Program Schedule

Download PDF Version
On Air : Listen
Alternative Frequencies
Check out the online media archive

Writing Through Paris

Monday 16th April / presented by Jane Hebiton

The Paris Seamstress from West Australian blockbuster author Natasha Lester.

Natasha is renowned for writing dynastic fiction about strong women succeeding in a man’s world as evidenced by her previous bestsellers A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald and Her Mothers Secret. Crossing generations, society's boundaries and international turmoil, The Paris Seamstress is the beguiling, transporting story of the special relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter as they attempt to heal the heartache of the past.

One of the inspirations for the book came from watching the movie, Dior and I. As Natasha was watching it, she suddenly had a strong image of a mother and a daughter working in a Parisian atelier, which became the basis for the opening scene in the book. Natasha also went to fashion illustration workshops and learned how to sketch fashion, so she could get a feel for Estella’s character.

As part of her extensive research for the book, Natasha travelled widely across Paris and New York, visiting many places including:

-        A 200-year-old atelier where they make the silk flowers for couture dresses, just as Estella does in the book.

-        The Marais district in Paris

-        A private tour of the historical Garment District, as well as one of Gramercy Park, which is another key location in the book.

-        Ready to wear factories in New York to museums with Pan Am flying boats

-        Spending some time in the archives at the New School, where they hold a collection of Claire McCardell’s fashion designs and sketches from the 1940s

Natasha’s star is on the rise, having just sold rights to the US and UK. But don’t just take my word for it, the Herald Sun called her ‘a welcome addition to the historical fiction market,’ emphasizing her ‘engaging writing style and ability to create characters that connect with readers’.

Natasha worked as a marketing executive for cosmetic company L'Oréal, managing the Maybelline brand, before returning to university to study creative writing. She completed a Master of Creative Arts as well as her first novel, What Is Left Over, After, which won the T.A.G. Hungerford Award for Fiction. The Age described Natasha as "a remarkable Australian talent" and her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals. In her spare time Natasha loves to teach writing, is a sought after public speaker and can often be found playing dress-ups with her three children.

Tags In This Story

All live musical performances are included in our podcasts with the express permission of artists, who reserve all other rights in their music. All music used in our podcasts is licensed under an APRA Community Broadcasting license agreement.

Latest Stories

Tangents’ New Bodies

Friday 20th July

Tangents’ New Bodies

Sydney based experimental improv geniuses Tangents amazing new album New Bodies was a recent RTRFM Feature Album and played […]

RTRFM Quiz: On the Hunt for Hints

Friday 20th July

RTRFM Quiz: On the Hunt for Hints

This weekend The RTRFM Quiz hits the North Perth Town Hall for a night of trivia […]

PICA’s Greater Expectations

Friday 20th July

PICA’s Greater Expectations

This weekend Perth Institute of Contemporary Art is throwing a curated party featuring live art and […]

Movie Squad: The Equalizer 2 & No Date, No Signature

Friday 20th July

Movie Squad: The Equalizer 2 & No Date, No Signature

Every Friday Tristan Fidler and Simon Miraudo drop by Breakfast with Caitlin to review a couple […]

Competition provides Drag Community chance to Shake GrooveThang

Thursday 19th July

Competition provides Drag Community chance to Shake GrooveThang

POP PRINCESS is the new competition being held at Connections Nightclub in Northbridge! Organised and run […]

EDDE and Beckon’s New Pyramid Scheme

Thursday 19th July

EDDE and Beckon’s New Pyramid Scheme

Local hero MC Beckon has teamed up with Perth singer extraordinaire EDDE to bring new sounds to the local […]

Wayne Marshall gives the Download to fame online (All Things Queer)

Thursday 19th July

Wayne Marshall gives the Download to fame online (All Things Queer)

Local artist Wayne Marshall has gained on-line popularity and fame after uploading creative body art looks […]

Science with Commander Kat

Thursday 19th July

Science with Commander Kat

Commander Kat has come to the rescue and filled in while Sarah Lau’s away this week. […]