Welcome to my personal website. This is where I post details of writing projects, films, and other personal projects, and occasionally (very occasionally at the moment)  blog on subjects that I hope will be interesting to many of the people I know – in writing, film-making, data management, consulting and life in general. I’m pretty slack with it: writing actual novels and short stories gets priority.

21 December 2017

Book touring is over for 2017, but I (and partner / co-author) will be at it again in January. Two Steps Forward is travelling well in Australian and New Zealand, and will be out in other countries from April next year. In the meantime, I’m working on the third novel in the Rosie Project trilogy.

The Movember Campaign – plus a bit on which of my books to buy and a comment on royalties

My Movember campaign is over: thanks to those who bought my books in Movember, and thus added to my Australian royalties. The sales figures are through, and we raised $7,200, which I’ve duly donated. For those who multiply by twelve and figure that’s my income, it’s more complicated than that. November and December are traditionally big months, and books traditionally sell well in the initial period after publication — Two Steps Forward was easily my bestseller in November, though the others performed respectably. Book advances are also an important part of authors’ income – lump sums that you have to ‘earn out’ before any further royalties are paid (all my books have earned out in Australia so Movember was not affected). But it gives an idea of the income that an author on the bestseller lists can make from sales in Australia – either a lot or a little depending on your expectations.

This is what it was about:

Instead of Sponsoring me to Grow a Moustache, Buy a Book

In November, 2017, I’m donating my Australian book royalties to the Movember Men’s health campaign. The more book sales, the more royalties… So I’m asking everyone I can contact to buy one of my books and / or pass on the word. If we get this going, it could translate into a really substantial donation: I’ll keep you updated here.

I’m doing this for two reasons:

  1. Mental health in particular is a huge issue – one that will touch most of us directly or indirectly at some time. Through my Rosie books, featuring a character on the autism spectrum, I’ve come into contact with many individuals who are only a step or two away from being able to build careers, extend their relationships and live fuller lives. If we can find and fund the right interventions and support, we can help them take those steps.
    Mental illness can affect any of us, men or women, but we know that men are more likely to commit suicide or violence towards others. My wife, Anne Buist, does great work as Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. It makes sense to similarly direct some of our effort towards men.
  2. I’m on a mission to get men to read more novels. Any publisher will tell you that they sell fiction mainly to women, and choose what they publish accordingly. It’s a vicious circle I’d like to break.
    There’s research to suggest that reading fiction is good for psychological health (understanding others, building empathy in particular) and that can only be a good thing. If there are books around that we can relate to.

So, November / Movember:

Below are the four books I’ll be donating royalties from. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in bookshops. All are available as e-books and all but Two Steps Forward as audio books. If you want to order online, an excellent Australian option is Booktopia https://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?keywords=simsion&productType=917504

If you’re thinking Christmas presents, Two Steps Forward will be published around the world (with a bit of fanfare) but not outside Australia / NZ until at least March 2018.


The Rosie Project. Comedy, safe choice. 3.5 million copies sold in about 40 languages. Australian Book Industry Book of the Year, 2014. Socially awkward male hero seeks perfect woman. Men who have recommended this book include Bill Gates, Nicholas Kristof, Alan Carr, Tim Ferguson. If you’re on the geeky side, and your partner doesn’t understand you, buy it, read it, and then give it to them to read.

The Rosie Effect. Sequel, comedy. Same socially awkward man tries to hold his marriage together as he faces fatherhood. Similarly recommended, but read the first one first.

The Best of Adam Sharp. My personal favourite and one that men (overall) have responded better to than women, though Toni Collette liked it enough to option it for a movie. Most common criticism: too much sex, drinking and (mainly 60s and 70s) music. If that doesn’t sound like a negative, this one’s for you.

Two Steps Forward.  Just hit the Australian bestseller list, a collaboration with my wife. An engineer (male, divorced, cynical) and a recent widow (spiritual, vegetarian, impulsive) independently set out to walk the Camino de Santiago. If you’ve ever contemplated the Camino, or are up for personal renewal, no further thought needed.

Thanks in advance. I’m hoping that between us we can get some men reading novels again, and the rest reading one extra. And that we raise a heap for men’s health.


Latest News – Writing & Production

August 4 (2017) TWO STEPS FORWARD is with the printer and Text Publishing have announced publishing deals in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Israel. The remainder of the foreign publishers are still to publish THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP, so won’t make a decision for a while.

Jun 17: I’ll be taking some time out to write between mid June and mid August. Expecting to have some more movie news soon. TWO STEPS FORWARD, my novel with Anne Buist, is in the final stages of editing for publication in Australia early October with other countries to follow.

May 24

Toni Collette options The Best of Adam Sharp screenplay and book – see Deadline.com


Week beginning May 1 2017:

THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP published in US May 2

I’m on tour in the US with THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP till May 18 – Event details here

TWO STEPS FORWARD, the new novel with Anne Buist has been typeset.

I’ll be doing a bunch of events at the Sydney Writers Festival later this month



THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP was published in Australia on Sept 19, 2016 and Netherlands in Oct 2016. Feb for UK and Germany, May for USA.

It’s the story of a love affair rekindled after 22 years, set in Melbourne, Norwich and a French village. It’s about love, music and coming to terms with the past.  Rights have also been sold in UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, Poland and Estonia –  hopefully with more to come.

Details at Text Publishing and you can read the first chapter here.

