Thursday, 25 July 2013

Wild luck from nowhere

What a strange and incredible day!

I signed my first autograph today, for a friend.  That was quite weird.  The best advice about this I got from LeeFox, who said ‘don’t use the same signature for autographs that you use on your credit card’ which seems like pretty sound advice, I have to say.

I also got my cover proofs today, which made it a very special day from the get-go. 

Knowing that your words are turning into a real live actual book is strange in itself.  I mean, you think about it, you dream about it, and you plan for it to happen…  I know that Every Breath is about to go out into the world, and boxes of books will soon be unpacked in shops and things – I did go through a rather exhaustive editing and copy-editing process after all.  And yet I still can’t get my head around it.

When you start to see the evidence that it IS actually happening, like cover proofs, it still seems so odd, somehow divorced from reality.  People say, ‘aren’t you excited!’, and yes, I am excited, but also sort of confused, in a ‘how did this come about?’ way.

So this is where I’m at right now, at the blinking-in-surprise stage (which is curiously like the ‘first getting signed’ stage), as the arrival of advance copies becomes imminent and it starts to fall on your head that wow, yes, this is ALL REAL.

The other thing that happened was that I went to see GraemeSimsion, author of The Rosie Project, speak at the Castlemaine Library tonight, and holy crap, that guy has had an incredible ride.  Seriously – he didn’t even start writing until five years ago.  He wrote a book in seven weeks, people.  A whole book.  It won the Vic Premier’s Unpublished Manuscript Award, straight off the bat.  Then it went nuclear, and was sold to 39 countries, or some insane number like that, and now he’s on his way to the US to talk about writing the screenplay for the film production…

I mean, the whole thing just sounds awesome, and even he himself talks about it in this ‘omg, this is so cool!!’ way that made me just want to congratulate him over and over.

But Graeme Simsion did the hard yards – he worked away on that original screenplay-that-became-a-book for five years.  He binned whole plotlines, whole characters.  He read his writing manuals.  And above all, he clocked in his hours – that 10,000 hours or something that sorts the wheat from the chaff when it comes to writers.  So he’s worked bloody hard for this success.

And what I loved about hearing him talk, what really resonated, was that he still has this sense of wonder about it all, the whole process.  He still seems slightly flabbergasted by his success.  Proud, yknow?  But surprised all the same, with this lovely conspiratorial laugh, and this enormous look of wonderment.  He was like ‘can you believe it? THIRTY-NINE COUNTRIES!!!’, and I was sitting in the audience, just grinning my head off (‘omg, that happens!’) and just hearting him so bad!

And I really get that today: that feeling of almost child-like incredulity that yes, this is really real.  Although I think I have more of a stunned-mullet look on my face when people ask me about it (probably because Graeme Simsion has had a lot more practise at being asked about his book and talking about it and so forth).

So if you see me kind of wandering around in a bit of a spin, or if you talk to me about the book and I just nod my head vaguely like ‘oh yeah, that’, it’s not that I’m not excited – I totally am!  It’s just that it still seems rather like something that’s happening on Mars, or to somebody else way cooler than me.  And thank you, in advance, for your understanding J

Oh, there was one more thing that happened!

On my way to seeing Graeme Simsion at the Library, a fox dashed across the road in front of my car.  This happens sometimes.  But it always gives me a little thrill, because…a fox!  That sneaky bugger!  I know I should loathe foxes, because they do so much damage around this time, with the lambing season.  But…I can’t hate them.  Foxes are tricky and clever and wild, and that sudden flash of russet red always reminds me that sneaky surprising things happen – they happen when you least expect.  Wild luck sometimes strikes you from nowhere.

A fox!  Right in front of me!

I took it as a good omen.

Have a great week.

Xx Ellie

Friday, 19 July 2013

YA Crime Report: GUEST POST – Simmone Howell

 Today is a day of snow on the ranges near our place, and wet everywhere else.  So cuddle up with your hot water bottle and settle in for a nice read, because today we have the lovely and talented Simmone Howell visiting!

Simmone is the author of Notes From the Underground and Everything Beautiful, and her most recent novel is Girl Defective.  It’s the story of Skylark Martin - whose ‘weird hormonal stew’ draws her into the mystery of a St Kilda girl’s death - and the whole Martin family, who are ‘like inverse superheroes, marked by our defects’.

So please give a very warm welcome to Simmone!

Hi Simmone, pull up a chair.  How’re things going over your side of Castlemaine?

Things are good. The sun is shining. The magpies are singing.I have a crick neck.

