Fleur Ferris: #Robinpedia 

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Fleur Ferris is a former police officer, paramedic, and current author of YA smash hits. In her downtime she farms rice…. because, you know, she doesn’t have enough on her plate with being Super Woman.

Fleur’s first novel, Risk, was published through Penguin House in 2015 and won two Davitt awards, a Family Therapists‘ award, and was long listed for an Indie award. On top of that it scared the crappola out of parents, teachers, and teenagers alike. It is about the dangers kids face online, and indeed every parents worst fear comes true when a child in the novel goes missing after connecting with someone online.

Not satisfied with terrifying parents out of their minds once, Fleur released Black through Penguin House in 2016. This brought the danger out of cyberspace and directly into your own neighbourhood. Trust no one. 

In 2017 Fleur is back at it again. In July she releases Wreck and has no doubt found a new way to traumatise readers. I cannot wait to find out how. Mr Penguin, should you like to send me an early review copy I wouldn’t say no. Just sayin. 

Find Fleur Ferris’s website here.

Find Fleur Ferris on Twitter here.

Find Fleur Ferris on Facebook here.

If you have more information that you would like added please post it in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Thoraiya Dyer: #Robinpedia 

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Thoraiya Dyer is an Australian writer of speculative fiction and archer. She has won several awards for her short stories and is well regarded by commissioning editors who describe her as an absolute pleasure to work with. She is so well regarded within the speculative fiction community that I was completely surprised, yet delighted to discover that she did not have a Wikipedia entry yet, so it is with extra pleasure that I write this entry.

Thoraiya has published more short stories and novellas than you can poke a stick at and collected four Aurelius awards and three Ditmar awards in the process. In 2017 she released her first full length novel, Crossroads of Canopy book 1 of The Titan’sForest Trilogy, through Pan MacMillan.

And can I just say a big personal thank you to Thoraiya Dyer for turning her hand to long-form epic fantasy. For those fellow readers waiting in the wilderness for Patrick Rothfuss’s third installment of The Kingkiller Chronicles, we now have something to get us through those lonely nights, Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer. I fully expect to see some Kvothe and Unar fan fic soon. It’ll be pretty racey. PRoth, you now have my full permission to take until this trilogy is wrapped up to get part three of yours out. I’m not entirely sure if your publisher or other fans will accept my authority but it’s worth a try…. My own three kids don’t accept it and the oldest one is only five. Sigh. 

Getting back to Thoraiya Dyer and #robinpedia, Book 1 of The Titan’s Forest Trilogy is phenomenal. It has the scope of Feist with the deft touch of Marillier. It truly is a master work, one we’ve been lacking for so long. I was like a kid again whilst reading Crossroads, with that same level of curiosity and excitement. And the characters from different areas actually genuinely look different. They’re not all just super sexy humans. I honestly didn’t even realise how much I’d missed truly great epic fantasy until I read this.

When she’s not writing Thoraiya is shooting things with an arrow. She loves the standing stillness and focus of target archery as it helps clear her mind. Fellow writers looking for a new approach to mindfulness might do well to try archery out. It has certainly worked wonders for Thoraiya who has an absolutely prolific output.

Find Thoraiya Dyer’s website here.

Find Thoraiya Dyer on Twitter here.

If you have any information you would like added to this entry please leave it in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

P.S. Yes, I’m already fully aware that I am dyslexic.

Sarah Schmidt: #Robinpedia 

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Who is Sarah Schmidt? She is an Australian writer, festival co-ordinator, fancy librarian, and killer of novels. In her spare time she enjoys long walks and researching alleged murderers.

Currently Sarah is most famous for pulling a Hannah Kent. What’s pulling a Hannah Kent? Having publishers worldwide go completely ape-shit clamouring for your first novel. This is the stuff novelists dream of, and not just for their first novel, any novel. We all desperately want our novels to have that “ape-shit factor.” Sarah’s debut, See What I Have Done, has “the ape-shit factor” in spades. The lucky Australian publisher to secure it? Hachette. Release? March 28th 2017. It already has so much buzz about it that I just saw a hoard of bees fly past with a copy declaring it their new queen. I threw a copy of my book at them, they tried to sting me.

See What I Have Done is a historical thriller about Lizzie Borden who was trialled and acquitted for the murder of her father and stepmother in 1892. Lizzie Borden has long fascinated the general public, even making it into an episode of The Simpsons. Despite her acquittal, Lizzie is still thought of as the prime suspect for the murders. With theories ranging from hiding her own sexuality to revenge for child abuse. Other suspects include the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, who is said to have made a death bed confession that she had lied in her testimony. William Borden, Lizzie’s illegitimate brother, and John Morse, Lizzie’s maternal uncle, are also suspects. Sarah Schmidt of course has her own fresh take on this in See What I Have Done. 

