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Liane Moriarty on Meeting Meryl, Living Like The Queen And Her Latest Hit Novel

The acclaimed Aussie author spills the beans on writing best-selling novels and collaborating with Hollywood heavyweights

When I woke up today, my first thought was… Where is my coffee? (It arrived, seconds later, delivered to my bed. I start the day like the Queen.)

In my new book, Apples Never Fall, tennis coach, wife and mother Joy Delaney goes missing, leaving her kids to figure out what happened. If I were to disappear somewhere, I would go…Anywhere that required a passport. As I write this, I’m in lockdown, unable to travel more than 10 kilometres from home. So I’m dreaming of an international holiday.

My children, George and Anna, would describe me as…I had assumed the answers would be: kind, caring, loving, superior to other mothers. But what I got was: ‘sort of floaty’ (floaty?), ‘sleepy’, ‘sneezy’, ‘not that strict’, and ‘kind of naïve about stuff’.

When I release a new book, I feel… Teary and terrified, waiting to hear what people think.

I was truly starstruck when I met… Meryl Streep. I met her at the premiere of season 2 of Big Little Lies. She was just as charming and charismatic and gorgeous as you would imagine. She thanked me for writing the role of Mary Louise, and I tried to make a joke in response. We were shouting over the noise of the party and the bad joke fell flat. I’m actually blushing just thinking about it, but it was still a wonderful moment.

In real life, my frequent collaborator Nicole Kidman is… Warm and caring, loyal and generous, lovely and funny… and very tall.

My favourite place to write is… Hobart, Tasmania.


I seek inspiration for my books from … Everywhere: news stories, podcasts, overheard conversations, anecdotes from friends, family folklore (although, as I have two sisters who are also writers, I have to be quick to reserve the best stories), dreams, things my children say, phone calls from friends, personal experiences. I am always scavenging.

When I watched the television adaptation of  Big Little Lies for the first time, I felt … Thrilled, because it was wonderful, and also cold, because I was on holiday with my family and I’d sat on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night to watch the entire series on my iPad.

My career highlight has been … Hearing that my fifth novel, The Husband’s Secret, had reached the top of The New York Times bestseller list.

The last thing I read was … The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. A truly wonderful read!

My biggest regret is … Not writing my first novel sooner. It feels like I wasted a lot of my life being afraid to write.

My idea of perfect happiness is …Chocolate, champagne and a book.

If I could give my 25-year-old self some key advice, it would be … Wear sunscreen, dump that boyfriend, leave that job, stop being afraid to write that novel, and in 30 years’ time, when you meet Meryl Streep, please don’t try to be funny!

Apples Never Fall, by Liane Moriarty (Pan Macmillan, $32.99) is out now.


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