Stephanie Parkyn – French Love & Obsession

The Joys of Binge Reading

31-01-2020 • 35 mins

Welcome back to The Joys of Binge Reading podcast.  I’m your host, Jenny Wheeler, and here in New Zealand we’ve taken a month out for a summer holiday break - blobbing out at the beach. Now we’re back - rejuvenated and raring to go – in our mission of helping you – our audience - discover popular best sellers you’ll find irresistible reading… Australia’s bush fires have made international news while we’ve been in recess, so it’s fitting to kick off the first episode of 2020 with author Stephanie Parkyn, whose latest book - Josephine’s Garden – explores the love and obsession the discovery of Australian flora and fauna created for Napoleon’s Empress Josephine Bonaparte and nineteenth century science. Links to all the talking points in today’s podcast can be found in the shownotes on The Joys of Binge Reading website.  Feel free to subscribe to the podcast – and leave us comments of what you hear – at Thejoysofbingereading.com Six things you’ll learn from this Joys of Binge Reading episode: The long and challenging road to publicationTransitioning from science to creative artsWhy she loves strong womenThe Australian firesThe writers she admires mostWhat she'd do differently second time around Where to find Stephanie Parkyn:  Website: http://www.stephanieparkyn.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sparkyn.story/  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephanieparkyn/  Website: www.stephanieparkyn.com What follows is a "near as" transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to important mentions. Jenny Wheeler: But now she is. Hello there Stephanie, and welcome to the show. It's great to have you with us. Stephanie Parkyn: Hello. Nice to speak with you, Jenny. Small beginnings Jenny Wheeler: Look, you really should be calling you Dr. Stephanie Parkyn because you have got a PhD in science and you had a very interesting career in science before you turned to writing fiction. I'm wondering, how did that transition occur and was there some sort of epiphany moment, some Once Upon a Time moment when you just knew that you had to write fiction? Stephanie Parkyn, historic fiction author delving into 19th century France Stephanie Parkyn:  I guess I always wanted to write. So when I was a little girl, I was writing short stories and poems and things like that from a very early age. But I put that aside while I was doing my school and then tertiary education, and working as a scientist. But really, it was always there in the back of my mind.  I was always making up stories around me, I guess. So I started to get into it again. And the Royal Society had the Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing. And I thought, well, that sounds like perfect for me.  I tried to do a bit of my fiction storytelling, and I got short-listed in that prize. Manhire Prize a big encouragement So that was a huge boost and encouragement to start writing a novel. And I did start writing a novel while I was working, and that novel has never been published. It's my trial novel, shall we say. But, yes, so I think having it in the background and also that short story prize as a little goal to go for, was a bit of a impetus to get back into the writing. Jenny Wheeler: Yes. Now you're carving out a niche for yourself in the area of historical fiction with books that very much reflect that scientific background. And can you tell us what has drawn you to the stories that you've chosen to tell? First novel - seven years work Stephanie Parkyn: Yes sure. My first novel Into The World, I was drawn to it because it was about scientists, and it was about that early age of exploration, which seems like such a wonderful time when you didn't really know things about the world. Into The World - French botanic adventures in Australia Now we can look it all up online, but then of course, they had to travel to unknown places for the very first time. And

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