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Princes Park: 4 pm, Friday

Journal page:

Waiting for another round of edits for Blue Hour. Can’t sit still. Ride bike to the park because at least then I’ll be too tired to think about the work ahead, the anxiety that’ll inevitably arrive with it. I haven’t written in a few weeks because my brain is so tired and my hands won’t cooperate with a pen. I don’t even know how to describe things anymore. I should never have taken a small break from writing. Idiot. But I’ve taken my notebook with me. Like always. Time to slow back into words. Ugh. It’s too warm to write now. Sarah, concentrate on what’s around you and write it down otherwise you’ll never do it.

Here: smell of over ripe green grass, of rain that dried up days and days before. Thirsty dirt holding tight to green and white blades, to the tornado of tiny black insects lunging a meter into the air as a dog sprints toward me: that dry-swear fur, of dogs in the back of hot cars, windows down. This the scent of a Friday afternoon in January in Princes Park.

Here: a five year old too big for the light blue tricycle he’s riding. His sibling on a scooter. These mad dash legs. The children sound like crickets.

An older couple walking by me. He: ‘I’m not improving as fast as I want.’ She: ‘yeah’. She draws herself out until she lands on the thing she ought to say. But he’s out of breath, hands begging to hips to slow down, and she says nothing else because… because.

Here: ‘mum! Mummy!’ Somewhere over my shoulder two claps in the air and a dog appears. Shaggy, limping-old, faded ginger fur and flopped ears. Is this mummy? Mummy stirs the insects and they shoot to the sky.

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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) Represented by: 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

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