Tag Archives: Pamela Freeman

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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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.

How to Take Book Week Easy Without Resorting to Cartoon Character Costumes.

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Full disclosure, I am a writer, an avid reader, a former English teacher, and worked in a library whilst doing my degrees. In short, I love books. I think that Book Week is fantastic and an important time to celebrate reading and writing. We celebrate sport and movie stars all the time, so it’s great to have a time to celebrate books.

And for me, that’s what Book Week is all about, celebrating books. It’s a chance to bring the spirit of fandom to books. My children’s school asked for children to dress up as characters from Australian books, which I thought was a lovely way to demonstrate support for the Australian book industry. It also helped really focus on celebrating books and not simply rehashing disney costumes that the kids already wear on weekends or football jerseys. Kids already celebrate their love of these things all the time so it was lovely to see books truly get given the focus they deserve.

But finding costumes for Australian books is hard and I already have superhero costumes at home and my kid loves heroes and although they know of the heroes through TV they are originally from comicBOOKS, I hear some fellow parents say. Don’t I have enough stress without adding book week? And I understand that, I really do. But I’ve got good news on both fronts. There are some really easy to costume Australian books, and it’ll open up discussions with your children about Australian literature. Talking about books can be exciting not stressful. Think of it as a fun thing where you get to learn about new books rather a drain on your time and sanity. So how about I give you some examples of easy to costume Australian books to take some stress out of the idea?

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For little kids still into picture books, Andrew Daddo is an awesome source of costuming. To be the little girl from I Do It all you need is a green dress, some red and white striped tights, and a toy monkey. You’ve possibly got something similar left over from the festive season. So the costume is easy and you get to talk about and read this fantastic book. I also love Andrew Daddo’s Cheeky Monkey. A stripey shirt and red tracksuit pants or a blue shirt and yellow tracksuit pants has you costumed and reading a great story.

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Do your kids love the word bum? Mine do. Tim Winton’s Bugalugs Bum Thief is super easy to costume. Hawaiian shirt, board shorts, bucket hat and a rope around the waist. Heck, Tim Winton also wrote Lockie Leonard, that’s another source of beachwear for any of your mini surfers and kids love those stories.

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Sorry, my children only like pirates. GREAT. Introduce your kids to Andy Griffiths’ Tree House series. They can go as Captain Wooden Head.

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My kid only dresses like princesses. Fabulous. Pamela Freeman has you covered with Princess Betony.

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Actually I meant swashbuckling hero types not pirates or Princesses. Fine, Allison Tait’s Map Maker series is for you.

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Are there any casual costumes out there? Glad you asked. Deborah Abela’s Max Remy Super Spy books were a huge hit with my nieces. Cargo pants, orange top, and you’re ready become a spy.

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My kid loves skateboarding. Anita Heiss has you covered with Harry’s Secret. A skateboard, and an Indigenous flag sticker for it.

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My daughter loves pretty dresses and pigs. Check and checkmate. Here’s Jacqueline Harvey with Clementine Rose. Blue dress, red bow, red shoes, and a toy pig. You’re done.

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I want to dress my kid as an animal. Great. Koalas, possums, and wombats are in a huge amount of picture books. You can’t swing a dingo in an Australian picture book festival without hitting an animal book.

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This is crazy, but I just happen to have a giant unicycle lying about my place, is there anyway I could incorporate that into Book Week. Why yes, yes you can. A.B. Paterson’s Mulga Bill’s Bicycle is an oldie but a goldie.

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I want my kid to wear my old nightie and a shower cap. Ooookay… that’s oddly specific but I can help you out there too. Try Seven Little Australians.

There are so many Australian authors out there with great books and easy costumes to make. Book week is a fabulous opportunity to google them, read them, and fall in love with them. So in 2017 I challenge you to catch the Book Week fever. Next year you can choose a book week costume that is just as quick and easy as a store bought dress up costume but has the added bonus of talking about Australian books and bringing the spirit of fandom to reading. Let’s really love books! Get excited about new books and let your kids catch your enthusiasm. Show them that there are more things to be excited about than those costumes that they already own and love.

@pamelahartbooks is the Solution to All Your Princess Problems #AWW2015

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I know many of my friends with little girls have long been lamenting the stereotypical nature of the Disney Princess byproducts. Books about pretty gems, activities about missing your long hair, long dresses that are unsuitable for play and a fire hazard. My own daughter has even coped flack at preschool for not wearing enough branded Princess paraphernalia from two other little girls.

I have to admit my daughter loves her Disney Princesses and I love watching the movies with her. They’re fun, they’re bright, they’re colourful and they’ve got catchy tunes. What’s not to like? Well some of the messages for our little ones are questionable, particularly in the spin off products. They focus on vanity and materialism in a far greater way than the movies do. So what is a parent to do that doesn’t want their kids inundated with that kind of message at such an impressionable age?

In steps Australian writing superhero Pamela Freeman with her Princess Betony books. These books are gorgeous. They’re the perfect size for tiny hands, have beautiful covers and even have a satin ribbon sewn in for a bookmark. They have all the elements any Disney Princess fan could possibly want but they’re so much more. These books takes the princess mythos and subvert it. Yes, there is a princess, yes there are beautiful dresses, yes there is a castle BUT then when the day needs to be saved Princess Betony puts on her adventure clothes and gets down to business. She’s tough, she’s smart and she knows that there is more to life than finery and materialism. My daughter is four and loves Princess Betony. Her five year old cousin similarly loves her as does her twelve year old cousin.

So for those of you having a Disney induced meltdown and contemplating a wholesale Princess ban, I’d like suggest trying the Princess Betony books by Pamela Freeman first. It’ll give some balance to those movies that we all love.

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Speculative Fiction Festival at #NSWWC

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Be Careful What You Wish For

As you all know I can’t resist a good festival so I of course went to the Speculative Fiction Festival at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre run by Cat Sparks. A good time was had by all. My main take-aways from the day are listed below. Enjoy.

Garth Nix

  • Garth Nix is so brilliant and so talented that he sold his first short story at the age of 19 to a magazine he didn’t even submit to. No I don’t feel like elaborating on that story because the specialness might decrease and I prefer to keep him godlike in my mind.
  • Garth Nix states that there are no dead manuscripts. A manuscript might not sell simply because it does not fit with the appeal of the time, in another five years it might suddenly be in. Don’t ever throw away manuscripts, resubmit, recycle, repurpose them.
  • Garth Nix said that I could sit in the same sunny spot as him. I died and the ran away. Totes kept my cool…

James Bradley

  • Initially thought that he would live out his days as a poet in poetry excellence of the most poety kind. Turns out he unfortunately needed to have written more than six poems to do this.
  • If you win a cheque, don’t lose it, the organisers of whatever competition or award you won it for will be pissed off that they have to rewrite it.
  • Authors get rejected all of the time. Don’t let rejection deter you because even if you have one success that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a nasty rejection lurking around the corner.

Kate Forsyth

  • Submit your manuscripts typed. Publishing houses don’t generally accept ones hand written in an exercise book that you have illustrated yourself.
  • Always be brave and keep on persevering. Never let your own fear or ego hold you back.
  • Kate Forsyth signed a copy of Impossible Quest 3 for my niece. I am now the favouritist aunt ever.

Marianne de Pierres

  • Internal logic is key to ensuring that your work is believable and accepted by the reader.
  • Marianne de Pierres says she doesn’t know how she feels about a lot of issues hence her characters have different views and she allows them to sort through bigger picture issues. Her works are explorations not morality messages.
  • Write to you personality style. That being style, genre/subgenre, length, strength of message etc. You have to write your novel not somebody else’s.

Stephanie Lai

  • Stephanie Lai starts with a human/scientific problem and then develops the story around that.
  • Stephanie Lai leans towards short stories because she loves quick immediate communication and gratification.
  • Stephanie Lai says to keep the science real but the world fun and fantastical.

Isobelle Carmody

  • Isobelle Carmody crowd funded her book before crowd funding was a thing. That’s how cool she is. She sold shares in her first book for $30 each and agreed to give the money back should she ever be published.
  • Isobelle Carmody has never been rejected. She humbly claims that it is because she takes so long to write her books that publishers are too scared to say no lest she never write another one or takes even longer next time.

Bruce McCabe

  • Bruce McCabe starts with real life problems being explored in scientific labs today, then moves out twenty years and explores what will be happening with those issues and advances.
  • Bruce McCabe feels that trying to box Science Fiction into a narrow definition isn’t productive. That there is a whole spectrum of sci fi ranging from hard to soft and they’re all equally valid.

Pamela Freeman

  • Okay, I am so spun out by what she said to me personally that I cannot even remember what she said on her panels. It would have been insightful too because she always says really good stuff. Pamela Freeman told me that she had read my ebook What Happens in Book Club… and had laughed so hard that she had to read bits to her husband. I nearly died in fangirling overload. I’m not confident that I am actually awake and this isn’t some extended dream. If I truly am awake… GO ME!

Now the bit that you really want, WHAT DID THE PUBLISHERS SAY THEY WANTED?!?

FableCroft Publishing

They are looking for sci fi. Middle Grade and YA. Make sure you read their submission guidelines or Tehani Wessley will cry. You don’t want to make her cry do you?

Ticonderoga Publications

They like anthologies. Love them! So write an awesome short story. Just don’t be sexist, and violent for the sake of shocking rather than for the sake of the story, otherwise Liz Gryzb will cry. You don’t want to make her cry either, do you?

Just quietly, I did pitch to one of the owners the idea of making a The Voice / Literary Pitching crossover show. They weren’t down with it, so if you have any great ideas like that, don’t pitch those to them. Russell Far rather kindly pointed out that although spinning chairs would be fun, they don’t actually see the person pitching as it is, only their words. Good point Russell, good point. However, if there are any TV execs out there who like my idea I am prepared to except my millions of dollars now.

Pantera Press

Their rep was so warm and wonderful that I think everyone wants to now submit every manuscript to them. Seriously, he was lovely and so caring. He was the Rick Martin of the Panel because he had such passion. The rep in attendance likes Romance so I think we’re all switching just to work with him.

Momentum

Genre fiction with a very clear audience in mind. So none of that boundary hopping, all over the place, wishy washy stuff. Keep it tight, keep it focused, keep it commercially appealing.

Harper Voyager

Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of Epic Fantasy. But please don’t use humour in your submissions, or guilt trips over the fact that your family will starve if they don’t pick up your manuscript. They don’t like that.

Bloomsbury

Submit through the UK website

Hope to see you at the next festival.

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Book Review: The Soldier’s Wife by @pamelahartbooks #AWW2015

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24945463Full disclosure: I was sucked in by the cover. I wanted to buy it because I loved the hair of the model on the cover and wanted to show it to my hair dresser. It was still a cracking good read! So I got my money’s worth two fold.

As everybody knows I don’t do spoiler reviews, kind of takes away from people reading the novels if I give them away already, but I do have to give away some information in order to comment on it. Nothing major, so don’t fear, but otherwise all I can say is, “It was a nice book with words in it… Dear God, I’ve said to much, wahhhh!”

The Soldier’s Wife is a historical fiction novel written by Pamela Hart set in 1915. What I loved about this book was that it did the whole, prissy city bitch moves to the country and has to adjust, in reverse. So we saw this poor woman, moving to the city, trying to adjust, her husband is away serving in the army and she has to really pull things together and do it tough. She like many women in this time has to find work, manage finances, arrange her living conditions, in a society that makes these simple rights that we see, very difficult. AS DOES THE HUSBAND. Don’t get me wrong, as does the husband. You think that’s sad? Oh no, you are going to cry so much more that that implies. Because the husband comes back. He comes back after being emotionally and physically destroyed by the ravages of war. This is where the real tragedy starts. So pack your Kleenex because this historical fiction is going to get you right in the feels.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves military history and or women’s history… or anyone who likes reading. aww-badge-2015

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” … and books, mainly books

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Trust me, he wanted a book not that sweater.

Have you left Christmas shopping until December? Have you just realised that stores are now zoos full of rabid animals? Never fear, I can and will help you… well,  not so much me as books. Books can and will solve your problems. So here are my Christmas recommendations for those of you without the time to think.

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Where Do You Hide Two Elephants? by Emily Rodda. Ridiculously cute picture book.

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The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. For the lover of fantasy. Added bonus, yes it is a series. We fantasy geeks love a good series.

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Impossible Quest Series by Kate Forsyth. The first two books are already out. Get into them before they blow out Harry Potter style. Fantastic kids series.

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The Protected by Claire Zorn. Incredibly moving YA novel about grief, resilience… I actually have to stop writing about this novel now because I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It’s powerful stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Non Fiction exploration of stereotypes and beliefs thrust upon women/Tara Moss. That description does not do it justice at all. Captivating read. Just go out and get it for any and all women you know.

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Under Siege by Belinda Neil. A memoir about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It rings true for a lot of mental illnesses though, such as depression and anxiety,  not only PTSD, so is highly accessible.

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Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay. For you travel bug friend. Get Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason as a companion piece. Your friend will love you forever. I’m trying not to literally laugh out loud remembering the “dangerously jolly” scene in Destination Cambodia.

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The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman. Get it for the woman who wants to read about strong women and also anyone with an interest in religious history. A truly excellent read about Mary MacKillop.

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Yes, you can believe the hype. Buy it for yourself for Christmas.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. For your historical fiction loving friends who enjoy some romance.

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The Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh. Another beautiful romantic historical fiction novel.

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire. For the Literary snob who secretly likes it a bit sexy. In other words,  exceptionally well written but they get down to business.

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Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss. For the woman who likes the idea of chick lit but needs something with a bit more depth.

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Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Styled as young adult but so brilliant. Honestly,  it’s for any adult, young or old, human or seal. A beautiful take on the Selkie myth.

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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. Love a light murder mystery and the cover is very cool. Seriously, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover but… well… we do.

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Animal People by Charlotte Wood. Slightly traumatising but oh so good. For your friend who likes a bit of real life grit.

Okay Christmas peoples,  go forth and part with your cash. Probably online, so you can avoid the people. Mwah.

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