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G is for Kerry Greenwood

Kerry Greenwood, everyone’s heard of Greenwood. She’s the lady who found Phryne Fisher in her subconscious and quickly shared her with everyone else, again, and again, and again before they were found and shared on screen. I’m going to admit I’ve never read a Greenwood book but before but I’m sure it will happen. I have seen some of the TV series and they are beautifully done with great attention to detail.

Before I give you some links for her books I’ll share my two Greenwood moments. They’re very small moments but I shall treasure them just because.

One of my all time loves is wooden furniture, if it’s old and beautifully made I’m in absolute heaven. One day I hope to have the money to replace my cheap stuff with proper furniture. I was in a furniture shop nearish to me trying to find exactly the right springs and someone to fix my couch, this all happened but while I was there talking and drooling over the oh-so-fabulous furniture the man gently mentioned he was repairing one of the pieces of furniture from the Phryne Fisher TV series. Yes, I saw it from afar and I covet it!

The other Greenwood moment is when I was the chauffeur for a young person and ended up talking to the Wizard who lives with Greenwood. I didn’t know who he was until much later.

Let me now be a little mercenary and give you some links to a couple of Greenwood’s books.

A Phryne Fisher Mystery: Cocaine Blues  The first book in the Phryne Fisher Mysteries, just because you should start at the very beginning.

The Deadly Flu and here’s a bit of history for 9+ year olds.

Writers not paid?

There’s something that’s been totally fascinating me at events such as SupaNova, Armageddon (now called AMC Expo) and other events such as these which include “stars” from movies and TV series. If you’re not familiar with them let me explain a little.

AMC Expo is an amazing event whereby you have a number of stars mostly from overseas to talk, to sign photos, to have their photos taken and basically to be on show. There are also a number of shops or businesses or just individual artists or writers who will have a stall or a table to sell their works and increase their profile, I’ve been there and done similar stuff for the Victorian Discworld Klatch as they accept community organisations so long as they can pay the large fee. SupaNova is a similar event for pop culture, there are many smaller conventions throughout the year/country.

The thing that differentiates AMC Expo and SupaNova from any of the smaller conventions is the payment system. For the smaller conventions you pay through the nose but you have almost complete access to the special guests, they are very likely to be found hanging around in the bar talking to people and while there will be special sessions where you can talk to them without interruptions or special signing sessions there is no extra cost for this. For Nullus Anxietas: the First Australian Discworld Convention Terry Pratchett was to be found holding forth during unscheduled times in the games room, I have photos of this! The signing queue was quite extensive and we had to limit people to three books. It cost no more.

For both SupaNova and AMC Expo there is a much smaller entrance fee, unless you want to sit in the front row for all talks and be in the front of queues in which case it’s quite a bit more expensive, and it’s much more manageable for more people to actually be able attend, in other words attendance is in thousands rather than the low hundreds. The stars have designated times and places for photo taking and signatures and each one costs at least $30. There are generally multiple stars so if you want a photo with each of them you can find your hip pocket nerve hurting quite a lot as you’ll be losing hundreds of dollars. The same for signatures, each one can cost tens of dollars. You can even get a photo then have them sign it but you have to pay for each action.

This tells me how much my DD was going to spring for me for Mother’s Day in 2010. She would have paid for this cartoon, then she would have paid to see James Marsters to get him to sign this for me! I very carefully did not do the research to find out the price of this but needless to say it’s been put away fairly carefully while I figure how to frame it, there’s another drawing on the back.
So, onto my rant of the day. I found this article Why English writers accept being treated like dirt and wondered, yet again, why things are so different for writers. This isn’t just writers in England who are expected to turn up and not be paid for it, it’s writers here as well and probably writers in many other countries. If you go to a convention where the special guests are authors you’ll have to queue up to get your book signed but you don’t have to pay for the privilege. I understand things are slightly different as writers have a book you can buy but they’re quite happy to sign a book you’ve brought along. Sometimes they’ll sign other stuff as well, I’ve had Terry Pratchett sign a plastic banana and when my DDs went to see the Chaser team they bought a pair of pink frilly underpants and they signed those, but they did then change their policy and refuse to sign anything other than their books after that…awfully proud of my DDs for being able to do this and then make such a change! I still have those underpants somewhere.

