When Holden Sheppard answers my phone call on a Monday morning, I’m surprised he sounds so damn normal. Given his selfie-taking, extroverted style on social media, often shirtless or sporting a brightly coloured mohawk (now removed, but temporarily replaced by a Freddie Mercury-esque moustache, because as explained on Twitter he looks like a “HIDEOUS DEMON BABY TWINK BOY” without it), I expected something different, although I’m not sure exactly what.
Not many authors can write an immersive novel from a galah’s perspective. Particularly a galah with remarkable perceptions of the world around her, dreams of flight and romance, a slight inferiority complex and a wild jealous streak. But not everyone is Tracy Sorensen.
Dana looks peaceful as she waits for me outside the library of her hometown in Bathurst. She’s staring at something – the birds, or maybe the trees – as I approach, rushing due to a mini-traffic jam I had not anticipated. Less than a decade ago our simple chat would not have happened, back when Dana’s agoraphobia, anxiety and depression caused her to retreat into herself for almost fifteen years.
When John “Swanee” Swan takes my phone call he answers with a surprising “Hey girl!”, even though we’ve spoken only once before. I suspect this level of familiarity is something he offers everyone, not just yours truly, since his passion these days is found not at the bottom of a bottle, or even while holding a microphone, but in the simple act of connecting with another human.
Being on the wrong side of 30, I’m very familiar with Gary “Angry” Anderson. Particularly his place in the music world as the loud-mouthed front man of Rose Tattoo, his crazy “bad boy” days, his charity work and youth advocacy. But before our interview last week, I had no idea of the deep-seated spiritual beliefs that form the crux of the man known as Angry.