My new novel, TWO STEPS FORWARD (previously LEFT RIGHT), written with partner Anne Buist, is scheduled for publication in Australia in October. A story of renewal set on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Year beginning 1 Jan

Sad to hear of the passing of Peter Sarstedt – a fifty year career remembered largely for one huge hit in 1969, ‘Where do you go to my Lovely?’.

My partner, Anne, and I caught him when he played in a Brunswick St, Fitzroy club, must have been late 80s, opening and closing with The Song in a wry acknowledgement of his ‘one hit wonder’ reputation.

Anne had a special affection for The Song, but not the lines about being ‘between 20 and 30, a very desirable age’. So for her 40th, I asked Mr Sarstedt via his agent if he’d be good enough to record it for her without the verse. He very graciously did so, writing an alternative verse, and posted me the cassette in time for her birthday. I included the story, briefly, in The Best of Adam Sharp, but it was one of the self indulgent bits that ended up in the editor’s waste basket. Sadly.


Week Beginning 21 November, 2016

An interview with Michael Cathcart on Radio National Books and Arts

A visit to NZ speaking at Glen Eden library

The Rosie Project back at No 1 on Text Publishing e-book charts

Related Links:

My writing (and life) partner Anne Buist aka Simone Sinna.

General information about The Rosie Project including list of international publishers.

General information about The Rosie Effect including list of international publishers.

News about the US Publication of the The Rosie Project.

The Rosie Project, a novel by Graeme Simsion and winner of the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and Australian Book Industry Association Book of the Year for 2014 was published in Australia by Text Publishing on 30 January, 2013. Rights have been sold in 41 countries.

The screenplay of The Rosie Project has been optioned to Sony Pictures. My agent (screenwriting only) is Rich Green, at ICM Partners, Los Angeles.

Graeme Simsion’s Tedx Talk, Its all design, from IT projects to The Rosie Project, can be viewed by clicking here.


76 thoughts on “

  1. We read “The Rosie Project” for our book club and we all loved it. The problem is that we all had different conclusions as to who Rosie’s father was. We picked the passages apart to prove who we thought he was, and others would say, well what about…..
    Please, please tell us who Rosie’s father was!!!
    Thank you – and thank you for the entertaining book 🙂
    Audra Bartholomew

    • Delighted you chose it and enjoyed. As for Rosie’s father, it’s all there in the para on the last page beginning ‘I showed her the remains’. The man who bled on the t-shirt in the gym is Rosie’s father. In all senses.

    • I am really looking forward to the third Rosie Project book. When do you think it will be out? I would really like to see a female character with Asperger’s. Emerging research shows that Asperger’s presents differently in females than in males, and that it is likely to go undetected in females, often until they are middle-aged, if ever. I was just recently diagnosed as a high-functioning autistic woman, at age 42. There are loads of people like me. I sought diagnosis after reading the two Rosie Project books, and then reading up on Asperger’s, out of curiosity. That is how I came to suspect that I may have it. It was mind-blowing.

    • Dear Jasper
      Thanks so much for writing and sharing your experience with the books. Apologies for the delay in replying – I need to manage the various communications channels a bit better! You’re not the first to have sought a diagnosis after reading the Rosie books: it was certainly not something I expected when I just sat down to write a good story. I hope it was ‘mind blowing’ in a positive way! In my experience Asperger’s does present differently in females, but I’m not a researcher / clinician. I think Rosie herself has a touch…
      And I’m about to start work on the third book. I’m guessing we won’t see it in print until 2019, but let’s see how we go.

  2. Mr Silvey,
    I first read your book, last year. I think it’s easy to tell someone that you adore their work, but a lot more difficult to find the words that will convey exactly how much you adore it. I am only 16, but literature has always played a massive part in my life. It wasn’t until last year however, when I came across Yourself and Craig Silvey’s novels, that my entire world was flooded with an overwhelming love of literature. From the very first page to the last page, I had to constantly remind myself to breathe. I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling you experience when you embark on an incredible journey through words. Just incase, let me tell you what it was like. In the words of my teacher and friend, (but not exactly because my memory isn’t fabulous) It’s like when you first meet a person that you adore and you constantly feel on edge, but in a good way, because the excitement radiates from your body and sends streams of life through your veins. And then after a while, you learn more about that person and you start to become close with them, and the excitement ebbs into a warmth and familiarity. That’s how it was for me. It was sitting in class, nearing a panic attack, picking up the book and transforming that anxiety into warmth as I spent many moments amongst the pages of ‘The Rosie Project’. It was finding a place in this literary world, and both losing and finding myself through the characters. It was learning that sometimes it’s okay if you don’t have room for the petty things, perhaps the stars in your galaxy burn too brightly and your soul is already filled with fairy dust. It was learning that words hold the power to immortalise an author and his thoughts. I think you’ve done a pretty incredible job at that. I remember carrying your book to school every day, even if I knew I wouldn’t get the chance to read it, simply because the mere presence of your words gave me comfort. I have done my best to explain to you how it felt, but words fail me. I hope you can stretch your thoughts far enough to consider exactly how much your book means to me. If you have ever had a book that makes you fill physically ill, angry, incredibly excited, warm, safe, scared, ecstatic, adoring, pissed off, and entirely content, that is your book for me. So because I can’t explain it, I beg you to imagine it. I’m writing my own novel regarding autism at the moment (at least attempting to anyway), as my cousin was diagnosed with this. It’s called ‘Screaming Colour’ and I’m only 6 000 words in and I know that everyone’s writing sucks as a teenager but it’s more than writing well for me, it’s understanding what I think after reading what I’ve said. I think my laptop is the only thing on this planet who knows my thoughts, really. Because I lose myself in words. At the moment, the story basically follows an autistic Charlie as he learns to gently shake the world through art. It’s not as clichè as it sounds I promise. I hope one day, if anyone gets the chance to read it, someone will finally understand my thoughts and I’ll be able to welcome them to the world inside my head. I think it’s incredibly important to help the world understand that although people who have autism or Aspergers focus on smaller details and though their world is seemingly small, it holds more room for exploration than any other. I hope people can continue educating each other on how autism isn’t a disability that prevents people from understanding the universe, it just causes people to perceive the world in different ways.

