From the Publisher's Desk

Intermittent posts from our Publisher - Lindy Cameron

Once upon a time crime thrillers tended to be neatly resolved by the final page, any mysterious goings-on explained by a logical hero detective, tricks perpetrated by the bad guys.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/fantasy-authors-find-that-crime-does-pay-after-all-20130403-2h6yr.html#ixzz2POrg8TsF

And Rowena has written a little blog here to go with the article.

I grew up with the sounds of other languages swirling around my youthful ears. Other words, other intonations, different stresses, different meanings.

I found it fascinating that you could have words which meant the same, in translation, but bore different meanings, like calling someone a cow in Arabic or in French. One is a compliment, one is an insult.

But my love affair with history probably began when I was five and standing outside the Geelong Road State School, holding my mother's hand, on a hot summer's day. I was very uneasy and really, really wanting to go home, where there were no big rough children chasing each other and yelling and hitting each other. A boy fell over on that heartless asphalt playground and skinned his knee and there was blood. I was horrified.

Also I was wearing a hand-me-down yellow dress, out of which an orangeade stain had never washed, and I felt unsightly.

I was so small that I was viewing this Breughal scene through a forest of hems and knees. Then I bruised my nose on a straw shopping bag and was trying not to cry when I felt that I was being watched.

Just at my eye level was a small girl; my height. She had a home-made bowl haircut, deep brown beautiful eyes, and a velveteen purple dress with orange skyrockets on it. It was even uglier than mine.

Those eyes told me she was feeling exactly what I was feeling and I knew in an instant that she was my friend. I put out my hand. She put out hers. Her name was Themmy - and she is still my best friend.

But she didn't speak English then, so I had to learn Greek to talk to her; which I did badly, because she wanted to speak English as fast as possible.

But I began to pick out the Greek words in English and suddenly language possessed me. Xenos meant stranger, as in xenophobia; zoo meant animal, as in zoological gardens: poli meant many (and polis meant town); while demos as in democracy meant a community of people.

I became drunk on words and have stayed intoxicated ever since.

And Greece, of course, was the source of ancient stories. I heard them told as though they had happened in the next village: "There was the daughter of a king, and she was called Electra, because of her amber eyes…"

Then I read them in Charles Kingsley's The Heroes. I borrowed books on archaeology from the library. I was enthralled by a civilisation so complete, so beautiful, so old. I read everything I could lay my hands on. I read Henry Treece and Geoffrey Trease and Rosemary Sutcliff.

I wondered, I dreamed, I walked the streets of Ancient Greece, buying a cup of hot spiced wine and listening to the debates in the market place, or couched amongst the asphodel with my goats, chewing a straw and gazing at the Archaic sky. Whenever I didn't like the present I would retreat to the past.

I had an arrangement with the lady who ran the local op shop. I would arrive there at 9am on Saturday, when she opened, and I was allowed to sit on the floor and read as many books as I could until she shut at noon. I only had 10 cents pocket money, enough for one book, and she would let me bring it back and swap it next week if I didn't like it. I have never forgotten her kindness.

But one week, when I was 11 years old, instead of rushing in, plonking myself down and reading voraciously, book after book, I picked up Herodotus' Histories (translated by Aubrey de Selicourt) and started to read. And I was hooked, addicted, trapped and snared.

On the first page was an account of the kidnapping by Phoenicians of Io, daughter of Inarchus, off the beach in Argos, which started the Persian war. This was a whole book, written in ancient times (450-420 BC) that was stuffed with stories. When the shop closed I bought it. I still have it.

Herodotus has never failed me. Many years later I took him to Egypt with me - or rather, I took him back to Egypt; and he was as good a travel guide as Lonely Planet. (Just as Pausanius was right about which Corinthian villages had lice; and Marco Polo was still accurate when I was in China.)

Herodotus wrote about the last stand of the Spartans at Thermopylae in a way which still reduces me to tears, because it is not triumphalist or war loving but just factual.

They fought in a way which will not be forgotten. Here they resisted to the last, with their swords, while they had them, and then with their hands and their teeth, until the Persians, coming on them from behind, finally overwhelmed them.

Their epitaph is: Go tell the Spartans, passer-by That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.

It took me a long time to realise that this is not a complaint. They're boasting. The minds of the Spartans were a long way from mine and therein lies the fascination of historical writing. I cannot, being born in the 20th century, duplicate the mind of someone born 2000 years ago. But I have to try...

