Sara Foster is an internationally published, bestselling author living in Western Australia. She has written seven novels: The Hush, You Don’t Know Me, The Hidden Hours, All That is Lost Between Us, Shallow Breath, Beneath the Shadows and Come Back to Me. Her latest published work is a novella, The Deceit, first released as an Audible Original in July 2022 and published by Blackstone (US/Can) in February 2023. She is currently working on a new psychological suspense When She Was Gone, due for release in 2025.
Sara is passionate about writing strong female characters and incorporates contemporary themes into her books, which often traverse the genre areas of psychological suspense, family noir and crime thrillers. She recently graduated from Curtin University with a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for her PhD work on maternal relationships in dystopian fiction with young adult heroines. Her work has been optioned for television and You Don’t Know Me was turned into a chart-topping crime podcast dramatisation by Listnr. 
Sara writes regularly for her readers on her Substack Novel Thoughts and Wild Ideas

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  • Every week I check in with one of Australia’s favourite authors to bring you their latest news, and this week I’m delighted to welcome Sulari Gentill!

ABOUT SULARI: Sulari Gentill is the author of the multi-award-winning crime series, The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries; the Hero Trilogy, based on the myths and epics of the ancient world; and After She Wrote Him, for which she won the 2018 Ned Kelly Award. Her most recent release, The Woman in the Library, became a USA Today Bestseller, won the Crime Fiction Lover Award for Best Novel by an Independent Publisher (UK), and was an Edgar Award nominee. Sulari lives with her husband, Michael, and their boys, Edmund and Atticus on a small farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of Australia, where she grows Truffles, keeps donkeys, and writes about murder and mayhem.

So, Sulari, tell us what you are…

READING: It Takes a Town - Aoife Clifford


LISTENING TO: Early morning traffic

THINKING ABOUT: My latest manuscript

WORKING ON: THREE FOUND DEAD - my latest manuscript

SULARI’S LATEST BOOK:  Theo Benton escapes a law degree to pursue her dream to write, and somehow finds herself embroiled in a world of conspiracy in which readerships are weaponized and commercialized through fictions posing as a truth to which only some are privy; a world in which secrets are buried along with bodies and writers are remade and controlled. The Mystery Writer is a story of stories, and their power over the hearts and actions of readers. It is a conversation about the truth in fiction and the fiction in truth.

Instagram: @sularigentill 

Thanks for checking in, Sulari!
  • New Substack post today! I’m writing about two very different films that I saw last week, and how they made me think about the way we judge stories, both individually and as a culture. Lots of questions and food for thought in this topic - I hope you enjoy this one. (link in bio)
  • Motivated Monday! 
This photo is called ‘daft things we do to entertain ourselves and the kids’ 😜 We took the family to James Cameron’s deep-sea exploration exhibition at WA maritime museum yesterday and it was fantastic - with a side helping of Titanic memorabilia (in my stories) and dress-up opportunities. 
My whiplash pains have finally gone thank god, so I am celebrating by working hard to finish the edits on When She Was Gone. My Substack tomorrow will be about the two very different movies I watched last week and how they made me think about storytelling - and my reader newsletter is heading out soon with more giveaways. Plus there’s  another superb crime writer coming onto the check-in on Thursday too. Hope you all have a great start to the week! 

(link to Substack and my quarterly reader newsletter sign-ups are both in my bio 😃)
  • I have a new post on Substack today about a whale that changed my life! 🐋 This one was such fun to write - I’ve been inspired and reminiscing about ocean adventures after reading @ghostspecies ’s book Deep Water. 

This post was written for my paid community but if you’d like to read it you can claim a free trial to do so (you have to sign up on a free trial as a paid subscriber then cancel the trial if you don’t want to continue). I’m busy building a whole catalogue of what I hope are inspiring and entertaining posts on Substack, so please check some of the others out while you’re there!

Have a great weekend! 🐳
  • Every week I check in with one of Australia’s favourite authors to bring you their latest news, and this week I’m delighted to welcome @ghostspecies - aka James Bradley! James’s new book, Deep Water: the World in the Ocean, was released this week, and it’s an incredible read – I’ve learned so much, and it also had me reminiscing about my own connections with and experiences of ocean wonders. Thank you, James!

ABOUT JAMES: James Bradley is an author and critic. His books include the novels Wrack, The Deep Field, The Resurrectionist, Clade and Ghost Species, a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus, and The Penguin Book of the Ocean. His books and journalism have won or been shortlisted for a number of major Australian and international literary awards, and in 2012 he won the Pascal Prize for Australia’s Critic of the Year. His new book, Deep Water: the World in the Ocean, is published by Hamish Hamilton.

James, please tell us what you are…

READING: I’ve just finished Michael Ondaatje’s new collection of poetry, A Year of Last Things, and a book called Intertidal by the Indian naturalist and writer Yuvan Aves, both of which were completely wonderful. I’m also about to begin Bora Chung’s new collection of stories, Your Utopia, and Donna M. Cameron’s The Rewilding, both of which I’m really looking forward to.

WATCHING: I’ve been watching the new season of Fargo and the Netflix adaptation of 3 Body Problem on TV, but I’ve also just managed to see Dune 2, Poor Things and American Fiction, all of which I loved in quite different ways.

(Continued in comments)
  • More exciting news for the You Don’t Know Me audio drama adaptation - congrats to everyone involved at @listnrcrime 🙌🏻
  • I didn’t do a Motivated Monday post yesterday as I wasn’t very motivated - I was still lazing around finishing off all the choccies ;) But I did write a post at the end of last week on Substack to go with my new book blurb reveal - all about why timing is everything in traditional publishing and the reasons we’ve moved When She Was Gone to early 2025. Click on the link (in my bio) to read - and while you’re there, check out some of my other articles as I’m working on building a treasure trove of pieces around writing, culture and creativity! Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.

So excited to bring you the blurb for my new book WHEN SHE WAS GONE!!!! We’re all going to have to wait a little longer than anticipated as it’s been pushed back and won’t be coming out until April 2025, but we’re hard at work finalising and finessing text and cover right now, and you’ll see all the build-up to this one as we go through the year. I hope you all love the sound of it... 

Rose once walked away from her daughter
Now, is she the only one who can save her?

Former London police officer Rose Campbell has been estranged from her daughter, Lou, for almost a decade. But when Lou disappears from a remote Western Australian beach, and the police suspect her of kidnapping the two young children in her care, Rose is asked to help bring Lou home. The police think Rose’s insights will lead them to Lou, but they don’t realise that Rose hardly knows her daughter any more. 

This is the final case in DSS Mal Blackwood’s illustrious career, and there’s a lot riding on it. The missing children are heirs to the Fisher property empire, and while their multimillionaire grandfather is breathing down Blackwood’s neck for results, the media storm is intensifying. Faced with a deluge of evidence and accusations, Blackwood doesn’t know who he can trust. 

Rose arrives in Australia intent on proving her daughter’s innocence, but how can she be sure of that when she’s no longer part of Lou’s life? Meanwhile, as Blackwood begins to expose the Fishers’ secrets, the investigation takes a much darker turn. Shadows of the past gather around the Fishers and Rose, and soon it’s clear that every hour is critical. What has happened to Lou and the children? And can Rose and Blackwood find them in time?

  • Every week I check in with one of Australia’s favourite authors to bring you their latest news, and this week I’m delighted to welcome crime writer @dinukamckenzie ! 

ABOUT DINUKA: Dinuka McKenzie is an Australian writer and the author of the Detective Kate Miles crime series, The Torrent, Taken and Tipping Point, published in Australia and the UK. She is the winner of the 2020 HarperCollins Australia Banjo Prize. Her writing has been shortlisted for the Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards, the Bad Sydney Crime Danger Awards, longlisted for the Richell Prize, and highly commended in the Australian Crime Writers Association, Louie Award. Her short fiction has appeared in the 2022 Dark Deeds Down Under crime and thriller anthology. Dinuka lives in Southern Sydney on Dharawal country with her husband, two kids, and their pet chicken.

So, Dinuka, tell us what you are…

READING: A Hitwoman’s Guide to Reducing Household Debt by Mark Mupotsa-Russell (@markwillrussell). I was lucky enough to read an early copy, and it’s an absolute gem. A funny, heart-breaking and completely gripping crime thriller about an ex-hitwoman trying make a life for herself and her family in suburban Melbourne. Keep an eye out for this one. Out later this year through Affirm Press.

WATCHING: Nailed It on Netflix. This is one of my kids’ favourite shows and it’s very difficult to stop watching once you start. All about ordinary cooks trying to recreate extraordinary baking feats, and usually not quite getting there. I love how the hosts and competitors have fun with the whole concept and don’t take themselves too seriously. The show is all about celebrating imperfection and cheering on the competitors as they try something outside of their comfort zone, which I love.

LISTENING TO: Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly. I am in awe of Connelly’s detailed knowledge of the American legal system and law enforcement and how much research underpins all of his books. It’s such a treat to get into a novel where the author knows his stuff inside out. You know you’re in safe hands.

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