    I also hope that one day, if you read this, you’ll understand how much I adore you and your writing. You have created an entire literary world that I can slip into over and over. Thank you for inspiring me, and being so incredible.

    Your adoring reader,

    • I apologise in advance for when you read this, for addressing this to Mr Silvey rather than Mr Simsion. Through using Mr Silvey’s novel as a means of supporting my argument, the names got muddled. I am incredibly sorry!

    • Dear Holly
      (sorry for leaving it so long to reply – it was a long letter and I needed to find a little time to read it properly.) I’m very flattered that you were able to take so much from my book. Reading is always a meeting of two parties – the author and the reader – and every reader’s experience is different. One reader finds a book intellectually interesting, another is moved emotionally in ways she or he can’t articulate and third just enjoys an easy read on the beach. It’s so much about where you are and what’s important to you – what questions you have – at the time you read.
      I read some of my most memorable and important (to me) books at fifteen to sixteen. Most of them I haven’t revisited, not wanting to spoil the magic or undo the impact they continue to have on me.
      Good luck with your writing. My writing certainly sucked as a teenager, but more because I was inexperienced than because my thoughts were not worthwhile. The best advice I can give a writer is to tackle it as you would any other vocation – working at it consciously trying to improve your craft, and recognising that it’ll take years to master – but nevertheless enjoying the journey and taking pride in getting better at it.
      Thanks again for writing.

  3. Hi – big fan of your Rosie novels!

    I wanted to mention Gene, because over the course of the two novels he slowly grew on me and (as a young woman) it’s quite surprising considering his many flaws. I’m curious to know how you feel about Gene as a character, because on the one hand he is sort of loathsome, but at the same time so likeable and sympathetic. I was also pretty heartbroken when he admitted to Don that he’d lied about the number of women he’d slept with, because for a brief time I was so, so happy with the idea that actually all along it had just been talk!

    I think what you have really excelled at with these books is creating characters which are so lifelike and likeable; they do feel a little like friends. Thanks so much for writing them! <3

    • Thank you for your kind words. Gene is a controversial character – some readers love him, some loathe him, some both! When writing I have to be able to inhabit all of my characters and understand the logic and emotions behind their behaviour. Few, if any, people set out to be ‘bad’… The new book I’m working on THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP has a strong theme of infidelity, so we explore some of the behaviour that gets Gene into trouble in more detail…

    • Hi Graeme,

      I was just wondering, who is handling the casting for The Rosie Project movie? Also, will it be filmed in Melbourne?

    • Hi Amy: short answer to both questions: Sony Pictures will be making the decisions with no input from me!

  4. Hi Graeme, I am that curious for the third book, because for me, it is hard, not to give up with the special personality of my friend.
    The thing is, when you should be careful with your body, and this you have to be at the age of 57, and you treat him like a machine, then you could need empathic feelings for yourself, more empathic skills for yourself.
    And there is no chance at all that he understand. I have the feeling, he not even has an idea about what I mean by suggesting to have more patience with oneself.
    His relationship to his body is that strange for all his life, the body has to function, nothing else. Though, about life is not easy, he has got, step by step, many not defined severe health problems.
    And it is hard for me to hear his complaining and on the other hand, he is absolutely convinced, that he himself must accept this hopeless situation. Like: when a machine doesnt work anymore, and no one can find the reason, the mechanics as the professionist should do, … cannot .. …. so he only can give up. Without even trying.
    Today I “forced” him to read about Autopoiesis .. but he will complain: too complicated reading for a simple machine-disorder.
    Thanks for your ear!
    Greetings to the other side of the globe!

    • Hi Elisa and thanks for writing. I’m definitely hoping to do a third book, but it will be two or three years at least… Good luck with your friend…

  5. Just accidentally finished Rosie Effect (having intended to leave the last 20 or so pages as bed-time reading!) and am totally bereft! I noted another of your correspondents mentioned Rosie’s characterisation vs Don’s and was thinking the exact same thing… my thought on this was that the perfect solution would be to write the third book in the (hopefully long!) series as “The Rosie Perspective”: written as the first two books, but with Rosie as narrator. For a while I couldn’t quite figure out why I warmed so much to Don, and so little to Rosie, but this is why: we only see Don’s perspective in the two books and he ends up resultantly so much more completely characterised. I would love to form a similar attachment to Rosie.

    • It’s an interesting challenge! For me, though, the books are primarily about Don and I try to present Rosie as well as possible through Don’s eyes and, of course, her actions and dialogue. I’ll probably continue to do so in Book 3, but will do all I can to let readers inside her head. Via Don!

