Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Australian Writers

A Literary Magazine Recommendation

I scan and browse and burrow-into and search and taste and save lots of sites that might end up being mentioned in this blog… 

I almost didn’t consider telling you about a literary magazine I just discovered.

It’s created in Australia—my Best Friend lives in Australia—I almost sent her the link directly—I’m wondering if she already knows about Writer’s Edit

It began it’s life in 2013 through the founding efforts of novelist Helen Scheuerer—check out her article about Online Publishing Challenges

There are now 18 folks on the Writer’s Edit Team.

Some of the site’s content relates primarily to Australians—like places to hang out, contests to enter, and favorite bookstores—though the preponderance of the site is still for every writer.

Try out their Advice for Writers Archive.

Or, their Literary Devices Archive.

Or, their Writing Prompts.

Also, they recently gave birth to a publishing division.

And, here are some of their most popular posts:

10 Insanely Hot Tips: How To Kickstart Your Writer’s Blog

5 Reasons to Drop ‘Aspiring’ from ‘Aspiring Author’

4 Simple Ways to Get Your Poetry Recognised

Oh! They also have Book Reviews.

Can’t wait to hear what my Best Friend has to say about them :-)
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An Award-Winning Author and An Angry Book Critic

It’s often said that a writer should not respond to egregiously bad reviews and criticism.

Paddy O'Reilly

Award-Winning Author, Paddy O’Reilly

That’s probably good advice—usually because someone who can find nothing good in a book should, out of simple humanity, say as little as possible; and, no one wins in a heated argument.

It may be considered good form to let folks know you’ve struggled with a particular book and why you abandoned it, like I did in my July 10th, 2013 post.

But, if someone were to disagree with my estimation of a book, I certainly wouldn’t argue with them—any book can spawn a vast range of reactions…

However, there’s nothing wrong with a third party speaking up on the author’s behalf to render a bit of justice concerning their talents and wide-spread approval.

First, let’s look at the Award-Winning Author, Paddy O’Reilly.

I’ve written about Paddy twice before:

My Best Friend’s Best Friend . . .

Modern Literature, Genre Bestseller, and Classic Tale

To help justify my complaint about the Angry Book Critic, let me share a few accolades for Paddy’s three novels:

The Factory did a rare thing: it turned an ingenious intellectual premise into a complex, gripping, flesh and blood story. It was full of ideas about history, art, ego and community, but these all emerged seamlessly from the pacy main plot.”
Australian Book Review

The Factory, the first novel by Melbourne’s Paddy O’Reilly, revealed a writer with a facility for delineating the complex and often subterranean behaviours of the hidden self.”
Sydney Morning Herald


” … a line should be drawn under The Fine Colour of Rust as the pinnacle of the genre.”
The Australian

“At key moments, O’Reilly displays a deft poetic touch that elevates the prose from functional to transcendent… This is a story about love: where we look for it, what we do with it and how it shows up in the most unexpected packages. It is warm, moving and funny”
The Big Issue


The Wonders, O’Reilly’s third novel, is a surreal and exotic thing, a finely wrought interrogation of the ways we navigate being human and the presumptuous shambles we make of much of it.”
The Australian

“O‘Reilly has a light touch when it comes to irony, allowing her to explore themes of difference, disability and celebrity in a way that is both playful and profound before changing gear and ramping up the psychological tension… O’Reilly pulls off a unique brand of magical realism with flourish.”
Booktopia Book of the Month


It’s that last book, The Wonders, that recently received some undeserved vicious criticism…

And, just because Paddy’s books have received such great reviews doesn’t mean everyone loves them…

Now let’s get to know the Angry Book Critic, Marieke Josephine Hardy.

Ms. Hardy’s About Page has two things that enlightened me about her reaction to Paddy’s book, The Wonders:

When referring to her own collection of essays (Ms. Hardy that is), she says, “…you can probably read all about that shit on the front page of this website.”

Why is she being so self-dismissive? And, what could that portend about her judgements of others?

She also says: “She makes host Jennifer Byrne’s life an abject misery once a month on the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club.”

It’s precisely an appearance on that T.V. show when Ms. Hardy becomes venomous about Paddy’s book…

Until November 6th, you can watch a video of that show or download it to watch later.

There are three other people on the show, all of them supportive, to some degree, of Paddy’s book, as is the host…

Yet, Ms. Hardy isn’t content to say she dislikes The Wonders, she’s more than willing to zealously argue with everyone else…

Ms. Hardy’s first egregious comment: “This is a terrible book.”

The audience immediately laughs, which to me says something about why someone like Ms. Hardy is included in a serious book discussion—folks sense she’s a ringer, not to be taken seriously…

Ms. Hardy continues with: “It’s a terrible, badly written book.”

Some of the others try to mitigate such brash appraisals (and, there are many more), to no avail—Ms. Hardy is correct and the rest of you be damned…

And, to “justify” her remarks (using a thinly-veiled insult about Paddy’s character), when mentioning she might run into Paddy on the streets of Melbourne, she says, “She’ll punch me in the face.”

The Wonders is available for Pre-order on Amazon and signed copies are already available in Australia

So, since Paddy wasn’t on that show and, since I doubt she would ever want to say a word to Ms. Hardy (let alone punch her in the face), I thought it would be helpful to share a video of her talking about her own book:

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