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Bored with the lacklustre books he was given to read during school, JACK HEATH began to write his own stories that usually included exploding helicopters. He secured a publishing deal before he'd finished high school, and now he’s written 21 action-packed sci-fi and thriller novels for kids and young adults. But his latest novel, Hangman, should be kept out of reach of children – it centres on Timothy Blake, a cannibalistic anti-hero. We asked the 31-year-old author about his reading habits and his most dramatic research adventures.

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Archive Discoveries

  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. Read on >
  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. Read on >
  • Sydney-based novelist LAUREN SAMS, author of She’s Having Her Baby, has worked for magazines such as Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan. Her new book, Crazy Busy Guilty, reprises the heroine Georgie Henderson, who tries frantically to juggle work and family. We spoke recently with Lauren, who talked about the US election, writer’s block and wacky parenting strategies.  Read on >
  • Aristotle said that metaphor consists in giving a thing a name that belongs to something else. Shakespeare used metaphor when he wrote ‘All the world’s a stage’, drawing parallels between the planet and a theatrical performance space so that we might more easily understand what the world is like. Metaphors, by likening one thing to another, help us to understand things, or aspects of them, that might otherwise be difficult to comprehend. In Metaphors Be With You, DR MARDY GROTHE takes a historical look at how metaphors have been used to understand a huge range of topics, from adversity, beauty and curiosity through to love, war and vanity. Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • American author and hairdresser DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ lived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for five years, and in that time she founded her own beauty salon and coffee shop. On her return to the US, she wrote a bestselling novel based on the bustling cafe, and now she’s taking us back to Afghanistan in Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >
  • Creativity is often thought of as a special gift bestowed on only a handful of lucky people. But as Australian novelist SUE WOOLFE points out, it’s a skill that you can cultivate. Here are five tips she used to create her latest collection of stories, Do You Love Me or What? Read on >
  • PEPPER HARDING is the pen name of a writer from San Francisco. The Heart of Henry Quantum, Pepper’s new novel, follows a scatterbrained husband’s erratic journey through the streets of San Francisco as he hunts down his wife’s Christmas present – a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Along the way he runs into his former lover, Daisy. We asked the author about his new novel and the eccentric thought journeys that appears throughout its pages. Read on >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. Read on >
  • For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The Last Train primarily tells the story of two strong women who have been deceived but are determined to take control of their futures, whatever path they may take. Sue Lawrence creates an intricate and suspenseful plot that is a great read. Read on >

  • In the near future, the residents of a small Australian coastal town awake to find that the ocean has disappeared, the shoreline has receded to the horizon, and the land is littered with decaying corpses of marine life. They are confused, their pet dogs are hysterical and they wonder about the impact it will have on their community. Read on >

  • The poems are undeniably simple, but they are also engaging and give platform to a voice that has previously been on the fringe of the literary canon: the experience of a young migrant woman making sense of the world and her place in it. Read on >

  • In 15 beautifully crafted lines, Brooks takes us inside on a cool, rainy night, watching the night begin to fall outside. It left me with goosebumps. Read on >

  • I really enjoyed The Woman in the Window and its Hitchcockian sense of suspense, and the references to the films of the great director. The story took a little while to get going, but it wasn’t long before I was hooked, and by halfway I couldn’t stop. Read on >

  • This new series also draws on many characters and events from the ‘Powder Mage’ series so, while you could read it as a stand-alone, I would strongly advise reading the previous series first, as this will provide greater context, depth and enjoyment, particularly when old characters from the earlier series make their welcome reappearances. Read on >

  • The subtitle and the image on the dust jacket of this hardcover book say it all; the subtitle is ‘A celebration of a great Australian love affair’, and the image is a reproduction of Russell Drysdale’s 1945 painting, The Drover’s Wife. The whole collection is fascinating and has obviously been a labour of love for its editor. Read on >

  • It’s truly a wonderful book about friendship, true love and, most of all, hope. It’s also for young people who find the pressures of life a little too heavy and for those who need to understand them. Read on >

  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt was first published in 1989 and has now become a much-loved classic. This new edition is beautifully produced with a ‘swirling whirling snowstorm’ gracing the cover. I can see a whole new generation of little fans singing the refrain and joining in the bear hunt. Read on >

  • Molly doesn’t live anywhere near the sea but she’s always wanted to be a pirate. So today she puts on her eyepatch, her pirate hat, grabs her sword and rows out to the pirate ship. She frightens Captain Chicken, scares the crew with her backflips and even climbs right up to the top of the rigging. Her mum finds her asleep in the clothes basket under the clothes line. She’s had a busy day. Read on >

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