PM Newton’s second novel, Beams Falling - the sequel to 2010′s The Old School - has been released to rave reviews from critics, booksellers and readers alike, and Newton has already had a crowded calendar of media and bookshop events.
In this week’s Spectrum (The Sydney Morning Herald), Sue Turnbull writes that Beams Falling and its predecessor are ‘one of the most well-observed and complex crime series of recent years’. Lou Murphy writes in The Newtown Review of Books that the novel is ‘much more than an exciting crime thriller: it works on many levels’.
Crime novel aficionado Jon Page, writing on Bite the Book blog, says that Beams Falling ‘is not only an intricate crime mystery but a fascinating exploration of the social, political and economic impact of migration in Sydney’s west … At the same time Newton explores the complex issue of corruption, demonstrating the varying degrees and guises it can take, the consequences it has and how the concept of good and bad, right and wrong gets totally and utterly blurred. Combined with the psychological aspect and Newton has produced a truly remarkable novel.’
Beams Falling by PM Newton is available now in print and as an ebook – visit the Penguin Books website for more information.
Jane Bodie’s newest play Music has had it’s world premiere with Griffin Independent and Stories Like These Productions. The production has been directed by Corey McMahon and stars Anthony Gee, Sam O’Sullivan, Kate Skinner and Tom Stokes.
Music offers a sharp critique of the way mental illness is perceived today and examines the dangerous consequences of raiding people’s personal lives in the name of art. A surprising and surprisingly funny story of people connecting and colliding, as two actors blunder their way into Adam’s life, causing untold damage to him as a result.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
“Jane Bodie’s sensitive and grippingly condensed drama… Music is riveting stuff” Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald
“Her (Bodie’s) technical excellence is here allied to a painful, personal knowledge of just such a devastating illness which she approaches with delicacy and respect.” Frank Hatherley – Stage Whispers
For more information and to book tickets, click here.
We congratulate the following clients for writing shortlisted for scriptwriting, playwriting and children’s literature:
BETTY ROLAND PRIZE FOR SCRIPTWRITING
Blake Ayshford - An Accidental Soldier (Goalpost Pictures & Taylor Media/ABC TV)
Judge’s Comments: Blake Ayshford’s screenplay is a beautifully crafted love story between two disparate souls who come together in the uniquely pressured climate of war. It is a delicate reflection on the nature of courage, in life and love. The writing is visually and emotionally descriptive without being verbose, allowing the reader to experience the story as it is intended to unfold on screen. Ayshford has taken the challenge of building a convincing and nuanced relationship between characters who don’t share a spoken language and has done so with restraint, sensitivity and assurance.
Kris Mrksa – Devil’s Dust (Fremantle Media/ABC TV)
Judge’s Comments: It is always challenging to adapt real-life stories for the screen. In Devil’s Dust screenwriter Kris Mrksa has tackled the widely recognised story of Bernie Banton’s lengthy campaign to bring James Hardie Industries to account for its asbestos operations. By interweaving Banton’s story with real-life journalist Matt Peacock’s crusade to expose the company’s evasions, Mrksa masterfully creates a compelling narrative that is impressive in its sweep of recent social history. Against the backdrop of corporate malfeasance and million dollar compensation claims, Mrksa has also crafted a very human story.
NICK ENRIGHT PRIZE FOR PLAYWRITING
Kate Mulvany - Medea (co-written with Anne-Louise Sarks) (Belvoir)
Judge’s Comments: This is a terrific play – funny, moving, human, inventive and deeply intelligent. It premises itself upon Euripides’ Medea, but leaps creatively away from it in two key ways: firstly, resetting it largely in the contemporary world, and secondly, telling it mostly from the point of view of the two boys who are, ultimately, murdered by their mother. In this way, it achieves a universality and a contemporary resonance, reflecting on the suffering of the children in marital breakdown, and the rare – but not rare enough – shocking outcomes in which children become the sacrifice of tormented parents… the play achieves a level of beauty and poetry in the writing that is often thrilling. A very fine piece of work for the stage.
