Monday, 31 March 2014

Around Adelaide: Street Art

Chocolate display, Rundle Place
In 2013 when the Rundle Place shopping complex opened in the city (an opulent new centre in the once daggy old Harris Scarf building, and we all remember how horrible that basement was,) it came complete with pictures of Hollywood film stars--made entirely out of Haighs chocolate! This particular photograph features a luscious chocolate Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's mode. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Cats, Scarves and Liars ... Meet Mr Black



Every week for the next little while, I will be introducing you to a character from my latest novel, Cats Scarves and Liars


Meet Ivory Black. Some men are bastards. Some men are complete bastards. But only one man is Ivory Black. 

Ivory's last, lingering shred of morality disappeared years ago, but that doesn't mean that he isn't happy to life under the guise of being a successful, fifty-something businessman. You don't want to know where he really gets his money. No, really. You don't.


Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White. Coming soon!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review: The Day My Mother Murdered Herself by Aishah Macgill

A teenage girl on the cusp of adulthood discovers her mother's dead body in Aishah Macgill's novella, The Day My Mother Murdered Herself. From there, we watch as nineteen-year-old Amber, a sheltered young woman from a wealthy Melbourne family, questions why her seemingly perfect and happy mother would decide not only to shoot herself, but to video the act. Amber's journey is quite a dark one, as she discovers various truths about adulthood, sexuality and the harm that broken people can inflict--on themselves and on the people who they are supposed to care about. It's certainly a darker, albeit less explicit, look at the world of BDSM which has become quite popular within the realms of erotic fiction in the past few years thanks mostly to the phenomenal success of one particular trilogy. Amber's journey is quite heart wrenching to follow.

On the whole, I enjoyed reading this one and it's certainly an indie novel worth giving a chance, despite the surprising lack of publicity that this one has received through via the usual promotional channels. As I said, it's a bit dark in places, but a worthwhile read.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Funnies: Why Don't We Go Home?

Source: Go Comics

Another classic Peanuts storyline from 1996 features Peppermint Patty and Marcie attending a camp that they don't enjoy, as they have to sleep in pop up tents and the French toast is the wrong thickness. Their solution? Telephone Charlie Brown and ask him to send in a helicopter. 

By 1996, in my opinion, many of the best Peanuts comics and stories had come and gone. This one is a lot of fun, though it never feels quite as detailed as some of the other stories.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Review: Catch of the Day by Carla Caruso

Catch of the Day is a charming romantic comedy set against the backdrop of Kingston S.E. in South Australia. The novel tells the story of Winnie, a young journalist who is banished from Sydney to a beachside South Australian town after an 'incident' at a work Christmas function that just happened to involve someone who is very high up in the company and very, very married. Winnie has now been poked away to the costal town in order to set up a new beach lifestyle magazine. Winnie gets off to a bad start when she attracts the ire of local fisherman, Alex Bass, but the worst is yet to come when she discovers that Alex is also a freelance photographer who has been hired by the magazine. From there, Winnie begins to meet many of the quirky locals, making friends with some and enemies out of others, while being constantly thrown in situations where she has to rely on Alex.

I thought that Catch of the Day was an amusing, lightweight novel. As a South Australian, I always enjoy reading books set in my home state and many of the descriptions of Kingston S.E. did not disappoint. It was fun to watch the romance between Winnie and Alex grow, almost against their will. I was, however, a little surprised at the secret that Alex had been keeping all along, so a bit of a suspension of disbelief was required, along with the desire to see the couple get their happy ending. Some of the situations are a lot of fun--Winnie's trip to the beautician for example.

Fun, lightweight reading, intelligently written and with believable characters, Catch of the Day is the perfect afternoon read.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Writers on Wednesday: Armand Rosamilia

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I'm chatting with US author Armand Rosamilia ...



Tell me a bit about yourself …

I am super sexy, super interesting and (obviously) super humble. Here is my official bio thingy…

Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he's not watching the Boston Red Sox and listening to Heavy Metal music... and because of him they won the 2013 World Series, so he's pretty good at watching!


He's written over 100 stories that are currently available, including a few different series:



"Dying Days" extreme zombie series
"Keyport Cthulhu" horror series
"Flagler Beach Fiction Series" contemporary fiction
"Metal Queens" non-fiction music series



He also loves to talk in third person... because he's really that cool. He's a proud Active member of HWA as well. 



You can find him at http://armandrosamilia.com for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes!



e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal: 





Tell us about your most recently published book?

The last book I released was for AK Waters Productions LLC called Zombie Football. Here's the description: The Big Show is the premier football event of the year, and one the Russians feel would be the perfect place to begin their attacks. 


Two former friends, now rivals, pitted against one another on the playing field, are forced to fight the madness when the SVR's plans are unleashed... and a zombie horde takes over the stadium!


Zombie Football: 

Tell us about the first time you were published?

It was back in the 1990's and I had a short story, "Beastie," that was published in a zine. It was no payment and the zine itself was a side-stapled thing on Xerox paper, but it was the kick I needed to keep this writing thing going.

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

Being able to go from a writer who has to dance around a 50 hour a week retail management job to full-time writer, able to pay my bills and live comfortably on my sales.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I am always working on 5-6 projects at once. Right now I am writing Dying Days 4, in my extreme zombie series, as well as two projects for a Hollywood company, a contemporary fiction short story and a horror erotica piece. Always busy.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I love both! eBooks have made it quite convenient to sell a ton of books, but I still get excited whenever one of my books is in print. I put a copy up on my shelves.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

Indie for me. I am a hybrid author, releasing books via small-press publishers as well as self-publishing, and through a Hollywood publisher with the intent to make movies and TV shows from my books.

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

Watership Down is my all-time favourite book, by Richard Adams. It is brilliant.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

I want to thank the people of Australia for AC/DC and everything else…



Authors Supporting Our Troops event: 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Review: Safe Harbour by Helene Young

Helene Young is a romantic suspense author who is at the absolute top of her field. Seriously. Take a quick look around some of the most well-respected Australian book review blogs and you'll find an absolute slew of five star reviews, particularly for her 2013 release Half Moon Bay. Young has also won numerous awards from the Australian Romance Readers Association in recent years and (as of March 2014) has an average rating of 4.31 on goodreads. And with all of this to live up to, how does her latest release, Safe Harbour, stack up?

Brilliant, filled with page-turning suspense and with a heroine that I could not help but cheer for. Plenty of the supporting characters, like Rosie are wonderful as well. Definitely a winner.

Safe Harbour opens with Darcy Fletcher, a woman in her early thirties who has returned to the small Queensland town of Banksia Cove after shutting the doors on her pride and joy, a Sydney based restaurant. In Banksia Cove, she hopes to open a new restaurant in the old whaling station with the help of Rosie, a local Aboriginal woman who has been a second mother to her. Darcy's childhood was not always a happy one--she was more or less ignored by her father, coach of the local rugby team who later moved to Sydney to coach professionally and later remarried a much younger woman, and her mother was always a bit distant. When she was seventeen her boyfriend, Grant, drowned and Darcy blames herself for this. It is for this reason that Darcy is willing to volunteer for the local search and rescue in Banksia Cove. One night, she pulls a mysterious solo yatchsman from the water. And, as it turns out, this man holds the key to a number of secrets that will change the lives of Darcy and a number of people that she cares about ...

I found myself reading this one in a relatively short space of time, desperately turning the pages and wanting to know more--not just about Conor, his secrets and how they related to Stirling Fletcher (and Stirling's less-than-stellar way of 'resolving' the issue,)--but of the blossoming romance between Darcy and her childhood friend, local community police officer, Noah. Despite the sometimes fantastic and suspenseful plot, many of the characters felt very human and real to me, particularly Rosie. It was also pleasing to see that Beverley had very real and understandable reasons for her own behaviour. Some parts of the ending are quite sad, though fitting.

Highly recommended.

Finally, a big shout out to Anna from the Reading Room for my review copy. Thanks.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Around Adelaide: Street Art


Cockroach

Who can resist this patriotic chap? Once a proud part of the scenery on Port Wakefield Road, this guy was destined for the scrapheap until a successful public campaign saw him relocated to none other than Adelaide's Rundle Mall. He's shifted around the mall a couple of times, thanks to the current upgrades and the Fringe Festival, but it will be nice to see when and where he will find a permanent home. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cats, Scarves and Liars: Introducing ... Peppa Grove

Each week for the next little while, I will be introducing you to a different character from my upcoming novel, Cats, Scarves and Liars. This week, I am proud to introduce to you all to Peppa Grove ...

