Domestic Noir: The extraordinary in the ordinary

Camping with kids: would you rather poke sticks in your eyes?

Go Camping, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.  So, with a blank calendar both weekend days, and for no particular reason than to get unplugged for a while, us city folk hitched on the camper-trailer and headed for cowpad country. One could question the sense of a one-night trip; all that packing and driving and unpacking for less than 24hrs? (And yes, on our return I did wash four heads of hair twice each to exorcise that smoky campfire smell). But the beauty of knowing it’s just one night…

Digital Cocaine

Whether your kids still delight in Peppa Pig, have moved on to Minecraft, or graduated to Fortnite, chances are they spend a lot more time watching pixels dance on a screen than playing in the park. Since the iPad was released eight years ago, hammering the final nail in the coffin of a traditional chasing-the-dog-round-the-clothesline childhood, screentime has been blamed for everything from an increase in mental illness to school shootings. But they’re just games, aren’t they? We all grew up watching cartoons. Are screens really that bad? I’ll admit,…

Keep It Real on Mother’s Day.

Feeds will be full of flowers this Sunday – smiling selfies, beaming mums surrounded by pyjama clad children. Shops are full of pink and pearls, raising our expectations. So how will you be celebrating Mother’s Day this year? Frolicking in a grassy field with your angelic children, skipping between sunbeams in their crisply ironed clothes, offering a freshly picked flower and a hug? Or is it more like a piece of burnt toast and a squashed chocolate heart, before situation-normal-what’s-for-dinner-mum?   For others, the fuss this time of year only…

Children are our stories

While staring at that pesky blinking cursor, waiting for my muse to arrive so I could start this blog, I received a lovely email from a reader asking when my third ‘book baby’ is due. I’d heard the term before—seen memes likening finishing a novel to giving birth. Books and babies; both represent the best parts of my day. I’ve done both three times and I’m not sure I’m on board with the metaphor. Would that, by extension, make publishers the book’s midwife, and publicists the nanny … making sure…

I’ve been Podcast

Need something to listen to while you fold that mountain of washing Sunday nights? Here’s  me, talking books with Nikki from In Mum’s Good Books – a great podcast and blog that is all things reading. Be sure to follow her here.  To listen to me talking books, click on the Episode 2 link below (and please excuse the ‘umms!’ They do get less frequent!!) Thankfully I write better than I speak, so if you can forgive me the nerves, there are a few tips for readers and writers alike.…

Domestic Noir

Domestic what, you ask?  If you loved Big Little Lies, or Gone Girl, you probably have been reading it without knowing it. A crime sub-genre, on the rise thanks to best-selling phenomenon such as Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, and more recently The Couple Next Door, Domestic Noir tackles the seedy underbelly of life, where supposedly safe settings (marriage, schools, workplaces) become alien, unreliable places where danger lurks in shadows.  It is within these murky depths that people shed their skin, unleash their passions and allow themselves to…

How did I get Published?

Is Writing Your Dream? It can be a long, lonely slog, this writing caper. That’s why books like this anthology from Serenity Press are so valuable in keeping your mojo, and therefore your muse, happy. Writing The Dream is out now: No two writers are the same, but they have one thing in common: they are storytellers at heart and their deepest desire is to be heard. Writing the Dream shares the stories of twenty-five Australian writers, from emerging to established authors. Some are traditionally published, while others have taken…

Be yourself – everyone else is taken.

The Power of Imperfection The Odd Bunch, it says on the pack. But what they are, in fact, (along with clever marketing) is the anomalies of the carrot industry, bagged up and sold cheap: the equal opportunity of the vegetable world – ensuring even the bumpiest, lumpiest, stumpiest tap roots can still dream of becoming someone’s soup. And, while exploring the bag of rogue orange freaks (laughing out loud at some of the amazing variations) I realise how interesting non-normal is.  Why would anyone want to be a boring, even-featured…

Working From Home – With Children?

  I make things up for a living – in Ugg boots. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?  Living the writer’s dream – to be your own boss, float from book tour to launch party with the flexibility to schedule work around family commitments… And that’s where things come unstuck: the ‘work-around’ and ‘family’ bit. Like the time I did a live radio interview while holding a cold-pack to my three-year-old’s blood nose as his siblings spear-tackled on the couch.  (It provided laughs, at least). In a conventional workplace, it’s rare…