and the rent was cheap and I was born at home. My father delivered me because the midwife just didn’t turn up.
I was a gangster for a minute, but I was terrible at it. Not terrible like Al Capone, just bad at my job. After that: chef, pizza boy, labourer, journo, travel writer and finally, author.
Mistakes. Much of my work, both journalism and fiction explores consequence – people who have made mistakes in the past and are trying to make amends, and also people who do terrible things because they are convinced what they are doing is right.
I’ve been very fortunate to travel the world to research and write stories; especially India and Prague, where I awarded prestigious residencies to hang out and write my last two books. While I can’t get a dollar of arts funding from the government, every time I apply for money to leave the country, someone jumps at the chance to kick me out. I’m trying to take it as a compliment.
|My three books (a memoir, an essay collection and a novel) have been published through Penguin. I’ve also written for The Saturday Paper, The Age/SMH, The Good Weekend, Smith Journal, Meanjin, The Best of The Lifted Brow, The Sleepers Almanac, and a couple of dozen other publications, and write a fortnightly column for Fairfax media.
What are you passionate about?
It’s a very selfish thing, but I like when people remember they like reading. I like to entertain. The world is so wide and so rich in experience and viewpoints, no author has an excuse to be boring. As part of that, I love helping people learn the craft of storytelling – and how to tell their own stories.
Haven’t I seen you before?
Possibly, but if it was on television I was severely misrepresented. Also, assume the same if you’ve seen me live.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
The greatest thing I’ve ever learned: Search for “Snow Weasel” in Google image search. You’re welcome.