Have you won $500 worth of Euro Crime or the ENTIRE DISCWORLD SERIES?

To celebrate the release of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz, and The Shepherd’s Crown, released after the passing of Terry Pratchett, we gave Booktopians the chance to win $500 of Euro Crime and THE ENTIRE DISCWORLD SERIES, worth $800!

Here’s what you had to do to enter…


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All you had to do to enter was order The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by August 27th!

isbn9780857053503The Girl in the Spider’s Web (as created by Stieg Larsson)

Millennium : Book 4

by David Lagercrantz, George Goulding (Transcribed by), Stieg Larsson (Created by)

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo. Lisbeth Salander. An uncompromising misfit whose burning sense of injustice and talent for investigation will never respect boundaries of state or status.

He is a campaigning journalist. Mikael Blomkvist. A lone wolf whose integrity and championing of the truth bring him time and again to the brink of unemployment – and prosecution.

The call comes in late at night: a superhacker has gained access to more…

…and the winner is:

M.Wykoff, Bayview, NSW


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All you had to do to enter was order The Shepherd’s Crown, by August 27th!

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Discworld Novels : Book 41

by Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett’s final Discworld novel.

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.

This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must more…

…and the winner is:

G.Tavendale, Trevallyn, TAS


Congratulations to the winners!

Missed out on the prize? Hey, turn that frown upside up, we’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited editions signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!

Head to our Promotions and Competitions page, where you could be a winner every day!

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Our August Competitions Are Coming to an End…

We have some awesome competitions ending midnight TONIGHT!


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Fletch

by Dustin Fletcher

Order any title from The Pan Macmillan Father’s Day Collection by August 31st and you could win Dad a book pack valued at over $300! Terms and Conditions apply.

In the tough, adrenaline-fueled world of Australian Football, Dustin Fletcher is a legend. In 2014, the 39-year-old Essendon Bomber runs out for his 22nd season not only as the oldest man in the game, but also one of the best-loved by sports fans, commentators, coaches and fellow players alike.

Fletch tells Fletcher’s incredible true story in his own words: from his beginnings growing up as the son of Essendon legend Ken Fletcher to his prodigal son debut aged just 17, and his meteoric rise with premiership-winning dream team “The Baby Bombers” led by iconic coach Kevin Sheedy and more…


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The Ultimate Sandwichthe-ultimate-sandwich-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win- (1)

100 Classic Sandwiches from Reuben to Po’boy and Everything in Between

by Jonas Cramby

Order a copy of The Ultimate Sandwich by August 31st and go in the draw to win a Gourmet Hamper valued at $300! Terms and Conditions apply.

At last a cookbook that affords the modest sandwich all the respect it deserves, from BLTs to banh mi

When John Montagu, the fourth Duke of Sandwich, got the brilliant idea of putting slices of cold meat between two pieces of bread, he not only invented the first, really modern meal – he created a global obsession. today there are variations of the portable, cheap (but, above all, good) sandwich in most cultures and it is about time a book appeared that takes the subject seriously. In more than 90 recipes, you learn such skills as how to make more…


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xaussie-grit.jpg.pagespeed.ic.CPLHrpyVsuAussie Grit

by Mark Webber

Order Aussie Grit by August 31st and you could win a Red Balloon F1 Racing Simulation Experience for one! This experience is only available at Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast QLD & Darling Harbour, Sydney. Terms and Conditions apply.

In the exhilarating, high-stakes world of Formula One, only the fastest make it to the top.

And no one knows this better than Australian Formula One legend Mark Webber. His career in F1 stretched for an incredible eleven years, seeing him garner thirteen poll positions, earn forty-two podiums and win nine races including the crown jewel of F1, the Monacco Grand prix, twice.

But there’s more than F1 to the more…


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The Tactics That Shaped Australian Rules – and the Players and Coaches Who Mastered Them

by James Coventry

Order Time and Space by August 31st and go in the running to win an Official AFL Sherrin Football valued at $179.00! Terms and Conditions apply

Book Description

An accomplished book about the genius and ingenuity of the game’s greats (and the forgotten) and how they have shaped the game through the innovation of tactics.

From Pagan’s Paddock to Clarkson’s Cluster, from Fitzroy’s huddle to Sydney’s flood, the tactics of Australian football have become part of the vernacular.

In this groundbreaking book, ABC journalist James Coventry reveals the more…


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by Graeme Cameron

Buy Normal by August 31st and you could win 1 of 10 crime prize packs! Terms and Conditions apply

“The truth is I hurt people. It’s what I do. It’s all I do. It’s all I’ve ever done.”

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving you into the lane ahead of him.

