Adam Liaw, Australia’s MasterChef 2010 and author of Two Asian Kitchens, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Adam Liaw

author of Two Asian Kitchens

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 Penang, an island in Malaysia, and moved to Adelaide when I was very young and studied at Prince Alfred College and The University of Adelaide.

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

At twelve I wanted to be a doctor like my parents, at 18 I was in 3rd year of law school and wanted to be an intellectual property lawyer. At 30 I was an intellectual property lawyer and wanted to be a chef and author. At 32 now, releasing my first book is a dream come true.

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

At eighteen I thought that getting old would be easy. Every year it gets harder and harder to keep the Continue reading

Stephen Kelman, author of Pigeon English, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Stephen Kelman

author of Pigeon English

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 in Luton, a midsize town about 30 miles north of London, UK, and was raised on a council estate there called Marsh Farm. I went to school there, first at Waulud’s Infant and Junior Schools and Lea Manor High School, then at the University of Luton.

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

From the age of six I’ve wanted to be a writer. I’m not sure I can really explain why beyond the fact that I always felt a powerful inner pull in that direction. I was an avid reader from a very young age and my desire to write went hand in hand with that.

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

That the results of the football team I supported were somehow important to my life. Now I know otherwise.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

The first book I fell in love with was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I was given a Continue reading

Jane Sullivan, author of Little People, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jane Sullivan

author of Little People

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?

In London. I went to George Eliot primary school, North London Collegiate School and Oxford University, where I studied English literature and attempted to learn Anglo-Saxon irregular verbs. I did an inspirational report on George Eliot at primary school complete with my own drawings of the great novelist, so I knew she was a lady with a long nose, but I never actually read any of her books until the last 10 years or so.

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

At twelve: a novelist. At eighteen: a writer of some sort who could make a living, because by then I suspected most novelists were very poor. At thirty: a top journalist who travelled a lot and made lots of money.  It sounded dashing and glamorous and scary and I’d just come to Australia to work on The Age. I did get to make a living out of Continue reading

Blossom, author of Eat, Spray, Love, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Blossom

author of Eat, Spray, Love

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 and raised in Sydney, I am an autodidact. In fact most of what I know I figured out for myself. I find that if you observe life and its inhabitants closely, you can learn a lot about the world, even if your world is a small one.

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

I’m now two and a bit so I can’t say, although at this point in my life I am exactly what I want to be: a perfectly satisfied house cat who has achieved enlightenment within the safe haven of my own apartment.

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

Well, at eighteen weeks I thought the secrets of the universe were only to be discovered in exotic climates and on foreign shores, and now I know we hold the great secrets within us.

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

One was my first trip to the vet (was the thermometer up the bum really necessary?) and a close encounter with a shitzu (accent on the ‘shit’) which made me realise life on the outside isn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Second was coming across Blake’s poem, Auguries of Innocence—the one that begins with the lines, ‘To see a world in a grain of sand, And heaven in a wildflower’. He inspired me to embrace life’s simple pleasures and understand the large through the small.

Third was seeing my flatmate get a book published. I mean if she could do it, I certainly could. And I was right.

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? aren’t they obsolete?

I’m an old fashioned feline and I actually like the smell of paper and the feel of Continue reading

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare: Exclusive Booktopia content

Book 4 + letter

If you are a fan of The Mortal Instruments series, you are going to LOVE this.

In City of Glass, Book 3 of The Mortal Instruments series, Jace leaves a letter in Clary’s room before he leaves for a life-threatening mission. The content of this letter has been the subject of much speculation among Mortal Instruments fans, but it has never been revealed until now.

The only place in Australia where you can get a look at this exclusive letter is Booktopia. The letter to Clary will be enclosed in the book as a separate piece as if it were handwritten on stationery. It will be delivered to you with your copy of City of Fallen Angels.

City of Fallen Angels is releasing around the world on April 5. Pre-order it now at our discounted price of $22.95 (save 18%) and be one of the few people in Australia to get this precious piece of the puzzle for themselves.

We have limited stocks only of this presentation letter so get your order in quickly.

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Go here for an extract from City of Fallen Angels

Go here for the book trailer

Go here for Cassandra Clare’s answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

About City of Fallen Angels:Love, blood, betrayal and revenge – the stakes are higher than ever in the fourth book in the bestselling Mortal Instruments sequence

Simon Lewis is having some trouble adjusting to his new life as a vampire, especially now that he hardly sees his best friend Clary, who is caught up in training to be a Shadowhunter – and spending time with her new boyfriend, Jace. Simon decides he needs a break and heads out of the city – only to discover that sinister events are following him. Realizing that the war they thought they’d won might not yet be over, Simon has to call on his Shadowhunter friends to save the day – if they can put their own splintering relationships on hold long enough to rise to the challenge.

About the Author

Cassandra Clare lives in Brooklyn. She has worked as an entertainment journalist for The Hollywood Reporter, has published several short stories and is the author of the popular internet parody The Very Secret Diaries. The Infernal Devices is her second major series.

Wendy Harmer, author of Friends Like These, answers Ten Terrifying Questions


The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Wendy Harmer

author of Friends Like These, The Pearlie Series, Farewell My Ovaries and more…

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?

For me it’s a very long-winded answer! I was born in Yarram, then raised in five little towns, schooled in five schools. All of them were in country Victoria.

My father, as a rural school headmaster, relocated every three years. At the age of 17, I began my independent life in Geelong then went on to live in Melbourne for 20 years. Now I live in Sydney.

If I were to answer what do I identify myself as? I would say, a very proud Victorian. Good public schools, wonderful teachers gave me a great start in life. I am also a proud advocate of State schools.

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

At twelve I wanted to be a hairdresser, a florist, a novelist or a journalist.

At eighteen I was a journalist and wanted to be a cabaret singer.

At thirty I was a cabaret singer, stand up comedian and wanted to be a radio broadcaster and a Continue reading

Author Kylie Ladd reviews Swallow the Air, a novel by Tara June Winch

I didn’t come across Swallow The Air, the début novel of indigenous author Tara June Winch, by accident. In 2010, my family and I left our Melbourne home to spend a year in Broome in the far northwest of Australia. It was an eye-opening experience. There was the sheer physical beauty of the region for a start, and the radically different lifestyle of the tropics, dictated as it is by the climate. Most of all though, I have to confess that it was the first time any of us- my husband, myself, our two primary-school aged children- had been confronted with the realities of indigenous Australia. Roughly 35 percent of the population of Broome identify themselves as of aboriginal descent, and at the school my children attended more than half the student body was indigenous. As a result, we all learned a lot about aboriginal culture and beliefs – but also, less pleasantly, about the ongoing discrepancy between black and white in housing, in education, in health, in employment, in life span and outlook and place in the community. Some of my frustration and despair at things I saw found their way into tweets, and after reading those tweets novelist Rebecca Sparrow sent me a copy of Swallow The Air.

I’m so glad she did. Swallow The Air is an aboriginal story, but it is not the Continue reading

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