Crikey, Simmone, I wish I was closer to your end of town!  Now Girl Defective has only been released this year, and I totally feel the love for Sky and Gully and their dad, and particularly all the beautifully-drawn characters that frequent Wishing Well record shop.  I know you used to work in a record store – so is it all about observation?  Noting and remembering the little details that make a character come to life as a person?  (Or does working in retail help hone your writing skills…)

(Why Thankyou!)  I think retail really does help hone your writing skills because it allows you to become an expert day-dreamer. I think of all the hours I logged behind a counter somewhere (and I never worked anywhere busy, except in London) and most of them were spent imagining other existences ... and sometimes I could write at work or just look at the customers and imagine their existences... If you know a place, or a person, or a subject really well then you are able to bring it to life and bring a personal experience to the writing that will lift it out of the prosaic. It’s always the little weird things that stay with me, and work for me... I think I might be detail-oriented.

Sherlock Holmes explained how most of investigation and deduction is about observing, not merely seeing.  Do you think this means writers might have an edge as detectives?

Maybe. I think writers are myopic though! We only see what we want to see, or what we need to see to get the story written. Also Sherlock would be impartial. I’m never impartial - I get emotionally involved!

Sky is drawn into the strange circumstances surrounding a girl’s death.  Were you a bit of a Trixie Belden as a kid?  Personally I never got on with Nancy Drew, but I was always a big fan of George, from the Famous Five…

I was also a George fan (Anne was too prissy). I also loved the Meg mystery books. I also read lots of Agatha Christie early on. In my twenties I got really into reading pulp fiction and watching film noir - I read True Crime but it was always retro True Crime - I remember being really taken with the Charlie Starweather case (that was inspiration for Badlands) and I was obsessed with Twin Peaks. The mystery elements in Girl Defective owe more to these older influences than anything I read as a kid.

So if you were in Sky’s shoes, presented with a mystery like that, do you think you would have reacted the same way?

I can imagine myself getting obsessive, yes.

When you were developing Girl Defective, did the voices come first, or the ideas for the story?  How does it usually work for you?

The voice came first. It’s always voice first, and then moving into the relationships around the person who owns the voice. Them describing their world and situations will arrive from there. I had Nancy, Sky and Gully first and they were solid - Mia and Luke, the mystery came later.

And what do you think is the toughest discipline you impose on yourself as a writer?

Finishing. I could start new things every day and be happy but actually writing something through to the end is really hard but, uh, necessary. Unless maybe I teamed myself with another writer who was good at endings and hated beginnings - that could work...

You have a strong lyrical rhythm in your writing – is it something you labour over, one sentence at a time, or do you just go with the flow and then spend a lot of time crafting as you edit?

I spend a long time on all of it and I edit as I go. Usually I will write a chunk and then edit it to death and then move on but sometimes I start at the start every day for months ... I really love words and word-play and poetry and metaphor, all that. And references, but the references have to be right and true to character.

So can you give us 5 favourite words you’d take with you to a desert island? (or maybe Fantasy Island?)

weird, ancient, crazy, peripatetic, guff

Cool words!  And while we’re on ‘favourite’ and ‘desert’ – favourite dessert?

Chocolate cake

Everyone please give Simmone a hearty mitten-clad round of applause for being such a lovely guest J  If you’d like to chase Simmone’s work, she’s here at her website.  She also says: “My tumblr is where I post influences and defective girls and other stuff ...”  And Girl Defective is available from all good book shops. Or should be.

Please stay tuned for more crimey stuff - our next guest will be forensic pathologist Dr Shelley Robertson, for those with a mind for gory detail...


In my last post I announced that we had a winner for the Every Breath Cover Reveal Competition

Well, that was true to an extent.  Unfortunately the winner (whose name my kids pulled out of the hat) didn't contact me – so I'm now drawing a NEW WINNER.  Okay.....*rummages around the paper slips*....(hold on, my fingies are cold)....Right!  We have a winner!

TRINITY!! - you are the winner of the Every Breath Cover Reveal Competition!!  YAY!  Please get in touch with me (DM me on Twitter, or on Facebook, or comment here), and we'll work out how to get you your awesome pri>e!! (and yeah, really need to get that key fixed)

Anyway, if you commented on the blog here (or FBed or tweeted), then thank you.  I'll be running another giveaway shortly, closer to the release date, so keep in touch…

Okay, that's it from me, because my fingers are too cold to type anymore.  Back into the warm house, to make more badges and stickers...

Have a good weekend and stay snuggly.

Xx Ellie

Sunday, 14 July 2013

And the WINNER is...

Hooray, we have a winner!!!

I'm proud to announce that the winner of the Every Breath Cover Reveal Competition is MEGAN BRAIN.

Megan, congratulations, please get in touch with me via email (elliemarney[at] or DM me @elliemarney on Twitter, and I will package up your reward and send it off!

I'd like to thank everyone who entered the competition - all of you who FB'd, commented, Tweeted and linked.  Thanks for your support and kind words, and believe me, it's making me very excited to know that Every Breath is about to go out into a world of such generous and appreciative friends!

Cheers, and have a good back-to-school week,

Thursday, 11 July 2013

YA Crime Report: GUEST POST - Kirsten Krauth

Another blog post, another wonderful guest!  Today I’ve persuaded Castlemaine’s own Kirsten Krauth to give us a visit.  Kirsten and I knocked knees together during our very first author readings, and now Kirsten’s debut novel just_a_girl has recently been released by UWAP.  Set on the outskirts of Sydney, it’s the strange and sultry story of Layla.

Layla may be only 14, but she’s grown up fast.  She does a lot of things online that she probably shouldn’t.  Her mum has her own problems to deal with, plus she’s a bit church-obsessed.  Layla is figuring things out on her own, and she’s a quick study.  And somewhere else in the city, a man is packing his lover into a suitcase…

Just_a_girl is an adult novel that looks into the heart of teenage life, its darkness and light, and it’s filled with beautiful language that made me drool a little.  So now I’d like you to give a warm welcome to the very talented Kirsten Krauth!!

Kirsten – hey there, how’re you going?  You’ve been a writer and blogger for some time, but what’s it like now, being a fully fledged author?

It’s a big step. It feels different having your book out in the world. Very exciting to receive that little package in the mail. It’s kind of like being pregnant. You don’t really believe you’re going to have a baby, until you have a baby! I have the book on top of the huge pile of books next to my bed. It’s nice to look at when I wake up.

Now here’s the question that seems to be compulsory for every writer – which is it, plotter or pantser?

Definitely a pantser. For this first novel, I was learning, so I started out just concentrating on voice (Layla’s). I wrote paragraphs, playing with words. Gradually the paragraphs started to merge, new characters were born, and connections were made. I don’t know where the characters are taking me, and it’s one of the joys of writing, to find that out. I like seeing the shape of the novel emerge slowly. I concentrate on structure and plotting in later drafts.

Just_a_girl is pitched as an adult novel, but your protagonist is 14.  What were the challenges of writing from a teenage perspective?  Did you find yourself doing a lot of eavesdropping and observing to research the way teenager’s behave and talk?

Layla’s voice had real resonance with me. I find 14 year olds endlessly fascinating and she was the easiest character in the book to write. This is because Layla is on the cusp, in so many ways. She is full of contradictions: sexual but naïve; angry but vulnerable; passionate but evasive. I think I am always drawn to teenagers as they often see themselves as outsiders looking in, trying to work out the world. I think most writers see themselves that way too! The challenge with writing from a teen perspective is you have to hold onto that naiveté, and remember how much they don’t yet know. With Layla, her style is very distinctive. Short, sharp, disjoined sentences. Often not grammatically correct. So it was important to keep that consistent.

I used to commute between Springwood (where the novel is set) and Kings Cross in Sydney for four hours a day. It gave me a lot of time to listen to girls on the train. I was surprised by how much they revealed to each other and all of us listening (and questioned quietly how much of it was true). I used to note things down. I also spent a fair bit of time on Facebook seeing how young girls communicated there…

What prompted you to write just_a_girl in the first place?  How did it all start to come together?

I had a few ideas about Layla (she originally started as a hypertext fiction created for the internet, which is why she is so jumpy!) and took them to university where I did a research masters in creative writing. My supervisor Sue Woolfe was a fantastic encouragement and I had a shorter version of the novel by the time I completed my degree.

So much of teenage life is conducted online now – chatting with mates, arranging events, acquiring knowledge, even hooking up – and it’s all conducted in full public view.  Everything you do is out there, like you’ve taken out a half-page ad in the paper.  And yet the responsible adults are often a bit oblivious, because they’re not as connected with or informed about the technology.  It struck me that just_a_girl highlights this idea really well – the existence of a secret life, conducted in public.  Was this something that you noticed too, as you were pulling all the threads of the novel together?

Yes, yes, yes. I actually set out on the book with this theme in mind. It continues to occupy me. I was interested originally in the impact of digital technologies on people’s lives, family, parenting, teenagers. What could a teenager do in her bedroom that I couldn’t when I was that age? If she could chat with a stranger (who could find out a lot about her online and gear the conversation around certain things), and then organise to meet him in another town, that’s a pretty big shift! Then when I told people about my novel and ideas, stories just poured out. Of young people discovered doing the most secretive and scary things. One sticks in my mind, a young boy who was selling naked images of himself. His mother only found out when she discovered his bank account had thousands of dollars.

I think you’ve just given me a great line for the book … ‘a secret life, conducted in public’. Can I use it?  (Sure! – go for your life!) 

As a parent yourself, though, do you find it a bit unnerving?  Or is this just normal for teenagers now, and do adults need to get over it (or get with the program)?

As a parent (of two young children) I’ve been dwelling on these ideas a lot. How do you control your children’s access to technology, when they are so desperate to keep up and fit in? Is it possible when most parents (and teachers) know less about technology than the children do? I have always been interested in computers and communications so I try to keep up with it. I think all use can be moderated to some extent. If kids are going to use iPads, laptops, they need to do it in family areas, with parental supervision. And they need to switch off too. With mobiles, it’s more difficult. I’m sure as my kids reach their teens, technologies will have changed rapidly again, so I’ll have to revise my thinking…

The book has been described as having a ‘noir-ish feel’, which to me was odd (as I always think of Elmore Leonard when I think of noir) but also strangely appropriate.  Do you think it’s an accurate description?

Funny, I hadn’t thought of it that way, but yes, I think it works. The author Wendy James describes her work as ‘suburban noir’ and it might fit in there. I hope the book crosses genres in some ways so I’d be happy for it to be described like that. The book has an undercurrent of darkness that permeates…

I noticed you slipped in a reference to Layla reading Murakami…  What sort of books were you reading when you were 14?  Do you think they influence you even to this day?

I wasn’t reading any Japanese writers (a shame) but I was a voracious reader. On my school hols my dad would buy me a pile of 10 books and I’d binge-read, happy as anything. My favourites were the US writers in teen fiction, Judy Blume, Robert Cormier, Paul Zindel, SE Hinton. Yes, these writers were focused on sex and occasionally bleak themes (with the odd strike of light and humour), so they have definitely influenced my first book. I still love to see them on my bookshelf.

Just_a_girl is your first book – what has it been like to see your ‘baby’ go out into the world (and did you ever read through the typeset pages and think ‘omg, I should have changed that!’ etc)

It has been both exhilarating and unnerving. It’s strange to let go of something you’ve worked for so many years on. I love hearing what other people think of it, especially when it’s struck a nerve. Even thought it’s written for adults, I’ll be very pleased when I hear a teenager’s opinion. I haven’t looked through the final copy as I don’t want to think about changing anything! I just like looking at the cover!

So now you’re published, do you have any words of wisdom for other young writers out there?

Write what you’re passionate about. Be resilient. Keep trying even if you get knocked back a few times. Learn to know which advice/criticism to take on. For the first draft, don’t look back. Just keep writing. Don’t think about it. Plenty of time to do that in future drafts.

Well, folks, that’s the end of Kirsten’s interview – thanks, Kirsten, for being such a lovely guest, and good luck with the book!  If you’d like to come to the launch of just_a_girl here in Castlemaine, come along to Lot 19 on Saturday 13 July, 5-7pm.  Ask a local for directions!  (or tweet me, because I’m going, so I can point you the way)

And if you’d like to read just_a_girl, copies are available from Stoneman’s Bookroom in Castlemaine, various bookstores around the country, or online (paperback or ebook) from UWA Publishing.

Finally, before I go, a couple of VITAL things.  The next few weeks are going to be incredibly busy, because everything is happening at once, it seems.  But I do need to mention –

* I went to Angela Savage’s book launch for The Dying Beach!! 

Here's the author, hard sloggin' it with the signings...

It was a fantastic night at Brunswick Bound, and if you’re a crime fan, go and grab a copy of this awesome novel featuring the hard-drinkin’ ever-lovin’ detective Jayne Keeney in Krabi (I’m hoping to hit Angela up for an interview some time when she’s not busy as a bee…).

On ya, Angela!

* The winner of the Every Breath Cover Reveal Competition is about to go live!!  I’m pulling a name out of the hat this weekend, and I’ll post it up on Sunday.  Check out one of the sweet sweet prizes… 

(No, not me!  The t-shirts!)

