The unexpected joys of being a writer – other writers!

One of the great joys of becoming a fiction writer has been meeting other writers.  I am a proud member of the Romance Writers of Australia and Sisters in Crime and through them, I have met many wonderful women who make the sometimes lonely business of writing a joy.


Knowing other writers brings with it an unexpected anxiety.  These days I often buy books written by people who I know and while I celebrate their releases with genuine excitement and buy their work with anticipation, in the back of my mind, there is a lurking menace.

It’s the fear – never spoken – that I won’t like their book. 

The fear is not so much that I will think the writing bad.  My writing friends work very hard on their craft.  But previously, I have always chosen books based on subject or style (or whim, it must be said).  When you choose a book because you like the person who wrote it, you are likely to go to fictional places that are new and unexpected and possibly well out of your comfort zone and… who knows if it will be fun?

Recently I had one of those experiences.  The book is set in a post-apocalyptic Queensland, there are zombies involved (well, virus-infested ex-people out for your blood) and erotic romance involving not one hot guy but two (and one girl).  All of these things are uncommon on my bookshelf.  And I dearly love the writer. So I was all of a jitter.

Fortunately, I LOVED IT.

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Wednesday Writer Rave: Alliance Forged

I have a bone to pick with Kylie Griffin.

I am writing like a mad thing at the moment, in the lead up to the Romance Writer’s of Australia Conference in August.  Much as I hate to limit myself in this way, I don’t have time just now to get sucked into the TBR pile.

Then Alliance Forged dropped into my lap, courtesy of a pre-order with the Book Depository.

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So just what is up with The Hunger Games?

Hello my lovelies!  Today, Wednesday Review welcomes back its own secret weapon, the international YA reviewer of mystery, SSH (or Sekrit Squirrels Helper) to tell you why there is all this fuss about The Hunger Games.  The book, that is.  She hasn’t seen the movie and having read the book doesn’t want to

The Hunger Games

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Imagine, if you will, a young girl, growing up poor.

Imagine that she has a chronic, undiagnosed anxiety disorder, a taxidermist father with a yen for roadkill and some very curious ideas about what makes a good puppet (and the time of night at which is appropriate to share said puppet).

Imagine she has a series of pets which… well, let’s just say that the pet experience is not entirely usual.

And all she wants is to fit in.

In the hands of Steven King, it would be a towering, terrifying horror story.  (At least, I imagine it would.  Growing up has not made me any more able to read Steven King’s novels than I was when I first encountered them as a squealy 11-year-old.  Loved ‘On Writing‘ though.)

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Wednesday Review is Dead, Actually

Dead, Actually, the new young adult novel by the lovely Kaz Delaney, is the subject of today’s review, and since Kaz is a mate of mine, I thought I should invite someone else to do the review.

So today’s review is courtesy of my Sekrit Squirrels Helper (or SSH, for short) guest YA reviewer, who is not only impartial, but also in the novel’s target demographic.  If you like her review, please say so in the comments, so I can inveigle her into doing more!

Dead, Actually
Willow Cartwright: D-Lister by choice.
She’s about to find out what lies beneath the
tans and tinsel of the A-list, in a wickedly funny story
of blackmail, scams – and swoonworthy crushes.

In  Dead Actually, Kaz Delaney follows Willow Cartwright, a teen from the Gold Coast whose life has recently fallen into a shambles. Her family is completely dysfunctional, her adopted brother is a creepy liar out to steal her parents’ money, she has a huge crush on her best friend’s (Macey Pentecost) older brother, (Seth) and to top it all off, the dead Queen Bee of Ruth Throsby High, who happened to see Willow last before dying, is haunting her bedroom.

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Wednesday Review: When Refuge turns Lethal

Last week, the Review was all about Miss Fisher and her murder mysteries moving from books to TV.  This week we’re still in the land of crime, but back in bookland and with an example of the genre that couldn’t be more different from the glamorous Phryne Fisher: Lethal Refuge, by Vonnie Hughes.

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The Divine Miss Fisher on TV

Photo from ABC TV's Miss Fisher's Murder MysteriesFor my first Wednesday Review, it is my great pleasure to introduce the glorious, the dazzling, Miss Phryne Fisher.  Although, really, I don’t know why I’m bothering.  Phryne (pronounced Fry-knee) doesn’t stand on ceremony.  By the time I’ve finished typing she will probably have introduced herself.

Phryne Fisher is the creation of much-published and much-loved Melbourne author Kerry Greenwood.  She made her first appearance in Cocaine Blues in 1989 and has been in print ever since.  Since then, she has starred in 16 more full-length mysteries and one book of short stories.

She is now, in the form of the glamorous and talented Essie Davis, starring in a sumptuous new ABC TV Production, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, which airs at 8.30pm Fridays EST and after that, on the ABC’s iView.*
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