Australia’s Favourite Author 2015 – The Top 10

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The day has arrived. Today we announce Australia’s Top 10 Favourite Authors, as voted by you.

Before anything, we want to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone involved with this poll. To all authors, we owe you thanks on so many levels, but on this occasion thank you for rallying your fans and supporting other authors with such vigour. Oh, and for writing the books that we adore. We love you all.

To the publishers, we couldn’t have done this without your tireless support, and your incredible passion for Australian books.

And last but not least, to all the lovers of Australian books who have voted in this poll, thank you. Booktopia is a proudly Australian owned and operated bookstore, created for Australians by Australians. Your support means the world to us.

That’s why we set up this poll, and made January our month of Australian Stories. We think Australian authors are pretty damn important, and want to do whatever we can to support them.

But for now, before we get any more emotional, on with the show…


10. John Marsden

A trained educator with a natural gift for storytelling, John Marsden is arguably Australia’s foremost writer of Young Adult fiction.

Whilst working at the prestigious Geelong Grammar School, Marsden made the decision to write for teenagers, following his dissatisfaction with his students’ apathy towards reading and the observation that teenagers simply weren’t reading any more. Marsden then wrote So Much To Tell You in only three weeks, and the book was published in 1987. The book sold record numbers and won numerous awards including “Book of the Year” as awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

In 1993 Marsden published Tomorrow, When the War Began the first book in the Tomorrow Series and his most acclaimed and best-selling work to date. Recently it was selected in the American Library Association list of 100 Best Books for Teens since 1966.

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Our Pick

Marsden has won every major writing award in Australia for young people’s fiction, including what Marsden describes as one of the highlights of his career, the 2006 Lloyd O’Neil Award for contributions to Australian publishing. This award means that Marsden is one of only five authors to be honoured for lifelong services to the Australian book industry. John Marsden was also nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2008, the world’s largest children’s and youth literature award, and the second largest literature prize in the world.

Click here to go to John Marsden’s author page


9. Mem Fox

Mem Fox was born in Australia, grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia in 1970. She is Australia’s best loved picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, has sold over four million copies and is still the best selling children’s book in Australia, 29 years after its publication.

She has written over 40 books for children among which are the perennial favourites: Possum Magic, Time for Bed and Where Is The Green Sheep?; and several books for adults also, including her best selling book for parents: Reading Magic: how your child can learn to read before school and other read aloud miracles. Her book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes was on the New York Times best-seller list for 18 weeks in 2008—2009 and also won best book for young children at the 2010 Turin International Book Festival in its Italian edition. Her books have been translated into 19 languages.

Our Pick

Mem Fox was an Associate Professor of Education at Flinders University in Adelaide where she taught teachers for 24 years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many honors and awards from various Australian governments and other organisations for services to literature, as well as three honorary doctorates for her work in literacy. She has visited the USA over 100 times as both a consultant in literacy and as an author. She keeps threatening to retire but never quite gets around to it as she is always finding something new to write about or shout about.

Click here to go to Mem Fox’s author page


8. Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories about Nazi Germany, about the bombing of Munich and about Jews being marched through his mother’s small, German town. He always knew it was a story he wanted to tell.

“We have these images of the straight-marching lines of boys and the ‘Heil Hitlers’ and this idea that everyone in Germany was in it together. But there still were rebellious children and people who didn’t follow the rules and people who hid Jews and other people in their houses. So there’s another side to Nazi Germany,” said Zusak in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Our Pick

At just 37, Zusak has already asserted himself as one of today’s most innovative and poetic novelists. Upon the publication of The Book Thief he was dubbed a ‘literary phenomenon’ by Australian and U.S. critics. Zusak is also the award-winning author of four previous books for young adults: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, Getting the Girl, and I Am the Messenger, recipient of a 2006 Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature. He lives in Sydney.

Click here to go to Markus Zusak’s author page


7. Andy Griffiths

Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s writers. He is the author of over 20 books, including nonsense verse, short stories, comic novels and plays. Over the past 20 years Andy’s books have been New York Times bestsellers, won over 50 children’s choice awards, been adapted as a television cartoon series and sold over 5 million copies worldwide.

