Legendary songwriter Paul Kelly with his book ‘How to make Gravy’ at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival.
Legendary songwriter Paul Kelly with his book ‘How to make Gravy’ at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival. Marc Stapelberg

Kelly talks about writing memoir

DURING the four years he spent writing his memoirs; Paul Kelly stopped writing songs altogether.

Normally, this would worry the singer/songwriter, but this time he was relaxed.

“It was like flicking a switch,” he said, describing his shift from song writing to prose.

“Normally I'd be anxious, but I wasn't.”

How to Make Gravy was the result of those four years work, a personal and revealing account of his 30 years of creative endeavour in the Australian music industry.

A capacity audience jammed the marquee at yesterday's Byron Bay Writers' Festival yesterday to hear Kelly and authors Katrina Beikoff and Anne Manne speak about the process of writing their memoirs.

Included in Kelly's book is a chapter on his heroin addiction, which he said he could have easily pulled out.

“It was a big enough part of my life that it needed to be in the book,” he said.

He said he was comfortable with his children reading about it.

“I've told them about it and if I'm writing it it's there to be read,” he said.

“Part of the book is telling family stories and it's all part and parcel of that.”



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