My debut novel, A Superior Spectre, acquired by Peter Bishop Books

I'm excited, delighted, nervous... It's been quite a journey to get to this point. If you've been reading this blog for the last 10 years – well, you've been along for much of the ride (thank you). I hope you'll enjoy it when it comes out in 2018 (I believe around August). Here's the official … Continue reading My debut novel, A Superior Spectre, acquired by Peter Bishop Books

Maria Takolander’s The Double

9781922079763 Text Publishing  August 2013 One of the best contemporary short story collections I've read, Takolander's fictions are intellectual, dark, strange and often dystopian. The tone is of casual realism, but what's described is beyond that: fantastical, nightmarish or just off; my favourite kind of fiction. If you like Kafka or Beckett, or MJ Hyland … Continue reading Maria Takolander’s The Double

Enter the zone! The Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award 2013

I'm very, very excited to announce that this year I am judging the Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award for Spineless Wonders. The winner and shortlisted stories will be considered for publication in the Spineless Wonders annual anthology, which I have already been putting together, and trust me, you want to be published alongside these writers! … Continue reading Enter the zone! The Carmel Bird Short Fiction Award 2013

Walter Mason on The Memory of Salt by Alice Melike Ülgezer

The Memory of Salt Alice Melike Ülgezer Giramondo 9781920882907 August 2012 (buy) reviewed by Walter Mason One so rarely encounters God in modern Australian literature that it comes as a shock to see the word, especially so early on Alice Melike Ülgezer’s The Memory of Salt, an extraordinarily lyrical and original novel. The novel’s narrator, … Continue reading Walter Mason on The Memory of Salt by Alice Melike Ülgezer

Sensation and survival: The Forrests by Emily Perkins

Bloomsbury, May 2012 9781408809235  (buy paperback, ebook) A version of this review first appeared in Bookseller+Publisher, April/May 2012 Dorothy Forrest is seven years old when the Forrests move from New York, with dwindling money, to New Zealand. At the opening of the novel, Frank, the father, is capturing his children on a movie camera, trying to make … Continue reading Sensation and survival: The Forrests by Emily Perkins

The poetic & the profane: an interview with Miles Vertigan, on Life Kills

Sleepers Publishing 9781742701851 October 2011 (paperback)  This interview was first published in Bookseller+Publisher magazine. Life Kills is a slim novel but I imagine many hours went into its construction. Can you talk a bit about how it came together? For a number of years I’d been writing rants; stories told in single, unpunctuated paragraphs that … Continue reading The poetic & the profane: an interview with Miles Vertigan, on Life Kills

An Emotional Landscape: Laurie Steed reviews The World Swimmers by Patrick West

ICLL, August 2011 available at selected bookstores & through the author ($25, postage free, email: patrick.west@deakin.edu.au) review by Laurie Steed Australia’s literary landscape seems scarred by an increasingly commercial approach to what constitutes quality literature. Yes, publishers need to make a profit, but in chasing said profit, publishers close the door on any number of quality … Continue reading An Emotional Landscape: Laurie Steed reviews The World Swimmers by Patrick West

Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

  I've been a professional writer for more than ten years,  but it was only recently, when asked to produce a How to Write book by A&C Black/Bloomsbury, that I came to think systematically about this craft of ours. I mean 'systematically' in two different dimensions. First, there's the whole area of technique. How, precisely, … Continue reading Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham