More writers, more reading: Debute Mondays

A nice, quick post today to report back on the wonderful Wheeler Centre event that I snuck away to see last night. As usual, it took a bit of organising to get out of the house and into the city, but thanks to my lovely Mum and my understanding kids I made it to Debute Monday at The Moat, just in time.

Debute Mondays, run once a month, are an opportunity to hear new fiction straight from authors. In cozy surrounds, in an atmospherically lit corner, four emerging authors kindly shared their words…

Firstly, we heard from Jessie Cole, author of Darkness on the Edge of Town (HarperCollins). Her choice of scene was interesting, a scene in which main character burley Vincent, finds himself in his bathroom assisting a near-stranger manage burning mastitis. It was a perfect example of the starkly practical yet teasingly erotic tone of her novel. My favourite phrase of the evening… “…All bedraggled and broken”

Darkness on the Edge of Town is our TBYL Book Club book for November. You can buy a copy of the book here…

Next we heard a short story from Melbourne-based writer and student Robyn Denison. Her story, Ketchup was bizarre, evocative and beautifully visual. Again, the theme of practical, everyday objects being transformed into something much more was worked in skilfully within this surreal piece of writing. Nearing the end of the piece, Denison’s line “The movement is soothing and the leaving is pure” struck me as quite beautiful.

Next, a change of pace with Zane Lovitt. Sharing a story entitled Comedy is Dead from his crime novel The Midnight Promise (Text Publishing) and narrated by Private Investigator John Dorn, Zane had us squirming in our chairs, a little unsure where to look. His story, set in an adult entertainment store, complete with fake orgasms and associated paraphernalia was funny, irreverant and very noir. Left on a cliff-hanger, the reading left the audience wanting more…

Lastly, the evening was rounded off by the multi-talented, Melbourne-based Edwina Preston who shared a reading from her new novel The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer (UQP). I was completely captivated by the opening description of Canyon, as the type of town that did not yet understand that “large words could contain small meanings.” Even in this short snap-shot, the story was rich with characters – cartoonish but darkly so, their descriptions and roles literal and larger than life. Fascinatingly circus, and a little bit ‘carny,’ this scene brought to mind a strange blend of Nick Cave’s work and Andrew Nicolls’ If You’re Reading this I’m Already Dead.

In short, I’ve now got more books for the reading pile!

If you have a chance, I’d really encourage you to get along to one of the Wheeler Centre’s Debute Mondays. They’re a great way to support new Australian writers and to discover amazing new literature.

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