E is for Hazel Edwards

Who else would be a suitable person to write about for this letter but the ever popular Hazel Edwards? Her most popular book There’s a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake, is so popular it’s been made into a short film and you can find a clip of it here by Pocket Bonfire Productions (there’s a familial relationship there as one of these creators is my cousin).

There’s a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards

Melbourne born and bred Edwards is a prolific author, not only has she written many, many books for children but is also the author of Writing a Non-boring Family History to help you write a better family history for future generations. I found out today while researching that she attended the same school I did, albeit a year or two earlier. Edwards is a director of the Australian Society of Authors’ board.

The book I need to add to my transgender reading list is F2mThe Boy Within. Along with Ryan Kennedy she wrote about the transition process of going from female to male and this would be an invaluable resource. Some years ago I had a customer asking for various books about different gendered relationships, there was nothing around at that time and she was searching for science fiction and fantasy books for her transitioning friend to give them both some guidance. Nowadays we have this book as well as many other books so the reading list has changed dramatically.

D is for Ursula Dubosarsky

Game of the Goose by Ursula Dubosarsky

Game of the Goose by Ursula Dubosarsky

While I haven’t read Ursula Dubosarsky I have been fascinated by her ever since I came across one of her books in the op shop. It’s a natural progression from there to writing about her today.

Being born in 1961 makes her a young chick but she’s packed a lot of writing into her years having written 40+ books. She comes from a writing lineage and has wanted to write since the age of 6!

Dubosarsky has received many awards both international and Australian including being inducted into Speech Pathology Australia’s Hall of Fame for her contribution to children’s literature. I note in her biography on her blog that she’s concentrated on two of my favourite authors for her PhD thesis; Mary Norton and Rumer Goden.

I loved this quote

”You hope it hits the spot and you use your skills and instincts to reach out to the unknown child but it’s hard to know where a book will go.”

from the SMH Entertainment section. It encompasses all writing and will be my mantra from now on. “You hope it hits the spot…” is exactly what I feel writing is about.

You’ll find she’s created a series of books with Terry Denton called The Cryptic Casebooks and some lovely looking alliteration with Ava Adds, Rory Rides and Violet Vanishes.

And some links. I found her Pinterest page and as I couldn’t decide which books to link to I’m linking to the entire search on Booktopia, it’s only 40 books.

C is for Isobelle Carmody

I apologise up front but I’m having issues with links so I can’t link to any of Carmody’s books today, I hope to have it sorted by Friday.

Isobelle Carmody, author of the hugely successful Obernewtyn series is one of the all-time greats of Australian authors. She first started writing when she was 14 and her book was accepted by the first publisher she submitted to, this is something that rarely happens.

Currently in Australia, I know this as I saw photos of a promotion by Ford Street Publishing recently and she was in them. I say ‘currently’ as she divides her time between her two homes, one in Australia and the other in the Czech Republic.

After many years she’s finally completed the last book of the Obernewtyn series having brought joy to many. One young lady was devastated to realise she wouldn’t be able to finish the last book as she was dying of cancer so her mother spoke to Carmody who read parts of it over Skype, the Red Queen is dedicated to the young lady who died before the book could be finished.

Carmody has either won or been shortlisted for many awards including Aurealis, the Ditmars and the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

She runs writing workshops for Write Around the Murray as well as other writing festivals. If you want to engage her services just google Ford Street Publishing and contact them.

B is for Jesse Blackadder

I think I’m going to enjoy this series of Author by Alphabet. Just having a quick glance at the list of authors I’ve collated brings me to a lovely name and I just had to find out if she was worth writing about, boy, is she ever worth writing about!

Jesse Blackadder is a Sydney chick and it turns out there was a real Blackadder in Scotland, not just the one played by Rowan Atkinson in the programme of the same name, and this one is an ancestor of Jesse Blackadder. While in Scotland Blackadder found the Blackadder estates and from there the story behind her own name. She then used some of this information in her novel, The Raven’s Heart which looks really, really good.

