Tag Archives: campbell newman

“Look ma, I got a book deal!”


Why hello there!

I have an announcement to make. A big one. As in, the size of an obese elephant with elephantiasis that has had an enlarging rhinoplasty procedure recently undertaken. No, I'm not getting married and I'm not pregnant (after all, any IDIOT can get married or have kids!)


I've found a new publisher and I've entered into a long-term arrangement to give them first rights to all my future books. Which, I suppose, is sort of like a business marriage come to think of it. So if you'd like to provide me with large quantities of expensive silverware and white goods please go right ahead! I chose to sign with Pantera Press for a number of reasons.


1) They asked me. Yes, I know, very droll, but I'm serious. Even after having a moderately successful first book that had rave reviews in a number of magazines and decent sales for a first time author with almost no marketing, as well as getting my second book picked up by another publisher, it was still ridiculously hard to find publishers willing to take a chance on an author who refuses to write crime fiction, erotica, vampire romance or diet tips. 

Gay marriage

2) Pantera's motto is 'good books doing good things.' They have a strong philanthropic ethos and they support causes such as the Smith Family's Let's Read program and the Walkley awards for excellence in journalism, because reading is fucking important and some people seem to forget that (I'm looking at you Campbell Newman). They also publish the Why vs. Why series, which promotes public debate on issues like gay marriage and nuclear power. I'm not shy about my political views, but I think whatever side of the fence you stand on it's important to be educated and informed about issues and not just shove your uninformed vitriolic diatribe down other people's throats (I'm STILL looking at you Newman!)

3) Pantera are a family run independant business, distributed through Simon & Schuster, one of the largest publishers in the world. This means that they have the innovative, adventurous and ambitious approach of a great indie publisher partnered with the distribution and marketing reach of a large publisher. Also, their royalty rates are insanely generous. I know art isn't supposed to be about the money, but it is hard to keep that in mind when you've just had to sell a kidney so that you can pay for your phone bill. (I've only done this once. It should be fine. Humans have like, six kidneys, right?) 

The first book I've given them, which will be out next year, is Adonis Comma Coma. It's a twisted dark comedy that I'm going to describe as being a bit like Arrested Development, only more psychotic and supernatural. 


I've just about drunk my own weight in champagne during the last week celebrating, and will now need to drink my own weight in berocca to recover. I want to say a really big thank you to everyone that's supported me so far, whether it's been just reading this blog or my first book or writing reviews on amazon or goodreads or proofing drafts or buying me beers or collaborating on anthologies or whatever. It really does mean the world to me. I promise when you bring out your first book I'll do the same for you! Or you know, your restaurant or particle accelerator or skin moisturiser enhanced with jojoba extract and DNA altering exfoliants or radical quantum theory or whatever the hell else you want reviewed and promoted. 



Inaugural Premier’s Obituary Award

My Dearest Queensland, I have just returned from a weekend swimming in your resplendant blue waters at Stradbroke island, followed by two nights in the majestic sunshine coast hinterland, only to return to Brisbane and discover that Campbell 'I hate the arts so much you'd think they strangled my puppy' Newman has scrapped the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards. Bewilderingly, he has deigned to do this during The OFFICIAL YEAR OF READING. Did no one send him a memo? Perhaps they did, and he didn't read it. After all, he has publicly stated that he's 'not into studies and plans.' Not sure how he managed to get an engineering degree, if that's the case…


The money he's 'saving' is a paltry $224 000, an amount that is miniscule in terms of a state budget, but means a great deal to the arts. We are talking about BOOKS here! In the words of George R. R. Martin (via Tyrion Lannister): "The mind need books like a sword needs a whetstone." Newman, it would appear, is all too happy to have some very blunt swords at play.

"If I had to choose between Joffrey and Newman… Hrm. Is there a third option? Stabbing my eyes out with a fork perhaps?"

The loss of the Premier's Literary Award is a devastating blow to the QLD literary community, and if there's one thing I've learnt from a misspent youth reading too many fantasy novels, revenge is a cycle which always ends in joyous victory of good over evil with no sideline ramifications whatsoever. That's why I am, today, right now, announcing the Inaugural Premier's Obituary Award. Whoever can create the most amusing protest (of any kind) against this atrocity, or Mr. Newman in general, will receive:

ReadingMadameBovary_cover  +  Dying +  Cd_ripping

ZEB AND THE GREAT RUCKUS (Um…it doesn't have a cover design yet…)

1 x copy of Reading Madame Bovary The last (ever!?) book to win the Premier's Fiction award

1 x signed copy of my first novel A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India

1 x signed copy of my forthcoming novel Zeb and The Great Ruckus (Due for release later this year).

20 x new release CDs from both major and indie labels. (From my other job as a music reviewer. Selection will depend on what the hell they give me).

All of this will be hand delivered by me. I'll even make you dinner if you like. (Although I am a terrible cook.)

Email your entries (photos/word docs/media files/whatever you’ve got) to jmdonellan(AT)gmail(DOT)com by June 30th. The winner will be decided on August 30th.

You should also sign this petition to have the award reinstated and check out the Queensland Literary awards, recently established by Krissy Keen and Matthew Condon.