Bologna and London Book Fairs

In April 2016, writer Cameron Raynes and I set out on an epic adventure tour in Europe. We had planned to visit Bologna in Italy to attend the children’s book fair there and London in the UK to visit their book fair. It was a very productive trip with lots of meetings, both with new contacts and with old friends such as the Venezuelan publisher Ekaré, who are publishing the Spanish translation of Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich’s One Step at a Time.

Verona

Verona

IMG_9310 IMG_9337 IMG_9353 IMG_9358 IMG_9365

In Verona, before the meetings began, we caught up with writer Catherine McNamara, who we both met in Vienna a couple of years ago at the 13th International Conference for the Short Story in English. Yummy food was had by all. We were in Italy, so nothing else was to be expected, of course.

Stunning London Book Fair

Stunning London Book Fair

IMG_9571 IMG_9572 IMG_9586 IMG_9592 IMG_9613 IMG_9616 IMG_9630

In the UK, Cameron had organised to speak at a couple of different venues, including the Michael Palin centre for stammering children and I had planned to visit MidnightSun’s writer Lucy Durneen in Cornwall.

Cornwall

Cornwall

IMG_9493

As it is so much easier to discuss manuscripts, publicity and launches in person over the course of a weekend, Lucy and I managed to plan most of what should happen with Lucy’s gorgeous short story collection, Songs of Ecstasy and Madness, which is due out early next year. In London I had productive meetings with our agent at the Writers’ House and the publisher from Headline who will publish Amanda Hickie’s An Ordinary Epidemic in the UK next year (as Before This is Over).

Bologna Children's Book Fair

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

IMG_9397 IMG_9398

One of the best things about attending book fairs is all the inspiration that other publishers bring. Especially in Bologna, the stalls are beautiful and inventive and I was excited to find publishers who produce books of such stunning quality. Overall, it was great trip and I intend to travel there again next year, hopefully accompanied by one of MidnightSun’s new writers.

Anna Solding, Publisher

Famous leaning towers of Bologna

Famous leaning towers of Bologna

IMG_9428 IMG_9432 IMG_9454 IMG_9455 IMG_9457

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Continually expanding

MidnightSun has been growing over the last three years and we have become a force to be reckoned with, in adult and children’s literature alike. We only publish books we love and we spend months making sure we edit the text to its absolute pinnacle and design the best possible cover. We are incredibly proud of all the books we have produced so far and very excited about the ones we are now signing up to publish in 2016 and 2017. Soon we will reveal more of our authors and projects but for now we just want to say thank you for your ongoing support of MidnightSun. Without you, loyal readers, we wouldn’t be here.

The first MidnightSun book cab off the rank in February 2016 is gorgeous and powerful First Person Shooter by Cameron Raynes.

First Person Shooter

First Person Shooter

Right now, however, we recommend that you check out the beautiful colouring-in book Local Colour – Adelaide by Sally Heinrich, which is currently in shops selling like hotcakes. The Christmas present of the year!

Local Colour - Adelaide

Local Colour – Adelaide

Local Colour - Icons

Local Colour – Icons

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Local Colour – Adelaide is here!

Local Colour – Adelaide by Sally Heinrich has arrived early due to high demand. We are very proud and excited to be publishing this exquisite mindfulness colouring book about Adelaide and surrounds. Local Colour - Adelaide

From 10 November 2015 you should be able to find it in all good bookshops in Adelaide, as well as in Big W, the Art Gallery and selected newsagents.

You can also order it online from us.Birds.6 Nov 2015 Colouring in.6 Nov 2015 Pencils.6 Nov 2015 The Book.6 Nov 2015 Or you can venture out to buy it at the Gilles Street Market on Sunday 6 December or the Burnside Night Market on Thursday 10 December. Hope to catch you there. We’d love to see your coloured pages! The pencils are for sale too.

Local Colour - Jacaranda

Local Colour – Jacaranda

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Revealing the cover of First Person Shooter

MidnightSun has been working tirelessly to find the very best fiction for your reading pleasure. We are extremely proud to announce the first novel by word magician Cameron Raynes.

First Person Shooter

First Person Shooter

It is called First Person Shooter and tells the story of fifteen year old Jayden who has a terribly debilitating stutter and an interest in shooting.

