Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

salt-creekThe Booktopia Book Guru asks

Lucy Treloar

author of Salt Creek

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 Malaysia, where my family lived for several years. My schooling was in Melbourne, England and Sweden, and I went to Melbourne University (Fine Arts) and RMIT (Prof Writing and Editing).

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

I realize now that I always wanted to be a writer (I can still recite a horrible poem in rhyming couplets that I wrote at seven or so, which I’ll spare you) but it took me years to find that out. In any job I held I always gravitated towards writing. I love words. How can you not?

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

At eighteen, I believed without even knowing it that the world would continue in much the same way as it always had, with a few technological developments. Life has become more precarious andLucy Treloar the world’s fragility better understood in the intervening years. I’m more fearful, I think, partly because I worry about the future for my children.

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 hardest question. Only three? The Emigrants – a gripping historical series by a Swedish writer, Vilhelm Moberg, the first really adult books I read; Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse (the first time I saw that books could be about ideas, not only character and plot) and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (I felt as if I’d become a different person after I read it). These books were so much part of my growing up (read between the ages of 11 and 17) and my thinking that I can’t separate them from me. They and the universes of human existence that they contained were like explosions in my life. I longed to be able to do that.

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

I’m just not very good at other things. I would love to be an artist, but all I can do is appreciate art longingly, enviously from a distance.

6.    Please tell us about your latest novel

salt-creekSalt Creek is the story of Hester Finch, an educated, highly intelligent fifteen-year-old of the 1850s whose family moves from early Adelaide to a remote and spectacular part of South Australia where over several years her father tries (and fails) to improve the family’s fortunes, destroying the indigenous culture as he does it. It’s about love in its many forms, power, and civilization and its failings.

Grab your copy of Salt Creek here

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

For people to care and wonder about the world and the people of Salt Creek, even the ones who behaved badly.

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

It’s very hard for me to go past Marilynne Robinson. The scope of her fiction is apparently small, yet the range of human emotion and experience that she is able to explore, and the generosity of her understanding, is vast. Cormac McCarthy (especially his Border Trilogy and Blood Meridian) is another writer I read and reread. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is extraordinary. Among writers of historical fiction, Hilary Mantel, Kate Grenville and Geraldine Brooks are the benchmarks for me.

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

All I really want is an excuse to keep writing, for my skills to develop, and to continue to be published. That feels wildly ambitious to me.

10.    What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Getting negative feedback goes with the territory of being a writer. But don’t let that feedback stop you; don’t let anyone else decide for you that you’re not a writer. Let that be your decision. The other piece of advice is from Marilynne Robinson: ‘Forget definition, forget assumption, watch’.

Lucy, thank you for playing.

DONUTS! Now that we have your attention, we’d like to talk to you about One Hundred Days of Happiness. And Donuts.

We all love a great book, and we all love sweet pastries. So our friends at Pan Macmillan Australia decided to combine the two for Booktopians with the beautiful book One Hundred Days of Happiness.

Pre-order One Hundred Days of Happiness by July 31st and you could win a dozen donuts from Krispy Kreme delivered to your door!

What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days left to live? For Lucio Battistini, it’s a chance to spend the rest of his life the way he always should have—by making every moment count.

In 100 epigrammatic chapters, one for each of Lucio’s remaining days on earth, 100 Days of Happiness is as delicious as a hot doughnut and a morning cappuccino. Wistful, often hilarious, and always delectable, 100 Days of Happiness reminds us all to remember the preciousness of life and what matters most.


Pre-order your copy of 100 Days of Happiness here

one-hundred-days-of-happiness100 Days of Happiness

by Fausto Brizzi

“Funny, moving. . . I defy anyone to finish this story without tears in their eyes.”—Graeme Simsion, bestselling author of The Rosie Project

Womanizing, imperfect, but loveable, Lucio Battistini has been thrown out of the house by his wife and is sleeping in the stock room of his father-in-law’s bombolini bakery when he learns he has inoperable cancer.

So begins the last hundred days of Lucio’s life, as he attempts to care for his family, win back his wife (the love of his life and afterlife), and spend the next three months enjoying every moment with a zest he hasn’t felt in years.

From helping his hopelessly romantic, widowed father-in-law find love, discovering comfort in enduring friendships, and finding new ones, Lucio becomes, at last, the man he’s always meant to be.

About the Author

Fausto Brizzi is an Italian director, screenwriter, and film producer. The Night Before Exams, his debut work as a director, won him numerous awards, including the David di Donatello. 100 Days of Happiness is his first novel.

Pre-order your copy of 100 Days of Happiness here

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

Our Pamper Hamper now has an owner!


Killing Monica is the awesome new book from Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City, and we thought there was no way better to celebrate its release than to offer fans of her work the chance to win a Pamper Hamper. This indulgent package contains new Lovisa-Sunglasses, David Jones-Lindt Chocolate, a Myer-Daisy Chain Robe, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a Dermalogica Face Maskn, a Pantene Hair Masque and a Myer-Mecca Makeup $100 Gift Card! If we could, we would give everyone a well deserved pamper hamper but unfortunately, only one Booktopian can be a winner.

