Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Tara Moss, Michael Robotham, Paul Merrill

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog.

My Ten Terrifying Questions have been answered by over 250 published authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Miles Franklin shortlisted Favel Parret and Rebecca James.

In each of these interviews I ask the following question:

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Now, for the edification of aspiring writers everywhere, I will pull together answers to this question from three very different writers and post them here once week. Some will inspire, some will confound but all will be interesting and helpful in their own way…


TARA MOSS

“Write. Start writing today. Start writing right now. Don’t write it right, just write it – and then make it right later. Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process, because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of ‘writing rules’ and advice. Do it your way.

Writing is a gift.”

Read the full interview here…

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*While stocks last


MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

“Write, write and when you’re sick of writing, write some more. It’s the only way to get better.”

Read the full interview here…

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PAUL MERRILL

“Give up now – there are enough books already. But if you absolutely have to write, go for mummy porn.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy A Polar Bear Ate My Head from Booktopia,
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For more advice from published writers go here

The 20 Best Fantasy Titles To Help You Escape The Christmas Mayhem – Part Two (A Personal Selection By Guest Blogger Mark Timmony)

Follow on from part one…

Still Life with Shape-Shifter

by Sharon Shinn

With her beautifully wrought prose, Shinn has crafted worlds of grace and beauty in both genres of science fiction and fantasy. Now she turns her talents to our world and presents a treasure of urban fantasy chronicling the relationship between two sisters and the need to keep a life changing secret that is not your own when revealing it may save the life of the person it belongs to.

Click here for more details or to buy


Emperor’s Soul

by Brandon Sanderson

Mega-seller Brandson Sanderson has managed to find some time whilst finishing off Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time to bring us this novella set in the same world as his very first published work Elantris. Crafted with his characteristic flare for inventive magic systems and strong characterisation this standalone novella is the perfect place for anyone new to his work to wade in – or even for those of us desperate for the next book in the Stormlight Archives to find a quick fix while we (im)patiently wait.

Click here for more details or to buy


Crown of Vengeance

by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory

One of the fantasy genre’s most beloved authors, Mercedes Lackey teamed up with James Mallory in 2003 to create the bestselling fantasy trilogies Obsidian and Enduring Flame. Now they return to that world to tell the tale of one of its greatest heroes. Moving Lackey into a world that is markedly more ‘high fantasy’ than her Valdemar novels, these trilogies have cultivated a legion of fans and offer the best traditions of epic fantasy while remaining inventive and filled with passion and lush prose. Perfect for those readers who are fans of David Eddings and Terry Brooks, the team of Lackey and Mallory dig deep to bring adventure and life to a setting that leaps off the pages and stays with you long after you’ve finished the books.

Click here for more details or to buy


Knife Sworn

by Mazarkis Williams

Abandoning the ‘medieval European’ setting for his series Williams takes the reader to the more exotic climes of deserts and silks, where battles of fire and water and political alliances shift like the dunes that surround glittering cities. With economic yet vivid prose, Williams moves forward with a confidence that astounds for a newcomer and amply demonstrates to many more established authors how to write a fantasy like a master. Beautifully atmospheric in feel Williams shy’s away from full-throttle action relying instead on political intrigue and the slow reveal to pull the reader in and keep the pages turning. Knife Sworn picks up where The Emperor’s Knife left off and we are thrust once more into the deadly world of Prince Sarmin, his wife and ally Mesema, and his struggle to hold the throne that is rightfully his.

Click here for more details or to buy


The Dead of Winter

by Lee Collins

Gunslingers and demons, this is not one of the Western’s you’ve heard tell of, nor indeed read or even watch (on DVD if not the Silver screen).  The Dead of Winter twists the grit and tough-as-saddle-leather frontier and brings it to a bloody and dark fantasy in a page-turning ride of thrills and heart-stopping action that will scorch new meaning into the ‘wild’ west forever. Lee Collins has written a vivid, gripping tale of human survival and the battle against the monsters at the door that can only be won when those of the past have been defeated.

