Latest News

Well, it's taken me a while to master this new web site - really only marginally different in management from the last, but hey, I've never pretended to be technologically competent. Having fought my way through the process, I've now reached the goal - to add to this Latest News page.

In fact, it's a catch-up on news from the last two months, which have been so crowded with book marketing and public speaking. However, I note from earlier entries that I was registering my disappointment with lack of any coverage of Passion Play in the Adelaide press …  that was well and truly compensated for when, in mid January, the Advertiser's SA Weekend, the Saturday magazine, featured my book as the major review on the Books page. A thoughtful and appreciative review by Katharine England, their senior reviewer, which more than made up for the weeks of waiting. Phrases like 'comedic cunning' brought joy to my heart, and her final comment recognised that the book was a verse novel, but readers 'should not be put off: the free verse is flexible and beautifully lean, an ideal medium for the pen-portrait and the interior monologue, the Chaucerian language is poetically decoded below each quotation to make the tantalizing link between the ancient and the modern, and the plot, or series of plots – so many well-drawn characters, so many complex lives, so much intriguing venality – is as readable, engaging and cleverly shaped as any good novel.'

You can understand my pleasure in this review from a critic whose comments I have always respected!

In this long series of talks to various organisations, many Rotary Clubs stand out as being very welcoming, but so also does a group I'd known nothing about: Adelaide's Ionian Club, where a gathering of about fifty people proved a wonderful audience for stories about Oberammergau and its Passion Play, a wonderful group of alert and interested listeners.

So now it's back to work  - more talks to writers' groups and service organisations, and a shared night with Ros Schulz as guest poets at the State Library's monthly Words at the Wall. That's at 6 pm on Wednesday April 16, at the Treasures Wall on the library's first floor - a warm invitation to anyone who can come. 

And that could just about sum up the last two months - definitely 'up and running'!  They've been two very busy months indeed, with a lot of book marketing, public speaking, guest talks at various organisations, writers' groups … sometimes I wonder when I'll get back to writing. My basic production for the last few months has been a handful of poems and a few short stories - as well as a lot of thinking about the next major project. More on this later when I know where it's going. But I'll give more detail on what's actually been happening in my next entry.

So meanwhile it's been good to have the excuse of the new web site coming, as a reason why I haven't entered more news during this time. But now that the indispensable Maria has completed and installed the new site, that excuse has gone. So please do look through these pages, especially the sections on the books, where reviews and excerpts are included. I think she's done an excellent job, and it's great to have the site fully functional again. Thank you, Maria!

These last weeks I'd been delighted to get the reviews of Passion Play in interstate newspapers and magazines - Queensland, the Melbourne Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, a lovely lengthy review from Peter Pierce in the Canberra Times - all so good to read and so enthusiastic about my book. But nothing in the Adelaide papers, and that was a sadness.