How dangerous is a book?

Recently a bookshop in Adelaide was raided by authorities because a novel was sitting on the shelf and it wasn’t wrapped tightly in plastic.

A novel not tightly wrapped in plastic? Who would have let such a thing happen?

Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis

Wait, novels aren’t usually wrapped tightly in plastic. What’s going on?

According to the authorities, this is a deadly dangerous novel.

Normal novels require someone to read them before they make them think. The authorities believe this novel can make a person think as they flick idly through the pages. And we all know how dangerous thinking is to the authorities.

Thinking is usually confined to those who read entire books. And as dangerous as this is to the authorities, readers make up such a small percentage of the population they can be safely overlooked.

But a book that can make people think just by opening its pages, this has to be suppressed.

And the book in question? American Psycho. Yep, that book by Bret Easton Ellis.

Really? But wasn’t that a comment on soulless consumerism of the 80s and 90s? How is that relevant today?

If I remember rightly the main character worked on Wall Street, was selfish, vain, immoral, valued things over people, treated women like toys, in short, was repugnant in every way.

What can the authorities have against a book which lampoons such excesses?

Oh wait…

Grab your copy of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho here

american-psychoAmerican Psycho

by Bret Easton Ellis

Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?

Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block.

He is also a psychopath.

A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare . . .

American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.

About the Author

Bret Easton Ellis is the author of six novels, Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, Glamorama, Lunar Park and most recently Imperial Bedrooms, which was a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, and a collection of stories, The Informers. His work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. He lives in Los Angeles.

Grab your copy of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho here

E. L. James Announces ‘Fifty Shades’ Follow-Up ‘Grey’ Told From the Point-of-View of Christian Grey

The publishing world has surprised us again with news this morning of a new E. L. James novel to be published in just eighteen days!

Vintage Books said in a statement that the author wrote the book in response to reader demand. “This book is dedicated to those readers who asked…and asked…and asked for this,” James writes in the book’s opening pages.

“Christian is a complex character and readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past,” she said. “Also, as anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows, there are two sides to every story…”

Pre-order your copy of E.L. James’ Grey here


by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair.

He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist.

Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Pre-order your copy of E.L. James’ Grey here

Haven’t read Fifty Shades of Grey? Go here

Sally Murphy, author of Roses are Blue, answers Ten Terrifying Questions.

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Sally Murphy

author of Roses are Blue, Pearl Versus the World and more…

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 and raised in Western Australia, spending most of my childhood in the Southwest town of Collie. I spent my last two years of schooling at boarding school in Perth, which I hated at the time, because I was terribly homesick, but where I had some wonderful moments in the library, which was my salvation.

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

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author. When I was twelve, my plan was to write kids’ books. How wonderful it would be to write books that other people loved as much as the one I was reading. In the school holidays I wrote novels, stories and poems on an old typewriter, some of which I still have.

By the time I was 18 I’d realised that I might need another job apart from being an author, though that was still my dream. So I thought I’d become a journalist, because that would enable to me to make a living from writing.

When I was 30 I was a full time mum also pursuing my writing dreams. By then I’d had my first educational books published, but I was yet to have my first trade title published, so was desperately trying to figure out how and why.

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

Author: Sally Murphy

I am ashamed to admit that I remember proudly proclaiming that I was not a feminist. I had been fed the crock that feminism was a dirty word and not the same thing as believing women had the right to be equal. Instead, feminists were radical, man-hating and doing women a disservice.

Gosh how naïve I was, and how sad I am that there are still women who think feminism is something negative.

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?

While I love music and art, for me the biggest impact by far has been from books. Not surprisingly, because I write for children, the biggest impact has come from books for young people. There was a book called Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards (who, I later realised, was THE Julie Andrews), which I read when I was quite young and absolutely adored. It’s the first novel I remember reading and loving so much that I wished I’d written it. So, as a 7 year old, I wrote my own version of this story, which I called Tereasa. I still have my own version, and a few years ago tracked down a copy of Mandy.

