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Quintette of Questions: Paul Collins

Today I’m asking Paul Collins 5 questions about his latest book!

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

James Gong: The Big Hit was initially written as The Big Hit. Then I figured I might write this character into a series. A series needs a tag line so I decided to use the character’s name.

If the publisher commissions a sequel, it’ll be James Gong: The Chinese Dragon. I’ve already written a rough draft of the sequel.

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

Definitely Bruce Lee as James. His love interest would be Winona Ryder. His sister, perhaps the girl who plays Alaska in Looking for Alaska: Kristine Foseth.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Action. Martial arts. Plot driven.

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin.

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

Hugo Montenegro’s version of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. It gets played in the martial arts film that James Gong stars in.

About James Gong: The Big Hit

James Gong is training for his black belt in taekwondo. One night a camera crew from Hollywood Productions turns up at training for an episode of My Life, only to see James at his most ornery aggressiveness. They love James’ jumping spinning sidekick, and decide to star him in a small budget flick. Trouble is, Hollywood Productions is a scam company that basically produces B grade ‘loser’ movies to offset huge tax bills.

Meanwhile, James, who likes his sister Caitlin’s best friend, Amber, thinks his sudden film career will curry favour. Not so. If anything, Amber shuns him more.

Hollywood Productions may want to lose money, but underestimates their star.

James Gong: The Big Hit book trailer.

For ages 9 to 13: teacher’s notes available online.

Buy James Gong: The Big Hit

About Paul Collins

Paul Collins has written many books for younger readers. He is best known for his fantasy and science fiction titles: The Jelindel Chronicles and The Quentaris Chronicles ─ co-edited with Michael Pryor. His trade series The Earthborn was published in America by Tor.

Paul has been short-listed for many awards and has won the Inaugural Peter McNamara A Bertram Chandler, Aurealis and William Atheling awards. He has two black belts in martial arts and was a kickboxer trained by Dana Goodson, then Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion of Australia.

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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: Anne Buist

Today I’m asking Anne Buist 5 questions about her latest book!

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

Titles are so hard! The Long Shadow just seemed to fit all my criteria; suggestive of its rural location which is a big player in the book, as well as the psychological implications that are also apt.

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

  • Margo Robbie as Issy
  • Clive Owen as Dean
  • Jessica Mauboy as Teagan
  • Nicole Kidman as Sophie
  • Saorise Ronan (with weight added) as Róisín
  • Leila Hatami as Zahra
  • Kathy Bates as Kate
  • Leo McKern (he played Thomas Ryan in Ryan’s daughter) as Conor
  • Robert de Niro as Joe
  • Jack Nicholson as Gordon
  • Lauren Bacall as Grace Barclay

This was so much fun I could keep going but maybe this is enough!

3. What five words best describe your story?

Jane Harper meets Liane Moriaty.

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

It was a long time ago, but Hart to Hart (played by Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers) created by Sidney Sheldon.

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

I have to pick two; the book is a thriller, so moody at times and with tension which is captured by Mike Oldfield/Maggie Reilly’s Moonlight Shadow

But whilst The Long Shadow isn’t an “Indigenous” story, Teagan, the Indigenous character, and country, are an integral part of the story, and Jessica Mauboy’s  I Believe has lyrics are of hardship, of scars, but with hope. Teagan doesn’t let go of this hope, and Issy as the group psychologist wants to instil in all her group members

About  The Long Shadow

Old Sins Cast Long Shadows…sometimes you have to deal with the past before you can face the future

Issy Harris has never heard of Riley, a town on the edge of the outback, much less want to end up there. But her husband Dean is the Red Adair of hospital stuff ups, and Riley is where they and their two year old son need to go. A psychologist, at least she gets a job running the mother-baby postnatal group to keep her occupied.

From the first group, Issy knows something is wrong. Badly wrong. Pulled into the politics of a company town where a culture of corruption is putting the viability of the hospital at risk, Issy is forced to make sense of a threats made against her and her son if she is to protect him. Nursing her own secret and struggling to keep her marriage together, Issy is pitted against the local union boss, the politician patriarch and his family as she tries to work out how they are tied into a twenty five year old tragedy – the kidnapping and murder of the older brother of one of the women in her group.  A desperate race against time and the unpredictable elements of nature results in a breathtaking climax where Issy is forced to choose what it is that she really values.

A story about mothers, attachment and the things that get in the way of being the parent you want to be.

Buy  The Long Shadow

About  Anne Buist

Anne Buist is the Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and has thirty years clinical and research experience in perinatal psychiatry, including forensic work. She is the author of three psychological thrillers, Medea’s Curse, Dangerous to Know, and This I Would Kill For, with tart noir heroine, psychiatrist Natalie King, and a new stand alone rural thriller, The Long Shadow.

She has been married to Graeme Simsion for thirty years and they have two children, and a joint romantic comedy/feel-good mid-age novel, Two Steps Forward, and a sequel in progress, Two Steps Onwards.


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: 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.