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Our Pick

Andy is passionate about inspiring a love of books and reading, and this passion drives his work as an ambassador with The Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an initiative of the Australian Publishing Industry, to provide books and literacy resources to remote Indigenous communities around Australia. Andy regularly participates in field trips to remote areas of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia to run writing workshops with Indigenous children and to help facilitate the Foundation’s work.

Click here to go to Andy Griffiths’ author page


6. Monica McInerney

One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica McInerney is the author of the internationally bestselling novels, A Taste for It, Upside Down Inside Out, Spin the Bottle, The Alphabet Sisters, Family Baggage, Those Faraday Girls and At Home with the Templetons. Those Faraday Girls was the winner of the General Fiction Book of the Year at the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.

Her collection of short fiction, All Together Now, was shortlisted for the same award in 2009. At Home with the Templetons was shortlisted in the Popular Fiction category of the 2010 Irish Book Awards and in the Romantic Elements category of the 2011 Australian Romantic Book of the Year Awards.

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Our Pick

In 2006 she was the ambassador for the Australian Government initiative Books Alive, with her novella Odd One Out.

Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has been living between Australia and Ireland for twenty years. She and her Irish husband currently live in Dublin.

Click here to go to Monica McInerney’s author page


5. Kerry Greenwood

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D’Arcy, is an award-winning children’s writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.

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Our Pick

The Phryne Fisher series began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written sixteen books in this series and says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.

When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Court for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.

Click here to go to Kerry Greenwood’s author page


4. Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of 12 novels. In 2005, Matthew was the first author to participate in the Australian Government’s ‘Books Alive’ initiative, for which he wrote the short novel Hell Island, featuring Shane Schofield. Over 200,000 copies of that work were given away for free in August of 2005.

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Our Pick

Matthew’s books are published in over 20 languages and he has sold over 3.5 million books worldwide: over 1 million in Australia alone; over a million in the US; and over a million in the UK.

Walt Disney Pictures have optioned the movie rights to his children’s book, Hover Car Racer, while Ice Station was optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Click here to go to Matthew Reilly’s author page


3. Tim Winton

One of the novelists of his generation, Tim Winton’s literary reputation was established early when his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the 1981 Australian Vogel Award; his second novel Shallows, won the Miles Franklin Award in 1984; and his third book, Scission, a collection of short stories, won the West Australian Council Literary Award in 1985.

Winton’s fifth novel, Cloudstreet, the story of two working-class families rebuilding their lives, was a huge literary and commercial success. It has been a best seller since its publication in 1991 and was recently voted the most popular Australian novel by the Australian Society of Authors. Awards include National Book Council Banjo Award for Fiction, 1991; West Australian Fiction Award 1991; Deo Gloria Award (UK), 1991 and the 1992 Miles Franklin Award.

Our Pick

In 2001 his novel, Dirt Music, was published to considerable critical acclaim and impressive reviews. The book was shortlisted for the 2002 Mann Booker Prize and won the 2002 Miles Franklin Award, the West Australian Fiction Award and the Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Film rights have been optioned to Phil Noyce’s film company, Rumbalara Films, with Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz reportedly set to star in the film.

Winton’s most recent novel, Eyrie, was another triumph, being nominated by many critics as their favourite book of 2013.

Click here to go to Tim Winton’s author page


moriartyliane012. Liane Moriarty

Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.

The Husband’s Secret has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.

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Our Pick

With the launch of her most recent novel, Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Film and television rights have already been snapped up by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a series of books for children.

Click here to go to Liane Moriarty’s author page


Booktopia is proud to announce, after thousands of your nominations and over 100,000 votes from Australian readers, that Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015 is…

1. John Flanagan

John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed.

John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. Ten years after writing them he decided to turn them into a novel to publish.

The series has come a long way since then, having been on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 80 weeks, with over 5 million copies being sold in the US alone.

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Our Pick

The Ranger’s Apprentice series and his Brotherband series are available in more than one hundred countries, and have had multiple award shortlistings and wins in Australia and overseas.

A $100 million film adaptation of The Ranger’s Apprentice is expected to commence in the next year.

Congratulations John on being voted by Australian readers Australia’s Favourite Author for 2015!

Click here to go to John Flanagan’s author page on Booktopia

Love Australian books?

Don’t forget to check out our Australian Stories collection!

