Tag Archives: NSW

Jenn’s #WriteRoundOz Book Tour – NSW

The long way to Mudgee Readers Festival – a big literary event in a small town.

Mudgee 2016 opening drinks

Opening night: with organiser Portia Lindsay

And what fun! From opening night drinks and mingling with *warning: name-dropping ahead*: Kate Forsyth, Charlotte Wood, Jane Caro, David Dyer, and more) books and bookish types took over the pretty streets of Mudgee, where every second shop is a cafe and every second person a book (or wine) lover.

Officially, I was there as a presenter and I talked ‘Books With Heart’ with Amy Andrews, Alissa Callen and Charlotte Nash (about how the heart finds its way into all sorts of books: fiction, memoir, medical, sporting stories, even . . . cook books!! A robust cab sav is required in such instances! That’s ‘offal’ I know! ) We stuck mostly to fictional hearts: hearts that flutter, bang, burst, pound, race, tear, rip, break, swell, jump, thump, beat, bleed and skip and love, hate, ache, sigh, melt, palpitate, sink, shatter, somersault, radiate, glow, embrace, adore and feel. We discussed how hearts talk to us and betray us; become our weakness and our strength; and make us spontaneous and (according to the character in my next book) sometimes makes us wait.

Laughing about serial killers in the outback!

Laughing about serial killers in the outback!

Then, for something a little different, I had a few laughs with Candice Fox about outback serial killers and psychopaths. In fact I asked Candice for her thoughts on the most effective means of warding of potential psychopaths from my caravan door while free camping. I offered her a list of strategies:

  1. Leave out a pair of size 11 work boots and an empty box of bullets?
  2. Set up a chunky dog chain and a big, empty dog bowl—the words STILL HUNGRY visible on the bottom?
  3. Or a sign that tells the truth: “Beware – two angry, menopausal women on board?”

(Yes, she thought #3 might work, too.)

While the welcome was warm (the atmosphere too) the temps were a tad chilly. (Minus 2 over night.)

Despite it being winter, Mudgee was a great destination. But …

Of course my book tour of NSW started well before Mudgee. We took the long road, starting with the launch of book four – The Other Side of the Season – at my home base – The Coffs Coast and after that a whole lot of small towns.

Nambucca was niceCoffs Advocate_2 TOSOTS

May 19, 2016
Author talk: Nambucca Library
Lots of lovely local media.

Coffs Harbour was commemorative The Book Warehouse 2016

May 25, 2016
Library Event/Official Launch
Book number 4 of my Season Collection with more
 great PRINT MEDIA and a book signing at The Book Warehouse.

MOREE was magnificent

Catching up with Nicole Alexander and Greg Barron.

Catching up with Nicole Alexander and Greg Barron.

July 9, 2016
Library Event and a catch up with Nicole and Greg

DIGITAL MEDIA Moree Champion

and Local businesses got on board.

Big Sky Libraries online newsletter

Moree Plains Shire Council (online)

 Moree Champion (print and online)

COONABARABRAN was a little crazy

July 19, 2016
Only because I gatecrashed the local book club discussion! What fun!

TAMWORTH was terrific

Tamworth crowd

Tamworth crowd

July 23, 2016
Library Event – huge turnout. They made me feel like a star, even without a guitar!
RADIO CHAT ON 88.9 FM (Pulse)
TV News coverage – NBN: NSW Western District CLICK to Play
Articles: PRINT and DIGITAL MEDIA: Northern Daily Leader article and Northern Daily Leader f/u story

DUBBO was adorable (I’m talking meerkats at the zoo!)

August 6, 2016
Book Store/Book Signing: The Book Connection: SOLD OUT of stock!Dubbo phot news 2

PRINT MEDIA (two pages): Dubbo PhotoNews Magazine Dubbo photo news 1

Advertorial mention by The Book Connection

August 7, 2016
Special Author Event: Jenn J McLeod – In conversation @ Red Earth Vineyard (yes, there was wine). (Dubbo retweets)

Meerkat on log

Meerkat with no idea I was a famous author

Dubbo Tweets

Dubbo Tweets

MUDGEE READERS FESTIVAL was amazingMudgee mention

August 13 and 14, 2016
PRINT/DIGITAL MEDIA: : Guardian Festival features Jane Caro and Jenn J McLeod
And pre-event PRINT MEDIA: Discover Magazine
Massive social media coverage by MRF

NEWCASTLE was noteworthy
(I mean, seriously, look at the size of the poster!)

THAT's not a poster...

Now THAT’s a poster…

August 20, 2016
Book signing: Big W, Charlestown (biggest shopping centre EVA!)



Elizabeth's Turning Pages on 2NVR Radio

Elizabeth’s Turning Pages on 2NVR Radio

August 25, 2016
RADIO interview: 2NVR Radio – Elizabeth’s Turning Pages.

So, there you have it.




And home in time to remember Mum on her birthday and share Father’s Day with Dad.

Oh, and by the way… If you are into stats, we did around 3,200 kms and fed the beast about $650.00 in diesel. While it was a great experience and fun, I do hope my tour helped to get my name out there and I found some more lovely readers. Word of mouth is the best compliment. (Have you told someone today about the last great book you read?)

#WriteRoundOz w/ Maggie Joel (book giveaway)


Half the World in Winter - Maggie Joel

Today I am visiting NSW, and the marvellous Maggie Joel, who recently completed the Allen & Unwin Wordy Women author tour with previous Author Harvestee, Kylie Ladd and also Fiona Higgins (who I hope to ‘visit’ in the near future – hint, hint, Fiona).

