Tag Archives: author spotlight

Robert Lukins: #Robinpedia


Robert Lukins is an Australian journalist, writer, drinker of instant coffee and nemesis of Sarah Schmidt. To be honest I’m not sure which one of these is his crowning glory (why am I now thinking of childbirth?) so I’m just going to tackle them in the order stated.

The name Robert means famed or bright and shining. Adding to this Lukins is a variant of love. It is perhaps this auspicious name, famously loved, that has given Lukins the edge when it comes to forging his career. And to be perfectly honest he needed this extra bit of luck to counteract the fact that he used to style his hair in a greasy approximation of The Rachel (yes from Friends). As an art researcher and journalist his work has been published in The Big Issue, Rolling Stone, Crikey, Broadsheet, Writers Bloc and Overland in spite of his questionable hair choices.

Quick break to take a few deep breaths. I’m starting to have a mild panic attack. I kinda, sorta talked this entry up.

Now I’m feeling a lot of pressure to do a good job and we all know that I’m not up to it. I’m no David Grann. Oh God, what have I done! Definitions of names? Hair styles? Nobody cares, Robin, nobody cares!!!!

Onto Robert’s authorial endeavours. Robert, or Rabbie as nobody calls him, became inspired to write by The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 1/2 by Sue Townsend.

This was the cover when I read it.

I can testify that this was a cracking good novel as I read it and its sequels several times in primary school. Robert identified closely with the titular character, unappreciated author Adrian Mole. This steady devotion to Mole has culminated in Lukins’ debut novel, The Everlasting Sunday, being published through UQP this year. It has been endorsed by Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek. The novel is a book about growing up and growing wild. Yes you can expect a review from me to pop up next month.

Onto the instant coffee issue. Robert swears by International Roast and drinks NOTHING else.

As I said, he loves it and it is his exclusive drink of choice. In fact he swears by it. He uses it as a salve for aching wrists, a facial scrub to freshen his skin, and as a topping on toast. He loves International Roast so much so that other writers must bring him cans of it as tribute in order to be allowed to bask in his divine radiance.

Award winning philosopher and author Damon Young looking totally thrilled to be buying IR for Robert Lukins.

However, you can’t please everyone and Robert Lukins has gathered some enemies along the way for his Adrian Molesque, International Roast swilling tendencies. Most notably would be crime obsessed, road-kill aficionado, Robinpedia alumni, author Sarah Schmidt who has declared Robert Lukins her literary nemesis for 2018. I must admit that I thought this babe in the woods would be a dead duck for sure when stuck in the sights of the Shmidtinator. Even her book trailer is effing terrifying.

However, I have to say that Robert Lukins has shown some spirit and really impressed me on the nemesis front. Far from running away, hiding in a closest and sobbing uncontrollably, he has taken the front foot.

This is just impressive on so many levels, mostly because like Xena he embroiders. Such a bold strategy to engage in voodoo right off the bat. Bravo. Make sure you keep your eyes on both Robert and Sarah’s Insta and Twitter profiles to see how this all unfolds. I don’t want to talk it up but this is going to be more epic than Gore Vidal versus Norman Mailer.

In his spare time he enjoys signing books in a hot room, sitting all alone in a hot room, and pretending to be MacGyver. He built a humane moustrap out of pencils and stickytape, true story.

Photo stolen from his website. Photographer is Eve Wilson.

Find Robert Lukin’s website here.

Find him on twitter here.

Find him on FB here.

Find him on Insta here.

Find his book here or anywhere.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Learn about how I feel about being a dyslexic writer here.


Louise Allan: #Robinpedia


Louise Allan is an Australian writer from Perth who keeps writers in her attic.That sounds weird and a bit scary but I can explain…. She’s a big fan of Stephen King’s Misery. Kidding! You see, it’s more of a metaphorical attic. That’s right, attics can hold more than madwomen, they can also hold writers.

Writers in the Attic is an author spotlight that Louise Allen hosts on her blog. It is an online space where writers chat about their writing processes and what has helped shape them become the writer that they are. It has hosted heavy weights such as Natasha Lester, Tess Woods, and also the likes of MEEEEEE.