Meet Peppa Grove. Recently graduated from university, this spirited, red-haired and tattooed young woman works part time at her local post office, but her real passion is music. She gets the odd gig around the local pub and club scene, singing and playing her acoustic guitar and dreams of a day when she might become a professional singer/songwriter. She finds herself putting her dreams aside when her husband of seven months is killed in a hit and run. Meanwhile, other sinister things are afoot, mainly in the form of a customer-turned-stalker and a somewhat unusual black and white cat ...

Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White. Coming soon!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Feature and Follow Friday


Well. It's been a long, tiring week. I've been very busy preparing for the release of my next novel, Cats, Scarves and Liars. One of the smaller parts of the promotion involves offering some of my previously published books for review (it all helps get my name out there,) so if anyone is interested in PDF review copy of my YA novel Behind the Scenes please contact me at inboxreviews@gmail.com

Anyway, on to other things, this weeks question for Feature and Follow Friday is:

How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Do you read more? Less? Why do you think your habits changed, if they did?

Ooh, this is a good question. I think I've seen a bit of a change in my reading habits over the past two years, ever since I started this blog. This is mostly because I got a lot of review copies and recommendations for books that I may have been hesitant to pick up or never thought of otherwise. I've discovered a lot of new authors this way and a whole lot more through my Writers on Wednesday feature--I ended up buying and reading books by Dianne Bates and Atty Eve because I was so impressed by their interviews.

Anyway, happy Friday all. Let me know how your reading habits have changed ...

Friday Funnies: The Famous Riverboat Gambler

Source: Go Comics
Another of Snoopy's famous personas is, of course, Joe Blackjack the Famous Riverboat Gambler. Despite his reputation Joe Blackjack seemed unable to win a game and was rarely interested in playing anything other than Old Maid. He appears in the comics infrequently, and this appearance in June 1996 was probably among his last. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl is easily the best YA novel that I have read in a very long time. Eighteen year old college freshman Cath is having an identity crisis of sorts. She's used to doing everything with her twin sister, Wren, but now that they're at university, Wren has decided that she wants to expand her social horizons further and not be part of a pair. Cath, meanwhile, is struggling with her new world and finds comfort in hiding away from people and writing fan fiction about Simon Snow, a series of books that are not unlike Harry Potter. Or, as her roomate Reagan puts it, "You've got some weird thing about Simon Snow." Then again, Cath is quick to argue, "I don't have a weird thing with Simon Snow ... I'm just really big in the fandom."

Fangirl follows Cath through her first year of college as she makes the jump from child to adult and her struggles with social anxiety. It's lovely to watch as her world slowly expands--almost against her will--and she makes new friends and alliances. More heart wrenching is her relationship with the occasionally bitchy Wren and her almost-completely-absent mother, Laura. While I do not want to give away too much about the ending, there is a lovely moral that you don't have to give up on the people and things that you love in order to make room for new people. The author really gets what it means to feel shy and struggle around people, and the need to retreat from the world sometimes.

This coming-of-age tale comes highly recommended to anyone who is a fan of YA fiction. Then again, I'd happily recommend it to people who do not usually read YA.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Writers On Wednesday: Raymond Gates

Weclome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week, I've put my questions to Australian horror writer, Raymond Gates ...



Tell me a bit about yourself …

I’m an Aboriginal Australian writer based on the Gold Coast, in Queensland, whose childhood crush on everything dark and disturbing has led me to a love affair with writing horror and dark fiction. Since 2010 I have had a number of short fiction pieces published, and am hoping to drag my first novel kicking and screaming into the light of day in the not-too-distant future.

Tell us about your most recently published book?

I have yet to have my own book published, however my last published short story was All I Want for Christmas in Grinning Skull Press’ Christmas-themed anthology O’ Little Town of Deathlehem. It tells a tale many writers can probably relate to: a writer struggling to overcome writer’s block to meet his publisher’s deadline gets his Christmas wish... at a price. All I Want for Christmas is one of three short stories of mine on the reading list for the 2013 Australian Shadows Awards.

