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!

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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

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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

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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/

 

 

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An Ordinary Epidemic launched in style!

On Friday 8 May 2015 we launched Amanda Hickie’s thrilling novel An Ordinary Epidemic at the SA Writers’ Centre in Adelaide. A supportive crowd braved the autumn rain to join us in celebrating this terrific novel. In her launch speech Lynette Washington made everyone acutely aware that Amanda’s story about a deadly outbreak could have been about us. What would you do if the epidemic hit? How far would you go to protect the ones you love? Amanda Hickie emphasised the importance of ethics in all of our lives and told us how the idea for the book came to her when she was living in Canada during the SARS outbreak. People mingled, ate yummy gluten free crackers made by local Mia Ringsparr, caught up with fellow writers and talked about all things bookish while Amanda was busy signing books. MidnightSun can’t emphasise enough how much it means to us to have such strong local support. Thank you so much to everyone for attending and for spreading the word about this book!

Launcher Lynette Washington, author Amanda Hickie and publisher Anna Solding

Launcher Lynette Washington, author Amanda Hickie and publisher Anna Solding

Yummy gluten free crackers by Mia Ringsparr

Yummy gluten free crackers by Mia Ringsparr

IMG_4958 IMG_4969 IMG_4971 IMG_4972 IMG_4974 IMG_4976 IMG_4977

Supporters Sam Bond and Carla Caruso

Supporters Sam Bond and Carla Caruso

Gay, Brian, Sharon and Reg enjoying the festivities

Gay, Brian, Sharon and Reg enjoying the festivities

Chelsea and Shannon playing it up for the camera

Chelsea and Shannon playing it up for the camera

2015-05-08 19.35.18

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Adelaide Launch of An Ordinary Epidemic!

Please join MidnightSun for the launch of Amanda Hickie‘s highly anticipated nail biter An Ordinary Epidemic. Editor and writer Lynette Washington will launch the book in style. As always, there will be plenty of drinks and nibbles. Bring a friend, dance, buy a book, chat with a writer, have fun! RSVP‘s much appreciated.

8 May at 18:30–22:00
SA Writers’ Centre
Second Floor, 187 Rundle Street
Adelaide, South Australia 5000

https://www.facebook.com/events/995015680516369/

Amanda Hickie

Amanda Hickie

Lynette Washington

Lynette Washington

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Multi-Storied

Here is the first Melbourne interview about Breaking Beauty. Lynette Washington and Anna Solding talking to Triple R. Between 32 and 44 minutes in: http://ondemand.rrr.org.au/player/128/201503181200

Source: Multi-Storied

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Breaking Beauty Reading

The good news is coming in so thick and fast these days that we are having a hard time keeping up with it all. Here is a blog post from Mostly Books about the Breaking Beauty reading last week:
http://mostlybooks.com.au/blog/2015/03/18/breaking-beauty-a-reading/

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An Ordinary Epidemic on the way

Have we mentioned that there is a new novel brewing at MidnightSun? The first review just came in and it’s fabulous. Here is a teaser: ‘It’s utterly fascinating, a little gruesome and impossible to put down.’ Jessica Broadbent in Books+Publishing

An Ordinary Epidemic

An Ordinary Epidemic

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Buzz Words review of One Step at a Time

Another lovely review of One Step at a Time, this time in Buzz Words: http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/2015/01/one-step-at-time_11.html

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

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