Three Course Dessert Degustation, drinks, music and more

Mini meringues, espresso martinis, Persian love cake, green tea, flourless chocolate cake, raspberry martinis and more…

It was my absolute pleasure to speak to Christine Anu on ABC radio last night on the ‘Evenings’ program and to create a virtual three-course dessert degustation for listeners to enjoy. I took the recipes from my book, The Cake Maker’s Wish, and matched them with accompanying drinks and (as spontaneously requested on air!) music as well. I had a wonderful time talking about one of my favourite topics: food.

You can catch the degustation discussion here and the segment starts at 2:10.

Music matches came from Pink Martini, The Cat Empire and Katie Noonan.

Thank you so much, Christine and ABC radio for supporting Aussie authors!

If you’re looking for my recipe for the Persian Love Cake, you will find it at the back of The Cake Maker’s Wish.

Jo x

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The Beekeeper’s Secret Kindle Deal, Now FREE

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Great news! The Beekeeper’s Secret is now FREE as part of the Kindle deals promotion.

Here’s what some love readers had to say:

“Could not put down book full of wonderful things to learn about incredible bees. Great characters – great book.”

“Another great story from the pen of Josephine Moon. Have spent Christmas with my head in this book. Couldn’t put it down. I learnt a lot about bees too. Can’t wait for your next book Josephine.”

“This was a lovely enjoyable story, and I know that Josephine Moon’s style will be one I like for a long time to come.”

“Could not put this one down. Deals with two very relevant issues in a sensitive and thought provoking way. Riveting.

 

“Absolutely wonderful. Enjoyed every page!”

How 1 Euro Italian houses and The Cake Maker’s Wish are Related

Since I started writing The Cake Maker’s Wish (all the way back in 2015), my imaginary idea of reviving a dying little village by importing people from around the globe has gone a little more global (and viral).

Today, you can buy an Italian house for only 1 Euro, in the same country that previously gave away castles, monasteries and towers. Ireland has called for residents of Australia and USA to emigrate to the tiny island of Arranmore. Spain has had a problem of abandoned villages across the country, so the officials from Galicia set about giving away one of these villages. In all of these examples, the goal has been to give the properties to someone who has detailed plans to renovate, restore and add capital back into the local area, to save a dying population and/or economy, and restore economic trade to the local business owners. This is exactly the premise that I used for the setting of The Cake Maker’s Wish, though at the time, I didn’t know it was really ‘a thing’.

Where it all began…

In 2015 I travelled to the UK on a writing trip to meet with my UK publisher and agent, to delivery an author talk in Abergavenny in Wales and to do research to look for a new story. I travelled with my dad, my sister and my sister’s baby (who was 14 months old). As part of that trip, we rented a stone cottage in the Cotswolds where we based ourselves for ten days and travelled the area from there.

I was lucky enough to get to know some of the locals. Two of them—men who’d grown up in the village in the fifties—made me a cup of tea to tell me about what life was like when they were young. In that conversation, they lamented the fact that the village had changed so much from when it was owned by the Lord of the Manor, which had created a unified, collaborated feel through the workers, with a thriving community spirit. Over time, as the village was sold off, wealthy investors from the city would buy up cottages as holiday homes, but that meant that most of the properties were sitting empty for most of the year. The village couldn’t function as it used to, no longer community-sufficient, with people having to travel further and further away to find work and services and the house prices forcing workers out of the market.

I was really touched by their sadness and went back to my rented cottage and sat down with a notebook and pen and thought, well, I’m a writer, surely I can bring this village back to life on the page. And that’s how it started.

And now…

I confess to being truly delighted that my imagination has conjured something that isn’t completely out of the box at all, that its themes and efforts of small communities trying to survive and hold onto their connections is very real, and that equally real efforts are happening around the world right now to save them. In my heart, I am a girl from the village. I may have been born in Brisbane but I have now spent almost fifteen years living in small country towns. I know the huge beating hearts that live in them and how important it is to support them and celebrate them. This is exactly what my new novel does.

The Cake Maker’s Wish is out 2 June but you can pre-order it now from all good bookstores and online retailers. I look forward to sharing the imaginary village of Stoneden in the Cotswolds with you very soon!

 

Introducing The Writers Emporium

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I have news!

I have teamed up with best-selling author Rachel Bailey to create The Writers Emporium, a collaboration focused on bringing high-quality professional writing development workshops, retreats and training here to the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

We will be kicking off 2020 with a two-day event from 8-9th February called the Sunshine Writing Lab. We’ve called it a ‘lab’ because we want you to get your fingers into your work! Our point of difference is that we are so committed to bringing you value in our programs that we are running two streams of training alongside each other across both days. This gives us the flexibility to provide quality opportunities to writers of all stages, from beginners through to those more advanced. You can choose from formal workshops, one-on-on session with either Rachel or myself, or small group sessions (three people maximum). The power is in your hands.

If you’re interstate, no worries! Our location at The Sebel hotel in Maroochydore is just minutes from the Sunshine Coast airport so you can fly in and fly out again and stay at the hotel with the discounted room rate.

