Australian Literary Management
2018 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure
2-A Booth Street, Balmain New South Wales 2041, Australia
Jennifer Spence: The Lost Girls
Having previously written young adult books and a crime novel, Jenny has now completed a truly high concept commercial women’s fiction novel.
The core of this work is the question she poses on how can we change events if we travel back in time. Can we change outcomes? Can we prevent tragedies from occurring? At what length will anyone go to ensure that something so dramatic as the death of a child can be stopped?
The main character, Stella, journeys twenty years back in time. She moves into her house under the guise of a close relative who went missing when she was a teenager and has now turned up as an adult. Her mission is to try and change events that she knows will occur in the future.
This is a carefully structured novel, full of suspense and twists. The voice is consistent and convincing and the writing is understated and elegant. It is a novel that would sit beside The Woman in the Window, Girl on a Train and more closely with the crime / time travel novel The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes.
Rights have been sold to Fiona Henderson at Simon & Schuster. However any expression of interest can be forwarded to me, Lyn Tranter, at ALM. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Eileen Ormsby: The Darkest Web
The author Eileen Ormsby has spent the past five years exploring every corner of the dark web. This book will take you into the murkiest depths of the web’s dark underbelly: a place of hitmen for hire, red rooms, hurtcore sites and markets that will sell anything a person is willing to pay for — including another person.
Not for the faint-hearted, this work explores the stories of a kingpin willing to murder to protect his dark web drug empire; a corrupt government official determined to avoid exposure; the death of a dark web drugs czar who dies in mysterious circumstances in a Bangkok jail. It explores who is willing to sell poisons and weapons, identities and bank accounts to anyone with a wallet full of Bitcoin.
Allen & Unwin have recently published this provocative truecrime work and enquires can be made to Maggie Thompson at [email@example.com]
Jonathon Shannon: The First Snow
This debut novel is from a copywriter who works in advertising. I always believe if you have to know how to sell toothpaste then you know the value of words. Such is the case with this young author.
The story is set in two countries — Iceland and Japan. It follows the lives of brother and sister Svana and Brynleifur. They were separated as young children when their parents divorced, and although siblings, they hardly know each other. Now in their early twenties they decide to embark on an adventure and spend a month travelling in Japan.
On their arrival in Okinawa they meet Tristan, a young Australian man who is travelling in Japan, to further his studies in Japanese, before he begins university. He speaks the language and Svan and Bryn warm to him and realise what a great travel guide he would make. Tristan in turn is fascinated by the beautiful Svana. They fall in love.
The work takes them on their month-long journey through Japan and its major cities culminating in Svana and Tristan climbing Mount Fuji. However Svana knows that she must return to Reykjavik, and Tristan, who is still recovering from a relationship breakup in Australia, decides that they must go their separate ways, but will write to each other.
Arriving back in Iceland, Bryn discovers through seeing her passport that Svana has chosen to not take on the family name, but instead the surname of her mother. One interesting factor in Icelandic culture is the widespread use of the patronymic surname, that is, the tradition of children always taking on the “family” name, the name of the father. Svana and Bryn have an enormous row and separate.
Unknown to Svana her brother is dying and when his will is read, he asks that she return to Mount Fuji and scatter his ashes there. She does so, and Tristan comes with her. We are left knowing that their relationship will flourish.
The manuscript is still in draft form but will be submitted to publishers by July 2018. All enquiries to Lyn Tranter at ALM: [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sarah Hopkins: Beta Boy
When a new computer game or app comes out, people queue to be considered as “beta testers”. This mean that they get to use the game or app for free — before it goes public. They have to note bugs or glitches in the product and make the developers aware of these.
Beta testing comes after Alpha testing. Alpha testing is done internally by the engineers, and Beta is done by a select group of members of the public. The reason for this is that the developers want to wait for the product to be tested on real people.
This is Sarah Hopkins’ third book, and is a haunting work that blends speculative fiction and science fiction, and looks at incarceration, social engineering and the crimes adults can commit against children.
The premise of the book is that a group of children who have had troubled lives are “rescued” from the legal system for crimes they have committed and placed in a school to deal with their specific needs. Daniel, the main character, has been dealing drugs and when he is due for sentencing, the likely jail term is dismissed on the provision that he attends this new school. When he arrives he is faced with a number of other children, mainly teenagers who have committed various crimes or come from disturbed homes. It is not an ordinary school, and lessons are conducted in an unconventional manner; and although Daniel believes he can leave at any time, the place is very isolated.
The insight into why this school is here, and what it is for, is slowly revealed. In many ways it reminded me of Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. In that novel we gradually find out that the school is designed to breed children for body parts, in Beta Boy we learn that Big Pharma are not bothering to test new drugs or medicines on animals (it is far too slow a process) but on children, and these schools are scattered around the globe.
A fascinating and disturbing hypothesis written by a natural storyteller. All enquires to Lyn Tranter at ALM. [email@example.com]
Barry Maitland: The Promised Land
There have been twelve Brock and Kolla novels published so far in Australia, the USA, the UK and in translation. They feature two central characters, DCI David Brock and DI Kathy Kolla, homicide detectives in London’s Metropolitan Police.
Now Barry has written his thirteenth novel in this series titled The Promised Land. Central to the plot of this brilliant crime novel is the discovery of a lost manuscript by the British writer George Orwell. Extensive tests are done and it becomes clear that this is in fact a work by Orwell.
The manuscript is delivered to Charles Pettigew, the owner of a floundering publishing house that he inherited from his father. He knows that if this is in fact a genuine Orwell novel, his business will be saved.
Australian and New Zealand rights have been sold to Allen & Unwin who have previously published all Barry’s Brock & Kolla books. The editor there, Ali Lavau, in her closing remarks on this work said:
It’s been an absolute pleasure to engage with your work again. It’s the promise of intricate plotting, ingenious twists, a strong sense of place and natural, fluent prose. And, oh boy does The Promised Land deliver. There are the murders in Hampstead, framed judges, psychopaths and most startling of all, Brock in prison. I am absolutely hooked.
Allen & Unwin—Aust and NZ rights. All other enquiries to Lyn Tranter at ALM, [firstname.lastname@example.org]