Rochelle Siemienowicz, author of Fallen, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Rochelle Siemienowicz

author of Fallen

Ten Terrifying Questions
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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 Geelong, Victoria, but my family moved so quickly and so often that I have no memory of it. My parents were Seventh-day Adventist missionaries and we lived in various parts of New Guinea and Fiji until I was 14 and then we moved to Perth where I finished High School. I moved to Melbourne to start University in the early 1990s and have been here ever since.

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

Twelve: A schoolteacher because although I really wanted to be a writer I didn’t think it was possible.
Eighteen: A journalist because it seemed the likeliest way of making a living as a writer. Or an academic, because I was good at writing essays and this seemed a continuation of that.
Thirty: A film journalist and sometime novelist as this combined all my passions – cinema, literature and connecting with communities of likeminded creative people.

Author: Rochelle Siemienowicz

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

I was raised in a strict religious household and believed that the end of the world was imminent – that Jesus Christ was going to return in the clouds and rescue his chosen people while the rest of the earth burned. These days I’m an atheist, though I still harbour apocalyptic fears – now related to environmental destruction.

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?

1. The huge changes in Australian Higher Education during the late 1990s and early 2000s meant that an academic career seemed too hard and too precarious to pursue. I was surrounded by bitter academics and underpaid sessional staff, so I finished my PhD on Australian cinema and fled academe, never to return.

2. Becoming involved in The Big Issue magazine’s family of writers and editors from 1997 until the present has been life changing. The Big Ish was the first publication to pay me for my words and so many of my closest friends and associates are people I met there.

3. Reading Andrew McGahan’s searingly honest, funny and distinctively Australian Vogel-winning debut novel Praise (1991) changed my life. I fell in love with McGahan’s candor, courage, and skilful blending of autobiography and fiction. This was controlled confessional writing at its most deceptively simple – unafraid to get dirty, but also able to rise above the grime into pure poetry and wry philosophical reflection.

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 was raised on books, especially the Bible, and I always wanted to have my name on the cover of one. I love to hold the physical objects and there’s nothing quite as immersive as a really good book. Also, you can read them during take-off and landing when flying on an aeroplane.

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Fallen is my first book. It’s a memoir about sex, religion and marrying too young, and it traces a crucial period in my early twenties when I broke away from everything I’d been raised to believe. Raised as devout Seventh-day Adventists, who believe that the end of the world is near and premarital sex is a terrible sin, my husband and I married at twenty while still at University. But after leaving the parental nest, we started experimenting with all the things that were forbidden to us – alcohol, meat, rock and roll, cinema and literature that stretched the boundaries of ‘decency’. We loved each other sincerely and took our marriage vows very seriously, but part of this experimentation involved having an open marriage. My book is about three weeks at the end of that marriage when I revisited my hometown of Perth and broke the rules of our agreement. It’s a sexual coming of age story, a tale of first love and innocence lost.

Grab a copy of Rochelle’s new book Fallen here

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

Telling the truth about the variety and detail of female sexual experience is still a radical act – even in our supposedly liberated and highly sexualised culture. If my book could counter some of the shame around sexual desire, and make readers feel less alone, less dysfunctional, and less ‘sinful’, then that would be a huge achievement.

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Right now I’m full of admiration for the people close to me who are enduring heartbreak, divorce, unemployment and depression. These are the supposedly ordinary people who keep on doing what they have to do, with kindness and generosity, even when getting out bed in the morning feels like the most courageous and impossible act. Life is tough a lot of the time and there’s a lot of everyday heroism. Being human is hard.

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

I want to be as honest as I can be, in both my life and my work. I also want to spread pleasure. There’s really no higher achievement than writing something people enjoy reading for the pure pleasure of the language, the characters and the rich, beautiful world you’ve created. Pleasure should be an end in itself.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read. Read all the time. Stay off social media long enough to become absorbed in the words of others. Read the great books. Read them aloud. Hear how they work, or don’t work. Read your own work aloud. Feel where it gets boring or sticky. It’s not just that you’re tired of it. The writing is bad when that happens. Good writing is good even when you’ve read it fifty times.