  6. Now that Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Rosie, I really believe that Bradley Cooper has the chemistry and the acting skills to pull off the Professor. I can totally envision him as the Gregory Peck remake of Don. I also think he would be able to project the literal humor subtleties required. On the other hand, the actor who read the audio book was absolutely PERFECT. If he can project onscreen what he was able to create on audio, that casting selection is done. I loved the Australian and American accents and hope the movie retains those elements. I also see Ana Gasteyer as Dave’s wife trying to play Rosie with an Italian Accent – truly hilarious!

    • Great choices! It’s fascinating to see who people think should play the lead characters, and of course, Jennifer Lawrence as Rosie affects those choices. But I have no say – rightly so: there are casting directors who will do a better job than me. Like you, I have some thoughts, but I’m keeping them to myself and watching to see what Sony Pictures come up with.

  7. I am a 61 year old Telecom Senior Engineering Project Manager. Out of my nine grandchildren, two are mildly autistic grandsons and yet another grandson at the edge of the spectrum. All are very bright and yet I have often worried about their future social structure. They have many of the characteristics of Don in The Rosie Project, even though they only range in age from five to 14. I just finished the first book and am now blasting halfway through the second book. It gives me confidence that these darling boys will be able to charm a life companion, such as Rosie, as adults, the same as they have my heartstrings wrapped around them. I see them struggle to adapt to conventional school situations, due to their unique wiring. The most significant issue they face is not the jeers of their peers, rather the impatience of their teachers and being misunderstood by others in authority, who are not aware or empathetic to their special communications missteps. Thank you for letting the world love the Professor and view him in the same light, as I view my beloved grandsons. By the way, two of these boys are my natural grandchildren and the oldest is my step-grandson, and this is not a unique situation in my social sphere. I have many friends and neighbors who have a diagnosed autistic (or in the spectrum range) member of their immediate or extended families. I also have begun to suspect that my oldest son may also be edge of the spectrum range. He has no children, by choice, because he worries that he may pass on his genetic predisposition to always be on the outside in social norms. His only formal diagnosis is dyslexia. I may try to get him to seek additional testing to confirm my gut feeling. That will be a sensitive conversation, but it will explain his whole life of trying to pass in a “normal world”, with a substantially different view of the way behavior should work. Dyslexia alone does not explain his many quirks of conformity. If my hypothesis is confirmed, it will open so many doors for him. He has finally found his own Rosie (also at the age of 40) and they have developed a better relationship together than anyone else I know! By the way, I have never fully understood this gut feeling or shared this observation with anyone before I read your books this past week. Thanks for giving me renewed hope for their successful futures in a more enlightened society.

    • Thanks for taking the trouble to write – and, as I’ve said many times, I always appreciate feedback from the Asperger’s / autism community. I know many people like Don who are socially awkward – and have other ‘odd’ traits – who have made successful relationships and found a place in the world. I like to think that books like the Rosie books are contributing to making us more accepting and welcoming of difference. Good luck.

  8. Hi Graeme, in recent times the publicity surrounding Shepparton has cynical and unrepresentative of what is essentially a working class town with strong values. I was delighted to have recently read your book and to find Shepparton mentioned several times. Shepparton in real life is very capable of producing characters like Don ( as an educationalist I would like to think that our local schools would cater for and challenge the likes of Don’s gifts and talents). Out of interest was Shepparton a random town that you selected as Don’s birth place, do you yourself have a connection here or was the towns simple pragmatic working class nature a contradiction to Don’s brilliance.Best wishes with the future. Paul Howard

    • It was a bit of a random choice, as it’s on the way to Moree which was chosen more for its distance than anything else. But I had a colleague from there, and my partner visits as a psychiatrist. My son will be working as a trainee psychologist there next year. And I know plenty of high-flyers – in all fields – from country towns… I hope the Rosie books framed it in a fair light!

  9. Absolutely loving ‘The Rosie Project’ – given to me by a friend for Christmas who knew I would enjoy it. Only just got around to reading it and, as others have said, finding it impossible to put down and laugh out loud funny. Delighted to learn there is a sequel on the way.

    When you visited the UK, you should have called over to Ireland. Hope you will on any subsequent trip.

    Congratulations on a fabulous debut novel! Really looking forward to the next one already!

    • Many thanks. I’ve visited Ireland only once, before The Rosie Project and I’m pushing Penguin to organise a book tour.

  10. Several family members and others had commented that your novel The Rosie Project is about me. So I am reading it. It is remarkably accurate. Also funny.

  11. I’m in the middle or thereabouts of the very entertaining Rosie Project, and last night I nearly fell out of bed because Don hired a car and took off to Moree. I grew up there and if anyone had asked me what is the last thing I would expect a character in any novel to do, going to Moree would be up there if I could even think of it. I am fascinated as to how this came about. Moreover the Doctors Geoffrey Case Snr and Jnr rang bells regarding a real-life Moree medical dynasty, Dr Geoffrey Hunter who was my grandparents’ doctor, and his nephew Dr Bill Hunter who was my doctor thirty years or so ago. Please tell me how this all came to be!