What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is more…


You Are Dead

A Roy Grace Novel : Book 11

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by Peter James

Buy You Are Dead by August 31st and you could win the complete Roy Grace series. Terms and Conditions apply.

THEY WERE MARKED FOR DEATH.

The last words Nick Walton hears from his fiancée, Logan Somerville, are in a terrified mobile phone call. She has just driven into the underground car park beneath the block of flats where they live in Brighton. Then she screams and the phone goes dead. The police are on the scene within minutes, but Logan has vanished, leaving behind her neatly parked car and mobile phone. That same afternoon, workmen digging up a park in another part of the city, unearth the remains of a woman in her early twenties, who has been dead for more…


Head to our Promotions and Competitions page, where you could be a winner every day!

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Fiona Palmer on the 2015 RWA Conference in Melbourne

20150629_133200I’ve just returned from the Romance Writers of Australia Conference in Melbourne, catching up with fellow authors, publishers and agents, so I thought I’d mention three books from other Australian romance writers that I’ve loved in recent times. They are all from different genres but they can all be connected through similar threads – a touch of romance, suspense and action.9781864712032

Beyond Fear by Jaye Ford is such an engaging read. It tells the story of Jodie, who survived a terrifying assault at seventeen. She goes to a cabin with friends to relax but is convinced they are being watched. Her friends think she is over-reacting and she starts to doubt herself.  This was such a page-turner, but you just had to keep reading, even at the scary parts.  Jaye writes terrific, easy-to-read thrillers filled with suspense. You won’t be disappointed. It was loved by all at our book club.

I do enjoy reading action-packed stories, as much as I like watching a James Bond movie or spy thriller. I find Tony Park’s novels just as engaging, with a great mix of romance, action, and the gorgeous landscapes of Africa. The Delta was one I really enjoyed about Sonja, an ex-soldier turned mercenary, who is out to save her beloved Delta. There is also a bit of romance to keep me happy. Tony writes about Africa so well, you feel as if you are there. Considering he spends half his year travelling Africa, it’s easy to see why.  He is a master at 9780330404037weaving all the details in and even though the book seems large, you’ll not want it to end.

This last book I want to mention was a great surprise. Elise K. Ackers’ Small Town Storm was a fabulous read. It had me guessing and I love it when I’m wrong. It’s about Erica, who returns home to the place where nineteen years ago a crime almost killed her. But not long after she’s back, a woman goes missing and fingers are pointed at Erica – and the cop in charge of the investigation, Jordan, is a man who she has history with. I guess I went into this story expecting a romance but ended up with so much more.

Check out Fiona Palmer’s author page here


the-saddler-boysThe Saddler Boys

by Fiona Palmer

For a limited time only, pre-order The Saddler Boys and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: offer available while stocks last.

School teacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead.

When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the swarm of inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure, and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her life in Perth and the new community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.

PRAISE FOR FIONA PALMER

‘Fiona Palmer just keeps getting better.’ Rachael Johns

‘Palmer’s passion for the land bleeds into the story, and her scenes are vivid and genuine, just as her characters are.’ Book’d Out

‘Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much-loved genres.’ Countryman

Pre-order your copy of Fiona’s The Saddler Boys here

It’s Kids Month at Booktopia and we have lots of goodies!

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It’s Kids Month at Booktopia and we have awesome competitions for you to enter and signed promotions for you to enjoy!


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Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Book 10

by Jeff Kinney

Buy anything in the Kids Month range and you could win a kids book pack, worth $1000 RRP! Terms and Conditions apply.

The 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 more…


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blinky-bill-the-movie-a-guide-to-the-extraordinary-Order any title in the Blinky Bill range by September 17th and go in the draw to win a Double Pass to see Blinky Bill: The Movie. Movie is out in cinemas September 17th! Terms and Conditions apply.

Blinky Bill: the Movie is an epic adventure set in the Australian Outback. Blinky’s home town is under threat from a tyrannical goanna (Mayor Cranklepot) and Blinky must find his missing dad to restore peace and harmony to Greenpatch.

Blinky enters the world outside Greenpatch and sets off on a rollicking, hilarious journey complete with an eccentric wombat, a vengeful cat, two gossiping Emu’s and Blinky’s soon to be more…

 


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chase-your-goalChase Your Goal

The Netball Gems Series : Book 2

by Bernadette Hellard, Lisa Gibbs

Order any book from The Netball Gems series by August 31st and you could win a netball signed by the Diamonds! Terms and Conditions apply.

A junior fiction series written in partnership with Netball Australia

Can shy Phoebe find her place in the Gems?

