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Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 | Author:


Last week I had the honour of meeting one of Australia’s greatest writers, Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List. Mr Keneally was launching a non-fiction book by Kevin Windle, entitled Undesirable: Captain Zuzenko and the Workers of Australia and the World, the biography of the fascinating Russian fellow who inspired Keneally’s novel, The People’s Train, and my husband’s Russian teacher invited us along to the launch.

Funnily enough, both Lazar and I had just finished reading Schindler’s List — again — a couple of weeks previously. I’m writing about the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Oskar Schindler is such a wonderful, flawed and compelling wartime hero that I wanted to read his story again. So I went along to the book launch with my ancient, dog-eared copy of Schindler’s List (it’s now 30 years since TK wrote it, and about 18 years since I bought my copy) and was incredibly thrilled when Mr Keneally signed it for me. I just wish I’d been a little less overawed and tongue-tied so that I could have told him so!

Friday, April 12th, 2013 | Author:


I am now 30 000+ words into the second draft of my new novel, set in the former Yugoslavia and present-day Australia. It’s early 1993, and my main character is about to leave Sarajevo and head to Belgrade, and from there the vagaries of life and war will conspire to draw him back to Bosnia at the worst possible time, in mid-1995.

I’ve found the perfect soundtrack for this novel: the heart-wrenchingly beautiful music of Slobodan Trkjula, a flautist who gives traditional Serbian music a modern twist. Check out his gorgeous song ‘Andjele’ (Angel) and the amazing singing of his group of Orthodox monks here.

Interestingly enough, some of the YouTube footage indicates that Slobodan Trkjula’s music is also huge in China!

Thursday, April 04th, 2013 | Author:


Some exciting news – Bloodstones, which features my short story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is on the shortlist for Best Anthology in the 2012 Aurealis Awards!

Now I just have to wait till the awards night in May for a good excuse to pop a bottle of bubbly!


Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Author:


Bloodstones, the dark fantasy anthology featuring my story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is now available on Amazon. Click here to buy it.

It also has a page on Goodreads. Visit the page to rate it.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 | Author:


Erin Underwood, the American writer and reviewer who penned the introduction to the Bloodstones anthology, is currently promoting the book (due out at the end of this month) on her website. She’s running some interviews with the contributing authors (me included!) at I am incredibly thrilled to be included there amongst writers like Thoraiya Dyer, Richard Harland and Joanne Anderton… Take a look!

Sunday, September 09th, 2012 | Author:


I’m really chuffed – I have a new story out in this month’s Aurealis! It’s called ‘Anvil of the Sun’ (thanks to Nathan Burrage for the title suggestion), and I must admit that even though I do have a bit of a penchant for dark fantasy, this was a really harrowing story to write. But I am very proud of the final version. Also, Andrew Saltmarsh has done a great job with the cover illustration. The starkness of his image captures the mood of the story perfectly.

Anyway, you can buy Aurealis #54 by clicking here.

Friday, May 11th, 2012 | Author:


Last week I enjoyed my second-ever trip to the local Wuyishan cinema. The cinema was closed for renovations during our first 18 months in China and I have to say, I’m loving it being reopened. I visited it for the first time last month, to see Titanic in 3-D with two of my students. It wasn’t bad — the cinema’s kind of small, the popcorn has that weird sugary-salty flavour that’s so popular here, and the projector broke down three times during the course of the movie. But hey, it was great to watch a movie on the big screen instead on the laptop in our apartment, and I confess I sobbed along with my students when Jack finally sank under the water.

But last week’s trip to the cinema was much, much more exciting, because I avoided the popcorn, left the tissues at home, and went to see ‘The Avengers’. It was great. Josh Whedon’s script was excellent, full of laughs and action and interpersonal conflict, and it was fantastic to see so many superheroes in the one story. But I have to confess to liking the villain better than all the heroes put together. Loki, a.k.a Tom Hiddleston, is awesome. I loved him in ‘Thor’ — his thoroughly justified angst, his intelligence, his sleek black hair — and I loved him all over again in this. In fact, I am entirely in agreement with Meghan O’Keefe, a NY-based writer, who on her blog makes a great case for Tom Hiddleston being the hottest actor in ‘The Avengers’.

And did I mention that he can write, too? Check out Tom’s article in the Guardian where he talks about superhero movies being part of our modern mythology.

So all in all, in my humble opinion, ‘The Avengers’ is great, the superheroes handsome, brave, witty, tough, and frequently very well-muscled… but Loki is still the real star.

Loki in 'The Avengers'


Category: Books / Movies  | Tags: ,  | One Comment
Friday, January 06th, 2012 | Author:


I’ve just finished an amazing book called ‘Infidel’, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Somali woman by birth, and a Muslim, she ended up becoming a politician in Holland for a time and is now a campaigner for Muslim women’s rights. At times her life story is a pretty gut-wrenching read, but wow, what an incredibly inspiring woman! A very intelligent and thought-provoking book.