NOT LONG NOW - THE OPAL DRAGONFLY IS COMING!

Allen & Unwin have done such a beautiful job on the cover of "The Opal Dragonfly" - thanks to the clever designer Nada Backovic. Everything I dreamed of. And A&U have featured the cover on the March 2018 issue of their New Books brochure.

https://www.allenandunwin.com/au-media/new-books-brochure

The book itself is officially released on 1 March but will be hitting shops as early as 21 February.

Put the date in your diary!

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GUEST OF THE CITY OF SYDNEY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION AT SMSA

I was delighted to be a guest speaker at the last meeting for 2017 of the City of Sydney Historical Asssociation at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts (SMSA) on Saturday 9 December. An audience of some 40-50 people attended and enjoyed my 'Hydro Majestic' illustrated talk with lots of challenging questions and post-talk discussion over afternoon tea. I also contributed a short summary of the talk to the COSHA newsletter. 

It was a great pleasure to meet up again with Jennifer Broomhead, now retired as the long-serving Copyright Officer for the State Library of NSW. I worked with Jennifer back in the 1990s when I was an image researcher for the SLNSW with a fabulous supervisor and picture researcher, Linda Brainwood. We styled ourselves as the - somewhat old-fashioned - firm of Leatherdale, Broomhead and Brainwood! 

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TALKS IN OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER

I was very happy with the reception for my talk on my Hydro Majestic research for Palace of Tears - now accompanied by a refreshed Powerpoint presentation - at three events in October/November:

I was a guest of the Kur-ing-ai Historical Society at Gordon with an audience of some 80 members in the Old Gordon Public School on Saturday 21 October. The after -talk discussion went on for some time. I was thrilled that my mother, Helen, was able to attend and she really enjoyed it. My thanks to Beverly Dunstan for her persistence chasing me for this event.

My thanks to Judith Newell, Vice President of the Eastern Farms Chapter (Eastwood) of the Fellowship of First Fleeters for inviting me to talk in the lovely Brush Farm Home, an historic property in Lawson Street, Eastwood on 4 November. Despite the rain, some 50 people attended. I have been invited back to give a talk in 2019 on German-Australian internment in WWI.

On 26 October I presented my talk to a meeting (60+ members) of Blackheath Probus at the Blackheath Golf Club. A generous morning tea was followed by an invitation to lunch with members at the club. Thanks to Joe Bansjaar for the invite and to all those who attended.

I am glad to say lots of books were sold and signed at all these events as well as great feedback from fans who had already read Palace of Tears.

HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY AUSTRALASIA CONFERENCE 2017

I am a speaker at the 2017 Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) conference in Melbourne whcih will be held  8th to 10th September 2017. The weekend programme will showcase over 50 speakers discussing craft, research, inspiration, publishing and personal histories. We are excited to welcome Kerry Greenwood as our guest author. Other wonderful historical novelists appearing are Kate Forsyth, Sophie Masson Nicole Alexander, Libby Hathorn, Sulari Gentill,  Lucy Treloar, Pamela Hart, Anna Campbell, Natasha Lester, Felicity Pulman, Robyn Cadwallader, Melissa Ashley,  Kim Kelly, Gillian Polack, Pamela Rusby, Barbara Gaskell Denvil and Elisabeth Storrs.  

12.15 – 1.15 pm (Stream 2) Session Four on Saturday 9th September

WORLDS AT WAR: THE APPEAL OF 20TH CENTURY HISTORICAL FICTION

The history of the early to mid-20th century now falls within the definition of ‘historical fiction’. Why do novels depicting the great conflicts of modern times hold such fascination? And has war fiction replaced Tudor fiction as ‘the favourite flavour’ for readers and publishers? 

Julian Novitz discusses these questions with Paddy Richardson, Elise McCune, Justin Sheedy and Julian Leatherdale.

THREE TALKS ON PALACE OF TEARS IN LATE 2017

I have been busy writing book number two most of last year but am happy to announce I am giving three talks about Palace of Tears around Sydney later this year. They are:

(1) 2.00pm on Saturday 21 October, The Ku-Ring-Gai Historical Society, Gordon

(2) 11.00 am on Saturday 4 November, Eastern Farms Chapter (Eastwood) of the Fellowship of First Fleeters.

(3) 2.00 pm on Saturday 9 December, at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts (SMSA) for the City of Sydney Historical Association

Looking forward to all of them! 

 

BOOK CLUB AT THE HYDRO MAJESTIC

I was flattered to be invited as the guest of a long-standing (10-year) book club who decided to get together to talk about Palace of Tears while staying at the Hydro Majestic on September 9th. Excellent idea! They gathered at 4.30pm to discuss the book and I joined them as their guest for dinner at 7.00pm.