Rachel and I both love teaching and we’re so excited to join forces to help you reach your writing dreams.

Check out our website for full details of course content and more and while you’re there be sure to sign up to The Writers Emporium mailing list to keep up to date with upcoming events in the future.

The Gift of Life, Australian Book Tour

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It’s now just three weeks until The Gift of Life is released into the world! I’m thrilled to share I have a bumper book tour happening and will be getting around to Qld, NSW, Vic, Tas, and SA! All the details are listed on the Contact Me/Events page, but here is a list of what’s there so far. Plans are still being pinned down in the background so there may yet be more added but I do hope I get to see you on the road soon!

 

The Gift of Life, Book Tour Dates

Please check back often as this information is updating.

Queensland

Saturday 30 March 2019

Big W, Maroochydore, time to be confirmed

Tuesday 2 April 2019:

A Morning with Josephine Moon at Bribie Island Library, 10-11am

Bribie Island Library, 1 Welsby Parade, Bongaree, QLD, Australia, 4507

Tuesday 2 April:

An Evening with Josephine Moon at Chermside Library, 6-7pm

Chermside Library, 375 Hamilton Road Chermside, QLD 4032

 

Wednesday 3 April 2019

An Afternoon with Josephine Moon at Garden City Library, 1-2pm

Address:
Garden City Library
Garden City Shopping Centre
Cnr Logan and Kessels Rds
Upper Mt Gravatt
QLD 4122

Queensland Workshops

Saturday 4 May, 10am-3pm, Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane

Workshop 1: Bringing Your Ideas to Life. How do you find ideas for stories and what do you do with them once you find them? Josephine will guide you through the process of discovering ideas for stories, accessing research and resources, breathing life into words, and then pulling them into some sort of order to get them onto the page. She’ll also help you to work out what sort of writer you might be, which will help you know what to do with your ideas. She’ll cover different types of structure to suit different outcomes and foundational skills in the requirements of a good story.

For more info and bookings, CLICK HERE.

Sunday 5 May, 10am-3pm, Twelfth Night Theatre, Brisbane

Workshop 2: How to Write a Bestselling Novel. There isn’t one single way to write a bestseller but there are definitely common elements you can learn. Bring your idea for a novel and Josephine will show you how to plot it out to keep the pages turning, build strong characters and guide you through the foundations of self-editing. This interactive day will see you leave with a bounty of information to set you up for success.

For more info and bookings, CLICK HERE.

 

New South Wales

Thursday 4 April 

11am – 12 pm Morning Tea with Josephine Moon at Berkelouw Mona Vale

Address: 12-14 Park Street, Mona Vale, NSW

6.30-7.30pm An Evening with Josephine Moon at Sutherland Library

Sutherland Library
Address: 30-36 Belmont Street, Sutherland, NSW, Australia, 2232Friday 5th April,2.30 – 3.30pm, An event with Josephine Moon at Camden Library

Camden Library

 

Tasmania

Saturday 6 April 2019

 

A Morning with Josephine Moon at Hobart Library, 11am-12pm

Venue Details:
Hobart LINC
Address: 91 Murray Street, Hobart, TAS, Australia, 7000 Contact: Leisha Owen

 

Victoria

Tuesday 7 May 2019

 

An Afternoon with Josephine Moon at Mornington Peninsula Libraries, 2-3pm

Mornington Peninsula Libraries
Address: 21 Marine Parade, Hastings, VIC, Australia, 3915 Contact: Gail Higgins

 

Tuesday 7 May, 2019

An Evening with Josephine Moon at Bunjil Place Library, 7-8pm

Bunji Place Library
Address: Bunjil Place, Patrick Northeast Drive, Narre Warren, VIC, Australia, 3805

 

South Australia

Wednesday 8 May, 2019, 6-7pm, An Evening with Josephine Moon at Noarlunga Library

Hannah Road, Noarlunga Centre, SA

 

Thursday 9 May, 2019, 1.30-3.30p, An Afternoon with Josephine Moon at Auchendarroch House

Auchendarroch House, 17 Adelaide Rd, Mt Barker, SA

Researching The Gift of Life: Watching a Heart Transplant to Finding the Silent Story

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Research is my happy place. I do extensive research for every book I write and it’s where I learn not just technical information but also start to find my character development, settings and plot points too. I get to travel within Australian and overseas for location research, which is a great gift. I interview people, spend hours on the internet, watch loads of YouTube videos and, inevitably, buy a lot of reference books. It is the phase where anything is still possible, ideas are still forming and excitement takes me back again and again for more.

My forthcoming novel, The Gift of Life, is based around organ donation, specifically, heart transplants. I love anatomy (I studied it for two semesters) and Biology was also my strongest subject at school and I then did another semester of it at uni. As a result, I loved brushing up on all my anatomy and physiology and researching the many causes and treatments of heart failure, some of which lead to the need for an organ donation. I even ended up at the cardiologist myself, as I have a long history of arrhythmias and, as I found out in my research, these can lead to heart failure! (Fortunately for me, the type I have appear to be uncomplicated.) My husband, too, also ended up at the cardiologist, then my mum went… It seemed like every time I turned around, ‘hearts’ were the theme of the day.  One thing I learned through all this research was that we are all vulnerable to heart issues, which can come with a long list of complications, which can also lead to a need for a transplant. I really had no idea how common it was.