She’s also leading a one week historical fiction course in Scotland next year, it’s a pity bookings are closed for this…not that I have the money to travel to Scotland next year but it’d be awesome!

A is for Debra Adelaide

I made a decision, but you’ve figured that out by now. Yes, I’m going to do another Alphabet by Author but this one is all Australian, I may even narrow it down and do females first but you’ll find out in due course.

Today I’m looking at Debra Adelaide. She’s still a young chick being a contemporary of Kathy Lette and the books she’s written have interesting titles. Let’s have a glance at The Household Guide to Dying.

The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide

The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide

Probably not what most people would expect to see on their shelves but maybe we need to change our expectations. On my shelf I have a book titled The Jewish Way to Death and Mourning which is a guide to the mourning procedures and while I haven’t read it yet it is one of those things I should read because we’re totally unprepared for death in the modern age. Adelaide’s book while humorous should help prepare people for what to expect and how to mourn. It’s one of my greatest bugbears that we expect to live forever and we’re not taught how to mourn anymore.

Adelaide currently works in Sydney and if I ever move there and end up doing a postgraduate in creative writing then there’s a good chance she could be my supervisor.

K is for William Kotzwinkle

Superman III by William Kotzwinkle

Superman III by William Kotzwinkle

Just filling in the last letter of my series on Male Science Fiction Authors, I was rather remiss and I’m making amends. I found this book at a market last week and realised I didn’t need to search for another author. It was at the St Kilda Twilight Market next to Luna Park, the vendor has lots of books and records as well as the most beautiful clock but I didn’t buy it.

William Kotzwinkle is known for his novelisations of both the ET and Superman III movies as well as some children’s novels about a dog called Walter. If you go to his website you can read an article about how the idea for his novel The Bear Went Over the Mountain came to mind, it’s beautifully written and I can understand the plaudits on his About Kotzwinkle page, although I’d like more ‘about’ and less ‘plaudits’ but you do get the idea.

If you order today you’re likely to have delivery by Christmas and most young kids will love the Walter books so here’s a link to one of them and another to E.T. the Extra-terrestrial Book and CD-ROM Pack, if you’re wanting Superman III you’ll be lucky as I suspect it’s out of print.

Alphabet by Author – Male Science Fiction Authors Summary

As promised here the summary of the male science fiction authors I’ve written about. It looks as if I’ve done two ‘J’s and missed ‘K’ entirely for which I apologise and appreciate no-one calling me out on it.

A is for Isaac Asimov

B is for James Blish

C is for Michael G Coney

D is for Samuel R. Delany

E is for William B. Ellern

F is for Philip Jose Farmer

G is for Hugo Gernsback

H is for Lee Harding

I is for Eric Idle

J is for Sagan Jeffries

J is for Carl Richard Jacobi

L is for Stanislaw Lem

M is for George R. R. Martin

N is for Grant Naylor

O is for Fitz-James O’Brien

P is for John T Phillifent

Q is for Thanas Qerama

R is for E. F. Russell

S is for Olaf Stapledon

T is for Theodore L Thomas

U is for Dănuţ Ungureanu

V is for A. E. van Vogt

W is for Jack Wodhams

X is for Xu Zhuodai

Y is for Nir Yaniv

Z is for George Zebrowski

And there you have it, the alphabet according to male science fiction authors. Next week I’ll repeat the same exercise with female science fiction authors and see what mistakes I’ve made.

Friday Photos – Book Expo 2015

This is the last article dedicated to the Book Expo of 2015. I’ll try to remember to mention it when I scribble a few words about the books I got there.

Waves in the Desert by Kimberley Beadles

Waves in the Desert by Kimberly Beadle

Beadle is donating some of her sales to Oxfam, putting her money where her mouth is.

Whitefella Dreaming by R B Clague

Whitefella Dreaming by R B Clague

This book is now on my To Be Read Pile, I’ll get to it this year or early next, if you want to buy it now it’s available right here.

Wombat Stories by Tony Harris

Wombat Stories by Tony Harris

Deja vue? No, it’s just Harris does so much I had to put him in twice. You can see more about him and buy his books here.

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I want to thank the Koolin people for their thousands of years of guardianship and caretaking of the area where I live.