24th May 2016: The Australian cover

9780670079100(release date  1st September)

Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he’s no sooner suspended from the force than  a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

 Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette’s part in the French tragedy can be established, she disappears.

Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac’s arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.

2nd March 2016: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Just a few things.

Firstly, I will be speaking at gleebooks, Glebe on the 15th of March at 6pm on a panel with Erin Gough, Will Kostakis, Chris Morphew and Felicity Castagna.

https://gleebooks.worldsecuresystems.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=253308

Secondly, based on some FAQ, my upcoming novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil (final title) will be released in Australia on the 1st of September by Penguin Books, and in the US on the 11 October by Little Brown, (Mulholland).  I’ve seen mock up covers from both camps which is very exciting. Below is a synopsis I found on the Amazon site. It’s always interesting to read a description of your work written by someone else.

PS. I stole the title words from Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1. He stole them from Hugh Latimer. Hugh probably stole them from his mother.

In the wake of a devastating bombing, a father risks everything to find out who was responsible.

When Bish Ortley, a suspended cop, receives word that a bus carrying his daughter has been bombed, he rushes to be by her side. A suspect has already been singled out: a 17-year-old girl who has since disappeared from the scene.

The press has now revealed that she is the youngest member of one of London’s most notorious families. Thirteen years earlier, her grandfather set off a suicide bomb in a grocery store, a bomb her mother confessed to building. Has the girl decided to follow in their footsteps?

To find her, Bish must earn the trust of her friends and family, including her infamous mother, now serving a life sentence in prison. But even as he delves into the deadly bus attack that claimed five lives, the ghosts of older crimes become impossible to ignore.

A gripping fusion of literary suspense and family drama, TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is a fast-paced puzzle of a novel that will keep readers feverishly turning pages.

 

A month of book launches

If I had to say one of the best things about the world of YA, it’s getting to know the writers. In the next two months at least four of the Sydney gang I know will be launching new novels.  Anyone can come along.  A synopsis of each novel is at the end of this post.

I love these women. They are smart, funny, down to earth and kind. Whenever I get to speak to them, one on one or in a  group I’m in awe of how much we can cover in so little time: writing (not much talk about that); family, religion, movies, TV, racism; food; social networking; luddites; bullies; sport; our plethora of primeministers; sexism; grief; community; ignorance; hair and make up.

I hope I get all the facts right below.

The first novel to be launched is Megan Jacobson’s debut novel, Yellow on Thursday 28th January at Kinokuniya

http://www.kinokuniya.com.au/events/yellow-book-launch/

 

MeganOn the 4th of February,  Justine Larbalestier and Kirsty Eagar will be launching  their novels My Sister Rosa and Summer Skin together, and entertaining the crowd with a discussion about Sex and Pyschopaths.     http://www.kinokuniya.com.au/events/sex-and-psychopaths/

 

JustineKirsty

On the 25th of February Sarah Ayoub will be launching her second novel at Kinokuniya, The Yearbook Committee.

 

Sarah

Yellow by Megan Jacobson

If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn’t bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She’ll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her. He makes her popular, he gets her parents back together, and he doesn’t haunt her. Things aren’t so simple however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one. “

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Che Taylor has four items on his list: 1. He wants to spar, not just train in the boxing gym. 2. He wants a girlfriend. 3. He wants to go home. 4. He wants to keep Rosa under control. Che’s little sister Rosa is smart, talented, pretty, and so good at deception that Che’s convinced she must be a psychopath. She hasn’t hurt anyone yet, but he’s certain it’s just a matter of time. And when their parents move them to New York City, Che longs to return to Sydney and his three best friends. But his first duty is to his sister Rosa, who is playing increasingly complex and disturbing games. Can he protect Rosa from the world – and the world from Rosa?

Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even. The lesson: don’t mess with Unity girls. The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess. A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig – sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they’re at their most vulnerable? It’s all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy’s stuff. Just your typical love story.

The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub

Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.

The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?
The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.
The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?
The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.
Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?

 

A whole lot of Misc to start 2016

Firstly, Happy New Year.

The paperback edition of The Piper’s Son comes out in Australia today. If anyone is interested, during January, I’ll respond to any burning questions you’ve ever had about the novel in the comments section.

TPSON_B format_FCA

Except the Jimmy Hailler question, which I’ll address now.

No, I’m not currently writing a Jimmy Hailler book. But it may seem as if I am.  If you are inclined to read my next novel due out in September  (more of that down below) then the prologue will present you with two Jimmys. Netiher is Jimmy Hailler.

I know. How cruel. Didn’t do it on purpose. Wasn’t thinking. Tried to change their names, but once you name those characters, it’s really hard to change much about them.

