Australian Book Industry’s Newcomer of the Year Award

June 19, 2011

Just found out I’ve been nominated for the 2011 Australian Book Industry’s Newcomer of the Year Award. In 2010 a memoir won the Newcomer’s award,  Piano Lessons, and in 2009, a short story collection, The Boat. Wouldn’t it be amazing if a thiller won this year!

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Come join me at The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival 5-7 August

June 14, 2011

This year’s theme is PASSION and that suits me just fine. I’ll be on three panel discussions, one of which will be on Antarctica, the setting of Thirst, and the other two are focused on crime fiction. I am particularly taken with the panel discussion entitled Scaring People Witless with Jaye Ford and Michael Robotham! Sounds like we are going to have a lot of fun and I hope you will too.

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UK’s Queen’s Park Book Festival a real success

Am in the UK researching a new story and attended the Queen’s Park Book Festival on 11 June. Organised by the enthusiastic team at Queen’s Park Books, including an Aussie, Lisa Harriman, and Simon O’Hagan, Assistant Editor of The Independent newspaper, it attracted great authors, including Sebastian Faulks, author of the multi-million bestseller Birdsong and 11 other novels. I was lucky enough to chat with Boyd Tonkin, literary editor of The Independent, who was most generours with his time and helpful with his advice. Thank you Boyd.

The local council has been closing libraries in the area as a cost cutting exercise and there is a campaign to keep the Kensal Rise Library open. It breaks my heart to see these libraries closing as they not only provide books for people who can’t afford to buy them, but for many it is an important social hub. I hope that this doesn’t happen in Australia. We need our libraries. I, for one, love to write at a library. I find it inspiring.

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