Category Archives: Writing

Thank You Tasmania

Oh, Tasmania, how wonderful you were, even turning on perfect weather for me. Here’s a brief wrap-up of my very own ‘Ten Days on the Island’ (for those who don’t know, there is a biennial festival with this name – details here).

The launch at Fullers Bookshop was fabulous with a Q&A hosted by Katherine Johnson, the very talented Tasmanian-based author of Pescador’s Wake and The Better Son. We had a good turnout, the atmosphere was relaxed and Katherine led me through chats ranging from research, to shades of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and on to bushfires and literary agents. I was somewhat rushed beforehand and forgot to organise pics but raced back the next morning for a shot of me and my ‘baby’ in the New and Noteworthy section.


I got to visit the wonderful Hobart Twilight Markets where copies of my book were available through Satinwood. It was lovely to see the Flame Tip cover nestled in amongst the beautiful leather goods.

I had a great time chatting to locals and visitors as I sat outside The Hobart Bookshop signing books at the same table used by both Julia Gillard and Bob Brown.

The workshops at various libraries proved popular and I enjoyed talking about the writing process and meeting some excellent writers who blew me away with their imagination and creativity. Thanks to the staff of Huon, Hobart, Rosny and Kingston for making me welcome.

Huon Linc

Petrarch’s in Launceston . . .  oh, what can I say?! Absolutely beautiful shop. Wonderful management and staff. It was well worth the trip up to the north of the State.


On the way back to Hobart, called in to take a ‘shelfie’ at The Book Cellars in Campbell Town.


A couple of other fun pics – with Katherine Johnson at the divine State Cinema Bookstore and one of me looking pretty chuffed signing some copies at Mona.

better son        Mona with books

I regret that I didn’t think to take a shot of me with some of the staff members of the Tasmanian Writers Centre  who were so welcoming when I turned up (unannounced!)  to their offices inside the beautiful historic building that is the Salamanca Arts Centre. Never mind, I’m hoping (x) to be there again in September (watch this space!).

I was also lucky enough to get a follow-up gig with Melanie Tait on her ABC local radio show Evenings. What a beautiful, talented professional she is. You can listen to the audio here.

Thanks again to everyone for making it such a pleasurable trip. I can hardly wait to get back there.







Filed under Flame Tip, Writing

The Tasmanian Writers’ Prize

Delighted to discover that my short story ‘Dear Ethan’ has been Highly Commended in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize. A real thrill.

Congratulations to the winner

Rachel Leary (VIC) A Concrete Aborigine.

The winning entry will appear in the June edition of Tasmania 40° South

The other selected entries will appear in the Forty South Short Story Anthology 2015 – to be published in August/September. They are, as listed:-


Karenlee Thompson (Qld) Dear Ethan 

Melanie Cheng (VIC) The Honeymoon

FINALISTS (alphabetical order)

Jamieson Allom  (TAS) In Two Minds

Verity Croker (TAS) Grasskiller 

Keren Heenan (VIC) The Island

Carmel Lillis (VIC) Island seeks Island

Andrea McMahon (TAS) Penal Colony

Andrew Stiggers (NZ) Island of Flowers

Simon Stuart (VIC) True North


Filed under Writing

A Couple of Shorts

Despite the lack of online posts while studying these past months, I have been writing (I don’t know how to ‘not write’) and I’m pleased to report that a couple of my babies have found a home. The Education department has accepted two of my short stories for youngsters: Cars in a Bucket and The bewildering case of the beeping at dawn. The School Magazine has a long lead time – usually over six months but I’m looking forward to seeing them in print.


Filed under Writing

Josephine Ulrick Shortlist Announced

The 2014 Griffith University Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize shortlist has been announced.

Unfortunately, my name is not on that list.

We send out our ships and hope that one comes home with the goods…


Congratulations to Loren Clarke, Nicholas Brooks, Madelaine Lucas, Luke Johnson and SJ Finn. The winner will be announced on 9th May. Good luck all and I look forward to reading your short stories.



Filed under Writing

The Big ‘I’

Yes, I am trumpeting myself but the ‘I’ actually stands for Issue.

A short piece of mine has been accepted by The Big Issue for its next run which is set to hit the streets on 2nd May. So, if you live in the city, make sure you grab a copy from your favourite vendor and see what you think (Don’t forget, half of your purchase price provides direct earnings for the homeless, marginalised or disadvantaged vendors).

And for fellow wordsmiths, check out the call for fiction entries. Last year’s fiction edition was a real treat.


Filed under Freelance, Writing

This Writer’s Life

Regular readers will have noticed that my reviewing which has never been overly prolific has slowed to a trickle and I thought it was time I fessed up to spending more time than usual immersed in the lives of my fictional characters.

These days, my world is split, not just in two (the earn-the-dollar-working-day and the nights of fictional delights) but into three.  You see, I’ve been living inside my latest manuscript whilst also reworking and polishing the bone-chilling psychological thriller I wrote last year. I’ll write more about my writing adventures in the months ahead.

Nevertheless, thanks mainly to Lisa at ANZ LitLovers, I do still have a small pile of books for review and I’ll continue at my usual snail’s pace.  Upcoming reviews are:-

  • My Mother, My Writing and Me: Iola Mathews’2009 memoir
  • Letters to the end of Love by Yvette Walker
  • The Whole of My World by Nicole Hayes

I’m also delighted that Margaret River Press is sending me the latest published results of its Annual River Short Story Writing Competition.  I was highly impressed with last year’s anthology, as you can see from my review.

Also on my bedside table, in various stages of re-read, are Bryce Courtenay’s tiny hardcover, ‘The Night Country’ which I’ve read once before, ‘A Virtuous Woman’ by one of my favourite authors Kaye Gibbons and the magnificent ‘Walking into the River’ by Lorian Hemingway (I should have known better than to pick this up again.  Despite having read it three times, I marvel at its compact perfection every time).

Sometimes it is just as well I have these books to review and a day-job to attend, else I would surely turn into the mad old woman living a fictional life with characters yet to be seen by the rest of the world.


Filed under Writing

Into the UK…and beyond?

I had some exciting news this week.  My novel 8 States of Catastrophe  has been sold into the UK!  According to my English friends, the ‘Poms’ will love it and I am thrilled that they will have the chance to purchase it without the burden of postage and freight.

No release date yet but I believe it is just a matter of months.

I confess to lying awake at night picturing my ‘baby’ jostling for space on a shelf somewhere far from home.  I imagine someone on the other side of the world reading about MV and his faithful dog Rider as they travel into the outback and it lifts my writerly spirit which needed a bit of elevation around about now.

 Champagne anyone?


Filed under Writing