Sydney Writers' Festival

In May, I once again had the honour of being a guest of the Sydney Writers' Festival.  It was a writerly indulgence from the minute I landed in Sydney... a series of wonderful conversations with readers, writers and old friends.  It was exciting, inspiring and incredibly warming.  Connecting with readers is the wonderful end product of all those predawn hours when it's just you and the words. I so appreciate it.  And the experience of talking to other writers is for me glorious... the feeling is more than collegiate, it's closer to kinship. 



Chatting with James Valentine on the ABC.




Candida Baker and me.




  With the wonderful and talented Jesse Blackadder.  Toasting life with P.M. Newton


 My very own signing line!



Final Catch Up Post - Snowy Readers and Writers' Festival



This Easter weekend I had the honour of being a guest at the inaugral Snowy Readers' and Writers' Festival.  We set out on Good Friday, for the trek over the hill to Jindabyne.  Along the way we stopped at the old Kiandra cemetery, to wander among the old graves and so the boys could tangle a line in the little creek at its foot. 

I first spoke in Jindabyne  in 2010, three days before the official release of my debut noel (A Few Right Thinking Men), at an event to celebrate the birthday of the Snowprint Bookshop, and so there was a certain homecoming to presenting my 5th published novel at the Festival.

It was delightful to catch up with some of the wonderful people who first supported the book of a then totally unknown writer, slightly panicked writer.  

Also on board for the festival was my dear friend Karen Viggers (The Lightkeeper's Wife), who I met at a bus stop in Byron Bay,  Jane Carroll (author of many books included El Toro and Crikey), the illustrious Marion Lanigan (Shooting the Fox) and the highly amusing debut sensation, Daniel Omalley.  I added my two cents worth to a wonderful session of women writers chaired by  the very charming Deb Stevens.  I also presented later by myself, on books and writing and anything else that came to mind.  I finished that session rather memorably by recklessly allowing my six-year-old to ask a question.  He'd had his hand up for at least 10 minutes. 

Me: "Yes, Atticus - what would you like to know?"

Atticus:  (sighing and slumping his shoulders wearily)  "When are you going to stop writing?"

As they say - never work with children or animals.

Edmund participated in a workshop presented by none other than John Marsden, and George Negus, Peter Rees, Sandy Mackinnon and plethora of other writers, readers artists were wandering about the place.

The weather could not have been more perfect, nor the conversation more inspiring. And the company... well it was something to write home about!







Catch up 2 - Author Tour of Sydney and Gosford

At 3am on the 20th of March I set out for the airport for a whirlwind tour of the Sydney and Bathurst.  Iarrived in Sydney at 7am and plugged in at Sotto on West in North Sydney to write and drink coffee.  It is amazing how much work I can get done when someone else is making the coffee!  After a suprisingly productive couple of hours (bearing in mind that I had been up since 4am) my intrepid publisher, Alison Green, swung by to grab me and we set off for Bathurst.

Now we had hoped to lunch at the Hydro Majestic Medlow Bath, where Miles Off Course opens, but to our dismay it was still closed for renovations.    We stood for a moment at the locked gate, looking for signs of life (as opposed to the clearly visible signs that said NO ENTRY) in the hope a kindly builder would allow us to look around and take some photos.... for the sake of my beloved readers of course.... Sadly the place was deserted.

"I don't suppose we should just break in?" I murmured, certain that Alison would not allow me to flout the law in such a way.  She is, after all, a responsible member of the publishing industry.  I'm a lawyer-cum-crime-writer - nobody expects me to have good judgement.

"We could probably scale the fence over there," she replied.

And so we trespassed... and explored and filmed and were transported back to the glorious 30s.... until the police arrived....


Miles Off Course: The scene of the crime from Pantera Press on Vimeo.


Now we did have a back up plan in case we were arrested, but that proved unneccessary.  As Dominic Knight (ex The Chaser) would later tell me.... it's okay as long as you move on when asked (and of course he'd know!)

That evening I spoke at the Bathurst Library and had dinner with the lovely ladies from BooksPlus who organised the event.  Another 3am start and Ali and I arrived in Woy Woy, to speak to a group of writers and readers gathered by Mandy and Anna of Book Bazaar, Umina Beach. We sped off to Gosford from there, to drop in on the delightful Katie of All Good Book Store. Then on to Sydney to pop in at Dymocks (George Street)  Better Read Than Dead, (Leichardt) and Gleebooks (Glebe) before speaking with Dominic Knight on the ABC that evening.

Friday began with a bit of a sleep in before a literary lunch at the Glen Street Theatre organised by the very charming Scott Whitmont of Lindfield books. 

The afternoon was soon filled with a visit to Cammeray books which is located very near the Simon and Schuster offices.  It was wonderful to tour this little part of Simon and Schuster and meet the people who are so integral to getting my books onto shelves.  That day was finished off with a delightful dinner with John and Alison Green, at which we all partook of several deserts.

My last day on tour began with a signing at Berkelouw's Baglowah, in the fabulous company of Maria Channells, then a flying visit to  Berkelouw's Dee Why before dropping in on Pages and Pages in Mosman where Chasing Odysseus and Trying War have found friends.  Finally we stopped by Shearers where I met and was interviewed by the lovely Pip Newling.



And then, after days of being driven around to meet warm and wonderful people and being fed and watered exhorbitantly, Ali bundled me onto a plane and sent me back to the hills to write.



Catch up 1

Admittedly it's been a while since last I updated....things have been a little frantic. Rest assured I have not been standing still!

February began and continued with a series of launch events for Miles Off Course, at Artists on Parade, Tumbarumba (my local and favourite gallery), in Melbourne at the AGM of the Sisters in Crime of whom I am delighted to count myself a member, and finally in my hometown at the Literary Institute of Batlow.

So, Miles Off Course has been given a thorough send off as it makes its own way out in the world!


Miles off Course... on course

So, Miles off Course has been officially released into the wild....and so far, so good.


Fair Dinkum Crime



Angela Savage




And this delightful review from the Age (to which I can't seem to find a link)



And of course the Australian Women's Weekly.....


And these recent reviews of A Few Right Thinking Men and A Decline in Prophets....

Banana Lounge 

Caroline Sully


To all those who have taken the time to read and or review Miles off Course, or its predecessors, a sincere and heartfelt thank you from a writer who is still feels very lucky to be able to call herself an author.