PATRICIA WRIGHTSON PRIZE FOR CHILREN’S LITERATURE
Penny Tangey – Stay Well Soon (University of Queensland Press)
Judge’s Comments: In creating the character and daily life of Stevie, Penny Tangey has captured the quintessential contradictions of pre-teen girls. Stevie takes responsibility for all the family laundry and puts together a meal when necessary, but she also is able to rationalise to herself that it is okay to steal from her brother’s moneybox while he lies in hospital, or to deceive her mother when it suits. The novel is both poignant and humorous, and the serious issues it deals with arise naturally and deftly from the narrative. It is an uplifting celebration of friendship and empathy.
Twenty-four judges considered hundreds of entries, with the winners to be announced on the evening of Monday, 19 May.
For the full list of shortlisted works, click here.
(In which we ask an author five short questions in order to find out more about him or her.)
Belinda Jeffrey is the author of several acclaimed books for young adults: Brown Skin Blue, Big River Little Fish and One Long Thread. She is the author-illustrator of the picture book It Wasn’t Me!.
1. Can you remember the first story you ever wrote and, if so, what was it?
The first story that I remember writing was in grade 5. I had a fascination with a kids’ musical at the time, “The Music Machine”, and I wrote a story about that. My teacher thought I was brilliant but I didn’t have the courage to tell him I only made up the story about the Music Machine, not the “Music Machine” itself. I still have the record from the musical on my shelf, and can even remember the lyrics to many of the songs.
2. How many novels did you write before your ‘first novel’ was published?
I had written two and a half novels before I wrote Brown Skin Blue, which was my first published novel. One of those other novels became Big River Little Fish, which was published second, however I completely rewrote that story. I still love the idea I had for the first novel I tried writing and I hope to finish it one day. I need to be a better writer, however, to do that story justice.
3. What sorts of books do you love to read?
I love intense books that are full of heart and not afraid to face the darker and deeper aspects of life and humanity. I like writing that is distilled and dense and beautiful. My favorite recent reads have been MJ Hyland’s, This Is How, All The Truth That Is In Me by Julie Berry, and Paul Griffin’s Stay With Me. Each of these books has inspired me to find a deeper and truer voice, and to trust my characters and their journey. They have also made me fall in love with reading and writing all over again.
4. If you were forced to co-write a novel with someone (as we’re not presuming that you’d want to co-write with anyone necessarily) who would it be?
This is an easy question, actually, and I’d happily co-write a book with Nerida Newton. Her book, The Lambing Flat, won the Queensland Premier’s unpublished manuscript ward some years ago and was shortlisted for the Vogel at the same time. I remember reading that book and feeling inspired to write something as beautiful. I hadn’t read a book that moved me as much in a long time, and hadn’t yet written Brown Skin Blue. Life is a strange journey and not only have we ended up friends, we now work together as writers in a different industry. I think we could write a great book together because we feel life deeply, admire each others’ writing, and are not afraid to tell each other what isn’t working. She also likes to go dancing with me, which, I feel, is an essential quality in a writing partner these days
5. What are you working on now and next?
At the moment I’m working on a novel that is set in a regressive future that feels like The Crucible meets The Knife Of Never Letting Go. I’m also working on a new picture book that celebrates my love of dancing and performing, through an extroverted – but slightly clumsy – flamingo who wants to be fabulous.
The programme for the 2014 Sydney Writers’ Festival was launched last night and it contained several Cameron’s clients – events are listed beneath each author’s name:
Dr Rebecca Huntley
Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
The festival runs from 19 to 25 May. The full programme can be found at www.swf.org.au.
Episode 1 of Charlotte McConaghy’s novel Fury: Book 1 of The Cure (published by Momentum) is the Apple iBookstore’s Book of the Week and has consequently performed strongly in the general chart as well as the Sci Fi/Fantasy chart. The next two episodes, as well as the omnibus edition, are also charting well.
