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  1. Special announcement – Mawson bear reads The Drago Tree!

    “Mawson: Lanzarote sounds like a magical place, Captain Angus.
    Captain Angus: It’s real, Mawson. Look, pirates went there.”
    I am truly honoured that Mawson bear has picked up a copy of The Drago Tree, and he seems to be enjoying it too! Never underestimate the intelligence of a bear! Here’s what he has to say about my book:
    “For readers who love layered levels of feeling and thought expressed in fine language, this is your novel.”
    Aw, what a kind and thoughtful bear! You can read all of Mawson’s review here on Goodreads
    Mawson is so bright, he even manages his own website. It is filled with his ponderings – https://baffledbearbooks.com/home/mawsonbowtie5-for-b3/ ...
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  2. My 1980s Lanzarote journey in pictures

    When I left Lanzarote in 1990, I didn’t take my possessions with me. I had every intention of going back. Heaven only knows what happened to all my books, records, photos, mementoes and my clothes! Here is a photo diary of that time.
    It all started in 1988, in a basement flat in Exeter. I was Yvonne Rodgers back then. I was 26, studying for my degree, and very much into a hedonistic lifestyle.

    In January of that year, I went on holiday with my then partner, Dave, who took this photo. I call it my Marilyn Monroe shot. It was taken on the patio of Winston Churchill’s daughter’s holiday home near Arrieta.
    ...
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  3. Booklovers Festival at Mill Park Library

    I’m delighted to be participating in the Booklovers Festival at Mill Park Library on this Saturday 22nd July, 2017, from 11 -3.

    All participating authors will be introducing themselves and their work, and, of course, selling their books. I’ll be sharing a table with some fine authors from Odyssey Books. Come along and meet Elizabeth Jane Corbett, whose debut novel, The Tides Between, is coming out in October and is high on my reading list; Rachel Nightingale, whose debut novel, Harlequin’s Riddle, is currently a 1# bestseller on Amazon; and Laura E. Goodin whose action and adventure novel, Mud and Glass, is receiving stunning reviews ...
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  4. The Cabin Sessions signed to HellBound Books!

    As a novelist it doesn’t do to have favourites. Any more than a mother confesses her favourite child. I treasure each one of my literary babies. If I don’t, who will? After all, I gave birth to them, I did all the hard labour. And each book is special in its own way. Even that dark one with the brooding eyes, standing in the corner where the sun never shines.
    I wrote The Cabin Sessions in 2015. The story possessed me, haunted me, disturbed me. I could scarcely believe the words appearing on the page. It also made me laugh. It’s as much psychological thriller as horror and will appeal to readers of both genres. Think Deliverance meets Twin ...
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  5. Asylum book launch review!

    Celebrating the two year anniversary of my debut novel! Asylum, with its searing critique of Australian refugee policy, its bitter irony, reads like historical fiction. I wrote it in 2013 and things for asylum seekers are much much worse today. I wrote the novel to help raise awareness. I decided there weren’t enough stories out there tackling this issue. That is still the case today. Asylum is semi-autobiographical too. I was a British-born visa overstayer back in 1990 and I had to jump through a lot of hoops to stay here. The only reason I was not deported – I did get a deportation order. I was 6 months pregnant with twins at the time – was because I got married.
    Read more about Asylum here.
    Grab a copy from Amazon and all good
    ...
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  6. Today I’m Incredibly Excited To Be Interviewing Isobel Blackthorn Author of The Drago Tree.

  7. My venture into historical fiction begins

    I have a little announcement, and I’m feeling awfully nervous.

    For the past few weeks I’ve been throwing obstacles in the path of this. I’m beginning the demanding task of turning my doctoral thesis into a novel. Well, sort of.

    My thesis concerns a corpus, a body of obscure texts. My novel will attempt to embody the life of the author. Her name is Alice Bailey. She’s a highly controversial figure nobody outside New Age and conspiracy theory circles has heard of. Yet her writing has been enormously influential on the world stage and it is easy to show how. Her life is colourful and interesting too, with themes many will relate to, including domestic violence, elitism and exclusion, jealousy and ...
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  8. On The Stella Prize

    Isn’t fabulous when a UK online magazine site takes an interest in Australian fiction? That’s the view of Shiny New Books, an independent book recommendations website, who invited me to write a piece on The Stella Prize for their readers.

