I hope you have all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. I’ve spent the last week enjoying some much-needed R&R with my family, and I’ve also loved having time to read. As a result, there will be more Book Loves coming up shortly!

I’m already busy planning everything that’s going to keep me busy over the next few months: there’s a new book that needs writing, events at UWA Extension, South Perth library and the Perth Writers Festival coming in February, and Come Back to Me and Shallow Breath should be available in new territories on Amazon Kindle in the coming weeks.

2012 finished on a high. Monique from Write Note Reviews listed Shallow Breath as one of her favourite reads of the year, and Susan from An Adventure in Reading gave it a wonderful review. On Saturday it was also Pick of the Week in the Sydney Morning Herald – fantastic!

I was really touched when Anna Lee Huber, an author in the US, tweeted that Beneath the Shadows had been one of her top reads of 2012. It means a lot to me when people take time out of their day to let me know they have enjoyed one of my books, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been in touch over the last year.

For 2013 I’ll be signing up to the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I nearly did last year, but I was into the intense writing process of Shallow Breath and couldn’t see where I’d get free time to read a book that wasn’t research! The AWW challenge began last year, the brainchild of Elizabeth Lhuede, and it has been fantastic watching everybody taking part and helping to promote all those brilliant books out there by Australian women. I’ve signed up for the ‘Miles’ challenge, to read 6 books, although I’m secretly hoping I’ll make it to ‘Franklin’ status. If you go on to the AWW website you’ll see there’s an absolute smorgasbord of choice, and I’m excited to be taking part this time. I’m also looking forward to seeing who takes out the inaugural Stella Prize – my money at the moment is on ML Stedman for her fabulous book The Light Between Oceans.

In 2013 I’m keen to keep spreading awareness of the conservation projects that form the backdrop to Shallow Breath – particularly the plight of orangutans in Indonesia, the dolphin atrocities in Taiji, and the elephant genocides in Africa. And I hope I have more opportunity to be involved in projects and fundraisers run by Room to Read, who are doing fantastic work helping children’s education in the developing world. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a busy year!

Wishing you all many hours of happy reading in 2013.

Sara xcol-md-2

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