A friend emailed me after reading The Last City (the first book in the Demon War Chronicles) ‘good but where’s the sex?’ The same friend emailed me after reading The Forgotten City (the second book) with ‘still good, but where’s the sex??’ And she was right. There were some brief mentions of it in The…

What’s your favourite Australian TV drama? That’s the question I eventually ask any screenwriter who comes into the Matchbox office. Why? Because, that’s what they’re here to write, right? Unfortunately, the look I usually get after I ask this tells me they don’t really want to write Australian TV drama — they want to write…

THE second act. It makes up over fifty percent of your novel, and it’s frequently the source of greatest conflict and character growth. Get it right, and it will be the beating heart of your book, providing the context that gives your climax in the third act meaning. Get it wrong, and your book will feel…

Attentiveness ‘Attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul’. This line, beloved by writers from Paul Celan to Simone Weil, was written in the fifteenth century by philosopher, Nicolas Malebranche. Scrolling screens, clicks and likes and the delicious slivers and flakes of fast world information can make it hard to pay a book attention. Attentive…

WRITING a scene involving a cyclone shouldn’t be that hard, should it? I’d witnessed a few after all. One of them while on my father’s boat in Hong Kong, with my mum, who couldn’t swim. Cyclones provide terror, anticipation, awful sounds. Tearing tree limbs, howling winds, smashing glass – all delicious sensory backdrops for various characters…

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