Tag Archives: Kate Forsyth

Writing Teachers I Love #SelfPubIsHere

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Last week for #SelfPubIsHere I spoke about editors that I love, people who make your manuscript glow. But what about before you have a manuscript? Are there people who can help you before you have finished, or before you have even started? The answer is quite simply yes, writing teachers exist. And fortunately we live in a time where there are more and more teachers available to learn from. I’m going to share with you some writing teachers that I love and where to find ones that you’ll love too. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s quality teaching. Not only did I teach for over a decade, including being Acting head of English, Drama coordinator, placed on secondment briefly to the body now absorbed by NESA amongst many other things, BUT I also studied directly with the creators of Quality Teaching and Productive Pedagogy. So trust me, I know teaching, and I say these people are awesome.

Toni Jordan is a truly incredible teacher. The three scenes that are consistently held up as excellent by critique partners of my WIP were all written during Toni Jordan’s Character and Dialogue course held at NSW Writers’ Centre. She is Melbourne based and has lectured at RMIT, presented extensively at The Wheeler Centre, tutors at Writers Victoria, and indeed lots of other places too. You can even get personalised mentoring from Toni through Australian Writers Mentoring Program. She has really strong opinions on structure and dialogue tags and is not afraid to state exactly what they are, which is very useful in a teacher. And although her opinions are strong she is never brutal; think of Toni as the epitome of firm but fair. Find Toni Jordan’s website here. Find her books here. Find Toni’s Robinpedia entry here.

I was lucky enough to do Pamela Freeman’s two day speculative fiction course a few years back. Since then, she has taken me under her wing and allowed me to ask her all sorts of inane questions. She is the kind of teacher who continues on thinking about her students long after the classroom door has closed and the lights have been shut off. She is very much the mother duck of the Australian writing teaching world, but with a truly wicked sense of humour. She has a PhD in writing, she knows her stuff, and she’s quite forward in telling people what she thinks. And you’re in luck, because Pamela is currently supercharging her Advanced Fiction Writing Course at AWC. She is a regular teacher at AWC who also have a mentoring program, teaches occasionally at NSW Writers’ Centre, pops into a couple of Sydney universities, and all around the place really. Find Pamela Freeman’s website here. Pamela gets bonus points for following along on the #SelfPubIsHere twitter storm. Find her books here, and her books as Pamela Hart here.

Kate Forsyth made me tear up my prologue, literally. She didn’t even read it, she just asked me a few questions, didn’t like the sound of my answers so told me to rip it up. Shocking, I know, but… she was absolutely right. Kate is able to get to the core of your writing very quickly and gives crisp advice that will improve your manuscript immeasurably. I don’t go anywhere without her plot arc worksheet. She is a regular teacher at AWC, also teaches at NSW Writers’ Centre, a few universities, and pretty much everywhere else including overseas. Find Kate Forsyth’s website here. Find Kate’s books here. (And I know she’d also love it if you could check out her cooking and books show, Word of Mouth TV.)

A woman that needs no introduction, Anita Heiss. She’s pretty much an icon in Australia. When I was volunteering at one of her panel events at the Sydney Writers’ Festival we had to form a separate line for her signings. She is a really practical teacher who urges writers to listen to their readership. She’s all about knowing what you write. Very thorough in her approach and her preparation is phenomenal. I was lucky enough to do a workshop with her at NSW Writers Centre but she teaches at a lot of other places too. Keep your eyes wide open to see her courses pop up and book quickly. Anita Heiss’s website can be found here. Find Anita’s books here.

Emily Maguire is a very quiet and serene teacher. She is never without an encouraging word for people and always listens to students thoroughly before responding. Emily also provides so many worksheets for you to take home so that you can continue to look back and relearn for years to come. She teaches the hugely popular Year of the Novel course at NSW Writers’ Centre and so you get to learn from Emily all year long. Find Emily Maguire’s website here. Find Emily’s books here.

One of the most exciting speakers I have ever seen is L.A. Larkin. She is very animated, very witty, and above all else, very clever. L.A Larkin mainly teaches in the UK but lucky for us the AWC recently snapped her up to teach crime writing so she’s not just swanning around British universities anymore, we can learn from her in Sydney. You can also find her speaking at a variety of other places, check L.A. Larkin’s website for details here. Find her books here or even here. Find L.A. Larkin’s Robinpedia entry here.

