Open Book in Mosman Park hosted the launch of Double Lives on Thursday night. Oscar and Keely had set up the magical courtyard for the event however minutes before start time there was a torrential downpour and swiftly the launch was moved indoors. Nonetheless it is a beautiful bookshop and today being Love Your Local Bookshop I’m sending my love there- despite the fact it is not my local!
We had a full house and Barbara Horgan was the official ‘launcher’ of Double Lives, with an ‘in conversation’ later. As always, she did an amazing job.
There was wine and cheese and books and did I mention wine? And lots of laughter and fun!
Sydney next week for a jam packed day signing books. If you are in Sydney, pop in to one of these local bookshops and say hi!
I know, I know, I’m terrible on social media. My profuse apologies but, you know, time gets away and the next thing you look back and it’s a year (actually to the day!) since the last post! Madness!
So, behind the scenes I’ve still been working. I’m in the middle of my PhD- a creative component and exegesis. The manuscript is about toxic masculinity and I have completed the first draft, so that has been productive.
In February, this year, I signed a contract with Echo Publishing on my first adult novel- Double Lives. As the title of this post suggests it is about to be released, officially on October 4th. Here is the promotional material..
Double Lives is the first adult novel from established Young Adult author Kate McCaffrey, exploring notions of truth, gender, identity and acceptance in a compelling account of a cold-case podcast.
When Western Australian radio journalist Amy Rhinehart decides to use a crime podcast to explore a gruesome murder, she’s seeking ratings, awards and career glory. Her idea: to use the listeners of the show as its co-creators, with live-time calls and suggestion boards. The case: Jonah Scott, charged and imprisoned for life for the murder of his girlfriend, Casey Williams. Although Jonah went to great lengths to hide the body, when arrested, he confessed immediately and pleaded guilty. Is the case really as open-and-shut as it would seem? Or is something more sinister afoot?
Amy’s investigation plunges her into a world of drugs, sex, gender identity and religious cults … and in her search for the truth, she finds she also has to answer questions within herself.
Threaded through the main narrative, the podcast transcripts represent a story-within-a-story, exploring the characters of Jonah and Casey and the relationship between them, expertly interwoven with Amy’s investigation.
Double Lives is both a sensitive and thoughtful examination of identity – who we are and how we are shaped – and a gripping detective novel. Throughout the book Kate focuses on the concept of truth, highlighting the bias that can be present in some reporting.
Double Lives is a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to live outside society.
So, there is a launch at Open Book in Mosman Park on the 6th October and a whole pile of podcasts and library visits coming up (which I will endeavour to update this blog with!). Book your tickets for the launch here .
It was a great turn out on Tuesday night- despite the wet weather and the Census Epic Fail. About 150 guests turned up to greet Saving Jazz as she enters the world!
My thanks to Catherine Kolomyjec and her team at Sacred Heart for all their work. Peter Bothe ( and Trevor Lynch) for so graciously allowing Sacred Heart to host it. Justin Whitt for an amazing job as the official launcher. Bianca, Zoe, Anthony for their contributions on the night. All of my students who had an input and interest in the development of the novel. Fremantle Press, in particular Cate – for her ongoing support and Naama for her meticulous editing and appreciation of who Jazz is.
The book launch is nearly upon us and the reviews are starting to come out… so far, so good…
Writing WA: Love to Read Local
In Saving Jazz, the lives of Jasmine Lovely and her friends are destroyed after a sexual assault at a party goes viral. The narrative takes us beyond the immediate aftermath of the assault and shows its long-term consequences, as well as the complicated moral landscape Jazz finds herself traversing. The novel deals with gender relations, the power of the internet, and personal responsibility in a comprehensive and compelling way; this is a book that will keep you up all night and keep you thinking for weeks afterwards. Saving Jazz is McCaffrey’s most powerful book yet, and it deserves to be widely read and discussed.
Kate McCaffrey is known for tackling issues that may be prevalent in the lives of young adults, sometimes before these issues are recognised in the wider community. She has explored cyber bullying, drug use, abortion and eating disorders. Her new novel Saving Jazz is so confronting it gave me nightmares, but this should not deter people from reading it (except maybe at night) because it is an important cautionary tale.
Lamont’s Standing Order
Kate McCaffrey writes hard hitting, contemporary issue based novels and Saving Jazz is precisely that.
Jazz lives in a small, reasonably well off community north of Perth, where you make your own fun. This all gets out of control, when at an alcohol fuelled party, things are done to Jazz’s best friend Annie that Jazz had a part in at the start.
When one of the boys boastfully posts photo’s and eventually a video that lead to scorn for Annie and Jazz and rape charges for three people, including Jazz, their worlds are forever changed.
We see the result of this bad decision and its far reaching, devastating effects on all their lives.
The subject matter of this book probably makes it best suited for older secondary students, but in some ways, younger mature students would certainly understand the precautionary tale that is being presented.Well written, insightful and wholly believable, Saving Jazz can change attitudes and actions that could indeed save some.
McCaffrey has written a book that will be hugely popular, gaining an audience through word of mouth, readers taking to heart this cautionary tale comparing it with the ‘what might have been’ in their own lives and questioning the role of social media in their lives.
Crashing Down by Kate McCaffrey (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $19.99
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin
Crashing Down is an engaging, insightful and realistic read for teenagers and adults alike.
