Revealing the cover of Breaking Beauty

Our amazing designer Kim Lock has been working very hard to deliver this stunning cover for MidnightSun’s upcoming short story collection Breaking Beauty.

Breaking Beauty

Breaking Beauty

Lynette Washington has expertly edited the project and now we can look forward to the fabulous Adelaide launch of this brilliant collection. It’ll all be happening at the SA Writers’ Centre from 6.30pm on Friday 7 November 2014. Hope to see you there!

 

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Proudly presents… Amanda Hickie!

Every now and then, out of the massive MidnightSun pile of unsolicited manuscripts, appears a story that really grabs us by the throat and shakes us around. Because we actually read every single one of those manuscripts, we come across a mixed bunch of stories, from children’s picture books to self-help manuals. But mainly the pile consists of fiction for an adult audience, just the way we like it. Lately, we have been fortunate enough to find one such throat-grabbing gem in our pile and we thought it was time to introduce this writer to you.

The MidnightSun Publishing team is very proud to announce that in May 2015 we will be publishing Amanda Hickie’s novel about an epidemic in contemporary Sydney. Nail biting stuff, people. It’s an as yet unnamed, unusual book, balancing on the verge between literary and speculative fiction. We simply can’t wait to share it with you.

In the meantime, introducing Amanda Hickie:

Amanda Hickie

Amanda Hickie

Amanda Hickie has always been interested in science, literature and ethical questions -annoying her scripture teacher at the age of ten by asking if it was immoral to lie to a murderer. Despite a passion for writing, she studied Computer Science (but quickly recovered).

A change of lifestyle saw her move with her family to Canada. She found herself living down the road from the SARS outbreak, which provided the seed for her forthcoming novel, to be published by MidnightSun in May 2015.

Amanda lives a pleasant stroll from Coogee Beach in Sydney with her two computer oriented sons and husband and two non-computer oriented cats.

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Introducing Rock Star

MidnightSun has been lucky enough to secure the ebook publication of Kristin Weidenbach’s fascinating and entertaining book Rock Star. The story of Reg Sprigg – an outback legend. It was first published in paperback in 2008 by East Street Publications but has not previously been published as an ebook. You can now buy it as an ebook from MidnightSun in EPUB format here and as a Mobi (Kindle) file here.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, we asked Kristin to answer a few questions to introduce herself to her new readership. Rock Star cover

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been writing full time for about 10 years. Prior to becoming an author I was a scientist and then a science writer. I have published two biographies, a commissioned history of the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, and a children’s picture book, which is the current Children’s Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award winner for non-fiction for children. My most recent work, Blue Flames, Black Gold, the history of multinational oil and gas company Santos, will be released into the general book trade in May. My new picture book, Meet Banjo Patterson, published by Random House, will be released in February 2015.

2. Why are you keen to publish Rock Star as an ebook?

The paperback edition of Rock Star: the story of Reg Sprigg, has sold greater than 10,000 copies, however it was produced by a rather small publisher in South Australia, and distribution to national and international readers can be challenging. The new ebook version of Rock Star produced by MidnightSun will allow Reg’s story to be shared with a much larger audience, no matter where they live.

3. What are the projects you are currently working on?

My latest adult non-fiction book goes to the printer this week. I am looking forward to working on some new children’s picture book ideas, and also continuing work on a family history/memoir based in the South Australian coastal town of Moonta.

4. Your book Tom the Mailman became a huge bestseller. What does it feel like to become a bestselling writer?

Mailman of the Birdsville Track: the story of Tom Kruse, was published in 2003 and has been continuously in print since, selling greater than 100,000 copies. Mailman was the first book I had ever written, so I had no idea that its success was so unusual. Tom Kruse was a family friend and I feel very lucky that serendipity put me in the right place at the right time to write the book. It was an honour to tell his story.

5. What are some of the major differences between writing for children and writing for adults?

Obviously the page length of a typical picture book leaves you very few works to work with. Words are traded for illustrations, which can convey so much to a young reader. Condensing Tom Kruse’s story, for instance, into a 32-page picture book, meant I had to focus on one facet of Tom’s life and distill the essence of that person into a handful of words. In Tom’s story I used the Cooper Creek flood to illustrate how reliant the people of the Birdsville Track were on the mailman. For the isolated residents of central Australia he was a lifeline to the outside world.