The conversation was wide-ranging and lots of fun. We didn't finish up until late. Thank to Kate Oxford and all the members of the club. I promise to come back for book 2!

SYDNEY WRITERS' FESTIVAL PANEL - BLUE MOUNTAINS ICONS

I thoroughly enjoyed our panel discussion on the Dictionary of Sydney's Blue Mountains Icons Project chaired by Dr Lisa Murray with fellow contributors Naomi Parry, Delia Falconer and John Low. We talked about our individual essays - mine was on the Hydro Majestic - and the way that writers, photographers, film-makers, famous visitors and artists have shaped our views of the Blue Mountains. It was a very responsive audience with excellent questions.

 

NSW Parliament House Author Lunch

I enjoyed my talk as one of two guest speakers at the Horizon Committee's annual Authors' Lunch, fundraising for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children at NSW Parliament House on 12 May. My fellow author was Lesley Truffle, "Hotel du Barry" (Random House, 2016) so we were two hotel novel authors.

An appreciative audience of 170 guests enjoyed both speeches and I enjoyed signing some 50 books on the day! Thanks to my agent Selwa Anthony for inviting me to this lunch, her 21st such event (featuring 42 authors). My thanks also to the organisors of the Horizon Committee.

Marcia Yates, a member of the Foy family, was in attendance and gave me a gift of a Hydro Majestic plate - much appreciated.

 

 Delivering my speech on Palace of Tears

Delivering my speech on Palace of Tears

 Selwa introduces me.

Selwa introduces me.

 A photo with Foy family member Marcia Yates.

A photo with Foy family member Marcia Yates.

 Two hotel novels for sale.

Two hotel novels for sale.

CONCERT PIANIST SIMON TEDESCHI RECOMMENDS HIS SUMMER READ

Imagine my surprise and delight to find this in Sydney Morning Herald just before Christmas!

In the Summer Section (p.22) lift-out, concert pianist Simon Tedeschi talks about my 'fascinating book' that he discovered at the family'sholiday retreat at Blackheath. 

An early Christmas present for me.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/simon-tedeschi-recommends-his-summer-read-20151209-glb65r.html

INTERVIEW ABC SUNSHINE COAST

My heartfelt thanks to Mary-Lou Stephens for a great interview on ABC Sunshine Coast radio. It was well worth a trip to ABC Ultimo to sit in the famous Tardis for our chat.

https://soundcloud.com/abc-sunshine-coast/palace-of-tears-julian-leatherdale

 No, not in this Tardis - seen in ABC lobby and photographed to impress my 10 y.o. daughter 'Dr Who' fan.

No, not in this Tardis - seen in ABC lobby and photographed to impress my 10 y.o. daughter 'Dr Who' fan.

AUTHOR IN FOCUS AT KATOOMBA LIBRARY 2.00PM 24 OCTOBER

Blue Mountains City Library and Megalong Books are joining forces to present AUTHOR IN FOCUS at Katoomba Library 2.00-4.00pm on Saturday 24 October which will include my talk on the historic research for Palace of Tears, as well as a Q&A, book signings, a display of historic photos of the Hydro Majestic from the Local Studies collection and an afternoon tea.

Bookings required. Admission: $10.00. See you there!

 

HISTORY TALK AT SYDNEY MECHANICS' SCHOOL OF ARTS 15 SEPTEMBER

I am very excited to be presenting a talk on the historical background to my novel at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts at 12.30pm on Tuesday 15 September, 2015.

The talk will focus on my research into the history of the Hydro Majestic Hotel as well as the shocking story of the internment of Australians of German descent in WWI.

Books will be available and I will be signing them! Look forward to seeing you there.

    Click on this image for details of my talk at SMSA.

 

Click on this image for details of my talk at SMSA.

HIGH TEA BOOK LAUNCH

I could not have asked for a better book launch!

The day was sunny and crisp and the view over the valley perfect. For two hours 60 guests enjoyed a sumptuous high tea of pastries and delicacies in the Salon Du The at the Hydro Majestic Hotel. The MC was the always witty Randall Walker with a warm welcome from Director of the Escarpment group and co-owner of the Hydro, Ms Huong Nguyen.

The book was launched by my brilliant agent Selwa Anthony. I then gave a talk on my history research for the novel including the story of the Hydro itself and the internment of German-Australians in WWI. This was followed by book signings.

The wonderful audience included good friends Sandy Beaches, Janet Rushforth, Margaret Davis and Kathryn Hibbert, local luminaries, author and fashion curator Ms Charlotte Smith, jazz singer Ms Penelope Sai, and Blue Mountains Grammar School headmaster Mr Trevor Barman. And of course my glamorous novelist-wife, Claire Corbett, my beautiful daughter and my mum.

 

Image: courtesy of David Hill, Deep Hill Media.