Saturday 31 August 2019

Book Bingo - Round 18 #BookBingo

Book Bingo is a reading challenge hosted by Theresa Smith Writes , Mrs B’s Book Reviews and The Book Muse. Every second Saturday, book bingo participants reveal which bingo category they have read and what book they chose. 

This week I have chosen the category 'Book with a Red cover'

Book with a Red Cover:

For this category I have chosen The Ex by Nicola Moriarty.
It's pretty self explanatory why I've chosen this book..... the cover is red!! 

This is a thrilling page-turner about a woman that enters a relationship but finds that the ex-girlfriend is in denial and cannot let go. Things get really crazy when she finally confronts her.
You can read my review of The Ex here 

 #BookBingo 2019

Friday 30 August 2019

Guest Post: Corella Press publishing intern, Joy

What's it like to be an intern for a publishing house? Joy gives us a behind the scenes look at her time at Corella Press.

Today's guest on The Burgeoning Bookshelf is publishing intern, Joy. Here Joy tells us the ups and downs of working in a high paced field.

Guest post:

Hello, and thank you so much for having me on this wonderful blog! My name is Joy and I'm an English Literature and History major at the University of Queensland. 

Today I would love to share a little of my experience as a publishing intern, and what I learned throughout this unique and exciting, industry-focused journey. I also hope it inspires you to go and grab yourself copies of the new releases from Corella Press!

At the beginning of this year, as I was considering my academic journey so far and where I wanted it to go from there, I knew I wanted to get some real-life industry work experience in the arts and literature, which would also be creative and innovative and outside the classroom scene (much as I truly love it). I had not heard anything about Corella Press until I was contacted by one of my university academics, Dr. Kim Wilkins, inviting me to join as an intern for the semester. Being committed to developing my creative writing and professional editing skills, the prospect of getting training in a publishing organisation had a strong appeal, especially as it was a UQ not-for-profit small press “committed to making beautiful, collectable editions of recovered Australian nineteenth-century crime and mystery stories”. 

It was the bringing together of both my academic interests with the creative areas I was most passionate about. I became more thrilled by the opportunity of being trained with the team at Corella Press, as well as interning and doing research at AustLit for the duration of my internship (AustLit is a literary bibliographic and research organisation at the University of Queensland).

My first supervisor meeting, where I first met with Ms. Kerry Kilner, Dr. Catriona Mills (of AustLit) and Ms. Meg Vann (of Corella Press), helped me appreciate the process of cross-organisational collaboration and partnership on a project. While this was at times a time-management struggle for me during my internship, I observed and appreciated the professional respect and consideration shown between AustLit and Corella staff on this project, based on a mutual love for uncovering great authors and literary treasures of the past. This conversation about nineteenth-century feminist women writers inspired me in investigating these unknown dynamic female authors but I didn’t know how I was going to do that.

On my first day at the office, I gained fundamental research skills, such as using the “Advance Search” on the AustLit database and on the National Library of Australia’s Trove. It was fulfilling to gain the skills to do more in-depth research, and learn to dig-up articles, stories, family news and history in digitised Australian newspapers. There is a vast array and depth of material from Australia's literary past, and it is just waiting to be uncovered—or as I like to say it fancily, unearthed! 

In the first few weeks of my internship, I learned about how the AustLit website functions and observed the intensive bibliographic, research and administration tasks the AustLit team do on a regular basis. Learning the basic principles of the expression and manifestation of a work (FBR) gave me insight into the importance of accurate bibliographic record-keeping and critical analysis of data. This is essential both for preserving and uncovering Australia’s literary traditions past and present in their diversity and complexity. An example of a time when I felt enabled as a contributor to this recording and preserving process was when I found on Trove the digitised stories and articles published by Leontine Cooper under her nom de plume Onyx and added external links to all of the AustLit entries of Onyx’s works connecting them to Trove.

Similarly, there was a special feeling in contributing to the bibliographic database when I was able to discover a new unrecorded story for our Corella Press by author, Jeannie Lockett, called “An Awfully Sudden Death”, and added it as an entry in the author’s works page.

My experience as an intern at Corella Press was dynamic but also different from my normal academic work and studies. Our team met up in weekly meetings held on Thursday from 2:30-5pm led by our supervisor Meg Vann, where we broke down our production schedule systematically over thirteen weeks to achieve our goal of transforming a nineteenth century Australian piece of fiction into a beautiful collectable book. 

I initially struggled to connect my work at AustLit with the weekly responsibilities and tasks required at Corella Press. This was largely due to the academic vs. creative and industry-focused approach each role required. However, eventually I was able to separate the roles in my mind, and gained insights in my research that aided me in working on both projects. This enhanced my ability to multi-task and take on responsibility as a researcher for the Corella team, and writing the first draft of Jeannie Lockett’s biography.
I was passionate as an AustLit intern at Corella Press to bring my research skills to the role as an editor and team member, do my best, and prove my ability as a creative industry professional.

The Corella Press meetings each week differed in focus, depending on the work required weekly for the project, with the aim of developing our practical skills and work ethic. Some weeks our focus was on learning how to edit and proofread, which we then had to apply in tasks across the semester through several rounds of editing The Millwood Mystery by Jeannie Lockett (the second book we are launching this year!). Through this hands-on process I gained confidence in my ability to transcribe, edit and proofread manuscripts, finding it a particularly rewarding experience. 

