The Highlights From Day Three of The Margaret River Readers And Writers Festival 2015

This festival has been exceptional successful is its ability to connect readers with the writer – and a session today with Michelle de Kretser, multi award winning author and dog lover (extra bonus points for that fact), demonstrated this point perfectly today. The audience were enthralled and mesmerised as Michelle discussed her love of books, reading the Just William series by Richmal Crompton as a child in Sri Lanka, her work as a travel writer and editor and the inspiration for her books.  And then we had an opportunity discover a little more about the themes and characters in Michelle’s multi award winning Questions of Travel.  The audience did not want the session to end!

Michelle de Kretser in conversation with Rosemary Sayer

PS Did I mention I had another opportunity to speak with the delightful Mr Robert Gott? Can the day get any better???

Day Two Margaret River Readers And Writers Festival 2015

An extra special program it was today! So much talent in the town of Margaret River! And so much more still to come.

For the young and the young at heart  the much respected and adored author John Marsden spoke about his amazingly popular Tomorrow series and Ellie chronicles and writing in general .

Writer, comedian and cancer survivor Luke Ryan  discussed his book  ” A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo”. This is how Luke describe his book: “It’s a comic memoir about cancer and family and growing up sick and dating while bald and partying on chemo and freezing my sperm and a whole lot more.” If this book sounds like something you might enjoy reading click here to read an introduction to Luke’s novel.

A panel consisting of award winning poet Nandi Chinna and the winner of the Margaret River Short Story Competition 2015, Melanie Napthine and the winner of the SouthWest writer category Carol McDowall read excepts from their works and discussed writing short form prose. Hearing a writer read their own words to you adds so much to the experience.

Margaret River Readers & writers Fest 2015 short prose panel

Then we were privileged to hear writer/comedian and migrant Sami Shah talk bout his former life in Pakistan, his introduction to Australian culture (kangaroos, meat pies and regional country towns.)  This was a poignant tale that Sami delivered with an inflection of humour and humility. Bravo!

sami shah and steve butler

Then we moved on to an inspiring discussion about writing, rural fiction/romance, life in country towns with author Fiona Palmer. A member of the audience offered to read to the audience the first chapter of Fiona’s new book The Saddler Boys– what a unique experience.


The final session was with crime author Robert Gott.  What a great way to end the day talking all things crime fiction, Maryborough QLD and his cartoon The Adventures of Naked Man. What a multi talented person Robert Gott is!


And on  that note I must leave you – I am exhausted and there is a another big day tomorrow to look forward to .

Good night.





Day One Of The Margaret River Readers And Writers Festival

Margaret River Readers Writers Festival 2015 Panel The Season of Youth

The Margret River Readers and Writers Festival began today with sessions devoted to Beautiful Seasonal Gardens – with award winning landscape designer Janine Mendel, followed by a Season of Creativity with expedition artist and author Jo Bertini.

After the lunch break we were  introduced to the Season of Discovery which focused on the art of writing memoir by author and journalist David Leser. David has recently written and published his 7th book, ‘To Begin To Know: Walking in the Shadows of my Father’, an honest and poignant narrative that delved into his relationship with his father. In this session David talked about the ethics and impact of writing about the personal.

To Begin to Know David Leser

This led us smoothly into the next session The Season Of Youth – in which a panel of local authors plus special guest David Leser, talked about their autobiographical writing journeys (this session was very successfully chaired by one of my favourite Perth author’s Ray Glickman.) Hello to Ray 🙂

The final session of the day focused on the Nature Writer. Author Victoria Laurie talked about her book ‘The Southwest: Australia’s Biodiversity Hotspot.’

What a great start to an wonderful festival!