Books+Publishing compares the book to the ‘works of Craig Silvey and Tim Winton, but with the darker edge of John Marsden’. We couldn’t agree more.

 

First Person Shooter will be available in February 2016.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Magnificent ‘Local Colour – Adelaide’ is on the way!

MidnightSun is excited to have sent our first adult colouring book to print!

Local Colour - Jacaranda

Local Colour – Jacaranda

There’s a bewildering variety of adult colouring books on the market right now, but this one is a little different. More than simply a colouring book, Local Colour – Adelaide explores many of the things and places that make Adelaide unique. Through quirky text and gorgeous illustrations we explore Adelaide icons, jacaranda and plane trees, the Hills and the coast. And more.

Local Colour - Icons

Local Colour – Icons

 

 

 

We hope that you’ll like it, that you’ll send it to all your overseas pals and buy it as the ideal Christmas present for your best friend as well as your entire family.

Sally has set up a page for the book which she’ll keep updated about when and where it is available, and any associated events Local Colour – Adelaide

Local Colour - Adelaide

Local Colour – Adelaide

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amanda Hickie at Newtown Festival

You have a great opportunity to catch Amanda Hickie at the Newtown Festival on Sunday 8 November 2015, 12.40pm at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.

Amanda Hickie

Amanda Hickie

An Ordinary Epidemic

An Ordinary Epidemic

Four talented Australian fiction novelists come together to for the Fictional Sydney panel focusing on how each represents Sydney in their work. Creator of Offspring, Debra Oswald’s novel Useful is a smart, moving and wry portrait of one man’s desire to give something of himself. Tegan Bennett Daylight’s short story collection Six Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Sandra Leigh-Price’s The Bird Child is set right here in Newtown in 1929 and is a novel of magic, birds, lost letters and love. Finally, Amanda Hickie’s novel An Ordinary Epidemic takes place in the midst of a deadly outbreak which sends Sydney into lockdown. Sandra, Amanda, Tegan and Debra are sure to talk about ideas that will resonate with and relate to each and every one of us. Four talented Australian fiction novelists come together to for the Fictional Sydney panel. Focusing on how each represents Sydney in their work; writing about historical Sydney, contemporary Sydney and even Sydney in the future, Sandra, Amanda, Tegan and Debra are sure to talk about ideas that will resonate with and relate to each and every one of us.

Further information here: http://www.newtownfestival.org/writers_tent.html

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rights sold!

Over the last month or so MidnightSun has been hard at work behind the scenes and now we are extremely happy to announce huge successes for two of our books:

We have sold the American rights to Amanda Hickie’s An Ordinary Epidemic in a six-figure deal with Little, Brown.

An Ordinary Epidemic

An Ordinary Epidemic

We have also sold translation rights to Simplified Chinese to CTV Boler Beijing Media and Spanish rights to Ekare for Jane Jolly’s and Sally Heinrich’s One Step at a Time.

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

This means that MidnightSun’s books will be spread far and wide and we couldn’t possibly be any happier!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Review of An Ordinary Epidemic in The Australian

Amanda Hickie’s terrific novel has had a great review in The Australian. This is what they had to say:

With Ebola, SARS, superbugs and the anticipated exhaustion of antibiotics, the question of how Australians might behave if a deadly pandemic hit our shores is an interesting one. We are, despite our vast expanses, one of the most urbanised nations in the world, ideal perhaps as a destination for diseases.

An Ordinary Epidemic (MidnightSun, 400pp, $28.99) explores these issues in a tight narrative that views the event from the perspective of a middle-class Sydney family. It’s the second novel from Sydney author Amanda Hickie, following her reimagining of heaven in After Zoe.

The story begins with the Manba virus moving south from Newcastle, and infecting Sydney’s north shore. Efforts to restrict its progress prove futile as isolated cases begin to pop up throughout the city, but fortunately not yet where Hannah and her family live.

She is concerned, while her husband Sean is more relaxed, arguing against the fear that they will be infected. Against her instincts he insists their son be allowed to go on a school camp to Canberra.

In many ways this is a simple speculative tale, but its tight lines of logic and sharp interrogation of the limits of compassion when community itself becomes a risk, as well as our dependency on the state for things such as power and water, makes for a fascinating read. Hickie has created convincing characters and mines the rifts in ethical positions between averting death and helping others to do the same so well that it leaves you thinking twice about shaking hands with strangers.