In week 4, we learned the rhetoric of an acquisitions meeting within a bigger publishing house, before developing our own acquisitions proposal that we delivered to the Acting Director, Dr. Richard Newsome.

This gave me insight into the publishing technicalities and also our role in making authors of the past relevant and engaging for modern readers today. This included the process of identifying the genre of our manuscript and pitching it for a reading audience to Dr Newsome.

One of the things I found beneficial for my development at Corella Press was the opportunity to hear and connect with professionals from Australia’s wider publishing industry, with guest speakers from IngramSpark, AustLit and UQ Press. 

A particular instance that had an impact on me was in week nine when Sally Matthews from the Marketing Team at UQ Press came and shared with us the work involved in marketing and promoting a new release, with consideration to sales, meeting the vision of the organisation and supporting their authors. She used a book of poetry, The Lost Arab by Omar Sakr, as a case study of the process involved in employing social media and contacting influencers and reviewers to get the book in the hands of the reading public. Hearing her speak of her professional journey and her work in UQP’s marketing team positively shaped my attitude about the possibilities I could pursue in publishing. Recognising in myself a passion for this aspect of the industry, I was able to bring my personal love of blogging to the team with the idea of hosting a blogtour launch ahead of our Corella Press book-release—so hey pursue your hobbies, guys!

Having Meg approve and assign to me this task of co-organising the blog-tour with the wonderful Eva encouraged me to take on responsibility in my team and feel empowered as a young industry professional.

Truthfully, my professional practice at AustLit and Corella Press has been transformative in helping me develop my industry skills and confidence as a young writer and publisher in training. It has provided me with experience to apply my academic and theoretical knowledge into practical real-world outcomes as a researcher, editor and writer in the related industries. 

I feel privileged alongside my fellow interns to have been involved in the cultural contribution of AustLit as a key information resource and record of Australia’s publishing history, and be a part of the legacy of Corella Press in preserving and uncovering unique voices from Australia’s literary past. I am beyond thrilled to see these two nineteenth-century works by some genuinely marvellous Australian female writers get relived and loved by a new generation of readers.

Joy is a third-year UQ student majoring in English Literature and History. She is thrilled, as a Corella Press intern, to see the works of nineteenth-century Aussie female writers like Mary Helena Fortune and Jeannie Lockett, see the light of day again and be read by passionate readers like herself. 

The  books the interns were working on are:

                                        Bridget's Locket and Other Mysteries

                                                      The Millwood Mystery



Friday 23 August 2019

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Silk Road Wars (Historical Fiction)

The Silk Road Wars
Frank Spencer



Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers
Publication date: 1st May 2016
Pages: 164
RRP: $24.95 AUD

About the book and the inspiration behind it:

Creating bedtime stories for his two young sons about a mythical giant called Chop Suey, was the spark for Frank Spencer’s new historical novel, The Silk Road Wars, set in China’s Ming Dynasty.

While the book’s main character, Chi, is based on this invented giant, the wars fought by China to defend its borders are factual. One of the first attacks covered in the book is Japan’s invasion in 1834.

Following this, many other regimes and leaders attempted to defeat the Chinese without success including King Porus of India, the Gauls, Romania, the Cossacks, the Thugees, the Moors, the Carthaginians and many others.

“The Silk Roads created a vast trading empire that made China the wealthiest of nations,” said Frank Spencer of his second novel. “This also made China the prize other nations strived to plunder.”

Throughout the Ming Dynasty the Great Wall was extended and strengthened and a formidable army was created to fight off the many and regular invaders.

Chi’s father, Peng, was a master in designing and manufacturing devastating weapons of war and set in place China’s arms race, transforming the Ming army.

Conscription was invented to replace the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives fighting off invaders, and a special elite unit was also created. Chi became China’s greatest warrior, a general who was a master in the art of war.

In defending its Silk Road, China fought back with great vigour and although always outnumbered, its superior strategies and weaponry more than levelled the odds.

China invented gunpowder and had cannon whereas most of her adversaries did not. Its greater cunning and ingenuity was also used when it bought weapons used in the American Civil War.

The Silk Road Wars documents the many great land and sea battles and identifies Britain emerging as the prime antagonist,” said Frank Spencer.

“In building a mighty navy and an empire, Britain continued to see China as a bitter enemy and remained in conflict with the nation well into the age of steam and dreadnought battleships.”

Frank Spencer’s love of Marco Polo’s travels was further reason for creating this historical novel, which interweaves many other characters into the narrative including Chi’s friendships and his love life, and relationships with Emperor Zu Youjian and General Qi Juguang who was a master tactician and authority on Sun Tzu’s the Art of War.

About the author:

Frank Spencer is a retired organisational psychologist with a Master’s Degree in Organisational Psychology. He has implemented change strategies in many of Australia’s leading organisations. Frank has worked with world leaders in organisation development and pioneered a remuneration system based on role rather than job, which can also function as a change strategy. His system is licensed to the Institute of Managers and Leaders and Frank manages remuneration structure projects on their behalf.

A Secret Life is the title of Frank Spencer's first book, an espionage thriller that follows the intriguing life of Richard Sinclair and his extraordinary life skills, including martial arts, who uses the power of friendship and love to take on the biggest battles of all.
Both books can be purchased from Booktopia:

I have one paperback copy of The Silk Road Wars to giveaway courtesy of WMC Public Relations (open to Australian addresses only).

This giveaway is now closed and the winner was - Brenda.