One of the things nobody ever warns you about when you finally decide you want to start writing ‘author’ in the ‘occupation’ box on your bank loan application form… actually, scrub that. Could there be any less attractive career choice to a potential lender of financial largesse? The income stream is less reliable than Centrelink payments. And that’s saying something.
But I digress. As I was saying – an unexpected, and not at all unpleasant, activity associated with having a novel released is that you spend a lot of time chatting about said book with various people who have an interest in things written on paper and a platform from which to speak about those things. Along the way you get asked many questions. And sometimes, those questions really make you stop and think. Enter, Theresa Smith, who just interviewed me and posted my answers on her wildly popular literary blog, Theresa Smith Writes. She rolled out some corkers.
Thanks, Theresa! It was fun.
To the Unseen Librarian, custodian of the Unseen Library.
Thank you. Reading a review that shows how closely someone has read my story… well, it’s actually difficult to express how gratifying it is to know that the people and worlds I’ve created have been received so well, particularly by someone who makes it his business to know books.
The review itself is not Unseen. You’ll find it here.
And, she likes it!
Any review that opens with the statement that the book under consideration ‘marks a departure from the books I usually read’ makes me quake in my boots a little. Well, a lot, really.
I shouldn’t have worried.
The endorsement of Amanda from Mrs B. Book Reviews does count for a great deal. She sees fit to describe it as: ‘…rich and historically infused action’, ‘…a solid piece of investigative fiction,’ and concludes that: ‘[r]eaders have plenty to draw from in The Honourable Thief, it is an original and bracing novel.’
Given how much she reads, not to mention her standing in the Australian literary community… well, colour me pretty damned chuffed.
When Booktopia approached me and asked me to throw my hat in the ring with their ‘Ten Terrifying Questions’ feature, I thought to myself – ‘what could be so terrifying?’ Are they going to ask me about myself shameful addiction to trashy gossip sites? Or perhaps they expect me to open up about the times I donned black Wayfarers and a skinny tie to attend screenings of The Blues Brothers at the Valhalla Cinema. More than once.
The list, when it came, wasn’t at all intimidating. At first. Then I looked at it in more detail. The questions may not have been truly terrifying. But they certainly were challenging. Best of all, they made me think.
So, what were they? You’ll have to follow the link below to find out! Didn’t think I was going to make it that easy for you, did you?
It would be nice to delude myself into thinking reviews don’t count. But they do. Of course they do.
It can work either way, of course. I’d be lying if I said I’d never been swayed by a Trip Advisor contributor pointing out the less attractive aspect of having a fully-functioning twenty-four hour nightclub located directly beneath your hotel room. Or the movie reviewer who waxed lyrical about the lingering, twenty minute single shot view of a train pulling into a station in the latest French independent film release. Colour me snoring in the back row.
Which is what makes this absolute corker of a review of The Honourable Thief that appears in this week’s Canberra Weekly so special (copied below.) ‘Masterfully weaves…’… ‘Powerful and remarkable.’ Thank you, Mr. Popple. Going onto the business cards.
Photo: Roman Anastasios
Have a go at naming the four books that changed your life. A Sisyphean task, believe me.
“Who was Sisyphus?” you ask. If you didn’t, too bad. Here’s your etymological snippet for the day. Sisyphus was an Ancient Greek who ended up on the wrong side of the gods – which given how petty and vindictive they were, was quite easy to do. His punishment? To push a boulder up a steep slope on one of Hades’ many hillocks (there are a few, apparently). Once he got to the top, it tumbled back down again. Rinse, and repeat.
For examples of the possible application of the term, all the following could be considered Sisyphean tasks: convincing your teenaged son that the best place for his dirty clothes is not on his bedroom floor; helping McDonalds understand that TV ads featuring hipster-bearded baristas is not going to convince us that they know how to make good coffee; and proving to Masterchef contestants that not every dish needs a foam, a dust, a crumb or a gel.
But I digress. Not an unusual state of affairs, I can assure you. The reason for posting today is as follows. Although the process of shortlisting from the ridiculously long list of candidates did my head in, I did finally zero in on four books that were enormously important to me, and also have a tie-in to The Honourable Thief, and the column outlining same appeared in Fairfax’s various publications yesterday. You can have a look at it here: The Books That Changed Me: Meaghan Wilson Anastasios. It’s also available via SMH, WA Today, and the Brisbane Times.
And the photograph that accompanies the online article and reproduced at the top of this post? It was taken by my wonderful son, Roman, who’s a budding – and very accomplished – photographer. So I generally cut him a bit of slack with the whole dirty clothes on the bedroom floor thing.
Yes, I’m delighted to announce that’s what I’m in the business of these days.
First cab off the rank, and one that I’m almost apoplectic with excitement about, is my novel, The Honourable Thief, to be released by Pan Macmillan on 31 July. Just seven more sleeps!
It looks a little something like this:
And goes a little something like this:
‘Obsession of mine. Half man, half god – and his own worst enemy.
My kind of man.’ He laughed.
Istanbul, Turkey 1955
Benedict Hitchens, once a world-renowned archaeologist, is now a discredited – but still rather charming – shell of his former self.
Once full of optimism and adventure, his determination to prove that Achilles was a real historical figure led him to his greatest love, Karina, on the island of Crete and to his greatest downfall, following the disappearance of an enigmatic stranger, Eris.
He has one last chance to restore his reputation, solve the mystery of Eris and prove his Achilles theory. But it is full of risk, and possibly fatal consequences…
If your bedside table is in need of a new adornment, you can purchase your own copy here.