Click here for more details or to buy


Days of Blood and Starlight

by Laini Taylor

A wonderful fairy-tale-like story that sweeps you off your feet with lyrical prose and graceful imagery, this is Taylor’s follow up to the brilliant Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Following star-crossed lovers, the blue haired Karou and her soul mate Akiva, this is a tale of love, hope and honor and betrayal, passion and grief, and is so far beyond the norm for urban fantasy as to deserve a category all its own. If you are tired of sparkly vampires and things that go bump in the night then step in to Taylors world and get caught up in a vibrant novel that reads like the love child of Neil Gaiman and Guillermo del Toro.  Days of Blood and Starlight, along with its predecessor, is simply stunning.

Click here for more details or to buy


Trapped

by Kevin Hearne

Urban fantasy mixed with ancient mythology and a liberal does of modern attitude, Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series has been flying off the shelves since day one, and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.  A strong storyteller with a snappy wit, Hearne’s work has been compared to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and Butcher’s Dresden Files – but he tends to reach a little further than both and has found an audience with readers who have never picked up either. Page-turning and humorous, Hearne – a self-professed comic-book nerd – has turned his love of ‘larger-than-life’ heroes facing evil villains into an awesome, fresh and adventure filled urban fantasy series.

Click here for more details or to buy


Steel’s Edge

by Ilona Andrews

A gem that takes a step outside the box and blends our world of electricity and modern conveniences with a fantasy world of pure magic and sets a series of tales in the space that borders both, the Edge. Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing team who specialize in brilliant world building and compelling characterisation thrust right into heart thumping action with a strong underpinning of believable romance. The Edge novels are stand-alone stories with interconnected characters and a really good place to give one of the big names in Paranormal Romance a try.

Click here for more details or to buy


Red Country

by Joe Abercrombie

Arguably one of the most popular writers of ‘noir’ fantasy Abercrombie has cut a bloody swathe through the ranks of genre mainstays to be the herald of a new and different style of fantasy fiction. Red Country is the eagerly awaited new stand-alone in his First Law universe. Bursting with Abercrombie’s savoir-faire this new novel is a no-holds barred frontier epic meshing the feel of a western with sword and sorcery (although admittedly he is every light on the sorcery part).  Pushing his characters to the limits Abercrombie doesn’t shy away from the more base of the human characteristics yet brilliantly builds his world and fleshes out his characters to keep you riveted to the page and coming back for more. If you haven’t read any of Abercrombie’s work in the past and are looking for something a bit different to your normal fantasy fair, Red Country is a great place to start.

Click here for more details or to buy


Angel’s Ink

by Jocelynn Drake

Never judge a book by its cover. Please. Judging this cover you would imagine that Angels Ink does indeed belong in Paranormal Romance rather than the Urban Fantasy field, but such things are sent to try and test us.  Having read some of her work that is indeed Para-rom in nature I to thought this would be the same. It is far from it. Picking up the e-novella prequel to this book (more a ‘taste-test’ than a ‘need-to-read’) I was blown away by the direction Drake has taken. More Jim Butcher than Sherrilyn Kenyon, Drake has created a whole new world to lay over our own and offer an alternate reality rather than an urban fantasy. Brothers Grimm eat your heart out, your stories ain’t got nothing on the Asylum Tales.

Click here for more details or to buy


The 20 Best Fantasy Titles To Help You Escape The Christmas Mayhem – Part One

Check Mark out on twitter on @MarkTimmony

Swannies Guernsey and Cap Signed by Micky O Up For Grabs!

Swans jersey and cap signed by Micky O up for grabsIn time for AFL Grand Final Day, Booktopia has a Swans guernsey and cap both signed by Micky O to give away.

Just order Micky O: Determination. Hard Work. And a Little Bit of Magic from Booktopia before midnight Tuesday 2nd October 2012 to go into the draw.

How does that sound?

Oh, and may the best team win…

(Go Swannies!)

Click here to order Micky O from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


Click here for details or to orderMicky O: Determination. Hard Work. And a Little Bit of Magic

When Michael O’Loughlin was drafted by the Sydney Swans at just 17 years of age, he was the no. 40 selection and the last player picked. Back then he could not have imagined the extraordinary future that awaited him: the numerous awards and accolades, the respect and admiration of fellow players, a huge number of personal supporters, and a record-breaking 303 games in the red and white.