Jan Cornall is the first writing teacher that I ever had (aside from school) and she blew me away. She is a very calm person and has a soothing effect on the soul. Jan utilises short bursts of meditation in her teaching and, despite the fact that I am truly crap at meditating, it really works. She teaches at WEA, NSW Writers’ Centre, pretty much everywhere and runs her own draftbusters course in the Inner West that I cannot recommend highly enough. Find Jan Cornall’s website here. Find Jan’s books here.

I have long testified that Walter “the inconceivably incandescent” Mason is like viagra for the creative soul. This man simply oozes love and passion. To sit by him is to sit in the presence of inspiration. But he doesn’t just sit about being all inspirational, he also gives concrete tasks to do. He really is a spectacular speaker and I urge you to go see him whenever you can. He regularly teaches at WEA, Sydney Mechanics’ School of Arts, NSW Writers’ Centre, Ashfield Library, and pretty much everywhere you can think of. Find Walter Mason’s website here. Find Walter’s books here. Find Walter Mason’s Robinpedia entry here.

Alison Croggon would come close to being the queen of Australian literature. She’s a poet, a spec fic writer, an opera critic, and so much more. You want to know how to write an arts submission? She’ll teach you. You want to know how to write a proper poetry review? She’ll teach you. You want to know how to write a fantasy novel? She’ll teach you. And, like Toni, you can have Alison all to yourself through the Australian Writers Mentoring Program. Find Alison Croggon’s website here. Find Alison’s books here. Bonus, she’s a huge #SelfPubIsHere advocate.

I did a Garth Nix course through ASA waaaaayyyy back in 2014. I rarely see his name crop up on workshops so was eager to attend, I think it pretty much booked out on its first day of advertisement. First up, the food they provide for the ASA courses is fantastic, seriously, if you haven’t done a course there yet… well… do it! Secondly, I was really impressed with how Garth took a different tac than many other teachers. He was explicit on who to pitch to, he was explicit on filling up your creative bank. It was a very informative workshop. He said nice things about my WIP, and as I am a complete saddest I have subsequently changed it from being set in Germany to Australia, from first person to third person from present tense to past tense. Whyyyyy??? Imagine what I would have done with negative feedback or if he’d actually suggested any changes? Burned my laptop and thrown it from the Harbour Bridge? Find Garth Nix’s website here. Find Garth’s books here.

Cass Moriarty is from up above… in Queensland. She is a tireless supporter of writers and somehow manages to write novels, write reviews of ALL the books, teach and be a doting grandmother. I am in awe of this woman and have no idea how she does it all. Her motto is ‘I can adapt’ and she brings that to your manuscript. You can find her floating about up at Queensland Writers Centre where she does workshops and mentoring. Find Cass Moriarty’s website here. Find Cass’s books here. Find Cass Moriarty’s Robinpedia entry here.

Thriller, chiller, and teacher Tania Chandler has been writing and editing for years. Recently, we’ve been lucky enough to see her helm her own workshops. She brings a wealth of experience with her, and is a very dedicated teacher. If you get a chance to get to SPAN Community House Inc. book in for a course with Tania. Find Tania Chandler’s website here. Find her books here. Find Tania Chandler’s Robinpedia entry here.

Aleesah Darlison is here by very special request, my 6 year old daughter’s request to be precise. I have not had the pleasure of learning from Aleesah but my daughter has. Aleesah visited her school last year and my daughter assures me that Aleesah is the best teacher ever, and very qualified. My daughter tells me that Aleesah has written over 100,000 books, and writes 1000 a week, so I’m fairly confident she’ll teach you a lot about time management, and possibly how to create time vortexes. We actually owned quite a few of Aleesah’s books before she went to may daughter’s school so my daughter’s claims are way less exaggerated than you think. Aleesah is a powerhouse. My daughter rarely steers me wrong so in order to keep tabs on the clearly enchanting Aleesah Darlison find her website here. Find Aleesah’s books here. Find Aleesah’s Robinpedia entry here.

And no list could be complete without #SelfPubIsHere rockstar Ellie Marney who teaches both YA and self-publishing workshops.

You can find her slinking around Writers Victoria and plenty of other places too. Just keep those peepers peeled. Find Ellie Marney’s website here. Find Ellie’s books here.

This is a list of general writing teachers that I highly recommend, I will do a blog entry on self-publishing specific courses later on. Now of course there are other fab writing teachers out there and I can’t possibly go learn from every single one of them, so I’d like to hear about who you love. Especially those fab teachers such as Natasha Lester who I hear so much about from WA friends. Which writing teacher really boils your potato?

