Archive | Blog

New novel on the way

Hello, thanks for visiting. I’m fixing up the site in the spare moments when I’m not working on my second novel, which is called Comrades and will be released later this year if all goes well. Stay tuned for more details!

Hey Hey it’s a black day

Another week, another outrage perpetrated by the entertainment industry. And this time it’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday that’s in the firing line for that ‘Jackson Jive’ sketch involving blacked-up performers. At least it’s a change from the days when the show’s only crime was blandness.

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How I write, and more importantly, how you can

So many people have been asking how I managed to write a book that I’m starting to wonder whether I should be feeling a little insulted. Yeah okay, so I produced something  that someone, in a moment of either extraordinary generosity or extraordinary folly, decided to publish. But me succeeding in releasing a book isn’t, like, one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse or anything. Or at least I hope it isn’t – WikiAnswers is worryingly inconclusive on the subject.

The question has been particularly popular with people who know me well, which is no surprise really – my most outstanding talent is generally agreed to be procrastination.  So I guess it is a bit of a surprise that someone who isn’t able to complete a tax return on time might have a bit of difficulty completing 70,000 words which, when read consecutively, make at least some degree of sense.

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Be careful what you wish for…

Okay, it’s time for me to eat some humble pie. Or perhaps humble Codral would be more appropriate. Because – oh, what fun I had last week with my jokey little piece on swine flu, and my little list about what I’d read if I was confined to my home with an illness. Oh how pleased with myself I felt.

Well, guess what happened? That’s right, I’ve spent the past three days stuck in bed with a cold. It’s not actually swine flu, apparently, because I don’t have an elevated temperature. And I’m not sure how to feel about that – on the one hand, I’m obviously pleased that I’m probably not going to die. On the other, if I’d been one of the first fatalities, it would have really helped with promoting my book.

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The Joy of Marketing

Marketing is a bit of a dirty word for writers. We like to think of ourselves as releasing our work into the world like a precious, special patch of flowers that discerning readers will bend over and pick, sniffing gently and appreciating each petal’s delicate beauty.

But that’s not how it works. It’s a struggle to get a book published, and a far harder struggle to get people to read it. The Australian publishing market is small and crowded, and it’s tough to break through and tell people you exist. For that, you need publicity, of course, and marketing. Continue Reading →

Stockpiling books for swine flu

The world has been panicking. As if the climate crisis, economic crisis and Spice Girls reunion tour weren’t keeping us sufficiently terrified, we now have to deal with swine flu. Experts warn that it could become a global ‘pandemic’, a term which I find bizarre because it reminds me of ‘pancake’ and ‘panforte’, making the prospect of a mass disease outbreak seem considerably less scary and considerably more delicious. Continue Reading →

Sydney Writers Festival this week

I’m getting ready to pontificate at several SWF events this week. I’m reading everything Gideon Haigh and Robert Manne have ever written, shopping for a fetching black beret and approaching random strangers to adamantly express my opinion on a range of culturally important topics without being asked. Can’t wait!

I’m doing a panel on Irreverence on Thursday, talking about my book on Saturday and providing some extremely uninformed opinions on the teaching of grammar on the Sunday – details are here. Also, I’ve added a few new reviews and audio/video things to the Media page. And if you spot me uninformedly mouthing off down at the wharf, do come and say hi, thereby rescuing whoever I’m talking at to!

First review, and other articles

I’ve added Disco Boy’s first review, from the Sunday Age, and a few other profile pieces to the new Media page. I’ll figure out how to make the page look spiffier soon, but at least it’s up!

Appearing at Sydney Writers’ Festival May 2009

In connection with the launch of Disco Boy, I’m excited to be appearing at three events this year, as follows. Please come and watch as I pretend to be a notable literary figure in this idyllic harbourside location. Sensibly, SWF has made all my events free.