Tag Archives: interview

Quintette of Questions: Annie Pateman

Cover photo by Arek Raincuzk from Five Castles Portraits

Today I’m asking Annie Pateman 5 questions about her new book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

The name of the book is The Strength Within – it was my second choice.  My first choice just didn’t sit right (actually, I can’t remember what the title was – quite unmemorable and glad that I changed it) 

The Strength Within came to me and just felt right – I think it creates a curiosity factor for the reader to discover the story and how they can build their own strength within themselves not in the physical sense, but the emotional and mental strength.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast in the film of your life?

This question was asked of me recently. In my early years, Ellen Page – as a young actor I thought her performance in Juno as a pregnant teenager was stunning; how she handled the emotionally charged situation she was in, initially deciding to have an abortion and then changing her mind to go through with the pregnancy and put the baby up for adoption and how she responds to the adults around her. 

For my later  years, Sigrid Thornton, one of the best actors in Australia – love her in everything she does movies, TV, theatre – from The Man from Snowy River to Seachange.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Enthralling,   Riveting  Inspirational, Uplifting, Amazing (these are comments from my readers)

4. Who is your favourite real life team/couple?

I would have to say my daughter Jessica, and son-in-law, Sean, because they have given us two beautiful grandsons.  Even though they live in NSW, they bring me joy and inspire me every day.

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

Well actually this decision was made for me – I have a chapter where I talk about meeting my husband and I called him my Knight in Shining armour – one of my readers reviews referred to the song “The Knight in Rusty Armour” by Peter and Gordon.  Which I think is quite apt for that scene.

About The Strength Within

I am a 3 times cancer survivor, about to celebrate my 40th anniversary after diagnosis in 1st April 1980.  This memoir includes my diagnosis and thereafter.

The Strength Within does not dwell on the disease ,but how I overcame it and the strategies I used.  It is a story of overcoming challenges, adversity and building resilience with a dash of humour and the historical events that I lived through, understanding all the while that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, with a message of hope.  It is directed not necessarily to cancer sufferers, but anyone who is facing adversity and challenges.

Buy The Strength Within

About Anne Pateman

Photo by Arek Raincuzk from Five Castles Portraits

I migrated to Australia as a two and a half year old child with my parents and sister from Paris, France. The Strength Within, a memoir, is my debut book.  It was a slow process taking me 11 years to write and now is available for you to enjoy. 

I am now retired, and in my working life I was an executive assistant; my last workplace was at Monash University. Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s my book covers these eras to some degree with references to the political situations and times that I lived through such as the swinging 60’s and the Vietnam war. The 80’s brings to the table the trauma of being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26 whilst pregnant and the circumstances surrounding it which changed my life as I knew it and how I dealt with these changes. I am enjoying this new chapter in my life as an author.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.

Quintette of Questions: LA Larkin

Today I’m asking LA Larkin 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

It’s called Prey and it was relatively easy to choose the title because it’s about a brave woman who hunts down a criminal syndicate only to find herself their prey. The title also relates to the main theme of the book.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

Daisy Ridley who played the lead in The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

3. What five words best describe your story?

Tense, secrets, danger, betrayal, feisty

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

Lucifer and Chloe from the TV series Lucifer

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run

About Prey

Olivia Wolfe is a journalist who travels the world exposing heinous crimes. She has more enemies that most.

When her anonymous source is murdered, Wolfe must unravel the terrible secret that connects a series of gruesome murders. But powerful people want her stopped.

Betrayed and isolated, Wolfe is hunted by a faceless killer.  Can she stay alive long enough to expose the shocking truth?

Four murders. Four countries. One terrible secret.

Buy Prey

About LA Larkin

Thriller author, L.A. Larkin, has been described by James Phelan as ‘a world-class thriller writer’ and likened to Michael Crichton by The Guardian and Alistair MacLean by The Times.

Her new novel, PREY, reintroduces the feisty and resourceful investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe who was described by Sue Turnbull in The Age as, ‘a new breed of female heroine bounding into the hitherto masculine preserve of the action thriller.’

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.

Quintette of Questions: Jennifer Mackenzie

Today I’m asking Jennifer Mackenzie 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My book is called Navigable Ink. It came to me quite early in the process of writing the book. It is a poetic image combining the themes of ocean voyaging, of distances travelled over the waterways of the Indonesian archipelago, and of the writing process itself.