    I’d been following with interest the progress of The Stella Prize ever since the first winner was announced in 2013. Back then, I was yet to publish my debut novel and I was filled with wonder and a healthy measure of envy when Carrie Tiffany received her much-deserved award for Mateship With Birds.
    Writing for Shiny New Books saw me delving into the backstory and I marvelled at how such a prestigious ...
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  9. How I started writing horror

    A year ago today I shared my review of Liam Brown’s Wild Life, after being invited by Legend Press to be part of the author’s blog tour. (Read my review here)

    Wild Life is a disturbing read, dark, gothic, raw. It falls into that tradition of dark fiction the British do so well, one that includes Iain Bank’s debut novel, The Wasp Factory, a book I read shortly after it was published in the 1980s.
    By the time I was reviewing Wild Life, I had just finished writing my first work dark fiction. I was yet to enter the realm of horror in any real sense. I didn’t identify as a horror fiction author. I still had my head up in the literary ...
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  10. The Alex Legg Memorial Foundation has a new website!

    I’m delighted to share the ALMF website and announce their annual music scholarship which is open to applicants based in Melbourne and surrounds.
    2016 scholarship co-winner Zac SaberThe Alex Legg Memorial Foundation began in early 2015, after musical legend Alex Legg passed away the previous December. The ALMF are a hard-working and dedicated bunch of musicians local to the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne, who all knew and loved Alex. Each week they run an open mic in Oscar’s Alehouse, Belgrave.

    And every ...
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  11. The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose – book review

    Heather Rose has produced a work of considerable finesse. The Museum of Modern Love sets a high bar for Australian literary fiction.

    “Arky Levin is a film composer in New York separated from his wife, who has asked him to keep one devastating promise. One day he finds his way to The Atrium at MOMA and sees Marina Abramovíc in The Artist is Present. The performance continues for seventy-five days and, as it unfolds, so does Arky. As he watches and meets other people drawn to the exhibit, he slowly starts to understand what might be missing in his life and what he must do.”
    It is always a delight to read an intelligent book. ...
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  12. Goblin by Ever Dundas

    I’m still thinking about Goblin. As I write, as I review other books, as I sit and stare at my cactus garden on a crisp June morning, Goblin is there, tempting me back into her world.


    “Goblin begins in a library, with an elderly woman, a Reader in Residence, in conversation with a vagrant, Ben, occupying himself with eating the pages of books. Goblin is troubled; she’s a bit of an alcoholic, rough around the edges, self-neglecting. Old photographs, flashbacks, an enquiring Ben and a fainting fit, all bring her back to her childhood; and she decides to write down her life story in the form of a memoir.” ...
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  13. Sorting Things Out – a short story in lit mag Fictive Dream

    Photograph by Mathyas Kurmann ‘Sorting Things Out’ is a short story set in a small country town in New South Wales. It contains two kinds of truth. Firstly, I did sort mail at a country post office. I also used to do a mail run. I’ve never heard of Snake Road though, and all the characters are fictitious.
    The second truth concerns the alienation that hits someone when they return to a place after a long spell away, and how relationships change and families grow apart. It takes a lot of effort to let go of closely held prejudices, open the heart, and step into the new.
    I’m honoured that Fictive Dream found merit in my story. Doubly honoured that they’ve published it as part of their first anniversary ...
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  14. These Dividing Walls by Fran Cooper

    Fran Cooper’s debut novel, These Dividing Walls, is a meditation on the way ordinary lives are impacted by racism, Islamophobia, terror attacks and the far right in contemporary Paris.

    “One Parisian summer
    A building of separate lives
    All that divides them will soon collapse…

    In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building.
    Within its walls, people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone, while others wish they did not. A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at ...
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  15. A warm review of Asylum from Readers’ Favorite

    Asylum is a solid story that deals with one woman’s journey to adulthood while underscoring the social and political injustices faced by those who don’t hold Australian citizenship. Although some of the language will be strange to non-Australian speakers, the story is nevertheless compelling and utterly relatable. Well worth the read.” – Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers’ Favorite.

    I wrote this novel in 2012-13 when the Labor party were in power and the exodus of asylum seekers from countries including Syria into Europe hadn’t happened. I wrote the story to express my personal dismay over the way asylum seekers were treated ...
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