I  am looking forward to the official launch later tonight. More soon 🙂

Friday Freebie

Friday the 29th of May 2015 Give Away

2015 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival

To celebrate the start of the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival I have a Friday Freebie book give away by Festival participant  Fiona Palmer.  I have one copy of Fiona’s latest book –The Sunnyvale Girls courtesy of her publisher, Penguin Random House up for grabs. To enter simply reply to this question in the comments section of this blog or my on face book post, ” Name another book written by Fiona.” ( Hint you can find out all about Fiona and her books here: )

The Sunnyvale Girls: FionaPalmer

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only. The giveaway will close midnight Monday 1st of June and I will contact the randomly selected winner on the following Tuesday. Good luck and happy reading. See you at the Festival.

In The Mailbox This Week 28th May 2015

Another great selection of books arrived in the mail this week – do any of these tempt you? I have just started to read the short story collection – Lost Boy and Other Stories- Margaret River Short Story Competition  2015 – keen to have idea of this book before I attend the launch of the festal where the winners of the short story competition will be announced. On  Saturday I will also attend   12.00-1.00 session where Award winning poet Nandi Chinna and the Margaret River Short Story Competition winners discuss whether there is a revival in the popularity of short prose – has a new season dawned for poetry and the short story? I am already thinking maybe poetry is having  a revival….what do you think?



Post Script: Theodore Boone:The Fugitive – John Grisham

Great YA read.

Book Cover Theodore Boone The Fugitive -John Grisham

Theodore Boone: The Fugitive

(Theodore Boone #5)

John Grisham

Hodder & Stoughton

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9781444767674



He was supposed to be having fun with his friends, not playing detective and stalking a killer.

Theodore Boone – teenage lawyer and courtroom hero- is on a class trip seeing the sights of the capital city. But he hadn’t counted on seeing the most wanted man in history of his home town, Strattenberg.

Suddenly Theo is caught in the hunt for an accused murderer, alongside the FBI. Theo know he’s getting in deep – and things could become even more dangerous. Because if this case goes back to court, it will be down to him.

Will justice finally be done…or will the killer’s criminal allies be out for revenge?


My View:

What a great YA novel – I wish there had been books like this around when I was a kid! This is an interesting mix of history, the mechanisations of law and how courts are run and some great social commentary mixed into a crime novel that any 10-12 year (I am guessing the age group here) would love to read. John Grisham is amazing – author of twenty seven novels including this YA series! The Fugitive is the 5th novel in the Theodore Boone series and yet can easily be read as a standalone without feeling that you have missed out on major parts of the story.

If this hasn’t already been recorded as an audio book – it should be – a great one for the kids to listen to on long trips. A suggestion John Grisham – next YA series – can we have a female protagonist?



Post Script: Musings From The Inner Duck – Michael Leunig

Reflections, laughs, social commentary and beautiful imagery combine.

Musings From The Inner Duck: Michael Leunig - Penguin Random House Australia

Musings from the Inner Duck

Michael Leunig

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780143573173


Musings From the Inner Duck, Michael Leunig’s poignantly hilarious new cartoon collection, ranges from Curly Flat to the global positioning sausage, accompanied by the direction-finding duck.

This collection of 138 cartoons tilts towards the whimsical, the wise and the sublimely misaligned; it’s less heavily political than previous collections, although the political system cops a serve here and there. Mr Curly features often. There’s the Global Positioning Sausage. The Effect of the Carbon Tax on Your Sausage. Duckwhistle Politics. A Soliloquy for Strange Times. The Ordinary Oddness of Existence. In a nutshell: all the questions (and some very funny answers) that can be put about human existence.

Cartoons, reflections, musings, suggestions, reveries, rhymes, blessings, jokes, lamentations, theories, mysteries, tributes, lapses, and experiments.



My View:

Witty, poignant and intelligent observations mixed in with some pertinent social commentary all sandwiched into glorious cartoons that say it all so simply. A delight to read. (I particularly like the colour images.) You need to read this yourself to appreciate the cleverness, the cover gives you an idea of just what to expect – and that is, the unexpected. 🙂



NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.