Rochelle, thank you for playing.

Grab a copy of Fallen here


Fallen: A Memoir About Sex, Religion and Marrying Too Young

by Rochelle Siemienowicz

“Call me Eve. It’s the name I call myself when I think back to that time when I was a young wife – so very young, so very hungry. I picked the fruit and ate and drank until I was drunk with freedom and covered in juice and guilt.”

In this frank, compelling and beautifully written memoir, Rochelle Siemienowicz provides an intimate portrait of the last days of an open marriage.

Raised as devout Seventh-day Adventists, who believe that the end of the world is near and that premarital sex is a terrible sin, Eve and her husband marry young. Rebelling against their upbringing, and in an attempt to overcome problems in their relationship, they enter an agreement that has its own strict rules. But when Eve holidays alone in her hometown of Perth during a hot West Australian summer, she finds her body and heart floating free. Fallen is a true tale of sex, love, religion and getting married too young – and about what it feels like when you can’t keep the promises you once sincerely made.

About the Author

Rochelle Siemienowicz is a writer, film critic and former editor at the AFI | AACTA. She has a PhD in Australian cinema and was the long-time film editor for The Big Issue. She currently reports for Screen Hub, reviews for SBS Film and is Film Columnist for Kill Your Darlings. She very occasionally blogs at It’s Better in the Dark, and is currently working on her first novel, which has nothing at all to do with movies.

Grab a copy of Fallen here

A New Book For Lauren Kate Fans, A Boxset For Lauren Kate Newbies

Life doesn’t get much better for Lauren Kate fans with her new book Teardrop about to hit the shelves, as well as the film adaptation of her Fallen novels in full swing.

And if you haven’t gotten into Katemania yet (I mean, like, where have you been?), we’ve got a special deal on the Fallen box set to get you started.

Teardrop

by Lauren Kate

Never, ever cry. . . . Eureka Boudreaux’s mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn’t, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn’t know Eureka’s darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.

From Lauren Kate comes an epic saga of heart-stopping romance, devastating secrets, and dark magic . . . a world where everything you love can be washed away.

Click here to buy Teardrop from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore


Fallen Boxset

by Lauren Kate

The first three books of the incredible Fallen series, collected together in a deluxe box set.

Relive every passionate moment of Luce and Daniel’s epic romance across 5,000 years of history. This bestselling gothic romance is for all adult and teenage fans of supernatural fiction.

It includes Fallen, Torment and Passion.

Get ready to fall…

Click here to buy The Fallen Boxset from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

BREAKING NEWS: ‘Fallen’ movie update.

Huge news in the world of books to film as word has it that the long awaited movie adaptation of Lauren Kate’s Fallen series has now gone into casting, and will start filming in September.

Lauren Kate had this to say on her website…

Double exclamation points for two exciting pieces of movie news. Some of you saw whispers of this online on Friday, and most of you have been waiting feverishly for some word on the progress of the Fallen film. I am very happy to tell you officially that the casting process has begun! And the film will begin shooting in September 2013…just a few more months!

Already we know Aussie Scott Hicks, the director of the Academy Award winning masterpiece Shine, will be at the helm while Emmy Award nominees Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard have written the script.

In all, very exciting news for fans. Stay tuned for more as it comes to hand.

Click here to buy the Fallen Box Set from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Karin Slaughter, author of Criminal, Fractured, Broken, Genesis, Fallen and more, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Karin Slaughter

author of Criminal, FracturedBroken GenesisFallen and more

Six Sharp Questions

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1.    Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

CRIMINAL is about the struggles women faced in the 1970s on the Atlanta police force.  It’s also about a present-day crime that has roots in the past.

(BBGuru: publisher’s blurb – Someone you want to forget is waiting for you.

1974: In the blistering heat of an Atlanta summer, a killer prowls the street, searching for the weak, the vulnerable and the lost.

40 years later, a young woman is found brutally murdered in a sordid high-rise apartment. The specifics of her death are detailed and macabre, but for Special Agent Will Trent they are startingly familiar, and can only mean one thing.

Desperate to deny this might be happening to him, he is forced to return to the home he grew up in, to the grimy crime-ridden streets, to a childhood he has spent the best part of his adult life trying to avoid.

As the body count rises, and the tension on the inner-city streets starts to simmer, Will becomes convinced that the clue to the killings now, and in 1974, may lie in his own past; a past that he hates yet feels responsible for.

And that the killer is much, much closer to him than anyone thought possible. )

Click here to buy CRIMINAL from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop

2.    Time passes. Things change. What are the best and worst moments that you have experienced in the past year or so?

Best: the vacation I just had.  Worst: getting stuck at the Denver airport.

3.    Do you have a favourite quote or passage you would be happy to share with us? It doesn’t need to be deep but it would be great if it meant something to you.

Joy is the best gratitude.

4.    Writers have often been described as being difficult to live with. Do you conform to the stereotype or defy it? Please tell us a little about the day to day of your writing life.

I think when I’m working, I can be a bit distant, but I’ve found writers (at least crime writers) tend to be fairly normal.  Just feed and water us and we’re fine.

5.   Some writers claim not to be influenced by the needs of the marketplace, while others seem obsessed by it. Would you please describe how the marketplace affects your writing (come on, tell the truth!).

I wish I could say I’m very conscious of those things, but honestly, I never think about my readers when I’m writing.  It’s all about me and what kind of book I’d like to read.  I think if you chase the market, you’ll end up locking yourself up.

6.   Unlikely Scenario: You’ve been charged with civilising twenty ill-educated adolescents but you may take only five books with you. What do you take and why?

The Bible.  A dictionary.  Gone With the Wind.  Really, anything that’s extremely heavy so I can hit them with it.

Karin, thank you for playing.

Visit our Karin Slaughter author page for more

Lauren Kate, author of Fallen, Torment and Passion, answers Six Sharp Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Lauren Kate

author of Fallen, Torment and now, Passion

Six Sharp Questions:

 ————————–

1. Congratulations, you have a new book. What is it about and what does it mean to you?

Passion is an integrated prequel in the Fallen series, which means it picks up right where Torment (the second book) left off, but then looks back across history at all of Luce and Daniel’s past love affairs. It’s an answer questions book, a catching juggling balls book. It’s been the most challenging book to write so far, but also the most rewarding. Click here to pre-order your copy…

(BBGuru: The publisher’s synopsis – Continue reading

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

An irresistibly glamorous and intriguing novel from the author of the international bestseller FALLEN.

Lauren Kate’s first novel, THE BETRAYAL OF NATALIE HARGROVE, features the most ruthlessly ambitious heroine since Lady Macbeth. Natalie is utterly determined to cement her position at the top of the high school social ladder by becoming prom queen. When it looks like an interfering ex-boyfriend might get in her way, she devises a little prank to humiliate him.

But when the prank goes devastatingly wrong, Natalie starts to lose control of her life. Caught in a web of dark secrets, shame and abuse of power, it’s not guilt that eventually defeats Natalie. It’s fate: the only thing she can’t control . . .

For those new to Lauren Kate you may like to read her answers to my Ten Terrifying Questions – click here

Other books by Lauren Kate:

Fallen is the first in Lauren Kate’s series of dark, romantic novels featuring 17 year old Lucinda and Daniel, her doomed angel lover. What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours? 17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross …only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. Get ready to fall…

Torment: A sensational return for fallen angel Daniel and his mortal love, Lucinda, in this fabulous sequel to FALLEN.

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives.

Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future … and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened … what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

Torment by Lauren Kate (A Fallen Novel)

Torment: A sensational return for fallen angel Daniel and his mortal love, Lucinda, in this fabulous sequel to FALLEN.

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for?

In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean – and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives.

Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future … and that Daniel hasn’t told her everything.

What if his version of the past isn’t actually the way things happened … what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

In March Lauren Kate Answered our Ten Terrifying Questions – here’s what she had to say about Torment: Continue reading

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