IT IS OUT! IT IS OUT! Jenni's Off-Grid Newsletter 52
September 15, 2022
IT IS OUT, IT IS OUT!
…and I can stop thinking about Olivia and Cassandra ….and get back to Gaia and Jarrah, my very different characters in my current work-in-progress, 'Dancing with Dragons'.
On a much more important topic (understatement of the century) the Queen has passed on her life of remarkable service to Charles, and we have to start calling him King Charles III rather than 'good ole Charles'. It was a relief to see the clip of him and Camilla in Northern Island signing yet another important piece of paper when the fountain pen began to leak (again!). He lost it, become entirely human, stood up and said the sorts of things we all would have said had our mum just died and then we had to tour the UK and Northern Ireland before returning to the biggest funeral in history…followed by having a very heavy crown placed on one's head and the rest of one's life in service. Note Camilla calming one down!
But seriously, may his reign be a good one, I say. At least he is a long-term understander of climate change.
Back here at the bottom of the world in the last place on earth that Great Britain captured and then welcomed into the Commonwealth, we have been to the Auckland Writers' Festival which was, as always fantastic: I went to 25 fifty-minute sessions and stayed focused for every one. Too many great interviews and talks to name, but they ranged from A.C. Grayling on climate change and basically how it is already too late, Clementine Ford, the current popular feminist in Australia (standing in the giant shoes of Germaine Greer) who told two thousand 25-35 year-old women in the audience (and my husband and me…) that no woman should EVER marry as it is bad for their health, their financial independence and their happiness, and Liana Moriarty, the extraordinarily successful and very modest Australian novelist on how her sister who does not write books (three of them do) gets brassed off when she is asked "are you the sister who writes books?".
Then we had a week in Arrowtown near the bottom of NZ (the bottom of the bottom of the world), where there is cold and snow still in early September; a lovely birthday party for a good friend, and skiing for John but no longer for me… I am too fond of my bones remaining unbroken. Arrowtown and the country around it is one of my favourite places; a beautifully preserved and very-much living gold-mining town from the 1860s (not so much gold in the river any more but lots of marino and possum fur jerseys and scarves in the up-market little shops). Most of my own ancestors were part of the gold rush so it is sort of nostalgic by proxy. And finally a few days in Canterbury with our daughter and her family; highlight was having drinks in the local country pub with our 10-year-old grandson when we met him after school. They seemed to know him well in the pub. We couldn't get hot chips though: the kitchen was closed as there was a funeral on. Our grandson asked "Is the dead body inside?" He looked disappointed when I told him I didn't know but suspected it might just be ashes in a box.
Back on Great Barrier Island it was and is all on for the great launch of 'Call My Name'… all book tours online these days, but making sure all the ducks are in their rows for promotions blah blah is a time-consuming mission. The e-book and audiobook are both on big launch discounts, so love you to buy one or both now! (so all my hard work is not in vain.) Both book and audiobook have been gathering some great pre-pub reviews on Goodreads, although some readers have found it too depressing or triggering (it includes issues of abortion, surrogacy, loss etc). I will hope to see lots of reviews from all of you flooding in after you have read or listened to it (or as my Dad used to say, laughing silently until the tears flowed down his cheeks.. 'if pigs could fly')
But if for you do want to check it out for yourself and even buy a copy or two of the paperback for Christmas pressies that would be fabulous. This link https://books2read.com/ap/RWJlYa/Jenni-Ogden takes you to a book link that gives you all the online outlets you can go to to buy it, and also the links for my other books if you are interested in them (just click on their covers). I also have my other novels on a companion sale, including the audiobook of 'The Moon is Missing'. Goodness, you could buy all three e-books for the price of two cups of coffee and each audiobook for 1.5 cups of coffee. Go mad and buy the coffees as well. You can chuckle/snort at this Youtube interview I had with Lauren Carr of IRead Book Tours, on the writing of 'Call My Name' once you have watched the King Charles III video. Or you can link to a giveaway of an e-book or audiobook if you are in US.
So many choices! And there is always the choice of pouring a nice glass of wine and watching Netflix or the State Funeral instead.
And that's quite enough about that.
On to my current favorite book of this year, also just out:
I think I loved this as much as 'Daisy Jones and the Six'. It is absolutely unput-a-downable, and that is saying something for a reader who knows about as much about tennis as a walrus. I know (in theory only!) a lot more now. First, the cover. That is a magnificent cover. Second, the title. That is a perfect in-your-face title. Third, Carrie, her dad, her old sweet flame, her equally ambitious competitors, and even that ageing creep Mick Riva, who keeps appearing in Taylor Jenkins Read's novels… all perfectly pitched. Carrie, unlikeable in so many ways, rather like those (mainly male) tennis stars even I watch having tantrums in the Australian Open, is equally a lonely, vulnerable and yet tough soul we're rooting for on every page of her story. Like every reader of this novel, I was absolutely shouting Carrie Soto is Back! by the end…and an end that could have gone two ways… The one we got was, of course, just right.