My Top Five Reads For 2019 (So Far)

My Top Five Reads For 2019 (So Far)

Bridge Of Clay by Markus Zusak   Like many others I couldn’t wait to read this 13-years-in-the-making tome from The Book Thief author Markus Zusak. I had the pleasure of hearing Markus talk about the novel as far back at last July at the launch of Storyfest and was even more excited to devour it after he read an excerpt on the night. Long awaited books, like any  highly anticipated life event, can often be a let-down, never reaching the heights of the expectation and hype. To be totally honest for the first part of the book I struggled and I was worried this was the case with Bridge Of Clay. And for a very strange reason: it felt too perfect. I couldn’t connect with the characters or the emotions. But something magical happened about one third of the way in – I fell in love, with Penny Dunbar, with Achilles the mule, with the fractious Dunbar boys and with the beautifully woven words that seemed to take flight once the opening section of the novel was out of the way. The writing and the story capture a family trying to come to terms with death and working out how to live in the face of it. When I considered my response I remembered having the same response to The Book Thief – I started it and put it down a number of times before getting into it and absolutely loving it. Maybe this is the case with all deeply emotional stories: we have to come to grips with a subject matter so deep, told in such a heartfelt...
Heading In A New Writing Direction: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Heading In A New Writing Direction: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

  I’m super excited – and a little nervous – to tell you about my new writing direction as I step into the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction.     As those who follow me on social media will know I’ve recently finished the final draft of my new novel, Cross My Heart and sent it off to my agent. I’ve kept fairly quiet about this one as I’ve been writing it but now that it’s finished it’s time to share more about the book and where I hope it will take me in terms of my writing.   My first four novels have all have a thread of romance running through them – in the publishing industry this is known as romantic elements – and have been branded Rural Romance. Readers will know how ever that the main storyline in all of these novels revolves around a dilemma facing the female protagonist, usually to do with family. In Blackwattle Lake Eve had to deal with returning to a home she’d left acrimoniously twenty years before. In Essie’s Way, Miranda was searching for the grandmother she’d always believed to be dead while Essie was a recluse, hiding away from an unkind world. Charlie, the vet in in Close to Home was dealing with both the potentially deadly hendra virus and her own messed up family relationships. And in The Crossroads, Rose, Stephanie and faith all had their own personal dramas as well as the family issue that brought them together. The romantic elements in all four novels varied but never overshadowed the heroine’s individual story. While there was this...
My Top 5 Reads So Far For 2018

My Top 5 Reads So Far For 2018

Welcome to The Writers’ Dozen Top 5 Reads Blog Hop. I’ve been a member of this fabulous writing group for 14 years. We’re an eclectic bunch of writers penning novels across a diverse range of genres including crime, women’s fiction, rural romance, romantic comedy, chic lit, historical fiction, literary fiction and short stories. This year we’ve decided to join forces and do some blog hops so readers can see what we’re all about, starting with our Top 5 Reads (so far) for 2018. You can see my selections in this post and then click on the links to see what my writing buddies have been reading. We’d love to hear about what books you’ve been enjoying so don’t forget to leave your comments and recommendations.   Happy Reading!    We’re not far into the year but I’ve managed to squeeze in some reading in between revisions for my new book, Cross My Heart. So here in no particular order are my latest faves.   The Emotional Craft Of Fiction by Donald Maass     Starting with a writing book because that’s where my head’s at right now. I’m a huge fan of Donald Maass and always refer to his how-to books when I’m in the revision stage. A literary agent turned writing guru he has great advice for commercial fiction authors who want to write page-turners. And don’t we all? This latest one is all about creating an emotional connection for your reader which will, in turn, get them hooked. Perfect for me right now as this is the goal for my current manuscript. Maass provides detailed theory, examples...
Revise To Publish Masterclass Applications Now Open (April 20-22 2018)

Revise To Publish Masterclass Applications Now Open (April 20-22 2018)

I’m super excited to announce the date and venue for my 2018 Writing Retreat. Applications are now being taken for the Revise To Publish At Russley Masterclass being held at the beautiful Russley Rural Retreat in Segenhoe, NSW, from Friday April 20 to Sunday April 22nd.   Treat yourself to a very special weekend at Russell Rural Retreat near scone, NSW. Spend the weekend with fellow writers learning how to polish and revise your manuscript to make it publication worthy. In this intensive workshopping weekend Pamela will share what she’s learned about getting your novel up to scratch, attracting the attention of agents and publishers and submitting a manuscript you can be truly proud of.         Places are strictly limited (maximum of 9) and open only to those who have completed a full first draft of their manuscript. The emphasis during the workshop will be on revising your work to give it the best chance of being snapped up by a publisher. The Masterclass will be a condensed, updated version of the Tell Me A Story retreat Pamela ran in Fiji in 2017.   Here’s everything you need to know: What:     Masterclass When: Friday April 20 (4pm Meet and Greet) to Sunday April 22 (4pm finish) Where: Russley Rural Retreat (242 Segenhoe Road, Segenhoe, New South Wales) Who: This Masterclass is for authors who have completed at least one  draft of their novel and are aiming for publication.   Your Tutor Pamela is a multi published author of commercial fiction, has a Masters in Creative Writing and over twenty years of teaching experience. Her teaching positions...
Everyone’s A Winner: My Day At The Books By The Bridge Author Event

Everyone’s A Winner: My Day At The Books By The Bridge Author Event

Have you ever been to a mass book signing? I’m guessing for most people reading this the answer would be no. It was for me, until last Saturday when I was an attending author at Books By The Bridge. Organised by the amazing Kat Massen, booklover extraordinaire, it was a totally virginal experience for me – and one I would be happy to repeat 🙂       The Event The event was held at the Crystal Palace in Sydney’s Luna Park. I hadn’t been to the theme park since I was a kid. When I walked in and spotted The Rotor my stomach started churning just thinking about the last time I rode it (I won’t go into details but it involved a lot of spinning followed by a lot of vomiting). My nausea disappeared when I rounded the corner and saw a queue of people waiting at the doors to the event, standing beside suitcases. And do you know what those suitcases were for? Books. People had brought massive suitcases to fill with books they planned to buy. I couldn’t believe it! I’d never seen such a passion for books. Readers came from all over the country to attend Books by The Bridge and a couple of people even travelled from overseas.           And it only got better.   The Readers Some of the attending readers had compiled souvenir coffee table books with photos of the covers from each author’s books and came around to each table to get them signed. The time, effort and cost that had gone into these projects blew...