Showing posts with label Author Interviews & Events. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Author Interviews & Events. Show all posts

Friday, March 11, 2016

Finally, they are here!

Finally every single book I've published is here in my hands in paperback. Well, the proofs are, anyway.

I'm really thrilled with them. My husband makes the covers. No, he's no designer, uses a ten year old program we found on an old computer.  This proves you don't need expensive designs to do well. My three novels sell like crazy. Back Again at the moment has been #1 in Time Travel on USA Amazon for the past week, and it outselling all the big guys, like Stephen King's 11/22/63, The Martian (yep, the book that turned into the Oscar Nominated film), and the WayWard Pines book that has it's own TV show, just like King's book.  

I got nada on any screen, but I must have a few wonderful readers spreading the word.

Just a few minor adjustments and that is that. I can get on with finishing The Troubles Keeper, the book everyone keeps writing and telling me to "Hurry up and finish."

I don't know about these unboxing videos, but apparently us Indie authors are meant to do them. Anyway, now it's there for posterity. If you are a writer working on your first book, yes! it does feel great every time.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Interview with author Sara Foster

My interview with Sara Foster is here:

I recently enjoyed the company of Sara Foster who happens to be another Perth author. She's a smart woman, very busy, and knows how to weave a mystery. She joined me as part of the ’11 ways to read a book’ blog tour to celebrate the publication of All That is Lost Between Us. 

Enjoy our twenty minute chat on her inspirations, how she manages to juggle the demands
of the busiest life you can possibly imagine, and what film, book, and recipe she would take with her if aliens spirited her away, but allowed her a few favourite things.

I'll be posting our chat on Apple iTunes as a podcast on my Films & Book Stuff Podcast, but until it wangles its way through Apple's systems for approval, you can listen to it by CLICKING HEREAnd for those who haven't yet heard about All That Is Lost Between Us, (where have you been, seriously?) you can read my review below. Then go straight out and buy the book.


In recent years, the rise and rise of the cleverly named domestic noir has taken us inside the households of what appear, on the surface, to be normal homes populated by very normal people. Superstars of the publishing world have emerged writing these tales: Australian author Liane Moriarty with The Husband’s Secret, Gillian Flynn’s with Gone Girl, and  most recently Paula Dawkins’ and her mega-selling debut Girl On The Train.

Sara Foster joins these ranks with her latest release All That Is Lost Between Us. This story takes us to the beautiful and, as it turns out, dangerous Lake District in England, where we meet teenager Georgia and her family. The opening chapter of the book dramatically finds Georgia and her friend injured in a hit and run accident. Later we begin to wonder was this a random event or was the car purposely driven toward the group of friends.

Told in multiple perspectives, slowly and carefully Foster reels us into the lives of these characters who all carry heavy secrets. A wife who worries about the solidity of her marriage, a husband whose loyalty is tested, a daughter who has made some life-changing bad decisions with a secret that might ruin everything, and a brother who bears the burden of newly found knowledge about his sister which he doesn't know what to do with or, if in fact, he should do anything.

This is a book that takes its time revealing its character’s lives and the decisions they have made that bring them to this moment. Domestic Noir style stories fascinate us because we see part of ourselves and the consequences of certain life choices within the story. All That Is Lost Between Us is a worthy entry into this landscape of page-turning novels where secrets are the currency and unforeseen reveals are the reward.

My review copy of this book was kindly supplied by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an unbiased review. 

For more information on this book or its author, please visit Sara Foster's website:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Interview with Michael Robotham

Having just read another great book by Michael Robotham Close Your Eyes, I thought I'd bring an interview I did with Michael over to this website from my old site An Adventure in Reading. He's one of Australia's finest thriller writers and I loved interviewing him.

