I am thrilled to reveal the beautiful cover of Black Wings, my adult historical novel which will be published in October by The Greystones Press in the UK. Can’t wait! Here’s the basic blurb(there will also be a fabulous cover quote by the lovely Kate Forsyth, which will be revealed later!)
It’s 1788 in the Vendée in western France, and change is in the air. Reform
is being talked of in the great world beyond, in Paris, and even the peaceful village inhabited by Jacques Verdun and his friends – aristocratic painter Edmond de Bellegarde, his beautiful cousin Flora, and young farmer Pierre Bardon – seems touched by new possibilities. But as events both in Paris and in the local community start to gather pace, as revolution breaks out and the traditions of centuries start to break down, friendships will be severely tested in the most unexpected of ways. And when pitiless civil war comes, who will be left to testify to old feelings, and old loyalties?
Just heard today that it’s UQP’s (University of Queensland Press)70th birthday this month–and wanted to celebrate this great achievement of a great publisher by thanking them for launching me on my career as a published author–in more ways than one!
My very first published book, The House in the Rainforest, an adult novel set on the North Coast of NSW in the 1970’s and ’80’s, was published by UQP in April 1990. I will never forget the day I got the letter of acceptance from the late and greatly missed UQP editor Roseanne Fitzgibbon! (It was an amazing year, because just a few weeks after hearing from UQP, I got a letter from the then publisher at Angus and Robertson, Brian Cook, accepting my first children’s novel, Fire in the Sky, a time slip novel which was published in June 1990)
UQP also published my very first young adult novel, Sooner or Later (1991), an event which came about after the then editor of UQP’s YA list, the wonderful Barbara Ker Wilson, had written to me whilst The House in the Rainforest was being edited, to ask if I had any ms suitable for that age group: she had really liked the voice of my main character Kate, who, when the book starts, is sixteen years old. Barbara felt it was a very authentic voice and she wondered if I had anything that might work. Well, I as it happens, I did have a ms which had grown out both of living at the time in a small Australian country town and also losing my beloved grandmother back in France. I was pretty excited at being actually encouraged to send it in! So I sent it, Barbara and the UQP team loved it, and it was published in 1991.
I had another two YA novels books published by UQP after that–A Blaze of Summer(1992), which unlike the other two was set in France, and had supernatural/fantastical elements; and The Sun is Rising(1996), a companion novel–though not, strictly speaking, a sequel–to Sooner or Later.
I went on to have books with quite a few other publishers after that–but I will never forget the debt I owe UQP. From a very grateful author: happy 70th birthday to a wonderful publishing house–and may there be at least another 70!
Intriguing title, right? 🙂 It is actually part of the title of the paper I gave in Kobe(Japan) in March, at the 2018 Asian Conference of Ethics, Philosophy and Religion. Based on aspects of my PHD research, it profiles the philosophical and cultural context of contemporary young adult afterlife fiction, and looks at several works of fiction, including a little about the creation of my own novel, The Ghost Squad, which I’ve written as part of the PHD. For any interested readers, the paper is now available to read online, as part of the published conference proceedings. The link takes you to the abstract, and from there, you can view or download the full paper itself.
I wrote this little poem after watching a ‘Jacky lizard’ the other day at our place.
by Sophie Masson
Little Jacky lizard,
Perched up on a stone,
Like a guard on castle walls,
Protecting his lord’s home.
Beady eyes survey the scene,
Head swings from side to side,
Soaking in the sun he likes—
But knows where to hide!
He hears a sound and freezes,
His tail goes stiff with fright.
Then little Jacky lizard
Is gone, as fast as light!
Photo from Museums of Victoria Collections website
Delighted to report that my YA thriller, Jack of Spades, has been longlisted for the 18th Davitt Awards–and it’s in great company too!
In all good bookshops now!