In January of 2018 Louise Allan released her debut novel, The Sisters’ Song, through Allen & Unwin. It is set in rural Tasmania in the 1920s and explores intergenerational trauma and familial bonds. The unpublished manuscript of The Sisters’ Song was awarded a Varuna residential fellowship in 2014 AND shortlisted for the City of Fremantle-TAG Hungerford Award. It has been positively received by both critics and readers. It currently has a rating of 4.5 on GoodReads with over 70 ratings.

Louise Allan is a former doctor, grew up in Tasmania, and now resides in Perth. She has a passion for music, performing in the musical Godspell and singing with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra. Currently she is published by Allen & Unwin, represented by Lyn Tranter of Australian Literary Management, and loved by many.

Find Louise Allan’s website here.

Tweet with Louise Allan here.

Follow Louise Allan on Facebook here.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Discover more about me here.

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

Anna Spargo-Ryan: #Robinpedia


Image found on Anna Spargo-Ryan’s official website

Anna Spargo-Ryan is an Australian novelist, journalist, digital strategist, content creator and social mediaist (it’s a word now, deal with it). She has written for The Guardian, Overland, Kill Your Darlings, The Saturday Paper and many more literary and journalistical (another totally realz word) organisations. Anna originally hails from Adelaide and now lives in Melbourne. When she isn’t writing Anna enjoys Balfour’s custard tarts, oak trees and going to the beach.

Even before leaving school, Anna’s literary gravitas was recognised. Her English teachers sent her to writing workshops and camps to develop her skills…. Unlike my senior high school English teacher who told me it seemed like I had no grasp of the English language and can go suck a dog’s fart. It turns out that Anna’s English teachers were right as The Monthly has now described her as ‘a writer to watch.

In January of 2016 Anna shot to international fame with a Facebook post that went viral. In it she took on journalist James Adonis who had indicated that people were faking mental illnesses and how employees should single them out in a now infamous piece for The Sydney Morning Herald.


After her powerful post James Adonis recanted.

Evidently 2016 was a busy year for Anna with the release of her debut novel, The Paper House, through Pan Macmillan. Later in the same year she received The Horne Prize for her essay The Suicide Gene. Both works were highly regarded by critics.

Image found via google image search, words put on via imgflip.com

Praise has followed Anna into 2017 with the release of her second novel, The Gulf, also published through Pan Macmillan. Anna’s writing has been touted as visceral and emotive. The Guardian has described her as ‘a sharp observer of human emotion.’

On top of these already impressive credentials Anna has also worked her digital strategist and content creation magic for giants such as Bauer Media, Telstra, Kmart, Deakin University and the AFL to name but a few. Her English teachers really were right about her, she’s ace and very talented.

Find Anna’s author website here.

Find Anna’s digital strategist website here.

Find Anna’s books here.

Find Anna on Facebook here.

Find Anna on Twitter here.

Learn more about Robinpedia here.

Learn more about me here.

Read about my views on being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my thoughts on author branding here.

P.S. See Anna explore words and meaning in this thread begun by Emma Viskic: 

P.P.S. Read Emma’s Robinpedia here.
P.P.P.S. I need a hug and a more supportive childhood.


Aleesah Darlison: #Robinpedia



Aleesah Darlison is a former marketing executive, the creator of Greenleaf Press, and a Queensland writer of over 30 books. Somehow she also finds time to go to the toilet, shower, and smile. Obviously she is either the product of some nefarious scientific experimenting into how far authors can be pushed, or a robot. Either way she’s an amazing asset to the Australian book industry and we’re lucky to have her. Oh, and she also once had a pet eel…. Don’t worry Aleesah, I grew up in country NSW too, I get it.

In her capacity as an author, Aleesah has written several popular children’s book series including, Unicorn Riders and Totally Twins, as well as several stand alone books and picture books. She is published not only in Australia but also the US, UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France and South Korea.

Greenleaf Press is Aleesah’s newest venture. It provides critical support to authors and illustrators, offering services in editing (my buddy Georgina Ballentine works there, pick her pick her), manuscript assessment, mentoring and so much more. With the rise of self publishing it has become increasingly important for authors to be able to find quality support for their ventures, Greenleaf Press does provides this.

