J.K. Rowling fans rejoice! Exciting news from the author of the Harry Potter series…

We’ve got some big news for you, so brace yourselves. We’re talking go grab a ventilator and have it at the ready brace yourselves. Or a paper bag. Yeah, a paper bag will do.

Alright, here it goes …

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series has announced some very exciting news.  Got your paper bag at the ready? Breathe in … She’s announced that she’ll be writing a new children’s book!

J.K. Rowling

Whilst being interviewed by Simon Mayo at the Radio Two Book Club (in the UK), she mentioned that she’s writing another children’s book.

“I have an idea for a children’s book. Actually I have written part of a children’s book that I really love so I’m definitely going to finish that. And I have other ideas for other adult books”, she said. If it’s anything like the Harry Potter series, it’s sure to be a hit with both children and adults alike.

Asked whether she had other stories she wanted to publish: “Loads…I sometimes worry I’ll die before I’ve written them all out. That’s my mid-life crisis!”

Rowling also spoke about her ‘eighth story’ in the Harry Potter franchise – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – which is set 19 years after Voldemort’s demise. She opted not to write it as a novel but as a screenplay for the West End.

She told Mayo: “I always said I’d never say never. There were things I had in my head about what happened 19 years later. I personally had no desire to write it as a novel, for reasons that I think will become clear when people see the play. I’ll just say that this play would never have happened if this particular team hadn’t come to me. They’re extraordinary and I think together we’ll create a really fantastic experience for people.”

Rowling hasn’t shared any specific details about her upcoming children’s book but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn anything!

View J.K. Rowling’s Booktopia author page

 HP illustratedHP colouring book

Prefer your crime fiction with an archaeological twist? L.J.M Owen, author of upcoming archaeological mystery Olmec Obituary, answers our Ten Terrifying questions


The Booktopia Book Guru asksolmec obituary

L.J.M Owen

author of Olmec Obituary

Ten Terrifying Questions

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

Growing up we moved around a fair bit, so I’ve lived on a dusty sheep farm, in a glittering city and amidst a beachside rainforest. The most honest answer I can give, though, is I was raised and schooled between the shelves of numerous libraries.

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

At twelve I wanted to be a palaeontologist or archaeologist; I was obsessed with history and prehistory.

At eighteen I envisioned being the head of a school of archaeology or biological anthropology in a quiet little university somewhere; it was my idea of order and peace in a painful and chaotic world.

By thirty I wanted to become someone who helped others in their journey of self-transformation, which eventually led to creative writing. I wanted to explore both the harsh realities of our existence and provide a haven from them; to open doors to alternative ways of thinking and being. The Dr Pimms series arose from that desire to create a place of escape.

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

At eighteen I placed a lot of weight on first impressions, believing they were a good indicator of whether I would become friends with someone or not. Since then I’ve learnt it’s definitely not a good idea to judge a book by its cover – but it’s also essential to follow your gut instinct if you sense something is off in someone’s behaviour. Taking time to get to know someone before forming an opinion about them is my approach now.

Olmec banner 1

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?

As a young teenager I escaped into the Eddings’ Belgariad series every chance I could. I loved the wide cast of characters and banter between them that exposed cultural differences. The comfort I found in this series fed my desire to create another story world for us to all run away to.

Reading Orwell’s 1984 was life changing. The idea that I could imagine an entire other world based on a set of underlying assumptions from my own society then extrapolating was a valuable lesson. It encouraged me to challenge self-satisfied dogma whenever I encountered it, much to the chagrin of those I questioned. But once armed with the idea that things can be other than they are I was irrepressible.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Witches series, which examined a variety of social truths and feminist issues in an incisive and entertaining way, gave me hope that I could find my own voice and explore social themes with similar subtlety one day.

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

I’m most comfortable communicating with people via writing. It allows me to think through what I’m trying to express. I love archaeological discoveries and processes and wanted to find a way to share the knowledge from my studies with people. Fiction made the most sense.

6. Please tell us olmec obituaryabout your novel, Olmec Obituary.

Olmec Obituary is the first novel in a new Australian crime fiction series: Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth. It’s the journey of an archaeologist/librarian who solves ancient mysteries from across the globe, with plenty of forensic science, culinary exploration and historic trivia along the way.

At the beginning of Olmec Obituary we meet a rather unhappy Dr Pimms who is yearning for her former life as an archaeologist and struggling with work and family. Elizabeth is quickly drawn into investigating evidence from a royal Olmec cemetery deep in the Mexican jungle. Her sense of elation is short-lived, however, as her position on the team is threatened by a volatile excavation director, contradictory evidence, and hostile colleagues. Elizabeth must strive to determine the cause of death of a 3000-year-old athlete before being fired.

So far readers of all ages, from teens to retirees, have provided very positive feedback, with an equal male/female split across all age groups. Those who enjoy archaeological, historic or forensic crime fiction – similar to Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series or Kathy Reichs’ TV series Bones – consume the book then demand the next one!

Younger women seem to identify with the main character, and men who are technically-minded or normally read sci-fi, fantasy or steampunk have been fascinated by the forensic detail in Dr Pimms’ investigation. The series is cosy crime fiction, so no swearing or sex scenes, but I do caution parents of younger readers that there are adult concepts.

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

The most important thing is a sense of relaxation and having escaped the everyday for a while. If they pick up an understanding of the myriad ways humans define culture, or an appreciation for the work of archaeologists or librarians, or question underlying assumptions in their own lives, then all the better. But the most important thing is for them to be entertained.

Dr Pimms 1

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

A year ago, as an avid reader and nascent writer, I would have given you the name of a specific novelist. Now, after experiencing the passion, inclusiveness and support of the Australian writing community, I have to say it is the community itself – the readers who post regular book reviews; the authors who rise at 5am to write before their families wake-up; the editors who reach out to encourage. The dedication and generosity of everyone inthe Australian literary scene has been unexpected and refreshing.

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

30 books, one a year, until they are complete. I’ve planned nine books for the Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth series, along with a book of recipes and a compendium of archaeology from the series. I have plans for another recipe book that examines evolutionary aspects of human nutrition and the domestication of plants and animals across the planet; a dystopian political novel; a novel featuring a 17th century Cornish girl abducted by Barbary pirates; an historic trilogy examining the depth and breadth of the Celtic world; a young adult Elizabeth Pimms series of twelve instalments; and an autobiography.

I’ve also planned two series of short stories: one set in a steampunk Victorian England with historically accurate epidemiology; and one set in religious institutions around the world in the first half of the 20th century.

I don’t expect to get a full night’s sleep for quite some time!

Olmec banner 2

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read the books you love. Read the kind of books you want to write. Study the basics of storyworld, character, plot and theme. Sit down and write for at least an hour a day. Research how to improve your writing. Rinse and repeat.

And remember, you can do it.

Thank you for playing!

Grab your copy of Olmec Obituary here!
Read an extract of Olmec Obituary here!

Olmec Obituary

L.J.M Owen

olmec obituary

Yearning for her former life as an archaeologist, Australian librarian Dr. Elizabeth Pimms is struggling with a job she doesn’t want and a family she both loves and resents.

A royal Olmec cemetery is discovered deep in the Mexican jungle containing the earliest writing in all the Americas. Dr. Pimms is elated to join to team investigating the ancient skeletons found on site. Triumph is short-lived, however, as Elizabeth’s position is threatened by a volatile excavation director, contradictory evidence, and hostile colleagues. With everything working against her, will Dr. Pimms find the cause of deathfor a 3,000 year old athlete and those buried with her?

With the archaeological … Read more.

Grab your copy of Olmec Obituary here!
Read an extract of Olmec Obituary here!

COMING SOON: Donna Hay, author of upcoming Life in Balance answers Ten Terrifying Questions

Donna Hay

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Donna Hay

author of Life in Balance

Ten Terrifying Questions

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

I grew up on Sydney’s southern beaches.