Phoebe loves to shoot goals, and she’s great at it too. She dreams of being a famous netballer and playing in front of thousands. The problem is that she’s nervous all the time, even around her teammates – and there are only seven of them! Why can’t she make friends as easily as Lily and Sienna? Things don’t get any easier when her overenthusiastic dad starts coaching from the sidelines. Could anything more…


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How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury – Order Now For Your Chance to Win!*how-to-fight-a-dragon-s-fury-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-

How to Train Your Dragon Series : Book 12

by Cressida Cowell

Order How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by September 7th and you could win every book in the How to Train Your Dragon series! We have 5 packs to give away! Terms and Conditions apply.

Dragons vs Humans: is this the end? Find out in the twelfth book in the How to Train Your Dragon series.

It is the Doomsday of Yule. At the end of this day, either the humans or the dragons will face extinction. Alvin the Treacherous is about to be crowned the King of the Wilderwest on the island of Tomorrow. His reign of terror will begin with the destruction of dragons everywhere. The fate of the dragon world lies in the hands of one young boy as he stands on the nearby isle of Hero’s End with nothing to show, but everything to more…


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xthe-65-storey-treehouse-signed-copies-available-.jpg.pagespeed.ic.SH2sT6Of7jThe 65-Storey Treehouse

The Treehouse Series : Book 5

by Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (Illustrator)

For a limited time only, order The 65-Storey Treehouse and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: offer available while stocks last.

Andy and Terry’s amazing 65-Storey Treehouse now has a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday (even when it’s not), a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a quicksand pit, an ant farm, a time machine and Tree-NN: a 24-hour-a-day TV news centre keeping you up to date with all the latest treehouse news, current events and gossip. Well, what more…


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The Sword of Summer – Pre-order Your Signed Copy!*the-sword-of-summer-pre-order-your-signed-copy-

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series : Book 1

by Rick Riordan

For a limited time only, pre-order The Sword of Summer and you will receive a signed copy. Please note: offer available while stocks last.

The first book in the incredible new series from the author of Percy Jackson, the Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus.

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he’s never met – a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him more…


 

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Russian Roulette

Alex Rider Series : Book 10

by Anthony Horowitz

Order from the Alex Rider series during Kids Month and you could win 1 of 5 backlist packs signed by author Anthony Horowitz! Terms and Conditions apply.

The deadly prequel to the number one bestselling Alex Rider series.

An international contract killer has been given his orders. His next target is a fourteen-year old spy… Alex Rider. The man’s name is Yassen Gregorovich. He knows Alex well. The two of them share a secret from the past. As he considers his next mission, Yassen remembers the forces that turned him from an ordinary schoolboy into a hired assassin. What is it that makes more…


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Just Doomed!

JUST! Series: Book 8

by Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton (Illustrator)

Order from The Just! series during Kids Month and you could win 1 of 3 Just! boxsets. Terms and Conditions apply.just-doomed-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-

It’s been five long years since Just Shocking! was published.

Just Doomed!, the next fabulous JUST title from the creative genius of Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, is destined to be one of the greatest JUST titles yet. With nine superb stories of mischief and crazy happenings, readers will be hooked instantly.

But is this the right book for you?

Take the DOOMED TEST and find out.


Click here to see all of Booktopia’s competitions and exclusive offers

Mitchell Hogan, author of A Crucible of Souls, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

a-crucible-of-soulsThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Mitchell Hogan

author of A Crucible of Souls

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 Sydney, Australia, and have lived here all my life. Although I’ve travelled quite a bit, there’s no place like home! I grew up with two sisters, and my mother did a fantastic job in raising us on her own under extremely trying conditions when we were young.

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

When I was twelve I wanted to work with wood in some way. I loved woodwork classes at school and I still think back fondly on those times. At eighteen I was studying Chemical Engineering at university, mainly because I was good at mathematics and science. Then at thirty I was working for a US bank in funds management, although it was just what I’d fallen into for various reasons. To be honest, by then it felt like I’d be in the same career for the rest of my life. There were bills to pay and a mortgage to worry about so I never stopped to think about what I really wanted to with my life until later on.

Mitchell_Hogan3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

I was naive at eighteen and thought I’d be able to get by without going to too much extra effort. That was fine until my third year of university when I failed half my subjects! After that I knuckled down and realised that a little extra effort now makes everything so much easier later on, and if you want to be good at something you need to work at it.

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?

When I was eleven a teacher began reading The Hobbit to my class at primary school. I enjoyed it so much my mother bought me The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That opened up a whole new world to me, and it was such a small thing really.

