Gala Night of Storytelling 2016: The Book that Changed Me: Graeme Simsion
At the 2016 Gala Night of Storytelling, Graeme Simsion – author of The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect, and the forthcoming The Best of Adam Sharp – shares the story of the book that changed his life: Joe Queenan’s The Unkindest Cut.
I’ve read a lot of books. Books have educated me, they’ve inspired me, I’ve written a couple of them … but the book that changed my life, that plucked a 42-year-old business manager running an information technology consultancy who had never written a word of fiction except under duress at school, and catapulted me to where I am standing, gobsmacked beyond my wildest dreams … that book was Joe Queenan’s The Unkindest Cut: How a Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7000 Movie and Put It All On His Credit Card. I finished reading this book, I turned to my wife, and I had a Homer Simpson/Fred Flintstone sort of moment and I said, “We’ve got to do this! We’ve gotta make our own movie!” And she said, “What do you mean? This guy spent almost $50,000, almost destroyed his marriage, and the film was a turkey – what are you thinking?”
Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books.
The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, and has since been sold around the world to over 40 countries. Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script.
The Rosie Project won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book, and was ultimately awarded Australian Book of the Year for 2014. Its sequel, The Rosie Effect, was released in 2014 to great acclaim and also became a bestseller.