Maggie has been writing fiction and non-fiction since the mid-1990s and her short stories have been widely published in Southerly, Westerly, Island, Overland and Canberra Arts Review, and broadcast on ABC radio. Her first novel, The Past and Other Lies, was published to critical acclaim in Australia and New Zealand by Murdoch Books in April 2009 and in the US by Felony & Mayhem Press in 2013 and was chosen as the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Pick of the Week’. Her second novel, The Second-Last Woman in England, was published by Murdoch Books in Australia and New Zealand in 2010, in the US in 2011 and in the UK by Constable & Robinson in 2013. This book was also selected as the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Pick of the Week’ and was awarded the 2011 Fellowship of Australian Writers’ Christina Stead Award for Fiction. Maggie’s third novel, Half the World in Winter, was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin in October 2014.

Maggie, thank you for letting my park my rig on your …underground car park??

Jenn, I see you’ve managed to squeeze your van into our apartment block’s underground car park which is just as well because frankly you’ll be lucky to find an unmetered parking place on this street! Welcome to Sydney’s Inner West.

What’s that I see written on your ‘welcome mat’?

There IS a welcome mat but there’s nothing written on it – it’s there so I know I have got out of the lift on the right floor and am standing outside my own flat and not someone else’s.

I miss my HUGE refrigerator. If I looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

White wine, Corona beer and Indian Tonic Water. A bottle of vodka in the freezer. Even my closest friends would not exactly describe me as a cook…

Downsizing my life into a 24 ft caravan meant leaving lots of things behind in boxes. What (or who!!) would you have trouble leaving behind if you took off in a caravan?

Space. I’ve only recently moved from a small inner city apartment to a large inner city apartment and every day is joy of spatial discovery for me.

 Whose home would you like to visit in your van and why?

Could we go and visit Hillary Clinton? I think she and I could have a good old chat over a cup of tea and some biscuits 

Do you REALLY have room at your house to park a fifth wheeler caravan and do you mind visitors? Oh, sorry, you don’t have to answer that one!! 🙂

Oh yes visitors provide a useful distraction from writing. So long as I know you’re coming – I really don’t do spontaneity – you are most welcome. And your van.


Country curiosities…

My latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light, has a strong horse theme. (I love what horses can teach us). If you were an animal what would you be?

A kitten or a panda. Everyone would instantly adore me and I wouldn’t actually need to do anything.

 You’re cooking and your food is going up against the best cooks from the CWA (Country Women’s Association). What would be your winning dish?

I mix a mean Gin and Tonic and my skills with a take-away menu are legendary.


About you…

What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Plot. Gets me every time. I love dialogue, characterisation, setting and research, that all comes fairly easily, but nailing that plot down can drive me to distraction on occasion.

If someone was to write your biography, what do you think the title should be?

My Past and Other Lies’ – which is a corruption of the title of my first novel, ‘The Past and Other Lies’.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

‘How did you feel when you heard you had won the Booker Prize?’

And my answer: ‘I am so humbled. Winning it the first time was incredible, but to have taken out the prize three years in a row is something I never dreamed of.’

Favourite four…

Favourite place in Australia: Sydney. I arrived here one winter’s morning many years ago and never left.

Favourite holiday destination (anywhere): New York City. Took my far too long to get there but it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Favourite movie: The Hours, from Michael Cunningham’s astonishing book of the same name. I re-watched it on TV recently and was blown away by it all over again.

Favourite quote: Pretty much anything Winston Churchill said – that man was the last word in pithy one-liners, every one of them priceless.

If I said to you, “Just entertain me for five minutes, I’m not going to talk,” what would you do?

Well, knowing you’re a fellow writer I’d talk about how I got started as a writer and how I go about writing my novels. I mean what writer doesn’t like talking about their process, or hearing about someone else’s process?



Maggie has a signed copy of her first novel, The Past and Other Lies, to give away. Entries close 20 February. Enter by telling us YOUR favourite Aussie town. (I’ll add an entry to anyone who Tweets/Facebooks.)

Find more about Maggie Joel on her author website.


About Half The World In Winter, published in September 2014 by Allen & Unwin

In 1881 in London, everything changes for the wealthy Jarmyn family. The misfortunes on the railway the family had built echoes the shocking death of nine-year-old Sofia Jarmyn. And at the heart of this family, a terrible secret is tearing their lives apart.


A captivating drama of family secrets and tragedies.

It is London, 1880, and Lucas Jarmyn struggles to make sense of the death of his beloved youngest daughter; his wife, Aurora, seeks solace in rigid social routines; and eighteen-year-old Dinah looks for fulfilment in unusual places. Only the housekeeper, the estimable Mrs Logan, seems able to carry on.

A train accident in a provincial town on the railway Lucas owns claims the life of nine-year-old Alice Brinklow and, amid the public outcry, Alice’s father, Thomas, journeys to London demanding justice. As he arrives in the Capital on a frozen January morning his fate, and that of the entire Jarmyn family, will hinge on such strange things as an ill-fated visit to a spiritualist, an errant chicken bone and a single vote cast at a board room meeting.

Written with charm, humour and rich period detail, Maggie Joel has created an intriguing novel of a Victorian family adrift in their rapidly changing world.