By the end of 2017 I was creatively and mentally exhausted and beginning to hate the second novel, all that stagnation. Then I briefly left Melbourne on holiday and took mediocre photos of things I found interesting, whispered in my ear. For the first time in a long time I didn’t write a single word while I was away. I simply walked, explored, thought, let myself give into all feeling and emotion, stayed silent as much as possible. And then I returned home.
I now have the hauntings of future work somewhere in the back of my mind.
Suffer my (very selected) holiday photo reel:
Photo 1: my favourite holiday photo
Morning. That cold, made heart burn. I walked further into the forest to make warmth from blood movement. The sound of unknown birds, of old-bone tree limbs stretching. The wind, the wind. I made eye contact with the top of trees, saw X-Ray lungs, a cancer. Reminded myself that I am just another human on the continuum of a spinning planet. I kept walking.
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writer, observer, reader, procrastinator. My debut novel, See What I Have Done, published by Hachette (ANZ), Tinder Press (UK), Grove Atlantic (US), Piper Verlag (German), Editions Payot & Rivages (French), Hollands Diep (Dutch), Edizioni Piemme (Italian), GW Foksal (Polish), Palto Publishing (Turkish), MunhakDongne (Korean)
Pippa Masson, Curtis Brown Australia
Dan Lazar, Writer’s House (US)
Gordon Wise, Curtis Brown (UK)
SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE (Awards and Some Praise)
WINNER OF THE ABIA LITERARY FICTION OF THE YEAR 2018
WINNER OF THE MUD LITERARY AWARD 2018
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018
Shortlisted for the Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction 2018
Shortlisted for the Strand Critics Awards for Best First Novel
Longlisted for the ABIA Matt Richell Award for New Writers 2018
Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2019
For the originality of its voice and the power of its language and imagery, See What I Have Done deserves to be considered a Gothic classic - THE SATURDAY PAPER
See What I Have Done is a meticulously researched and boldly imagined book that crackles with tension throughout. Schmidt's portrayal of Lizzie is haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions about what women are capable of - for better and worse. Both disturbing and gripping, it is an outstanding debut novel about love, death and the lifelong repercussions of unresolved grief. - The Observer
Schmidt is a consummate storyteller whose account of the Borden murders is utterly compelling. - Australian Book Review
Schmidt's writing is rich and confident, painting a vivid portrait of a household with something rotten at its core. It's a strong debut that promises much from an original and compelling new voice in Australian literature. - The Guardian
There are books about murder and there are books about imploding families; this is the rare novel that seamlessly weaves the two together, asking as many questions as it answers. - Kirkus Reviews
[An] unforgettable debut ... Equally compelling as a whodunit, 'whydunit,' and historical novel. - Publishers Weekly
Heralds the arrival of a major new talent ... Nail-biting horror mixes with a quiet, unforgettable power to create a novel readers will stay up all night finishing. - Booklist
This novel is like a crazy murdery fever dream, swirling around the day of the murders. Schmidt has written not just a tale of a crime, but a novel of the senses. There is hardly a sentence that goes by without mention of some sensation, whether it’s a smell or a sound or a taste, and it is this complete saturation of the senses that enables the novel to soak into your brain and envelope you in creepy uncomfortableness. It’s a fabulous, unsettling book. —Book Riot
Eerie and compelling, Sarah Schmidt breathes such life into the terrible, twisted tale of Lizzie Borden and her family, she makes it impossible to look away. —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train