My review of  Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delving into Dark Minds
An interview with best-selling thriller author 
Michael Robotham

His readers want him to write faster and he wants them to read more slowly. In order to churn out a book a year, the international best-selling thriller author Michael Robotham is working sweat-shop hours.
Back in 2004 whilst writing his first novel, The Suspect, his day would start at nine in the morning with an hour for lunch, before working through till five and back in the evening and working again until eleven. Eight years later with seven more books gracing the best-seller lists and a resume that includes twice winning the Australian Ned Kelly Award, short-listings in UK Crime Writers Association Steel Dagger, ITV3 Thriller Awards, the South Africa's Boeke Prize and listings on “International Book of the Month”, making it the top recommendation to 28 million book club members in fifteen countries, you would think by now he could relax and enjoy the success. 
“I’m still working long hours, which is a legacy of doing a book a year,” he admits. With his books selling in the millions and translated into twenty-two languages and published in more than 50 countries, Robotham finds that the success has brought even greater demands on his time, “answering correspondence, doing interviews, maintaining websites and touring.” 
During this interview he was between his North American and Canadian tours to promote his latest thriller, Say You’re Sorry, a dark, psychological crime story featuring psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin. 
In the fourth O’Loughlin novel (The Suspect, Shatter, Bleed for Me) he returns to consult on the brutal murder of a husband and wife in a farmhouse in the small UK town of Bingham. Co-incidentally it had been the home of teenager Tash McBain, who along with her friend Piper had gone missing three years prior—neither girl was ever found.
“The seed of the idea for the story was sown ten years ago,” explains Robotham, “when two girls disappeared from the small village of Soham in Cambridgeshire. There is a very poignant photograph of them wearing matching Manchester United shirts, which was taken only hours before they went missing.” 
“Holly and Jessica were best friends and they died at the hands of a school caretaker called Ian Huntley. In the weeks before their bodies were found, the entire nation clung to hope and hung on every scrap of information. There were prayer vigils and messages of support and makeshift monuments of flowers. It was as though these girls didn’t just belong to their families, they belonged to everyone.” 
            Robotham wanted to explore the idea of public and private grief behind tragic stories that capture the public imagination and trigger what psychologists have termed ‘mourning sickness’ but wrap it inside a mystery of the ultimate fate of the girls. “O’Loughlin has such a wonderful sense of humanity and humour,” he says. “He can lead readers into dark places and confidently bring them back again.”   
Despite Joe O’Loughlin’s popularity with readers he won’t always feature in upcoming novels. When he first appeared in The Suspect it was never Robotham’s intention to write a series. “I wanted to do stand-alones. At my publisher’s insistence, I compromised and created a cast of characters who appear in the books. I only went back to Joe as the narrator when I came up with the idea for Shatter. It is such a pure psychological thriller that it needed someone like Joe to tell the story. Joe came back in Bleed for Me because my wife insisted I sort out his personal life. I didn’t manage that—so maybe Joe will keep appearing occasionally. He won’t be the star of twenty novels but may appear as a minor character now and then. When readers see him happy, they may never see him again.”
Robotham was initially excited to tour his new book in mid-August when it first launched in Australia. “Finally I could leave my ‘pit of despair’ basement office and talk to some real people. I could meet passionate readers and catch up with other authors.”
But after two months of touring in Australia, the UK and North America, he admits he is “pretty exhausted”. He laments, “It’s a perversity of the process that I’m deep into a new novel which is the focus of my energy and excitement. So my mind is in two places. I’m also a long way from my family and missing them desperately.”
Home is Sydney's northern beaches with his wife, Vivien, and three daughters. Since Say You’re Sorry’s dual narrative is also that of one of the teenage kidnap victims it begs the question of the emotional toll of writing every parent’s nightmare.
 “Every parent has those moments when they lose sight of their child in a supermarket or on a busy street and for thirty seconds they feel sheer terror. Or they sit at home on a stormy night, looking at the clock. Someone they love is late home and not answering their cell phone. That’s when the darkness creeps into our thoughts. As Goya said, ‘The sleep of reason produces monsters’.”
This is the fear Robotham admits that he taps into when he writes. “All my nightmares revolve around my daughters. Perhaps I’m subconsciously trying to allay my worst fears, by writing about them. Do I scare myself?  Sometimes.” 
In Shatter, one of the characters did get under the author’s skin. “One of the dual narrators is a man who terrorises women by breaking their spirit and their minds. Entering his skin and looking at the world through his eyes was particularly horrible. I remember coming upstairs and having scalding hot showers and curling up in bed trying to get his voice out of my head.”
So why despite this does he continue to enter these dark minds with the added pressure of producing a book a year to keep fans and Publishers happy? Robotham’s answer: “Stephen King was once asked, ‘Why do you write such dark and twisted stories?’ and he replied, ‘What makes you think I have a choice?’
To read the review of SAY YOU'RE SORRY CLICK HERE.
Visit Michael Robotham's official Website for more information about this author.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Six with Charlotte McConaghy