One of the major events that Aleesah and Greenleaf Press has planned for writers is the Sunshine Writers’ Retreat which runs in November. It’s where writers get to go relax, have food provided for them, interact with all things writerly, and just kick back and create. Aleesah being an advocate of children’s literature isn’t stopping at providing events just for us old farts, she’s also has KinderFest, a roving literary festival; and Sunny Kids Camp, a full day camp that allows children to learn from experienced children’s authors.

Aleesah is a fan of the 80’s. She has an extensive collection of leg-warmers and fluro muscle tanks. But mostly, she is a fan of Top Gun. I cannot confirm or deny the fact that she prefers to be called Maverick than Aleesah. But I think if you search your heart you’ll know the truth.

FYI, You’ve Got the Love by Florence and the Machine, Daft Punk’s Lucky and several other cool songs were playing at Salt Meat Cheese as I was typing this entry up. I guess another fun fact about Aleesah, AKA Maverick, is that she inspires absolutely incredible song choices. Those of you who like to write whilst listening to music, or in cafes might I suggest that you pop a pic of ‘Maverick’ up so that she can bring you the luck of hit songs. Hopefully hit songs means hit novels. It’s too dangerous not to try!

I recommend this one I turned up on google image search-


Find Aleesah’s website here: http://www.aleesahdarlison.com/

Find Aleesah on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AleesahDarlisonFanPage

Find Aleesah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/aleesah

Find Greenleaf Press here: http://www.greenleafpress.net/

If you have information that you feel would enhance this entry please leave it in the comment section…. Unless it is simply to point out that I am in fact dyslexic, because I already know that. It’s actually in the about section.


Learn more about Robinpedia here: https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/robinpedia-robinpedia/


Crime & Thrills With 5 Sydney Authors

Crime & Thrills With 5 Sydney Authors


Award winning crime writer, A.B. Patterson, organised an absolute cracker of an event at the Australian Youth Hotel in Glebe. Five brilliant writers speaking candidly, a sensational moderator, lush surrounds, and alcohol. If that doesn’t spell WONDERFUL SUNDAY AFTERNOON,  then I don’t know what does.

Crime writers Candice Fox, L.A. Larkin, Bruce McCabe, Nigel Bartlett, and A.B. Patterson, were all put to the question by the amazing Janine Hewitt. I have to say, she was a real surprise package. I’ve been to a lot of author talks and events and haven’t seen her convene a panel before… she was absolutely delightful. She clearly knew the guests’ works, had engaged with it, and asked some unexpected questions. It was an absolute pleasure for me, as an audience member, to have a fresh approach and such obvious enthusiasm. Audience members do get a bit bored with the same old questions and style all the time, so this made a great event even better. I would definitely go to any event organised by A.B. Patterson again, and I would definitely see Janine Hewitt convene, or be on any panel, again.

But enough about the organisation, it’s time to dish the dirt. What did those brilliant minds reveal?

Pyjamas are definitely necessary writing attire. I’ve been telling my accountant this but he refuses to believe me. I now have backup from Nigel Bartlett and L.A. Larkin both stated that they often like to work in their pyjamas.

You have to work really hard. Discipline is key. Nigel Bartlett and L.A. Larkin recommend working in the morning. Candice Fox said to treat writing like a job and make the time commitment. A.B. Patterson said that it’s important to get yourself into the right mindset to write… and when he works out how to do that consistently then he’ll let us know.

Candice Fox and L.A. Larkin recommend dealing with rejection by crying. Thank goodness someone has finally validated my approach. Nigel recommended trying to see the positive and move on. Whatever! Bruce McCabe said let it inspire you to think outside the box.

Candice Fox suggested that when people say, write what you know, you probably know more than you think. Remember ever conversation you listened in on. She also said listening to your fans is important for sequels.

L.A. Larkin apparently reads every review. She also says that the more books you write, the easier it becomes.

A.B Patterson carries a notebook everywhere.

Nigel Bartlett says you have to learn to beat your inner critic.

Bruce McCabe gave an incredibly powerful speech that I couldn’t do justice but will sum up as best I can. He said that in this day and age if you truly want to be published then nobody can stop you. There are so many paths to publication now, and traditional publishing is only one of them. So if you want to be published you can do it, nobody can keep you from it. It was rather inspiring.

Tips for people new to the Youth Hotel Glebe, firstly, you can be old, I’m 37 and they didn’t evict me. Secondly, The Nude Bar, refers to the bar upstairs. You do not have to get nude to go there. I repeat DO NOT GET NUDE TO GO UP THERE. It gets its name from the nude art on the walls. It is actually quite lovely and grand.


Find Candice Fox here.

Find L.A. Larkin here.

Find Nigel Bartlett here.

Find Bruce McCabe here.

And find the man of the moment, the guy who pulled this whole event together, A.B. Patterson here.


Here are my tweets, typos and all, from the event. (Cut me some slack, I’m dyslexic.)






Josephine Moon: #Robinpedia



Josephine Moon is an Australian writer of foodie fiction.  She enjoys laughter, love, and little snacky things. In particular chocolate or honey snacky things. Being a writer she of course also obsesses over tea. Because that’s the rules. Writers may not have many rules but we must love tea, whiskey, cats, and scarves.

Josephine Moon probably has the most delicious selection of book titles in Australia, including, The Tea Chest, The Chocolate Promise, The Beekeeper’s Secret, all published through Allen and Unwin.

Her first novel, Starlight the Brumby, which she wrote at the age of 9, is yet to be picked up. I strongly believe that it will be a hit one day alongside my first novel which was about a sexy hobbit, and Ashley Kalagian Blunt’s killer bees from Mars novel. Perhaps we could get together and combine all three. Call me.

Find Josephine Moon’s website here

Find Josephine Moon on Facebook here

Find Josephine on Twitter here


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

Learn more about Robinpedia here.


Let Me Love You!


Recently Lisa Fleetwood, author of Destination Dachshund, wrote a blog entry about letting authors know you love them. In the entry she says that little old me inspired her to write it because I have been posting tweets about loving people in our industry.


I have to say that I was delighted to be the inspiration behind a blog post. It seriously gave me the tingles. So I felt that it was only fair to let people know who inspired me to write countless tweets shouting out Australian authors. It was none other than the ever charismatic Walter Mason.

Walter Mason is an institution in the Sydney writer scene. He not only wrote Destination Saigon and Destination Cambodia but also runs the Universal Heart Book Club and provides inspirational workshops and talks regularly all across Sydney. I was fortunate to meet Walter through another writing mentoring legend, Jan Cornall.

I undertook my first ever writing course with Jan Cornall. It was called Write Your Novel on the Weekends and it was run through WEA. It was fantastic. I learned so much about writing a book as opposed to writing a story for creative writing that I still refer back to my notes regularly. In that two day workshop Jan said to me that she felt that Walter Mason would be a good person for me to chat with. It seemed like an odd choice on the surface as I was writing children’s sci-fi and he had published a travel memoir but I endeavored to follow her guidance because she had been so spot on with everything else.

So a few months later when I saw Walter speaking on a panel at a Emerging Writers Festival Roadshow I timidly went up to introduce myself. I have social anxiety that I generally mask pretty well but introducing myself to an author I had never met was so intimidating that I must confess that I was literally shaking. He immediately made me feel at ease and has been so generous with his time and advice ever since this first meeting that I have become one of his biggest fans, not just of his writing, which is wonderful, and not just of his workshops, which I would recommend to anyone because they never fail to inspire, but of him the person.

It was at another Emerging Writers Festival Roadshow that Walter gave me the inspiration to give Australian authors a shout out, loudly and often. He said to the audience, “bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature.” This resonated with me powerful. I’m a massive geek, I even run a page on Facebook called GEEK so I know fandom and fandomania. This was something that I knew I could do and it fit in with my personality well.

You see, I’m the kind of person who loves to rave about things that I love. If I love a show, or a movie, or a book I want to tell people about it. I even do this with my reviewing style. I only do reviews of 3 stars and over. If I didn’t like a book I don’t really feel like talking about it. If I like a book I want to tell EVERYONE about it. So bringing the spirit of fandom to Australian literature was something I could do. So I’ve written blog entries, I regularly give shout outs on twitter and I’ve even made pictures all because Walter Mason inspired me.


So I’d like to pass on the challenge to everyone else reading this, bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature. Write a review, recommend an author to a friend, buy a book, follow an author on twitter, make some fan art. Just do something.

What will you do today to bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature today?

Edit: I’ve started using #auslitlove on my tweets that are about loving Australian authors so that I can keep track of who I’m loving and make sure I spread the love around far and wide.