Author Archives: Robin

About Robin

I am a neurodiverse writer from sunny Sydney Australia. My debut paperback, Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks, was released in December 2016. Henrietta Dodgson's Asylum for Damaged Women is due out end of 2017. Will work for money.

Helen Thurloe: #Robinpedia

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Helen Thurloe is a writer in the purest sense of the word, she’ll write anything. She has been known to write poems, essays, text messages, shopping list, and a novel. She’s even made legit postcards! Her text messages and shopping lists have thus far been cruelly ignored by awards and scholarships but her other stuff seems to be going alright…

… And by alright I mean her poetry has won prizes including- ACU Literature Prize, Banjo Patterson Writing Award, The Age of Reinvention, Ethel Webb Bundell Literary Award and has been shortlisted and commended in many others. Her debut novel Promising Azra through Allen & Unwin has been similarly well received with manuscript development prizes such as Varuna Writers’ House Fellowship, NSW Writers’ Centre Fellowship, Children’s Book Council Frustrated Writers Mentorship, Charlotte Warring Barton Award and the completed, published novel was shortlisted for prestigious awards such as the New South Wales Premiere Literary Awards. Vanessa Bond does much of the media on that award and is a babe. We all love Vanessa. Send lots of love to the State Library of New South Wales because they deserve it.

On seeing this cover my twins drew all over themselves with a SHARPIE, do not show to under 3s.

Diverting from Robinpedia for a moment: As a former English teacher, I taught for a little over a decade before leaving to pursue writing, I would personally highly recommend Promising Azra to any English teacher. It would work particularly well for year 10 because it is a very easy read. The novel is set in an Australian high school with the main characters being from a south Asian background. The book focuses on Azra, who is smart, doing incredibly well in school and thinking about going to university when it is revealed that her parents have arranged a marriage to someone she has never met in Pakistan. As Azra struggles her friend Layla is looking forward to her arranged marriage as a chance to get out of school early. The book is highly nuanced with examination of how we are of our families but also our own people and how that conflict plays out. The stakes are incredibly high, Azra’s future, but also realistic.

 

Back to Robinpedia

Helen Thurloe has set aside a dynamic workspace for herself in her home. It has a computer, an exercise bike, and a laundry basket. As an owner of an ergonomic furniture business she also ensures that she works in a manner that is healthy for her body with equipment that is easily adjusted for sitting and standing.

This is how I picture her working

Find Helen Thurloe’s Website here.

Love Helen Thurloe on twitter here.

Follow Helen Thurloe on Facebook here.

If there is any information that you feel would enhance this entry please feel free to leave it in the comment section. 

Read more about Robinpedia here

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author branding here.

Buy my shit at Booktopia or here.

Evi O: #Robinpedia

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Evi O is a Sydney based designer and one half of the team at OetomoNew. She started her artistic journey drawing stickfigures in primary school, then progressed to completing a design degree at university and now designs award winnning books. Evi O is devoted to designing beautiful books and formerly worked for Lantern Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
As a child Evi O found herself obsessed with a pop-up book of Snow White. Not so much for the story (seriously what a snoozer, living in the forest with 7 dudes whilst you’re escaping from your evil stepmother, happens all the time, amirightoramiright) but for all the design features and how they all interacted. She studied the book so that she too could make book art.

Her love of beautiful books was nearly disrupted when she got into a Business degree at university. Fortunately she swapped to a design degree and ended up studying Visual Communications at UTS. Her mother was a tad devo as she felt business was a more secure field than the arts.

In her career Evi O has taken on many high profile books such as the gorgeous book for T2, Matt Moran’s Dinner at Matt’s (Special Edition), and the multi-award winning Things I Love.
Evi O says thatif you want to get into the book design industry you need to be pushy, bang on the door and jam your foot in there once it’s open and to get to know people. The Australian Book Design association is a great way to get to know people.

Find Evi O’s website here.

Find Evi O on Twitter here.

Find OetomoNew here.

If there is any information that you believe would enhance this entry please feel free to leave it in the comment section. 

Read more about Robinpedia here

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author branding here.

Buy my shit here.

YA Discourse: Witch vs Vulture

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Some great insights into diversity and representation in literature.

