Red dress on, Ginger Gorman has been prepping madly in readiness to lead a conversation with literary legend Margaret Atwood on stage in Canberra on Wednesday.
It's the gig of a lifetime for the social justice journalist and author of the bestselling book Troll Hunting, and she will be sharing the experience with 1200 other Atwood fans at the sold-out event at the Canberra Theatre Centre.
"I got an email out of the blue from Peter at Fane Productions saying that Margaret had me at the top of her shortlist," she said.
"I can't describe how excited I was. It felt like being a six-year-old and waking up on Christmas morning and realising Santa has been. It's definitely going down as a career highlight."
Canadian author Atwood, 80, is touring Australia talking about her life and work, the Emmy-award-winning television adaptation of her 1985 novel The Handmaid's Tale bringing in new fans. She was a joint winner of last year's Man Booker Prize for the follow-up work The Testaments.
Audience members will also be able to ask Atwood questions on the night using the hashtag #AskAtwood.
Gorman, meanwhile, has been deep in research.
"The only way I can prepare for something as daring as this is to over-prepare my notes and questions - and do Amy Cuddy's power poses right before I go on stage," Gorman said.
"I'll also wear red on the night in solidarity with June from The Handmaid's Tale. Red is a powerful colour - and as women and as humans in the current global climate, we need all the strength we can muster."
Gorman said she had so many things she wanted to ask Atwood.
"But top of my list will be two things. Firstly, the way that how the clothing in The Handmaid's Tale - the red cape and dresses and the white, winged hats - have become an international symbol of women's protest against the erosion of their rights. That must be staggering to behold," she said.
"Margaret has also written for decades about the dangers of not looking after our planet, and how climate change will affect women and children the most.
"I know she's concerned about the fires in Australia and how this climate catastrophe is affecting birdlife. She's passionate about birds. So I'll ask her about that too."
Gorman said she was at first perplexed about why Atwood would handpick her to host the conversation in Canberra.
"Then I thought hard about my own work and what synergies Margaret's writing might have with mine. Margaret looks at the details. She's unflinching and doesn't look away. Although I can't write sentences as beautiful as hers, I do look the complexity of humanity - and of society - in the eye in that same way. It can be terrifying, but has its own rewards," she said.
She was "not the fangirl type. But if I was going to fangirl anyone, it would be Margaret Atwood".
"I still remember reading The Handmaid's Tale in my late teens and being blown away by the writing," she said.
"Margaret's sentences are elegant and direct, often concealing layers and layers of meaning. Her ability to capture the feeling in a room is extraordinary. Sometimes as a reader, you can almost smell the smells and feels the textures."