peach with blue cheese

peach with blue cheese

I’ve been visiting over at my friend Phillipa Fiortetti’s blog, where she’s doing a series on writers talking about cooking.
I did Peaches with Blue cheese and Honey. Sounds a bit weird but tastes divine!

Phillipa and I met in 2008 at the Hachette/QWC manuscript development program. Pip then published The Book of Love and Fragment of Dreams and now her latest For One Night Only.

Favel Parrett was part of our group too. She’s published the beautiful Past The Shallows with the second book due any moment now.

Last night I went to the launch of another of our alumni, Azra Alagic. Her book Not Like My Mother is a creative non-fiction retelling of the horrors her family endured living through the Balkan wars and how this trauma has been passed down through the generations.

And that’s just a few of our number.
So proud of them all!


Thrill Seekers

Thrill Seekers


I’ve just done an interesting new Interview about Thrill Seekers with Dr Dawn Barker –  child psychiatrist and author of Fractured . After Fractured is released in late February, Dawn will be doing a guest post here about the link between psychosis and recreational drugs, a must read, especially for parents of young teens.

Like me and my friends Favel Parrett, Chris Currie, Monique McDonell, Azra Alagic, Simon Groth and Phillipa Fioretti, Dawn won a place in a Queensland Writers Centre/Hachette manuscript development program, though a couple of years after the rest of us. She was fortunate enough to get a contract and Fractured is the result. I’m really looking forward to reading it. It tells the story of a young woman suffering post-natal depression and the ramifications of that illness. Right up my dark and twisted alley!


The results are in for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and it looks like my dreams of standing with the hummingbirds in Seattle will have to wait a while. Three men have taken out the honours with interesting looking titles. The winner is decided by readers, so read their excerpts and cast your vote. I’m thrilled to have made it to the semifinals and on the strength of the feedback I received, will be fishing for a North American agent and a publisher there, as well as in Australia too of course.

In other news, the QWC/ Hachette Programme is once again open for submissions. I won a spot in their 2008 Bribie Island manuscript development retreat and had a wonderful time, and learnt a lot. It’s really worth a go. Favel Parrett, Past the Shallows, Phillipa Fioretti Book of Love and Fragments of Dreams, and Chris Currie, The Ottoman Motel, were all in my group and have gone on to publishing successes. Who knows? The next one could be you! The rest of us are still out there trying, and we’re getting closer all the time.


cover of Thrill Seekers

Thrill Seekers

 YES! After a wait of over three years, Thrill Seekers is finally on its way. It’s wending its way to India for printing, expected here in Australia in late July or August. I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. After all this time I’ll be swinging from the rooftops when my carton of books is delivered. Stay tuned for more info about a launch and free preview copies.

I’m busy marking student stories at the moment but will back with a vengeance soon. I plan to do a series of interviews with wonderful writer friends, including Favel Parret, Chris Currie, Phillipa Fioretti, Katherine Howell, Antonia Baynard, Victor Marsh, Michelle Dicinoski and my best writing buddy, talented memoirist, Helena Pastor (check out her new blog for helpful advice). I’ll be asking about their writing process, how they do what they do, and asking for hints and tips.

Happy writing everyone.