Smart Bitches and Thursday Blogs

Sarah Wendell 2For the past week or so, my life has been a literary whirlwind! The RWA Conference was, as always, a hectic mix of meeting friends and attending workshops. Before long my head was spinning, and it wasn’t just from all the chocolate and champagne. There is a wealth of craft and publishing information available at these conferences.


Sarah Wendell 1One of the sessions I attended, Blogging 101, was presented by Sarah Wendell. She’s better known as Smart Bitch Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, the most popular blog worldwide examining romance fiction. It ranges from discussions of the popularity and market reach of romance novels, to reviews and essays. She is also the author of the informative and hilarious Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels. Well, I learned a lot about blogging in Sarah’s session. One of the things I learned was that for maximum reach I should stop blogging on Sundays and post mid-week instead, hence this Thursday post!

MWF 2I’m meeting Sarah again tonight at a welcome event for her at Penguin Books. Sarah is also presenting at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. I would venture to suggest that the MWF is Australia’s preeminent literary festival. It starts today and runs until the 1st of September.

Magda SzubanskiAfterwards I’m attending The Moth Mainstage, New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket. The Moth is a story-telling night  that’s set to make its Melbourne debut at the Writers Festival and is a beautifully staged, live theatrical production. Internationally acclaimed masters of storytelling, including comedian and host Ophira Eisenberg and Australian’s own Magda Szubanski, Tony Wheeler and Melissa Lucashenko will explore the theme of courage. According to the program, The Moth brings together entertainment, enlightenment and festivity, and promises to take the audience on a storytelling journey that will leave us spellbound. Can’t wait!

Add to this the fact that my new manuscript is due on the 2nd September (I cadged a week’s extension from my publisher Belinda Byrne at the conference!) and you can see that I’m up to my eyes in stories – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Brumby’s Run – Melbourne Writer’s Festival Launch

Yesterday saw Brumby’s Run launched by Andrea Goldsmith at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. For me, the day was the culmination of a fraught and fascinating journey. What a marvellous moment – to achieve my dream of mainstream publication, and to celebrate it with my readers, friends and family. And not only that, to do so at such an important festival, deep in the heart of Melbourne, a Unesco City of Literature. Melbourne’s literary heritage and culture is internationally recognised, and I am proud to be part of it. I am also proud to be out with Penguin, so thanks to my lovely publisher, Belinda Byrne.

Andrea Goldsmith has published six novels. Her seventh book, The Memory Trap, will  be released by Harper Collins next year. Rich in ideas and characterisation, her novels tell of contemporary life in all its diversity. Narratives of ambition, love, family, art, music and relationships abound in her books. But for me, Andrea is more than an acclaimed and gifted author – she has been my friend and mentor for years. So it was doubly delicious to have her stand up for me yesterday.

Andrea Goldsmith and MC Troy Hunter

As always, Andrea was bright, erudite and charming. Her generous praise of Brumby’s Run impressed me so much, I wanted to buy it myself! Rather than go with the tired old speech-then-reading format, Andrea proposed a Q&A session instead. This lifted the launch, making it far more dynamic and entertaining. Thanks for that suggestion Andrea, and also of course, for your longstanding support and wisdom.


Andrea and the Little Lonsdale group

My friend Troy Hunter (from the Little Lonsdale Group, aka LLG), was MC for the event and what an inspired performance it was too! The Little Lonsdale Group is my talented writing group. We all completed an advanced Year of the Novel with Andrea a few years ago, and have since gone from strength to strength. Mine is the second launch from our group so far. First was Margareta Osborn (Bella’s Run) in March. Next will be Kate Rizzetti and Kathryn Ledson, and it won’t stop there. We can look forward to many marvellous writing achievements from this group in the months and years to come.

So thank you for to everybody who either came along yesterday, or who sent me their kind wishes. I appreciate each and every one of you! Now it’s time to concentrate on finishing my new novel, Firewater, due out with Penguin next year.

Release of Brumby’s Run

With the release of Brumby’s Run just a few hours away, I’ve decided to give this blog over to some shameless self-promotion. For those of you in south-east Victoria, the regional launch of Brumby’s Run will be at the Stockyard Gallery in Foster on Friday 6th July, courtesy of Foster’s Little Bookshop. The launch will be held as part of the Twilight Author Talks series, and I’m in fine company! The other three authors in July are Helene Young (popular romantic suspense author), Margareta Osborn (fellow rural author) and Sydney Smith (well-known writing mentor and debut author of a fine memoir)


July 6th – Jennifer Scoullar’s first novel ‘Wasp Season’ had its regional launch at one of the first Twilight Author talks we ran.  It is with very great pleasure that we also launch Jennifer’s second book ‘Brumby’s Run’.  Jennifer is an author of rural and environmental fiction.  She lives on a property overlooking the Bunyip State Forest in West Gippsland and has always harboured a deep appreciation and respect for the natural world. Her first novel ‘Wasp Season’, an environmental thriller was officially launched at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival in 2008.  In May of this year she was writer-in-residence at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland.  ‘Brumby’s Run’, her second novel will be released by Penguin July 2nd.

Bookings can be made at Foster’s Little Bookshop by phone 5682 2089 or by email .  Cost is $22 per head which includes a glass of wine and finger food.  The Twilight Talk sessions are held at the Stockyard Gallery from 5.30pm to 7.00pm each Friday evening in July.  Numbers will be limited so book early

Brumby’s Run will also receive a grand metropolitan christening.

Acclaimed novelist Andrea Goldsmith will launch Brumby’s Run at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival. The venue is The Cube at 2.30 pm Saturday 25th August. All welcome!


I have received some lovely early reviews. Here are the links!