This is the inspiring story of Michael’s life from the childhood lessons of hard work and self-belief imparted to him by his mother, Muriel, to the discovery of the stunning sporting ability which would take him into the elite legions of AFL.

By 2009, Michael had broken the Swans’ games record. He had kicked more goals for the club than anyone except the legendary Bob Pratt. Swans jersey and cap signed by Micky O up for grabsHe played more finals for the Swans than any other, and became one of just three Indigenous players in the history of the sport to reach 300 games.

Micky O is the extraordinary story of a kid who combined his talent with sheer determination to become one of the greatest AFL players of all time.

Click here to order Micky O from Booktopia,
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Jennifer Byrne will interview J.K. Rowling!

Mark your diaries! Jennifer Byrne is the only Australian journalist to be granted access to J.K. Rowling to talk about the most hotly anticipated book of the year — her first book for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy. Rowling is only giving a handful of interviews worldwide. Don’t miss this fascinating discussion with one of the world’s most loved authors. J. K. Rowling: Life After Potter will air on ABC1 on Thursday, 27 September at 8pm – just three hours after The Casual Vacancy goes on sale in Australia and around the world.


The Casual Vacancy

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

Click here to order The Casual Vacancy from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

John Purcell: This is the book which is making the bookworld nervous. The publisher is printing truckloads of the thing. Booksellers are playing along. No one knows if the readers will come out to play. JK’s first book for adults… Will it be any good? Because of a strict embargo no one will know until the day of publication when bloggers worldwide will race each other to be first to post a review.

Personally, I think it will be good. I think people will be delighted. And as soon as readers hear that it is good, they will flood into stores. This may not be a pre-order dream but it will be the biggest non-bondage book of the year.

So be one of the cool kids. Get it before everyone else. Your faith will be rewarded.

Did You Watch ‘Call the Midwife’ Last Night?

It’s time to head back to East End London in the 1950s with CALL THE MIDWIFE, the warm and endearing story of Jennifer Worth as she experiences the highs and lows of midwife life back in simpler (or was it really more complicated?) times.

The ratings for this TV series, of which there are 6 hour long episodes, drew more viewers in the UK than the corseted juggernaut of DOWNTON ABBEY – so did you watch it?

Over 1,000,000 copies of this TV tie-in have been sold in the UK to date!

Maybe it’s time you got yourself a copy… huh? Huh?


Call the Midwife

A fascinating slice of social history – Jennifer Worth’s tales of being a midwife in 1950s London

Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction.

Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.

About the Author

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about twenty-five years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband Philip, two daughters and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers.

Click here to order Call the Midwife from Booktopia,
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Shadows of the Workhouse

In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered. There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute.

At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room. These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.

Click here to order Shadows of the Workhouse from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


Farewell to the East End

This final book in Jennifer Worth’s memories of her time as a midwife in London’s East end brings her story full circle. As always there are heartbreaking stories such as the family devastated by tuberculosis and a ship’s woman who ‘serviced’ the entire crew, as well as plenty of humour and warmth, such as the tale of two women who shared the same husband! Other stories cover backstreet abortions, the changing life of the docklands, infanticide, as well as the lives of the inhabitants of Nonnatus House.

We discover what happens with the gauche debutant Chummy and her equally gauche policeman; will Sister Monica Joan continue her life of crime? Will Sister Evangelina ever crack a smile? And what of Jennifer herself? The book not only details the final years of the tenements but also of Jennifer’s journey as she moves on from the close community of nuns, and her life takes a new path.

Click here to order Farewell to the East End from Booktopia,
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In the Midst of Life

Jennifer Worth’s bestselling memoirs of her time as a midwife have inspired and moved readers of all ages.

Now, in IN THE MIDST OF LIFE she documents her experiences as a nurse and ward sister, treating patients who were nearing the end of their lives. Interspersed with these stories from Jennifer’s post-midwife career are the histories of her patients, from the family divided by a decision nobody could bear to make, to the mother who comes to her son’s adopted country and joins his family without being able to speak a word of English.

