Category Archives: Zeb and the Great Ruckus

Inaugural happy Xmas/holidays/ Hanukkah/ thankgod2016isnearlydead sale!!!!

Dearest humanfolk,

Like most rational people, I have a firm policy of telling Xmas to SHUT UP until December. Now that it actually is December, let’s talk about shiny happy things!


I’m having my inaugural happy Xmas/Hanukkah/thankgod2016isnearlydead sale! My last novel, Killing Adonis, is now available for just TEN cashmoneydollarbucks! That’s even less than a bar of Jesus Soap.

Killing Adonis is about to have its North American release, and it recently picked up a Kirkus Star (one of my top five favourite stars, right behind Sirius A and Sirius B). In exchange for 10 measly dollars (please do not send dollars infected with measles) I will throw a copy at you, signed and inscribed however you like.


You can also grab any of my other books. If you don’t love them, I will refund your purchase!* What could be better than a book for Xmas? Well, a robot dinosaur I guess. Or a time machine. Maybe some sort of mystical gauntlet. But apart from that basically nothing.


*All refunds attract a processing charge of $50 per book.

I want to throw a poem at your face.

Recently I’ve been performing this poem during school workshops and the kids keep asking me for a copy so I thought I’d just put it up here for you all to grab. I’ll probably record a youtube of it when I have some spare time (2017, perhaps). It’s free and junk, but if you like it and feel like throwing me some cash you could buy one of my books or my poetry EP when it comes out in a month or so.

Click click here (pdf download): OPENING CEREMONY

Keep making magic and remember:


Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece

Dear Campbell,

Having just read the news that the Queensland Theatre Company censored a joke at your expense due to concerns that it might affect their funding, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve been inspired to write a play about your life. The current working title is Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece.

starya day

Sources say the joke was in the form of a limerick that began ‘There was a Premier who would grunt …’

QTC’s decision is a harsh reminder of the culture of fear and anti-art sentiment that your government has fostered. After all, not every arts body can have a key member married to one of your senior advisors thus securing themselves $3.3 million in funding now can they? And you certainly fired one hell of an opening salvo when your first act as Premier was to cut the Literary Awards during the National Year of Reading FOR WHICH YOU WERE AN AMBASSADOR. This was basically like PETA signing up a new spokesperson who then decides to turn up to a press conference wearing a coat made out of Snow Leopard skin whilst munching on a burger made from the flesh of the last black rhino.


On a related note, your government appears to be aggressively anti-youth crime, as though you perceive Queensland to have a lawlessness problem roughly on par with New York in the early 90s. Your recent suggested changes to youth sentencing policy were in fact so abhorrent that they attracted a petition from Amnesty International. Try dropping our crime stats on someone from the southside of LA sometime and see how that goes down, I’d wager you’d get a fairly enlightening new perspective on things via a couple of knuckle sandwiches. If you read any literature on the subject, ever, you would know that the most effective ways to lower youth crime rates are to fund education and youth arts/recreation programs.


The fact that your government recently placed the Phillips Group PR company on retainer for tens of thousands of dollars per month implies that you are finally getting the message that many of your government’s policies have been unpopular and that you need to find ways to gain favour with the public. HOT TIP: Taxpayers don’t usually love having their taxpayer dollars spent on overpriced spin doctors telling them that their tax dollars are being spent correctly. Especially when you are firing and cutting like some kind of pyromaniac slasher from a B-grade horror movie ostensibly in the name of reducing debt. Furthermore, if it has finally dawned on you that this is in fact a democracy and not a dictatorship, it might be wise not to anger people with highly developed communication skills and devoted audiences. Like artists, for example. Like the old saying says; Never kick a hornet’s nest while wearing a kilt.*


I should let you know that the villain in my last novel, Zeb and the Great Ruckus, was loosely inspired by you. In that story the evil Czar outlaws art and exiles artists, thus forcing an artistic insurrection. I’d really hate for that story to become any more prescient than it is already. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to writing Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece. I’ll send you an invite to the Premiere, Premier.


*I may have just made that up, but it is rather good advice.







I just found out that someone made one of those ‘quotes as images to share on social media’ things from something I wrote in Zeb and the Great Ruckus. Apparently it’s been used on a dating website as a ‘this is a selection of words that encapsulates who I am and if you are of a similar temperament we should high five with our tongues’ kind of deal. I can’t tell you how much this pleases and amuses me. Maybe I should start using online dating and employ my own quotes as tags to express my personality, sort of like an existential ouroboros of self-expression.

zeb quote

Blog Tour

Hello there humans and approximate facsimiles, I am excited to tell you that this week I am in the middle of a blog tour. A blog tour is basically like a hedonistic punk rock tour except without all the hotel room trashing. Or chain smoking. Or public performance. Or actual touring. But what it does mean is that I get to talk to people all over the world via the comfort of my couch and pyjamas. The tour includes a couple of interviews with different blogs and a few different pieces I’ve written on different aspects of writing, plus a tiny confession about when I pretended to be a woman. I’ll be cataloguing them all here, feel free to respond either in comments below or on the various websites hosting the tour.


