Monday, 9 March 2015

That song in your ear - Every Move playlist

Music – do I use it to write?  The answer is yes, when I need some inspiration, or to get back into the groove of something I’m writing.  Then I’ll hit my playlist of songs that bring back the atmosphere of whatever I’m working on (usually while I’m driving).  The answer is also no, because when I’m actually writing I just can’t seem to tolerate lyrics in my ear.  Sometimes when I’m concentrating hard on getting words together, even instrumental music can change the tone in my head.  So I don’t listen while I’m writing.

But I do have a playlist for every book I’ve written – it seems to be a good way of sustaining the mood of a piece, especially over a long period of time (months or years).  Here’s a few of the songs that I used to sustain me for Every Move.  Some are character or scene specific.  Others just seemed to be a good fit for the book.  I’ve listened to all these songs dozens of times, and by the time the book was written, I felt like I’d milked all the goodness out of them and could barely stand to listen to them!  Now, after the book’s release, I can finally add them to my playlist again J

Wolf – Pyramid
Definitely scene specific: it’s the getaway scene, when Rachel and Mycroft and Harris escape to Five Mile.  Mentioned by name on p223.

White Noise – Disclosure
‘A new song by Disclosure comes on over the tinny PA system…’ – yep, it’s the chaos of Harris and Mycroft’s punch-up at the school dance.

On p231, Rachel is hearing Harris’s story while ‘Through the car speakers, a woman sings plaintively of being carried away by a moonlight shadow’. This is a really old song, but it’s odd and weird, and a strangely good fit for this scene.

Nanganator – Drunk Mums
You know Mycroft has to have a song for every book, right?  Well, in this book he kind of had two songs – this one for his anarchic moments at the start…

What I Like About You – The Romantics
…and this one, for his lighter, more funny moments with Rachel.

Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
Folks, if you haven’t worked out that this is totally Harris’s song for this book, then…well, I mention it specifically on p251. (NB: This video is from Glee, and I think it's pretty much a perfect version by Cory Monteith - miss you, Cory)

Riptide – Vance Joy
Rachel ‘exercises [her] wooden fingers on a Vance Joy tune’ when she finally starts to recover her mojo after self-defence training.  Actually, this song was everywhere while I was writing Every Move, and I started to think it was the book’s theme song.

Bonfire – Knife Party
In Mai’s room, ‘Some Knife Party song is playing, the electronic effects groaning out like a continuous belch.’  This song has a nice, ominous tone which I liked.

Strong (High Contrast remix) – London Grammar
This is a sad song, but this remix is high energy, and the soaring feeling of it was a good fit for Rachel in her recovery period, and closer to the end of the book.

Hope you like ‘em!

And wow, the launch is next week!  I’m actually not excited yet, more flabbergasted that it’s all happened so quickly.  Right now I’m thinking about food, and drinks, and door prizes, and trying not to say anything too sentimental at the launch (because then I will start getting all weepy – I’m a bit pathetic like that).  If you haven’t RSVPed to Readings Carlton, and you’d like to come along, please do - then the lovely Readings folks will know what they’re in for!  The Every Move launch is on Monday 16 March from 6-8pm, and you can call 9347 6633 to come along (it’s free), or sign up at the event page on Facebook.  If you’re dropping by, please make sure you grab me and say hi – I will be a bit frantic, but I do want to make sure I get to say hello to everybody.  The next day I get on a plane to present workshops and hang out at Somerset Celebration of Literature, so if you're in Queensland, I'll be with you soon.

Thank you to everyone involved in the blog tour – huzzah!  It’s been a great week, and if you’re keen to see what people are saying about the book, go check out some of the reviews:

YA Midnight Reads: has a review and a giveaway happening...

Delicate Eternity: also has a review and a giveaway...

Novels on the Run: had a fun time trying to keep Mycroft 'on task' during a character interview with Rachel (and a great review)...

The Rest is Still Unwritten: has a review and giveaway going as well

Also, Birdee Magazine are running an Instagram competition for Every Movego here to their post, and enter for a chance of winning $300 worth of books!  I think that’s a prize I could happily live with J

Have a good week, and I’ll update again soon.

Xx Ellie

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


This is the week of Every Move’s release.  Wow – there were times when I didn’t think this book would even happen.  Again and again I’m reminded: writing is hard.  We wouldn’t keep doing it if we didn’t love it.  It’s work – deeply satisfying work.

My son has reached that age when he’s making decisions about the things he wants to do and be.  I don’t mean he’s consciously making those decisions – I mean, he’s following his gut instincts towards the things he likes, gravitating towards the things he enjoys, and slowing dropping out of the things he finds a bit ‘meh’.  We all reach that stage.  Sometimes it takes us longer, so the things we really like and enjoy get sidelined for a few years, to focus on the things we need to do.  But they simmer away there inside you, those things you are drawn to, the pastimes you love, or the hobbies you wish you had more time for.  If you’re really lucky, and you have good circumstances and the right encouragement, you find a way to utilise those talents early.  But for many of us, me included, it sometimes takes years of trial and error before you figure out just what exactly you’re hankering for, what it is that really fires your passions.

I have worked many jobs, and I have liked quite a few of them.  But there has always been something else there, bubbling in the background. I remember writing stories on sheets of foolscap paper in a special folder that I kept in my bag especially for the long trips to and from school on the bus.  I did it all through primary and high school, and I used to hang out in libraries a lot.  I read everything I could lay my hands on during this time, and used to hound the school librarians for the next books when they arrived on order.

