Joanne Fedler Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Joanne Fedler

author of

When Hungry, Eat

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, raised during Apartheid, schooled in South Africa and the US, and moved to Australia in 2001.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve I wanted to be skinny and pretty because I was neither. At eighteen I wanted Continue reading

Kate Veitch Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Kate Veitch

author of

Trust and Listen

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I grew up in Melbourne, a city which just gets better and better (though I’m more of a part-timer these days). Attended very ordinary suburban schools, then University High which was Academically Serious. I slinked off at the end of Year 10 and never went back; academia has never appealed to me, I’m afraid.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve I wanted not to be a child any more; I hated having so little control over my life. At eighteen I wanted to be exactly what I was, a feckless hippie. At thirty I wanted lots of doing: work, and kids, and building property.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That electric orange juice squeezers were symptomatic of how sick western society had become. Now, our illness is so vast that such gadgets seem merely trivial. Continue reading

Susan Maushart author of The Winter Of Our Disconnect Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Susan Maushart

author of

The Winter Of Our Disconnect, Wifework: What Marriage Really Means for Women, What Women Want Next and Sort of a Place Like Home

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

I was born on Long Island in 1958, lived in a town called Dix Hills (named after an Indian named “Dick” – ! – according to a plaque outside the local firehouse) and went to Half Hollow Hills High School. Perhaps this explains why I still see the cup as half … hollow?

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I wanted to be a writer when I was 12, an actress when I was 18 and divorced when Continue reading

Rebecca James author of Beautiful Malice answers Ten Terrifying Questions

Struggling writers all over the world take down your pictures of J.K. Rowling – we have a new poster girl for you – Rebecca James… Who?

Good question. The very same question people asked in 1997 when the name J.K. Rowling was mentioned. Who?

In November 2009 The Sydney Morning Herald published an article about a woman in Armidale, NSW whose novel Beautiful Malice, had started “a worldwide bidding war which has pushed advances on her manuscript past $1 million and led the The Wall Street Journal to wonder if she is the next J.K. Rowling.”

That woman was Rebecca James and Beautiful Malice “has been sold in more than 20 countries and is scheduled to be translated into at least 13 languages. Not bad for a book that was initially rejected by every literary agency in Australia.”

I love that bit.

The article continues… “The Wall Street Journal described how the book sparked a frenzy among publishers at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair and called it ”a sexy psychological thriller”, a ”brilliantly plotted page-turner” and ”Stephenie Meyer … without the vampires”.

What is Beautiful Malice about?

“Set in Sydney, James’s novel depicts the relationship between Katherine, a solitary girl whose sister was brutally murdered, and gorgeous fun-loving Alice, who befriends her. Alice’s influence is transformative, but as Katherine emerges from her grief, she discovers her new best friend can be chilling as well as charming.” (Click here for the full SMH article)

BEAUTIFUL MALICE will be available from 1st May 2010  (pre-order here$19.95 SAVE 20% 

READ AN EXTRACT – CLICK HERE

The story of Rebecca James is wonderful – it is a  rags-to-riches story which will warm the hearts of Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: SIDDON ROCK Wins Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book

SIDDON ROCK by Glenda Guest, a first novel published by Random House early last year, has just been named the Best First Book in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. The judges praised SIDDON ROCK for its rich cast of odd characters and blending of the everyday with fantasy. Behind every door in town lurk secret desires and wild imaginings. The novel, they concluded, deftly delves into the hauntings and disjunctions of settler Australia, and in its fable-like quality captures the laconic mannerisms of the Australian outback. Glenda is a woman in her early sixties who had always wanted to write a novel but never quite found the discipline or time until the last few years.

SIDDON ROCK is a most unusual Australian novel as it carries more than a touch of magic realism. Glenda was bold to persist with her story which at heart is an extraordinary tale about an ordinary Australian outback town.

Australia, recently, has had a great run with these prizes. Christos Tsiokas’s THE SLAP won the Best Book last year and Random House-published Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif with A CASE OF EXPLODING MANGOES won the Best First Book.

Click here to read more about this award-winning first novel, SIDDON ROCK.

Craig Silvey Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Craig Silvey

author of

Rhubarb, The World According to Warren and Jasper Jones

Ten Terrifying Questions

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1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

New Paperback Edition $21.50

I grew up on an orchard in the South-West of the black swan state. I was a pretty effete child labourer, much to my parent’s disappointment. I used to take books out with me while I picked and packed apples, resulting in a fairly lax work rate. I went to a strange but lovely school which was curiously integrated inside a Victorian era tourist attraction called Pioneer World, which featured street theatre, Clydesdale rides, gold panning and anything that was remotely Ye Olde. It was fantastic.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

When I was twelve, I think I was enamoured with the idea of being a palaeontologist. By eighteen, I was writing my first novel, Rhubarb. And I’ll let you know when I get to thirty. I’m thinking I might start a cult.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

Oh, there were many. Pertinently, I guess, I used to have this rule where if I started reading a novel, I had to finish it, no matter how excruciatingly painful it was. That was, of course, until I began reading a particularly acclaimed novel by one of our most celebrated and best regarded writers. I resented every turgid word of it. Still, I forced myself to finish that big bitter bastard, which sat on my desk like a foetid turd, causing me nothing but dread and turmoil. It took me over six months to chew through it, and at the end, after I’d flung it as far as I could, I resolved Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: OPRAH: A Biography by Kitty Kelley

Oprah Winfrey is the subject of a new biography by the ever scandalous Kitty Kelley. Like Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan and the British Royal family, whom Kelley ‘exposed’ in previous biographies, Oprah can expect to have her dirty laundry aired before an always insatiable public. No stone will have been left unturned.

This will be the biography of the year, if not for its erudition, then for its irresistible salaciousness!

The only problem Kitty Kelley faces now is how to get on TV to promote her book. All of Oprah’s friends are denying  access –  The View’s Barbara Walters, CNN’s Larry King, CBS’ David Letterman and PBS’ Charlie Rose have all refused to have Kelley on their shows.

USAToday says, Despite a reputation for playing loose with the facts, Kelley has never been successfully sued over any of her books.

“I’m very proud of that,” says Kelley. “And I write about people who are very powerful when they’re alive. It’s all documented. It’s all solid stuff.”

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