This story is fast paced and fun and McCaffrey uses common turns of phrase that are engaging and accessible to today’s teenagers. Her writing voice and narrative is strong and genuine and written in an Australian cultural context that we would all understand.
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs is an intense boyfriend. So Lucy innocently breaks up with Carl at the school dance. She admits it wasn’t great timing with exams coming up, but it felt like the only way to keep her dreams on track.
Things haven’t been great with her and Carl for a while now and she knows this is the right thing to do. She feels completely smothered by him and his expectations of the future are so very different to her own. All he can talk about is living locally, with no plans of university, settling down and having kids.
Unfortunately some good decisions can have bad consequences.
Carl leaves the dance angry and hurt and stoned. Driving recklessly, he crashes his car, badly smashing up not only himself but also his best mate JD.
After coming out of his coma, Carl is a changed man. As a result of his brain injury, he’s angry and paranoid and acting completely irrationally. And he can’t remember breaking up with Lucy. She doesn’t want to hurt him so she keeps up the pretense.
Everyone is extremely upset and then McCaffrey throws in a curve ball that will send you into a spin: Lucy is pregnant. She tells Carl she doesn’t want to keep it and he has a brain aneurism! His parents then slap an ‘injunction order’ on Lucy to stop her from having the baby aborted.
Wow, this story has got it all. It’s fast past with a winding plot and complex characters. Even so it raises some valid questions about how these situations could be handled.
Crashing Down is written in a distinctive and engaging style and is thoroughly recommended to Young Adult readers.
This is Kate McCaffrey’s second novel and now I’m going to track down her first book to read!
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her next book is an Indigenous folklore story called ‘Kick it to Me’. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy!).
It seems appropriate to update this blog with the biggest news of late- my fourth novel Crashing Down was launched last night at Sacred Heart College Sorrento. It was a fantastic night, a turn out of about 140 people ranging from students, teachers, parents through to industry folk- oh, and of course, family and friends. Catherine Kolomyjec did an awesome job organising the event, aided by Emma Killian and supported by some of my Year 10 Lit kids- who were absolute standouts both in front of, and behind, the camera. News from my publisher is that the first print run of Crashing Down is already 3/4 sold! Not bad news to hear on the night of the launch.
Jan Nichols, in top form, dressed as a midwife to “birth” the new baby (the theme of the book being teen pregnancy). The celebrity guest in Norman Jorgensson (Jack’s Island and The Last Viking- to be launched in September at the State Library) was a true crowd pleaser.
The reviews are coming in- the latest can be accessed via this link
My apologies for the wait between publications, but since Beautiful Monster was released in 2010, a lot of things got in the way- namely life! My dad died and that changed all the dynamics! Since then my family has made huge adjustments- moving houses, changing jobs, and all that fun stuff- but even though I wasn’t publishing- I was still writing. Now, the final proofs are in, the novel is at the printers- review copies are out. And so I’d like to announce to the world the birth of my fourth paperback baby… Crashing Down!
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs now is an intense boyfriend. Breaking up with Carl feels like the only way to keep her dreams on track.
But good decisions can have bad consequences.
And leaving Carl is going to be a whole lot harder than Lucy could ever have imagined.
Hi it’s me! So latest updates- as that is all I’m good for! Look, at the risk of sounding like I’m apologising- which as I’ve stated previously I’d never do for fear of insulting your intelligence– thought I’d update the latest news I have. ‘in ecstasy’ has been released in North America- and so far so good- no bad reviews (yet!!) Destroying Avalon shows no sign of that shelf life we worried about- unfortunately (for kids) cyber bullying goes from strength to strength-I just hope that someone, somewhere gets something out of the book that changes the path they’re on. It’ll be released in Hungary this year (I share JK’s publisher!!!) Also still have film option on it– so who knows there?
A few appearances coming up- in mid July I have Kununnarra’s Writer’s Festival- never been to the Kimberley– so that’s exciting. August is book week- and I’m doing a few libraries in Perth (my birthday is also in that week!!!)
New book! Yes, there really is one– two in fact. Let’s talk about one first. ‘Murder Within’ is its working name and is under contract with Fremantle Press for an April 2010 release. It’s done- and ready for edit and production- it’s the third in my YA angsty teeen fiction- though I (and the publisher) both believe it is more psychological and less ‘issues’ based than the other two.
Book Four? I hear you ask– well now for something completely different. I have moved away from teen angst to enter the Contemporary Fantasy realm. For me this is interesting- and as yet I’m unsure as to whether it is successful. It’s at 25000 words and to paraphrase my ex- Masters tutor– it has a heartbeat. But whether others (publishers) will detect that remains to be seen. It is a genre I’m not in love with-as a reader-fantasy. Which poses the question why on Earth would I attempt it? Well, let me set the record straight- I never liked fantasy because it always seemed like too much hard work. Remembering worlds and monarchies- people and types, was always too hard.I hated having to look at the map and glossary to figure out what was going on. Okay- call me lazy, but I guess I am. My fantsy story could be categorised as contemporary fantasy- no ‘other world’ names and types just a parallel world if you like, set in contemporary times. But for me, it gets better. For this story I research Irish mythology- and in case you’ve not made the connection- McCaffrey is an Irish name. So I was able to explore my ‘roots’ mythological and geneological to write this one and its been fun and interesting.
Like I said it doesn’t have a publisher yet- in fact it’s unfinished. But I’m enjoying the change and the different focus. We’ll wait and see.