When I was twenty my father took his own life. I coped with the tragedy fairly well at the time, but I think it instilled in me a willingness to be able to stop and examine my own life, what I was doing and where I was going. I’ve had a couple of major career changes since then and deciding to move on in each case was relatively easy.

Which leads to about six years ago when I was burned out with my job. It was getting better but I’d been through a really bad six months of way too much overtime and stress. I stepped back and thought about what I was doing with my life. That’s when I decided to resign from work and finish the book I’d started writing so many years ago. I didn’t want to regret not finishing it – and so far it’s worked out well!

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

I chose to write a book because I love to read, and I had a lot of ideas and wanted to see if I could craft a story out of them. I didn’t consider any other mode of storytelling, it just seemed natural to write. Books are far from obsolete — in fact more people are reading more books than in any other time in history, and there are more books available at lower prices than ever before. With current technology any book that is published will be around, and easily accessible, forever.

a-crucible-of-souls6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

I’d be delighted to! A Crucible of Souls is an epic fantasy novel about a young man raised by monks who is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life, and finds the world he is caught up in has disturbing depths… and the good guys don’t always win. It has sorcery, morally ambivalent characters, and some dark and gritty content. The first review it ever received described it as ‘entertainingly ambiguous’, which I thought was quite a good description.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here

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

I hope readers feel they’re a part of the world I’ve created. I’d like them to become lost in the story and want to go back and re-read my books again. And of course I want people to feel as if their time and money was well spent.

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

Any author who continually produces books and endeavours to improve on all aspects of writing—both with their craft and the business side.

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

In a relatively short time with my writing career I found myself having achieved more than I ever hoped. That led me to step back and think about where to go from here. My main goal now is to make a living from my writing, and as most other authors can attest that is hard. I also want to make sure my writing appeals to the majority of readers, which means putting a lot of work into improving and making sure I don’t get complacent.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Finish your first book. It’s the hardest one and after that you’ll realise you’ve done it once so you can do it again. Plus, the best advice on editing, promotion, marketing, branding, submissions, agents, the publishing industry, etc, doesn’t mean a thing unless you have a completed manuscript.

And once you have a book finished, work on understanding the business of writing and the industry. This is important stuff. Your intellectual property has an intrinsic value. There is writing and the business of writing, two very different things. Understand the business you’re in if you want to succeed.

Mitchell, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here


a-crucible-of-soulsA Crucible of Souls

by Mitchell Hogan

The Aurealis Award-winning e-book bestseller now in print.

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Grab a copy of A Crucible of Souls here

Q&A with Patrick Ness about his latest novel – The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here 1. The premise for your latest book is a really refreshing new take on a familiar theme. Can you tell us a bit about how you first got the idea to write The Rest of Us Just Live Here?

The Chosen One plot is so important to YA, and for good reason: it provides an explanation for the incredible loneliness and alienation that teenage life brings. It’s powerful, and I’d never want to lose it. HOWEVER, I started thinking about all those young readers out there who never even think they’d be Katniss or Harry Potter. I wondered what their stories would be like. The answer, of course, is: just as interesting.

2. The “Main Plot” of the book is a hilarious parody of YA clichés. Did you ever find it difficult navigating the fine line between parody and mockery?

Not really because I love YA, for its smarts, its robustness, its great welcoming nature. If you love something, I don’t think you have to worry too much about mocking it in a nasty way. I did it with love, and people have been responding really well! Make no mistake, I’ll defend YA to the death.

3. If you had to pick a favourite “Chosen One” character from a book/film/TV show or graphic novel who would it be and why?

Buffy. Buffy, Buffy, Buffy. The greatest Chosen One there ever was or will be. Powerful but human, serious but funny. Buffy is the greatest YA creation ever. I want all my nieces and nephews to have her as a role model.

4. Why do you think people are so endlessly fascinated by stories about high school teens banding together toPatrick Ness fight a supernatural evil and save the world in time for the Prom?

I’ve always argued that all supernatural AND dystopian plotlines in YA are, in fact, actually about high school. They’re all allegorical to how it feels: that every problem feels like (and is) the end of the world, that your friends are the only ones who understand, etc. I don’t think they’re supernatural at all, really. They’re one tiny step beyond documentary.

5. Would you rather be a hero, a sidekick, a villain or none of the above? What do you think makes someone a true hero?

Eh, it’s hard enough to be a decent human. It’s also heroic enough. My life philosophy is, “Just do your best and try not to be a dick.” Trust me, in this world, that’s bloody heroism, that is.

Grab a copy of Patrick Ness’ new novel The Rest of Us Just Live Here

——————————————————

The Rest of Us Just Live HereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here.
by Patrick Ness

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully asks what if you weren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you were like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school.