In saying the above, a Jimmy Hailler novel does exist in my head and has for a while. It’s a four-hander and he’s one of the narrators. I’ve said it before,  I know a bit about him. He’s the first out of the “Francesca” gang to procreate, accidently. It’ll be an adult novel because Jimmy’s now in his mid twenties and two of the other main narrators are my age (young in spirit but greying slightly). I’ve actually written about one of the characters, Mattie, in a short story called “The Centre” for the 2013 anthology “Just Between Us”.  Mattie fleetingly mentions her step demon, and this year, I’m hoping to write the short story from that step daughter’s point of view which is called “When Rosie met Jim”. And then I’d like to write the short story from Jim’s perspective when he returns to Sydney after being away for quite some time, and crashes on his friend’s couch. For now most of that is in my head, and it’s all I can offer the Jimmy readers.

The not so bad problem about being a writer is that you think you’re ready to start on something and all of a sudden, a whole new bunch of characters jump into your head. That’s what happened a couple of years ago with Bish Ortley and the characters from Shaming the Devil. I’ve handed in a close-to-final edit and you’ll be seeing it in the second half of this year. It’s the first time I’ve completed an edit simultaneously with two different publishers, one in Australia and the other in the US. I’ve loved the experience and have been most fortunate working with the smartest of editors. As you probably know, it’s a crime thriller, but I can’t see it not suiting most of the readership I’ve come to know. My main focus in writing is always the relationships, the characters and the communities they find themselves part of.  For now, I’ll leave you with a couple of lines from the letter sent to me early last year by my Australian publisher, Ben Ball.

…  It’s alternately gripping, moving, challenging, and funny – it feels, somehow, genuine and joyous, despite its darker sections. It feels somehow wholehearted. It’s about family, loss, adolescence, middle-age, old age … it captures an enormous chunk of the world.

On a quick note, the Jellicoe film dream is still alive. New producers came on board last year, who I respect and who truly understand the guts of the novel and the film so fingers crossed that there’s exciting news to tell in 2016. Thankfully, the film script is ready and waiting so my part in the process is over.

Finally, here is the cover for Brazillian Jellicoe.  I think it’s my favourite so far. The artist’s name is Carlo Giovani. I was also sent a photograph on how it was put together – one piece is superimposed on to another.  Have I said enough how much I love a good designer of books.

covercover making of 2

28th October 2015: The Newtown Festival and Tom Mackee

For Sydney people, I will be speaking alongside Justine Larbalestier, Erin Gough and Margo Lanagan at the Newtown Festival.  Below are details about the writer’s tent activities.

When:  Sunday November 8th

Where:  Newtown Festival, Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

What time: 2pm

http://www.newtownfestival.org/writers_tent.html

For those familiar with The Piper’s Son, Camperdown is where we encounter Tom in Chapter One, stumbling out of hospital.  It’s inner-west Mackee territory, part of the grid he won’t step out of.  The paperback edition of The Piper’s Son is coming out early next year and just looking at the revised cover choked me a bit with a very bittersweet nostalgia. I think it ties with Saving Francesca, as my favourite.  Don’t quote me because I’ll contradict that next time I blog and choose The Lumatere Chronicles or Jellicoe, but Tom, Frankie and the gang are the most real to me.

Thank you, as always, to the designer Marina Messiha who always does something a bit special with the covers.

TPSON_B format_FCA

Link

This is one of my favourite and funniest Lumatere summaries by a reader that I’ve read (and I’ve loved many). So if you’re Audrey, the creator of it, let me know and I’ll send you the three copies you so desire. Many thanks.

PS.  Let me know if I broke some copyright thing by posting it here.

Adaptation Workshop Cairns North Queensland (26th August)

I’ve been invited to present a masterclass with regards to film adaptations in Cairns North Queensland.  Details below.

Date: Wednesday August 26

Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Cairns City Library, 151 Abbott St, Cairns

Price QWC Members $20.  Others $25.00

Here is the link for booking: http://www.qwc.asn.au/events/qld-script-house/writing-adaptations/

Please come along if you are in the area. These are the sort of events that I love doing best so it was a sort of yes! straight away when I was asked. I will obviously be speaking about Alibrandi, but also the Jellicoe script which is done and dusted and waiting patiently.

Here is the QWC’s  blurb for the event.

Have a book that is made for the screen? Explore how to adapt another property for the screen in this exclusive Cairns event featuring the award-winning author and screenwriter Melina Marchetta.

Melina Marchetta is the writer of eight novels including The Piper’s Son, longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.  She is the scriptwriter of Looking For Alibrandi, based on her novel which won an AFI Award, NSW Premier’s Award, IF award and Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay.  She has written for  the ABC’s Dance Academy and has completed the adaptation of her novel On the Jellicoe Road.

Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned pro, this course will help you to hone your creative and professional skills and establish a successful screenwriting career.