By the end of high school I knew that saying I wanted to be a writer was a like saying I wanted to be an astronaut – one of those things that little kids say, not realising how far out of reach a goal like that could be.  So I looked at law and journalism and education and other things, all those stupid pamphlets they used to give you in high school when you’re trying to figure out your direction after Year Twelve, while surreptitiously sneaking the ones about writing and publishing into my bag.

But in the end it came down to two things: determination and patience.  By the time I had my first child, I was thirty, and knew that somehow I wanted to keep writing.  And then when I’d been patient a long time, and had developed a dogged level of persistence, I figured it was now or never.

Ultimately, if you want to follow the thing that inspires you, you have to be determined.  You will not be given the chance to pursue your dream or talent or whatever because some Fairy Godmother gave you a wish, or put an opportunity in your lap.  You will have to work for it.  You will have to be determined, and just stick with it, despite tedium and bad luck and frustration.  You will have to become a bit of a bloodhound about it. Because nobody owes you anything, nobody will give you anything for free.  So you will just have to suck it up and do it.

Fortunately, if you’re following the dream of your heart, the thing that inspires you, your passion, you will not find working at it a chore.  You will keep going because you love it. 

So here’s some of the new reviews for the thing I created out of love J

A full series review at Behind the Pages

I've also had some amazing reviews at ALPHAreader's blog and at Kid's Book Review. There will be more reviews coming in as the blog tour continues, and also in print media like Dolly and Birdee.  If you'd like to join in the giveaway, you can click on the link to GoodReads at right, or go back to my previous post, which tells you how to enter.

Tonight, I know lots of people are going to see Roxane Gay speak at the Wheeler Centre – I so wish I could be there!  She’s amazing!  But if you can’t make it to Roxane’s talk, and you’re around Castlemaine tonight, please feel free to come along to the Castlemaine Library, where me and three other female crime writers (Sandi Wallace, Kathryn Ledson and Sue Williams) will be having a lounge-room chat for the Killer Queens event.  It’s free, it starts at 6pm, there’ll be a door prize and refreshments, so please feel welcome!

I’m also gearing up for my visit to Queensland as part of the Somerset Celebration of Literature on the Gold Coast – I’m flying out the day after the launch party for Every Move.  It’s gonna be a massive week, and I hope to see you there.

And finally, for those of you who don’t know, it is also the week of International Women’s Day.  IWD is actually on 8 March (which is the day my littlest son was born J  Happy Birthday Ned!).  IWD exists because we still live in a world where the pay gap between women and men is huge, and where here in Australia, the Minister for Women is a man (our illustrious Prime Minister, He Who Shall Not Be Named), who happens to have scheduled an IWD lunch at a men’s-only club (really.  I mean, really.  I hope Roxane says something about this tonight, I really do), and where women all over the world still live in fear and inequality.  With that in mind, I’d like to do a quick roll call of all the women writers who’ve influenced me in my lifetime.  And here they are, and many more besides, in no particular order:

Joanna Russ
Anna Livy
Sally M. Gearhart
Simone de Beauvoir
Sheri S Tepper
Margaret Atwood
bell hooks
Mary Fallon
Germaine Greer
Helen Garner
Kate Millet
Monique Wittig
Ngaio Marsh
Marie Lu
Helene Cixous
Alice Walker
Amy Tan
Lucy Sussex
Honey Brown
Kerry Greenwood
Kat Zhang
Diana Gabaldon
Katherine Mansfield
Angela Savage
Kendare Blake
Julie Kagawa
Patricia Cornwell
Judith Wright
Phillipa (PD) Martin
Maggie Stiefvater
Janet Frame
Margo Lanagan
Veronica Roth
Stephenie Meyer
Geraldine Brooks
Donna Tartt
Laurie R. King
Rebecca James
Leanne Hall
Laura Buzo
Cate Kennedy
Malinda Lo
Rebecca Stead
Madelaine L’Engle
Ursula Le Guin
Fiona Wood
Cath Crowley
Kim Kane
Kirsty Eager
Melina Marchetta
Emily Rodda
Lili Wilkinson
Carole Wilkinson
Catherine Jinks
Angela Carter
Jeanette Winterson
Finola Moorehead
Joanne (JK) Rowling
Sheila Rowbotham
Sheila Kitzinger
Val McDermid
Suzanne Collins
Melissa Keil
Gabrielle Williams
Simmone Howell
Ruby Langford
Jane Austen
Charlotte Bronte
Toni Morrison
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Emily Bronte
Nicole Hayes
Lee Kofman
Pamela Allen
Jackie French
Ruth Park
Miles Franklin
Nansi Kunze
Fleur Ferris
Claire Zorn
Zuzanna Budapest
Naomi Klein
Amie Kaufman
Sally Morgan
Amrita Pritam
Susie (SE) Hinton
Cassandra Clare
Suzanne Collins
Sandi Wallace
Sue Williams
Liz Filleul
Ella West
Kirsten Krauth
Lauren Beukes
Lisa McMann
Anne Buist
Alice Pung
Jenny Valentish
Valerie Parv
Felicity Castagna
Kathryn Ledson
Emily Dickinson
Maxine Beneba Clarke
Isobelle Carmody
Roxane Gay
Brigid Kemmerer
Maureen Johnson
Christina Rossetti
Holly Black
and all the women I’ve accidentally left out,
and most especially, poet and high school English teacher, Lorna Ferguson.

With all my love -

xx Ellie