The Catchup 02.12.11

Greetings Shadudes and Shadettes,

Here’s a tasty bunch of links to while away your Friday afternoon. First off some office porn courtesy of Joe Hill. I’ve read two of Joe’s books – Horns and Heart-Shaped Box – and found them to be pretty damn fantastic. He’s living testament to the theory that talent is inherited genetically. Who did he inherit his storytelling ability from you might ask? Well, Joe Hill isn’t actually Joe Hill’s name. It’s Joseph Hillstrom King. Yep, that’s right Joe is Stephen King’s son and if his current catalogue is anything to go by he might be in the running to some day overtake his dad. Yes, he’s that good.

From one Hill to another, in 1983 Susan Hill wrote a great ghost story called The Woman in Black. It was later adapted into a successful stage play which was rumoured to be the most terrifying theatre experience of all time. If this trailer for the film adaptation is any indication then I suspect that claim was well earned. Let’s hope old Harry Potter remembered how to cast his patronus or he might be in a spot of bother.

Check out The Crooked Shelf which has been highlighting Aussie YA fiction for the past month. For a small country we sure do manage to cram a lot of talent into our tiny population. Speaking of homegrown talent if you haven’t checked out Jessica Shirvington’s fantastic paranormal series The Violet Eden Chapters (also called The Embrace Series) then you should definitely scoop them up. I’m pretty hard on most genre entries but Shirvington’s stuff is the real deal – elegantly written, imaginative and compelling.

Here’s a trailer for a new documentary about flying Frenchmen. It gave me vertigo.

Ever wanted to know the truth about book editors? Watch this excitable fellow:

Lately, I’ve been contemplating taking up pilates or yoga. I’m worried I spend too long in front of the computer and I’ll develop a hump and have to go live in a bell tower or something. After reading this news article I’m having second thoughts. I’d rather remain inflexible than risk demonic possession.

Lastly, because I’m not above a little self-aggrandising, here’s a new review of Winter’s Shadow. It’s one of the only pieces I’ve read that offers a literary analysis of my book. This doesn’t happen all too often with genre fiction – especially cultish stuff like Winter’s Shadow. Most of the time readers either love it or hate it and it doesn’t get much deeper than that. This is totally fine with me as I react to books in a similar fashion but to discover that all the subtle stuff I purposefully (and accidentally) wove into the story was actually noticed by someone was enormously gratifying. I look forward to what Maria at A Nights Dream of Books writes next.

Until next time,

M. J.