Q&A with Cath Brew, author of Living Elsewhere

Making Here Home talks to Cath Brew, author of Living Elsewhere.

How did you find the ‘writing’ process? And how long did it take you to write the book?

It took a little over a year from the idea to publication. Initially I created a long list of typical expat scenarios and a guide of principles that set up an ethos for the book. From here I worked out how to depict each of those scenarios. Some were quite difficult and it took a few attempts to find the right way of expressing the situation or getting the right expression. My sketchbook came with me everywhere – I never left it in my car or anywhere that it could be stolen. In all honesty, it felt irreplaceable and became more important to me than my wallet or passport in my ways. I sketched out each drawing in pencil, before going over it in black pen. When all 100 were roughed out, I redrew them all again to a higher standard, scanned them and emailed them off to the publisher.

More from Cath | About the Book

Author: Cath Brew

Cath is an Australian artist and heritage interpreter who specialises in cemeteries and sacred landscapes. She was brought up with a love of global travel from a young age. These travelling experiences opened her eyes to the diversity of culture and people and laid down the foundations of her career in the heritage field. Cath’s work as the Cemeteries Conservation Officer for the National Trust of Australia (NSW) in Sydney, provided an opportunity to see the full gamut of human mortality and she gained further insight into the importance of culture, family and the sense of home. Cath has drawn for as long as she can remember and is rarely without her drawing book and pencil. Her work has featured on corporate Christmas cards, clothing, a book and promotional materials for various businesses, but she loves nothing more than sitting in a coffee shop sketching her immediate surroundings. Whether it’s a cup and saucer or a family chatting at a nearby table, a holiday is not complete without café sketching! Whilst her drawing materials are the first thing she packs in a holiday bag, it’s the experience of living outside of her home country that has birthed this book – a process of exploring complex thoughts and feelings about identity, community and personal well-being. Cath is married and lives in Dorset with her wife and their elderly deaf dog, Ozzie.

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