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Hello again,

We're currently in the thick of winter here in Perth, with wind, rain, hail, thunder and lightning—you name it, we've had it lately. The dogs are cowering up in the attic with me as I type, bless their frightened little hearts!
 

NOVEL NEWS


I don't have a lot of news with respect to my book. Despite that, please keep reading because I've added something quite special at the end of this newsletter ...

I'm still waiting for my final copy edits to come. I suspect they're not far away, given it's only five months until publication. I'm hoping they won't be too onerous as I've already copy edited more than 2/3 of the book. 

Right now, I don't feel I can immerse myself in another project until I've finished with 'The Sisters' Song'. I know I should be writing Novel #2 while I wait, and I know many writers who juggle a number of projects at the same time, but I don't think I'm one of those. It seems I'm rather monogamous when it comes to books, much like I am with husbands. 

In January, I typed 23,500 words of Novel #2, but I haven't looked at them since. I've been waiting for a free month so I can have a clear run at it, but I'm beginning to think that's not going to happen as things are always cropping up. So as soon as these copy edits are out of the way, I'm going to return to Novel #2 anyway, whether it's the ideal time or not! 

IN OTHER NEWS

During the school holidays earlier this month, we escaped winter and spent time in Broome, in the north of Western Australia. We enjoyed a relaxing week thawing out in 30+ºC temperatures and sunshine, and as far as I'm concerned, Broome is heaven on earth.

While we were there, we took a trip to Cape Leveque and also went on a whale-watching tour—one of the most magnificent things I've ever done.

Here are a few pics from our time there:
 
If you'd like to see a short video I made of those magnificent whales, click here.
 
 JOSEPH AND HIS AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT
STARTS THIS WEEK!
Midnite Youth Theatre, Western Australia’s longest, continuously running youth theatre company, is staging Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'. It will run from August 3rd to 5th at the Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of WA. 

The cast is made up of talented young people from schools around Perth, who range in age from years 7 through 12. They've put hours and hours of preparation and hard work into this show, rehearsing four times a week since the beginning of May.

(I know all of this because I happen to know a couple of them—my elder son is playing Joseph and our younger son is in the orchestra.) 
 
If you live in Perth or will be in Perth from August 3rd through 5th, come along and enjoy watching young people sing, act and dance, and support youth theatre in the process.

You can buy tickets from Ticketek here. They're selling fast—a couple of shows have already sold out—so don't miss out!
Photo: Midnite Youth Theatre Company

ON THE BLOG

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
I sent my manuscript back to my publisher in mid-June, and not long after that I wrote a post for my blog about finishing the edits of my novel. In this post, I talk about my research, the difficulty I had getting one of my characters right and the way my story has evolved.

If you missed it or would like to read it again, you'll find it here.
 

WRITERS IN THE ATTIC

Since my last newsletter, many wonderful writers have visited the attic with their heartwarming personal tales about writing and what it means to them.
Here they are again if you missed them:
Rachel Nightingale wrote about the upcoming publication of her novel, but why it's tinged with sadness in 'When Achieving Your Dream Makes You Sad'.

Jodi Gibson's 'Finding My Place in the World' is about how she found her place through writing her blog.

Lauren Keegan wrote about how she copes in the face of repeated rejections in 'The Anchor That is Writing'.

Rebecca Freeman wrote about how she keeps in touch with her pre-motherhood self through writing and running in 'Running Writing'.

Anthea Hodgson wrote how she tried to keep her father and his death out of her novel, but how he still appeared anyway in 'The Drifter's Heart'.
Susan Dunn's essay, 'My Reading and Writing Life' is about how her early reading and travelling has influenced her writing. 

Samantha House writes about her enjoyment of reading fantasy and how that influences her fiction writing now in 'How Reading Made Me a Writer'.

Camilla Hullick writes about how a move to the country prompted her to start writing in 'My Happy Place'.

Nicole McAlinden's 'A Strong Voice Spoken Quietly' is an incredible story of recovery and why she writes.
A BOOK CLUB FOR TWO
 
My husband and I decided to start our own book club, just the two of us, and we're going great guns! 

I told everyone on Facebook about it and that post has become my most popular Facebook post ever—even more popular than the whale video! It seems there are a few others out there who'd love to share books with their partners.

If you'd like to read more about our cosy little book club, what we've read and why we've decided to buy a book each instead of sharing a copy, click here.

 
WHAT I'VE BEEN READING
DAYS WITHOUT END
Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry is known for his lyrical language and this novel reads like a long and beautiful prose poem. It's set in the days of the 'wild west' and American civil wars, when men, and armies, were laws unto themselves. It's quite bloody and not for the faint-hearted, but it's still beautiful and at its heart is a strong anti-war message.
It's also a love story and about the making of home and family. My favourite of Barry's novels will always be 'The Secret Scripture', but this is a close second, and I was pleased to see it long-listed for the Man Booker prize.

 
WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES
Karen Joy Fowler

This is not just a story about a family grieving the loss of a 'sister', and it's not just a tale about animal experimentation and exploitation. It's about who we are as humans and animals, as part of nature. Who we are at our most fundamental levels.
It's so dense with wisdom and meaning, it would take a thesis to dissect all that it says. It's not just a story, but an invitation to a whole new way of viewing our place in the world and the way we interact with nature.


'... he taught him that in the phrase human being, the word being is much more important than the word human.'
 
HER MOTHER'S SECRET
Natasha Lester

This is the story of Leo, a pharmacist's daughter, who starts her own cosmetics company and is determined to take the scandal out of women wearing cosmetics. She wants it all, though—business success and love! The story begins in England at the conclusion of WWI, then moves to New York through the 1920's and beyond. 
This story picks you up and whisks you away from day-to-day life, and it doesn't let up until the final sentence. It's steeped in historical detail of the cosmetics industry and New York in the 1920s, and I thoroughly enjoyed escaping the humdrum of the everyday with it. 

 
QUOTE
So true and in so many ways ... 
 
GIVEAWAY WINNER
The winner of this month's giveaway is: Teresa. I'm sorry but I don't have your surname, Teresa. I do, however, have your email address, so I'll be in contact. You can let me know your mailing address and which candle you'd like, and I'll send it to you. 
 
A reminder to anyone who's not on my mailing list that you can sign up here. Not only will you then get this wonderful newsletter straight to your inbox (!), but you'll also be in the running for all the giveaways.

Well that's about all my news, except for the special treat I promised earlier in the newsletter. So here it is: a sneak preview of my cover!

I haven't seen the final version yet—only a mock-up—so I can't show you the whole thing. You can probably see from this peek that it captures a bygone era and will match my novel.

I can't wait to show you the full picture because it really is very, very lovely!

That's about all for this month. I'll be in touch again when I next have some news—hopefully soon!

At least these winter days are perfect for reading, writing and creating.

Best wishes,


Louise x
Copyright © 2017 Louise Allan, All rights reserved.


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