Posts Tagged ‘Intruder’

Me and Sophie Hannah

Me and Sophie Hannah

I can die happy after a cracker of a night in Melbourne where Intruder won the 2015 Davitt Award for Best Debut Crime Book!

Do not underestimate my excitement. The last prize I won was a netball raffle ten years ago – a mountain bike designed by the military to be dropped out of helicopters into war zones.

A Davitt is infinitely more useful. And it fits on my desk!

A huge thank you to the awesome Sisters in Crime Australia for welcoming me into the fold at their 15th Annual Davitt Awards for best crime books by Australian women.

Intruder was shortlisted twice – in the Young Adult category (won by Ellie Marney’s wonderful Sherlockesque thriller Every Word), and for best Debut Crime Book which is judged across all categories (Non-fiction, Adult, YA and Children’s fiction).

With Pam Rushby and hubba hubby

With Pam Rushby and hubba hubby

Hubba hubby was there to take out the good husband award and to share in a fabulous night that celebrated Australia’s best women crime writers and which starred international best-selling author Sophie Hannah.

Huge congrats to all longlisted and short-listed authors, especially:

Liane Moriarty, Winner of the Best Adult Fiction Award for Big Little Lies and Sulari Gentill, Highly Commended for A Murder Unmentioned

Ellie Marney, Winner of Best YA Fiction for Every Word, and Pamela Rushby, Highly Commended for The Ratcatcher’s Daughter

Judith Rossell, Winner of Best Children’s Fiction for Withering-by-Sea, and Lollie Barr, Highly Commended for The Adventures of Stunt Boy and His Amazing Wonder Dog Blindfold 

Carolyn Overington, Winner, Best Non-fiction Book for Last Woman Hanged, and Julie Szego, Highly Commended for The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama.

And finally to  Candice Fox, who was Highly Commended in the Best Debut Crime Book category for Hades.20150829_223918

2015 Davitt Award for Best Debut Crime Book for Intruder

You are all winners in my book and I look forward to adding all your books to my tottering bedside reading pile!

Choice article from Rocky Life to kickstart Book Week  2014 – Connect to Reading.

Looking forward to connecting with heaps of readers this week at Ashgrove Literature Festival, St Williams Grovely, and Sharing Stories – Connect to Reading with Authors & Illustrators – a Book Week Event for Kids aged 10-13 | Book Links Qld Inc.

Hope to see you round the writerly ridges this Book Week!


CBCA QLD Book Week Dinner

My husband and I were snoring when you snuck in over the front balcony of our Yamba holiday unit in the early hours of last Thursday.

Thank heavens Nana didn’t stumble upon you. She’s often up and down during the night. But at 87, she’d had a big day at the Angourie rock pools and slept through it all, her ‘ears’ turned off, and tucked into their case on the bedside table.

So no-one heard you take our mobiles, my laptop, or Nana’s camera with its precious holiday snaps of her grandkids.

There was no-one to stop you slipping the keys to our unit and car into your pocket, opening the garage door downstairs and rolling our station wagon out into darkness.

My mobile wasn’t locked. So I guess you scrolled through my photos. Saw those hundreds of silly shots of the dog and the kids.

And I know you looked at my facebook. Because I found your message when I got home.

fb sorry


Those two little words sent at 4.16am.

Oh sorry.

And I wondered then, what were you thinking.

What made you reach out across the ether, knowing that I’d  find that message in a bottle when it washed up on the shores of my home wifi.

Nana AngourieWas it the photo of Nana, so happy at Angourie, that brought on an attack of conscience? Such a lovely holiday, she kept saying, thank you, dear, for bringing me.

Or was it the night rushing past as someone else drove? Leaving you free to lean your head against the window and wonder about the family who’d wake to find their car gone?

Or was it just that automatic apology that pops out when you intrude on someone else’s space? When you walk into the wrong bedroom by mistake, or open someone else’s facebook page, expecting your own?

I don’t know you, but I’d like to think that you meant it.

You see, I know where you went after you stole my car.Gold Coast

Google+ sent me automatic backups of the photos you took from my mobile.

My husband was so pleased to see that his stand-up paddle board was still safe on the roof racks of our car. He hopes his wetsuit also survived the trip to the Gold Coast (and that funny crate he uses to store all his important bits that no-one else cares about, like surfboard wax, sun block and leg ropes).

We were actually tracking your progress through Broadbeach when the police called this morning to say they’d found our car. Locked up and abandoned down a dirt track at Angourie. In good nick, he said, apart from the tree sap, which will be a bugger to get off when we get it home.