    • Coincidence! Truly. At one stage, producer Ros Walker was working on the film version, and told me she had also lived in Moree. I picked it off the map because of distance and the need to go through Don’s hometown of Shepparton, and checked that it had a nursing home! No knowledge of the Geoffrey connection! I’ve done worse: there’s a real Dr Peter Enticott (PhD doctor) and he now works at Deakin University. Doing Asperger’s research…

    • Thanks for the reply Graeme, aren’t coincidences great 🙂 Yes, there is a nursing home (Fairview), which housed three of my four grandparents at different times. I remember it well. It would have been interesting if Don had had time to visit the famous hot mineral baths. He could have had a grand time making all kinds of observations about the effects of the heat, the minerals, etc upon his person. You must go there someday – not in summer though. Way too hot!

    • Several family members and others had commented that your novel The Rosie Project is about me. So I am reading it. It is remarkably accurate. Also funny.

    • Delighted you enjoyed it. I think we all have a bit of Don in us – some more than others – but never lose sight of the differences either. Alcohol included!

  12. Hi Graeme,
    I finished the last page of The Rosie Effect 5 mins ago! I had to hop straight on to tell you how much I LOVED it! It’s even better than your first one! I feel like you’ve totally relaxed into Don’s character … it’s brilliant!
    Your books are not only entirely enjoyable in a “can’t wait to get back to it” sense. They’re incredibly thought-provoking. I work with kids with special needs. Often I find people struggle in their understanding of these kids, as they try and map their own reality and their own thought patterns onto the way these kids must see the world. As you’ve so fabulously shown with Don… we are all wired very differently. I’m sure your novels will help to increase tolerance and understanding for individual differences.
    Congratulations on two fantastic novels! What an incredible achievement!
    Amanda 🙂

    • Thanks for taking the trouble to write. I really appreciate feedback frm the autism / Asperger’s / special needs communities, as I was most concerned that the books would have an overall positive impact – without being on a mission to deliver a message.

    • I really enjoyed both books and fell in love with Don. I would call him a work of genius, truly. The Rosie Project made me think of one of my most favorite of the classic comedy movies, “Bringing Up Baby” in which Cary Grant plays the part of a nerdy paleontologist named David seeking funding from a rich old lady, but accidently getting involved with her madcap neice, Susan, played by Katherine Hepburn. He already has the perfect fiancee, of the type Don is seeking, but after a wild and crazy weekend with Susan, he falls in love with her in spite of her imperfections because she’s FUN. It was a terrific romp and so was The Rosie Project, except that Don is a much better developed character, a complete and
      lovable person. I probably wouldn’t want to see The Rosie Effect film because the books are perfect and I can’t think of a film made from a favorite book that I enjoyed as much as the book. I will, however, definitely look forward to more books. Keep ’em coming!

    • Thanks. I’m a fan of Bringing Up Baby, and actually studied it as a project for my screenwriting course. So it was in the back of my mind as I wrote The Rosie Project. Next book won’t be about Don and Rosie though…

  13. Amazing, creative, funny, life-affirming. The Rosie Effect is a perfect compliment to the first book BUT, Mr S, you have turned me into Mr Tillman. Like him, I cannot lie , have found an error and cannot stop myself from pointing it out.

    Towards the end of chapter 28 Lydia offered Don a coffee. On the next page she ‘finished her wine and stood up’.

    I shall now go and confess what I have done to my wife and she will berate me for my lack of tact and social awareness in pointing this out to you.

    Well done and get working on the “Hudson Effect”!

    • Ah – a flood of posts about this error which I spotted in my edit but which snuck into the UK and Canadian ed. But thanks! I value this sort of feedback…

  14. Hey Graeme,
    Just finished both Rosie books back-to-back, and I have to say I enjoyed them immensely; most certainly my favorite novels ever! The characters have very much stuck with me, like dear friends.
    Maybe you could clarify Rosie’s character for me though. Perhaps because we’re seeing Rosie through the prism of Don’s perception, her motivations aren’t always easily decipherable. In the first book she’s clearly into Don very early on, but seems to back away as the book progresses, then suddenly changes her mind at the end. Is it that she doesn’t truly understand the magnitude of Don’s differences in the beginning or is more that she likes the idea of a relationship until it becomes more likely, at which point the potential for intimacy scares her?
    In the second book, she seems not only completely in synch with Don but also sympathetic to him in the way only a loving woman could be. Then as she grows more pregnant (a pregnancy she achieved somewhat surreptitiously) she seems increasingly repulsed by Don, then transitions to basically seeing him as the metaphorical midwife for a more perfect relationship with an unborn baby, before ultimately deciding to stay with him if he agrees to keep himself in the background.
    Through both books Rosie seems very ambivalent about Don, more so as their relationship progresses and it’s an indecisiveness that’s never really explained or resolved. Although Claudia provides a plausible and even likely explanation, it’s one that only seems to be a partial answer. Could you provide some more insight into Rosie’s character, or are you perhaps saving it for your next Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman novel?

    • Thanks for the kind words. Re Rosie, suffice to say that she has been the major point of discussion (and division) in comments on the second novel. I think it’s best if I leave it to readers, having made my statement on the page, but you’re right: she’s seen through Don’s eyes… and people are complex!

  15. I am reading the first book The Rosie Project and loving it, but thing is I have Aspergers and it is just making me feel horrible that I am like that. I am probably not as bad as Don though. Don reminds me of Sheldon in Big Bang Theory.

    • I can’t tell you how to feel, but suffice to say that almost all readers love Don (as do I), so if you’re ‘probably not as bad’ then you’re a pretty good person. Many readers compare Don to Sheldon – and I guess that’s reasonable insofar as they probably both have Asperger’s (BTW I’ve never watched TBBT) but I want to encourage people to see the differences amongst apsies as well as their similarities. If you haven’t already done so, watch The Imitation Game, and feel proud that you have a lot in common with one of the most important people of the 20th century.

