We caught up with the fabulous writer behind the Local is Lovely blog, Sophie Hansen. Sophie kicked off her career as a journalist, spending over two decades working as a features writer.
In 2013, she set up her Local is Lovely blog to create a community of people who love supporting farmers by sourcing, sharing and celebrating good seasonal and local food. Sophie and her family raise deer according to holistic practices and Sophie has also recently published the gorgeous cookbook A Basket by the Door.
Sophie has been awarded Australian Rural Woman of the Year in recognition of her commitment to rural communities, giving us yet another reason to adore her. She also runs a podcast, My Open Kitchen, which is gearing up for its third season.
So where can we catch the lovely local at the Mudgee Readers' Festival, we hear you ask? Sadly, her High Tea event has completely sold out (she's very popular!) but you can still join Sophie at:
Meet Sophie Hansen
What book/author has had the biggest impact on your career?
M.F.K Fisher's The Art of Eating - I adore the way she writes about food and culture and the joy and satisfaction of a shared table of good, simple food. She’s also very funny and opinionated and writes like a dream.
How did you get into the writing business?
I studied print journalism at university and from there found myself working in food media first as an editorial assistant for Australian Table magazine then features editor. From the get go I loved writing about food and the people who grow, cook and share it. I now mostly write for my own blog and online pages and in April this year my second book A Basket by the Door was published by Murdoch Books.
What’s your ideal reading setup?
My old blue and white arm chair; a battered old thing I bought at a garage sale when pregnant with my first child Alice. It was my nursing chair, but now lives in a sunny spot in the living room. Sitting there with a cup of tea and a good book and a good hour to read is my all time favourite thing.
Coffee or tea?
Tea first thing in the morning then coffee after 9am!
Kindle or Paperback?
Definitely paperback! I know Kindles are much cheaper but I spend so much work time in front a screen, it’s like shifting into another gear when I open a book.
Early riser or night owl?
Early riser. I try to get up around 5/5.30 most days to get a jump on the day and have my tea and the kitchen all to myself before the house wakes up and the chaos begins.
Favourite book of all time?
That is a really difficult question! I have always loved a good Gothic classic so would probably say the Count of Monte Christo. That or My Family and Other Animals. And yes, I know they are light years apart in style and setting but they both transport me into another world and that’s’ what I love about reading.
And most importantly, what are you reading right now?
Overstory by Richard Powers. I’ve only just started but absolutely loving it so far.