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Title, author and event news from Lacuna Publishing
29 September 2015

News and events

Paul WilliamsPaul Williams and Magda Szubanski at Outspoken, Maleny

Paul Williams, author of Cokcraco, and Magda Szubanski are in conversation with local author Steven Lang at the Maleny Community Centre on Thursday 15 October 2015. Bookings are essential: more information.

Report from the ASA’s National Writers Congress 2015

The Australian Society of Authors held their second national congress at Luna Park, Sydney, on 11—12 September 2015. Lacuna publisher and editor Linda Nix attended the event with Peter Dickison on behalf of the Society of Editors (NSW), who were event sponsors. Linda and Peter will present to the Society on the challenges writers face in the digital age and the implications for editors. The session, on Tuesday 3 November 2015, is open to members and non-members but bookings are essential: more information.

In conversation with Eva Novy and Elana Benjamin

Eva NovyIf you missed Eva Novy at the Sydney Jewish Writers Festival 2015 in August (shown in action in the photo, right), you can see her on Thursday 8 October at Waverley Library in conversation with Elana Benjamin, facilitated by Susan Bures AM: “From Hungarian family secrets to spicy Iraqi tales, these delightful young local authors talk about their personal Jewish heritage that both drove them to write two very different books.” Eva's book Darling, impossible! was released in late 2014. Bookings and more information.

Louise Katz at events past and future

Louise Katz's dystopian novel The Orchid Nursery (see new release, below) will be launched on Thursday 29 October 2015 at Forresters, Surry Hills, by writer Jane Sloan. More information will be sent out shortly. 

Louise was among a select group of authors, editors, publishers and academics sharing insights and discussing aspects of speculative fiction at the Speculative Fiction Festival held in July. Louise and Linda posed for festival director Cat Sparks, and more pictures from the festival can be viewed on Flickr here.

Meet debut author Ross Gray

Ross GrayOnce upon a time, a boy met Mr Holmes and Mr Marlowe, Mr Templar and Mr Spade, and wanted grow up to be just like them.

He was born, raised and educated in Ballarat, and encouraged by teachers to become a teacher. He had a knack with pencil and paper, thus became an art teacher and, eventually, a university lecturer in studio practice, visual theory and cinema. Living and working in Warrnambool, Victoria, with his wife Daina and three daughters, he has produced sculpture, ceramics, numerous caricatures and illustrated a number of educational text and extension activity books aimed at primary and secondary students. Two of his short stories have been published and another, Just A Line, was runner-up in The Age Short Story Award for 2004.

The boy’s life never grew to resemble that of Sherlock, Philip, Simon or Sam, so finally he was driven to create a fictional hero in their image. His first novel, The Dragon’s Skin, will be published by Lacuna in 2016.

The Dragon’s Skin will be the first crime fiction manuscript for Lacuna, although associate publisher Chris Mitchell says it’s far from a formulaic genre piece. “The Dragon’s Skin is very sophisticated writing, and not just because of Ross’s ability to use words like ‘terpsichorean’ in cold blood. Unlike most crime novels, the action unfolds through the eyes of the minor characters — witnesses, bystanders, colleagues — and never through the eyes of the protagonist, who remains a shadowy figure. And yet the main character is not unknowable — this technique actually develops his character in interesting, revealing ways,” says Chris. “But the success of the manuscript is not just formal, it’s still a crime novel, and a cracking story at that. The Dragon’s Skin is a real page turner, with plenty of action and suspense. I couldn’t put it down.”

New release

The Orchid NurseryThe Orchid Nursery

by Louise Katz

The Fifteens of Stone House have reached Attainment: the day a girlie may Beseech for the privilege of serving as a Perfected womanidol in the Orchid Nursery.

When vivacious, irreverent Pearl goes missing, pious Mica hopes fervently that her friend has been chosen for Perfection and has not, as she fears, absconded from the State. Mica feels bound by love and duty to seek Pearl — to save her from punishment if she is caught by the Ecumen or, worse, if she has left Civilisation.

Mica’s search will take her into a frightening physical and moral terrain where insurgents and outcasts are still fighting a strategic war against the clerical regime. But first Mica must bring herself to violate the secret–sacred space that is the Orchid Nursery.

Praise for The Orchid Nursery

“A powerful story, so visual and present it feels like a cross between a painting by Hieronymus Bosch and M C Escher ... Confronting in its truths, The Orchid Nursery’s richness of language also layers it in warmth and humour.” — Stephanie Smith

“A superbly crafted vision of a toxic cultural wasteland. Three women: rebel, zealot, hag. Three journeys through a disintegrated future. Check current news reportage before claiming the horrors of The Orchid Nursery could never come to pass within our lifetime.” — Cat Sparks

“Terrifying, but so beautifully, dreamily written.” — Elizabeth Farrelly

“[A] febrile world of strong and desperate characters, alien lore and changing loyalties ... that Katz presents with luminous, edgy and at times almost unbearably vivid descriptions. Mysterious and compelling, the narrative is etched with a grim humour in its dark evocation of a world both eerie and strange and yet also disturbingly familiar.” — Libby Hathorn

Publishing 1 October 2015  available for purchase now
Paperback (ISBN 9781922198204) and Ebook (ISBN 9781922198211)

More information

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