Tag Archives: author spotlight

Kate Murdoch: #Robinpedia

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Kate Murdoch is an Australian writer and award winning artist based in Melbourne. Yes, Melbourne. One of the official Cities of Literature. When she isn’t being an artistic genius, which to be fair takes up most of her time, she enjoys reading books such as Lillian’s Story by Kate Grenville and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman.

Her debut novel Stone Circle was released in December 2017 through Fireship Press. It is set during the Italian Renaissance and delves into the mystical world of seers. Kirkus Review stated that it sparkles!

Kate has had her short fiction widely published in Flash Fiction Magazine, Euonia Reviews, Sick Lit Magazine, Ink in Thirds, and Spelk Fiction. Her second novel, The Orange Grove, will be released into the wild in 2019 by Regal House Publishing. It is set in 18th Century France and explores moral ambiguity and the catastrophic ripple effect that can occur from small actions.

Facts you need to know about Kate Murdoch:

She has a love hate relationship with Scrivener

Her views on carob are firm but fair

She isn’t afraid to pose the big questions about Australian culture

And lastly, but probably most importantly, she effing loves Fridays

Find Kate Murdoch’s author website here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s artist website here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s blog here

Tweet with Kate here.

Face off with Kate here.

Pin with Kate here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s profile by Anita Rodgers here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s interview on Ink in Thirds here.

Find Kate Murdoch in the attic here.

Find Kate Murdoch’s book here or anywhere.

Read more about Robinpediahere.

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author branding here.

Buy my shit here.

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Word of Mouth TV: Episode 1, Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist

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Strap yourself in, people, your new favourite show has just arrived on YouTube. It’s called Word of Mouth TV and it is about books and food. Think The First Tuesday Book Club meets Kitchen Cabinet. I’m so excited because the hosts, Kate Forsyth and Sarah Mills, are both authors and both love books. I know I’m going to hear about the things they love and they’re not going to waste my time bogging me down with negativity. The only thing they’ll be roasting is food, not authors. But enough about my excitement levels, let’s get down to business. Claire Absolum is working all the magic behind the scenes so we can be assured that the visuals will be just as delicious as the food.

The episode starts with Kate and Sarah driving around beachy Sydney looking glamorous. There are hats and lipstick, this is the glamorous life I want for successful authors. Sarah is questioning and Kate is driving. Kate is a magnificent driver and she answers all the questions calmly. This is so different from my own car trips where I have three kids (6, 4 & 4) questioning me and I feel like crying because I just want to concentrate on driving. I want to be Kate. I want to be able to drive, answer questions AND look fab all at the same time.

Kate reveals that they’re having Anne Buist and Graeme Simsion over for dinner. Holy crap, they’ve gone big quick. First episode and they’ve already got Anne Buist, author of the Natalie King series, and Graeme Simsion who wrote that little known book The Rosie Project. Together, Anne and Graeme wrote Two Steps Forward which follows two characters, Zoe and Martin, whose paths cross on the Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James). Zoe is a vegan so I automatically wonder if this will be a vegan meal.

Sarah has not read the book so she sits down to read and Kate vaults out of the car and into the kitchen. She’s making chicken, people, chicken. A traditional French dish because the pilgrimage is between France and Spain. Kate goes through the ingredients, it looks delicious, you’ll have to watch to get the full details. Sarah is still reading so Kate starts talking dessert. She’s gone all out, she has gotten a recipe from Anne and Graeme’s daughter.

Kate realises that she’s doing all of the cooking so lures Sarah away from reading with some wine. Think getting a kitten out of a tree with cat food. It’s white and sparkling, and if I’m to be honest, it’s also luring me. I wonder if Claire is also tempted. So parched. It works on Sarah, she comes running. She even gets to lick the beater now that she’s helping cook. Yummy ingredients are being added such as berries and almonds. And the food is done.

Time for a brief shot of an incredibly cute hound and then the literary guests arrive. Anne is wearing the heck out of a red dress and Graeme is wearing a purple t-shirt. Kate shows here guests her water views, which are stunning, and I declare her Australia’s Nigella whilst the guests cheers. I’m excited for the guests but we do need to see more of that dog in the future. Own Insta account?

Graeme and Anne mention that they’re happy for the champagne, typical writers. Kate and Sarah are also happy with the champagne and not using the French setting of the novel as an excuse to drink it, again, typical writers.

Anne talks about how she walked the Camino de Santiago twice. So that’s like 4000km. She says the trick was to take it one day at a time and not crunch numbers. She also mentions that after the walk she was incredibly fit, her red dress agrees. Kate mentions that one day at a time and not crunching numbers is a great way to approach novels as well. ‘Today I’ll write a scene.’ ‘Today I’ll write a chapter.’ Graeme mentions that he was actually inspired to walk the Camino by another book and then walking it inspired him writing a book… and now I want to walk it. This is so meta and I am loving it. Graeme talks about how you often think that you can just toss everything aside and then go on a pilgrimage but in reality, as his characters and he found out, all that baggage sneaks along with you.

There are some close ups of dinner and they are bordering on erotic. At least, they are for me because I really like food. I could just watch this in slow-mo. So delicious.

After Anne and Graeme have a good meal in their bellies and are no doubt feeling content Sarah smashes out the hard question. How did your marriage cope with writing a novel together? Anne wrote Zoe and Graeme wrote Martin. Anne identified with Zoe’s grief and so found it easier to writer her. Graeme likes grumpy Englishmen and so he took Martin. Apparently they coped better cowriting a novel than I, a dyslexic, cope with having my husband proofread a cover letter. My blood pressure is up just thinking about it but they’re happy. #couplegoals They even talk about how they met. So definitely still in love.

What a great episode! Only ten minutes but crammed with info and food.

Watch the full episode here.

Learn more about Word of Mouth TV here.

Find Kate’s website here.

Find Sarah’s website here.

Find Claire’s website here.

Find Anne’s website here.

Find Graeme’s website here.

Buy Two Steps Forward here.

Robert Lukins: #Robinpedia

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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

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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

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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.

https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=975538665841522&substory_index=0&id=385600741501987

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

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adrobinpedia

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-

ad-with-books-and-unicorn

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

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Crime & Thrills With 5 Sydney Authors

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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.

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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.

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

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