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One Step at a Time – it’s Pozible!

We can’t believe that Easter is already upon us. At Midnight Sun headquarters we’ve been hard at work organising a crowdfunding campaign for the children’s picture book that we plan to publish next year. It is called One Step at a Time and it is about a Thai boy called Luk and his baby elephant Mali. One day Mali steps on a landmine and her friend Luk stays faithfully by her side as she recovers and is fitted with a prosthetic leg.

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

Author Jane Jolly explains that the book is based on a true story. Illustrator Sally Heinrich has found the perfect balance between the dramatic event and the beautiful friendship between the boy and his elephant. We are so proud to be publishing this book and we hope that you can help us make it a reality by pledging to the campaign. You can read more about One Step at a Time and view sample illustrations here.

The jungle fell still and silent

The jungle fell still and silent

After only a week we have raised over $4,400 but we still need help to reach our goal of $10,000. Part of the proceeds will go to SafeGround, an organisation that works with victims of landmines. Please take a look at the Pozible crowdfunding project here, where you can pre-order the book or be extra generous and receive one of Sally’s original hand coloured prints. There are postcards and bookmarks on offer too.

The campaign ends on Friday 30 May 2014, so please don’t hesitate. Now is the time to show that you care about victims of landmines around the world – and that you think this beautiful book deserves to reach a wide audience.

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What will 2014 bring?

MidnightSun has been very busy behind the scenes lately, planning this year and beyond. Although we are currently snowed under with interesting manuscript and in the process of reading them all, we have decided on a couple of projects for this year.

We are going to step into children’s book publishing for the first time with Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich’s beautiful One Step at a Time about the relationship between a young boy and his elephant. This bright and moving picture book will be a gorgeous present for all the little ones.

We are also delighted to announce that we will be publishing an anthology of new stories from some of the best writers to come out of the writing programs at The University of Adelaide. Lynette Washington will be editing the volume, which is currently open for submissions. The theme is ‘beauty’. Anyone who has studied creative writing at The University of Adelaide is encouraged to send their work to lynette.washington@adelaide.edu.au by 21 March 2014.

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Announcing the BIG news!

The shortlist for the Most Underrated Book Award has just been announced and Anna Solding’s The Hum of Concrete is on it! This is such an amazing initiative by the Small Press Network, which gives the shortlisted entries new exposure. MidnightSun is so proud of Anna and honoured to be selected alongside other excellent small publishers. The other three shortlisted entries are: Fish-Hair Woman, Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press), Staunch, Ginger Briggs (Affirm Press) and Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot, Annabel Smith (Fremantle Press). We wish them all the best. The winner will be announced at a presentation on Friday 15 November at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. Read more about the shortlist here.

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Catching up…

Although it may look like we haven’t done much the last few months, MidnightSun has actually been hard at work behind the scenes reading manuscripts and deciding on what to publish next year. We have submitted The Hum of Concrete to the Most Underrated Book Award. Both Kim and Anna have had speaking engagements. We have sponsored the Langhorne Creek Writers’ Festival. More about all of these exciting news in due course…

What is happening right now is this: Anna Solding is currently in Sydney and will head to Canberra tomorrow to participate in two events. One is organised by the ACT Writers’ Centre and one by Small Press Network, and both are facilitated by brilliant Charlotte Harper at Editia. The events take place at Gorman House, Wednesday 23 October, at 6pm and 7 for 7.30pm respectively. If you happen to be in Canberra, please come along and say hello.

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Book signing at Dillons Bookshop

The weather gods indulged us for this book signing, so being outside chatting with people was a real pleasure. Kim, true to form, was all smiles. And after seeing the book both on the counter and in the new releases section, who could blame her?

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Successfully launching Peace, Love and Khaki Socks

Thank you so much to those of you who were able to join us for the launch of Kim Lock’s Peace, Love and Khaki Socks! It was a festive night full of smiles. Author Heather Taylor Johnson did a stellar job launching the book and the audience was wonderfully supportive.

