Author Gillian Polack at My Place

Today, I've the pleasure of hosting author and historian, Australian Gillian Polack, who tells us a bit about Canberra and her own workplace.

Handing over to Gillian...

I'm an Australian writer and historian, and my second novel, Ms Cellophane, has just been released. I live in Canberra, and people have been telling me for years, "You can't write a book about a place like Canberra." They have also been saying, "No-one wants to read about women over forty. I regarded this as a challenge and so, of course, I wrote a novel about all these things. 

The place is important to the novel: not just the city of Canberra (which is a wonderful home - I came for a year 20+ years ago and never quite got around to leaving) but also the house that I invented for my characters. For me, the place one lives and works is terribly important.  I couldn't give you pictures of Elizabeth's place, but I can give you pictures of my workspace, where I create all my noels and write all my history.

My Place:
Canberra is terribly suburban, but for me, the inside of houses belies that suburban nature. People's lives are wonderful and complex and change the insides of houses from merely suburban into something fascinating. Most of the action in my novel takes place in a 3 bedroom pretty standard Canberran house, with sliding doors to the garden, and with a lounge room and a kitchen. 

I can't give you the pictures of the place for the novel, for they exist in my mind, but what I can give you are pictures of how an ordinary lounge room and bedroom in my small unit have become complex and fascinating in their own way, as the place I live and work. There is a hatbox that contains food history teaching tools and is drowning in review books, and a front door that has my workplan for the year; there is another box that looks like a hatbox, but actually contains a disarticulated skull. There are books and more books and still more books. If my home isn't dull, then how could my characters live in dull places?

You can find pictures of Canberra here.

“Life was standing still, waiting for Liz to fall into its trap.” 
Elizabeth Smith, recently made redundant, thinks that her life is deadly dull. She feels like cellophane – like people look right through her, like she’s not even there. A simple redecoration job involving a mirror turns her life upside down.
Through ominous horror and an unexpected romance Liz learns to become a whole person – someone who takes up space in the world, and demands to be herself.
Part gentle love story, part bizarre horror tale, but never, ever boring, Ms Cellophane is a revealing look at one woman’s nightmare transforming her reality in unexpectedly amusing ways.
There is an excerpt on the Amazon webpage: 

There's also me reading a section from it here (with the section being read - which you could use, if it suited:    (Life through Cellophane was what the novel was called in its first edition, with Eneit Press - it became Ms Cellophane when Momentum took it on).

Author Links:


  1. Books can take over! I love your rooms full of books. My house has very cluttered rooms full of books, too! Your blurb is very intriguing and I love the eyes in the mirror on your cover. Best wishes with your books.


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