The anthology was done for charity and proceeds from its sales will go to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a non-profit charity in the United States of America dedicated to preventing paediatric HIV infection and eliminating paediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

I still find it a great irony that as someone touting themselves as a horror writer, my first ever fiction publication was a short story in an erotica anthology. Pill Hill Press published my flash fiction piece, Eros of the Blade, which I had originally submitted to a horror flash fiction anthology they were putting together at the time. The editor of that anthology came back to me and said it didn’t fit in with the other stories they had already selected, however I should forward it to one of their other editors who was compiling flash fiction for an erotica anthology, Daily Flashes of Erotica #1. I never expected it to get accepted – I thought it would be far too violent – but figured I had nothing to lose, so I submitted it. Twenty-four hours later I had my first contract.

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

Anytime someone says they’ve read my work and they liked it is a proud moment for me. I’ve always felt the main purpose in choosing to write and put your work out there is to be read. So if people are reading my work and enjoying it, I’m pretty proud of that. The more readers I have, the prouder I am.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I have several short stories in the works and plans for my first novel. In fact I have several ideas for novels, however one has recently come to the forefront and I’m hoping this will be the one that helps me break into novel-length fiction.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I’m a traditionalist: it’s paper for me. I do think eBooks create an exciting opportunity for both readers and writers, particularly those writers who self-publish. However, for me, eBooks will never recreate the feel of a book in your hand, the excitement of turning the next page, or fond memories associated with seeing well-worn covers and spines on the shelf. Plus, books are easier to sign – people get upset when you scribble on their Kindle or Kobo.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

Both have their merits, both are here to stay, and there is some excellent – and to be honest, some less-than-excellent – work coming from both sides. As far as my own work’s concerned, right now I’m more interested in traditional publishing. I have learned a lot by pursuing the traditional path, not just in terms of writing itself, but the writing industry, and had I not gone in this direction I don’t believe I would be as far along in my own writing journey as I am. In my mind, I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to achieve, before I consider striking out on my own.

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

How do I pick just one? It would be very easy to rattle off a list of books from the big names in horror, especially “the King”. I’m going to go with a book from Clive Barker called Imajica. I grew up reading a lot of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, so I was pretty comfortable and familiar in the spec-fic world. When I read Imajica, it took the whole idea of creating another world – another universe – to a whole new level. I feel Barker really showed the scope and breadth of his imagination in this book. He created a place where the reader could become truly immersed, and he did that by creating an idea so big you couldn’t help but become lost in it. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy it, but it inspired me to find ways to fuel my own imagination. To feed it and nurture it and let it grow. As adults, many of us lose touch with our imagination. Imajica is a great way of reconnecting with it.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

Firstly, thank you very much for your interest in my stories, and in me as a writer. I hope you’ll continue to follow me on my journey as I share my stories with you.

I also want to encourage you to keep supporting Australian writers, particularly spec-fic writers. Australians have a unique way of looking at the world, and consequently our stories are unlike any others you’ll find anywhere else. We have a wealth of talent here that needs your support. Look beyond your big publishing houses. Go to your small press publishers, your indie bookstores, your libraries, and seek out Australian writing. It’s waiting for you to discover it.

Links

For a full list of my short fiction and where to find it, head to my website: http://raymondgates.com/my-dreams/short-stories. And keep an eye out for a ‘freebie’ story from me, Last Supper, available on all electronic formats.

Twitter: @RGDreaming

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Review: The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Melanie is a very special little girl. She is academically gifted, loves her school and her teacher, Miss Justineau. She also lives inside an Army bunker is taken to class each day strapped into a wheelchair while Sergeant Parks points a gun at her head. Melanie lives in a chilling, future version of Great Britain, riddled with a disease that turns ordinary people into zombie-like creatures known as Hungries. Like the other children in the bunker, she is a second generation Hungry and certain members of the government are very keen to experiment upon the children and discover how this disease can be defeated and eradicated. And then war breaks out ...

The Girl With All the Gifts proves itself to be a very different book than what is indicated on the very short blurb on the back cover. Melanie is the standout character, however, the story does shift to the perspective of a number of humans. It's interesting to learn more about their fears for humanity, particularly those of Sergeant Parks and Helen Justineau. There is a lot of action (and a bit of gore,) as you would hope and expect from a novel of this type. The resolution at the end of the novel is a surprising one--perhaps not what some readers will be expecting, but entirely fitting. Highly recommended.

This novel was read as part of the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2014

Category: Medical Thriller

Progress: 3/13

Monday, 17 March 2014

Around Adelaide: Street Art

I love photographing street art. I am not the worlds greatest photographer and most of my pictures are taken on an iPhone, but I love this funny little personal photograph collection that I have amassed over the past couple of years. I have decided that it would be fun to share, so over the next few weeks, I am going to be posting a few of my favourites ...


