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Quintette of Questions: Red Cape Publishing

Today I’m asking  Red Cape Publishing 5 questions about their latest anthology!

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

The name of the anthology is A is for Aliens. We knew when we started the project (a series of 26 books) that the titles would be A is for…B is for… and so on. Some of the letters were more difficult to name than others, either because there were very few options (such as X) or because there were too many choices (Vampires, Viruses, Vendettas, for example). That said, Aliens was an easy choice.

2. How did you come up with the theme of the anthology?

We wanted to put together another series after the success of our four-part series in 2019 (The Elements of Horror) but were undecided which sub-genres of horror to focus on. The A-Z of Horror gives us the opportunity to cover a huge amount of categories.

3. What five words best describe the book?

Sci-fi, horror, invasions, experiments, and aliens (Obviously!)

4. What is your favourite kind of genre mashup?

Anything with horror as an overriding theme, but science fiction and horror blend very well together.

5. What song reflects a theme, thread or overall tone of the anthology?

I’d probably go with the theme tune to War of the Worlds.

(Narrelle’s note: I found the live version on YouTube)

About A is for Aliens

A is for Aliens, the first book in an epic series of twenty-six horror anthologies. Within these pages you will find a collection of thirteen stories from some of the finest independent writers on the scene today, blending science fiction with horror. From the humorous to the terrifying, A is for Aliens contains a diverse range of stories with each author taking a different approach to the theme.

Buy A is for Aliens

About the authors

A is for Aliens is an anthology containing 13 short stories. It includes stories by Dona Fox, Daren Callow, P.J. Blakey-Novis, Nancy Kilpatrick, Tim Jeffreys, Mawr Gorshin, Theresa Jacobs, Jeremy Megargee, Monster Smith, Megan Neumann, Lesley Drane, Astrid Addams, and Mark Anthony Smith.


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: Alison Booth

Today I’m asking Alison Booth 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 The Philosopher’s Daughters. It was hard to pick the title but once we’d settled on it, it seemed exactly right for the story.

The Philosopher’s Daughters begins in 1890s London. It is written from the perspective of two sisters, strong young women who were brought up by their widowed father, an eminent moral philosopher (the philosopher of the book’s title). I imagined him as a younger version of John Stuart Mill, who was a great advocate for the emancipation of women. The girls thus had a relatively modern upbringing. Then I altered the sisters’ circumstances so that they separately choose to journey into remote and wild Australia. What might happen to them?  How would they view the world and life at the frontier? And how would this affect their own personal development and happiness once they moved away from their father’s influence?

The second half of the novel mostly takes place in the Northern Territory of South Australia. Together with the top of Western Australia, this was one of the last areas of the continent to be appropriated by white colonisers.  At that time and in that part of Australia, the ‘frontier wars’ were still being fought, largely over the establishment of the cattle industry, although they weren’t recognised as frontier wars back then. I wanted to see how The Philosopher’s Daughters would cope with being thrust into this challenging environment.

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

I would like Rose Byrne to play the part of Harriet. A natural for Harriet’s younger sister Sarah would be Mia Wasikowska and especially so if Mia can play the piano.

Henry Vincent, whom Sarah marries, could be played by someone like Simon Baker. Mick Spencer is an important character in the second half of the book. If Aaron Pederson’s years could be wound back a bit, I’d like him to play this role. If not, Rob Collins would be great in this part. So too would Mark Coles-Smith.

There are several malevolent figures who feature in the story and I would like David Wenham to play the role of one of them – either the man Carruthers or his friend Brady.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Evocative, insightful, thought-provoking, lyrical, delicately-handled. (Here I’m picking from words that others have used to describe the novel.)

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple ?

There are many. But at the moment I especially love the tenderness of the main and nameless female character in Milkman (the novel by Anna Burns that won the 2018 Booker Prize) towards her ‘wee sisters’ and her mother. I think they could be described as a team.

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

I particularly like Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu singing Wiyathul. That piece is so haunting, so beautiful, so expressive of what might have been. It reflects the relationship between Harriet and the Aboriginal stockman Mick, and would be especially right for one of their evening conversations at the boundary fence of the home paddock of Dimbulah Downs.

About The Philosopher’s Daughters

The Philosopher’s Daughters is a tale of two very different sisters whose 1890s voyage from London into remote outback Australia becomes a journey of self-discovery, set against a landscape of wild beauty and savage dispossession. 

Buy The Philosopher’s Daughters

About Alison Booth

Novelist and academic Alison Booth was born in Melbourne, brought up in Sydney, lived for many years in the UK, and now calls Canberra home. Her new novel, The Philosopher’s Daughters, is set in the 1890s in London and Australia. Her previous books include A Perfect Marriage, a work of contemporary fiction, while her first three novels (Stillwater Creek, The Indigo Sky, and A Distant Land) are historical fiction spanning the decades 1950s through to the early 1970s.

Alison’s work has been translated into French and has also been published by Reader’s Digest Select Editions in both Asia and Europe. Stillwater Creek was Highly Commended in the ACT Book of the Year Award in 2011 and A Perfect Marriage was Highly Commended in the 2019 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards. 


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: Kirsten Krauth

Today I’m asking Kirsten Krauth 5 questions about her latest book!

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

The title is Almost A Mirror. The book had another title for a while but as I began to do more research into the Crystal Ballroom, the venue in St Kilda in the late 70s and early 80s, the wonderful song ‘Shivers’, written by Rowland S Howard and sung by Nick Cave in Boys Next Door, was clearly an anthem for the period and these words seemed to encapsulate characters moving between the early 80s and contemporary worlds.

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

Well, in this book I was lucky enough to feature Nick Cave as a character, so I’d love Nick to go back in time to play himself as it would be hard to replace him.

As for Mona and Benny, the two main characters, I’d say Toni Colette and Heath Ledger (both as teenagers and in their 40s/50s) whose work I have always loved, Toni for her robustness and ability to take on any role, Heath for his sensitivity to the world.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Music. Memory. Motherhood. Mirrors. Masculinity.

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

Fleabag and the Priest. I have spent many hours, days, weeks, contemplating that relationship and even wrote about it for The Monthly because I had to get it out of my system. Like many others, I think Phoebe Waller Bridge wrote the perfect script for that series. I’ve studied her writing in great detail because she doesn’t have a single excess word. Not one. And the rhythm is stunning.

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

This is pretty hard for me to do because Almost a Mirror is structured as a mixtape where every chapter is an 80s song! I have over 40 songs to choose from but I’ll go with ‘Spring Rain’ by the Go-Betweens because it’s about melancholy and joy, looking to the future, hoping to reinvent yourself. My main characters Mona and Benny move through their grief and use creativity to find this place. “I want surprises just like spring rain.”

If you want to hear the mixtape playlist, you can search for Almost a Mirror on Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube.

About Almost a Mirror

What we make of memories and what they make of us. Like fireflies to the light, Mona, Benny and Jimmy are drawn into the elegantly wasted orbit of the Crystal Ballroom and the post-punk scene of 80s Melbourne, a world that includes Nick Cave and Dodge, a photographer pushing his art to the edge.

With precision and richness, Kirsten Krauth hauntingly evokes the power of music to infuse our lives, while diving deep into loss, beauty, innocence and agency. Filled with unforgettable characters, the novel is above all about the shapes that love can take and the many ways we express tenderness throughout a lifetime.

As it moves between the Blue Mountains and Melbourne, Sydney and Castlemaine, Almost a Mirror reflects on the healing power of creativity and the everyday sacredness of family and friendship in the face of unexpected tragedy.

Buy Almost a Mirror

About Kirsten Krauth

Kirsten Krauth is an author and arts journalist who lives in Castlemaine. Her writing has been published in the Guardian, Saturday Paper, Monthly, Age/SMH and Overland. She’s inspired by photography, pop and punk, film and is an 80s tragic.  Her first novel is just_a_girl.

Almost a Mirror was shortlisted for the Penguin Literary Prize and won the Parker University Medal at the University of Canberra for Most Outstanding PhD thesis, the first ever for creative writing.

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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: Caroline Angel

Today I’m asking Caroline Angel 5 questions about her latest book!

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

Madman Across the Water. Picking the title was easy, I’ve listened to the song of the same title since I was a child and always felt there could be a story hidden behind the haunting lyrics.

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

I could only think of fictional characters – Sam and Dean from Supernatural!

3. What five words best describe your story?

Creepy. Suspenseful. Eerie. Scary. Nightmarish. 

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

As above, Sam and Dean from Supernatural.

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

That’s easy, the title, Madman across the Water

About Madman Across the Water

For generations one family has been haunted by something… something that stalks. It sees and listens, it watches and follows. In the shadows and mist it waits, to take you, to hurt you, perhaps to kill you. And if it doesn’t kill you, you’ll wish it did.

A creepy, suspenseful saga of family, horror, and mystery, this is one story sure to leave you frightened of the woods at night, fog, and all things tall and slender

Buy Madman Across the Water

About Caroline Angel

I can’t remember exactly when I started writing stories, Various fantasy novels found their way into my library, and if a book combined science fiction, horror, and fantasy I was home.

I took a break from writing for many, many years, though occasionally I’d start a story I would only to put it aside without finishing.

I caught the writing bug again when I started reading fan fiction, writing a few of my own, and received great reviews. I then penned a few short stories and submitted them into competitions. I was fortunate enough to win or place highly, and took the leap to write a novel. The novel received several offers to publish it when it was only about a third of the way through, spurring me to finish and submit it. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

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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.