He couldn’t see if the wetsuits were still in the boot. Said there was a plant on the back seat, was it mine? Maybe, I said, it’s a thank you gift from you, for borrowing our car?

So, I’m guessing that you made it back home. I’m glad. Because for some reason, I picture you as a kid, and I worry about the dumb things that kids do. You might have got away with it this time. But then again, maybe not.

It’s not safe what you’re doing, you know. A trip to the Gold Coast isn’t worth it. Stop now. Please. While you still can.



I love my copy editor
1. She points out when my characters find their way all the way up the hallway and halfway up the stairs.

2. She suggests how to tighten the poesis of my descriptions. (I go along with these suggestions because I don’t know what poesis means. Not even after googling it. Twice.)

3. She won’t let me start three paragraphs in a row in the same way.  Starting successive paragraphs in the same way is a no-no.

4. After deleting verbiage, she tactfully asks if I think that works better to improve the pace?

5. I try not to mix my metaphors but have been sprung cramming too many different ones into a confined space. Man, I gotta remember to let those suckers breathe.

6. She calls me on phrases like ‘crabbing backwards’ because crabs normally scurry sideways. Duh.

7. And, technically, characters can’t hiss if there isn’t a sibilant sound in their line of dialogue. Suffering suckotash, how did I not figure that out for myself?

8. Intruder, my soon-to-released YA novel, is nearly 65,000 words long and not a single page has escaped the red pen of my copy editor.

9. Because she’s been specially trained to give a shit.

10. She’s going to make me look good when Intruder hits the bookshelves on 1 June. But right now, I’m a hundred pages into the copy edit, on-screen track changes are sending me blind, Monday’s deadline is staring back at me, and I can’t stop muttering ‘I love my copy editor, I love my copy editor, I love my copy editor . . .

People love to know where we writers get our ideas.

They seem to think that ideas are elusive, and that we find them in secret places where others never think to look.

The truth is that ideas spring at us from all directions.

Like hungry cats, they clamour for our attention, rubbing up against our legs, jumping onto our laps, and whingeing till they get what they want.

Some inevitably drift off, bored with our lack of response.

Others are more persistent, digging in their claws and refusing to let go till we give in to their demands.

Henry Hoey Hobson was a clawer. He arrived unannounced, when I was busy working on a crime novel, and waiting for my novel Dust to come out.

A likeable kid that nobody liked. How was that even possible?

I felt for him, even pulled out a pen and jotted down his details, then shooed him away so that I could concentrate on my work-in-progress.

But he was a persistent little begger, sneaking into my thoughts, and into my dreams, until finally I got out of bed and started writing his story.

Now there’s another one clawing at me.

I’ve been pushing Intruder away with my foot, while I got through the month of Book Week, the school visits, the festivals and conferences.

It’s shredded my pants up to the knee, and if I don’t get to it soon, there will be blood.

This morning I shoved it, hissing and spitting, into a hold-all, to take it up the coast for two weeks.

There’s no internet. No telephone. No mail deliveries. And they’re predicting rain.

Wish me luck. It’s time to feed the beast.

serial monogamyIt’s not like I went looking for it. But after breaking my vows twice in less than twelve months, it ‘s time to have a good hard look at myself.

In my own defence, I wasn’t used to the freedom. Dust and I had been together a long time. First love and all that. But as soon as what we had became public, I had to move on.

I stumbled into something I wasn’t prepared for, an irresistible character in a difficult situation (The Lonely Dead, for those in the know).  I was a bit out of my depth in the criminal milieu, inexperienced, but smitten. TLD was challenging, complex, and unusually for me, surprisingly age-appropriate. Forsaking all others, I made the commitment.

The relationship was getting serious when Henry Hoey Hobson appeared on the scene, a kid in need if I ever saw one. I couldn’t get HHH out of my head; couldn’t give TLD what he needed, so decided to take a break. Swore I’d be back, soon as I got the kid settled.

I was as good as my word. By new year, HHH was off my hands. TLD and me, hell, we just picked up where we’d left off, and if anything it was even better than before. Like the break had done us both good.

I vowed that 2010 would be TLD’s year, but within weeks Intruder had stalked into my life. Bold, vaguely threatening, and young, with too much potential to ignore. What could I do?

TLD didn’t even need to be told: stepped aside, just like the last time, to make way for another young one. Which is just as well; Intruder is difficult, demanding and taking up all of my time.

Part of me feels guilty, leaving TLD on hold, while I tend to the kids. I console myself with the knowledge that he’s a keeper; he’ll be waiting with open arms when I put Intruder to bed.

I’ll make it up to him then. I promise.