What to do in the limbo between the book being out of the box, and the book being out in the world (or at least in bookshops)? It seems like a long three weeks until the official publication date of April 2 but what does that mean anyway? April 2 is Easter Monday, so in reality the book will start appearing in shops during the week prior, and in the weeks after. But what does that mean for me? It's not like I'm going to rush out and buy a [...]

2018-04-09T21:33:01+10:00March 12th, 2018|Life, Writing|8 Comments

Regional bookshops going broke

I've been doing the rounds of my local independent bookshops, and although the shops are well-stocked, and often beautiful, the economic picture is not pretty. At each shop I have a good browse, buy a book, then have a chat with the person at the counter (usually the owner) about my forthcoming biography. I let them know that, as a local writer, I'm open to suggestions, and happy to do talks, signings, events, whatever. I give them a flyer and my contact details. Usually the conversation ends there, with the [...]

2018-03-24T02:26:21+11:00March 5th, 2018|Writing|9 Comments

Beautiful, beautiful blurbs

So the blurbs for my book have arrived. I can't begin to explain how pleased, grateful and - well - humbled I'm feeling. So I'll stop explaining, and let you read them for yourself. ‘The triumphs and trials of Elizabeth Macarthur, a capable business woman and dedicated wife and mother, are given their due in this impressively researched biography.’ Brenda Niall ‘Finally, Elizabeth Macarthur steps out from the long shadow of her infamous, entrepreneurial husband. In Michelle Scott Tucker’s devoted hands, Elizabeth emerges as a canny businesswoman, charming diplomat, loving [...]

2018-03-24T23:56:48+11:00February 8th, 2018|Writing|6 Comments

Guest Post and Holidays

Worked like a demon to get the first big edit of the manuscript finished before the end of 2017 - and made it with, at least 48 hours to spare! Then my family and I went to the beach for a week. No wifi. Bliss. Then (thanks to my hard working editor) came back to find the first nine chapters of the manuscript ready to copy edit. So that's what I've been doing, instead of blogging. But if you would like to read a little something, try this Guest Post [...]

SMH – What to read in 2018

Wow! Got a mention beside the big kids in today's Sydney Morning Herald. Jane Sullivan has an article called 'What to read in 2018: a selection of the big books on the shelves next year.' And if you scroll right down (keep going, yep keep going), you might find a mention of me. Huzzah! From Sullivan's list I'm also keen to read: Eleanor Limprecht (The Passengers, Allen & Unwin, March) - because I've enjoyed her earlier novels. Ruby Murray (The Biographer's Lover, Black Inc., April) - because with a title like [...]

Finding images for the book

When you pick up a biography, do you first turn to those glossy pages in the middle? The pages with the pictures, the paintings, the maps. The pages that somehow tell you what it is you're going to be reading about. The pages that the author - a person by definition good with words, rather than images - has sweated blood over. Reader, I know of what I speak! When I signed the contract with Text Publishing, my agent carefully pointed out the clause that says I'm responsible for [...]

2018-03-25T00:36:28+11:00December 21st, 2017|Work in Progress, Writing|19 Comments

The stories that get left out

What should biographers do with all the wonderful stories - or snippets - they discover along the way but can't include in their books? Many biographers do, of course, include them. But readers often don't like it - for example wonderful reviewer Whispering Gums recently discussed a biography she enjoyed, but felt contained too much extraneous detail. And, I'll confess, as a reader I feel the same way. I just want to read about the biographical subject, please. But as a writer? Of course I want to include all [...]

2018-03-24T23:03:43+11:00December 4th, 2017|Work in Progress, Writing|18 Comments

Shortlist for the 2017 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards – Updated to include the winners

UPDATE: Winners announced 1 December - winners are in bold, below. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for the Arts Mitch Fifield had a big, distracting day yesterday (YES!) but today they have actually got some work done and have announced the shortlist for the 2017 Prime Minister's Literary Awards. According to the press release there were more than 450 entries and "The 30 shortlisted books showcase the breadth and depth of Australia's literary talent across six categories—fiction, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult fiction, children's fiction and poetry." This [...]

2018-03-24T22:58:18+11:00November 17th, 2017|Writing|4 Comments

Inside the publishing industry

How do books get from the publisher's hot little hands onto the shelves of bookstores? No, I don't really know either but yesterday it became a little clearer. Traditional publishers are part of a logistical chain. From the sale of each book, every player in the chain takes their cut. However online sales, self-publishing and e-books have increasingly muddied the waters. Still, the typical chain - and the typical cut for each player - looks something like this: How do books get from the publisher's hot little hands onto [...]

2018-03-25T00:38:49+11:00November 10th, 2017|Work in Progress, Writing|17 Comments
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