2. What three main things inspired you in writing these poems? 

My book was inspired by the life of Pramoedya and the quality of his writing. I find his example of standing up to his persecutors, and being true to himself to be very moving. I also wanted to have the challenge of writing a collection which would in many ways hold a mirror up to history, as Pramoedya’s writing does, and present important political and environmental themes. I was also inspired by some young environmental activists in Indonesia and have included poems dedicated to them.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Immersive, sensuous, tragic, heartbreaking, defiant

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

The narrator and Albertine in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

The sound of a Javanese gamelan as you approach it from a distance

About Navigable Ink

Navigable Ink is a homage to the Indonesian writer and activist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Pramoedya spent most of his adult life in jail, imprisoned first by colonial powers and later by Indonesian governments. This poetry collection is a response to his life, and the beauty of his writing and of the Indonesian natural environment.

Buy Navigable Ink

About Jennifer Mackenzie

Jennifer Mackenzie is a poet and reviewer, currently living in Melbourne. Her first visit to Java and the Buddhist temple of Borobudur inspired a lifelong interest in the Asian region. She regularly attends writers’ festivals and conferences there, including the Ubud, Irrawaddy and Makassar festivals. Her previous collection, Borobudur was also published by Transit Lounge, and by the Lontar Foundation in Indonesia.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.

Quintette of Questions: Donna Mazza

Today I’m asking Donna Mazza 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My latest book is called Fauna. It started life as a short story called ‘The Exhibit’ but it soon outgrew the title as it moved past the exhibition of de-extincted animals that was its namesake.  I had wanted a more complex title with more words in it but when I finally settled on Fauna , nothing else seemed to fit. In the end, the title and my name have a delightful symmetry on the cover of the book and I can’t imagine anything would suit it better.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

As I was writing Fauna , I realised it was a very visual work and would make a great movie. I imagined Sam Worthington as Isak because he seems gentle and isn’t extremely handsome but he’s alright. If he’s reading this I do apologise!  Isak is from South Africa so I think Sharlto Copley would be wonderful and he has the best accent for it.  He has already made movies about aliens (District 9) so he’d be quite comfortable with my not-quite-human baby. Essie Davis, who was the mother in The Babadook, would be great as Stacey and she’s had that experience of being a panicky mother under threat.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Poetic – Raw – Maternal – Prescient – Empathic

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

They aren’t fictional but they are legendary – Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley are my all time favourite couple. I mean she wrote Frankenstein and he was the most passionate and sublime poet of all the Romantics – what’s not to love?

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

When the family go on a doomed holiday to the South West of WA they sing along to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ and it brings back memories of when they met, before they had children, especially ones that weren’t really human! 

About Fauna

A compelling near-future literary novel, psychological thriller and family drama set seventeen years into a very recognisable future, Fauna is an astonishing psychological drama with an incredible twist: What if the child you are carrying is not entirely human?

Using DNA technology, scientists have started to reverse the extinction of creatures like the mammoth and the Tasmanian Tiger. The benefits of this radical approach could be far-reaching. But how far will they go?

Longing for another child, Stacey is recruited by LifeBLOOD®, a company that offers massive incentives for her to join an experimental genetics program. As part of the agreement, Stacey and her husband’s embryo will be blended with edited cells. Just how edited, Stacey doesn’t really know. Nor does she have any idea how much her longed-for new daughter will change her life and that of her family. Or how hard she will have to fight to protect her.

Fauna is a transformative, lyrical and moving novel about love and motherhood, home and family-and what it means to be human.

Buy Fauna

About Donna Mazza

Donna Mazza is a writer and academic whose debut novel, The Albanian (Fremantle Press, 2007) won the TAG Hungerford Award. Her short stories, poetry and other works have been published in literary magazines and she was recipient of the Mick Dark Flagship Fellowship for Environmental Writing at Varuna Writers Centre for her short fiction. Her short story ‘The Exhibit’, which was the seed of her new novel, was joint winner of Westerly Magazine’s Patricia Hackett Prize.

Her poetry is featured on several public art works in Western Australia. Donna teaches at Edith Cowan University and lives in a small country town in the South West with her family, including many chickens.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.