Even before Mandy, I absolutely adored Horton Hatches an Egg, a Dr Seuss story, and knew it by heart. Later it was one of the first books I tracked down for my first child. I loved the playfulness and rhythm, but I think the sense of justice also appealed to me. As a writer, I want children and adults alike to smile when they read my work, even when I’m addressing really serious issues.

Like many many readers To Kill a Mockingbird is a book which moved me incredibly. Again, there is that sense of justice and wisdom as well as wonderful character development and weaving of a powerful story. The fact that it also gets better on rereading is also a testament to the quality of the writing. I studied it several times at school, taught it as a teacher, and yet have never tired of it. As a writer I want to create books which do those things: entertain and move people, stay with them, and also inspire them to read and reread.

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

Writing is my thing. The other arts have never captured me in the same way as writing, which I’ve been doing since before I could actually form legible words.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Roses are Blue is a verse novel about a young girl coping with the fallout of her mother’s terrible car accident. Everything in Amber’s life has changed, but nothing so much as her mother, who has been left badly disabled.  Whilst this sounds pretty grim, the aim of the story is to show that even in such a terrible set of circumstances there can be hope, and means of coping.

Grab a copy of Sally’s latest novel Roses are Blue here

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

Hope. I want readers, of whatever age, to see that although life can throw pretty big curveballs, there is always hope. My verse novels often move people to tears, but I want them to smile, too.

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

Glenda Millard. She is an Australian writer of the most amazingly moving and uplifting children’s books. Her talent is amazing, and she’s a lovely person, warm and generous. When I grow up, I want to be Glenda.

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

Gosh. Ambitious goals? Now the pressure’s on! I just want to always keep improving. I want to make my writing better and better and keep surprising myself with new things to try. Of course, stemming from this, I want to keep finding readers enjoy my work.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Love what you do. Write the stuff you love to read, be true to yourself and have fun. Also, though, don’t expect it to be easy. You will be rejected and, when you’re accepted, editors will make you change stuff, reviewers won’t always like your work and your sales are never as much as you’d like them to be. Take these things as a challenge to keep working, keep improving, rather than a sign of some terrible plot against you. Because, when you love what you are doing, and you keep doing it, then you stick at it until the magic day when you are both published AND read.

Sally, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Roses are Blue here

Roses are Blue

by Sally Murphy

From the award-winning author of Pearl Verses the World and Toppling comes a story about resilience and the importance of family.

“I have not got used to my new mum, even though I love her (I absolutely love her), I miss my happy, painting, dancing, gardening, smiling mum.” Amber Rose and her family are dealing with tragedy and change. But sometimes hope suddenly blooms

About the Author

Sally Murphy is a mother, wife, teacher, speaker, website manager, reviewer, and, of course, author. She was born in Perth and now lives in Dalyellup, Western Australia. Her first illustrated verse novel with Walker Books Australia, Pearl Verses the World (illustrated by Heather Potter) won the children’s book category for the Indie Book of the Year awards, 2009; was awarded Honour Book in the Younger Readers category, Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, 2010; and won the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards, 2010, Best Book for Language Development, Upper Primary (8-12 years). Toppling (illustrated by Rhian Nest James) has won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, Children’s Book – Mary Ryan’s Award, 2010 and the Children’s Book for the 2010 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.

 Grab a copy of Roses are Blue here

7PM INTERVIEW: Monica McInerney on writing, family, and the joys of a middle childhood

Warm, witty, fun and clever, author Monica McInerney would be a great best friend to have. How nice to be able to turn to Monica for advice about family, love, life and friendship whenever we needed it! She is so heart smart!

Alas, we can’t all have Monica in our life. Thank goodness we have her novels. They are the next best thing to having a 24hr on call Monica… and they have sold hundreds of thousands of copies here and in the UK.

On her recent Australian tour, Monica sat down with John Purcell to talk about her new novel, Hello from the Gillespies…

Click here for more details or to buy Hello from the GillespiesHello from the Gillespies

By Monica McInerney

For more than thirty years, Angela Gillespie has sent friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled ‘Hello from the Gillespies’. It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself – she tells the truth.

The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping poorly with retirement. Her 32-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when Angela is taken from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together – and pull themselves together – in wonderfully surprising ways.

