If you like Podcasts you can listen to me talking about All That is Lost Between Us in the second half of 3MBS’s Pageturners, hosted by Diana Ross.
I’m just coming down from the high of three days at the Perth Writers Festival, where I conducted a workshop on editing, talked about Family Dynamics with Peggy Frew, Myfanwy Jones and Michelle Michau Crawford, discussed Foreboding with Garry Disher and David Dyer, and then finished with the official book launch of All That is Lost Between Us.
I loved finding out more about the wonderful novels by my co-panellists, whose books I would all highly recommend. I also had quite an emotional moment listening to Liz Byrski launch my new novel, because Liz is an author I deeply admire. To have her say such wonderful things about not only this book but my previous stories was very, very special.
I made it to a few sessions myself. I watched Roman Kryznck open the festival with his engaging talk on empathy. I listened to Susan Johnstone, Helen Ellis and Lauren Groff discuss the Domestic novel, and it was great hearing them speak, although the session didn’t really go in the direction I hoped it would (I wanted them to get into the nitty gritty of how the domestic is written and perceived in fiction). I also attended the Stan Grant, Jane Caro and Lindsay Tanner session called ‘We Need to Talk About This’. They each spoke passionately about issues from racism to mental health, and left me wanting to read their work. And I watched Michael Cathcart interview Paolo Bacigalupi, where he raised the interesting point of whether descriptions of sexual violence in novels can ever go too far. I found myself agreeing with Michael, because I think I stopped reading a lot of crime (I used to read loads) due to the graphic descriptions of horrible events in many of the novels. But … how can we ever censor stories? Because if we did, the same reasoning might be applied to some of the awful scenes in Shallow Breath, but they form an integral part of the novel. They have to be there, even though I found them very distressing to write. This is complex question, and while Paolo Bacigalupi certainly did his best to answer it, I didn’t feel he nailed it.
A personal highlight of the festival was spending the evening of my 40th birthday with the Simon & Schuster authors and publishing team, along with a few passionate booksellers and journalists. The beautiful, inclusive nature of the event left me in no doubt that Simon & Schuster Australia is a very special publishing house, and I feel extremely blessed to be under their wing.
If you attended the festival, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. And if you came to one of my sessions, thank you. Roll on PWF 2017!
It’s only a few days until the Perth Writers Festival, where I have a very busy schedule. My final event on Sunday is my book launch, and you are all invited. Do come and join us if you are attending the festival, it would be great to see you there.
All That is Lost Between Us is finally in the shops! Thanks to all the advance readers the book has felt ‘out there’ for a while, but it’s wonderful to reach this official release date. It’s now also up in my online store, and you can request a signed copy at checkout. And until 5 February there’s a chance to win a complete set of my books over at Book Muster Down Under.
In the past week I have been talking about the book all over the place, and there’s plenty more to come. So far in the blog tour I have visited:
And I have been thrilled to read some wonderful reviews from Write Note Reviews, Readings, and this very special one from Hannah Richell, a writer whose work I deeply admire, in the Australian Women’s Weekly.
Now I’m off to celebrate, but not for long as I have a novel to finish!
Watch this space for Book 5.
To celebrate the publication of All That is Lost Between Us I visited some of Australia’s top book bloggers, on a tour called ’11 ways to read a book’. I introduced my character Georgia with Book Muster Down Under, was interviewed while walking the Lakes (well, in our minds we were!) with Rowena Holloway, talked about the wonders of research over at Monique Mulligan’s site Write Note Reviews, and shared thoughts on writing with Book Birdy. Carpe Librum came up with a wonderful Pinterest mood board, Debbish quizzed me about the theme of motherhood in the novel, and BookdOut wrote a lovely Blog Tour review. I talked about teenagers and social media with Duffy the Writer, and Reading, Writing and Riesling also provided a very thoughtful Blog Tour review. To round off the tour I did a podcast with Susan May about writing and what to take in the event of an alien abduction, and I finished off talking about how to write great suspense with Kathryn White.
If you have followed the tour, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ve had a wonderful time chatting with all these book bloggers, and I’m very grateful for their support.
First of all, I apologise to all AWW fans for not wrapping this up sooner! Life has been a bit crazy in the Foster household, and I needed to go through my very eclectic reading list from last year! For those of you wondering what it’s all about, the Australian Women Writers challenge was set up to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. The challenge encourages avid readers and book bloggers, male and female, living in or outside Australia, to read and review books by Australian women throughout the year. You don’t have to be a writer to sign up. You can choose to read and review, or read only. You can sign up or the 2016 challenge and find out more information on their website. There are three entry levels: Stella (read 4), Miles (read 6) and Franklin (read 10).
