Robyn Edwards is a Sydney-based writer who has just completed her first novel, a contemporary story set in Bondi. She shares her writing journey with us, and her future plans.
Robyn Edwards: My Writing Journey
My writing journey started in the 1970s with a love of poetry and Dorothy Porter’s evening classes at the old Darlinghurst Gaol, now reformed as the National Art School. Dorothy had just published her first book of poems, called Little Hoodlums and I was identifying with that tag! Decades later, while completing a Master’s course in Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University, I saw the links between peace activism and poetry and signed up for the poet Judith Beveridge’s literature course.
2018 was my ‘Year of the Novel’. I took a break from paid work, immersed myself in writing, and wrote every day. I now have the draft of a novel that I just had to write and think only I could write. It’s a work of contemporary fiction, lyrical and deeply evoking of place as character.
I wanted to write about the ocean, which I’ve always loved and Bondi Beach, where I’ve lived for most of my adult life, since riding across the Harbour Bridge on my Kawasaki motor bike in the 1970s to live in share houses in Bondi.
My novel explores themes of the social crime of homelessness, belonging and friendship with First Nations people. Ocean waves are the central metaphor and bring all my characters together; a rogue wave, heatwave, and light-wave become the novel’s turning points, washing through the characters and changing them forever.
While I had lots of doubts and questions about my writing adventure, attending weekly writing sessions with other writers helped and encouraged me to continue writing, providing invaluable feedback on each new chapter. Engaging a writing mentor early this year to assist with the last vital chapters and shape of my novel has meant that the first draft is completed!
I am now working on the second draft and aim to have the final MS ready by September of this year. The working title is Blue Wave Bondi.