writer ramona koval

It's confession time. There's nothing I love more than listening to The Book Show on the ABC's Radio National. I have it on while pottering away in the kitchen at night. I've always been a book lover and am ashamed to admit that my reading has been sporadic since becoming a full-time working mum. However, I still get my dose of literature thanks to the calming voice of Ramona Koval.

And it's not just about hearing about books. I love listening to the authors tell
their stories - about the journeys they've taken. Ramona has made a pretty interesting journey too. She started out as a microbiologist and has gone on to not only host The Book Show but write several books herself. The latest is Speaking volumes: conversations with remarkable writers.

Which five words best describe you? Irreverent, studious, persistent, reckless, nurturing.
What was your first career and what path have you taken since?
I was a medical microbiologist analysing samples, until
I realised
that playing with other people's body fluids wasn't my cup of tea. I
have taught university genetics and immunology, health policy and
technology, written science journalism, film reviews, worked in daily journalism on the ABC, moved to literary journalism and made
documentaries, and written books (fiction, cookbooks and
non-fiction) since those days in the lab.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Say yes to things that you've never done before but that sound interesting and possibly fun, and listen to that nagging little voice we all have, your instinct.
What’s your proudest career achievement? At the end of every program I do I feel that I'm further along the way to understanding the world. I hope my proudest career achievement is still ahead of me.
What’s been your best decision? To have my two fantastic daughters, Emma and Sara, whose love and opinions I value and who have given me my three granddaughters, Maya, Eden and Bella.
Who inspires you? Clever and active old ladies.
What are you passionate about? Journalism, writing, clarity, love and courage.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My mother. She died when I was young and there are quite a few conversations I'd love to have with her now that I am grown up.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To grow old gracefully.
What are you reading? Books about the history and politics of caviar production, a novel about grief and revenge and a memoir which retells the story of Spartacus.

images courtesy of ramona koval, scribe and peter giafis

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