In the tradition of Divergent comes a novel about a world where negative emotions are stolen … and only those with fury can stand up and fight.
Eighteen-year-old Josephine Luquet wakes up naked and covered in blood on the same day every year when the blood moon is full. Josi has not responded to the “Cure” an immunization against anger mandated by the government and believes herself to be a threat to others.
Then she meets Luke. Luke has had the Cure but seems different than the other “drones” and he’s dead set on helping Josi discover the truth about herself before the next blood moon.
But time is running out. Is Luke willing to risk his life to be near her? Does he truly understand what violence she is capable of?
Raw and full of passion, Fury is a story of love in a dystopian world, and how much we are willing to forgive in the struggle to remember our humanity.
It’s a busy time for Charlotte – her follow-up novel to Avery (Random House) will be published later this year. You can keep up with all of Charlotte’s writing activities at her website: www.charlottemcconaghy.bounce.com.au - or find her on Twitter @CharMcConaghy.
We are delighted to congratulate children’s/young adult fiction author Penny Tangey, who has been shortlisted for the 2014 Readings Children’s Book Prize for her third novel, Stay Well Soon (published by University of Queensland Press).
Stevie has a lot of dreams … more friends at school, better drawing pencils and a pony. If only she had her dream horse, her life would be better and the other horse-mad girls would talk to her. When her brother is taken to hospital, Stevie’s dreams seem further away than ever. Suddenly her after-school world is filled with hospital visits and there’s even less money for anything, especially a pony. With Stevie’s mum spending more time with her brother, Stevie has to learn to figure out the hard things in life by herself.
Penny’s first two novels were Loving Richard Feynman (a CBCA notable book in 2010) and Clara in Washington.
Penny’s website can be found at pennytangey.com.au.
Congratulations to our clients for their involvement on the following Logie nominated television projects:
TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Outstanding Miniseries or Telemovie
- An Accidental Soldier: Writer- Blake Ayshford
- Top Of The Lake: Cinematographer- Adam Arkapaw
TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE — Most Outstanding Drama Series
- Offspring: Co-creator/writer- Debra Oswald
- Redfern Now: Production Design- Felicity Abbott , Director – Adria Russell-Wills
- The Time Of Our Lives: Creator/Writer- Judi McCrossin, Writers- Kris Mrksa and Blake Ayshford
- Wentworth: Writer- Giula Sandler
- A Place To Call Home: Costume Design– Xanthe Heubel
MOST OUTSTANDING LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
- Please Like Me: Script Producer- Liz Doran
- Upper Middle Bogan: Writer- Robyn Butler, Production Designer- Jo Briscoe
MOST OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S PROGRAM
- Dance Academy: Writer/Story Consultant- Liz Doran, Script Editor/Writer – Josh Mapleston
- Nowhere Boys: Production Designer- Jo Briscoe
For the full list of nominees click here.
Hoopla Doopla features in The Guide for the Sydney Morning Herald, Bridget McManus writes: In the village of Hoopla Doopla, six characters in candy coloured costumes somersault and cartwheel their way across a cartoon set, solving sticky situations without speaking. Half the cast speak only English, and the other half only Chinese, and their interaction off set is confined to the physicality and humour that has made the ABC’s collaboration with Chinese network CCTV a hit with its pint-sized audience in both countries. Read the full article here.
This Year’s Ashes by Jane Bodie opened on the weekend at Red Stitch Actor’s Centre in Melbourne.
This production is directed by Tim Roseman and stars Daniel Frederiksen, Rosie Lockhart & Jeremy Stanford.
This Year’s Ashes is a hilarious, touching, bittersweet comedy about relationships, loss and… the cricket.
Jane has been interviewed by AussieTheatre.com and discusses This Year’s Ashes and her two other plays opening in within a month, read the full article here.
For more information or to book tickets, click here.