To add to the Lizzie Borden fever, the movie Lizzie starring Chloe Sevigny as Lizzie Borden and Kirsten Stewart as Bridget Sullivan is also being released in 2017. The timing of this has helped increase interest around Sarah Schmidt’s work. So make sure you get in on this hot new trend by reading Sarah’s historical fiction See What I Have Done before the whole world explodes with Lizzie fever.

I have unofficially appointed myself as the counter downerer for the release of See What I Have Done, so visit me on twitter to find out how many day you have to go. It’ll be pinned to my profile until it is finally released.

Find Sarah Schmidt’s website here.

Find Sarah Schmidt on Twitter here.

Find Sarah Schmidt on Instagram here.

Find the article I memmed the quotes from here.

If there is any information that you’d like added to this entry please leave it in the comment section.

If you’d like to learn more about Robinpedia go here

I’ll leave you with one of Sarah’s favourite songs to listen to after a hard day writing. 

https://youtu.be/uco-2V4ytYQ

A Thank You to Jane Rawson and All the Authors Who Allow Me to Escape

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Things have been getting on top of me of late. You probably noticed from my last post that I’m spiralling down into a depressive state again. I’m exhausted and there doesn’t seem to be a break for me in sight. There doesn’t seem to be a Robin sized shape in my life at all. Yesterday morning I could do little more than cry and vomit. I was trapped inside my own head and couldn’t see the light of day.
But then I had an external mood boost and it has made all of the difference in the world. Yesterday I received an early copy of From The Wreck by Jane Rawson to review. 

It is, quite simply, sublime. From the very first sentence the atmosphere is so thick that you could eat it with a spoon. I won’t comment any further on the book right now as that’s not the purpose of this blog entry, and I will definitely write a review closer to the release date in March. The reason I am writing this blog post is to affirm just how important good books are. Not just from an educational point of view. Not just from a place of social commentary. Not just to shine a light on horrendous issues. All those things are important but they can also provide a much needed escape.

As the great J. R. R. Tolkein said, ​”Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?” Unfortunately using literature for escapism is often derided as silly. It is as if some people think that you should be intensely feeling and consciously  changing your life at all moments of the reading journey. You must feel miserable and outraged. You can’t just grab a book and float away somewhere else, you must be very much here, on Earth, in your own tightly-fitting shoes, and in your own burning skin. Literature like that certainly has its place but so do stories that let us become so utterly immersed in their world that we can switch off our brain from our own troubles from time to time and go somewhere else. 
When you have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, like I do, sometimes you just need to get out of the prison that is your own mind. Books provide a gaol-break. They are life saving, they are necessary, they are not simply trivial nonsense. So never be ashamed of reading to escape because it very well could save your life. And do keep an eye out in March for Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck. It is intensely gripping and has allowed me to escape from my head.

This Day I am Full of Rage

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I am raging and I can’t seem to stop. I’m not raging against any political motion or global crisis, I am raging against my insignificant life. A small thing in the context of the globe yet I still rage. I am so filled with hate and despair right now I could cry.

It doesn’t help that I’m exhausted because all three kids had a restless night and all three wanted to sleep directly on top of me at the same time and I handled it on my own. It doesn’t help that I am still in pain from a spider bite I got at a family lunch three weeks ago. It doesn’t help that I have no more money left for a doctor visit nor medication. It doesn’t help that I am not sure I have enough money to cover groceries this month to feed my kids. It doesn’t help that my daughter cries every morning when I drop her off to school and I cannot afford to pay for parking to stay with her. It doesn’t help that the morning bell doesn’t go on time. But mostly it doesn’t help that I feel utterly unloved and unsupported. 

You see, everyone keeps on telling me what a great guy my husband is. And on some levels he is. He is handsome, he is smart, he tells good jokes, and he usually does the washing up. But he has a couple of issues that make feeling loved and supported by him really hard; he hates anything he perceives as weakness- this includes having emotions, and asking for help; he has his set routines and if you want to tweek them you can just go get fucked, be damned that your whole life is different because you’ve produced three kids together and be damned that my whole life has changed as a result of said kids. I love them but they’re exhausting and sometimes I need help. And so I rage because stupid me can’t get it through my thick head that needing help is weakness and I will be cut down if I dare to need it.

Of course he doesn’t admit to his own weakness of not being tolerant or supportive. He says it’s my own fault. I don’t talk to him in the right way or at the right time to encourage him to want to help. I’ve asked him so many times in so many ways over the last five and a half years that I’m calling bullshit on this. He has a weakness, a massive one, ironically it is how he reacts to what he perceives as weakness. In truth he just isn’t good at sharing, sharing his compliments, sharing his encouragement, sharing his space. I’m a youngest child, I’m excellent at sharing, I’ve never had a choice not to. And so I rage.