Rabia Siddique, author of Equal Justice, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rabia Siddique

author of Equal Justice

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 am a first generation Australian. My father is a Muslim Indian, my mother a British/Scottish Australian. I spent my early years in India and we immigrated to Perth in the late 1970’s. I attended a Government primary school in a fairly Anglo, post war, working class neighbourhood and was very fortunate to attend Penrhos College, a Uniting Church Private Girls school for my secondary education.

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

From a young age I decided I wanted to help others obtain access to justice and find their voice, largely as a result of experiences I had as a child which gave me a strong sense of social justice and equality, so after obtain a BA and LLB from the University of WA I started my career in the law in Perth.


Author: Rabia Siddique

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

As an 18 year old I saw things in a very black and white way.  As I have got older I realise that not everything, in fact very few things are black and white, and that life is filled with many shades of grey. I have always been a tolerant person, but life and the various journey I have had has taught me to be even more accepting, compassionate and forgiving.

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?

The three most significant and influential events in my life have been experiencing first-hand; the discrimination and prejudice my father suffered as a dark skinned Muslim immigrant to what was then a very conservative Australia in the 1970’s, which gave me an early sense of equality and social justice, the powerlessness I felt as a young child of 9 after having been sexually abused my a neighbour for many months and then being told by my parents to never speak of the abuse to anyone, and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, days before I commissioned as a Legal Officer in the British Army.

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 guess you could say in some ways I am a traditionalist and I still believe there is no replacement to the experience of reading a remarkable or beautiful book.  Books are the purest and most authentic way of sharing stories, and whilst Equal Justice is also available as an eBook, I believe my story and the messages I convey were worthy of more than a newspaper article or blog.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Equal Justice is the story about my life and my journey. It is a memoir about strength, resilience, courage and grit.  It shines a light on authentic and ethical leadership, equality and deals openly with the challenging topics of abuse, war, physical and psychological suffering and a woman excelling in a man’s world. It is a book I am very proud of and a story that has resonated with so many.

Grab a copy of  Rabia Siddique book Equal Justice here

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

If my work could do one thing it would be to inspire others to be agents for change – in their relationships, households, communities and workplaces.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Mahatma Gandhi has always been my hero.  He said “Be the change you wish to see in this world” and that has been my life’s mantra and my life’s work.

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

I have been so fortunate and blessed to have achieved and realised so many of my goals and dreams, but I continue to dedicate my life to being the best parent, partner and friend and I can be, and to doing what I can to make a difference and inspire others to also make our communities and societies more tolerant, inclusive and diverse – so we can work and live together in genuine harmony and peace. I believe in dreaming big and striving for the highest. That is something I will impart to my children and something that will always define me as a human being and citizen of the world.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

I believe nearly everyone has a story to tell. Don’t focus on the reasons not to write your stories, but ask yourself why not? Stories are the most effective way to break down barriers and connect with people. Have a focus on what you hope to achieve and make it happen. I truly believe that when you do something for the right reasons it always has a way of working out – joy and success will inevitably follow.

For writers seeking publishing deals – invest in a good literary agent!

Rabia, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Equal Justice here

Equal Justice

by Rabia Siddique

Rabia Siddique is a woman with an extraordinary perspective. Growing up as a Muslim in the conservative and monocultural landscape of 1970s suburban Perth, she knew what it was like to be different. It gave her an abiding passion for equality and social justice that was to guide the course of her life. She trained as a lawyer, and found herself working in the UK on that fateful day in September 2001 when Islamic terrorists attacked the US.

She joined the British army in the Judge Advocates’ division as a military lawyer. She served in Iraq and was taken hostage by Islamic insurgents as she tried to negotiate the release of two kidnapped British soldiers. She battled for hours to save their lives, using her legal expertise, knowledge of Islam and Arabic to negotiate with their captors. After their release, her colleague received a Military Cross. Rabia received nothing. Her subsequent sex and race discrimination case against the British Army made headlines around the world. After leaving the army, she joined the Crown Prosecution Service as a prosecutor working on terrorism cases. Last year she returned to Perth to raise her triplet sons.

Her perspective as a feminist, a social justice crusader, a lawyer, a soldier, a former hostage, a terrorism prosecutor and a Muslim is unique, and her memoir is a story of grit, courage and conviction like no other.

 Grab a copy of Equal Justice here

Trish Morey, author of Stone Castles, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Trish Morey

author of Stone Castles, Fiancee for One Night, The Heir from Nowhere and many more…

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 Adelaide, South Australia, and grew up in Elizabeth, a so-called satellite city about 20 miles north before we moved and I finished my secondary education at Unley High School. Adelaide Uni and an Economics degree followed.

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

When I was 12? A writer. Mostly because of reading the boxes of romances that came from my Gran’s nursing home and thinking “anyone could write this stuff”. (I was so wrong!)

When I was 18? Someone with a real job. Because writing wasn’t a real job apparently. So I became a Chartered Accountant instead.

When I was 30? Maternity leave time with my first bub, and I had the chance to step back from my career and was starting to question what I really wanted to do. It took my second bub to decide that I’d been right all along. Not that I regret for a moment the experiences I’ve had along the way, which have all fed my writerly soul (not to mention given me heaps of material – nothing is wasted, ever.)

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

Author: Trish Morey

At 18 I figured the world in black and white. I figured any intelligent person would agree with me. Now I know it’s shades of grey. (More than fifty of them.) Now I know there are more intelligent points of view than you can poke a stick at. So I try to avoid poking sticks at other intelligent people’s views (and really wish they’d keep theirs to themselves too.)

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?

Little Women – I loved that opening because as a small child, the thought of Christmas without presents was appalling. I wonder if my love of great openings came from reading that book?

John Donne – Holy Sonnet X – Death, be not proud. That sonnet resonated with me as a student. It turned the power of death on its ear, as not something to be feared. That last line – Death, thou shalt die. – talk about powerful! No wonder I love strong endings too.

Homer and the Odyssey – If not for these writings and my classical studies education, I would never have developed my love of Crete and all things Mycenaean. I’ve set books in Crete and Santorini- some published, some yet to be published.

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

I can’t paint, I can’t draw. I’m rubbish at singing and making music. Apart from creative accounting, telling stories was about all that was left.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Stone Castles is a reunion story, that puts paid to all those preconceptions that you can’t go back. Because you can always go back  – but nobody says it’s not going to hurt.

Grab a copy of Trish’s new novel Stone Castles here

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

That’s it never too late. That the mistakes we make for whatever good reason don’t necessarily mean we can’t be happy.

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

Every writer I know. Writing a book is hard work. Sticking at writing books and making a career out of it in these tumultuous, ever-changing publishing industry times – that takes guts.

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

I guess mine are to connect with my audience, and as wide an audience as possible. But in doing so, to touch their hearts. I don’t know if that’s an ambitious goal, but it’s mine.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Write, write and write, and make sure you believe in what you write, and if you write romance fiction, or even if you don’t, join Romance Writers of Australia, because you will learn so much.

Trish, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Stone Castles

Stone Castles

by Trish Morey

She turned her back on the girl she was. He’ll show her the woman she was meant to be.

After ten years pursuing a prestigious career in New York, Pip Martin has returned to the Yorke Peninsula to farewell her dying grandmother. She doesn’t intend to linger – there are too many memories in the small country town and not all of them will stay in the past.

Like Luke Trenorden, her childhood sweetheart. A man Pip had promised her heart to, until tragedy stole Pip’s family away, and a terrible lie tore both their lives apart.

Pip cannot deny there is still a spark between them, even amidst the heartache of losing her Gran and the demands of her new life. But it may not be enough to rekindle a love that has been neglected for so long.

When a long-kept secret is revealed, Pip is free to go back to the life she thought she wanted… unless Luke can break down the stone castle Pip has built around her heart.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Trish Morey’s 30 titles for Mills & Boon have sold more than five million copies in more than 25 languages in 40 countries worldwide. Trish is a two-times winner of the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year Award and a 2012 Romance Writers of America RITA nominee. Trish lives in the Adelaide Hills with her husband and four teenage daughters.

 Grab a copy of Stone Castles

Cecelia Ahern, author of The Year I Met You, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Cecelia Ahern

author of The Year I Met You, P.S. I Love You, Love Rosie and many more…

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 Dublin, raised in Dublin and schooled in Dublin. Ireland.

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

When I was 12 I wanted to be 18, when I was 18 I wanted to be a girlfriend and at 30 I wanted to be exactly who I was and have fun.

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

Author: Cecelia Ahern

That I will never, ever get married.

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?

Murder She Wrote
Enid Blyton
Hans Christian Anderson

5. Why did you choose to write a novel?

I really don’t believe that I chose to write a novel. I felt compelled to write one. Ever since I was a child, I had a busy head and the only way to make sense of things was to put pen to paper, when I got the idea for my first novel, I could barely think of anything else other than the characters that had arrived and the world that had developed. I put pen to paper and it all spilled out. When I don’t write I’m a very moody, confused, unsatisfied person.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

The Year I Met You is about a woman who defined herself by her career, and when she is fired and finds herself on ‘gardening leave’ and unable to work for one year, she suddenly has to figure out who she is without her work to hide behind. She also has to deal with family issues she has been ignoring and avoiding through simply being busy.

To find a new distraction she turns her obsession from work to her unpredictable neighbour across the street who is also having a personal crisis, and together they offer each other the company they need and unexpected healing to help each other through the dark moments.

Grab a copy of Cecelia’s new novel The Year I Met You here

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

I always hope people simply ‘get it.’ That they get the sarcasm when it’s supposed to be sarcasm, that they laugh when it’s supposed to be funny, that they’re moved when they’re supposed to be moved, that at the end they feel uplifted, and when they close the book like they’ve been through something – that it has affected them. That they got lost in the world that I created and that for the time they spent in it, it was worth it. Anything in addition to that is a bonus.

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

I admire anyone who is unique, who doesn’t do what they’re told, who doesn’t follow rules or stick to traditional story telling. Authors like Aimee Bender, Andrew Kauffman, Mitch Albom who have very distinctive voices and quirky minds.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?love-rosie-where-rainbows-end-

My goal is always to finish everything that I start, and preferably finish it right away because I can barely think of anything else until it is completed. I spend the year writing each new novel in a kind of a frenzy, feeling like there isn’t enough time to get everything done, every moment must be used, no distractions, no let up. I’m hard on myself but it’s how I get things done. Working in TV is a challenge to me as it’s a completely different way of working. It’s collaboration as oppose to solitary process, which is my natural state. 

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

I’ve done many events where aspiring writers hang on to every word looking for the clue, the thing that will help them to finally do it, or unlock the mystery. There is no secret thing that authors know that you do not know. There is no secret way of writing, of trying to get published. You just sit down, get a pen and paper and write the story that’s in your mind and heart. Keep writing until you have finished. Stop talking about it, stop analysing it all so much that it comes apart and just do it. Be brave. Be yourself. Use your own voice and then you will immediately be unique because there is nobody like you.

Cecelia, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of The Year I Met You

The Year I Met You

by Cecelia Ahern

A thoughtful, captivating and ultimately uplifting novel from this uniquely talented author

Jasmine loves two things: her sister and her work. And when her work is taken away she has no idea who she is.

Matt loves two things: his family and the booze. Without them, he hits rock bottom.

One New Year’s Eve, two people’s paths collide. Both have time on their hands; both are at a crossroads. But as the year unfolds, through moonlit nights and suburban days, an unlikely friendship slowly starts to blossom.

Sometimes you have to stop still in order to move on…

Original and poignant, The Year I Met You will make you laugh, cry and celebrate life.

About the Author

Cecelia Ahern is an international bestseller. She was catapulted into the spotlight with her hit debut novel, P.S. I Love You, which was adapted into a major movie. Her subsequent novels have captured the hearts of readers in 46 countries – her themes strike a chord with people in every continent, with over 15 million copies of her books sold.

 Grab a copy of The Year I Met You


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,850 other followers

%d bloggers like this: