Another Guest Post by Fern

Hi all, it’s Fern again, MidnightSun’s favourite intern. Also their only intern, but I digress. In my brief time at the company I’ve mostly worked with Heaven Sent, the YA novel by S.J. Morgan. My tasks have been to find reviewers and speaking with writers’ festivals to invite Sue along. But that cannot begin to compare to the work Sue has spent writing the novel, and the time Anna and Lauren have spent refining and preparing it for its debut. The moment of truth finally arrived and MidnightSun was proud to launch Heaven Sent this past Sunday.

Heaven Sent
Heaven Sent

The hall the launch was held in was deftly transformed from what looked like an office into a cosy reading room, made even better by the inclusion of wine and nibbles.

Wine
Wine

A friend of Sue and her partner performed on his guitar, the perfect accompaniment to the quiet buzz of excitement in the air.

Entertainment
Entertainment
Launch cake
Launch cake

Most incredible, Sue had ordered an enormous cake decorated with the cover of her novel, which she said with a laugh was the combination of her two favourite things.

 

 

 

 

Whenever I wasn’t working to sell copies of the novel, I chatted with the guests around me. I was impressed by the range of people who attended the launch: from friends who wanted to congratulate Sue, to fans of the young adult genre, to authors who had never met Sue before but wanted to do their part to support fellow writers.

Writerly love
Writerly love

There is a certain special air to book launches, I’m finding, when a large group of people are brought together by a single focus. It becomes an incredibly comfortable place because the guarantee that every person you speak to will have at least one thing in common: their love of books.

Large crowd
Large crowd

Anna spoke to us all about her first meeting with Sue at the Salisbury Writer’s Festival in 2016. Anna told us how Sue nervously introduced her premise that day, and what a contrast there was with Sue now, confidently presenting her novel to the world.

Sue's speech
Sue’s speech

Anna also announced MidnightSun’s involvement in Sue’s next novel Boomerang, which is set to be published next year. I can’t deny I’m excited to read it after my thorough enjoyment of Heaven Sent.

After the speeches Sue read aloud the first dynamic chapter of the novel. At its completion there was a rush of people buying copies of the book, eager to have their questions answered. Many others had bought the book before the speeches so I watched them, children and adults alike, settling into the arranged reading nooks, already absorbed by the novel.

Sue and Anna
Sue and Anna
Sue signing
Sue signing

As the launch was reaching its conclusion I had a chance to have Sue sign my copy, and I had the opportunity to chat with her, thanking her letting me be part of the team. Before the launch I’d only corresponded with her via email, and in speaking to her in person I realised how true to her real voice she was in writing this novel. Sue is just as kind, generous, and earnest as the voice she portrayed in Heaven Sent.

And now I am sorry to inform you that while you will all have the opportunity to read more of Sue’s voice in the future, this will be the last you will hear of mine. As the university comes to an end, so does my internship at MidnightSun Publishing. It’s been an incredible experience to see behind the scenes of how the industry works, and I could not have asked for better people to learn from. I’ll miss it, but who knows, maybe one day I’ll write something that could be published here. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Guest Post by Our Intern Fern

I’m Fern, the second intern to grace the halls of MidnightSun. I’m in my final year of studying Creative Writing at Adelaide University, and I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to look inside the world of publishing. I’m the sort of oddball who researches as much as they can about any given situation before heading into it, but the internet can only prepare you so much. Luckily, Anna has been a wise and gentle support in guiding me through this busy new world.

Beneath the Mother Tree
Beneath the Mother Tree

Before I even had my first session at MidnightSun, I was invited to the book launch of Beneath the Mother Tree by D.M. Cameron. Talk about coming in at the end of the process. It was a night of joy and tears as Donna spoke about the journey of creating her novel, the endless trials of research, re-writing, and refining.

Donna signing books
Donna signing books

She thanked her family members for supporting her throughout the experience, and I felt tears prickling in my eyes for this woman I had never spoken to. I mean, I’m a bleeding heart, but there was something special about being in the function room of The Jade surrounded by these people brought together by her story.

Donna reading at launch
Donna reading at launch

There was magic in the air, just as there was in the reading she gave of her first chapter. Yes, I bought a copy that night. But despite how the speeches that night moved me, I couldn’t entirely comprehend how much work had gone in to making this novel a reality.

Proud publisher, author and launcher
Proud publisher, author and launcher

Upon setting foot in the studio of MidnightSun on my first day, I was introduced to the novel that is to be published in October. Heaven Sent is a young adult novel by debut novelist S.J. Morgan, set in the Adelaide Hills. However, before I actually had a chance to read the novel, I had to write an impassioned speech to reviewers about why they should drop everything they’re doing and give this novel a chance. There was some hurried flipping through the book to look for key words, that’s for sure. It was to my extreme relief when Anna loaned me the proof copy so I could understand what I was writing so enthusiastically about. My lecturer the next day must have hated me, because I ended up reading it throughout my class on Editing for Writers. It was on topic! I was understanding what a novel looks like before it is sent to copy editing! Or at least that’s what I tried to insist when I was told to put away the book for the third time.

