2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure

  Australian Literary Management

  2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure


Sydney Opera House: Steps.
2019 Sydney Writers Festival Brochure
Australian Literary Management
2-A Booth Street, Balmain New South Wales 2041, Australia
Proprietor: Mrs Lyn Tranter       [lynalm8@gmail.com]




Jennifer Spence: The Lost Girls

Jennifer Spence’s new book: A HAUNTING TALE OF LOVE AND LOSS

What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

Jennifer Spence- Cover image for The Lost Girls

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman is forced to grapple with in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family’s past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

‘Wonderfully unsettling and compulsive … the twists had me frantically turning the pages’– EMMA VISKIC

‘A beautifully compelling book that dares to ask “What if?” with heart-busting yearning, wry humour and masterful storytelling’ — KATE MULVANY

Fiona Palmer


Three friends embark on a luxury cruise to celebrate their ten-year reunion. But long-held secrets can catch up with even the best of friends.

Abbie had it all: a career, a loving boyfriend and a future, but a visit to the doctor bears scary news. Her world is tumbling down and she feels adrift at sea.

Ricki, a dedicated nurse, harbours a dream she hasn’t chased. Is she actually happy or stuck in a rut?

Jess, a schoolteacher and single mother to little Ollie, had a tough upbringing but found her way through with the help of her closest friend, Peter. But Peter has bought an engagement ring and is ready to propose to Ricki

Secrets Between Friends is a poignant story of romance, family dynamics and friendships from beloved Australian storyteller Fiona Palmer.

The Family Secret

Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much loved genres.’  — Countryman

Kim Richards is a creative woman of the land, a rural ambassador who’s renowned for her contribution to her community. But deep down, she’s lonely. She’s already watched the man she loves fall for someone else, and her dream of starting her own family feels like it’s slipping through her fingers.

Enter Charlie McNamara, an older man who’s arrived in Lake Grace on business. Sparks fly between Kim and Charlie, but he seems to have a hidden agenda and a past he’s trying to hide.

They’re both drawn to local hermit Harry, a Vietnam veteran who’s haunted by memories from the war. What ties these three lost souls together? Can they solve a long-held family mystery and heal fractures of the heart?

From one of Australia’s favourite storytellers comes a heartwarming story spanning three generations about when to fight and when to surrender — and how new love can heal old wounds.

‘Family, friendship, love and community with a thoroughly authentic Australian flavour.’ Goodreads

The Saddler Boys
‘Fiona Palmer just keeps getting better’ Rachael Johns
The Saddler Boys - cover image
The Saddler Boys – cover image

Schoolteacher Natalie has always been a city girl. She has a handsome boyfriend and a family who give her only the best. But she craves her own space, and her own classroom, before settling down into the life she is expected to lead. When Nat takes up a posting at a tiny school in remote Western Australia, it proves quite the culture shock, but she is soon welcomed by the inquisitive locals, particularly young student Billy and his intriguing single father, Drew.

As Nat’s school comes under threat of closure and Billy’s estranged mother turns up out of the blue, Nat finds herself fighting for the township and battling with her heart. Torn between her society life in Perth and the rural community that needs her, Nat must risk losing it all to find out what she’s really made of – and where she truly belongs.

‘Palmer’s passion for the land bleeds into the story, and her scenes are vivid and genuine, just as her characters are.’ Book’d Out

‘Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much-loved genres.’ Countryman

The Sunnyvale Girls

Three generations of Stewart women share a deep connection to their family farm, but a secret from the past threatens to tear them apart.

Widowed matriarch Maggie remembers a time when the Italian prisoners of war came to work on their land, changing her heart and her home forever. Single mum Toni has been tied to the place for as long as she can recall, although farming was never her dream. And Flick is as passionate about the farm as a girl could be, despite the limited opportunities for love.

When a letter from 1946 is unearthed in an old cottage on the property, the Sunnyvale girls find themselves on a journey into their own hearts and across the world to Italy. Their quest to solve a mystery leads to incredible discoveries about each other, and about themselves.