Yes, you get one of these, plus a copy of the book, so if you’ve been thinking you’d like to jump aboard, then – quick!  Go here right now and comment, or say hi on Facebook or Tweet me @elliemarney, for your last chance to win!

(More crazy selfies below!  It's the t-shirts, people, the t-shirts...but check the stylish beanie...)

* If you’re a student at Castlemaine Secondary College, the Every Breath Review Comp starts on Tuesday 16 July – that’s next Tuesday! 

I know, I know, it’s sad to go back to school, but…Prizes!  Book copies!  Your name in lights!

If you’d like to enter the competition, go see your English Teacher and nominate to review the book – your review could be published online here, and in the Castlemaine Mail!!

* Last but not least – er, KOALAS IN OUR DRIVEWAY. 

Well, not plural koalas, just one very lost-looking koala, who spooked the chickens when he/she wandered into our place on Wednesday…  The koala took a side trip into the study, so yes, I am writing in the very place that our koala friend peed (koalas get freaked out in confined places – who knew?).  Koalas – very fluffy ears, and totally weird.

That’s the round-up.  Hope you’re all having a good week, and talk to you again very soon J

Xx Ellie

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cashing in my Review V-card

Peoples!  Every Breath has had its first review!

This came out in Books & Publishing a short while ago, and I was rapt when a friend sent it to me.  As the site itself is subscriber-only, I thought I’d post it here so everyone and their dog could read it too...

Every Breath (Ellie Marney, A&U)
Picking up on the current Sherlock Holmes zeitgeist, Every Breath is the story of two teenagers playing at detective, trying to solve the death of their friend Homeless Dave. Rather than Holmes and Watson we get Mycroft and Watts, best friends drawn to each other because they have both lost everything—Mycroft his parents and Watts her family home in the country. As they are pulled deeper into the mysteries surrounding Dave’s murder, they also discover a growing attraction to each other, so like all good stories about death it’s about love too. Mycroft and Watts are fast-talking, flawed, bright characters. The requisite banter is threaded through with the language of crime procedurals—lividity and rigor mortis and blood spatter patterns—which is charming in its novelty. Ellie Marney’s YA novel explores the isolation and the desperation to escape later teenage years, and is moodily underscored by a cold and gloomy Melbourne. The writing is pacy and engaging but doesn’t shy away from darkness. Reminiscent of Lili Wilkinson’s A Pocketful of Eyes, although slightly grimmer in tone, Every Breath will be enjoyed by readers aged 13 and up. It is the first book of a trilogy.
Reviewer: Cordelia Rice works at Thorpe-Bowker.
She is a former bookseller and previously worked at the Centre for Youth Literature
So there it is, and I’m very happy – what a lovely review J

If you’re still keen to enter the Cover Reveal competition, it closes in a few days – but you can still drop me a line HERE to put your name in, or FB me, or Tweet me @elliemarney…  I guess you know how these things work.

And my next post will be a new YA Crime Report with the entrancing Kirsten Krauth, talking about a teenage cyber-perspective and noir suspense surrounding her new book just_a_girl.  Make sure you pop along and say hi.

Xx Ellie

Thursday, 4 July 2013

YA Crime Report: GUEST POST - Lili Wilkinson

I promised you some guests would be dropping in for a chin-wag, and I do try to make good on my promises.  So today I am very excited to be playing host to…the lovely Lili Wilkinson!! 

Lili Wilkinson (excuse me Lili, but I have to say this) is kind of like literary royalty at our place – her mum Carole wrote the first chapter book my son ever read (Dragonkeeper), and Lili has also written many other books we’ve loved, including Scatterheart, Angel Fish, Pink (awesome), and my personal fave, A Pocketful of Eyes.

Lili’s most recent book is The Zig Zag Effect, in which Sage Kealley tries to unravel a mystery involving a magician, a series of very nasty stage tricks, and a haunted theatre - with the somewhat distracting assistance of Herb, a magician-in-training.

Every book I read of Lili’s has me admiring the craft and skill in the writing, and loving the realness of the characters, so please give a very big welcome to Lili Wilkinson!!! *cue dry-ice smoke, the wave of a wand, a red-cape swirl*

Hey Lili!  Lovely to see you, how’s it going?

*pulls rabbit out of hat, and egg from rabbit’s ear* Eggcellent! (sorry)

I just finished reading The Zig Zag Effect, and the way you pulled all the elements of the mystery together was beautifully done.  I particularly loved the refs to Conan Doyle and Houdini, and Sherlock (of course).  Was it a lot of fun, writing a detective-style mystery?