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Kerry Greenwood, creator of Phryne Fisher – Why I Write

Why do I write?

Money.

Oh, all right. I write because I can’t not write. I’ve been a story teller since I could speak and I get uncomfortable if I can’t write. It’s a form of benign possession. I wake up in the middle of the night with a story insisting on immediate attention and I write and write and write until I fall exhausted from the chair three weeks later and I have a book. I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen and have been writing what I would like to read ever since.

Fortunately my learned colleague the beautiful David is there to feed me and remind me to sleep occasionally, and the cats bite me when I have left something unattended on the stove for more than about an hour. Also my feline Muse, Belladonna, hits the Caps Lock if I have been writing for more than two hours. It gets her cat treats and it preserves my wrists.

Currently I am thinking about a childrens’ book called The Princess of Cats, a fantasy novel, working on a biography from tapes, and a new Corinna. I am also currently researching folk songs and reminding myself firmly that I might still be working for the public service writing opinions on Section 9 (1) (h) (a) of the Land Tax Act and that I am very, very, very lucky.

Kerry Greenwood’s Murder and Meldelssohn: A Phryne Fisher Mystery is a Booktoberfest title. Buy it now to go in the draw to win Booktopia’s weekly giveaway – a $250 Booktopia voucher – AND order by 31st October 2013 to go in the draw to win the fantastic publisher prize.

Click here for prize details and to see the full Allen & Unwin Showcase

Murder and Meldelssohn: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

by Kerry Greenwood

The divine and fearless Miss Phryne Fisher returns in her 20th adventure in a vastly entertaining tale of murder, spies, mathematics and music.

To the accompaniment of heavenly choirs singing, the fearless Miss Phryne Fisher returns in her 20th adventure with musical score in hand.

An orchestral conductor has been found dead and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson needs the delightfully incisive and sophisticated Miss Fisher’s assistance to enter a world in which he is at sea. Hugh Tregennis, not much liked by anyone, has been murdered in a most flamboyant mode by a killer with a point to prove. But how many killers is Phryne really stalking?

At the same time, the dark curls, disdainful air and the lavender eyes of mathematician and code-breaker Rupert Sheffield are taking Melbourne by storm. They’ve certainly taken the heart of Phryne’s old friend from the trenches of WW1, John Wilson. Phryne recognises Sheffield as a man who attracts danger and is determined to protect John from harm.

Even with the faithful Dot, Mr and Mrs Butler, and all in her household ready to pull their weight, Phryne’s task is complex. While Mendelssohn’s Elijah, memories of the Great War, and the science of deduction ring in her head, Phryne’s past must also play its part as MI6 become involved in the tangled web of murders.

A vastly entertaining tale of murder, spies, mathematics and music.

Click here to buy Murder and Meldelssohn from Booktopia,
Australia’s Local Bookstore

Countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist: 30-21 as voted by you

We find ourselves at the halfway point of the countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist, as voted by you. Here’s the story so far:

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Don’t forget to pencil in January 25th as a big day on the calender as we celebrate the Australia Day weekend in style with the announcement of Australia’s top 10 Favourite Novelists, as well as the launch of our Australian Stories Initiative. There will also be loads of discounts and freebies on offer for the weekend.


30. Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier currently lives in Western Australia. While Marillier writes mostly for adults, her recent books have included Cybele’s Secret, a sequel to her novel for young adults Wildwood Dancing.

Marillier has said that it takes her about a year to finish a novel and that she is often researching one book while writing another and editing a third. She also says that she usually bases a story on two elements: what the main character learns about herself and her world that makes this adventure personally significant; and the bigger picture, showing this character’s role in something outside herself, such as saving a community or forging peace between two warring tribes. The first idea reinforces the second, making the writing both personal and realistic.

Our Pick

Cybele’s Secret won a 2008 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Novel – Young Adult. Her latest release is “Flame of Sevenwaters”, a companion novel to the Sevenwaters trilogy.

Click here to go to Juliet Marillier’s author page


29. Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan was born in 1974 and grew up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia. In school he became known as the ‘good drawer’ which partly compensated for always being the shortest kid in every class. He graduated from the University of WA in 1995 with joint honours in Fine Arts and English Literature, and currently works full time as a freelance artist and author in Melbourne.