Top Ten ROMANCE FICTION Source: Nielsen BookScan, week ending Nov22

1 CAPTIVATED BY YOU Sylvia Day, Penguin, $19.99
2 FIFTY SHADES OF GREY E. L. James. Arrow Books, $19.99
3 OUTBACK GHOST Rachael Johns, Mira, $29.99
4 SUMMER DAYS Nora Roberts, Harlequin Mills & Boon, $27.99
5 THE SUNNYVALE GIRLS Fiona Palmer, Michael Joseph, $29.99
6 BY WINTER’S LIGHT Stephanie Laurens, Mira, $24.99
7 AFTER Anna Todd, Gallery, $19.99
8 FIFTY SHADES DARKER E. L. James, Arrow Books, $19.99
9 FIFTY SHADES FREED E. L. James, Arrow Books, $19.99
10 DIRTY ROWDY THING Christina Lauren, Simon & Schuster, $17.99

Prior work

The Outback Heart

Indianna Wilson is a country girl, and she’ll do anything she can to save her beloved home town from disappearing off the map — even if she has to die trying. She entices Troy Mitchell to her tiny outback town, with hopes that he can bring a breath of fresh air to the Saints football club and lift the wider farming community.

The most heartfelt and moving novel yet from favourite Australian rural romance writer and bestselling author of The Family Farm.

“Fiona Palmer has well and truly earned her place as a leading writer of one of Australia’s much loved genres, rural romance.” Countryman

Rights: Penguin Australia

The Road Home

When your life is at a crossroads, how do you find the road home? Lara and Jack have a powerful attraction for each other, but are constantly at odds. Will their love of the same land keep them apart, or grow into a love of a different kind?
From the bestselling author of The Family Farm and Heart of Gold comes a heartwarming novel about finding your true place in the world, and the healing power of the land.

Heart of Gold

C J Wishart’s job as a wool classer is back-breaking, her family life is a disaster and, after a string of dating debacles, she has put men in the too-hard basket. When strong, handsome Lindsay arrives on the scene as their new shearer, C J can’t help but take notice. They have an undeniable spark, but can she handle the complications and potential heartbreak of falling in love?

Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia. She received a mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has extensive farming experience, drives the local mail run, and was a speedway-racing driver for seven years. She currently works two days a week at the local shop, in between writing her next book and looking after her two small children.

For shearing information, pictures and video, please head to Fiona’s website at http://www.fionapalmer.com/

Amanda Ortlepp


Running Against the Tide

by Amanda Ortlepp

The past will always find you.

Erin Travers is running away from her life and taking her two sons with her to a small town on the ruggedly beautiful Eyre Peninsula. The close-knit township is full of happy childhood memories for Erin, but she’s bringing a whole lot of baggage with her.

When the peaceful community is disrupted by theft and arson, rumours fly about who is responsible. In a small town where lives are tangled too closely together, old grudges flare, fingers are pointed and secrets are unmasked.

From the bestselling author of Claiming Noah, Running Against the Tide is brimming with malice and threat, and cements Amanda Ortlepp’s position as one of Australia’s most compelling storytellers.

Praise for Claiming Noah: ‘Emotions run high… A gripping, emotionally charged story’ Herald Sun

‘A thrilling and morally fascinating read’ Good Reading

2016-06-24-claiming-noah-hb-cvr-200w A taut, emotional thriller about biology, ownership and love. Catriona and James are desperate for children, and embark on an IVF program. After a gruelling round of treatments, Catriona finally falls pregnant, and they donate their remaining embryo anonymously. Diana and Liam are on a waiting list to receive an embryo. Sooner than expected, they are thrilled to discover one is available.

After a difficult pregnancy, Catriona gives birth to Sebastian. But severe postnatal depression affects her badly, and quickly turns into deadly psychosis. For her protection and her baby’s, she’s admitted into psychiatric care. When she comes home, she again struggles to bond with her baby, but gradually life finds its own rhythm. Meanwhile, Diana has given birth to a beautiful little boy, Noah.
But when he is two months old Noah is abducted… and Diana and Liam’s nightmare begins.

Where is Noah?

Here’s part of a recent review:

CLAIMING NOAH   Author: Amanda Ortlepp   Simon & Schuster   RRP $29.99   Review: Monique Mulligan

Complex and thought-provoking, Claiming Noah is one of those books that invites opinions and discussions. In this case, the moral, legal and ethical aspects of embryo adoption come under the microscope as two mothers stake their claim on one little boy.  Who has the most right? Bet you already have an initial opinion!

Claiming Noah starts with the emotional rollercoaster of infertility, with Catriona and James embarking on an IVF program, hoping that one of their four embryos will take. The program is gruelling and, when Catriona falls pregnant on the third attempt, the couple decides to donate their remaining embryo. Going through it all again would be too much, they feel. For Diana and Liam, it’s an answer to prayer. Despite opposition arising from Diana’s Catholic upbringing, the couple chooses embryo adoption so Diana can carry a child in her womb. The two couples give birth a month apart.

The joy of motherhood eludes Catriona, who is unable to bond with Sebastian due to severe postnatal depression. After her illness develops into postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis), she’s admitted into psychiatric care; eventually she returns home, determined to bond with her son. Meanwhile, Diana is loving motherhood, but when Noah is abducted at two months old, her world comes crashing down. When Noah is found two years on, the battle is on as both mothers fight to claim him as their own.

Sarah Minns

Kath’s Miracle

minns-cvr“This book isn’t a manual on how to survive cancer or have your prayers heard… I’ve had five kids, been married twice, owned and lost a small business and a house. I’ve known what it is like to come close to death, and how to live again after that. I’ve been involved in the process of proving a miracle and making a saint. And I have discovered so much along the way… My hope is that you’ll find some comfort from my story.”

When Kathleen Evans was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, she was given weeks to live. All she had left was prayer. She was sent a relic of Mary MacKillop’s clothing — she wore it, and friends and family joined in praying to the founder of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Ten months later, the cancer had completely — miraculously — vanished. No matter what your religious beliefs, Kath’s message of hope and redemption will lift your spirit.

All Kathleen Evans’ royalties are donated to the Trustees of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

Australian and New Zealand Rights: Penguin Australia

Kathleen Evans is mother to five and grandmother to twenty-one. When she isn’t on the road exploring Australia with her husband, Barry, she lives in Lake Macquarie on the NSW central coast.

Sarah Minns is a writer who lives in Sydney with her husband and three daughters. Kath’s Miracle is her first book.

Malcolm Knox

One of Australia’s most highly acclaimed and versatile writers,
Malcolm Knox
has published many books.

The Wonder Lover : cover image
The Wonder Lover : cover image

What’s the worst thing that can happen to a man with three secret families? He falls in love.

This is the story of John Wonder, a man with three families, each one kept secret from the other, each one containing two children, a boy and a girl. As he travels from family to family in different cities, he works as an Authenticator, verifying world records, confirming facts, setting things straight, while his own life is a teetering tower of astonishing lies and betrayals. The Wonder Lover is a stunning novel that again and magnificently confirms Malcolm Knox as one of our brightest stars, an imaginative tour de force that ranks alongside the best work of Nabokov, Amis, Ireland and Carey.

‘It is a compulsive and thrilling read, a dazzling achievement. There is a word that should be used very rarely but I believe is absolutely right for this book: The Wonder Lover is superb.’ — Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.

knox-b-w-cvrBradman’s War told how the 1948 invincibles turned the cricket pitch into a battlefield. The Australian and English Test cricketers who fought and survived together in World War II came home knowing the difference between sport and war. They planned to resume the Ashes in a new spirit of friendship. Australia’s legendary captain had something else in mind.

World Rights: Penguin Australia

knox-m-the-life-cvrNovel: The Life

Now bloated and paranoid, former champion surfer and legend Dennis Keith is holed up in a retirement village, shuffling to the shop for an ice lolly every day, barely existing behind his aviator sunnies and crazy OCD rules, and trying not to think about the waves he’d made his own and the breaks he once ruled like a god. Out of the blue, a young would-be biographer comes knocking and stirs up memories he thought he’d buried. It takes Dennis a while to realise that she’s not there to write his story at all. knox-the-life-aust-cvr200wThe Life has been published by Allen and Unwin in Australia and Allen and Unwin/ Atlantic Books in the UK.

‘(his) new novel, The Life,  is alternately evocative and lacerating, tender and unflinching, a gloriously honest, brutal and moving story of a man who was at the top of his game and then pissed it all away… Malcolm Knox is one of the best novelists writing in the world today.’ — Christos Tsiolkas

‘Funny, heartbreaking and humane, The Life confirms what the Literary Review has known all along — Knox is, quite simply a fabulous writer’.

Prior Work

Malcolm was named as one of 2001’s Best Young Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald for his first novel, Summerland, which was published by Random House in 2004 and sold into the U.K. and U.S.A by Picador. It was published in Germany, Italy, Argentina and The Netherlands.

He is the author of eleven previous books including the novels Summerland, Adult Book, winner of a Ned Kelly Award, and Jamaica (Random House Australia, 2007) winner of the Colin Roderick Award. His nonfiction books include Secrets of the Jury Room and Scattered: The Inside Story of Ice in Australia. Formerly literary editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, he has twice won Walkley awards for journalism and been runner-up for the Australian Journalist of the Year award. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.