Find friendly writers organisations here. Just click on “8. What other organisations in Australia support writers?” These places have been created to help you grow. They can and will help you. They have an array of courses and resources.

See #SelfPubIsHere featured in Books+Publishing here.

Also in Australian Self-Publisher here.

Read about my #SelfPubIsHere Festival dream here.

Read the article that kicked #SelfPubIsHere off here.

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.
Also, cough-cough, find my book at Booktopia or anywhere.

P.S. HAPPY TOWEL DAY!

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All Your Mother Wants is Books and Booze

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It’s coming up to that time of year again, the highest book selling time of year, MOTHER’S DAY. Well, at least it is in my corner of the world. Everybody knows that the ladies love books so the lead up to Mother’s Day is often met with a mad dash to the bookshop, shrieking hysterically at the store clerk that you need that book that was blue and they recommended on that show about books. Unfortunately, there are a lot of blue books and that show has been cancelled. But never fear, I am here to bring you something even better than yelling at bookshop employees, I’m bringing you the perfect pairings for your mother, books and wine.

Let’s kick off this list with The Sisters’ Song by Louise Allan. This is a book about family, hardships, and learning to accept life whilst damning the man. It is set in 1920s Tasmania, Australia. It looks at the differences between siblings, the strengths and flaws of motherhood, and music. It has been praised by critics and readers alike. Given that this is a book proudly set in Tasmania I would recommend that you pair it with a Tasmanian wine. Try Devil’s Corner Pinot Grigio.

Find The Sisters’ Song here.

Find Devil’s Corner Pinot Grigio here.

A rapid change of pace to some non fiction. I think many mums will love The Women’s Brain Book. It’s full of information about women’s brains throughout childhood, puberty, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause and old-age. It is written by neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay who has dedicated her life to understanding the human brain. This is more of a book about biology and hormones rather than psychology and feelings, it really is a refreshing change of pace. Given that red wine is frequently touted as being good for your health, I’d recommend you pair this book with a red wine such as Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir.

Find The Women’s Brain Book here.

Fund Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir here.

Where’s the Romance, Robin? My mother wants to remember what it was like to be young, and sexy, and in love, and what it was like to sleep in! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. A Letter From Italy by Pamela Hart is the perfect gift for the mother who loves love. It contrasts war torn Europe in 1917 with the battleground of the heart complete with a sexy Italian love interest. Given that this book is set in Italy and the gorgeous lemon on the cover I’m recommending a slightly stronger pairing, Villa Massa Limoncello.

Find A Letter From Italy here.

Find Villa Massa Limoncello here.

Another romantic foray is A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester. I recommend this one simple because it had me squealing at the end and screaming, ‘Oh my God, they’re totally gonna kiss!’ It follows a woman in Manhattan 1920s who wants to be a doctor. From the outset we can see what she’s up against with the suffocating expectations from society. Although this book has tragedy and struggles it also has joy and will put a smile on your mother’s face. Given that this book is set in the 1920s and infused with jazz, I recommend pairing it with Tanqueray London Dry Gin.

Find A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald here.

Find Tanqueray London Dry Gin here.

Bonus: A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald is in the Booktopia’s Mother’s Day Book Guide so if you order it through then before May 13th you’ll be in for a chance to win $1000 worth of books.

Let’s move away from romance and onto magic. Kate Forsyth The Wild Girl tells the story of Dortchen Wild. Dortchen Wild was the neighbour of the brothers Grimm, good friend of their younger sister, and in reality one of the major sources of the fairytales they are so famous for. This is a fictional retelling of Dortchen’s life, but the characters are based on real people and the integrity to original source material is incredible. For the mother that loves history and fairy tales. I would recommend pairing this magical book with aromatic Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvee.

Find The Wild Girl here.

Find Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvee here.

Have a mother that loves history but wants some grit? I’d recommend Half Wild by Pip Smith. This is another based on a true story novel but this time it is of Eugenia Falleni, a transgender man born in Italy in 1875, raised in New Zealand and spending their adulthood in Australia. Falleni did not cope with restrictions placed on them being assigned female at birth. They would often dress as a boy and try to undertake activities that were only designated for males. This was met with cruelty by Falleni’s parents. Falleni eventually fled family life and assumed life as Harry Crawford. Crawford rose to notoriety in 1917 when the burned body of his wife was found, later Crawford would be accused, reveal that they were born Eugenia Falleni and ask to be put in a women’s cell and tried as a woman. This novel looks at the lives of Eugenia Falleni both before and after the trial. The first 100 pages that cover Falleni’s childhood are particularly gripping. Pair Half Wild with Piave Grappa for an intense experience.

Find Half Wild here.

Find Piave Grappa here.

Is your mother a criminal mastermind? Then I’d recommend some Crime Fiction, especially Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic. This book is set in a rural town with a social outsider as the main character. Profoundly deaf Caleb Zelic has been picking up on people’s tell tale signs since childhood, when murder comes to his doorstep he needs to use all of his skills to prove his innocence. This book won a lot of Crime Fic awards and has a sequel so I highly recommend it for the mother who can’t stop at just one murder. Pair this book with Innocent Bystander Pinot Syrah.

Find Resurrection Bay here.

Find Innocent Bystander Syrah here.

Here’s a book for the mother who has lived through or is currently living through online dating, Out There by Kerri Sackville. It’s all about in being that magical place ‘out there.’ Or at least all your partnered up mates insist you put yourself out there if you’re single. This isn’t so much a book about how to get a man but how to enjoy online dating in midlife and keep your sense of humour and sanity. Think of it as a David Attenborough style guide to dating but funny. So very funny. I recommend pairing it with good old fashioned Passion Pop so that your mother can have a hilariously nostalgic drink to accompany her reading.

Find Out There here.

Find Passion Pop here.

Bonus: Out There: a Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife is also one of Booktopia’s Mother’s Day recommendations.

Know a mother who suffered the baby blues, postnatal depression (postpartum depression across the pond) or postnatal anxiety? Then I think they’d get a lot out of my book simply subtitled Postnatal Depression Sucks. Because it does, it really does. It is direct, real, written in conversation language, containing both insights and practical advice and is also filled with humour. Motherhood is great, but sometimes life is hard and being able to reflect on it and have the odd laugh is quite cathartic. I recommend pairing my book with some soothing tea from High Tea With Harriet such as Duches of Bedford. Indulgently relaxing, and trust me, mothers are worth it.

Find Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks here.

Find High Tea With Harriet Duchess of Bedford here.

Consider yourself now fully prepared to conquer Mother’s Day and take out the coveted Best Child status with these perfect pairings.

Find last year’s perfect pairings of books and pyjamas here.

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.

All Your Mother Wants is Books and Pyjamas 

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Do you know what your mother really wants for Mothers’ Day, Birthdays, etc? Books and pyjamas. Possibly also tea. But definitely books and pyjamas. Let me help you out in your mighty task of buying your mother that perfect gift. Here are my perfect pairings to delight that special mother in your life.

For the Dog Lover

My first gift recommendation is Monty and Me by Louisa Bennet. A cosy pet detective about a funky dog who knows how to solve a crime or two. 

Pair this book with some super cute pyjamas like this onsie.

Dachshund lovers are there own seperate breed of people so you need to get them an extra special gift. Try Destination Dachshund by Lisa Fleetwood. It’s a really sweet travel memoir about love, grief, and there’s a dachshund spotting competition involved.

Combine Destination Dachshund with something like these adorable pyjamas that will warm the heart of any dachshund lover.

For the Mother that Loves Thrills, Chills, and Spills

You can’t go past L.A. Larkin’s chiller, Devour. It’s Antarctic noir. It has action, suspense, and some sexy sex. Step aside Robert Ludlum, L.A. Larkin is here.

Pair it with something like these fabulous matching onsies. One for you, one for your mother. Heaven.

Does your mother like more action than you can poke a stick at? Grab her Crimson Lake by Candice Fox. Even ultra famous reviewer Jason Steger reads Candice Fox.

Pair it with fabulous red satin pyjamas like these.

For the Mother Who Loves Love

Her Mother’s Secret by Natasha Lester is the perfect option. It even has mother in the title. Just go out and get it already.

Pair it with flower pyjamas instead of actual flowers.

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth is an evocative weaving of WWII, fairy tale, and love. Lush settings and intense conflict.

Pair it with rose print pyjamas, like these ones, to tie it all together.


For the most Fantastical of Mothers

This years hottest new Fantasy release is Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer. Gods walking amongst people, magic, warriors, and people living in trees. What’s not to like?

Pair it with some forest or bird pyjamas.

Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck is a speculative fiction take on family history. It is set in the 1800s and is gripping from start to finish. Expect Aliens, ghostly apparitions, and some light cannibalism.

Pair it with some good old fashioned long johns. Check out how much this model loves hers.

For the Mother Who Wants to be Kept in Suspense

Does your mother enjoy rotting mutton and murder? See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is for her. It delivers the story of Lizzie Borden with a heady feast of flavours.

Match it with a super cute lamb onesie, obvi.

Please Don’t Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler brings you grunge music, amnesia and the seedy underbelly of life. Relive the 90s and see if you can find out who Brigitte really is.

Pair it with something super sexy.

For the Mother Who Likes to Laugh

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts starts with the smashing of plates, progresses to cutting the crotch out of trousers, and even incorporates a nod to the famous Romeo and Juliet balcony scene, but gone horribly wrong.

Pair it with some adorbs, heart-print pyjamas.

The Lucky One is Caroline Overington’s eleventh book and is full of hijinks and corpses. There’s a grumpy old man who doesn’t mind getting a bit of air to his nethers, a drunk art, a mother who wants to talk candidly about her sex life, a teenage waif and a sexy cowboy. Plenty of laughs but also lots of suspense.

Pair it with something fit for an heiress.

For the Mother Who Says No to Fiction

We’re All Going to Die by Leah Kaminsky. This is actually a joyful book about dying. I can definitely see the funny side of handing something with this title to your mother, but the content is great too.

Pair it with some killer pyjamas.

The Mad Woman in the Attic, get in that attic, Mother, where you belong. It’s a collection of essays on the portrayal of women in literature. It first came out in 1979. I love this book.

Pair it with some crazy good pyjamas.

For the New Mother

Things that Helped by Jessica Friedmann is a collection of poetic essays that express the yearning of her soul after the birth of her baby.

Pair it with something like these classic silk pyjamas for true indulgence.

Why not grab my fab book for the slightly frazzled mother in your life? Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks explores my struggles through depression after the birth of my twins. Having three under three was chaotic and exhausting. It’s conversational, practical, and quite funny.

Pair it with these cow pjs to complete that mad cow vibe.

Now run off and spoil that special mother in your life. Just quietly, gin is also good.

The Kirribilli Club: #Robinpedia

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A view from the Kirribilli Club.

The Kirribilli Club is located on Harbourview Crescent in Lavender Bay. It is practically right next door to the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Sydney branch. Kirribilli Club has a history as an Ex-Services Club and is  a member owned not for profit organisation. However it does have Dedes Watergrill restaurant, Sunset Cafe, U-Bar, Sports bar and a stylish cocktail lounge. Given the scurrilous, yet somewhat true, rumour about writers and their love of liquor I don’t think I need to say why this place is a valid entry for Robinpedia…

… but since when have I ever been subtle? Given that Lavender Bay can be a tad quiet on weekends, as it’s mostly seen as a business area, the Kirribilli Club has become an important source of nourishment for students, of the Australian Writers’ Centre Sydney branch, that forget their lunches. And given that writers, both students and masters do a love a tipple, it is at times popular after classes for impromptu “writers’ meetings” and the partaking of “writers’ juice.” It has been said that even internationally renowned authors have been spotted there, drinking their “juice” and “meeting” away… it has been said by me, because I have seen them and “juiced” with them.

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A view from the Australian Writers' Centre. Notice the similarity in view with the Kirribilli Club.

For more information about Robinpedia please look here.

If you have any further information that you believe should be added to this entry then please write it in the comment section of this post.

Happy Mothers Day, Here’s Your Damn Book Now Leave Me Alone

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Few occasions say buy a book like Mothers Day. Ladies love reading, amirightoramiright? So I’m here to help you chose a book that she’ll actually like rather than one she’ll pretend to like but secretly wonder why the hell you bought her something about pirates and heaving bossoms.

My number 1 recommendation is Kerri Sackville’s Little Book of Anxiety. Don’t pretend like you don’t know why I’d recommend this book, us mothers are anxious, nagging, beasties, and this is a humorous look at anxiety that the anxious mumma in your life will enjoy.

My 2nd recommendation is Primary School Confidential by Mrs Woog. A truly hilarious look at all things Primary School. It’ll make your mum laugh and cringe at all those memories.

My 3rd recommendation is Lisa Fleetwood’s Destination Dachshund. It’s a beautiful family travel memoir about three generations traveling the world together. You could get this one for mum or grandma… it might even inspire them to take you to Europe for a family vacation. Free trip! Woot!

My 4th recommendation is a bit of a change of pace from the first three. Emily Maguire’s An Isolated Incident. An Isolated Incident is a haunting thriller that explores everyday violence. It has real depth and covers some unsettling themes. This is something that your mum can sit down with and really engage with. A novel that will stay with her and really make her think. Perfect for the mum who loves to explore social issues.

Coming in at number 5 is The War Bride by Pamela Hart. A beautiful tale set in 1920s Australia. It is the story of
Margaret Dalton who comes to Australia from England and has to create a new life and form new friendships. There’s a touch of romance for the mums out there who like a bit of a love story.

Number 6 is Lisa Heidke’s Callahan Split. Love, sibling rivalry and tennis. What’s not to like. Get it for the mum who loves tennis or has a sister.

Number 7 is The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth. It’s Beauty and the Beast meets WWII. It’s evocative, it’s romantic, it’s beautiful. Your mother will love it.

At number 8 I have Fiona McArthur’s Aussie Midwives. A heartwarming look at those wonderful people who work around the birthing process. Your mum is sure to be touched by this gift, after all, she probably gave birth to you.

9 is Incredible Bakes That Just Happen to be Refined Sugar Free by Caroline Griffiths. The name says it all. Delicious recipes that everyone can enjoy. If your mum loves to cook then this is the gift for her… and you because she can make you delicious treats from it. Bonus.

And coming in at lucky number 10 is Rhonda RobertsGladiatrix. Perfect for the mum that loves Speculative Fiction. Despite Spec Fic having a rep for being a “boy’s” genre the majority of the readers are actually females. And we love to read about kick ass female leads. So grab your mum a copy and she’ll give you a big thanks. This is Science Fiction with an Australian character heading things up.

So, what are you waiting for? Go get that mother of yours the perfect book.

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Brace Yourself; Book Recommendations Are Coming

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The Holiday season is upon us and every mother flipper is in need of gifts, Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, and so many more http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson246.shtml . Heck, there are even some birthdays. It’s a gift heavy month in the Western world.  So here are the books I’d recommend… apart from my own, buy it for yourself,  consider it your gift to me.

Let’s get started!

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The Princess Betony books by Pamela Freeman. They are gorgeous. They’re small so the perfect size for little hands with beautifully designed covers. These books take the princess stereotype and subverts it. A great balance for any child that has been over exposed to less progressive princess merchandise.

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Hansel and Rose by Caroline Magerl. The art in this picture book is simply incredible. It’s a book about belonging, loss and hope. So many important lessons and feelings simplified. A great book for your young early-primary aged friend.

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The Callahan Split by Lisa Heidke. Tennis, sibling rivalry, professional ambition, and some romance. What’s not to like. I did offer to design the book cover for her, she didn’t go for it for many reasons  (the book isn’t about Tom Selleck, I’m not a designer… she doesn’t know me. So many reasons) but I still think it’s a great read.

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Tiddas by Anita Heiss. Say you read parts of my serial because you wanted to read about a book club but thought my characters were “unbelievably slutty” and “Neanderthals” then this book probably has the depth you’re seeking. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not an uptight jerk who slut shames characters you’re going to love this book because it is sensational. It explores so many complexities in friendship and personal choice.

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The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth. Combines masterful story telling, the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and WWII. If that’s not enough to get your interest then you’re dead to me and I don’t want to know.

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The Little Book of Anxiety by Kerri Sackville. Fuck The Little Book of Calm, this book is the book you want. I don’t care if you swallowed The Little Book of Calm, you need to get this book which shares tales from the author’s own anxious life. If you’re an anxious lady, Kerri gets you.

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Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier. Full of magic and mystery this is a captivating read for all Fantasy addicts. Juliet Marillier always produces exceptional novels so you can’t go wrong buying anything of hers.

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Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres. Kickass sci fi by a kickass writer. Get this one and read it. I don’t want to sound like a total horn dog but there are some exciting characters in there. Somebody pass me my salts.

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And as for anthologies, you cannot go past Cranky Ladies of History. It is just spectacular and the name says it all. I cannot recommend this one enough. Get it, get it, get it!!!!! Seriously, look at that cover. The whole thing is gold.

Possibly the best idea of all is to buy all of these for yourself and forget the world for a bit. You deserve it. Happy reading.

Please note that these aren’t all new releases, some are old, some are new… some are borrowed and some are blue.