My Italian fellow pupils, amused by my very clumsy Calabrese and sketchy Siciliani, told me about the glories of Ancient Rome and the fact that Latin was the base for French and Spanish (but not Greek). I was learning French at school and found again the similar words: feneter and fenetre; table and tavolo; terre and terra.

So I then plunged again into everything I could find about Rome, so different from Greece. And there was so much of it, always more to read. I dived and swam like a dolphin through strange seas of Plautus and Hesiod and Juvenal and Lucan.

First Greece and Rome, and then everywhere else, as I discovered books on other ancient civilisations. Worlds full of fascinating things: Bronze Age cups and Iron Age wheelhouses; rings of ancient bluestone dragged from Wales; step pyramids with blood running down the stairs; warriors in jaguar skins with blue feathered crowns, lost worlds hacked from clinging vines or uncovered under shifting sands.

Kerry and a new history book: a picture of bliss. So when I started writing novels I wrote about the past.

I wrote my first book when I was 16. It was a fantasy, because I loved fantasy and fairy stories; another way of not being here and now.

But then, when I began in earnest - desperate for a distraction from studying law at Melbourne University (I wanted to be a lawyer to help my own people but a lot of Law is mind-bogglingly tedious) - I wrote a series of novels about a highwayman in St Albans (England) in 1840. I was inspired by Legal History research into the number of people who were actually executed in England. I had all the original documents in facsimile in the Baillieu. I had also a wonderful, inspirational professor, Dr Ruth Campbell, who told me always to read the original documents.

"Never trust historians, especially me," she said. So I did as she told me, and read the newspapers for 1928, which was not wasted, because it was the inspiration for my Phryne Fisher books.

But I never lost my love of the ancient world and finally, being young and fizzing with stories, I wrote a book about Cassandra, daughter of the Trojan King Priam, and priestess of Apollo, who prophesied the fall of Troy but was not believed. I researched it as carefully as I could. I re-read all the ancient authors. It took me a year.

Then I asked about for an academic who would launch it, and the semi-divine Dennis Pryor not only read but approved of it. And then, cruel fate, he became my source of last resort.

I recall the night, when writing Medea, that I could not remember the Ancient Greek word for snake. Icthys - fish, yes. But snake, no.

So I just rang Dennis despite the hour - around 3am - and asked him.

He said, Ophis.

I said, 'of course'… and, I believe, simply hung up on the poor man.

He forgave me. I later asked how he knew it was me and he said, quite reasonably, that I was the only person of his wide acquaintance who would ring at such an hour with such an enquiry.

They wouldn't let me do Classics at Melbourne for some bureacratic reason so my Latin is very poor. Dennis was a consummate Latinist; and Juvenal was his main man. Dennis taught Latin to almost everyone. He would start his first lesson by having them decline coca-cola (cocam colam, cocae colae...) Also he was a darling.

His generosity and his tolerance of my insane theories was inexhaustible. He even offered to translate the Orphic Hymns for me, provided I promised not to get involved in the scholarly arguments about Orphism, which are labyrinthine. I promised. He translated.

It was Dennis who taught me that all translation is betrayal. We have to do the best we can... and I have always tried to do so.

I wrote Electra out of curiosity about the original revenge drama.

I wrote Medea because I was shocked that 'everyone' knew that she had killed her own children - despite that being one of several stories about the fate of her children - and because I could find no modern Medea, amongst female murderers.

Women do not kill their children to stop the husband having them. They kill them for other reasons. I wrote a book about real-life female murderers. Medea did not match.

So I wrote about her to find out what had happened. I drew on my knowledge of remnant migrant populations for the people of Colchis; and on archaeological discoveries of females buried with weapons made for their hands; made for the Scyths/Amazons, also mentioned by my beloved friend Herodotus in his Histories.

Ancient Egypt was easier to research than either Greece or Rome, because so much more of it is still extant; including the Ancient Egyptians themselves, in mummified form. But there are always things that either no historian agrees upon, or that they leave out.

Filling those voids for my Egypt book, Out of the Black Land, took me a year's work and a visit to Egypt itself. I found myself at odds with what everyone thinks about Akhnaten; but that wasn't unusual. And I'm not an academic, so I didn't mind.

I love the past. I always feel so safe there. That's why I write historical novels.

Alison Goodman in the limelight at Dark Matter - talking to Nalini about her career, published novels and work in progress.

http://www.darkmatterfanzine.com/dmf/alison-goodman-in-the-limelight/

Beyond Pain

is both a compelling memoir
of horror and courage, of strength over adversity,
and a professional manual for pain management.

Above all, Beyond Pain is one man's inspirational journey from the valleys of pain to the exhilarating heights at the rooftop of the world.

Given the things that 'life' has thrown at him, Anjelo Ratnachandra could be forgiven for thinking that the universe has something against him.

Instead he's faced down every sling and arrow, and fought through physical injury to emerge with a desire to take what he's learnt about managing pain and share it with as many people as possible.

Beyond Pain gives you the answers about conquering pain effectively, without the drugs, without the frustrations, and without the side effects.

Anjelo Ratnachandra is a Cognitive-Behavioural Physiotherapist. The book also has information that a range of health practitioners can utilise.

What is unique about Beyond Pain is that it is the only program written by someone who is both a sufferer of chronic pain and an expert in managing it.

Beyond Pain is so much more than a pain management handbook…

This is Anjelo's story.

Beyond Pain will be available in paperback and eBook in August.

You can pre-order your copy now.

The latest thriller - with a touch of romance - from Sandy Curtis has gone live at Clan Destine Press.

We are thrilled to announce the sixth Sandy Curtis thriller to pass through our eBookery.

Until Death is now available in epub and mobi formats from the CDP website; is kindled for sale via Amazon.com; and will soon be available through book.ish in Australia, and via iTunes for reading on mobiles and other compatible devices.

Until Death

Is she a killer?

Libby Daniels wakes from a drug-induced sleep to see two men crouched over her mother's battered body. Already in shock, she flees when overhearing the men say, 'Libby killed her'.

His past will put them both in danger ...

Conor Martin can't ignore the woman who takes refuge on his doorstep. He's been alone too long, hiding too long, afraid too long, not to recognise her desperation ... and her need for love.

Trust is hard to give ...

until past and present collide in a violent attack that forces them to confront their enemies ... and their deepest fears.

Buy now

While we're celebrating Sandy's latest eBook we'll let you in a little secret...

A brand new book from Sandy

Grievous Harm - both paperback & eBook - is coming later this year.

And the Australian Romance Readers Association have given Fatal Flaw a great review:

http://australianromancereaders.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/feature-book-fatal-flaw/

Vampires ~ Geeks ~ Librarians ~ Melbourne ~ Vampires

If you don't recognise this combo as belonging
to the fabulous urban fantasy world created
by Narrelle M Harris... then
WHERE have you been hiding?
Seriously, what more could you ask for?

How about an endorsement from none other than Charlaine Harris,

yes, she of Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood fame who said of the first book:

"A most unusual vampire novel...if you can get this book, do. It's really

a refreshing take on a common theme."

How about a release date and news of the official launch...

Walking Shadows

second in Narrelle's GeekVamp series

and sequel to The Opposite of Life,

is so close to being an actual paperback & eBook

that you should be able to feel it lurking in those shadows,

whispering at you to make room on your bookshelf.

The new adventures of Gary & Lissa will be launched at

Continuum 8:

~ aka the 51st Australian National SF Convention ~

in Melbourne on Friday June 8 at 6pm.

That means that, in less than two weeks time, you can score your own 'signed' copy of Walking Shadows.

And yes, you can attend the launch at Rydges Hotel even if you're not attending Continuum.

Venue: Rydges on Swanston, 701 Swanston St Carlton

Time: 5.45 for 6pm

You want more?

How about a blurb....

Lissa Wilson's life hasn't been quite the same since people she cared about started
getting themselves killed.

By vampires.

Lissa also learnt, the hard way, that the opposite of life is not always death.
On the plus side, she made a new friend.

Gary Hooper may be the worst best-friend a librarian could have - and easily the worst
vampire ever - but he has taught Lissa the real meaning of life.

Gary's worldview has improved remarkably since meeting Lissa, but he worries all that could be lost if she discovers what services he provides Melbourne's undead community.

Meanwhile, as their friendship brings him closer to the humanity he lost, it also puts them both in grave danger.

And there's a big chance that the evil stalking them could get them both killed - in his case, for good this time.

You can, of course, also pre-order Walking Shadows - especially if you can't make the launch.

RRp is $27 - but there are launch and pre-order specials

The Publisher of Clan Destine Press

(that's me, Lindy)

is off to Queensland to take part in the annual

Bundaberg WriteFest

May 18-19 @ the Bundaberg CQUniversity Campus

I'll be joining a host of Queenslanders for a couple of days of writerly conversations, workshops and interviews.