And I rage at the people who tell me what a great guy he is and how I should give him more time to relax. He works long hours, he only sees the kids for a few broken hours each week day and at least one night a week he doesn’t see them at all. And at least one weekend a month he is likewise away. Oh he works so hard, he needs a break…. well what the fuck do you think I’m doing whilst he’s away? I’M TAKING CARE OF THREE YEAR OLD TWINS AND A FIVE YEAR OLD. It’s not exactly restful. On top of that I am a working writer. Yes, I earn money from my writing, I actually have to do it. It’s not all fun and something I can just put aside as it’s just some silly hobby as some people like to think. I’m a working mum getting limited support. I AM FUCKING EXHAUSTED. WHY AREN’T YOU TELLING MY HUSBAND HOW HARD I FUCKING WORK AND THAT HE SHOULD GIVE ME A BREAK? WHY IS IT ALWAYS ME WHO HAS TO DO MORE? And so I continue to rage.

This month he is away two weekends with work commitments. Next month he is away for one weekend and then another week with work. On top of that he is also going away with the men folk of his family for nearly a week. When I suggested that perhaps in future the menfolk could compromise on times given how full his schedule is I was shutdown. I was put down as being an unreasonable harpy not understanding the complexities of scheduling. Never mind somebody might want to think about our schedule. No, things that drive me to exhaustion aren’t important. They’re not for consideration. And so I rage. And so I cry. And so my body breaks down from being forced to carry a load it cannot and I vomit. I vomit and I rage.

My husband promised the kids that he’d take us away for a weekend in January. He’d promised it ages in advance. The kids were so excited. Then his friends wanted to play boardgames on one of those days. Family weekend away was cancelled. The kids cried. But you know, complexities of scheduling, this was the best way to do it and I can’t complain because he never gets to do anything. I got to do a writing course so he should be able to cancel a family weekend to hang out with his mates. Doing work related courses for me is akin to playing games with your mates.

He thinks I’m unreasonable that I wonder if he is having an affair. He doesn’t tell me when he’ll be home, he is away from home so much yet needs a break from us, he doesn’t tell me that he loves me- the best I get is ditto, and he won’t tell me what he loves about me and why he’s with me because I shouldn’t need to be told and begging for compliments is pathetic. And he’s right, but I’m not begging for compliments I’m begging for love and support. And that’s actually even more pathetic. I shouldn’t be so unlovable that I need to beg someone to love me. And so I rage and I weep.

I know that nothing will change because in space nobody can hear you scream. And on Earth they hear you but they just tell you to shut up because you’re so lucky to have such a wonderful man in your life and you really must give him a rest. So what does that mean they think of me? That I’m lucky to be driven into the ground with exhaustion? That I’m lucky to have my job treated as a silly little thing that needs no time nor effort nor respect? That I’m lucky to never be told that I am loved? That I am lucky that begging for consideration is met with contempt. And so I rage against the futility of it all.

And so I rage and I hit publish and I know nothing will change because I am lucky to be with him but he is unlucky to be saddled with me.

Tania Chandler: #Robinpedia

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Dreams can come true.

Who is Tania Chandler? She’s a crime writer, an Australian, and an all round rad shiela (is that how you spell it?). Like all cool writers she lives in Melbourne… I live in Sydney. Graeme Simsion, famous for the world wide smash The Rosie Project, has described her lead character as “flawed and troubled as any hard-bitten dick.

Tania’s novels are known for taking the archetypes from crime fiction and shuffling them around. Her character Brigitte has all the hallmarks of the femme fatale yet is the lead character. Aidan has the typical traits of the strong and silent police officer who drinks too much yet is relegated to the love interest category. Tania’s playing around with tropes gives her novels a fresh and light feel despite them dealing with distinctly dark subject matter.

Why does this cover scare me so?

Her debut novel Please Don’t Leave Me Hear published through Scribe  has a super creepy cover. I don’t know what it is about it but it gives me a serious case of the willies (damn you Graeme Simsion, now I’m even giggling at this). It was shortlisted for best debut novel by BOTH the Ned Kelly and Davitt awards. 

Her sequel, Dead in the Water, which was brilliantly reviewed on Newtown Review of Books by a complete genius, has a sex scene between a married couple with three kids. That deserves some kind of an award in itself. Married people getting all sexy for sexing and what not is a rare occurrence. Usually married people are either sleeping or having fumbly sex but this couple gets it on like Donkey Kong. I award Tania Chandler a Vag Badge, for sexifying married life with kids.

Tania Chandler’s website is here.
Find Tania Chandler on Facebook here.

Find Tania Chandler on Twitter here.

Read Tania Chandler’s article about the dreaded second novel, anxiety, and imposter syndrome here.

If you have information you’d like to add to this entry please leave it in the comment section.

If you’d like to know more about Robinpedia go here.

Quick follow up note: Graeme Simsion has also been credited with ensuring Anita Heiss has the best calves in Australian writing.