Again. Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend might just be the God of mountain lions…An exceptional novel from the author praised by John Green as “an insanely beautiful writer”.

Patrick Ness is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling Chaos Walking trilogy, as well as the Carnegie Medal winning A Monster Calls, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd. Among the numerous awards he has received are the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and the Costa Children’s Book Award.

Grab a copy of Patrick Ness’ new novel The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Five of Five with Aurealis Award-winning author Mitchell Hogan

Mitchell_HoganWe play Five of Five with Aurealis Award-winning author Mitchell Hogan!

1) Name 5 books that inspire you…

Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Surprised? Don’t be, it’s a classic. There’s not just a hungry caterpillar, there’s a very hungry caterpillar and a twist at the end. Good stuff. It always reminds me of a joke which goes something like this — Author: I have a book about a hungry caterpillar, Publisher: Pass, Author: Wait…it’s a very hungry caterpillar, Publisher: Go on…

Stephen King’s The Stand

This book is essentially an epic fantasy adventure about good and evil set in a post apocalyptic America, and it has it all: imagery, great characters and plot, excellent world-building.

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? A gorgeous book, which makes the complexity of the universe comprehensible and palatable.

Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea

Each time I read this book it tells me something different. Compared to today’s fantasy works it’s a short read, but what makes it great is its subtext. Read it early, and read it often.

Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Comes Before

Exquisite world building, the best I’ve ever read. This is a dark, adult fantasy story, and Bakker masterfully combines many different POV’s, literary techniques, plots, religion, sorcery, and philosophy into a great read. An educated, intelligent and talented writer.

2) What are your picks for the 5 “best fantasy books of all time”?

Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice

A complex and action packed fantasy, with flesh and blood characters. Triumphs are bitter sweet and you’ll experience real emotion when reading this book.

Glen Cook’s The Black Company

A world where good and evil are not absolute, following characters who are dark and ugly and somehow likeable, who must navigate the best they can through shades of grey. It’s a little rough around the edges, and some would say it’s primitive, but it’s unique.

C.J. Cherryh’s Chronicles of Morgaine

Stargate meets epic fantasy! A fantastic female lead character who has her own faults, weaknesses and needs. With all of the action and issues the two characters have to face, you don’t realise until deep into reading it what the real story is: the relationship between Morgaine and Vanye.

R. Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Comes Before

Everything I said above plus more.

David Gemmel’s Legend

Fantastic action scenes and an epic story about what it means to be a hero.

3) What are your picks for the “5 best sci-fi books of all time”?

Frank Herbert’s Dune

Complex and vast world building, and people fighting over money, planets and drugs.

Issac Asimov’s Foundation

Epic scope. The fall of the Roman Empire in space. A classic.

Dan Simmons’ Hyperion

Superbly written and crafted. Different tales from different characters, all with a part to play.

William Gibson’s Neuromancer

It can be confusing, but with each re-read you understand more. This book coined the term “cyberspace”. A challenging but electrifying read.

Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Science-fiction-comedy phenomenon. Some find it “too silly”, but they probably put their babel fish in the wrong hole.

4) What are your 5 favourite movies?

Blade Runner

Dark, gritty, superb style and atmosphere.

Seven Samurai

The first of its kind, assemble a team to carry out a mission. Rain drenched action and violence, and yet the movie isn’t about violence, it’s about duty and societal roles.

The Princess Bride

Enchanting fantasy. Yes, it has a few flaws, but it has everything: action, romance, comedy. Heart warming and sardonic.

Sunshine

A sci-fi movie without aliens? What the?

Complex characters, amazing story, do yourself a favour and watch it.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

A great sci-fi adventure capturing the time in childhood when the world is filled with many mysterious possibilities. And E.T. was a jedi, so now you know.

5) What are 5 things about the art of writing that you didn’t know when you started?

– There is the art of writing, and the business of writing. You need to be good at both. It’s your intellectual property and you need to realise it has intrinsic value.

– Waiting for the “muse” to strike before you write is a good way to not get much writing done.

– There are many ways to learn something, and the best way is for someone more experienced to teach you. Find knowledgeable critiquers or professional editors and take their feedback on board. Strive to constantly improve your writing.

– You don’t need to be an expert, whether it is writing or the business of writing, you just need to have an appetite for learning and to work hard.

– Someone once said: Have the courage to write badly. I think that’s great advice.

Grab your copy of Mitchell Hogan’s A Crucible of Souls here

a-crucible-of-soulsA Crucible of Souls

by Mitchell Hogan

The Aurealis Award-winning e-book bestseller now in print.

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Grab your copy of Mitchell Hogan’s A Crucible of Souls here

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