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INTERVIEW: Sulari Gentill, author of The Blood of Wolves

Saturday, May 25, 2013

This Sunday I am appearing at a panel on 'Fantastical Tales' at the Sydney Writers Festival with fellow fantastical authors K. B. Hoyle and Sulari Gentill. 

To celebrate, I interviewed Karin (K.B.) yesterday, and today I'm pleased to introduce Sulari Gentill, who under the name S.D. Gentill, has published a YA fantasy adventure series called The Hero Trilogy.  

The event is on Sunday at 10am, in the Philharmonia Studio. Details here

Award-winning author Sulari Gentill writes the Rowland Sinclair Series, historical crime fiction mysteries set in the 1930’s. The fourth book in the series Paving the New Road has just been released. The second book in the series A Decline in Prophets was recently announced winner of the Davitt Award for best crime fiction 2012. Under the name S.D. Gentill, Sulari also writes a fantasy adventure series called The Hero Trilogy. The third and final book in the series, The Blood of Wolves, has just been released.

What is your latest novel all about?

The Blood of Wolves if the final installment of the Hero Trilogy.  The series as whole is Mythic Fiction - a retelling of ancient epics.  I have on occasion been accused of writing Homeric Fanfic.  To be honest, that's probably not unjustified... though this third book is based on Virgil's Aeneid.  In it, the Herdsmen of Ida, allies of now the now defeated Troy, join Aeneas and his fugitive fleet of Trojan survivors in their search for a new homeland.  

How did you get the first idea for it?

That's a bit embarrassing really.  I was meeting with Pantera Press, to sign a contract for A Few Right Thinking Men - the first book in my Historical Fiction series.  Pantera had come across Chasing Odysseus (or at least a review of it) on the internet - it had been placed in a manuscript award a few months earlier.  I hadn't actually sent the manuscript to them so I was caught by surprise when they expressed an interest in signing it too.  Of course I was ecstatic.  They'd assumed that it was the first book of a series and asked me what I'd planned to do with the sequels.  I hadn't actually thought about Chasing Odysseus in a while let alone contemplated sequels, but being a new author and desperate to please, I didn't want to tell them that.  So I made up plots for the next two books on the spot...I really just said the first things that came into my head.  And then I had to write it!  

What do you love most about writing?

The people in my head.  It's certainly never lonely in there!

What are the best 5 books you've read recently?

A Beautiful Place to Die -  Malla Nunn
The Will Power series - Robert Gott
The Half Child - Angela Savage
The Trusted - John M. Green
The Raven's Heart - Jesse Blackadder

What lies ahead of you in the next year? 

I'm due to start writing the next Rowland Sinclair Novel (#6) in about October.  Gentlemen Formerly Dressed (Rowland Sinclair #5) will be released in time for Christmas and I've just finished Escaping Judgement, the first manuscript of a new series which will come out in 2014.  But between now and October, I am in the glorious position of being able to experiment... to try another genre, something completely new...or I might write nothing at all and just paint instead....or I could do both...


Monday, December 31, 2012

This past year was the first year of The Australian Women’s Writers Challenge – a call to arms for Australians to support our women writers by reading and reviewing their books, and spreading the word about the extraordinary literary talent we have in this country.

The initiative – begun by Elizabeth Lhuede – aims to redress the gender imbalance in the way male and female writers are treated in this country. Male writers are reviewed more often and win prizes more often, even though they do not write more books than women.

I have to admit I've  always had a strong bias towards women writers – my husband will growl, ‘don’t you have any books by men?’ as he searches my many bookshelves for something to read – yet I have noticed that the major literary papers do not review the type of books I really want to read. 

So I decided to join in the AWW challenge by reviewing novels that I had read and loved on a blog which I began for that purpose. I have reviewed and interviewed both men and women, from Australia and elsewhere – and I have made an effort to read more books by Australian women writers. 

In all, I read 95 books in 2012, 26 less than in 2011.

Less than one-third of these were written by men.

Of the 63 women writers, 35 of them were Australian. All of them were utterly brilliant. If you haven’t read their novels, read them in 2013 and discover for yourself the amazing talent of writers we have in this country: 

Parallel Historical/Contemporary

1. Secrets of the Tides – Hannah Richell
A dramatic story of family secrets and lies, set in London & Devon. Hannah Richell is UK-born, but lives in Sydney so I have counted her as an Aussie. 

2. The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton 
A riveting read that moves between contemporary times and the early days of the Second World War

3. Lighthouse Bay - Kimberley Freeman
One of my favourite books of the year, this book has romance, suspense, a dastardly villain, and a cast of strong, defiant women.

4. In Falling Snow  -  Mary Rose MacColl
A fascinating look at the role of women nurses and doctors in the Second World War in France.


5. Raven’s Heart  -  Jesse Blackadder
Set in Scotland in the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, this novel is filled with unexpected twists and turns.


6. The Reasons for Marriage  -  Stephanie Laurens
7. A Lady of Expectations  -  Stephanie Laurens
8. An Unwilling Conquest  -  Stephanie Laurens
9. A Comfortable Wife  -  Stephanie Laurens
Regency romance novels that are thin on story and thick on sex – but enjoyable nonetheless. 

10. The Perfect Rake  -  Anne Gracie
11. Bride by Mistake – Anne Gracie
12. The Perfect Waltz  -  Anne Gracie
13. The Stolen Princess – Anne Gracie
14. The Perfect Kiss – Anne Gracie
15. His Captive Lady - Anne Gracie 
Sparkling Regency romances with just the right mixture of humour, pathos, intrigue and romance.


16. Sea Hearts  -  Margo Lanagan
A haunting tale of love, betrayal and selkies by one of Australia’s most extraordinary authors. 

17. Shadowfell – Juliet Marillier
The first in a romantic YA fantasy series by one of my all-time favourite authors.

18. Flame of Sevenwaters  -  Juliet Marillier
Another fabulous historical fantasy set in the otherworldly forest of Sevenwaters.

19. A Corner of White  -  Jaclyn Moriarty
A startlingly original book that moves between the parallel worlds of contemporary Oxford and the strange and magical Kingdom of Cello.


20. Poet’s Cottage – Josephine Pennicott
An intriguing murder mystery set in Tasmania, which moves between the present day and the tragic past. 

21. A Few Right Thinking Men  -  Sulari Gentill
The first in a series of murder mysteries set in 1930s.

Children’s/Young Adult

22. The Golden Door – Emily Rodda
23. The Silver Door - Emily Rodda
24. The Third Door - Emily Rodda
A new trilogy of action-packed fantasy adventure novels for 8+, by the brilliant Emily Rodda

25. The Forgotten Pearl – Belinda Murrell 
A fabulous historical novel for 10+, set during the Second World War in Darwin and Sydney.

26. The River Charm  -  Belinda Murrell
A beautiful and very moving novel that moves between contemporary times and New South Wales’ early pioneering days, drawing upon the true life story of Charlotte and Louisa Atkinson, Australia’s first female novelists and journalists (and, I proudly must admit, my sister Belinda and my ancestors)

27. Bright Angel – Isabelle Merlin
A charming romantic suspense novel for 13+ set in the South of France.

28. One Long Thread – Belinda Jeffries
A fresh and unusual coming-of-age story that moves between Australia and Tonga.

29. Moonlight & Ashes – Sophie Masson
A really brilliant retake on the well-known Cinderella story, set in a make-believe Prague.

30. The Madman of Venice – Sophie Masson
A romantic historical novel set in Venice, with lots of suspense to keep the pages turning.

31. The FitzOsbornes in Exile - Michelle Cooper


32. You’ll be Sorry When I’m Dead – Marieke Hardy

Next year I aim to read even more books by Australian Women Writers. 
What about you?

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