The Bit In Between

The Bit In Between

by Claire Varley

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 01/08/2015

RRP  $29.99 $26.15
There are seven billion people in the world. This is the story of two of them. After an unfortunate incident in an airport lounge involving an immovable customs officer, a full jar of sun-dried tomatoes and the capricious hand of fate, Oliver meets Alison. In spite of this less than romantic start, Oliver falls in love with her. Immediately. Inexplicably. Irrevocably. With no other place to be, Alison follows Oliver to the Solomon Islands where he is planning to write his much-anticipated second novel. But as Oliver's story begins to take shape, odd things start to happen and he senses there may be more hinging on his novel than the burden of expectation. As he gets deeper into the manuscript and Alison moves further away from him, Oliver finds himself clinging to a narrative that may not end with 'happily ever after'.
Contemporary fiction
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Pan Macmillan Australia
Dimensions (mm):

My book is… the first child I have always wanted to birth. And like any first child, it will one day grow up to kill me and seize the throne… In the mean time, it is an awkward love story about two young Australians who run away to the Solomon Islands in search of their truths. One of them is writing his second novel and soon mysterious coincidences start to take place that make him question how much life is influencing art, and vice versa. 

What I really want to write about is… people, places and the complexities of living life. And, obviously, razor-sharp puns.

I’ll never forget… that you owe me money but often forget the inverse.

My favourite place is… nestled inside the comforting world of my imagination. I’m also quite partial to reading in bed or restaurants where other people are picking up the tab.

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is… probably really boring and blasé to you. I am so risk-averse. I am the poster child for the effectiveness of all that social marketing and public health campaign business that gets shoved down your throat from birth. I’m scared of everything.

The first time I… completed one of these Q&As it was much funnier. I’m sorry.

I regret… that as a child I legitimately thought people would appreciate being gifted pieces of my writing in place of material presents. Such misplaced confidence...

I remember… every little thing as if it happened only yesterday (ie pretty much all the lyrics to both Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, Meatloaf’s greatest gifts to mankind). Other than that, I remember pretty much nothing including your name and where I know you from. I’m sorry.

The one piece of advice I should have listened to but didn’t… ‘You don’t always have to finish the cheese wheel’. This is my own advice and scarcely do I listen to it.

I love… cheese. And writing sentences that make me laugh. I am my own biggest critic and most devoted fan.

I hate… winter. I understand its necessity due to planetary orbit and whatnot, but if we could just fix the globe so that Australia was in perpetual summer that would be ace. I doubt Europe would mind being plunged into permanent winter. They’re so much better prepared than we are.

I wish… more of these answers were about my book. Were they meant to be? I feel I might have misinterpreted the task. Again, I’m sorry.

I can’t say no to… basically anything anyone asks me. It’s a major problem. I’m working on it but I’m essentially a socially anxious people-pleaser and I really want you to like me. Please like me.

Yesterday, I… went to work, thought about all the writing I was going to do when I got home, came home, thought about all the writing I was going to do after I ate, ate, decided Netflix would help me prepare to write, then fell asleep watching Netflix. I’m going to write today. I promise. As soon as I finish this.

What I’m reading right now… Joe Cinque’s Consolation by Helen Garner, Quicksand by Steve Toltz and The Wife Drought by my imaginary best friend Annabel Crabb. Also Stories from the History of Ceylon by Marie Musaeus-Higgins and a raft of Iranian novels as research for book two.

My favourite book growing up… Honestly, it was Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series but I’ll say Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World so I sound less suburban.

My all time favourite book is… either A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz or Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.

The book I would recommend everyone to read… is obviously my own, but in place of that, you can’t not read Hemingway.

Claire Varley

Claire Varley lives in Victoria, Australia on Wathaurong country. Her debut novel The Bit in Between was published in 2015. Her fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in many places, and she has coordinated community development projects in Australia and overseas, including remote Solomon Islands and with refugee and asylum seeker communities in Melbourne's outer north.

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