Yes! It’s the third mystery I’ve written – after Pocketful of Eyes and Love-shy. The first one was dreadfully hard, because I wrote the first few scenes and just threw interesting clues all over the place without having any idea how they were going to pay off. I learnt my lesson, and now I have a much better strategy – solve the mystery first and then work backwards. But there are always a few hairy moments where you have no idea how it’s all going to come together.

And  can we deduce you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes too? (I always love meeting another Sherlockian!)  Do you have a favourite Conan Doyle story?

Probably The Adventure of the Speckled Band – I love a locked room mystery. I’m also loving all these new versions of Sherlock Holmes that are popping up! (For the record, Elementary is my favourite because of the Holmes/Watson relationship, and Holmes’s beautiful vulnerability. Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is fascinating, but a bit too cruel for me.)

You’ve obviously done a fair bit of research into the history of magical mystery with this book – did you find anything really interesting along the way that you’d like to share?

Ooh, so many things. Some of which I can’t divulge (I promised I wouldn’t spill any big magic secrets). I was definitely fascinated by the role of women in stage magic – and how creepily violent their jobs are – getting tied up and cut in half and everything. The history of magic is just fascinating – especially people like Houdini and his confrontations with Arthur Conan Doyle.

Love is a pretty popular theme in so many YA books – I thought you drew Sage and Herb together in a genuinely realistic way.  How do you handle the romance factor in your novels?

I love writing romance, and I love reading it. I can never quite fathom why romance in books is seen as being somehow trivial or trashy – isn’t love one of those fundamental defining characteristics of humanity? Isn’t it something that we’ve all felt or wish to feel? Adolescent romance is so much fun to write – falling in love for the first time as a teenager is probably the most intense thing you’ll ever feel. I try and approach romance with respect, honesty and humour, and then throw in steamy makeout scenes on the backs of stuffed tigers or in close proximity to bucketfuls of urine.

There’s a great piece of dialogue early in Zig Zag (well, there was plenty of fantastic dialogue, but I loved this bit especially!), where Sage and Herb get the connection between their names.  So…character names – are they plucked like magic from thin air?  Or do you think the characters choose their own names?

Sometimes I’m very nerdy and figure out what year my characters were born in, then look up ABS data and pick a relatively popular name. Sometimes they  come from thin air (I just liked the name Sage). Sometimes they’re named after real people (in Pink all the stage crew kids are named after real people). I hadn’t realised the Herb/Sage thing until I’d written a couple of chapters. By then I was so attached to their names that I decided to make a joke out of it.

What time of writer are you?  An early bird?  A day warbler?  A night owl?  Okay, enough with the bird analogies – when do you do what you do?

I’m pretty boring, really – a 9-5, Monday-Friday kind of girl. Not to say that I write for eight hours a day – that would be ridiculous and impossible. But I do some kind of work – boring tax stuff or research or interviews or school visits. And I try not to work on weekends.

And do you have any little rituals or routines in your writing practice?  (Are you a bit superstitious about it?)

Like Herb, I don’t have a superstitious bone in my body. I have plotting routines or techniques – like whenever I’m stuck I go back to the question of What does this character want, more than anything? Otherwise I think I’m pretty boring in the actual writing process. No special hats or pens for me!

Lili, you’ve been a very gracious guest, so thank you so much for visiting!  Folks – give her a round of applause!

If you’d like to read a bit more about Lili, you can find her at or @twitofalili.

The Zig Zag Effect can be found at most good bookshops, or online both physically and electronically.

That’s it for the guest post today, but I have another special guest lined up for next time, so please stay in touch.

Remember, you’ve got another week to put your name in the hat for the EVERY BREATH Cover Reveal Competition - it’s easy to join in, just comment here, or at my Facebook, or throw me a mention on, and I’ll put you down to win a special EVERY BREATH prize pack, including a copy of the book. The comp closes in about a week, so put your name in the hat!

ALSO – there’s a big new review competition being organised for Castlemaine Secondary College, so if you’re a student there, keep an eye out.  It will start the first week back at school (so that’s something to alleviate the end-of-holidays pain, I hope) and there will be flyers and stuff all over the place telling you to Contact Your English Teacher To Enter.  So…y’know, go enter!

Thanks for coming along for the ride today, and next time…tea and bikkies with another Crime Guest J Have a good week!