We'll be doing nothing but talking about writing, books, writing, books.

WriteFest - hosted by the Bundaberg Writers' Club has been going since 2005 and attracts writers from all over the sunshine state.

I'll be catching up with CDP author Sandy Curtis and fellow Sisters in Crime writers Marianne de Pierres and Meg Vann; and meeting other authors, editors and specialists.

Then....back in Melbourne

I'm doing an 'Ask the Publisher' gig for Writers Victoria at the Wheeler Centre.

Ask the Publisher: Children's Books & Genre

Monday 21 May 2012, 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Andrew Wilkins - director of Wilkins Farago, a Melbourne-based children's book publishing company - and I will be grilled on all the things we know by Ann Philpot.

Come along and find out the process of submission, the editorial relationship and the best publishing avenues.

In one bizarre and violent moment,
the best chapter of Anjelo Ratnachandra's young life
exploded into a fiery hell of 'wrong place, wrong time'.

Just imagine you're in your mid-twenties, on a working holiday in London and living the good life: a fun share house, great mates and a job that couldn't be any better.
Imagine you're enjoying another balmy English summer night watching TV in the living room at the front of your house, scooping ice-cream straight from a container, when suddenly you hear the sound of smashing glass.
It takes a moment to register where the noise has come from and then you see your Venetian blinds move - and you know it's your own front window.
Then time slows.
You see two teenagers - Bangladeshi boys, you think - their eyes full of hate.
One boy is holding a glass bottle, with a rag sticking out the top. His other hand holds a lighter.
Slowly, slowly, you see him flick the lighter and bring his hands together. You see the lighter touch the rag, then a burst of flame. You see the flaming bottle leave his hand as he throws it at you.
You have enough time to scream: 'You've got the wrong guy!'
But it's too late; the flying bottle continues its trajectory into your home.
You duck and try to shield your face. The bottle deflects off your forearm and smashes against the wall above, raining petrol down on you.
And then - with a whoosh - you are on fire. Your arms and face, go up in flames.
The walls around you and the couch you were sitting on, is completely ablaze.
From that moment, your life is never the same again.
This is a true story.

We here at Clan Destine Press have to remind ourselves, every now and then, that we began as a publishing house for genre fiction; 'fiction' being the operative word.

But some real-life stories are too good to pass up.

Our first non-fiction title was the bestselling Frankston Serial Killer by Vikki Petraitis - a chilling true crime account of a terrifying time in Melbourne's recent history.

Our next non-fiction title - while equally as compelling - will grip readers in a completely different way.

Beyond Pain

is both a compelling memoir
of horror and courage, of strength over adversity,
and a professional manual for pain management.

Above all, Beyond Pain is one man's inspirational journey from the valleys of pain to the exhilarating heights at the rooftop of the world.

Given the things that 'life' has thrown at him, Anjelo Ratnachandra could be forgiven for thinking that the universe has something against him.

Instead he's faced down every sling and arrow, and fought through physical injury to emerge with a desire to take what he's learnt about managing pain and share it with as many people as possible.

Beyond Pain gives you the answers about conquering pain effectively, without the drugs, without the frustrations, and without the side effects.

Anjelo Ratnachandra is a Cognitive-Behavioural Physiotherapist. The book also has information that a range of health practitioners can utilise.

What is unique about Beyond Pain is that it is the only program written by someone who is both a sufferer of chronic pain and an expert in managing it.

Beyond Pain is so much more than a pain management handbook…

This is Anjelo's story.

Beyond Pain will be available in paperback and eBook in July.

You can pre-order your copy now.

isbn 978-0-9872717-3-0

RRP $27

We here at Clan Destine Press are purrfectly delighted

to announce that our first book for 2012

has been whiskered off to the printer.

When We Were Kittens

by David Greagg

will be available for pre-order from March 28.

The paperback of the much-anticipated sequel to Dougal's Diary

will be officially launched on April 21

and will then be in all the best book shops.

And, as purr usual, it and the eBook will then be available from the CDP website.

The perfect way to start 2012

We here at Clan Destine Press can't think of a better way to celebrate the first day of 2012 than showing off our first cover illustration for the New Year.

The awesome Ran Valerhon has outdone even himself with his illustration for Cassandra - the second in the Delphic Women trilogy by the fabulous Kerry Greenwood.

Cassandra - which follows Medea and precedes Electra - will be out by May.

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