IN THE MIDST OF LIFE also gives moving insights not just into Jennifer’s life and career, but also of a period of time which seems very different to today’s, fast-paced world.

Click here to order In the Midst of Life from Booktopia,
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Shortlist announced – 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

Premier and Minister for the Arts Ted Baillieu today announced the 21 works that are in the running for the most valuable literary prize in Australia – The Victorian Prize for Literature.

“Now in their 27th year, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards proudly recognise and promote the exceptional work of Australian authors, playwrights and poets. They are a celebration of writing and of reading, both of which play a vital role in the life of this State,” Mr Baillieu said.

The winner of each of the award categories receives $25,000 and goes into the running to win the Victorian Prize for Literature, which carries an additional $100,000 in prize money, making it the richest in the country.

“This year’s shortlist features works by authors at all stages of their careers, covering subjects as diverse as Australian pioneering history and Indian philosophy, political intrigue, youth homelessness, immigration, cookery and the world of country show-jumping.”

Mr Baillieu said readers everywhere now have the chance to have their say, by voting for their favourite work to win the 2012 People’s Choice Award.

The winners will be announced at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards ceremony on Tuesday 16 October 2012.

For further information on the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and to vote for the People’s Choice Award, please visit www.wheelercentre.com.


2012 VICTORIAN PREMIER’S LITERARY AWARDS SHORTLIST SUMMARY

 Award for Fiction:

· All That I Am by Anna Funder (Penguin Books) – USA

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it’s 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller’s story arrives on Ruth’s Continue reading

ALL AUSTRALIAN THRILLS: Destined to Play by Indigo Bloome

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Step aside, Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s a new name in steamy fiction.

Enter Destined to Play, the first in a three-book series that has seen first-time Australian author Indigo Bloome land herself in the position of a six-figure book deal.

The first in the Avalon trilogy may be Australia’s answer to the Anastasia Steele plot that has blown open the hunger for erotic fiction – and Destined looks set to please those who enjoyed the escapism afforded by the raunchy BDSM of Fifty Shades.

The book is being “rushed” into print after pre-orders in iTunes saw the title, announced on May 24, shoot straight to 7th on Apple iBooks bestsellers’ chart. It debuted at number two in the romance category and went on sale on July 1 read more

Read Indigo Bloome’s answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions

About Destined to Play: A 36-year-old psychologist specialising in visual perception comes to Sydney to give a series of lectures and meets up with Dr Jeremy Quinn, an ex-lover whom she hasn’t seen for years. After a few glasses of champagne in his luxurious hotel penthouse, he presents her with an intriguing offer: stay with him for the next 48 hours and accept two extraordinary conditions.

She knows he will challenge her every inhibition, but she soon finds herself seduced into a level of surrender – and danger – she could never have imagined .

Destined to Play is the first book in the Avalon trilogy exploring the intricate relationships between trust and betrayal, desire and love, risk …and reward.

If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, you will love Destined to Play.

Click here to buy Destined to Play

Trailer:

Jennifer Scoullar, author of Brumby’s Run, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

 Jennifer Scoullar

author of Brumby’s Run

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 was born in Melbourne and raised in between our family’s house in town and our farm. When I left school I went to Monash University to study Law.

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

At 12, I wanted to be a vet, live in the country and write novels about animals.

At 18, I didn’t know what I wanted to be, but still wanted to live in the country and write novels about animals. I didn’t want to be a vet anymore because a) maths was too hard and b) sometimes people dispose of unwanted pets by euthanising them. I didn’t think I’d be able to do that.

At 30, I wanted to be a good mother, bring my children up in the country and write novels about rural Australia and the environment.

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

At 18 I was a strident conservationist, in a hurry to change the world for the better in a big way.

I am still a committed conservationist, but now I understand that every little bit counts. We should celebrate even small advances towards a better world for our children. I love the story about the boy picking up stranded starfish  and throwing them back into the sea to save them. A man says to him, “This beach goes on for miles, and there are thousands of starfish. Your efforts are futile, it doesn’t make a difference!” The boy looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it into the water. “To this one,” he said, “it makes all the difference.” We fix the world one day at a time, one person at a time, one action at a time.