Heather Taylor Johnson launching Peace, Love and Khaki Socks

Heather Taylor Johnson launching Peace, Love and Khaki Socks

Kim spoke beautifully about her journey to publication. Her Freudian slip, saying that she had a few people to ‘spank’ rather than to ‘thank’ lifted the already celebratory mood even further.

Kim's lovely speech

Kim’s lovely speech

 

 

The audience

The audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the speeches, Kim proceeded to sign copies of her book and talk to the many people who had come to support her, while the rest of us filled our glasses, mingled and danced…

 

 

Ready to sign!

Ready to sign!

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For a small publisher, events like this launch are so important because we want to connect with our readership. We want you to feel celebrated! We want you to feel that our success is due to your support. Without readers and book buyers like you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you!

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Enjoying the launch!

Enjoying the launch!

Hannah, Harry and Chelsea raising their glasses

Raising a glass for Kim

Babies and toddlers celebrated too.

Babies and toddlers celebrated too.

Kim was all smiles.

Kim was all smiles.

It was great night! Now that the book has been officially launched in Adelaide, we have our sights set on the Darwin launch on Friday 10 May 2013. Kim’s schedule is packed for the coming months. Check out our Appearances page for further details.

If you love Kim’s book, please don’t forget to tell others about it. Word of mouth is a very powerful way to reach all the readers this book deserves. You could even write a review or simply give it a star rating on Goodreads or Amazon. We really appreciate our readers!

 

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Reviews are coming in – and they are brilliant!

We are so proud to announce the first six reviews of Kim Lock’s Peace, Love and Khaki Socks and they are overwhelmingly positive.

Daystarz: 5 of 5

One word. LOVE. I love this book. It is warm, genuine and emotive. It is real. It is entirely believable…This is so much more than just a book about pregnancy – it’s also a story about a woman’s search for validation and empowerment.

Peace, Love and Khaki Socks is simply adorable. It definitely makes my best books of 2013 list. An excellent debut novel from a promising Australian author. I will be keeping a keen eye out for Ms Locks next literary venture.

Compulsive Reader: 

The novel’s strength is the very personal journey the reader takes alongside Amy as she weighs up conventional First World medical procedures with the almost Cavewoman-style natural homebirthing. It is a suspenseful ride with her as she battles conventions, the expectations of others as well as a category three tropical cyclone to boot.

Another feature is the brilliant imagery used to describe the setting of Darwin, Australia’s most northern capital. Sweaty, humid, monsoonal, oppressively hot complete with blood-sucking insects, Darwin seems to magnify the drama associated with the intricacies of the female reproductive process. An stirring story of a girl becoming an independent woman.

Sally from Oz: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it.

I really don’t know where to start when it comes to saying how much I loved and related to PEACE, LOVE AND KHAKI SOCKS… I found myself laughing out loud at many of the events in the story…

This was one of those books that once you picked it up then it was not willingly getting put down until finished.  A very good debut, now officially waiting for book two.

This Charming Mum: 4 of 5 stars

It is a funny and entertaining story – not unlike some of the rural/’outsider’ romance novels so popular in contemporary Australian publishing – but it also has a very serious point to make about the way we treat pregnancy and birth in the hospital system.

Drawing parallels with a fierce cyclone that hits the city when Amy is nine months gone, the book suggests we could do with a bit more reverence towards Mother Nature.

The prose style is relaxed and friendly (for want of a better word!).  It left me feeling as though I’d been hearing a friend’s birth story over coffee… The final chapters, as Amy lurches from ecstasy to agony during a long labour and birth, are moving and joyful.  Keep the tissues handy!

The Raven’s Parlour Bookstore: 4 3/4 stars of 5

This is the debut novel from Lyndoch based author, Kim Lock … and it’s a cracker!

Full of humour, warmth, honesty and raw emotion, it’s a journey of Amy’s right to make the choices she feels best suit her and her baby.

1girl2manybooks: 7 of 10 stars

Amy and Dylan’s relationship is fantastic – from the way they both react to the surprise pregnancy to the way they are at odds over her decision to homebirth. Because it is Amy’s decision, she gives little regard to Dylan’s feelings whatsoever which I get. It’s her body, she has to do it.

Obviously I think this book will resonate with supporters of homebirthing and particularly those who have had one themselves.

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