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

Ever since I started baking with my grandmother when I was about eight years old, I’ve always had a love for cooking and magazines. After college I was lucky enough to get a job in the Women’s Weekly test kitchen and that was really where things really started. I launched my magazine when I was in my early thirties, so I guess I’ve always been lucky enough to do what I love.

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

My Mum always told me, “where there is a will, there is a way!” – I like to think I still believe that, although some things are definitely more difficult than others!

Donna Hay breakfast

4. What big events in your life or the world around you most influenced your philosophies on food?

Becoming a mum and cooking for my two young boys has influenced how I eat at home, plus as I’m so busy all the time I have to I plan ahead! I always try to ensure they have healthy, balanced options for their lunchboxes and plenty of wholesome snacks in the freezer that we can defrost. I often bake a batch of healthy muffins or make up some bliss balls on the weekend, so they can have then during the week. We still always have room for treats, though. The boys love to cook with me, too – food is so much about sharing and eating together.

5. What is a dish you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

I think the eight-year-old me would definitely not be pleased with the green smoothie I have every day! Every morning I make up a smoothie with kale, watercress, coconut water and spinach that I drink throughout the day in the office – I think you’d be hard-pressed to convince any child to drink that!

Donna Hay 3a

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Life In Balance is all about helping people embrace a fresher approach to eating. From power snacks to leaner dinners and meals packed with good grains and proteins, it’s full of inspiring ideas to help you enjoy a wider variety of delicious, nutritious foods and embrace a more balanced lifestyle. I’m really excited about this book, as it’s really how I love to eat and cook.

7. If you had to highlight one recipe from the book, what would it be?

There’s an amazing raw chocolate peanut butter slice that I can’t stop making! It’s made with dates, almond and cacao and has no refined sugar so it’s a better option when you’re looking for a sweet fix.

Donna Hay 5

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Anyone who dares to be different, creative, or make the world a better place.

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

I’m not really much of a goal setter! I’ve been very busy this year as I’ve been working hard on building my brand and there are some exciting projects in the works. I’m always looking towards the next thing. Personally I’m trying to work through a bit of a bucket list – I’d love to do the Sydney to Hobart yacht race one day!

10. What advice do you give aspiring home cooks?

If you need to build your confidence in the kitchen, start simple, pick a classic recipe and go from there. Then, don’t be afraid to try new recipes or experiment with new ingredients. Cooking meals that taste delicious and look great doesn’t have to be tricky!

Donna, thank you for playing.

Donna Hay 4

Grab your copy of Life in Balance here!

Life in Balance

by Donna Hay

Australia’ most trusted home cook is celebrating a fresher approach to eating.

These days we’re bombarded with so many messages about what to eat more of and what to eat less of and what to give up altogether, it can all get a little confusing and, let’s face it, overwhelming. When there are so many passing fads and extreme diets out there, it’s a relief to turn to a voice of reason, Australia’s bestselling … Read more.

Donna Hay

Grab your copy of Life in Balance here!

COMING SOON: Keating by Kerry O’Brien

Paul Keating and Kerry O'Brien

Paul Keating and Kerry O’Brien

The long awaited biography of former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, by influential political interviewer Kerry O’Brien will be available this month.

Keating is a treasure trove of anecdotes, insights, reflections and occasional admissions from one of the most loved and hated political leaders Australia has ever seen – a man who was the driving force through thirteen years of Labor government that changed the face of Australia.

Pre-order your copy of Keating here.


Kerry O’Brien


Paul Keating is widely credited as the chief architect of the most significant period of political and economic reform in Australia’s history. Twenty years on, there is still no story from the horse’s mouth of how it all came about. No autobiography. No memoir. Yet he is the supreme story-teller of politics.

This book of revelations fills the gap. Kerry O’Brien, the consummate interviewer who knew all the players and lived the history, has spent many long hours with Keating, teasing out the stories, testing the memories and the assertions.

