red can origami madelaine dickie
book promo | writing

Book Promo: Red Can Origami by Madelaine Dickie

During this crazy time of Covid-19, many authors have had their book launches and events, understandably but disappointingly cancelled. In lieu of this I’ve opened my blog to authors affected by this situation to talk about their new release.

First cab off the rank is Madelaine Dickie and her book ‘Red Can Origami’.

Title: Red Can Origami

Author: Madelaine Dickie

Published: December 2019 by Fremantle Press

Pages: 221

Genre: General fiction

The blurb

Ava has just landed a job as a reporter in Gubinge, a tiny tropical town in Australia’s north. Gubinge has a way of getting under the skin. Ava is hooked on the thrill of going hand-to-hand with barramundi, awed by country, and stunned by pindan sunsets. But a bitter collision between a native title group and a Japanese-owned uranium mining company is ripping the community in half. From the rodeos and fishing holes of northern Australia, to the dazzling streets of night-time Tokyo, Ava is swept in pursuit of the story. Will Gerro Blue destroy Burrika country? Or will a uranium mine lift its people from poverty? And can Ava hold on to her principles if she gives in to her desire for Noah, the local Burrika boss?

From the author

What inspired you to write this book? Where did the idea come from?

Red Can Origami came from five and a half years of hard working, hard living and hard fishing in the Kimberley. I wanted to write about the crocodiles, the tides, the bull-riding, the smell of dew on spinifex, the sweaty torture of fishing for barramundi. I wanted to write about the stories—like the bush people who never walked in from the desert, and the bloke who got an Irukandji jellyfish sting on his balls, and the eerie and gut-wrenching paintings of Hiroshima in Tokyo’s Maruki Gallery.

What sort of research did you need to undertake before/during writing this book?

I spent five years working in an organisation set up by Kimberley Traditional Owners to pursue an agenda of independent Aboriginal economic development. My understanding of the pressures of mining on native title groups, and of native title law, comes from this time. I also travelled through parts of the Fukushima Da’ichi Nuclear Exclusion zone—through country too poisoned for people to live—so that I could witness first-hand the global impact of Australian uranium.

Do you have a favourite character, or a character who you enjoyed writing the most?

I love the character of Noah. I was thinking of Conrad’s Nostromo as I wrote Noah into life. He’s complex, intelligent, loyal, frank—and he has a terrible storm in his heart and his mind.

What was the most challenging thing you found writing this book?

I wrote Red Can Origami in the hottest town in Australia—Wyndham. Wyndham’s on the edge of a giant muddy gulf filled with saltwater crocodile. My husband and I lived in an open-air shack, where there was only air-conditioning in the bedroom. As such, I would wake up at four each morning and write until ten in the morning. After ten, it became too hot to think, too hot to move. The most challenging thing was keeping a disciplined routine in such a tough environment.

What was the key theme or issue that you wanted to get across in this book? And was that something you intended from the start, or something that came apparent during writing?

I really wanted people to understand that native title holders have no veto over development.

How long did it take you to write the book?

My first novel Troppo took eight years, Red Can Origami took only three. Hopefully the next book takes just one!

If your book was made into a movie, what actors could you see in the main roles?

I’d love to see Geoffrey Rush as The White Namibian, Aaron Pedersen as Noah, Miranda Tapsell as Lucia, and perhaps Emily Browning as Ava.

Is there anything, in particular, you want potential readers to know when choosing your book as their ‘next read’?
I think Red Can Origami is a page-turner, it’s funny, it’s a quick and thrilling read, there’s plenty to think about and muse on. Language is important to me and I’m hoping my readers find the descriptive passages beautiful and surprising. It’s a book that would appeal to anyone who has travelled or worked in northern Australia or Japan … or anybody who loves to travel imaginatively!

All the links

Author website and social media links:
Insta: @madelainetroppo

Book links:

Book depository



  1. Great Q&A.
    Love the last two questions in particular … and the pic is perfect.
    And BTW, I love this book and recommend it highly.

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