As promised, I’ve decided to start a monthly club, Friday Night Fictions, that helps promote the work of debut authors (both Australian and international) and short story/Flash fiction writers too.
It can be tricky for new authors to gain traction in the media and bookstores, so I hope you can read and support each other’s work. If you could spread the word about Friday Night Fictions via your social media contacts, that would be terrific.
For bloggers or reviewers, if you review any of these fictions, I’ll link to your reviews before the next edition, so we can develop a discussion around emerging writers. Just let me know the URL via the contact form above. I have updated reviews for Jessie Cole and Eleanor Limprecht…
And *clink clink* to all the writers below, who have managed to complete a novel. It’s something many people dream of, but you’ve done it! I like the threads linking some of the works …
The deadline for the September Friday Night Fictions is Friday 20 September and it will be launched on Friday night, 27 September. I mentioned that I would choose one writer from the list to profile for the next FNF. Congratulations to Nina Smith. I love the sound of her wild romp and I look forward to talking to her about Hailstone.
Oh, and if I have missed anyone (these things happen), let me know, and I’ll make sure you’re in September.
Here we go…
KATE BAGGOTT, Love From Planet Wine Cooler
The last ‘nice girl’ on earth finds her way through a world defined by sex, music and the internet. Somehow.
Love From Planet Wine Cooler is an ode to a generation of women who didn’t so much lose their virginity as misplace it thanks to the advent of wine coolers. Somehow, they managed to find out all about love, relationships and careers.
Or did they?
Put in your imaginary ear plugs and follow Marina and her best friend through the laughter and tears of being a human being from the 90s on the search for answers now.
Read stand-alone parts from Love From Planet Wine Cooler that were published on Lit sites before the book came out: Mr. January was published on Fiction365; The Love Detox was published on Once Written. To view more or to buy the book visit: http://www.katebaggott.com.
Contact Kate on Twitter.
DAWN BARKER, Fractured
Tony is worried. His wife, Anna, isn’t coping with their newborn son. Anna had wanted a child so badly and, when Jack was born, they were both so happy. They’d come home from the hospital a family. Was it really only six weeks ago?
But Anna hasn’t been herself since. One moment she’s crying, the next she seems almost too positive. It must be normal with a baby, he thought, she’s just adjusting. He was busy at work. It would sort itself out. But now Anna and Jack are missing. And he realises that something is really wrong…
Fractured is Dawn Barker’s debut novel. It tells the story of an ordinary family whose lives are changed forever after the events of one terrible day. It deals with themes of mental health, parenting and relationships. Fractured was selected for the 2010 Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre manuscript development programme.
Dawn’s October Update: “There’s been one interview published with me on the Australian Women Writers Challenge website as Fractured has been their most reviewed book this year so far.”
It’s 1978 in a country town and a dreamy 15-year-old girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher. Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.
Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class. He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window. He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes arrive.
Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him. He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes. One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced. What happens next will torment them forever — in ways neither can imagine.
Read an extract. Buy the ebook from Amazon or iTunes. The print book is available at Target, Kmart, Myer, Collins, Dymocks, Big W, Eltham Bookshop, other independent bookshops and major airports. Check out the reading group questions here.
Kate’s October Update: “I’ve recently done an author interview with Little Raven Publishing and a number of new reviews up on Goodreads.”
S.F. BURGESS, Eleanor
“Most people’s lives begin with their births; mine began with my death.”
In the final moments of her life, the enigmatic Conlan drags Eleanor from her world and into his. Mydren — a vast, majestic land where myths have substance, magic is terrifyingly real and Eleanor is marked for death. As an Avatar, the living incarnation of an ancient magic, Eleanor must think fast and act faster if she wishes to survive. This new life comes with a price. Can she make ‘The Five’ a force to be reckoned with? Will their deadly enemies destroy them first? Can Eleanor overcome her own fears and find the courage she needs to reach Conlan and release him from his dark secrets?
Read an extract at Goodreads.
JESSIE COLE, Darkness on the Edge of Town
“My dad, he collects broken things … Where other people see junk he sees potential … My dad collects broken people too.”
Vincent is nearly 40 years old, with little to show for his life except his precious 16-year-old daughter, Gemma: sensitive, insightful and wise beyond her years. When a stranger crashes her car outside Vincent and Gemma’s bush home, their lives take a dramatic turn. In an effort to help the stranded woman, father and daughter are drawn into a world of unexpected and life-changing consequences.
Darkness on the Edge of Town explores issues of grief and loss, but also depicts the intimacy that can be formed in extreme circumstances. In some ways the story is a (non-traditional) romance, examining facets of love, violence, masculinity, and sexuality, but focusing on the small moments of connectedness between people and the beauty and potential in those moments.
J. CUNNINGHAM, Secrets (Clockwork Skies, Vol 1)
In Secrets, Volume One of the Clockwork Skies series, we explore a history where the American Revolution hasn’t yet happened and underground races have mingled with life in the Victorian Age. Part dystopian fiction, part alternative history, and definitively steampunk, Secrets will take you to a past like you’ve never imagined.
It’s the late 1800s in the height of the great Victorian age of England. A tyrant king still sits the throne, wielding his monarchy as a cudgel to dominate the gelflings enslaved by the crown. His ambition knows no bounds, and now his eyes are set on the rest of the world.
In a dystopian world where water is precious beyond measure, an army of clockwork soldiers, zeppelins, and all manner of steampunk wonders, fill the empire in service of the king’s greed.
Free the geflings.
Free the people.
May you always stay dry.
Contact Julian at his website.
KIRSTEN KRAUTH, just_a_girl
Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside.
just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all.