Heaven Sent
Heaven Sent

Most recently we’ve been working to prepare Heaven Sent for its launch, and hunting down writers’ festivals who would be delighted to have Sue attend. It’s not hard to appear passionate in my emails to festivals and reviewers now. Having read the book for myself I’m excited to show it off to whoever I can. It was even more exciting to see the newly printed copies of Heaven Sent when they arrived. There’s something special about opening up a box to see a fresh book which is waiting to be passed out and read.

I feel like I’m going backwards through the publishing process so far. I’ve attended a book launch, asked reviewers to look over a completed novel, and enjoyed the thrill of the arrival of new books. I’m looking forward to seeing the earlier stages of the process of seeing how Anna gives advice and suggestions to her authors, how she decides how much time she needs to prepare everything for launch, how she decides to publish a novel in the first place. If I can see all this, I might be able to comprehend how Donna felt when she stood in front of everyone at her book launch and moved to tears by how much of herself she poured into her novel.

Here are some more photos from the wonderful launch:

Beneath the Mother Tree

Beneath the Mother Tree cover
Beneath the Mother Tree cover
by D.M. Cameron

PB 336 | 154 x 233 | ISBN: 9781925227390 | $32.99 | Fiction
Also available as ebook | MidnightSun Publishing
August 2018 | Distributed by NewSouth Books

A spine-chilling mystery and contemporary love story, Beneath the Mother Tree plays out in a unique and wild Australian setting, interweaving Indigenous history and Irish mythology. Continue reading Beneath the Mother Tree

Message in a Sock

Message in a Sock
Message in a Sock cover
Written by Kaye Baillie, illustrated by Narelda Joy

HB 32 | 271 x 294 | ISBN: 9781925227383
$27.99 | Picture book
MidnightSun Publishing | April 2018
Distributed by NewSouth Books

Tammy is safe at home, but her heart is with her father at the warfront. While her mother knits socks for the soldiers, Tammy slips a message inside each pair. But will her one special message find her father, and bring him safely home? Continue reading Message in a Sock

Kaye Baillie

Kaye Baillie
Kaye Baillie
Kaye Baillie began writing stories and making books during the long, hot summer holidays on the orchard where she grew up in Victoria. With her sister, she sat at the kitchen table coming up with ideas and adding her own (not very good) illustrations. Now she writes stories at her kitchen table near the beach, where she lives with her family and their high-maintenance pets. Kaye has a strong interest in researching and writing stories about unique individuals and events.

Kaye’s picture book Message in a Sock with Narelda Joy was published in May 2018.

Narelda Joy

Narelda Joy
Narelda Joy
Narelda Joy grew up in a creative household with an inspired mum and a large sewing room, which contained a plethora of goodies with which she could use to create. She continues to create anything in two or three dimensions including puppets, models, creatures and illustrations. She considers herself fortunate to be able to create imaginary worlds anytime she wants to.

Narelda Joy lives surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna in the Blue Mountains, Australia. She has two dogs and a cat, as well as lots of native birds who visit her garden daily.

Narelda’s picture book Message in a Sock with Kaye Baillie was published in May 2018.

Exciting new acquisition

MidnightSun acquires debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree

MidnightSun has acquired world rights to playwright and radio dramatist D M Cameron’s debut novel Beneath the Mother Tree for publication in 2018.

D M Cameron
D M Cameron

Beneath the Mother Tree is a ‘fast-paced’ mystery and love story set in an Australian town similar to the one in which Cameron grew up, and uses Indigenous and Irish mythology to create a spiritual subtext.

‘We are thrilled to have won the rights to this exciting novel, which generated a great deal of interest as a manuscript,’ said MidnightSun publishing director Anna Solding. ‘There were several other publishing contracts on the table, and we had to fight for this book!’

Solding said she sees ‘potential’ for the novel in the international market. ‘We anticipate Beneath the Mother Tree will garner interest overseas, with its Australian setting, contemporary love story and universal themes,’ said Solding. ‘We will be taking it to both London and Frankfurt Book Fairs.’

Plane Tree Drive

Plane Tree Drive cover
Plane Tree Drive cover
by Lynette Washington

PB 256 | 198 x 128 | ISBN: 9781925227345
$26.99 | Fiction | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | November 2017
Distributed by NewSouth Books

Peer through the windows and doors on Plane Tree Drive to find a streetscape that is humorous, heartbreaking, real and surreal. Here, the loneliness of domestic isolation and the joy of connection weave together to form an interlaced map of suburban life.

‘With each story in this complex fresco, layers are peeled away and others added, slowly revealing a delicate portrait of hurts and hopes, vulnerability and strength. Plane Tree Drive is a stunning and sensitive exploration of people, place and relationships.’
–Michelle Wright, author of Fine

Continue reading Plane Tree Drive

Meet the Authors of Crush: Katherine Arguile

We’ve reached the end of our series of Q&As with the authors of Crush! In our final installment, get to know Katherine Arguile and read an excerpt of her story ‘Utaki’.


Katherine Arguile, author.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?

I’m half-Japanese, half-English, born and raised in Tokyo. I’m Australian now too, after moving here from London nine years ago. I recently finished a novel called The Things She Owned as part of a PhD, a major milestone marking a lifetime of writing stories. I loved books as soon as I could read them, and they made me want to write. So I started writing while I was still very young. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Katherine Arguile

Meet the Authors of Crush: Lauren Foley

The latest in our series of Q&As with the authors of Crush is Lauren Foley. Read on to find out more about her writing process and to read an exceprt of her story ‘This One Time…’


Lauren Foley, author.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?

I’m Irish, and until recently, lived in Adelaide for five years. Well, I’m such a cliché, like most writers I was an English teacher.

Writing has always been there. I was a painfully quiet child who read all the time. I used to walk home from school reading, holding my book and turning pages with one hand. I’d glance up to cross the road, but in fairness there weren’t many cars about at that time of day, just tractors. A complete hopeless case who daydreamed constantly. The best thing my mother ever did for me was send me to acting classes in our local Millbank Theatre. Theatre is reading and daydreaming come to life. My love of writing comes from reading and drama and being involved in the process of taking a text and making it tangible over months and months of hard work. It is a great discipline. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Lauren Foley

Meet the Authors of Crush: Elaine Cain

The latest in our series of Q&As with the authors of Crush is Elaine Cain. Read on to hear more about her writing and to read an excerpt of her story ‘Glitch’.


Elaine Cain, author.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?

I often had my head in a book, or in the clouds day dreaming, growing up in a country town.  I was creative as a kid, making up stories and playing music, but I had to make a choice for university and I ended up studying what I loved most then, music. I was a music teacher briefly then zigzagged my way along in adult education and writing roles. Fast forward years later, I now work in change management in a corporate environment. I get to be creative with strategies and communications to a certain extent. Over the years I really longed for another creative outlet so I returned to writing. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Elaine Cain

Meet the Authors of Crush: Michele Fairbairn

Next up in our series of Q&As with the authors of Crush is Michele Fairbairn. Read on to get to know her and her writing process, and to see an excerpt from her story ‘Fettucancé’.


Michele Fairbairn, author.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?

At the risk of sounding naff, it did not feel like I came to writing. Story is woven into the fabric of who I am. My first recollections as a child were feasting on stories oral and written, as well as the wordless stories that I could sense in the land I grew up on in the Barossa Valley. I have always felt the need to tell stories and had an intuitive sense of the transformative qualities of story in my work both in arts and health.

I crave and embrace adventure. Not the bungee jumping variety but the diving-without-safety-cord-into-learning-and-experience variety. As a result of this, I have studied and worked extensively in the health and arts sector including as a youth worker, counsellor, community health worker, art therapist, naturopath, remedial/manual therapist, transpersonal psychotherapist, playwright, performer, theatre devisor, visual artist and Psychology student. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Michele Fairbairn

Meet the Authors of Crush: Marian Matta

Next in our series of Crush author Q&As is Marian Matta. Read on to hear a bit about her writing process and for a sneak peak of her story ‘Close to the People’.


Marian Matta, author.

Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How did you come to writing?

Praise be to Annie Proulx! I’ve shaped the world with words for as long as I can recall. Ask me to come up with a medical article, an historical account, even a couple of film scripts, and I’ve happily done it. However, any fiction I wrote was strictly for my eyes only. After I saw the life-changing film Brokeback Mountain in 2006, I began writing fan fiction under a nom de plume. Readers liked it, and seven years ago I entered my first short story competition without the shield of anonymity. As well as writing, I’m a grandmother, an amateur local historian, and the oldest student in a circus school. Continue reading Meet the Authors of Crush: Marian Matta

Crush

Crush cover
Crush cover

Edited by Simone Corletto, Amy T. Matthews, Jess M. Miller and Lynette Washington

PB 368 | 198 x 128 | ISBN: 9781925227307
$26.99 | Fiction | Also available as ebook
MidnightSun Publishing | September 2017
Distributed by NewSouth Books

Bursting with affection, wit, loss, sex and a whole lot of love, the authors in this collection face the burning beauty of love and write of both the blaze and the ashes left behind. Crush will quicken the pulses of cynics and believers alike as it reimagines everything that makes the heart leap.

‘A delicious and captivating look at love in all its wonderful and varied forms. I’d love to read more from these fresh voices!’
–Rachael Johns

Continue reading Crush

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