Interview with Ravina

Screenshot 2013-10-22 09.21.20 copy

Becoming Your Character guest post at Bunny’s Review


Your Setting As A Character guest post at High Class Books

book professor

Interview with the Book Professor 

I’ll update this post as more tour things happen. I hope your day is filled with guitar solos and high fives.


I originally wrote this poem when I was invited to do a speech to honour the opening of the Ann Christopherson library at Ipswich East primary school, and it’s been one of my favourites to perform ever since. Also, unlike most of my poetry, it’s very ‘clean,’ so it’s safe to perform for younger audiences (although we all know how much kids love dropping F-bombs, I think schools would stop booking me if I tried to get away with it…)

I haven’t done much of the youtube poetry thing and it seems like all the cool kids are doing it, so I might as well jump on the bandwagon. Let me know what you think. And of course, super nerdy and awesome discussions about your favourite books/libraries and how they changed your life are always welcome!

You can also download the full text here: LIBRARY



Book giveaway


Dena over at Books for for Kids (who recently wrote this great review of Zeb) is running a giveaway where you can get your hands…ah…well, eyes at least, on a digital copy of Zeb and the Great Ruckus. Entry is freebies. Check it out here.

40758 Lifeline Bookfest WebBanner 729x108px 1_0

In other book news, one of the highlights of my year, the Lifeline Bookfest starts in just a few days. Lifeline Bookfest is great for the following reasons:

1 Millions of books being sold at 1930s prices

2 The money goes to a good cause

3 Every year the MC dresses up in a safari outfit

4 It is the BEST people watching event of the year. Seriously. You see goths, punks, hipsters, septuagenarians, octogenarias, octuplets, families yelling at each other, couples critiquing each others choices, all kinds of different ages and backgrounds. It’s a veritable gold mine for character ideas.

5 It’s the best place to play a little game I like to call ‘Worst Romance.’ This basically involves finding the tackiest romance novel cover. The winner gets their books paid for by all other participants.

So there's like this cop right? And things always explode around him? Which means it's hard for him to hold down a relationship obviously, until one day he meets a ballistics expert named Rose, who has a dark secret...

This would be a hot contender. There are some better ones out there, but I didn’t think it’d be appropriate to put the cover of ‘Impregnated by the Tentacle’ in this post.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Zeb and the Great Ruckus by Joshua Donellan

Zeb and the Great Ruckus

by Joshua Donellan

Giveaway ends November 30, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Attn: the universe, Goodreads is currently hosting a giveaway competition! If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of Zeb for freebies just click on the link above. Also, check out the book trailer below. It has guitars and hilarious kids and other things.  And in other news, I’ve just signed up with Speakers Ink, a booking agency that features authors like Nick Earls and Vernero Armanno, so if you’d like to book to speak or workshop at your school, wedding, divorce party, bar mitzvah or coronation you can head to the ‘Contact & Bookings‘ tab.



It’s here at last! TEN MILLION HUZZAHS!

Hello there citizens of internetland, I trust you are well. I have a heap of announcements that are so exciting that they really should be all IN CAPS but we all know that can be quite annoying so I’ll try and RESTRAIN MYSELF (whoops…) Zeb will see its full, really really real release (try saying that five times fast) in just a few days. Or a few dozen hours. Or a few thousand minutes. You get the idea. Great big squishy thanks to everyone who has already pre-ordered. You are the best.

 For those currently residing in Australia, you can grab it direct from the publisher HERE. This gets me slightly more money than buying it through other retailers, for those lovely people among you who actually care about your money going to the artist so that they can afford extravagant luxuries like rent, socks and copious quantities of two-minute noodles.


Residents of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Madagascar, the UK, the USA or anywhere else in the milky way, you can get it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. (Amusing sidenote: I once had a friend tell me her slightly eccentric mother had said of Amazon: “It’s so amazing that they can run the world’s largest bookstore from the middle of the jungle!”) UPDATE: Kindle version now available HERE.

Zeb is also available for ITUNES for just $4.99. Seriously, that’s (very very slightly) less than $5. Yes, that’s right, while you’re shopping for Justin Bieber singles or Colonel Claypool’s Bucketful of Bernie Brains albums or old episodes of Xena: The Warrior Princess you can also grab a copy of my book for your ipad.

A list of things that cost less than $5

For those of you who are broke because you spent all your pocket money on yu-gi-oh cards (let’s be honest, we’ve all been there) you should head HERE and see if you can win a copy for FREE (which happens to be my favourite price).



(179 Latrobe tce, Paddington)

September 21st, 5pm

Last but not the opposite of most, don’t forget the launch is next week at Black Cat books followed by a crazy, riotous after party at my house around the corner. Facebook event HERE. This will not be your ordinary launch, no siree Bob. There will be music, performances from some of the best poets in Brisbane, readings, some Qs and some As and all kinds of messy, crazy fun. Finally, here is a great video from one of my favourite people on why books are amazing. Thanks for reading. I hope your day is filled with guitar solos, fireworks and high fives.