My year began with Liane Moriarty’s fantastic Big Little Lies and Dawn Barker’s compelling Let Her Go. Soon after that I was lost in the exquisite writing of Yvette Walker’s Letters to the End of Love, and then moved on to a couple of dystopian/apocalyptic YA gems – Genesis: The Rosie Black Chronicles by Lara Morgan and The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn. While in the midst of having three big projects on the go at once, it was the perfect time to read Rachel Power’s brilliant book Motherhood and Creativity – an anthology of artists talking about their experiences of combining these two life-consuming roles on a day-to-day basis. I found myself nodding and writing down passages so I could refer back to them, and found Cate Kennedy’s poem ‘The Zen Master’ a masterpiece of writing. At the end of the year I managed to squeeze in a couple more fiction books: Ann Turner’s brooding and evocative The Lost Swimmer, and Susan May’s thrilling ride Deadly Messengers.
When compiling this list I thought I hadn’t quite met the Franklin status of ’10 books read’, then I remembered I had also read Mem Fox’s Reading Magic and Jackie French’s I Spy A Great Reader – both important books about how to get young children engaged in reading. As as side note, the Foster girls are avid fans of Mem’s and Jackie’s books for children, and this year we loved Wilfrid Gordon Mcdonald Partridge and Koala Lou by Mem, and Josephine Loves to Dance and Diary of a Wombat by Jackie. While I’m on children’s books I can’t help but mention Alison Lester’s wonderful Are We There Yet, which we discovered this year. We spent ages putting the places mentioned on a map of Australia and Miss 6 is now determined we will visit all of them! We also loved Magic Boomerang by Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood, where the wonders of Australia are brought life by an enchanted boomerang.
So I think I may have just snuck in to Franklin status. And while I suspect that my reading in 2016 will be dominated by dystopian fiction for my PhD, I’m going to aim for Franklin again, because there’s no harm in being ambitious! This initiative has been of inestimable support for Australian women writers for some years now, and I’m very happy to be part of it.
Thank you for visiting my site. I’m very happy to be participating in the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop for 2016, the brainchild of Shelleyrae at Book’d Out – and it’s come at a very exciting time for me as I’m just days away from the official Australian launch date of my fourth novel, All That is Lost Between Us. I have only just received my very first box of books hot off the press, and one of them could be yours! To be one of the first to read my new novel, all you have to do is leave a comment here – a ‘hello’ will get you into the draw, but I’d love you to give me a book recommendation too!
When you have entered my giveaway, please visit the Book’d Out Australia Day Book Giveaway page, and check out all the awesome authors, publishers and bloggers who are taking part. There are over 30 chances to win some fantastic Aussie books!
TERMS & CONDITIONS: This giveaway is open to Australian residents only. The winner will be selected at random after entries close at midnight on 27 January and the winning name will be posted here and notified the following day (28 Jan).
I can’t conclude my 2015 inspirations without mentioning this talented bunch of WA writers. I feel privileged to know them, and it’s always great when we get together to share words, ideas and support one another. I have read all their latest releases and they are all bloody brilliant, so do go and grab copies for your stockings if you‘ve missed any of them. They are: Annabel Smith – Author, THE ARK (and don’t miss WHISKY CHARLIE FOXTROT, published in the US in 2015 as WHISKEY & CHARLIE); Amanda Curtin – Author, ELEMENTAL (shortlisted for the Premier’s book awards, and to be published in the UK in 2016); Dawn Barker – author, LET HER GO (which followed her acclaimed debut FRACTURED); Natasha Lester – Author, IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU (and new book A KISS FOR MR FITZGERALD coming in April 2016); Yvette Walker, LETTERS TO THE END OF LOVE (winner of the WA Premier’s Emerging Writers Award); and Emma Chapman – Author, HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE (new book THE LAST PHOTOGRAPH coming in 2016).
I have been telling you about all the books I have loved this year, but the most loved book in our house by far is the 65-Storey Treehouse (and the others in the series) – read umpteen times by our 6yo and taken everywhere with us. (My 2yo takes The Green Sheep by Mem Fox.) I get such a kick out of watching them fall in love with books and stories – I think it was The Faraway Tree for me at a similar age.