I’m very much hoping that I’ll post more often in 2022, especially about promising developments regarding the potential Jellicoe series. It’s not that I won’t be using this blog site anymore, but I prefer instagram (I find it easier), so feel free to follow me on: melina.marchetta
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Books giveaway for Melbourne residents
If you live anywhere in Melbourne and are dealing with Stage 4 restrictions, I have eight gift packs of The Lumatere Chronicles to send out to you, which includes Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn in each pack.
Send your postal details to my email address (It’s on my contact page).
You have until noon tomorrow (Wednesday). If I get more than eight requests, I’ll pick names out of a hat. (Not first in, best dressed)
Reading in isolation
I’m back in obsessive reading mode which is always a relief. I’ve been writing without a break for years and sometimes I feel as if I’ve forgotten how to get lost in a book. The pile, much like my own writing, is a mishmash of genres.
Two Australian novels released this month are The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks and The F Team by Rawah Arja. I loved them both. Not only can I imagine readers of all ages relating to them, but I know that if I was still in the classroom, I would order a class set. Cultural diversity, family dynamics, strong girls, decent boys, grief, humour, gorgeous authentic dialogue, beautiful writing. All of that and more.
The F Team by Rawah Arja
Meet Tariq Nader, leader of ‘The Wolf Pack’ at Punchbowl High, who has been commanded by the new principal to join a football competition with his mates in order to rehabilitate the public image of their school. When the team is formed, Tariq learns there’s a major catch – half of the team is made up of white boys from Cronulla, aka enemy territory – and he must compete with their strongest player for captaincy of the team.
At school Tariq thinks he has life all figured out until he falls for a new girl called Jamila, who challenges everything he thought he knew. At home, his outspoken ways have brought him into conflict with his family. Now, with complications on all fronts, he has to dig deep to control his anger, and find what it takes to be a leader.
In confronting and often hilarious situations, Tariq’s relationships with his extended Lebanese family and his friends are tested like never before, and he comes to learn that his choices can have serious consequences.
The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks
Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.
Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.
I’ve been meaning to put these on my website for ages. For those who enjoyed The Lumatere Chronicles and never got around to finding the short story, “Ferragost”…
…and “When Rosie Met Jim” which ended up being the first chapter of Jimmy Hailler’s book, (The Place on Dalhousie), here they are.
It’s a quarantine gift from me.
How have you been spending your quarantine? I’ve gone back to reading every night; watching Schitt’s Creek and understanding what the big fuss is about; plotting a TV series via video conferencing, and writing a film script. I have to believe that little stories about the universal experience have a place in our world. I handed in the fourth of my Zola series and am cheered up every time I see Deb Hudson’s illustrations.
I’ve been going for walks with my daughter and our dog; organising a Zoom talent quest for 8 year olds; watching Amy Schumer videos of New Yorkers cheering from their apartments for their health workers; trying very hard not to let home schooling drive me to drink while being reminded that school and her teacher mean so much to B. Most of all, feeling grateful for so many things and knowing that this has brought out the best in us.
The Zola Series
This year I started writing the Zola Series. They’re chapter books for 5-7 year olds and What Zola Did on Monday comes out next June 2020. Here’s the blurb from Penguin Random House’s website.
Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble!
Seven stories in the series – one for every day of the week. From the bestselling author of Looking for Alibrandi.
What’s happening in the months of August and September
Firstly, this Friday the 16th at 2pm Mosman Library, I will be interviewing debut writer Nina Kenwood about her new novel It Sounded Better in My Head. Loved. Loved. Loved it. I have so many novels to read at the moment and all I do is look at the pile, but this morning I woke up at 5 and didn’t get out of bed until after 9. It’s funny and smart and it’s recharged my reading inertia (only because I’m tired and not because of the novels).
Below are three of the festivals I’ll be attending this month and next. Click onto the links and it will take you to my page.
The Blue Mountains Writers’ Festival
The Melbourne Writers’ Festival
The Brisbane Writers Festival
On another note, discussing my writing on the Better Reading podcast with Cheryl Arkle was a highlight for me this year. I was asked to come back for “Better Reading On Writing”. It’s a 6 part series and I get to speak about Dialogue. We all focus on a different aspect of the craft. The other writers are: Trent Dalton (The writer); Belinda Alexander (character builiding); Candice Fox (research and setting) ; Dervla McTiernan (story and plot development) and Penguin Random House Publisher, Nikki Christer (she published Dalhousie and discusses the publishing side of things)
If you’re interested in writing then I think you’ll find it very helpful.
The Place on Dalhousie E book available in the US, UK and Amazon international regions
I’ve been asked quite often when The Place on Dalhousie will be available overseas. I can’t say whether it will be published internationally, but if you head over to Amazon in your region, you’ll find the E book here: Happy Reading.
Sydney Writers’s Festival Schedule and Warringah Library, Brookvale
Tuesday 30th April, 11am – Narellan Library
Wednesday, 1st May: 11.15-12pm
Carriageworks, Bay 24, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh
Student Session: Write What You Know – In conversation with Sarah Ayoub
Thursday 2nd May: 4.30-5.30pm
Carriageworks, Bay 12, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh
Homecomings: Panel with Rosalie Ham and facilitated by Melanie Kembrey
Friday 3rd May: 11.30-12.30
Carriageworks, Bay 24, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh
An irrevocable Condition: Facilitator: Christos Tsiolkas, panel with Melanie Cheng and Moreno Giovannoni
Tuesday 7th May: 6.30pm
Warringah Mall Library, 145 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale
Dalhousie: 8th April 2019
I’m going to try not to use the word “overwhelmed” too many times, but I have been overwhelmed indeed this week. So much love. I always knew that my readership would take this novel out into the world and I have loved every moment of talking about it with them.
And of course, getting off a plane and seeing the image below was pretty impressive.
If you are in Canberra tomorrow (Tuesday) I’ll be speaking at Muse with the very funny and talented Sean Costello at 5.30, so come down for a drink.
I’ve also been part of smart podcasts and interviews, so I’ll add them here when I have the time.
Today I spoke with Claire Nichols on Radio National’s Book Show and loved it. Here it is.
Release Date Today!
You never get used to this feeling! The Place on Dalhousie has well and truly arrived in good company.