International best-selling author Caroline Overington will this month help launch the 16th Williamstown Literary Festival.

She has gone from covering the royal visit to Footscray as a suburban journalist with The Mail to a world-acclaimed writer.

“I have never had so much fun as I had covering royal visits to our mighty western suburbs,” she said.

“I did work experience at the

Melton Mail Express when I was 14 and I immediately fell in love with journalism – if I wasn’t already.

“It was so much fun, going around talking to people, asking questions, figuring out what was going on, sharing their joy and, sometimes, their frustration.”

Overington said she drew inspiration for her books from life.

“I see things, and I wonder about them, and I can’t always fit everything into a news story, so off I go, turning the characters fictional, expanding on the story, making up a new ending that suits me better … so the bad guys get what’s coming, which doesn’t happen often enough in real life,” she said.

Overington will appear at the Willy Lit Fest opening night soiree at Sebastian Beach Grill on Friday, June 14, from 6.30-9pm. She will also be in conversation with Michael Roddan on June 15.

Tickets and full program via willylitfest.org.au