“There is, I feel, a tension on the left about bigots who cross the floor and recant: we want it to happen, but we don’t want to give people cookies for finally meeting the most basic standards of human decency, because – we argue – they should just be doing that anyway. But the difficult, prickly truth is this: if accepting the humanity of people you’ve been raised to hate, fear and devalue was really as simple as flicking a mental switch, the world would be a damn sight better than it is. Personal change is a messy, imperfect process. From an emotional remove, it’s easy to laugh at that guy who thinks he’s a hero for loving his wife’s curves, but for a lot of people, that’s exactly what their first forays into better personhood look like. I’m starting to feel like we need to apply that xkcd strip about not making fun of people not knowing basic things to the pro-diversity movement: yes, it’s often frustrating to have repeat runthroughs of Diversity 101, but without the basics, how is anyone going to progress?”

Read the whole thing at its source https://fozmeadows.wordpress.com

shattersnipe: malcontent & rainbows

For days now, social media has been abuzz over Kat Rosenfield’s recent Vulture essay, The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter, which focuses almost exclusively on reactions to Laurie Forest’s debut novel, The Black Witch. Overwhelmingly, the responses I’ve seen are binary: either Rosenfield is a terrible, malicious person who doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or she’s the only person brave enough to speak truth to power. Not having read The Black Witch, a book I can’t recall hearing about before this week, it was news to me that its reception was news at all. Now that I’m all caught up, however, I feel rather like the doomed bowl of petunias falling through space in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: oh no, not again.

The recent history of online SFF, fandom and genre discourse rejoices in an abundance of brilliant trashfires, but even in…

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Julie Koh: #Robinpedia

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Julie Koh has been described as ‘the brightest new star in Australia’s literary galaxy’ by Louise Swinn. Oh God, I can already tell that this is one of those entries that will have me feeling so inadequate by the time I finish the research that I end up crying in the shower whilst drinking… again. Deep breath. She studied Politics and Law at the University of Sydney but quit corporate law to peruse writing.

Spineless Wonders published her first story collection, Capital Misfits, in 2015. This same collection was also picked up by Math Paper Press in 2016 and published with illustrations by Matt Huynh. Portable Curiosities was also published in 2016, through UQP.

Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh’s first full length collection, was met with critical praise. It was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Steel Rudd Award, New South Wales Premiere Literary Awards, the UTS Glenda Adams Award, to list just a few…. These are happy tears of congratulations I’m crying, not envy.

Julie Koh’s fiction can be hard to pin down, so is at times classified as Weird Fiction as it it quite literary but with speculative elements. This has surprised her as she felt that her writing was quite normal. It is set around real issues and sure there’s the odd god or ghost, but hey that’s just life. People in Julie Koh’s family on her mother’s side are quite spiritual and can see ghosts.

 

On her down time she is also one of the founding members of Kanganoulipo, a super secret writing sect tasked with shaking up the landscape of Australian literature. Former Robinpedia entrant, Jane Rawson, is also part of this top secret collective. So keep your eyes, including the third one, peeled. 

Find Julie Koh’s website here.

Tweet with Julie Koh here.

Like Julie Koh on Facebook here.

If there is any information that you have that you believe would enhance this entry, please leave it in the comment section. 

Read more about Robinpedia here

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author branding here.

Buy my shit here.


Dianne Blacklock: #Robinpedia

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In a Robinpedia first, I’m adding the mother of an already existing Robinpediaed entity. Please set your hands to applause for Australian author Dianne Blacklock. 

Dianne Blacklock is a Sydney writer and has published 9 books through Pan Macmillan. She writes about people and relationships. She also hosts “A Conversation With…” authors series on her blog. Authors such as Liane Moriarty and the Robinpediaed Lisa Heidke have been interviewed in this series.

If you’re a slush pile swimmer in need of inspiration look no further than Dianne Blacklock. At 39 her unsolicited manuscript was fished out of the bog of eternal slush at Pan Macmillan. A year later she had a book contract. It can happen. You can break out of the slush. It’s too late for me, but just keep swimming. SAVE YOURSELVES!

I was lucky enough to have Dianne Blacklock as a special guest star at Emily Maguire’s Year of the Novel through the New South Wales Writers’ Centre. She is incredibly generous with sharing her words of wisdom with aspiring writers. Dianne Blacklock emphasised that whatever approach you wanted to take to writing you would find experts who vehemently disagreed with it…. BUT you would also find experts that agreed with you, so just do what works for you. If it works, it’s right.
Apparently when not writing Dianne Blacklock has a love of cleaning and inventing chores. And she’s got enough to go around. You get a chore, you get a chore, everybody gets a chore…. So…. like…. don’t visit when she’s not writing?
Find Dianne Blacklock’s website here.