Shaun began drawing and painting images for science fiction and horror stories in small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery.

Our Pick

Books such as The Rabbits, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout Europe, Asia and South America, and enjoyed by readers of all ages. Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, and worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who and Pixar’s WALL-E. He is currently directing a short film with Passion Pictures Australia; his most recently published book is The Oopsatoreum: inventions of Henry A. Mintox, written in conjunction with the Powerhouse Museum.

Click here to go to Shaun Tan’s author page


28. Anna Campbell

Anna Campbell has written six multi award-winning historical romances and her work is published in eleven languages.

She has won numerous awards for her Regency-set romances including Romantic Times Reviewers Choice, the Booksellers Best, the Golden Quill (three times), the Heart of Excellence (twice), the Aspen Gold (twice) and the Australian Romance Readers Association’s favorite historical romance (four times).

Our Pick

Her books have twice been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award and three times for Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year. She launches her first series, “Sons of Sin”, with Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed in October 2012.

Click here to go to Anna Campbell’s author page


27. Sara Douglass

Sara Douglass was born in Penola, South Australia, and moved to Adelaide when she was seven. She spent her early working life as a nurse before completing three degrees at the University of Adelaide. After receiving a PhD in early modern English history,

Sara worked as a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at La Trobe University, Bendigo, until 2000.

Sara′s first novel, BattleAxe, was published in 1995 and she wrote a further 19 books of epic and historical fantasy fiction, a collection of short stories, and two books of non-fiction.

Our Pick

Three of her novels won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy and many were shortlisted.

Sara shifted to Hobart, Tasmania, in 2005 and lived there writing full-time until her death in September 2011.

Click here to go to Sara Douglass’ author page


26. Bronwyn Parry

International award winner Bronwyn Parry’s romantic thrillers set in Australia’s wild places have been published in Australia, the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic, with her third novel, Dead Heat, released in April 2012.

Our Pick

The manuscript for her first novel, As Darkness Falls,  won a prestigious Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America, and her second novel, Dark Country, was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America RITA awards – the Oscars of romance writing.

Dark Country  also won the Australian Romance Readers Association award for Favourite Romantic Suspense in 2010.

Click here to go to Bronwyn Parry’s author page


25. Kerry Greenwood

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D’Arcy, is an award-winning children’s writer and has edited and contributed to several anthologies. In 1996 she published a book of essays on female murderers called Things She Loves: Why women Kill.

Our Pick

The Phryne Fisher series began in 1989 with Cocaine Blues which was a great success. Kerry has written sixteen books in this series and says that as long as people want to read them, she can keep writing them.

When she is not writing she is an advocate in Magistrates’ Court for the Legal Aid Commission. She is not married, has no children and lives with a registered Wizard.

Click here to go to Kerry Greenwood’s author page


24. Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction in 1993, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) among many others. In 2000 it was released as a major Australian film, winning an AFI award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay as well as the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award.

Our Pick

Melina taught secondary school English and History for ten years, during which time she released her second novel, Saving Francesca, in 2003, followed by On the Jellicoe Road in 2006, and Finnikin of the Rock in 2008. Saving Francesca won the CBC Book of the Year Award for Older Readers. On the Jellicoe Road was also published in the US as Jellicoe Road, and it won the prestigious American Library Association’s Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. In 2008, Melina’s first work of fantasy, Finnikin of the Rock, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award for Older Readers.

Melina’s most recent novel, The Piper’s Son, was published in 2010 and has been long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Melina’s novels have been published in more than sixteen countries and twelve languages.

Melina lives in Sydney, where she writes full-time.

Click here to go to Melina Marchetta’s author page


23. Garth Nix

Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia. A full-time writer since 2001, he has worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.

Our Pick

Garth’s books include the award-winning fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen; and the cult favourite YA SF novel Shade’s Children. His fantasy novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of The Seventh Tower sequence, and The Keys to the Kingdom series.

More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, his books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Guardian and The Australian, and his work has been translated into 37 languages.

He lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.

Click here to go to Garth Nix’ author page


22. Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with The Gypsy Crown – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Our Pick

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.

