Lawyer, scientist, scriptwriter and now author, Margaret Morgan is conquering the world one profession at a time. When she isn’t writing, and even when she is, Margaret resides in sunny Sydney with her trusted companion, Shadrak. Shadrak is an international scribe of mystery. He enjoys fingering parchment, sitting in comfy chairs, staring into the abyss, and refusing to eat his dinner.
But enough about that charismatic bag of bones, let’s talk about Margaret’s debut novel, The Second Cure, published through Penguin Random House. Famed literary critic, Kerryn Goldsworthy, says that The Second Cure bleeds across at least five different genres; dystopian, political thriller, satire, domestic realism, and literary fiction. It has cats, a pandemic, some sex, political extremists, cats, a few laughs, lots of science and, most importantly, cats. It uses the idea that toxoplasma gondii has mutated to prefer human hosts and to become deadly to all species of cats. This means not only the end of cute cat videos, but also no lions or tigers or bears (oh my… okay, the bears are fine). At first people don’t seem too bothered by the feline death business, but once the effects on humans become more apparent, people losing their inhibitions and becoming way more into casual sexing up and wot not, political conservatives start clutching at their pearls.
It has been touted to get nods at next year’s Stella Prize, Miles Franklin Award, Aurealis, along with the various Premier’s Literary Awards. Although, Margaret is already no stranger to accolades having received acclaim for her librettos and television scripts, along with winning the 2010 3 Quark’s Daily Charm Quark Prize in Science.
Margaret came to be published after a chance meeting with Lex Hirst at Write NSW‘s Spec Fic Fest. Lex was an editor at Random Penguin House and Margaret took the opportunity to approach her and pitch. The rest, as you say, is history. Margaret went on to be published through Penguin Random House and Lex has recently taken up the role of Publisher at Pantera Press. So next time you see that the Spec Fic Fest is on, book your tickets and get on in there!
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