The amount of personal testimony I came across (both from the point of view of a heart transplant recipient and also from the family of those who had consented to the donation of their loved one’s organs) is significantly higher coming from the USA than it is Australia. This was both tricky–because the USA medical and legal systems are very different to ours–and also an opportunity to hear different experiences and voices from those who’ve gone through the process.

There is a wealth of videos on YouTube and I even came across one that showed a heart transplant operation. That one was a little tough to stomach, to be honest!

I interviewed two Australian heart transplant recipients, which was a fabulous opportunity to hear their stories firsthand. They were both very different people–he a middle-aged man with a wife, children and career–and she a young woman in her twenties with a long life ahead if only she could get the chance. Their experience of the process was vastly different too. The organ transplant process is a gamble at every stage: the illness, the waiting period, the operation, the recovery, the chances of rejection and ongoing complications.

In the end, I had way more information than I could use in the book, which is normal. The Gift of Life starts two years after Gabby McPhee had her heart transplant; therefore much of what I learned about the difficult, emotional waiting stage (and the ongoing physical rehabilitation and care through that period) had to be cut and left out; however, it’s all there in my mind, forming the basis to the background of Gabby’s psyche.

I also became really interested in the more silent half of the story–the experiences of the family members who make the decision to donate. These stories are harder to find, and understandably so, as their experience is rooted in trauma, shock and grief. But as a writer, that ‘silent space’ is the most interesting to me. The possibility of a new, untold story is the one I want to follow. The wealth of information I found on the other side (the recipient’s stories) served to highlight a gap in the narrative that, when voiced through the character of Krystal Arthur, fleshed out the full circle of life.

I loved researching this book. It was utterly fascinating from beginning to end.

 

Win a Manuscript Assessment with Annette Barlow!

Annette Barlow is auctioning herself! She has worked at Allen & Unwin as an editor and a publisher for over 25 years. Annette teaches at Faber Academy at A&U and is in charge of the annual Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. This is your rare opportunity to win her attention to get invaluable feedback on your work in progress!

PS you also help farmers, with money raised going to Rural Aid.

You can find more information and bidding details on eBay at https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com.au%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F332828513395

Round 1 Ebay Auctions, Now Live!

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Bid now for a manuscript assessment with:
 
Publisher/Author Sophie Green
 
Author Michael Trant
 
Author Jenn J McLeod

Manuscript Appraisals for Aspiring Writers, Starting Monday, 6pm!

Calling all writers!

Your chance to win yourself a RARE opportunity for feedback on your work in progress from a leading Australian publisher or author is nearly here!

Round 1 bidding begins on ebay, Monday October 15 at 6pm!

This round includes:
Publisher, Sophie Green:
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To find the auction you’re interested in, just search ‘Authors for Farmers’ and the person’s name.
This is a fundraiser initiative with proceeds going to Buy a Bale (Rural Aid) to assist Australian farmers experiencing hardship through drought.
I can’t wait to see what talent is unearthed in this process.
Best of luck!
Jo

Win a Manuscript Assessment with Author Louise Allan

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The first of our wonderful Australian authors in this third and final round who has donated her time to raise funds for Buy a Bale and help an aspiring writer at the same time is debut author Louise Allan. Here is some information about Louise and what she is offering.

If you have been working on a manuscript and want the chance to win first class feedback and maybe even find your work in front of the right people who can make your dream come true, then make sure you keep following along and bid, bid, bid to win Louise’s attention!

Louise’s offer will be on eBay in the THIRD round of auctions, starting 19 October, 6pm.

Welcome, Louise!

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Bio: Louise Allan is a former doctor who turned to writing in her forties. Her first novel, The Sisters’ Song, was published in January 2018 by Allen & Unwin. Louise was awarded the 2018 Tina Kane Emergent Writer Prize at the Mildura Writers Festival and her novel was shortlisted for the 2014 TAG Hungerford Award and awarded a Varuna residential fellowship.

Why are you excited to do this? I like the idea of helping farmers and fellow writers at the same time!

Genres: My preference is for literary, commercial literary, historical and women’s fiction. I also don’t mind a bit of crime.

Submission length: Maximum 25 pages

Communication: Email is probably best and I can use Track Changes.

If the author would like a Q&A session, I’d be happy to chat for an hour face-to-face (if they’re in Perth), or via Skype if elsewhere in Australia.

Reply time: Two weeks

Auction reserve: $99

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Interested? Of course you are! Stay tuned by following me on Facebook, Twitter or here on this blog to make sure you get all the news in the lead up to this exciting event!

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AUTHORS FOR FARMERS is an initiative by Australian author Josephine Moon (www.josephinemoon.com) to band together fellow authors from around the country to help with drought relief fundraising for Australian farmers. All money raised goes to BUY A BALE (registered charity, http://www.buyabale.com.au).

(Please note: Ebay charges fees for using its platform and these will be will be deducted from the total donation amount at the end.)