Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Blogging for TEXT

No blog here for me, today (I promise, a blog about the launch is coming soon!) But I have blogged on my publisher's website, all about the experience of winning the TEXT Prize. Here: 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Demons: why are they so hard to define?

The Book of Whispers is about a young knight who has to defeat demons and save the world so I had to spend a lot of research time not only brushing up on my historical knowledge of the Crusades but also on researching what demons are.

Not an easy subject! so here's my first demon list:

Reasons it's hard to write about what demons are: 

Firstly, they are tricksters, always trying to lead a  too easily distracted writer astray.

Secondly, as it become clear to me, demons are different things to different people. We're all tempted by and scared by different things.

Personally, nothing has ever frightened me more than the Japanese film Ringu, inspiration for the American The Ring series  (featuring a demonic video tape). 

Thirdly, and this is the big issue I had to work out in drafting The Book of Whispers: are they real or are they metaphoric?

In other words, do demons physically exist, or do they represent something psychological and maybe even scarier?
Bahai  Gardens 

·       The metaphoric is hard to resist. Freud connects demons to the recently dead, to what I would call ghosts. The Baha’i faith, that I first learned about while travelling through Israel researching this book, sees demons in a metaphorical way. They represent evil characteristics a person can display when tempted. Plato says a daemon of a different type inspired Socrates. This is a different kind of demon to the fallen angels who were my first concept. 

So how did I decide what Luca’s demons in The Book of Whispers would be like? The answer to that in another post. . . 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Review from Booktopia

It's nerve-racking, waiting to discover what readers will make of your story. So I was thrilled by this review: 

The Book of Whispers is a fascinating blend of history, romance and fantasy set against the backdrop of one of the most turbulent, brutal and religious periods in our history. Luca and Suzan are compelling characters who draw you into their epic adventure across the holy lands as they try to save the world from the human and demonic forces seeking to destroy the world. An engrossing read for ages 14+.

You can read more of it (and read more about other YA releases this month (I know I'm about to buy a couple!) at

Fantasy Worlds at the Brisbane Writers Festival

This will be exciting! Appearance at the Brisbane Writers Festival  with Garth Nix, Amie Kaufman and Jay Ktistoff!