February 12th, 2007


My New Plan: Australian Idol, For Better Book Deals.

Australian Idol winner Damien Leith has signed a book deal with HarperCollins for his debut novel to be released this year.

Leith, who wrote the fictional story before he won Idol last year, now has a chance to top the music and book sales charts in the same year.

Leith said the first prints of his novel were due for general release in October.

"It's insane, it's an incredible feeling," said Leith, who sent his manuscript to HarperCollins publisher Linda Funnell before entering Australian Idol last year.

"I wrote before I ever did music; I wrote plays, I tried to write loads and loads of different books. I did that for years. It's just weird that all these years later the music has taken off and now suddenly this comes along as well. I've got to pinch myself," he said.

Leith's manuscript was first passed to Ms Funnell by a mutual friend, who met the singer while he was an unknown artist performing at the Balmain Bowling Club.

Said mutual friend, after Leith won Australian Idol, "Remember that book I gave you? He just won Australian Idol! I don't care if you hated it! Read it the fuck again!'

I don't know where this cynicism comes from.

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Aurealis Awards, Redux

In case you haven't seen this, Rosaleen Love has written an article on the Aurealis Award nominated stories.

Love is the author of the recent collection, the Traveling Tide, released by Aqueduct Press out of the States, and has been publishing short fiction for somewhere close to twenty-five years now. It's fine stuff, if you've never read it, and the latter work has a concern about the environment running through it. Anyhow, Love also teaches creative writing out in the University circle of Victoria--a fact that I found out, once, when someone who was in her class ended up at this blog from one of her lectures. What I'm trying to say before you click the link, however, is that Love knows what she's talking about, and has a lot of experience in the field.

You'll find it interesting, perhaps, to compare it to my article on the Aurealis Award Nominations, mostly because there's a lot of similarities in the opinions on the fiction. About the only author we disagree upon is Margo Lanagan, but for the rest, I tend to think we're on the same page, and she talks about a lot of things that I didn't have space for in the other piece. Plus, who can't warm to anyone who writes, "Where is the science fiction in this story? Ah, it must be the brain implant that makes naked blonde white women sex slaves of big black brutal African men. I just didn’t warm to the characters, the plot, the ending, the racism, the sexism, the sadism, the grammar, or the sentences in this story."
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