    • I see that your comment was posted in January, but I must reply. I also have Asperger’s, and am quite similar to Don. However, I’ve never considered those traits to be negative. (Graeme, I very much share Don’s opinion–possibly yours as well–that Asperger’s is nothing more than a collection of functional similarities that the medical community felt the need to diagnose as a disorder.)

      Regardless of the severity of your inability to conform to social norms, you shouldn’t feel horrible. Social norms are constructed, and fluid. They’re as ridiculous and arbitrary as the required dress code at the restaurant Don was to meet Rosie at. They’re a frivolous, complicated waste of time, and certainly don’t diminish your character or capacity to be a good person/friend/spouse/employee.

      Graeme, I read a lot of books. A lot. Yours is the first I’ve read that contains a protagonist I can truly identify with, and I appreciate that a great deal. Unlike TBBT (which I do enjoy), I don’t feel as if Asperger’s is being used as a cheap comedic device. I initially came here to see if you also fell on the so-called “spectrum,” because your portrayal of Don falls very much on the mark. I suppose whether you are or aren’t is irrelevant, except to satisfy my voyeuristic curiosity, but I’m very grateful for this book and the way you’ve portrayed Don. As someone who could be classified as “severe,” I can tell you that it’s extremely refreshing to feel a little less like an outsider, and to have an entertaining fictional book (as opposed to a collection of insufficient internet articles) to point to when people ask to know more about what it’s like to be an Aspie.

    • Hi Tina
      Again, I’m always really pleased to have feedback from the Asperger’s community. Thank you for your kind words about the books. I don’t identify as having Asperger’s myself, but I’ve worked and socialised with many who probably do, though in my group it’s often been left undiagnosed. These people have been (and many still are) respected colleagues and good friends, so I write about Don with affection rather than as a figure of fun. It’s probable that more people will get their impressions of Asperger’s from TBBT and the Rosie books than from learned articles, so I do feel I have a responsibility to present Don honestly and empathetically. That said, I’ve never seen him as being primarily and aspie: he’s an individual and much of his world view and behaviour has as much to do with being a scientist as having Asperger’s (I note your comment on social norms!). So thanks again for writing and I’ll try to have another Don and Rosie book along in the next few years.

  16. Dear Graeme
    I was given both your books as a Christmas gift. Started the first book 3 days ago, have just finished the second. Its a bit of a shock to realise that Don Tillman is a fictitious character; you have fleshed him out so wonderfully with a perfect mix of humour, pathos and grace. Its a testimony to your writing skills.
    I don’t know what your plans are, but I do hope there will be more instalments – would love to find out how he actually copes with the rigours of fatherhood.
    I can also see how this story could make a brilliant movie. Not sure how much influence you have, but please don’t let the Americans ruin it – they don’t understand subtlety at all. The previously posted suggestion of a first person narration for the movie seems perfect – as in “Noises Off”. I’m sure there have been a million suggestions for lead actor but I will put in my nomination for what its worth – Guy Pierce (and he is Australian).
    PS my best regards to Greg Buist whom I assume is your brother-in-law; I used to work with him once upon a time.

    • Hi – thanks for the kind words. I may write a third book but it’s a little way down the track. I think the Americans can do great work on their day, and Sony have a top team on it, so I have my fingers crossed. And Greg Buist is my Father in Law – I’ll pass on regards!

    • Dear Graeme:
      Our book club has been reading the Rosie Project and we’ve been having great fun picking our “Dream Team” for this movie. Even though we are all Canadians, we too would love an Australian cast or at least a cast with Australian connections.

      Simon Baker as Gene
      Cate Blanchett or Naomi Watts as Claudia
      Rose Byrne or Isla Fisher as Rosie
      Don would be a bit harder to cast but Eric Bana or Sam Worthington would be contenders (good looking (Check) but we haven’t seen them play that Cary Grant humour that we’d be looking for

    • The casting of The Rosie Project is the number one question that comes up at book events – and I make a practice of not commenting (much) beyond the fact that in the past with my short films I’ve been amazed at how much smarter casting directors are at casting than I am! But I have to say those names were on my list when at one time we were looking at a local production… We shall see what Sony Pictures does…

  17. Where do I start? Thankyou seems so inadequate. Recently a friend gave me THE ROSIE PROJECT to read. I seem to have the same condition as everyone else that reads this book. I don’t want to put the book down. I love every word. I am trying to read it as slowly as I can but I know it is going to end!. It has been ages since I was so engrossed in a book. Thankyou Graeme Simsion ! You have captured the characters perfectly and delighted me with your storywriting! I am so happy that I turned the first page and that your second book is now available. Keep writing!!

  18. Very much enjoying the first book (The Rosie Project), particularly intrigued with The Father Project storyline. I was going to wait until finishing the book before asking, but after reading the opening of chapter 13 I can no longer stifle my curiousity as to your inspiration…

    • I also enjoyed the book. My son, in the spectrum, is on a similar mission. But he and I had to point out that Don should not select farmed salmon as the sustainable choice. 40 million delicious and wild sockeye salmon returned to Bristol Bay this summer–eat wild Alaska salmon Don!

  19. Hi
    Just reading this morning that Paddy Considine has Irlen syndrome. Not sure who you’re casting – anyone from Blue-Tongue would be great – but if you’d look outside of Australia then Paddy Considine seems a brilliant fit. Could probably facilitate an introduction if you like. My whole family love your book and can’t wait for the next one.


  20. Great book, thank you so much, funny, clever and completely engaging. From the first pages it was evident the characters and story line would translate well to film.. not to mention the dialogue, some great lines. I can’t wait for someone to next say to me “tell me something I don’t know”.

    Congratulations also on the process by which you got the book finished and are now achieving your original ambition of a film. What fun you will have casting…. if only Tom Hanks were younger.
    If extras are needed for the reunion and cocktail scene count me in.

  21. Dear Mr. Simsion,

    I picked up your novel, The Rosie Project, on a whim. I had been debating getting it for some time because I was disappointed by most books I had been reading and was in a book rut. When I finally saw it in stores in Canada with that beautiful cover, I thought “ok this is fate, I am buying it now”. I have to thank you from the bottom of my book-loving heart for this masterpiece in literature. I loved your novel so much. It has always been difficult for me to say a book is my favorite, it’s like asking a mother to pick their favorite child. But I can say without any hesitation that The Rosie Project is the best book I have ever read. And I read a lot – I can devour a 400 page book in a day and a half. Since reading The Rosie Project, I have read 5 more books but I have not been able to enjoy them at all because all I think about is that happiness I got from reading your book. I cannot stress enough how amazing of a book it is. The writing is absolutely genius! The character development and their traits are amazing and funny and easy to relate to. I love everything about it. I love the minimal swearing and mentions of sex. It truly tells a wonderful story without excess fluff to fill the book. I did not want it to end. I was so incredibly happy after reading your book. When I found out there was a sequel I was completely ecstatic. Since I finished this book 2 weeks ago I was debating sending you a note telling you how much I loved The Rosie Project. But after reading more books since, I can’t get over how amazing The Rosie Project was and I am literally dying without the sequel. I am so happy there will be a sequel and I have no doubt it will be just as incredible as the first. I really cannot wait. I wish I could get a copy tomorrow but I will *somewhat patiently* wait for this amazing conclusion. In the meantime I am forcing all friends and loved ones to get The Rosie Project and fall in love.

    Your newest fan from Canada, Andrea.

    P.S. Please, please, please do not stop writing. You have an amazing gift of connecting with your audience and spreading happiness. I will buy every book you publish while waiting in anguish for them to reach my nearest store. If possible, get the sequel to The Rosie Project out faster PLEASE!! (I apologize for my extreme enthusiasm, I never thought I would love a book this much and I have never been a patient person).

  22. Aye Graeme,
    I really enjoyed your “The Rosie Project” – the character development is an absolute reading pleasure!!!
    From a producers point of view the apartment, the university, fine dining, streets of New York and other locations are all easily manageable here in Cape Town… We have a very attractive film rebate system – have you concidered shooting in Cape Town? Currently our exchange rates are very favourable and may just tip the balance. Contact me on my email should you wish a budget breakdown. Best wishes and KEEP WRITING! kind regards Murray

  23. Fabulous book! I am desperately trying to read it slowly so it won’t end but I’m not very successful. My question is: how were you able to, so accurately, bring Asperger’s Syndrome to life in the form of ‘Don’? Thank you for this book.

  24. Just finished reading the Rosie Project and absolutely loved it, could not put the book down. I grew up in Shepparton and I work at Melbourne University so it was extra special for me 🙂

  25. Reading The Rosie Project made me think that maybe I could write a book too. Thanks for inspiring me to have a go.
    You’re a damn good writer.

    Kind regards,
    Kathy Stevens

    • It may be a characteristic of advanced old age (I’m 94) but about 2/3-3/4 thru Rosie Project (and many books I read) I feel as though this is just GOING ON TOO TOO LONG! I always finish a book I start (feel I owe it to the author) and so I did with the Rosie Project.

      When they make the movie, however, take a lesson from Gone With the Wind — one of rare few movies BETTER THAN THE NOVEL ITSELF, because they wisely eliminated (as I remember) TWO more of Scarlett’s husbands than the book. ELIMINATE A FEW POTENTIAL FATHERS, for a better script.

      As to translating comedy to film, I find that is even more difficult a thing to do than streamlining the the plotlines a bit. Two cases to that point — Heartburn (Nora Ephron) and Accidental Tourist (Anne Tyler). I loved both books AND both films but neither film succeeded in being as funny as the books. Heartburn came off really a bit sad, wistful in a wonderful romance gone bad. Although Nora did GET EVEN with the book with the real life husband who inspired the plot!

      Accidental Tourist has a tragic sub-plot, not the same kind of comedy as Heartburn at all, but its hero is comic in the same way as Don Tillman — just the way he IS and how he runs his life is comic. Again, the movie is great as is the book, but you have a whole different reaction (at least I did) to the key secondary (and comic) heroine — the dog trainer the hero hires.

      And the hero is just not as comically unaware as the book, even tho I remember thinking the actor chosen (forget his name now) was PERFECT. So it wasn’t that, it was the script that didn’t translate to the screen.

      The only way you’re going to have your movie AS FUNNY AS YOUR BOOK, is to use the narrator technique in the movie to tell how Don THINKS (1st person telling in book does that), not just try to SHOW AND TELL his quirky stuff. Accidental Tourist didn’t do that.