Click here to go to Kate Forsyth’s author page


21. Peter Carey

Peter Carey is one of only four writers to have won the Booker Prize twice—the others being J. M. Coetzee, J. G. Farrell and Hilary Mantel. Carey won his first Booker Prize in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda, and won for the second time in 2001 with True History of the Kelly Gang. In May 2008 he was nominated for the Best of the Booker Prize.

Carey has won the Miles Franklin Award three times and is frequently named as Australia’s next contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Our Pick

In addition to writing fiction, he collaborated on the screenplay of the film Until the End of the World with Wim Wenders and is executive director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.

Click here to go to Peter Carey’s author page


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow at midday as we continue to countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

Don’t forget to pencil in January 25th as a big day on the calender as we celebrate the Australia Day weekend in style with the announcement of Australia’s top 10 Favourite Novelists, as well as the launch of our Australian Stories Initiative. There will also be loads of discounts and freebies on offer for the weekend.

Kerry Greenwood on the Phryne Fisher Murders: Why I Did It

Guest Blogger, Kerry Greenwood: I shall always remember the day that Phryne Fisher walked into my life. I was on the Brunswick Street tram, with a two book contract in my hand (which later practically needed surgery to remove) and no idea of what to write.

Who is my hero? I asked myself. 1928. John Buchan’s Mary. Leslie Charteris‘ Saint. THAT sort of hero. Or even a touch of  Sapper‘s femme fatale, Irma Petersen, or Dorothy Sayers‘ Harriet Vane.

And I found her name in the remnants of a classical education. Phryne the courtesan. Fisher to out-scholar the critics of detective stories (Fisher of Men, Roi Pechoneur, grail legends, etc) And I saw her. Small, slim, stunningly dressed in a red woollen coat with an astrakhan collar. Shiny black hair cut in a cap. Russian leather boots and gloves. Enough style to knock your eye out. That was Phryne Fisher. She hasn’t paid any attention to me ever since. I just have to type fast enough to get the story down before it vanishes. Sometimes I think I hear the roar of the Hispano-Suiza coming round the corner of my little street in humble Footscray. Very late at night after I have been binge writing for a few days, I can see a vaporous, but very elegant, shade, perched on the corner of my desk, leaning over so I can smell her scent: Jicky or Floris Stephanotis.

And she stayed with me. The first book, Cocaine Blues, was published in 1989. Thereafter I have written at least one a year, all different, all very carefully researched because without meticulous research I cannot start the novel. Besides, I love research. It was reading 1928 newspapers that got me into this.

I have written a lot of other novels in between – classical Greece, Ancient Egypt, the Depression, The Gold Rush, the Influenze epidemic. I have written five fantasy novels about an uncertain future. But I always came back to Phryne, because her prose is so elegant, her humour so pointed, her time so enthralling, her mysteries so interesting.

So when I was asked to SELL her to the film people, I was firm. I had to choose the Phryne, I had to vet all the scripts, otherwise, no deal. The books were optioned since 1990. I began to think they would never be made and didn’t greatly care. I loved Phryne as she was: written. But then two remarkable women made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. They’d pay attention to every period nuance. They’d let – indeed, encourage – me read and medddle with all the scripts. They’d show me all the auditions and let me choose my Phryne. That was a different proposition, indeed.

I went to Byron Bay to a script conference with a group of people who knew more about my books than I did. So I agreed, and it has all been fascinating. I knew nothing about making films, but they knew nothing about making novels, so we were even and courteous and polite. Of course it is different from the books. It’s film. It has actors in it. But it’s true in essence to what I wanted it to be. They found a Hispano-Suiza. They set the costume department to trawling Vogue 1928 (the lady at Spotlight in Cheltenham said they had such a lot of fun amongst the fabrics). They built Phryne’s house so exactly that I was astonished. The right wallpaper. The lalique glass birds of exactly the right period. The Warrander’s essences in the perfect 1928 kitchen. The ineffable Robbie Perkins painted all the pictures, including a very good early Cubist Phryne nude and a Fantin Latour of white roses which I could not immediately recall. Then I remembered that Phryne was given an armload of white roses at the end of Queen of the Flowers and arranged them in that manner. That sort of attention to detail was SO gratifying. Marion Boyce’s costumes would have earned her a place in Erté’s atelier.

Then I had a bit part in Blood and Circuses. They insisted. I demurred.