Read an extract. Book Club Notes are available. Meet Layla on Pinterest. Buy the printed version at Readings, Booktopia or Amazon. Read the ebook on Kobo. International readers please contact me direct… See reviews of just_a_girl here.
You can see her read from her work at the Sydney book launch, along with Emily Maguire (who introduced it).
ELEANOR LIMPRECHT, What Was Left
What Was Left is a novel about a mother, Rachel, who struggles with postnatal depression and abandons her newborn daughter Lola. Rachel goes overseas in search of her own father, who left when she was six years old.
What Was Left is a novel about parenthood, identity, and loss — about the weight of expectation and how the secrets of the past shape us. Eleanor Limprecht is a writer, book reviewer, PhD student and mother-of-two. She grew up in the US, Germany and Pakistan but has settled in Sydney.
Contact Eleanor at her website.
MAGGIE MUNDY, Blood Scent
Trent Feldor is a Seeker vampire who protects human females from Rogue vampires who would take them as mates. Kellie is a reporter who wants to make the front page of the Adelaide newspaper by finding the Parklands Killer. Instead she stumbles straight into a vampire fight, and she is the trophy being fought for.
Kellie has never let anyone into her life since her mother’s death, and isn’t going to let the mysterious Trent get under her skin. As for Trent, he may have found the one woman he could love but he will have to stop Rogue vampires who want to kidnap her, and vampire hunters who want to kill him.
Contact Maggie at her website.
LORRAINE PESTELL, A Life Singular – Part One
The A Life Singular series tells the story of a successful man writing his autobiography after the sudden loss of his wife. It deals with rising above mental illness, the choices between right and wrong, and how one affects the other. A Life Singular – Part One starts the journey …
What do you do when you lose the one who gave your life meaning? You write about it.
Jeff Diamond had built a life of influence, adulation and wealth by making the right choices for the right reasons. He lived by the law of reciprocity, a lesson learned on the streets as a teenager with nothing but an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Plagued by the scars of a violent childhood, he created his vision and fought for it. And once he no longer needed to fight for himself, he fought for others.
Everyone has a life singular. One. Unique. Extraordinary.
Lorraine’s October Update: “I received my first review on Goodreads and am sending the final draft of A Life Singular – Part Two for publication at the end of this week. Hopefully I will have two books to my name by Christmas!”
MELISSA-JANE POULIOT, Write About Me
The year is 1988 and 16-year-old Annabelle Brown from northern Queensland runs away from her family and friends for the bright lights of somewhere new. She ends up in Kings Cross in Sydney where her life takes some dark twists and turns.
Inspired by a true story, Write About Me is a heart-wrenching story about a teenage runaway who doesn’t come home.
Write About Me is the debut fiction novel for Australian author Melissa-Jane Pouliot. First published July 22, 2013.
Buy a copy on Amazon as a Kindle ebook or paperback. An extract of the book is available via the above link.
Contact Melissa-Jane on 0427 857213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa-Jane’s October Update: “My novel is inspired by the true story of my cousin Ursula Barwick who went missing 26 years ago. I have had an incredible response to my novel since I first contacted you – I’ve been on Channel 9 Mornings Program, print and radio media in Victoria, NSW and QLD and the Australian Federal Police have endorsed my novel and it appears on the home page of the National Missing Persons website. ABC have posted an 11-minute interview about the novel on their blog. The Weekly Times published an article in their Country Living section. I initially self-published my book on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle version on July 22, and due to the response in Australia I self-published a paperback under an Australian ISBN. It is now stocked in several bookstores and newsagencies in NSW and Victoria, plus the paperback is available to order via my Facebook page The Word Mint. On Amazon my book has reached Number 1 in its category and is creeping towards the Top 10.”
NINA SMITH, Hailstone
MAGS McAllister is a valium-popping, cigarette-smoking, alcoholic lesbian trapped by her televangelist father inside a controlling religious sect.
Keeping secrets is usually a breeze, but there’s a big pile of trouble waiting when she’s spotted at a gay nightclub in the company of hot as hell journalist Kat Catrall.
One black eye and a near concussion later, Mags decides it’s time for some payback.
However, her campaign of porn-bombing, blackmail and attempted murder backfires when the church decides she’s possessed by Satan.
As if trying to get out of an exorcism isn’t bad enough, Mags and Kat discover a plan to convert the entire city by force — and then Kat disappears.
Alone and hounded by her father’s efforts to bring her back to the church, there’s only one way for Mags to break free and find Kat: she must bring the entire church down.
Buy the ebook at Amazon. An extract is also available there.
Nina’s October Update: Read a debut author profile of Nina, where she talks about her book Hailstone on Wild Colonial Girl blog. She was my pick for August.
SD THORPE, getting Up
Roket is sixteen – bored, lonely, horny and pissed off.
His mother is hopeless and his dad is gone. Roket loves graffiti, his mum and McDonalds and when the girl with the ultramarine eyes gives him a free Big Mac, it must be love. Or is it?
He joins a graf crew and drops out of school. But rivalries in his new world, threaten to be fatal. By the end of the week Roket has been pushed to his limits.
One night it all goes horribly wrong and Roket suddenly finds his reputation and his freedom are on the line.
Can he prove his innocence, as well as winning the graf battle and the girl?
Published by Momentum in March 2013
IF YOU’VE HAD A DEBUT NOVEL (OR SHORT STORY/FLASH FICTION) PUBLISHED IN 2013, CONTACT ME ABOUT SEPTEMBER’S FRIDAY NIGHT FICTIONS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ABOVE BOOKS? DO ANY REALLY GRAB YOUR FANCY AFTER READING THE SYNOPSES OR EXTRACTS?