Imagine you have written a novel during high school and just for fun you submit the manuscript to a publisher after self-publishing it, and they buy it. Wow, that is what dreams are made of, and that was the beginning of Charlotte McConaghy’s writing career only a few short years ago.
Her latest novel, Avery, the first in a romance fantasy series has just been released. So, knowing what curious creatures my wonderful readers are, I invited Charlotte to my blog as part of her blog tour to share some insight into her books and writing process. She also shares some fantastic advice on writing, with which I highly agree.
Make sure you check out Avery, available now and visit some of Charlotte’s other blog tour spots. A few are even running competitions.

    Charlotte grew up with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. At fourteen, her English teacher told her that the short story she'd submitted was wildly romantic but somewhat clich├ęd, so she decided to prove him wrong – and write a novel. Thus began her foray into epic fantasy, with sweeping romances and heroic adventures, and as much juicy drama as she could possibly squeeze in.

    Her first novel, Arrival, was published at age seventeen, followed by Descent when she was twenty, launching The Strangers of Paragor series, which is adventure fantasy for teenagers.
    Soon she started her first adult fantasy novel, Avery, the prologue of which came to her in a very vivid dream. This novel didn't come together fully until she had finished a degree in screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television & Radio School in Sydney, and then all at once it seemed to fall into place. Avery will be the first book in a new series called The Chronicles of Kaya.
    Charlotte currently lives in Sydney, studying a Masters in Screenwriting, which allows her to explore different aspects of her writing and indulge in her passion for film and television. She will, however, always be a novelist at heart, still unable to get her nose out of the books. (Reprinted from Random House Australia website)

Now lets speak with Charlotte. I'm the one in red writing. 

1.   Charlotte, congratulations on your great writing success. Your first novel, Arrival, was published when you were seventeen. Can you tell us how that came about, when we hear so many stories of authors struggling for years to gain a publishing deal?

That one was a bit of a fluke, I think. I’d written that book throughout high school, and then for fun my mum helped me to get it self-published, as I never thought it would get commercially published. Once we’d done that, I sent it to Black Dog Books, which was a Melbourne publisher, and they picked it up, as well as the second in the series, which was a huge surprise. And though those books are out of print now, it really helped to get my adult novels read by larger commercial publishers like Random House and Pan Macmillan, who I’m with now.

2.     Now the traditional question but one I always think is the most interesting to know: What was the inspiration behind your latest book Avery, and how long did it take to write?
I had an incredibly vivid dream one night, about a man being killed in a stone fortress, and about the woman who loved him being bound to die because of it. I woke up and realised it could be a great prologue for a novel, and so the concept of people dying in pairs came to me. I then wrote a first draft of Avery in a few months, and let it sit for a while as I thought about it. I studied screenwriting in that time, and as I started to learn about story principles and craft skills, I worked out what was missing from the original draft and how to strengthen it. By the time I wrote a new draft it was a couple of years after the first, and when I sent it to Random House they picked it up, which was awesome.

3.     What is your writing routine, daily, and over the life of writing the book?
I’m a night owl, so I do most of my writing through the afternoon, evening and late into the night. When I’m working on a novel (which most of the time I am) I try to work full time – every day – for a solid two or three months until I feel I have a first draft of the story. After that, depending on when the novel is due for submission to the publisher, it’s really good to let it sit for a few weeks or months so that you can get some perspective on what it needs. Then it goes to the publisher, and the editing starts, which means I do another draft with the feedback from the editor to help me. And lastly the proofreading, then it’s released. Between books I also write screenplays, which doesn’t take up as much time but is just as challenging, if not more so. 

4.     Your advice for young writers, some who may be just like you were and still studying at high school and, in fact, all writers?
My biggest piece of advice is always the same: write as much as humanly possible. Practice, practice, practice. Each time you write, you’re developing your skills and your voice. Don’t angst over one project for years – finish things and start new things as much as you can. Read constantly – this helps you to establish your taste in writing, and inspire you to be better yourself. Write with passion about things you love – this will come through to your readers and it will make it easier for them to connect emotionally with your work. Lastly, be determined and don’t give up if you happen to get rejections.

5.     Name your three favourite novels and how they have inspired you?
Wow tough question. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor inspires me to see the magic in the mundane, and to write as richly and passionately as I can. Her love stories make me want to write about love, over and over again. The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan really challenges me to think deeply about the thoughts and feelings of my characters, and how I can describe them with depth and insight. His prose is quite astonishing. And lastly, The Princess Bride by William Goldman inspires me to believe in fairytale love and adventure, whilst also trying to find ways to be amusing within those stories.

6.     What’s up next for you?
I’m currently writing Isadora, which is the third and last book in the Chronicles of Kaya series (the sequels to Avery). I need to get this book done by the end of the month for a publication this year. I’m also currently editing a book called Melancholy, which is the sequel to Fury, and part of my dystopian sci-fi series. I’ve been working on a couple of feature films, and a television project. And after I’ve done all of those the world will be my oyster! I’m looking forward to coming up with an entirely new idea for a novel, or even a new series of novels.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit here, Charlotte. Congratulations on your writing success. You are quite the inspiration. Good luck with Avery and your future books.
Thanks so much for having me, Susan, and great to meet you! It’s been a pleasure to chat J

Avery Blog Tour
AVERY is a sweeping fantasy from 26-year-old Australian author Charlotte McConaghy.
AVERY – the first book in The Chronicles of Kaya series – is a novel about loss and identity, and finding the courage to love against all odds. Charlotte has created a vivid and unique world of magic, mystery and, most importantly, twisted and lovable characters. Among the century-long wars and deadly sibling rivalries, AVERY is at its heart two beautiful and captivating love stories.
Over the coming weeks Charlotte will be stopping by a number of fantastic Australian book blogs to talk about the book and answer some great questions.

Be sure to follow her stops along the way and join the conversation using the #Avery hashtag!


• Thursday 29 January 2015: Aussie Author Challenge – Interview and Giveaway 
• Saturday 31 January 2015: Book Muster Down Under – Sneak peek 
• Thursday 5 February 2015: Speculating on SpecFic – Review 
• Friday 6 February 2015: Book'd Out – Review 
• Monday 9 February 2015: An Adventure in Words – Review 
• Thursday 12 February 2015: Inside my Words – Review 
• Friday 13 February 2015: Words Read and Written – Review and interview 
• Monday 16 February 2015: Stephanie Gunn blog – Review 
• Tuesday 17 February 2015: A Word Shaker – Review 
• Thursday 19 February 2015: Inside My Words – Interview 
• Tuesday 24 February 2015: Thoughts by Joy – Review 
• Thursday 26 February 2015: The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Review  
• Friday 27 February 2015: The Rest Is Still Unwritten – Interview