EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Australian music royalty John Williamson chats to John Purcell about his memoir Hey True Blue

John Williamson has been touring Australia for over 50 years, and remains one of Australia’s most loved musicians. He chats to John Purcell about his new memoir Hey True Blue, life in the country AND plays a song from his new album Honest People.

Grab a copy of Hey True Blue here

hey-true-blue-order-your-signed-copy-now-Hey True Blue

by John Williamson

The long-awaited life story of John Williamson: an Australian icon, a much-loved legend of the music industry and man of the land.

Williamson takes us through his life, from growing up on the land in the Mallee and Moree in a family of five boys, to being the voice of Australia.

Beyond the songs, John has revealed barely anything about his private life in his forty-year career. He opens up here, talking about the tough times, the great times and what matters to him. In his distinctive Australian accent, he tells it like it is.

This is a journey across the breadth of Australia, and beyond.

About the Author

John Williamson is without question an Australian Icon. His entertainment career spans more than forty years boasting sales of over 5 million albums. His unofficial anthems, tender ballads and tributes to unsung heroes have captured the spirit of the nation in song more than any other performer. He remains one of the most in-demand live performers in Australia. His fiftieth album, Honest People, will be released at the same time as his autobiography.

Grab a copy of Hey True Blue here

Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann, authors of The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code, chat to John Purcell

After the runaway success of The Marmalade Files, it was inevitable that Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann would be returning for another healthy dose of political intrigue.

They chat to John Purcell about their latest book The Mandarin Code, the difficulties of co-writing, and how life in Canberra can often be stranger than fiction.

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

The Mandarin Code

by Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann

A body pulled from the murky waters of Lake Burley Griffin links Canberra, Beijing and Washington in a titanic struggle where war is just a mouse click away. Veteran reporter Harry Dunkley is chasing the scoop of his career, hunting for his best friend’s killer. Navigating treacherous political waters where a desperate minority government edges ever closer to disaster, he delves into a cyber world where there are no secrets.

Friendship and loyalty give way to betrayal and revenge as Dunkley stumbles into the sights of the mandarins who wield real power – and who’ll stop at nothing to retain it. Political insiders Steve Lewis and Chris Uhlmann bring biting wit and behind-the-headlines insights to this sharply observed sequel to the bestselling The Marmalade Files, once again lifting the veil on the lust and lies that stain the corridors of power.

Grab a copy of The Mandarin Code here

Boris Mihailovic, author of At the Altar of the Road Gods, chats to John Purcell

At the Altar of the Road Gods

by Boris Mihailovic

In this fast, furious book, Boris Mihailovic shares his wild stories of motorcycling, mateship and frequent, two-wheel-related mayhem. Boris has had a life-long obsession with motorbikes and in this collection of yarns he shares pivotal moments in his riding life, from his first XJ650 Yamaha and the crazy, wild years of learning to ride faster and faster to finding friends with a similar passion who all look like outlaws.

In At the Altar of the Road Gods Boris reveals the consequences of high-sides, tank-slappers, angry police and pilgrimages to Bathurst and Phillip Island, and explains how motorbike riding was the rite of passage into manhood he’d been searching for.

Be warned: this is a book that may cause laughter, sleeplessness and the desire to buy a Lucifer-black Katana.

Grab a copy of Boris Mihailovic’s At the Altar of the Road Gods hereBoris and John

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Tim Cope, adventurer and author of On the Trail of Genghis Khan, chats to John Purcell

 Grab a copy of On the Trail of Genghis Khan here

9781408842218On the Trail of Genghis Khan

by Tim Cope

Lone-adventurer Tim Cope travelled the entire length of the Eurasian steppe on horseback, from the ancient capital of Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary. This formidable 6,000-mile journey took three years to complete. It is a journey that has not been completed successfully since the days of Genghis Khan.

Trekking through wolf-infested plateaus, down into deep forests and up over glaciers, across sub-zero barren landscapes, scorching deserts and through treacherous mountain passes, Cope travelled deep into the heart of the nomadic way of life that has dominated the Eurasian steppe for thousands of years.

Alone, except for a trusted dog (and a succession of thirteen horses, many stolen along the way), he encountered incredible hospitality from those who welcomed him on his journey – a tradition that is the linchpin of human survival on the steppe. With WC the Kazakh aphorism ‘To understand the wolf, you must put the skin of a wolf on and look through its eyes’ playing constantly in his thoughts, Cope became immersed in the land and its people, moving through both space and time as witness to the rich past and to the often painful complexities of present-day life still recovering from Soviet rule.

On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a tale of survival, adventure and discovery set in a fascinating and politically volatile time.

Grab a copy of On the Trail of Genghis Khan here

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites, talks to John Purcell from the Sydney Writer’s Festival

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

The Book Industry: Living or Dying? Three Experts Have Their Say

Are you a fan of Anne Summers Reports? Lately it has hosted some wonderful articles and opinions on the future of the Australian Book Industry. We thought we’d share some with you. Click the links below to read the full pieces.

