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Monday, 8 February 2010

Authors - Home and Away (1)

Welcome to the first edition of a new feature at The Bookette: Authors - Home and Away. Contrasting the lives of authors from the UK with authors abroad. The inspiration for this feature came from Australian author Kate Forsyth who is one of my guinea pigs today and also from my love of the Australian soap Home and Away. I am seriously addicted to it.

The authors:
Home: Alex Bell, an established UK author who is debuting in the YA arena this month
Away: Kate Forsyth, an Australian author who has written many fantasy books which are published around the world

Alex Bell's UK YA Debut Novel: Lex Trent Versus The Gods - Just released on February 4th 2010

Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his legal studies he’s always enjoyed a challenge – which is why he leads a double life as the notorious cat burglar ‘The Shadowman’ who has been (luckily) evading capture for years.

But Lex’s luck is about to run out because the Goddess of Fortune has selected him to be her player in the highly dangerous Games. Losing is not an option for Lex (particularly as it so often involves dying) but can he really win each of the perilous rounds? Given that the reward for doing so is money, fame and glory – all things that Lex is quite keen on – he’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure he will... and he’s certainly got good experience of cheating.

Kate Forsyth's The Puzzle Ring is currently on blog tour and you can read my review here and find all the links to purchase a copy.

Hannah Rose Brown is twelve years old when she finds out that her family is cursed. Desperate to find the truth about her father's disappearance, she travels to her ancestral home in Scotland, and discover a chain of dark secrets that plunge her into different worlds, timeframes and dangers.

I hand over to Alex so she can share her life here in the UK with us.

1. Me looking smug at my local Waterstones, with Lex Trent hot off the press.

2. About to go for a walk with my harlequin Great Dane, Moose, where she will be admired by all who see her.

3. Moose coming with me to the front gate to fetch the post.

4. My rickety old writing desk, positively overflowing with weird, ghoulish things for me to amuse myself with when the writing grinds to a halt!

Kate's turn to show us how life is on the other side of the world.

1. My desk with my computer (showing my website www.kateforsyth.com.au ) with a view of the garden. That’s my dog Jessie. She’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback. My sister owns her mum, and my father owns her grandmother – so Jessie is the grand-daughter of the dog my father I had when I was a kid. I have a lot of animals in my books, perhaps because my father was a vet.

2. My bookcase, which runs along the wall on the left side of my desk. You will notice books with intriguing titles like ‘An Encyclopaedia of Fairies’, ‘Fire Burn: Tales of Witchery’, ‘Folk Tales and Fairy Lore of Scotland’, ‘The Malleus Maleficarium’, ‘The Book of Curses’ and ‘A History of Torture’. I remember once a curious neighbour coming to visit and seeing my reference library – she was quite shocked! Yet I believe a writer is only ever as good as their library ...

3. This is the bookcase of my own work, in all the various languages and editions. 24 books, in 12 languages ... the poster is of my picture book, ‘I Am’ which I wrote for my second son, Tim. I love it because it captures a true moment in his childhood – sword in hand, imagining himself a knight of the days of yore ...one day I’ll buy the original

4. My reading chair, my gargoyle and my cat ...

5. A closer view of my garden. I love my garden, and spend quite a bit of time in it, pulling out weeds, squishing bugs and generally getting dirty ... its very grounding for someone who spends all day with her head in the clouds.

6. I get a lovely view of the harbour and ocean from my desk. I live near Manly, one of Australia’s most famous beaches, and our views from our kitchen and our bedroom are fabulous. My study has only a glimpse but it is still enough to lift my heart on a sunny day. You will also see our (very new) pool – any day now we’ll get the landscaping done. I hope.

7. A close-up of the sundial in my garden. I included this because I have always loved sundials – ever since I read Edward Eager’s book ‘The Time Garden’. Has anyone else read this? I have a sundial in the garden in ‘The Puzzle Ring’ – it reads ‘Today is Yesterday ‘s Tomorrow’ which is another way of saying ‘Seize the day...’ My life philosophy.

Me again:
Hope you've all been following Kate's blog tour. Yesterday's stop was at one of my favourite blogs, hop on over to I Was A Teenage Book Geek to hear Kate's thoughts on time travel novels. Tomorrow take a trip to Cleverly Inked to read what I expect will be another shining review.

So this is the start of a new feature. I hope that with a bit more thinking and discussion Authors - Home and Away will evolve. Any thoughts on how it can develop? I'd love to hear them.


Lauren said...

Is it wrong to envy an author's study?! Because Kate's looks fabulous. It's also very cool to see Alex looking 'smug' in Waterstones. Who can blame her?

Very cute feature, too.

Bookalicious Ramblings said...

Wow, what an interesting feature! This is a great idea! Oh and I remember I also loved that soap - is it still on, lol?

Luisa at Chicklish said...

What gorgeous dogs and amazing pictures! Great feature, Becky! (Please tell me the authors tidied up before taking those pictures! *glances around nervously* Gulp.)

Shweta said...

Loved this feature. Look at her bookshelves!! Sooo many books. And the book case full of her books in different languages. I want to be an author just to have a book case filled with my books :) :)

I Want To Read That said...

Awesome feature! It's lovely looking at all the pictures - and the dogs are so cute:)

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

What a great feature ! It's funny how the two book covers both have a circle/globe on them, couldn't have fitted better with the feature ! :)

Oh, and love the sundial !

Awesome idea Becky !

Nina said...

This post is so great, no wait, other word: awewsome!
I like her dog, it's cute! I wished that bookcases was MINE! Wanna trade?

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Seriously cool post! I love it! I loved seeing about the writers. You are brilliant Mrs. Becky! Simply brilliant!

Sasha said...

Wow--fantastic new meme! I found this really interesting :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Love the new meme! Wow, Kate has a GORGEOUS garden, and I've always wanted to have a sundial, though never seriously considered it; I guess I'll have to now. It's fun and interesting to see the contrast between Kate and Alex's writing spaces, and I feel like it really reveals their personalities. :D

prophecygirl said...

Love this post - great pictures, and it's fascinating to see the contrast!

Katherine Langrish said...

The Time Garden, Kate! yes, indeed!

Lea said...

Dang, Moose is tall!

And I love that sundial! Those things are so cool.

Love this feature Becky! :)

Sarah said...

Great new idea for a feature :o) I'll be looking forward to future posts!

Christina/Book Addict said...

Great feature! I love it--what a great idea.....And that garden was beautiful!!

Lauren said...

What a fantastic feature! I loved it and am looking forward to future editions. :)