VIDEO: Debra Oswald on Offspring fandom and her new novel Useful

Debra Oswald is the co-creator and head writer of the TV series Offspring which recently finished its fifth season. She chats to Caroline Baum about her transition to adult fiction with her darkly funny new novel Useful.

Grab a copy of Debra Oswald’s Useful here

useful-signed-copies-available-

Useful

by Debra Oswald

Once a charming underachiever, he’s now such a loser that he can’t even commit suicide properly. Waking up in hospital after falling the wrong way on a rooftop, he comes to a decision.

He shouldn’t waste perfectly good organs just because they’re attached to his head. After a life of regrets, Sully wants to do one useful thing: he wants to donate a kidney to a stranger.

As he scrambles over the hurdles to become a donor, Sully almost accidentally forges a new life for himself. Sober and employed, he makes new friends, not least radio producer Natalie and her son Louis, and begins to patch things up with old ones, like his ex-best mate Tim. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of him.

But altruism is not as easy as it seems. Just when he thinks he’s got himself together, Sully discovers that he’s most at risk of falling apart.

From the creator of Offspring comes a smart, moving and wry portrait of one man’s desire to give something of himself.

Grab a copy of Debra Oswald’s Useful here

Congratulations to our Useful Facebook competition winners Amie Clarke, Edel Taylor, Hanadi Nasser, Jan Hartz and Elaine Smith. You’ve all won a copy of Useful! Please email your details to promos@booktopia.com.au and we’ll get your books out to you ASAP!

VIDEO: James Bradley on his long awaited new novel Clade

James Bradley’s past novels Wrack, The Deep Field and The Resurrectionist have won or been shortlisted for a number of major literary awards. He chats with Caroline Baum about his new novel Clade.

Grab a copy of James Bradley’s Clade here

 clade-signed-copies-available-Clade

by James Bradley

Compelling, challenging and resilient, over ten beautifully contained chapters, Clade canvasses three generations from the very near future to late this century. Central to the novel is the family of Adam, a scientist, and his wife Ellie, an artist. Clade opens with them wanting a child and Adam in a quandary about the wisdom of this.

Their daughter proves to be an elusive little girl and then a troubled teenager, and by now cracks have appeared in her parents’ marriage. Their grandson is in turn a troubled boy, but when his character reappears as an adult he’s an astronomer, one set to discover something astounding in the universe. With great skill James Bradley shifts us subtly forward through the decades, through disasters and plagues, miraculous small moments and acts of great courage. Elegant, evocative, understated and thought-provoking, it is the work of a writer in command of the major themes of our time.

Grab your copy of James Bradley’s Clade here

7PM INTERVIEW: Bestselling author Liane Moriarty talks to John Purcell about her new book Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty has become one of the biggest novelists in the US market, yet she still hasn’t become a household name in her native Australia. She chats with John Purcell about her career and latest book Big Little Lies. A book John has read and highly recommends. He thinks it one of the best books of 2014!

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 parent is dead.

Liane Moriarty’s new novel is funny and heartbreaking, challenging and compassionate. The No. 1 New York Times bestselling author turns her unique gaze on parenting and playground politics, showing us what really goes on behind closed suburban doors.

‘Let me be clear. This is not a circus. This is a murder investigation.’

Click here to grab a copy of Big Little Lies 

Booktopia TV: Caroline Baum interviews award-winning writer Ashley Hay

Booktopia’s Editorial Director Caroline Baum sat down with award-winner Ashley Hay to discuss her new book The Railwayman’s Wife.

In a small town on the land’s edge, in the strange space at a war’s end, a widow, a poet and a doctor each try to find their own peace, and their own new story.

In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway’s library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank McKinnon is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive.

Written in clear, shining prose and with an eloquent understanding of the human heart, The Railwayman’s Wife explores the power of beginnings and endings, and how hard it can be sometimes to tell them apart. It’s a story of life, loss and what comes after; of connection and separation, longing and acceptance. Most of all, it celebrates love in all its forms, and the beauty of discovering that loving someone can be as extraordinary as being loved yourself.

Click here to buy The Railwayman’s Wife from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

About the Author

Ashley Hay is the author of four books of non-fiction – The Secret: The strange marriage of Annabella Milbanke and Lord Byron, Gum: The story of eucalypts and their champions, and Herbarium and Museum with the visual artist Robyn Stacey. A former literary editor of The Bulletin, her essays and short stories have also appeared in anthologies and journals including Brothers and Sisters, The Monthly, Heat and The Griffith Review. Ashley’s first novel, The Body in the Clouds was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize ‘Best First Book’ (South-East Asia and Pacific region) and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Click here to buy The Railwayman’s Wife from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

The Incomparable Jackie Collins Answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Jackie Collins

author of

Poor Little Bitch Girl,
Married Lovers
, Drop Dead Beautiful
and a host of other bestselling titles

Ten Terrifying Questions

——————————–

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

Born in London. Dropped out of school at fifteen. Followed school with Hollywood – gaining invaluable research, and meeting characters that I still write about today.

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

Everybody said you can’t be a writer, you dropped out of school, you need to go to college, etc. But I followed my dream and ignored everyone. At twelve I was writing unfinished novels. At eighteen I was doing the same thing. And at thirty I was a published author.

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

The beliefs I had at eighteen have stayed with me today. Strive and you will achieve. Work hard at what you love and your passion will shine through.