Fifty Shades of Bookselling

by Foong Ling Kong

Foong Ling has nearly two decades’ experience as an editor and a publisher of books across a wide range of genres. She is also Managing Editor of Anne Summers Reports.

Australians bought 22 million books in 2013: that’s one per head of population, but it still wasn’t enough to stem the slow leak in print-book sales since 2009, when the book trade turned over $1.29 billion. Last year, it did $917 million, a number that doesn’t factor in ebook sales, which are about 20 per cent of the market, and so did not make up the gap. Who knew that 2009 would be the last great bookselling year that saw growth? The book trade has received a remarkable hammering in the last five years, despite efforts at every level to address the multiple challenges. These have included a rising exchange rate, the advent of ereaders, the closure of quality bookshops and the rise of discount retailers.

For more from Foong Ling Kong click here

The Role of Authors in the New Book Economy

by Angelo Loukakis

Angelo is the Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors and has worked as a writer, teacher, editor and publisher.

The numbers provided highlight a decline in trade book sales, but while Nielsen Bookscan figures capture the vast bulk of general book sales they do not include the dollar value of books bought by Australian online purchasers. There is no entirely accurate figure available although PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated that, for 2010, approximately $150 million worth of books were purchased from Amazon and the Book Depository by Australian consumers. Anecdotally we’ve heard estimates the figure may be even higher than $250 million today. The volume of books being bought directly from overseas suppliers is obviously of no comfort to local booksellers.

For more from Angelo Loukakis click here

The Ingredients for a Healthy Bookish Future

by John Purcell

John is Booktopia’s Head of Marketing and Chief Buyer and sold 50,000 copies of his trilogy, The Secret Lives of Emma, under the pseudonym Natasha Walker.

Books are not groceries. One of the hardest things for business-minded people who find themselves working in the book industry to accept is that there isn’t a single product or just a few product lines to market and to sell. There are millions of products and thousands of product lines, otherwise known as books. The selling of books should be left to booksellers who are, more often than not, readers themselves.

The internet has changed reader behaviour forever. Diversity is the thing. The internet fosters the specialist, it encourages the clique, it supports grassroots enthusiasms by allowing people of a like mind or interests separated by culture, geography or age to meet and exchange ideas and recommend books. And readers will source their very particular titles, wherever they are sold. The store that can deliver them quickly and cheaply will win their custom.

For more from John Purcell click here

John Purcell on Oz Publishing

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy: Beginnings, Distractions, Unmasked (Review by Ariane Beeston)

After his events at this year’s Sydney Writer’s Festival, John Purcell’s bestselling Secret Lives of Emma trilogy has reached new audiences. We asked a fan of the series, writer Ariane Beeston, to share her thoughts. Unfortunately this wonderful review will do little to stop the boss gloating around the office.

For much of my early twenties, I spent hours wandering through the labyrinth of shelves in John Purcells secondhand bookshop (Johns Bookshop) a beautiful store tucked into the corner of a small shopping village in Mosman. The huge selection of novels, combined with Johns encyclopaedic knowledge of all things literary was a true bookworms heaven.

And so, it was lovely and a little intriguing to discover that the tall, mysterious man behind the counter of this much-loved little bookstore had penned his own novels, under the pseudonym Natasha Walker.

The Secret Lives of Emma is a wickedly sexy series. The heroine, 32 year-old Emma Benson, is a recently married Mosman woman, with a past. Uninhibited and with a constant string of lovers, Emma surprises everyone, including herself, when she chooses to settle down. While she initially attempts to remain loyal to her banker husband and her new, quieter life in the suburbs, ultimately, Emmas desire for the sensual is bigger than suburbia, the trilogy chronicling her secret, erotic adventures.

The Secret Lives of Emma, John Purcell, Natasha Walker, Books Online, Australian BooksShe was not unhappy, not all at, except in this: she needed from time to time to be very naughty.

Emma is a psychologically complex woman, both scheming and reflective. Shes beautiful, but shes clever. Beguiling. Theres an intelligence to Emmas encounters, to her analysis of situations, emotions and of course, the people she meets, lusts after and loves.

The novels are written in such a way that the experience is seamless, creating the sense that you might miss out if you stop reading, that the characters will simply continue on without you.

Purcell writes sex brilliantly, even elegantly at times. The language is perfectly sexy, avoiding the sorts of clichés that can make erotica more cringeworthy than sensual. Theres a wit and playfulness to the overall tone of the books, something which sets them apart from other novels in this genre.

the-secret-lives-of-emma-unmasked, John PurcellSex aside (which is as titillating and fantasy-fuelled as youd expect from good erotic fiction) the books are full of astute insights around the nature of friendship, of marriage and monogamy and of lust and love. Concepts like jealousy, possession and attraction are also explored through Emmas liaisons and the life choices she makes.

The Secret Lives of Emma is intelligent erotica. Its multi-layered, funny and at times, even wise.

A tease and a treat.

Grab a copy of The Secret Lives of Emma here

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Ariane Beestons writing has appeared on The Good Men Project, Mamamia, ivillage Australia Role/Reboot and Essential Baby.

She can be found on twitter @Ariane_JMS and you can read her published work at http://arianebeeston.wordpress.com

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