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 books of Elyne Mitchell – for her beautiful prose, and the way she unashamedly gave animals a voice.

The bush ballads of Banjo Paterson – for celebrating  the beauty of the outback and the courage and spirit of its inhabitants, both animals and people

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey – This book is essentially a love letter to the Utah desert. I was so inspired by Abbey’s sharp, poetic  style. He brought the reader as close as possible, without actually being there.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

Everything happens just the way I want it to in my imaginary world. Nobody can tell me what to do. How good is that?

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Brumby’s Run is the story of a young woman named Samantha. She discovers she has a twin sister, Charlie, who is critically ill. City girl Sam soon finds herself running her sister’s farm, high in the Victorian alps. This new life, Charlie’s life, intrigues her. Bit by bit she falls in love with the mountains, the brumbies and with handsome neighbour Drew Chandler, her sister’s erstwhile lover. Sam begins to wish that Charlie might never come home…

The search for personal identity is a major theme. Brumby’s Run also looks at the damage family secrets can cause, and it explores our paradoxical relationship with animals and the environment.

(BBGuru: publisher’s blurb – A blissful carefree summer beckons for Samantha Carmichael. But her world is turned on its head when she learns she’s adopted – and that she has a twin sister, Charlie, who is critically ill.

While Charlie recovers in hospital, Sam offers to look after Brumby’s Run, her sister’s home high in the Victorian Alps. Within days city girl Sam finds herself breaking brumbies and running cattle with the help of handsome neighbour Drew Chandler, her sister’s erstwhile boyfriend.

A daunting challenge soon becomes a wholehearted tree change as Sam begins to fall in love with Brumby’s Run – and with Drew. But what will happen when Charlie comes back to claim what is rightfully hers?

Set among the hauntingly beautiful ghost gums and wild horses of the high country, Brumby’s Run is a heartfelt, romantic novel about families and secrets, love and envy and, most especially, the bonds of sisterhood. )

Click here to buy Brumby’s Run from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope readers take away an appreciation of Victoria’s beautiful upper Murray region, and the fabled wild horses of the high country. I also hope they are thoroughly entertained.

8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

It would be too simplistic to choose one person, but I do particularly admire Australian novelist, Andrea Goldsmith. She is a consummate observer of people and writes with great sophistication and emotional depth. I have learned such a lot from reading her books.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

To finish my new novel in a timely manner.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read and write and read and write and don’t give up. It’s sometimes when you’re most disheartened, that a breakthrough happens – and try to shut up your internal critic.

Jennifer, thank you for playing.

Click here to buy Brumby’s Run from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Alyson Noël, Frank Moorhouse, and Derek Landy

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog.

My Ten Terrifying Questions have been answered by over 250 published authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Miles Franklin shortlisted Favel Parret and  Rebecca James.

In each of these interviews I ask the following question:

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Now, for the edification of aspiring writers everywhere, I will pull together answers to this question from three very different writers and post them here once week. Some will inspire, some will confound but all will be interesting and helpful in their own way…


ALYSON NOËL

“To read as much as you can and to read outside of your comfort zone—the books you like as well as books you don’t like—they all have something to teach you.

Also, go easy on yourself. It’s so easy to get discouraged when your story fails to match the vision you hold in your head, but it’s important to remember that the majority of writing is rewriting—there’s no such thing as a pretty first draft, so cut yourself some slack and keep at it!”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Fated from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


FRANK MOORHOUSE

Runner-up for the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012

“Shed ideas of privacy and shame and live by candour as best you can in your writing and in your relationships – use the great freedom that we have.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Cold Light from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


DEREK LANDY

“If you knock me off the Bestseller list I will hunt you down and kill you with a spoon.