They told me that I was prettier than Hitchcock. I had to agree. So is anyone. Made up and costumed I saw Farrell’s Circus, MY Farrell’s circus, big top and horses and snake-lady and even my Sherlock Holmes joke, the tent show with the Giant Rat of Sumatra. It was like walking into my own head.

Everyone on the set knew about Phryne. Everyone wanted to be there. It was beyond wonderful. It is going to be fantastic.

Booktopia would like to take this opportunity to thank Kerry Greenwood for sharing her thoughts with us on the filming of the Phryne Fisher novels. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Did you know you can have Cocaine Blues: Book 1 of the Phryne Fisher Mysteries  by Kerry Greenwood in your hands in an instant? Buy the eBook, now only $2.25

MISS FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES on ABC 1
Starts Friday, 24 February, 8.30pm

Click here to visit Booktopia’s Kerry Greenwood author page

Kerry 'in character' for her cameo role in Blood and Circuses.

Kerry Greenwood, author of the Corinna Chapman and the Phryne Fisher Mysteries, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Kerry Greenwood

author of the Corinna Chapman and the Phryne Fisher Mysteries

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 the working class suburb of Footscray in Mebourne Victoria, Australia. My father was a self-educated wharfie (longshoreman) and a darling. My mother was extremely intelligent and well read. We were poor but had books. There are four children: I have two younger sisters and a younger brother and we were very happy. Except for one sister who had a shoe fetish and we could not afford the shoes she wanted. I went to a good primary school where the headmistress told my Continue reading

The 50 Must Read Australian Novels (50 to 41) (The Popular Vote 2010)

A while ago now, whilst playing… ahem… doing important and vital Booktopia business on twitter and facebook, I decided to ask Booktopia’s followers and friends what they thought were the ‘must read’ Australian novels.

Many disparage twitter and facebook by suggesting that it is both frivolous and time wasting (I being of their number some few short months ago). Whereas I cannot defend twitter and facebook against these charges, I can say, of those who read the drivel I put out there (tweet), the vast majority are extraordinarily well read (some, frighteningly so).

(Granted, I am the voice of the best online book shop in the universe, Booktopia, and not the voice of a company that makes protein shakes for muscle bound freaks, so finding readers following Booktopia shouldn’t be a surprise, but even so… )

However, we can be proud of something – we’re not wasting ordinary lives on twitter and facebook we are squandering the best minds in Australia!

That’s who created this list, the wonderful and entertaining wasters of life and intellect who happen to follow Booktopia on twitter and facebook. And I am thankful they did because the list is a very fine list.

So, thank you all for taking the time to, first, recommend such wonderful books and, second, take the time to vote in droves, helping me to whittle down the list to a manageable 50 Must Read Australian Novels.

As you’ll see, Australia’s literature is rich and varied and some of it is even in print.

Here are…

The 50 Must Read Australian Novels

This first instalment counts down from 50 to 41 (please note the inclusion of some of my favourite ‘tweeps’ – @kylie_ladd – @domknight@overingtonc Yay! Clap, clap, clap!) (Full List of 50 Must Read Australian Novels now available – click here)


last-summer50. Last Summer

Kylie Ladd (@kylie_ladd)

Rory Buchanan has it all: looks, talent, charisma-an all around good-guy, he’s the centre of every party and a loving father and husband. Then one summer’s afternoon, tragedy strikes. Those who are closest to him struggle to come to terms with their loss. Friendships are strained, marriages falter and loyalties are tested in a gripping and brilliantly crafted novel about loss, grief and desire.

Told from the points of view of nine of the people who are mourning Rory, this riveting novel presents a vivid snapshot of contemporary suburban Australia and how we live now. Marriage, friendship, family-all are dissected with great psychological insight as they start to unravel under the pressure of grief. The characters live on the page; their lives are unfolded and their dilemmas are as real as our own.


978174114566349. Cocaine Blues: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

Kerry Greenwood

The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honourable Phryne Fisher – she of the green-grey eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions – is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia.

Almost immediately from the time she books into the Windsor Hotel, Phryne is embroiled in mystery: poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops and communism – not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse – until her adventure reaches its steamy end in the Turkish baths of Little Lonsdale Street. Continue reading

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