…and the winner is:

C.Earl, Mudjimba, QLD

isbn9781408703175Killing Monica

by Candace Bushnell

In Killing Monica Bushnell spoofs and skewers her way through pop culture, celebrity worship, fame and even the meaning of life itself, when a famous writer must resort to faking her own death in order to get her life back from her most infamous creation – Monica. With her trademark humour and style, Killing Monica is Bushnell’s sharpest, funniest book to date.

Grab a copy of Killing Monica here

Congratulations to the winner!
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!


From the author of Sex and the City we now have Killing Monica…

Candace Bushnell’s newest book is sure to be a killer but while you sit back and enjoy Killing Monica wouldn’t you love to do so with new Lovisa-Sunglasses, David Jones-Lindt Chocolate, a Myer-Daisy Chain Robe, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a Dermalogica Face Maskn, a Pantene Hair Masque and a Myer-Mecca Makeup $100 Gift Card!

For you chance to win all this just pre-order Killing Monica by July 10th and you could win a Pamper Hamper, worth $272! *Terms and Conditions apply.


isbn9781408703175Killing Monica

By Candace Bushnell

The new from Candace Bushnell, full of her trademark wit and style

In Killing Monica Bushnell spoofs and skewers her way through pop culture, celebrity worship, fame and even the meaning of life itself, when a famous writer must resort to faking her own death in order to get her life back from her most infamous creation – Monica. With her trademark humour and style, Killing Monica is Bushnell’s sharpest, funniest book to date.

This is Bushnell at her best – full of mordant wit, casual sex and highly conspicuous consumption.

Grab your copy of Killing Monica here

We’ve got so much more up for grabs, not to mention limited edition signed copies and 2 for 1 offers!
Head to our Promotions and Competitions page!


How to Be Both by Ali Smith wins the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction

Ali Smith has won the 2015 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her incredible novel How To Be Both.

imageSmith was also one of the favourites to take out the Man Booker Prize, pipped at the post by Australia’s Richard Flanagan.

The novel tells the stories of two characters: a contemporary British teen and an Italian Renaissance artist. It was published in two versions, half of the copies beginning with the contemporary story and half with the Renaissance story.

How to Be Both was joined on the shortlist for the award by Rachel Cusk’s Outline, Laline Paull’s The Bees, Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone, Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread and Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests.

Grab your copy of How to Be Both here


How to Be Both

by Ali Smith

Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else.

How to be Both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s.

Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Grab your copy of How to Be Both here

Are you a winner of an amazing prize in time for Mother’s Day?

In the lead up to Mother’s Day we’ve had some amazing prizes to give away, perfect for any Mum!

We’ve had a Pan Macmillan Mother’s Day hamper worth $500, 1 of 5 Liane Moriarty backlist packs and a $250 gift voucher from Leona Edmiston!


wardrobe-101-for-mumsAll you had to do to enter was order Wardrobe 101 for Mums by April 28th!

Wardrobe 101 for Mums: Fashion Formulas for Modern Mothers

by Dijanna Mulhearn

Following on from Wardrobe 101: How to Create Your Perfect Core Wardrobe, fashion guru Dijanna Mulhearn is offering style advice to time-poor mothers.

Wardrobe 101 for Mums is a go-to guide for women who long to look good with little effort. Between juggling young children and navigating a post-pregnancy figure, dressing stylishly can be overwhelming; and the last thing on the minds of many new mothers.

Don’t be tempted by the tracksuit or resort to simple jeans and t-shirt when this book is chock full of tips that show you how to look fabulous in a flash. Dijanna Mulhearn has devised helpful tricks for looking chic regardless of more…

…and the winner is:

D.Isackson, Cottesloe, WA

Grab a copy of Wardrobe 101 for Mums here

PM MD PROMO LARGE 1000x200px

All you had to do to enter was order a book from the Pan Macmillan Mother’s Day collection by April 28th!

Broken Juliet : The Starcrossed Series : Book 2broken-juliet

by Leisa Rayven

Some loves never let you go…Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back.

Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again–the way she more…

…and the winner is:

M.Gattone,  Brighton East, VIC

Grab a copy of Broken Juliet here



All you had to do to enter was order Big Little Lies by April 28th!

Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

‘I guess it started with the mothers.’

‘It was all just a terrible misunderstanding.’

‘I’ll tell you exactly why it happened.’

Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. A more…

…and the winners are:

D.Webb, Orelia, WA
L.Tindall, Raworth, NSW
E.Nicholson, Wamuran, QLD
F.Worland, Forbes, NSW
S.Glyde, Leeming, WA

Grab a copy of Big Little Lies here

Congratulations to the winners!
Not a winner? Don’t worry, we have more prizes to giveaway! You could win an awesome Mother’s Day gift.
Check them out here.


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