Keating, who as prime minister personally negotiated the sale of a quarter of the government-owned Qantas … Read more

Pre-order your copy of Keating here

About the Author

Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s most respected journalists, with six Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley and the Walkley for Outstanding Leadership in journalism.

In a 50-year career, Kerry has worked for newspapers, television and wire service, and as a foreign correspondent. Thirty-three of those years have been at the … Read more.

Pre-order your copy of Keating here.

Paul Keating being interviewed by Kerry O'Brien on the documentary Keating: The Interviews.

Paul Keating being interviewed by Kerry O’Brien on the documentary Keating: The Interviews.

COMING SOON: Old School by Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Book 10)

Fans of Jeff Kinney’s The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: rejoice! Greg’s back and being his hilarious self in Old School, Book 10 of the series.

With a new book comes new obstacles for Greg: he starts a new school and faces a challenge he never could have imagined …

Pre-order your copy of Old School here

Old School

Jeff Kinney

Old SchoolThe Diary of the Wimpy Kid series of books, by best-selling author Jeff Kinney, charts the highs and lows of our middle school hero, Greg, as he stumbles and fumbles from childhood to teenhood via school-hood. Sometimes helped by his friends and family, often not helped by himself!

Life was better in the old days. Or was it?

That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world.

With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going ‘old school’ just too hard for a kid like Greg?

Pre-order your copy of Old School here

About the AuthorJeff Kinney

Jeff Kinney is an online game developer and designer, and a number 1 New York Times bestselling author. In 2009, Jeff was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives in southern Massachusetts with his wife and their two sons.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Jeff Kinney:

  1. He still doesn’t have to shave too often.
  2. His first decent drawing was of a turtle at the age of 3 (Jeff, not the turtle).
  3. He plays the piano “very, very poorly.”
  4. Jeff’s brother Scott has written one of the songs in the movie, Diary of A Wimpy Kid.
  5. He created the kids’ website Poptropica.com.
  6. His favourite computer games are the Mario Kart series.
  7. His favourite sandwich is peanut butter and jelly (eeeuw).
  8. His favourite song is ‘Brownville Girl’ by Bob Dylan.
  9. He has two brothers and a sister.
  10. At one stage he studied to become a federal law enforcement officer.

Visit Jeff Kinney’s Booktopia Author Page

Jeff Kinney - Hard Luck Jeff Kinney -The Long Haul Jeff Kinney - The third wheel

The 2015 Sydney Writer’s Festival In Focus – Andrew’s Highlights

Can you hear that?

Pages being briskly bookmarked, notepads scribbled on frantically, publicists sweating over author schedules…

The Sydney Writer’s Festival is nearly here!

And because I’m getting all excited, I’ve picked out some of my highlights for the 2015 edition, take a gander. For more details head to www.swf.org.au

Continue reading

Kate Morton to release new novel – The Lake House – in October

r336631_1526364Australia’s highest selling international author, Kate Morton, will be releasing a new book in 2015. Her fifith novel, The Lake House, will be released in October.

In 2013, Kate Morton was voted Australia’s Favourite Novelist in a Booktopia readers poll, narrowly beating out Tim Winton and Monica McInerney for the top spot.

Morton has sold over nine million books in 33 languages across 38 countries. The Shifting Fog, The Forgotten GardenThe Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper have all been number one bestsellers around the world, with each novel winning the Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction Book of the Year.

Lake House coverThe Lake House

by Kate Morton

An abandoned house…  After a particularly troubling case, Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police and retreats to her beloved grandfather’s cottage in Cornwall.  There she finds herself at a loose end, until one day she stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.

A missing child…  June 1933, and the Edevane family’s country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party.  For Eleanor, the annual party has always been one of her treasured traditions, but her middle daughter, Alice, sixteen years old and with literary ambitions, is especially excited.  Not only has Alice worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she’s also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn’t.  But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night sky, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great they leave Loeanneth and never return.

An unsolved mystery…  Seventy years later, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes.  Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family’s past and seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape…

Click here to go to Kate Morton’s author page on Booktopia


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