Welcome back to another year of Friday Night Fictions, for debut authors (novelists, short story writers) in all genres and formats (self-published and digital-only welcome!). Over the break, I did a wonderful interview with Tracy Farr, author of the lyrical and memorable The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt. I also met a number of other writers featured here (at the Victorian Premiers Literary Awards, all pomp and ceremony) including Kate Belle (The Yearning, in the August edition) and Laura Jean McKay, who you will meet soon, talking about her short story collection, Holiday in Cambodia (November edition).
This year I’ve decided to make FNF a three-monthly event, rather than monthly, and I hope it continues to grow in 2014 and recognise new talent.
I’ve found myself a tad time-poor lately and I’m keen to return on the blog to writing about issues burning within me — like the transformation of Matthew McConaughey in True Detectives and Dallas Buyers’ Club. If you haven’t seen this TV series and film, his performances are extraordinary. I’d like to wrestle with that at some point.
I’ve got a busy year coming up. I’ve finally broken the festival barrier (more of that to come), I’m busily seeking an office in the Maine, I’ve started to apply for grants so I can actually afford to write, and I’ve just begun researching my next book (oh, how I LOVE libraries). In the meantime, I continue to look into ways to market and promote just_a_girl, I’m enjoying all the reviews and ‘best of’ lists that happened over the Christmas period, and I hope all you debut authors are enjoying success too.
If you are a writer keen to promote your debut novel published in 2013 or 2014 (or know someone who is), please read the guidelines before submitting your book to FRIDAY NIGHT FICTIONS. Australian and international authors all welcome. You can also check out previous editions too. The next soiree will be at the end of May…
Here’s the selection for February: as usual, a brilliantly eclectic mix… happy reading, everyone! And this month I’ve plucked the debut author Michele Forbes to be featured in an upcoming interview. I look forward to reading her novel set in Northern Ireland, Ghost Moth, and talking about it in upcoming months.
WARREN CRAIG SHAN, Abandoned
Named Emily, by the Scottish welfare system, she is discovered to be fundamentally different.
Five narrators recount their experience when their lives cross with this extraordinary girl/woman as she journeys through the various stages of her life.
Genre: Mystery/thriller/science fiction
The book is available for sale via the folllowing outlets:
MICHELE FORBES, Ghost Moth
A stunning new voice reminiscent of Maggie O’Farrell, which has been acclaimed by John Banville, Sebastian Barry, Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright. Unabridged edition, written and read by Michele Forbes.
GHOST MOTH will transport you to two hot summers, 20 years apart.
Northern Ireland, 1949. Katherine must choose between George Bedford — solid, reliable, devoted George — and Tom McKinley, who makes her feel alive. The reverberations of that summer — of the passions that were spilled, the lies that were told and the bargains that were made — still clamour to be heard in 1969. Northern Ireland has become a tinderbox but tragedy also lurks closer to home. As Katherine and George struggle to save their marriage and silence the ghosts of the past, their family and city stand on the brink of collapse…
Surprising, mesmerising and astonishingly written, GHOST MOTH will show you the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Meet Michele at her blog
Buy the book at Amazon
ISABELLA HARGREAVES, The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody
The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody is set in Regency England. Jane Brody is a passionate follower of Mary Wollstonecraft’s beliefs in the rights of women. She campaigns for better education and employment opportunities for girls so they can be independent of men.
Jonathan Everslie, Marquis of Dalton, needs a wife and heir, but can’t find a woman who doesn’t bore him. Then he meets Jane Brody. He finds her attractive, but her politics dangerous.
After Jane’s father dies, she is left to raise her younger siblings. Her efforts to support them by running a girls’ school fail because Society decries her beliefs.
The conservative Marquis of Dalton wants her, but can Jane overcome her fears and put aside her beliefs to marry him to save her family? Will Dalton risk his political career to win Jane’s love and persuade her that they belong together?
Buy the book
Read an extract
LISA KNIGHT, The View From Here
Millie has decided that this will be her year for a relationship and when she meets sexy plumber Adam things start to look up, until he dumps her after what she thought was a fabulous date.
Unknown to Millie, Adam is only trying to keep her out of harm’s way from the rather villainous Stan, who’s out to collect on a gambling debt.
It takes a bit of stalking and an accidental back kick to bring down the bad guy, leaving the path wide open for Millie and Adam to really get to know each other.
Buy the book
Read an extract
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.
““Krauth’s debut is alive with ideas about isolation and connection in the digital age, particularly the way the internet raises the stakes of teenage rebellion.” – Jo Case, The Australian
Read an extract
See reviews of just_a_girl here.
GABRIELLE TOZER, The Intern
“Melons. The girls. Gazongas. I could rattle off every nickname in the world for my boobs — oops, nearly forgot jubblies — but it didn’t change the fact they were small. Embarrassingly small. Think grapes over melons, fun-size bags over fun bags, shot glasses over jugs.
Which was why I shouldn’t have been surprised when my boobs were the catalyst for squeals of laughter from my younger sister, Kat, on the eve of an important day. A Very Important Day.
‘Geez, put those puppies away,’ Kat smirked from my bedroom doorway. ‘Some of us haven’t had lunch yet and I’d hate to lose my appetite.’
I paused from rifling through piles of crumpled clothes on my bed. ‘What? I don’t know what you —’
‘Just look down,’ said Kat, tossing her jet-black ponytail. I hated when she did that.
Following her instructions, I looked down and saw my left nipple peeking out of my bra.”
ROWENA WISEMAN, Searching for Von Honningsbergs
Lawson is sent overseas to retrieve three paintings for a Kurt Von Honningsberg exhibition.
He has a thorny love affair with an anorexic Russian Latvian firetwirler, does a deal with two shady characters in Brazil and runs for his life from a madman in Beijing.
When Lawson discovers that he has actually become involved in an art world scam, he begins to question the true value of art.
Read an extract on Goodreads
Available as an ebook from Screwpulp