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Sarah Harris Talks To Novelist Di Morrissey About Her New Career

Australia’s most-loved storyteller is about to add TV and Movie Producer to her list of achievements – but Di Morrissey’s not putting down her pen yet.

With over 3-million books sold, self-confessed write-aholic, Di Morrissey recently released her 25th novel ‘The Red Coast’.  As a girl, Di always dreamt of being a novelist but it only became reality in her late 30s. In our most recent Game Changers interview with Channel 10’s Sarah Harris, the glamorous author tells how it hasn’t always been smooth-going.

Di Morrissey talks to Sarah Harris
Di Morrissey talks to Sarah Harris. Pics: Cliff Kent

Quitting the bright lights of TV presenting, Di moved to a tiny house in Byron Bay “And I spent nine years there and wrote nine novels. It was a gamble. I had no money and I had no idea” she laughs, “because in those days advances for books were $5,000 for the year to live on, so I used to run out of food. I used to eat the mangos and avocados that grew on the property”.

Books aren’t Di’s only writing passion. Her journalistic roots came in handy when in 2015 she launched a newspaper revealing what was happening in her local area The Manning Community News, “It’s been exciting to go back to that sort of journalism”, describing it to Sarah as a“community newspaper that’s going global!”

Two fabulous women: Di Morrissey and Sarah Harris. Pics: Cliff Kent
Two fabulous women: Di Morrissey and Sarah Harris. Pics: Cliff Kent

Seeing her 25th novel on book-sellers shelves doesn’t mean she’s going to slow down any time soon though, “I still write a book every year”, but also has plans to follow in the footsteps of her strongest role model, her mum.  Kay Roberts was Australia’s first female commercial TV Director, and Di’s emulating her. “I’m reinventing myself, going back to my Mother’s roots as a film producer.  So I’m producing a TV series. Not of my books, but of other people’s”. Is there no stopping this woman?

Sarah Harris on the set of Game Changers 6th series with Di Morrissey, Rob and Susanna Bateman, Elaine Pearson, Monica Meldrum, Tony Paykel and Caroline Doran and Robyn Foyster
Sarah Harris on the set of Game Changers 6th series with Di Morrissey, Rob and Susanna Bateman, Elaine Pearson, Monica Meldrum, Tony Paykel and Caroline Doran and Robyn Foyster

All in all, it’s been a significant year for Australia’s most-loved storyteller: her 25th novel, a new career, and having been inducted into the ABIA Hall of Fame with the Lloyd O’Neil Award for services to the Australian book industry.  Bravo!

Our Team love the final moments of Di’s chat with Sarah, when she switches from Interviewee to Interviewer, with hilarious results. She’s a Game Changer in more ways than we realised!

Presenter

Written by Presenter

Sarah Harris has been our resident presenter of Game Changers since it first began in 2016. She is also a mum of two, journalist and host of Network Ten’s news-based panel show, ‘Studio 10’ and 'Shark Tank'.
Sarah has spent more than a decade on the road as a reporter, covering some of the biggest stories around the world.
Before moving to Network 10, she worked for more than a decade at Channel Nine as the network’s go to reporter: delivering extended live coverage from Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires, the Christchurch earthquake and Queensland’s devastating floods in 2011.

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