Face Dianne Blacklock here.

Tweet with Dianne Blacklock here.

Read Dianne Blacklock’s blog here.

If you have any info that you believe would enhance this entry, please leave it in the comment section.

Read more about Robinpedia here

Read about my thoughts on being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my thoughts on author branding here.

Buy my shit here.


Confessions of a Mad Mooer: A Quick Update on Writing 

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Those of you who also follow me on Twitter already know that I haven’t been feeling my best. I’m definitely not at my lowest but changing medications to try to get on top of my migraines and RLS has left me feeling subpar.
I know that I’m not that bad because when I get time to sit down and write it still comes readily. Even if I feel like total shit, the moment I open the Scrivener file my fingers start typing. When I am at my lowest I simply can’t access the things needed for writing. I’m just too empty. 
On Friday I was quite teary. My medication had been increased the day before but it takes a couple of weeks before the increase works. And I thought that I was too upset and jittery to write. I looked at the clock and I only had thirty minutes until I had to pick my daughter up from school. This made me more upset. I’d gone a whole day without writing AND I’d had time to do it. It wasn’t because of being too busy with the kids, I just hadn’t. I felt hopeless and like a failure.
And then it hit me, my POV character hits a point where she is utterly shattered and feels like she’s an utter failure. I could write that scene. I use Scrivener so I can write out of order and easily slip it into place. And so I did just that. I opened up my Scrivener file for my WIP and just typed and cried. I did this for 25 minutes. At the end I had 950 words. That’s fast for me. Normally for novel writing it’s around 500 words in that time.
So good news, I’m still no where near my worst and feel much lighter. And maybe that idea might help somebody else? Maybe you’ve been holding off writing because you feel utterly shit? Try writing a scene where the POV character feels the same. They’ll be feeling broken for a different reason than you, but hopefully you can still use the shared feeling to get to the heart of the scene.
Good luck and happy writing.

Read about my thoughts on being a dyslexic writer here.
Read about my thoughts on author branding here.
Buy my shit here.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 

Alison Green: #Robinpedia

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Alison Green was named one of Westpac and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in 2016. She is the CEO and co-founder of Pantera Press. She is on the Board of Directors for New South Wales Writers’ Centre, and sits on the Australian Publishers Association Trade Committee and the Australian Publishers Association’s Independent Publishers Committee. On top of that she has the most impressive balayage in the entire Australian publishing industry. Yes, that includes writers and cover designers.

Pantera Press are often thought of as the caring publishers because they take their unsolicited manuscripts seriously. In fact each submission is read by five commissioning editors on their iPads to ensure it has the best chance of reaching an editor to champion it. This approach has led to rumours that every editor, no matter how short the hair, has balayage. They are so engrossed in their reading that they often don’t move for hours. This has resulted in hairdressers just keeping on processing their hair, so as to not waste a seat, until they leave ultimately with balayage, the most time consuming process.

Cementing the caring company ethos Alison Green’s Pantera Press not only donates to The Footpath Library, Mission Australia, Misfit Aid, and Let’s Read, but also encourage their readers to get involved where possible. Links and information can be found on their website.

However, it’s not all fun, philanthropy and great hair under the leadership of Alison Green. She can wield her power with an iron fist… wrapped around a table tennis bat. In fact, team meetings often end in a rousing game of table tennis, or as I like to think of them, challenge matches. There can be only one.

Table tennis is life!

After scouring the Pantera Press Facebook page I have uncovered an important fact. Once you sign with Pantera Press Alison Green gives you a bottle of Moet
Additional note, Alison Green is also employer of James Read who wrote How to Lose a Publisher in 10 Days. I literally laughed out loud at part 5…. And no more drinking and over sharing at writer functions…. although I do have a book out about time literally spent in a psychiatric hospital…. pen name? In all seriousness, don’t kill James’ love fern. Because otherwise he has to explain the death to Alison whilst playing table tennis and getting balayage. 

Find Alison Green on Twitter here.

Submit to the will of the Panterian Empire here.

Read the Pantera Press blog here.

Check out Pantera on Facebook here.
If you have additional information that you believe could improve this entry, please leave it in the comment section.

Typical day in the office at Pantera Press.

Read more about Robinpedia here