Part Two – Parenthood, nits and Tom Hardy.
Anthony: Do you think it's difficult being an artist in Australia?
Sofie: I can really only speak for myself. I mean, I was an actor for a long time and that was pretty difficult. You’ve got to be resourceful. And I was unemployed. I didn't have the dream acting work that I wanted. That was pretty difficult for a long time. But I should be speaking politically, really, shouldn't I? About what it's like for other people and not just me. I don't know what is it like for other people out there. I like being an artist in Australia. I don't know how politically correct that is to say. I suppose I should be saying things like, we are not recognised the way we should be. All the funding that goes into sport. The way our people don't read enough. I should be saying all those political things. I suppose I'm aware of all of those things. There's not enough money. People aren’t buying enough books. For me personally, I love being an artist in Australia. I consider myself lucky. (pauses) I’ve got to start the car. I've got Bluetooth.
Anthony: Ah, okay. We can wrap it up…
Sofie: That's ok. I'll be driving along a bit.
Anthony: So, you've been talking and done all that with the kids? Got the kids into the car at the same time?
Sofie: No, the kids aren't in the car. I'll Bluetooth. It’s a fantastic thing, which means we can talk as I drive. It's unbelievable.
Anthony: Have you seen that film Locke with Tom Hardy?
Sofie: Because of the kids, I don't see any movies anymore.
Anthony: It's called Locke. The entire film is set in the car while he's talking on Bluetooth.
Sofie: Is it good?
Anthony: It's absolutely brilliant. Well, you know how good Tom Hardy is.
Sofie: Well you see, I'm a bit out of the loop. Before kids I saw every single thing that came out. Every single film, you know. But I'm out. I'm out.
Anthony: Now it's Jimmy Giggle and the Teletubbies.
Sofie: Hahaha pretty much. No it's not. It's Paw Patrol and the Octonauts! Pirates versus Zombies.
Anthony: Haha Dirtgirlworld.
Sofie: No, that's all over man!
Anthony: It's back! It's back. They've done a live action version.
Sofie: Haha no there's no Dirtgirlworld at our place. I've got two boys you know. Maybe that changes things.
Anthony: Alright. What else can I ask you? I guess that was the question really. Has having children changed you as a writer and as a person?
Sofie: Oh God, that's a good question. Has it? My Mum reckons I'm happier now then I've ever been.
Anthony: Yeah? That's nice.
Sofie: Since I've been having kids. That's what she reckons.
Anthony: Mum's know these things.
Sofie: Haha yeah they do. But I am too busy. And that's uncomfortable. It's too much. It's definitely too much as in... So I quietly wrote my book in my own bubble on the edge of having kids, and that suits me. But then I did this. I didn’t know what this was sort of… all going to mean. It was all this, you know, like the publicity and people reading it and going out into the world. I didn't know what this whole sort of thing was going to mean. This career thing.
Anthony: So it's become like that now? It wasn't like that before?
Sofie: Well the Miles Franklin was a wave of publicity that lasted about three or four months. That was a big wave. But this wave has been bigger.
Sofie: Yeah, this wave has been bigger. I don't know why. Maybe because I... I actually don't know why. Maybe the nature of the book or because of that prize or maybe a combination.
Anthony: Combination perhaps. Or now it's easier to say ‘Sofie the Miles Franklin Prize winner…’
Sofie: Exactly. Meanwhile, of course, I still have to do all the same house work. There's a lot of housework.
Anthony: Oh it's chaos. But you've got two kids. That's so much worse than what I had.
Sofie: There's shitloads.
Sofie: You know they’re kids, so they get sick all the time and viruses and all that.
Sofie: Oh nits! I’ve had nits!
Anthony: So have I! Haha
Sofie: I had such bad nits. I thought I’ve got to go to the chemist. But I didn’t know it was nits. I thought I had a scalp condition.
Sofie: Haha It felt like my head was on fire!
Anthony: It brings you back to earth doesn’t it? From Miles Franklin winner to nits. Haha
Sofie: Haha yeah
Anthony: You’ve got to put the stuff in the hair.
Sofie: That stuff doesn't work. You’ve got to use conditioner.
Anthony: Oh really?
Sofie: Yeah. You've just got to put loads in every night for ten days. Literally half a cup of conditioner and comb it through and that's the only way.
Anthony: Oh God. Did you put the plastic cap on the head?
Sofie: haha The whole family had to do it. For ten days.
Anthony: I know. It's shocking isn't it?
Sofie: Did you have them as well?
Anthony: Before I became a father, I was a step parent to three. So all five of us had it at the same time. And it would be the same thing.
Sofie: Oh ok. So are you still that step parent of three?
Anthony: Well they're grown up now, so I don't have to worry about nits. I just have to worry about pregnancies.
Anthony: But I'm not with their mother anymore. I’m a single parent now.
Sofie: Seven year old.
Anthony: Yes. The seven year old. Same mother to the step kids. So she's got four kids and I've got one.
Sofie: Right got it. So it's not as complicated as it first sounded.
Anthony: Well I never wanted kids. So I suddenly ended up with three overnight. It was add hot water and stir. So, it was interesting.
Anthony: Interesting, yeah.
Sofie: I can imagine. What the hell have we done?
Anthony: I know. And it's too late. You can't go back.
Sofie: Haha. You know this guy said to me the other day… look, don't worry about it, because I was saying look, I’ve got to cook every night. He said it only last another twenty years, don't worry about it. haha
Anthony: Oh shit.
Sofie: I better get off the phone. I'm going on the road here.
Anthony: Alright. I don't want you to have an accident or anything. Just quickly to finish up. Have you got something coming up next or going to have a break or…?
Sofie: I’ve got a trip up to Sydney but I can't see myself having much of a break, just because that's not my personal style so much. As soon as I've got the energy and space, I'm sure something will happen.
Anthony: Another adult novel?
Sofie: Who knows? I'm not even sure about that. I just know that I am better when I am writing. I think, you know, I'm a bit physical. Maybe it’s a good way for me to manage myself when I am writing.
Anthony: Okay then Sofie. Thank you very kindly for the chat. I really enjoyed it.
Sofie: It was my pleasure.
Anthony: Take care and drive safe. Check out that Tom Hardy film. Locke.
Sofie: Haha right. I’ll try. Bye now Anthony.
Buy The Choke here
Part One of the Interview here.
Other Interviews Here.