“As a remembrance of things past, Knox’s novel is exquisite, blending a lyricism and exuberance of language with subtle undertones that point towards the denouement… Summerland works on many levels and Knox is, quite simply, a fabulous writer.”  — Literary Review, UK

Scattered, the terrifying story of ‘ice’ or “speed” in Australia, was published by Allen and Unwin in 2008.

knox-never-cvrNever a Gentlemen’s Game

Cricket in the early years was fraught with often violent Australian-English rivalry, gambling, match-fixing, cheating and bitter politics. It was cricket in the raw. Full of colourful characters and with a genuine affection for the legends of the day — players like WG Grace, Fred Spofforth and Victor Trumper are among those finely drawn by Malcolm Knox — Never a Gentlemen’s Game brings to life the crusades against chucking; the short and often tragic lives of many of the early Test cricketers; the riots on the field, and fisticuffs behind the scenes; and the lust for money on all sides.

World Rights: Hardie Grant

Vicki Hastrich

A new author with a great gift for humour and characterisation.

Her second novel, The Great Arch, was inspired by real people and events involving the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which began in the 1920s.

Henri Mallard


The Reverend Ralph Cage becomes obsessed. He sets out to minutely chronicle the building of the great arch and to draw himself into the orbit of its human and spiritual grandeur. But Ralph is tragically ill-equipped for his own mighty task.

Prior work
Vicki’s 2001 novel Swimming with the Jellyfish evokes an Australian country town through the eyes of an eccentric woman, still coming to terms with the disappearance of her mother twenty years ago. The novel has a fantastic cast of characters: the pale, body-pierced librarian; the retired football hero with an interest in local history; and the socialite wife who escapes the seaside town for night-time window shopping in the city. Swimming with the Jellyfish was published by Simon & Schuster Australia in 2001.

Photo: Henri Mallard, Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge,1930s.

Luke Devenish

The Secret Heiress

A fabulous fortune. Beautiful, identical twins… Dark shadows fall across the golden summer of 1886.

Naïve country girl Ida Garfield longs to escape the farm. When Miss Matilda Gregory, the elegant mistress of Summersby House, offers Ida employment as a housemaid, Ida leaps at the chance. Yet it’s not for her servant’s skills that she’s wanted. It’s her inquisitiveness.

devenish-secret-cvr But before Ida starts her first day, Miss Gregory is found dead. Fearing her one chance of bettering herself lost, Ida goes to the funeral, hoping that someone else from Summersby will still want her.

Someone does. Handsome blond Englishman Mr Samuel Hackett is the late Miss Gregory’s fiancé. He expresses a keen need for a housemaid — and a friend. But Miss Gregory’s will brings to light an extraordinary deception and a terrible wrong from the past. Summersby has a secret heiress, whose name is also Matilda Gregory, a strange, ethereal girl with an irrevocably broken memory. Who is this mysterious heiress, and why is Ida bound forever to the truth?

The Russian-language edition of Devenish’s The Secret Heiress.



It is 44 BC and the rival powers of Rome are driving the Republic to a violent end. A soothsayer foretells that the young Tiberius Nero, if he is wed to his cousin, the darkly beautiful Livia Drusilla, will sire four kings of Rome. Fuelled by ambition, Livia devotes her life to fulfilling the prophecy. No crime is too great when destiny beckons.

So begins a murderous saga of sex, corruption and obsession at the dawning of the age of emperors.

devenish-den-cvr-100dpiDen of Wolves brings to life the great women of Imperial Rome — Livia, Julia, Antonia and Agrippina — women who relied on their ambition, instincts and cunning to prosper. In this first book of the dramatic new series Empress of Rome, Luke Devenish superbly recreates these outstanding women who lived in such monstrous times.

The second in the series is… Nest of Vipers. Rome is bathed in blood as the Emperor Tiberius is tormented by drug-fuelled terrors of treason. The innocent are butchered while the guilty do evil in darkness. None is guiltier than the Emperor’s devoted and deluded ‘son’, Sejanus.

devenish-vipers-cvrIn this city of poison three beautiful women are locked in a lethal rivalry… Rome is a nest of vipers, and Livia, the one true Empress of Rome, is hell-bent on wreaking her vengeance… Nest of Vipers is the second volume in the gripping Empress of Rome series.

Rights: Den of Wolves was published in Australia and New Zealand by Random House in 2008, and has also been sold into Turkey, Spain and Russia. It is the first book in a trilogy commissioned by Random House.

The author: Luke Devenish (photo above) is a writer for television and theatre, and a lecturer in screenwriting. He lives with his partner in central Victoria, Australia. Den of Wolves is his first novel. Visit his website: http://www.lukedevenish.com/