      I have a grandson who studied film at USC, and I tried to explain to him my preference for films that are narrated when the movie starts out as a book (like Somerset Maugham novels and short stories so often are and WHY I think so MANY of his writings ended up as great films), but he tells me that is just not film anymore, that’s what books do, films are visual.

      Me? I still like talky movies with great dialog, and less action.

      I can’t wait to hear reaction of my Book Club in August to Rosie Project! They are mostly older women — but I am by far the OLDEST — and at least 2-3 are what I consider serious and LITERATE and well-read readers. Most are less so.


  26. Just finished reading The Rosie Project here in California and wanted to thank you for such a delightful book. Funny, engaging, and a wonderful companion to many solo meals (not of the Standardized Meal System variety however). All in all— a joy!
    Eagerly awaiting the sequel,
    Lorie (BMI twenty point four)

  27. Dear Mr. Simsion
    I wanted to let you know that in my area we have a very large library system called Baltimore County Public Library. The Collection Development Department staff will be doing an online book group chat of your wonderful title The Rosie Project. I LOVED the book and have passed it on to many people. I want to be in on the chat and wanted to know if you would be interested in knowing about this event which is the evening of June 11th. The Library System is located in Baltimore County MD, USA. The moderator of the online book group is Beth at this email : breinker@bcpl.net. She is really excited about moderating this event. I thing she would be overjoyed if you or your staff contacted her just to say Good Luck or whatever is appropriate.
    Thank you so much for giving your attention to this post. Best of luck with the sequel.

    • Thanks for being in touch and sorry for the delay, but this is all arranged and I’m looking forward to participating.

  28. After just buying your book, “The Rosie Project” and starting to read it I feel like I’m reading the usual “script” given to us by Sheldon Cooper in “The Big Bang Theory.”

    • I agree Laura but that is what I loved about it. If you read how the book came to be it states Simsion started it as a script. I couldn’t quite get the Sheldon with an accent in my head though. I hope the book gets made into a “romcom”.

  29. Mr Simsion, it was such a pleasure to meet you again this morning at the train station in Cologne after listening to you yesterday evening. I postet out Photo on your Facebook Page 🙂
    Thank you so much for Rosie. She’s a real Lady. I love the book. It is so much fun to read.
    I hope you enjoyed Cologne 🙂
    Best wishe,
    Janina S

  30. I don´t speak/write english very well, sorry for that but hope this comment is understandable. Just want to thank you for writing your book which in Spanish is intitled “The wife project”. I just can´t stop laughing, but also thinking that through your great sense of humor, the book really can help people to understand a lot about people with Asperger, bipolar or any other so called mental illness. Thank you for writing, and please don´t stop. I´ll be waiting for your next book, and if you come to Chile, my husband and I will be thrilled tou invite you home for a dinner, but not lobster!

    • Many thanks for being in touch… Your English is fine! Thank you for the kind words, and I can confirm that the sequel will be published later this year. We’ve visited Chile only very briefly so would love to find an excuse to visit again.

      Kind regards

  31. Thank you for this wonderful book. It was very cleverly written and very insightful with your sympathetic depiction of this lovable professor with Asperger’s as well as the other characters in the novel. As the mother of a young man with Asperger’s as well as savant characteristics, I live this everyday….veering between exasperation, to being charmed…never a dull moment. My son is one of the most gentle, loving and quirky/innovative but ultimately misunderstood students in his university. Obviously he struggles with social acceptance but he is thankfully a very optimistic person, can’t be easy but he tries his best to fit in. There was a lovely Hindi movie “My Name is Khan” starring the very lovable Shah Rukh Khan in the title role, which was the only other story that comes quite in this league- featuring an Asperger’s hero that was quite so upbeat and ultimately optimistic. Thank you ever so much!

    • Thank you for the feedback. I’m always particularly pleased to hear from the Asperger’s community. I think it’s important that we have a variety of depictions of people with Asperger’s in fiction and non-fiction, so that the community in general can start to see beyond the similarities (“it’s like being in Sheldon Cooper’s head”) to the differences.
      Really glad you found it positive.

    • Sorry for the very delayed response – my daughter has been sorting through the spam! Yes, my wife and I walked the Camino (or a camino) in 2011 from Tramayes (a day from Cluny, France) via Le Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied de Port, then cut through the Pyrenees to Hendaye, picked up the Ruta del Norde, then the Camino Primitivo, joining the Camino Frances two days from the finish. Just over 2000 kilometres in 87 days.

  32. So, you have a new fan in the USA, in Michigan to be more exact. I had read about your book in Entertainment Weekly and asked to be notified when it showed up at my local library. Now I will be looking to purchase some copies so I can share them with my friends. I hope you are serious about a sequel because I am anticipating another wonderful read.

    • Thank you. And it’s out in paperback today! The sequel is well underway and due for publication in the US early next year (in Australia in September).

  33. I have attended a monthly book review group for the last couple of years but I have had a great deal of trouble engaging with my selected novels. I began to lose confidence in my ability to enjoy and complete a novel. Then my daughter gave me a signed copy (at Noosa) of The Rosie Project and I couldn’t put it down. Due to Xmas related interruptions I took about three days to read your laughter and thought provoking novel. I’m familiar with Asperges and Autistic syndromes and it was good to have fun with the quirkiness and be reminded that humanity is blessed with different characters who can be extraordinary people.

    • A very late reply (after some serious sorting through the spam and distraction with the sequel). Really glad you enjoyed it (trust you enjoyed Noosa too!).

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