Tag Archives: novel

10 of the Best Books Set in India (with its Multitudinous Mysteries)

Here's a list of books about/set in India I did for Flashlight Worthy books. I hope you enjoy it, but no so much that it inspires you to write your own novel because lord only knows I don't need the competition:



Oh hello there 2010, it's lovely to meet you. You know, me and your slightly older sister were very close, but I'm sure we'll get along just fine. I thought I'd kick off my first post for this year my announcing a competition. WHOEVER BRINGS ME THE HEAD OF STEVE FIELDING WILL RECEIVE UNTOLD RICHES. Just kidding. Although that would make me very happy.

This competition is inspired by the recent album I decided to post entitled "Cute Girls on Dates with A Beginner's Guide." You can see it on flickr or the facebook fanpage. I have often pointed out the fact that if you don't enjoy my novel, you can use it for various other purposes (doorstop, kindling, hand to hand combat). I'd like to see how far we can expand on that theme. The aim of this competition is to see who can come up with the most original/hilarious alternate use for A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India.

Betterzombiehorde copy

Maybe you could use it to fight off zombie hordes, or perhaps lace it with some sort of contact based poison and leave it lying around the Family First offices as a subtle weapon. Maybe you could cut it up and design a
wedding dress out of it. (Hey if you can do it with toilet paper I
don't see why you can't use literature.)

Wedding dress copy                               Toilet-paper-wedding-dress

       Beginner's Guide

wedding "dress"             VS               toilet paper wedding dress

I'd prefer photos, but as I writer I suppose I'll have to accept written entries as well. Photos can be authentic or photoshopped, but you have to be in them in some capacity.

What's the prize you ask? Well well well, my little lemondrop, you just sit back and listen.

On tuesday I leave for Cambodia. I am going to scour that small south-east Asian nation for THE WEIRDESTS SHIT I CAN FIND and deliver it into the hands of the winner. It might be an antique statue of the deity of awkward conversations, or perhaps some strange asian sex toy, perhaps it might be some kind of rat/dog hybrid (although  Australian customs might have a few things to say about that.) Whatever the case, it is going to be fricking weird and fucking hilarious.

That's the immediate payoff, the second part of the prize will be a cameo in my next novel, tentatively titled Adonis' Coma. Now when you are old and grey and your grandkids say:


"Hey Grandma/pa how come you aint done shit with yer life except learn how to open beer bottles with yer eyeball?" you can proudly answer:

Grandpa simpson

"Listen, you little genetically modified sun and smog resistant brats. I was a character in a NOVEL. Sure, it didn't sell so great and the critics said it was the kind of thing that Douglas Adams would have written if he'd been beaten as a child and homeschooled by a foster Mum from Latvia with poor english and a chronic meth addiction, but it was still a NOVEL. Printed on real paper, not this synthetic fireproof Prototree (TM) harvested protopaper you kids use these days. Now shut up and get me my soylant green popsicle, my sunprotection armour and my hoverchair. I want to go down to the store and pick up a new hip. This one's playing up again."

AND on top of all that I will give you a free replacement copy of the book that you have destroyed with your hilarious genius, signed and all. Hell, if you live in Brisbane I'll deliver it in person.

Tell your friends. Tell your frenemies. Tell that girl that you used to IM until she started sending you naked pictures of herself wearing a spiderman mask and it got awkward.

You can get a copy of the book here OR if you want to be a cheap bastard you can just use this image and photoshop it.

send all entries to:


Good luck. I look forward to reading your entries in some sweaty Cambodian internet cafe with a weird looking guy tapping on the window trying to sell me roasted peanuts and filmed-in-the-cinema pirate DVDs of Avatar.


been a busy week. I've been flat out organising the interstate tour and
doing radio interviews (you know it's going to be quality airtime when
the guy out of the front of the station greets you with a joint in his
hand). My novel was finally released in Australia this week, and man,
Oprah will just NOT GET OFF MY CASE. Seriously. Yesterday she rang me
up and she was all like:


“Oh my god I loved your boooook!"

know, with that rising voice thing she does. Let me tell you, it might
be endearing to watch on your telebox but it is PAINFUL to listen to in
your ear. So I was like,

JMDonellan pic

"Listen Oprah, I'm actually on the last level of

Street fighter IV. Can you txt me later?"

“When can I get you on my show? I was going to have the Olsen twins on in January but their agent just called and said they'll be in rehab or prison or terrorist training camp or some crap. You free then?”

JMDonellan pic

  "Yeah Listen O-town I'm actually going to be in  Cambodia writing the next book in January."


“Well can I at least get a review to tweet to my peeps?"

JMDonellan pic

"Seriously, O-face, have you ever tried to beat Zangief on level 7? It's f**king hard. And trying to do so with an overexcited billionaire yammering on is making it a lot harder. Look, I'll write you a goddam review myself. Here tis:"




Look, I don’t know what the hell I was
when I wrote this. Didn’t I realise that no one reads books unless
they are about vampires or wizards? Perhaps I should have written a book about
a young vampire wizard on a quest to unlock an ancient mystery hidden within a
famous painting whilst pursuing romance with a sexy rockstar who leads a
double life as a crime scene investigator. That’d really get the money men

EdwardCullen   +      Wizhat4c+ 220px-MileyCyrusApr09 

= best selling piece o' crap ever.

Everyone from the tweenies to gay twenty-somethings to soccer mums
would be trampling over each other to get to their nearest Borders to pick that
shit up. It’d probably even be adapted into a movie directed by an ex-porn star
struggling to gain some credibility.

I mean, look at the vocabulary in
this book. Kaleidoscopic? Prometheal? It’s like I expect people to use a
dictionary, or their BRAINS or something? This book doesn’t mention twitter
even once! Was it written in the middle ages? A Beginner’s Guide to Dying in
has been called ‘witty and poignant.’ Poignant? When was the last time
you saw an ultra-hip Gen Y scenester type the word poignant into their iphone?
Never. That’s when.


"Does 'poignant' have two umlauts or three?"

My main regret is that this book
took me three years to put together from having the first spark on the rooftop
on a hotel in the Himalayas to telling my publishers to ‘shove it’ when they
wanted me to tweak the final chapter so that it featured a sex scene occurring
in a helicopter as the heroes escaped the exploding casino. It makes me cry to
think of all the things I could have done in that time. I could have learned
jujitsu, how to juggle flaming chainsaws, or how to make a clarinet out of a carrot.

know, stuff that would impress girls, instead of sitting in front of a laptop
for weeks on end bathing in my own sweat and trying to think a better metaphor
than ‘more out of place than the pope at a sex convention.’ (Suggestions?)
I give this book sixteen
thumbs down. Which is slightly better than the rating I gave the Twilight
series, and slightly worse than the rating I gave for this guy’s moustache:


"It's Movember all year round in my world bitches! PS: you can get the book here if you to write your own scathing review, or if you need something to hide your face from that creepy guy that always sits opposite from you on the bus. Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about."