Okay fine, that’s more of a threat than a piece of advice, so I’m also going to say write what you know. I never knew what that advice meant when I was starting out. I always thought write what you know was very restrictive. But I’ve since come to interpret it as put a little piece of yourself in everything you write. No matter if you’re writing about vampires or zombies or, in my case, living skeletons, so long as you include a sliver of raw honesty from your own life and your own experience, your story will mean something to someone.

But most of all, if you knock me off the Bestseller list I’ll kill you. Seriously. I will.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World from Booktopia
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For more advice from published writers go here

Congratulations to Anna Funder: Winner of The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012 for All That I Am

Booktopia would like to congratulate Anna Funder for winning the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award with All That I Am… Congratulations!

THE WINNER:

Anna Funder – All That I Am

Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past – and a part of history that has been all but forgotten.

Another lifetime away, it’s 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.

When Toller’s story arrives on Ruth’s doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she’s right back among them – those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested – and in some cases found wanting – in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history. Click here to read more…

Anna answered the Ten Terrifying Questions – read her answers here
Click here to order your copy of All That I Am



THE RUNNERS- UP:

Tony Birch – Blood

From the moment he saw her, wrapped in a blanket at the hospital, Jesse knew that he’d be the one to look after his little sister, Rachel. Mum was always on the move and always bringing home trouble.

When his mum’s appetite for destruction leads the little family into the arms of Ray Crow, beneath the charm and charisma, Jesse sees the brooding violence and knows that, this time, the trouble is real.

But Jesse’s just a kid and even as he tries to save his sister, he makes a fatal error that exposes them to the kind of danger he has sworn to protect Rachel from. As their little world is torn to pieces, the children learn that, when you are lost and alone, the only thing you can trust is what’s in your blood. Click here to read more…

Click here to order your copy of Blood


Gillian Mears – Foal’s Bread

The sound of horses’ hooves turns hollow on the farms west of Wirri. If a man can still ride, if he hasn’t totally lost the use of his legs, if he hasn’t died to the part of his heart that understands such things, then he should go for a gallop. At the very least he should stand at the road by the river imagining that he’s pushing a horse up the steep hill that leads to the house on the farm once known as One Tree.

Set in hardscrabble farming country and around the country show high-jumping circuit that prevailed in rural New South Wales prior to the Second World War, Foal’s Bread tells the story of two generations of the Nancarrow family and their fortunes as dictated by the vicissitudes of the land. Click here to read more…

Gillian answered the Ten Terrifying Questions – read her answers here
Click here to order your copy of Foal’s Bread


Frank Moorhouse – Cold Light

It is 1950, the League of Nations has collapsed and the newly formed United Nations has rejected all those who worked and fought for the League. Edith Campbell Berry, who joined the League in Geneva before the war, is out of a job, her vision shattered. With her sexually unconventional, husband, Ambrose, she comes back to Australia to live in Canberra.

Edith now has ambitions to become Australia’s first female ambassador, but while she waits for a Call from On High, she finds herself caught up in the planning of the national capital and the dream that it should be ‘a city like no other’.

When her communist brother, Frederick, turns up out of the blue after many years of absence, she becomes concerned that he may jeopardise her chances of becoming a diplomat. It is not a safe time to be a communist in Australia or to be related to one, but she refuses to be cowed by the anti-communist sentiment sweeping the country. Click here to read more…

Frank answered the Ten Terrifying Questions – read his answers here
Click here to order your copy of Cold Light


Favel Parrett – Past the Shallows

Harry and Miles live with their father, an abalone fisherman, on the south-east coast of Tasmania. With their mum dead, they are left to look after themselves. When Miles isn’t helping out on the boat they explore the coast and Miles and his older brother, Joe, love to surf. Harry is afraid of the water.

Everyday their dad battles the unpredictable ocean to make a living. He is a hard man, a bitter drinker who harbours a devastating secret that is destroying him. Unlike Joe, Harry and Miles are too young to leave home and so are forced to live under the dark cloud of their father’s mood, trying to stay as invisible as possible whenever he is home. Harry, the youngest, is the most vulnerable and it seems he bears the brunt of his father’s anger. Click here to read more…

Favel answered the Ten Terrifying Questions – read her answers here
Click here to order your copy of Past the Shallows



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