Ed Wright, 20 June 2015, The Australian

Review of An Ordinary Epidemic in The Australian

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

YouTube video of Amanda talking about An Ordinary Epidemic

For those of you who haven’t yet read Amanda Hickie’s terrific An Ordinary Epidemic but are interested in doing so and for those who have read and loved the book, here is Amanda giving you some background to the novel: YouTube video of Amanda Hickie

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reviews of An Ordinary Epidemic

The reviews have been coming in for An Ordinary Epidemic and they are fantastic! Here are a couple to give you an idea:

Books+Publishing, review by Jessica Broadbent, librarian and former bookseller

‘What would you do in an epidemic? Stock up your pantry, gather your family and wait it out? But what if one of your kids was away on a school excursion? An Ordinary Epidemic explores these decisions and considers how broader society might cope with unexpected change—for example, what would happen if all the power plant workers decided to go home to their own families? It’s utterly fascinating, a little gruesome and impossible to put down. Set in Sydney and revolving around Hannah, her husband and two sons, the story is both familiar and completely strange. From taking sensible precautions to avoid an infectious disease to contemplating a self-imposed quarantine, Hannah has to weigh up life-or-death decisions for herself and her family. Sydney author Amanda Hickie’s second novel really captures the claustrophobia of quarantine, and the threat of someone clearing their throat or an accidental brush of skin. This is a slow-burn thriller that would make an excellent choice for a book club as it raises lots of discussion points.’

Clothesline, review by Rosie van Heerde, high school teacher and reviewer

In An Ordinary Epidemic, emerging writing talent Amanda Hickie tells the extraordinary tale of Sydneysider mother of two, Hannah, as she desperately tries to save her young family from the deadly ‘Manba’ virus sweeping the globe. Together with her husband and sons, Hannah retreats to the only place in Sydney she knows to be truly safe – her home. As she busies herself checking online updates and stocking her pantry, Hannah is as prepared as she can be. An unlikely protagonist at first, she is seemingly paranoid and increasingly obsessive in her preparations for ‘the worst’. The quality of Hickie’s writing however ensures the reader is positioned to experience her growing fear for her family’s survival – it becomes impossible not to identify with Hannah as a woman, a wife, a parent. An Ordinary Epidemic - Amanda Hickie - The Clothesline

As the reality of their situation sets in, the family needs to navigate their way through a myriad of emotions and decisions as they grapple with the knowledge that the world has changed forever. Food supplies seem their greatest concern at first, however it soon becomes clear there are other things to be worried about. First the water is cut off, then the electricity. They ration their one remaining mobile phone because they know when that battery eventually dies, they will be completely alone. Too afraid to journey beyond their front door, the family’s self-imposed prison becomes a breeding ground for boredom and the fear that comes from not knowing what is happening ‘on the outside’.

Graphics mark the chapters in Hannah’s journey, a calendar with each passing day shaded – a stark illustration of their relentless isolation. This glaring addition works well when juxtaposed against the development of Hannah and her family’s experiences and reactions – as the days mount, so too does the pressure created by captivity and proximity. Hickie has crafted fine characters – each entirely believable in their responses to this incredible situation.

Zach is absolutely spot on as the self-absorbed teenager that he is, struggling to cope with his own identity and the challenge of learning that his mother makes mistakes. Husband, Sean is the steady voice of reason to Hannah’s growing panic, yet even he is not immune to bouts of churlishness and depression. Youngest son, Oscar and neighbour’s child, Ella provide both a platform for Hannah’s need to protect her own young at all costs and one of many moral dilemmas to be faced by the family – is the life a small child worth risking your own family for? Or how about the life of an elderly neighbour, cut off from family, friends and Meals On Wheels? How far should one go to share your meagre food stocks with those formerly known as friends?

Despite the ghastly subject matter, An Ordinary Epidemic is a heartening account of a mother’s love and of ordinary human beings desperately needing to survive with their humanity intact. The richly layered text works to make this novel a rewarding experience, ensuring that one cannot help but be drawn into Hannah’s new world order. You will read this and imagine your own family in their place.

http://theclothesline.com.au/an-ordinary-epidemic-book-review/

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment