Monday, 8 February 2016

Sound the Trumpets – or at least, y'know, blow one of those squeaky party thingies

I’m kicking off the year with a few fun bits of news:

The first bit, is that I’m about to smash champagne bottles over metaphorical bulkheads, as I help launch two #LoveOzYA books by two (incredibly talented) writer friends into the universe. Summer Skin, by Kirsty Eagar (Raw Blue, Saltwater Vampires), is about a university-student romance, with characters who shine a light on sexual politics, love, lust and identity – it’s a gutsy book that all young men and women should read.  My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Liar, Razorhurst) is a sometimes-scathing, something-poignant – but always terrifying – story about a boy whose little sister has an antisocial personality disorder (she’s a sociopath, in other words).  It packs a psychological wallop, and manages to cram some incredible insight about family, faith, identity, nature and nurture, in there as well.

I would love to see you all at the Melbourne launch, which is Wednesday 10 Feb, at Readings Carlton in Lygon Street.  Justine and Kirsty are both coming from Sydney to be here, after joint- launching their books in spectacular fashion at Kinokuniya Sydney – I’m looking forward to embarrassing myself in speech, and saying hi to two women whose writing I’ve read and admired for a long time.  The celebration starts at 6pm, and you can book or get more details here at the Readings page.

And the second bit of news is… I’m in the middle of writing a new book.  I can’t give too much away about it at this stage – it’s a bit Secret Squirrel – but I can say that I’m almost a third of the way through the first draft, and it’s got a few new characters in it that I think might grow on you.*

Apart from the Summer Skin/My Sister Rosa launch tomorrow, I see a few other events on the horizon – I’m visiting Tintern schools next week, and I’ll be in Sydney in March and May.  Most definitely May, as I’m joining Will Kostakis, Melissa Keil and Gabrielle Tozer on panels at the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2016 conference.  But if I don’t see you around at events, I’ll still say hi on  Twitter, Facebook or Instagram if you drop by, or you can catch me at the #LoveOzYabookclub discussion threads on Facebook.

I hope you’re having a really excellent start to this new Monkey year, 2016 (also a leap year, something I’m sure you realised before me), and talk again soon!


*That is an in-joke.  To do with the book.  Which you don’t get yet.  But you will.  All will soon be revealed.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

#LoveOzYAbookclub – February 2016 book selection

Welcome to a brand new year of bookclub! After a slightly, er, hectic start to the year, we’re back on track with our first title for 2016.

This month’s title was selected by Lili Wilkinson, the author of our Dec/Jan book, Green Valentine – Lili has chosen the new book by Alison Goodman, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club.  A Regency adventure story about a society miss who becomes a demon hunter - Pride and Prejudice meets Buffy?  I’m twirling my parasol with excitement!

Kirkus Reviews describes Lady Helen as a ‘deep, deliberately paced journey’ through a Regency London filled with Reclaimers and Deceivers, a supernatural reflection of what was then the polite ton society and the seedy underworld of the period.  Lady Helen Wrexhall – led by her guide, the mysterious Lord Carlston – finds her destiny is a lot more unusual and deadly than she was originally led to believe…

This is the first book in a new series, about which Kirkus says: “Goodman’s prose is assured; her impeccable research shines through on every page … and brings to life questions of freedom and choice for women.”  All right, I’m convinced – sign me up!

For this month only we are having a very special bookclub event: Readings independent bookstore is also reading Lady Helen for their YA bookclub this month, so we thought we’d join forces and make things extra awesome for everybody.  So, lovely #LoveOzYAbookclub members, please make welcome visitors from the Readings YA bookclub on the title selection and discussion threads, and #LoveOzYAbookclub members will of course be welcome to join in the Readings bookclub discussion on Wed 17February, 7pm, at Readings St Kilda, hosted by St Kilda Children’s book specialist, Isobel Moore (click the FB link to book).  To make things even better, you now have two options for purchasing this month’s title: you can order it through Boomerang Books, with the special ‘loveoz’ promotional code, to receive free shipping, or – for February only – you can buy the book in-store at Readings for a 20% discount (just mention bookclub with your purchase at Readings).

I hope you enjoy Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club – stay tuned for some contact from Alison Goodman during the month, I’ll let you know when the discussion post goes live, and happy Leap Year!