Yellow Bicycle on Grote Street

Shortly before Chinese New Year, this adorable bicycle appeared on Grote Street, just outside the entrance to Adelaide's Central Markets. The sculpture behind also got a bit of a makeover. Just how the bicycle got to be there and who is responsible is a bit of a mystery, but it was fun to walk past and wonder about, anyway ...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Cover Reveal: Cats Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White

Drumroll please ... Here is the cover for my next novel, Cats, Scarves and Liars.


Cover image copyright © Kathryn White 2014

Cats, Scarves and Liars is a bit different from my other books. It is a thriller that is fun, sad and just a little bit offbeat. (I mean, how many thrillers feature talking cats? Really?) Anyway, I had a lot of fun writing this one, just because it was a little bit different to the novels that I have written so far. This is the blurb:

Meet Peppa Grove.

Peppa is just your average Australian young woman, really. 23 years old, widowed and the owner of a black and white cat who can speak perfect English. (But no one will believe her about the cat.) Why is she being stalked by one of the customers from her job at the City South Post Office? What secrets does the mysterious and sinister Ivory Black know about Peppa and her past? What does he know about the strange murders that are happening all over Adelaide? And was it really necessary of him to steal her boyfriend’s red scarf?

Cats, Scarves and Liars is an offbeat thriller from the author of Being Abigail and Behind the Scenes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll discover the meaning of life. (Actually, we lied about that last part.)

Cats, Scarves and Liars by Kathryn White ... Coming Soon!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Guest Post by Spencer Blohm: Divergent: From the Page to the Pictures

Ladies and Gentlemen, for your reading pleasure today, I have a brilliant guest post from freelance blogger Spencer Blohm who takes a look at how Veronica Roth's novel Divergent has made the transition from book to the big screen ...

Divergent: From the Page to the Pictures

On March 21st, the much anticipated Divergent will officially hit theaters in the U.S. (readers in Australia will have to wait a few more days, until April 10th, to see the film). You’ve likely seen reviews here on Divergent, the book, but watching the journey from the page to the big screen has been a long and exciting one, especially for author Veronica Roth.
            Roth has become a celebrity of sorts in the literary world after the massive success of Divergent, which was published in 2011 when she was only 23 years old. She wrote the book two years prior, at only 21, while attending classes at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. The dystopian Chicago she created was something that spoke to readers, and earned her a large following. That same year, before any of the books were even published, she sold the rights for the whole trilogy to Summit Entertainment.
            From there, Roth’s involvement was limited, as screenwriters Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor adapted the book. In an interview with Bookish, Daugherty explained the ways the film may differ from the book, mainly due to the condensing of the plotline into something more digestible for viewers: “It’s tricky because the book is a very packed read with a lot of big ideas...The movie is going to do it a little more efficiently.”
            When it came time to pick the director needed to bring Roth’s vision to life, Summit called on up-and-coming action/adventure director Neil Burger to direct (you might be familiar with his previous films, like Limitless and The Illusionist, both of which you can stream online via DirecTV or Netflix ahead of Divergent’s release). To stay true to the book, Burger and his crew filmed the majority of the movie in Chicago, where the book was set, under the codename “Catbird.” They transformed Chicago icons like the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and the famed Michigan Avenue into decaying figures of the future. There is even a rumored aerial stunt involving the John Hancock Tower, one of Chicago’s most famous skyscrapers.
            As previously mentioned, Roth had relatively limited involvement in the film. However, that shouldn’t cause fans any worry! Roth has stated publicly on her Tumblr that she “loved it” and thought it was “beautifully shot.” Roth generally isn’t one to mince her words or feelings, so if she enjoyed the film, and believes it captured the essence of her book, I’d say chances are Burger did a phenomenal job.