4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Book – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. So mysterious and exciting. The painting – A Bigger Splash by David Hockney. I built my house based on that painting. And music – What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. All of the above filled me with inspiration.

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

I am a born storyteller. One hundred years ago I would be sitting around the campfire saying “Let me tell you a story!”

6. Please tell us about your latest novel…

Poor Little Bitch Girl.Three twenty-something women, one hot, rich guy, two mega movie-stars, a drugs bust and a devastating murder. Poor Little Bitch Girl has it all!

There’s Denver Jones, the hotshot attorney working in L.A. and Carolyn Henderson – personal assistant to a powerful and very married Senator in Washington with whom she is having an affair. And then there’s Annabelle Maestro – daughter of two movie stars – who has carved out a career for herself in New York as the madame of choice for discerning famous men. The three twenty-something women used to go to high school together in Beverly Hills and Denver and Carolyn have always kept in touch, but Annabelle is out on her own with her cocaine addicted boyfriend Frankie.

Bobby is Frankie’s best friend – Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous, that is, Kennedy-esque son of Lucky Santangelo and deceased Greek shipping billionaire Dimitri Stanislopolous. Now he owns Mood, the hottest club in New York, but back in the day he went to high school with Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle, and hung out with all three of them. Which means that Bobby knows everyone’s secrets – and he has some of his own, too. Read an ExtractClick Here

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

I fulfil my fantasies of what Hollywood and life in the fast lane is all about. Mind candy with hidden truths. And plenty of sly humour!

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

Charles Dickens. A genius. Harold Robbins who took you to places you never knew you wanted to go. Enid Blyton – the best children’s author of all time.

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

I’ve written 27 best selling novels. So my plan is to just keep on going!

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Don’t talk about it. Do it!!

Jackie, thank you for playing.

Follow Jackie Collins on Twitter – click here

One for the girls – A Blast from the Past – Jackie interviews George Clooney (circa 1998)

Its Chaos Walking as Monsters of Men Patrick Ness answers Ten Terrifying Questions

All over the world, Patrick Ness fans are waiting for May 1

the release date for the eagerly anticipated finale to Patrick’s

Chaos Walking series,

Monsters of Men

—————————————

What better time to put

Ten Terrifying Questions

to wunderkind author, Patrick Ness.

————————————————-

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 Virginia, lived in Hawaii as a small child, but mostly schooled in the state of Washington in the northwest of the US.  College at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, so I’m pretty much a westerner, which does influence my writing.

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

At twelve I wanted to be a plastic surgeon for no other reason than I had a terrible crush on a plastic surgeon on television.  At eighteen, a film-maker, I even applied (and got accepted to) film school at USC, mainly because I didn’t think writing was a possible career.  I did change my mind soon after and stuck to writing.  At thirty, well, who says I’m already thirty?  Let’s just say that at thirty, I have/had the best job in the world already, why would I want to do anything different?

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

That I’d never, and I mean never, have short hair.  Now I’ve got barely more than a crew cut and know to never say never about any kind of fashion.  The one thing you deny the most is the thing you’ll always do five years later.

4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music – that you can now say had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, because of how all his books, but especially this one, suggest a huge imagined world that the story is only a tiny slice of.  I love when books do that, and I try to do that in mine.  Map of the Problematique by Muse, which is the theme song to The Knife of Never Letting Go, because it had exactly the energy I wanted to put down on the page and I thought, “If I can capture that…”  And probably Middlemarch by George Eliot, which is a novel that just contains the whole world inside.

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

Easy:  you’re the god of everything in a novel.  I think all writers are essentially power-hungry and want to be in complete control.  Seriously, though, it suits my temperament; I love working for myself.  Plus, it’s the most rewarding artistic avenue I’ve found, the one that gives me the most freedom.  Really, though, it’s because I can’t sing for toffee.

6. Please tell us about your latest novel.

Monsters of Men is the final volume of the Chaos Walking trilogy (following The Knife of Never Letting Go and The Ask and the Answer).  In it, Todd and Viola find themselves at the crux of a very unexpected war.  Things don’t go (at all) how you’d expect, and it’s got an absolutely killer ending.  I can’t wait until it comes out to hear what readers think.

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

I’m really happy with whatever they find.  I’d never want to impose on them, just take a little bit of their time and tell them a story about things that concern me.  If they agree, great, if they don’t, that’s fine, too.  it’s the conversation that’s important.

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

Probably Peter Carey again, for marching so much to his own drummer.  I’m also quite possibly Nicola Barker’s biggest fan.  These are people who it really feels like they write because they have to, and that’s the best way, I think.

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

My goals are all private, actually.  I like keeping them quiet.  Loud, shouty goals are too much Continue reading

Alex Miller, author of Lovesong, The Ancestor Game, Journey to the Stone Country and more, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru Asks

Alex Miller

author of

Lovesong, The Ancestor Game, Journey to the Stone Country

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?

BORN: 369 Fulham Road, London SW1; RAISED: 101 Pendragon Road, Bromley Kent; SCHOOLED: Pendragon Rd Primary then Cooper’s Lane Secondary Modern.

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

At 12 I wanted to be a cowboy in the wild west; at 18 an Australian stockman in the Gulf Country of Australia; at 30, a novelist.

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

At eighteen I believed in the moral progress of our species.

4. What were three works of art – book, painting, piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

The book was Frank Dalby Davison’s Man-Shy, which I read in Somerset at sixteen. Davison’s story kindled my dream of becoming an Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,340 other followers

%d bloggers like this: