We find ourselves at the halfway point of the countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist, as voted by you. Here’s the story so far:
Some list huh? Amazing to think we have another 30 authors to count down!
So here we go, a huge congratulations to the next crop of novelists for being voted onto this extraordinary list.
Before writing full-time Michael Robotham was an investigative journalist in Britain, Australia and the US. In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies. Twelve of these non-fiction titles were bestsellers with combined sales of more than 2 million copies.
His first novel The Suspect, a psychological thriller, was chosen by the world’s largest consortium of book clubs as only the fifth “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries.
In 2012 he released his eighth novel Say You’re Sorry. It went on to be New York Times bestseller and was named by Stephen King as one of his best books of 2012, who praised its, “Never-lets-up suspense and beautiful writing.”
Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three and a half hours south-east of Perth.
She discovered Danielle Steel at the age of eleven, and has now written her own brand of rural romance.
She has attended romance writers’ groups and received an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has followed on from its success with two more novels Heart of Gold and The Road Home.
28. Nick Earls
Nick Earls writes long, short and medium-sized fiction, so far including twelve novels and numerous shorter works. With the publication of the first installment of the Word Hunters series in September 2012, he is now officially also a writer for children.
Critics have compared his work with that of Nick Hornby, Raymond Carver, Martin Amis, VS Naipaul, JD Salinger, Woody Allen and Jeffrey Eugenides.
He is the winner of a Betty Trask Award (UK) and Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. Perfect Skin was the only novel to be a finalist in the Australian Comedy Awards in 2003, and was adapted into a feature film in Italy (Solo un Padre, Warner Brothers/Cattleya). 48 Shades of Brown was a Kirkus Reviews (US) book of the year selection, and was adapted into a feature film in Australia (Buena Vista/Prima). Five of his novels have been adapted into stage plays.
He has also written for newspapers, including the New York Times, the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He was born in Northern Ireland, but has spent most of his life in Australia, where all of his books have been bestsellers.
Anita is a writer, poet, activist, social commentator and academic. She is the author of Yirra and her deadly dog, Demon, I’m not racist, but…, My Story: the diary of Mary Talence, and a series of bestselling chick lit novels including Not Meeting Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming.
Her work has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Young People’s History Prize and she has won the DEADLY award for writing a number of times.
She is a member of the Wiradjuri nation of central New South Wales, but grew up in Matraville, Sydney.
Peter Carey is one of only four writers to have won the Booker Prize twice—the others being J. M. Coetzee, J. G. Farrell and Hilary Mantel. Carey won his first Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda, and won for the second time in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang. In May 2008 he was nominated for the Best of the Booker Prize.
Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award three times and is frequently named as Australia’s next contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
In addition to writing fiction, he collaborated on the screenplay of the film Until the End of the World with Wim Wenders and is executive director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.
Jackie French’s writing career spans sixteen years, 42 wombats, 120 books for kids and adults, translations into nineteen languages, and slightly more awards than wombats, both in Australia and overseas.
Her books range from provocative historical fiction such as Hitler’s Daughter and They Came on Viking Ships to the hilarious international bestseller, Diary of a Wombat with Bruce Whatley, as well as many nonfiction titles such as The Fascinating History of Your Lunch, and To the Moon and Back (with Bryan Sullivan), the history of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and man’s journey to the moon.
In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.
The Paul Jennings phenomenon began with the publication of Unreal! in 1985. Since then, readers all around the world have devoured his books.
Paul Jennings has written over one hundred stories and has been voted ‘favourite author’ over forty times by children in Australia, winning every children’s choice award.
The top-rating TV series Round the Twist and Driven Crazy are based on a selection of his enormously popular short-story collections such as Unseen! which was awarded the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Children’s Book.
In 1995 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2001. Paul has sold more than 8 million books worldwide.
Helene won the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012 and was shortlisted in 2013.
She was also voted most popular romantic suspense author by the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) in 2010 and 2011, and was shortlisted for the same award in 2012. Burning Lies was shortlisted for the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award Mystery/Suspense in America.
When she’s not writing or flying with Australia’s largest regional airline you can find Helene sailing the high seas with her partner, Capt G, and Zeus the salty sea dog, aboard their catamaran Roo Bin Esque.
Keneally was known as “Mick” until 1964 but began using the name Thomas when he started publishing, after advice from his publisher to use what was really his first name. He is most famous for his Schindler’s Ark (later republished as Schindler’s List), which won the Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler’s List.
Many of his novels are reworkings of historical material, although modern in their psychology and style.
In 1983 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In March 2009 the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, gave an autographed copy of Keneally’s biography Lincoln to President Barack Obama as a state gift.
21. Bryce Courtenay
From the unlikeliest of beginnings, Bryce Courtenay’s sweeping epics found a place in the hearts of Australians everywhere.
Courtenay began writing novels at a relatively late stage in his life after over three decades in the advertising industry.
His first and arguably most well known book, The Power Of One, was first published in 1989 and was adapted soon after into an award-winning film.
His consistency of style and warmth of voice has kept readers enthralled since those early days, and he established himself as one of Australia’s most popular novelists. He has remained one of Australia’s most popular writers even after his passing in November 2012.
Check out our Australian Stories section, full of the best Aussie Titles as well as prizes and giveaways!