            For those of you already anticipating the next film in the series, rumor has it that shooting will start sometime in May and continue throughout the summer. As of right now, the tentative release date for Insurgent is March 2015. Depending on the success of Divergent, which many anticipate will be a smash hit, expect the next two films to be even bigger and better.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Friday (un)Funnies



For the past few months now, I have been following the latest Phantom Daily Comic Strip storyline, titled The Scoundrel. The basic premise is this. Reporter Lara Bell wants a scoop, so she decides to do what no other reporter has done before, to journey into Bandar territory. Despite being warned not to disturb the Bandar, Lara hires sleazy and self-serving tour guide Rick Grubber. Grubber poisons her in an attempt to not only find the Bandar, but persuade them to take him to the Skull Cave, which he figures will be filled with treasures. Anyway, Grubber ends up being taken prisoner outside the skull cave, while the Phantom offers Bell a tour of the Skull Cave. At the end of the tour, comes this foolish, but heartbreaking moment, where Bell makes a pass at the Phantom, which is quickly rebuffed. I feel quite sad for Lara at this moment. The picture of her in the first frame clearly shows the distress she feels at the news. Sure, it was a silly thing for her to do, but, the story shows that as reckless as she is, Bell is basically a good person and would not have made a move had she known she was talking with a married man and now feels some distress, not to mention, embarrassment. I think we have all been in her position ... once.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones

Mister Pip, I suspect, is a book that is going to stay with me for a very long time and not just because of all of the wonderful references to Dickens. Set in Bougainville Island during the early 1990s (read, during the civil war,) the novel introduces us to two wonderful characters. Matilda, a girl who has grown up on the island with her mother (her father is away, working in Australia,) and her school teacher, Mr Watts, who is the only white person left on the island. Mr Watts is not a qualified teacher, but fills in his days by getting the parents of the children to share some of their personal knowledge and experiences. More importantly, he reads to the children selections from Dickens' Great Expectations. The book fires Matilda's imagination and she finds herself a little, well, enamoured with Pip. She writes his name in the sand, which is discovered by soldiers and thought to be a code, which in turn sets about a catastrophic turn of events ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It offers a surprising glimpse of life in a place not so far away from my own home country and is set during an era that I can remember. (Despite both of these things, I had never heard of Bougainville Island until I had well and truly become an adult.) It is interesting to see how Mr Watts ties his own story in with that of Pip from Great Expectations and is horrific to read what happens afterward. Matilda herself is a wonderful protagonist, a likeable young woman who wants to please both her mother and her teacher (despite their conflicting views,) and who sometimes makes mistakes. There are also some wonderful themes of how literature can be used to provide comfort and escape from the outside world.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Writers On Wednesday: Jessica Kirkpatrick

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I'm chatting with Jessica Kirkpatrick, author of the horror poetry book, Doll Maker ...

Tell me a bit about yourself …

I'm a senior at Hollins University. I major in Creative Writing there with a minor of Sociology. Its actually snowing outside while I reply to this. Back in July of 2013, I married the love of my life and that following October I had a little boy. Now, Freddie is just the cutest. I could talk about him all day. I grew up in Virginia, USA and my little family and I hope to move away someday.

Tell us about your most recently published book?

Doll Maker is a book of poetry about a serial killer abducting girls and turning them into living dolls before killing them. I based the book off of a bunch of pictures I found online of models who look like dolls. Instead of writing something about the love of porcelain dolls I have, it sort of turned into a horror series of poetry.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

The first time I was published was in issue 52 of Blood Moon Rising Magazine where my short story "Four Ghosts (After One Girl)" was published. That was April of 2013. I'm actually really proud of that, because I never thought I would get published. I couldn't believe that it happened. It was amazing.

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far?

Being published for the first time. I'm proud of all my accomplishments--getting Doll Maker published on Amazon--and having another short story published in an anthology (release date TBA), but the first time catapaulted me.

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I'm working on a novel, two if you count the one I put on hold. I'm also working on short stories and poetry to submit to literary magazines. There might be another book of poetry in the works. We'll see.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

I can handle both. I love my eReader, though because technology absolutely hates me it has some major glitches that others do. I love paper books because I love the smell of the ink on the paper and the feel of something so fragile in my hands. The only thing I hate is getting a paper cut.

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

I'd prefer traditional, but Indie is easier. With Amazon, Create Space, Smashwords and more its a little easier. They even have their own templates and ways to help you format correctly.

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

The entire Dresden Files series. I love those books. Jim Butcher does an amazing job of keeping his characters and letting them grow, but still be them. I'm a big fan.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

I'm not sure if I have any, yet, but I'd be more than happy to have you guys. I'm entirely grateful to all my fans for supporting me.

Awsome Links

Doll Maker


Website: