Posts from the ‘Satalyte Publishing’ Category

Guest Post – Gillian Polack – Truth and Lies

I am hosting Gillian Polack on my blog in the lead up to her new book ‘The Wizardry of  Jewish Women’  Please give her a warm welcome *clap clap clap clap*



Truth and lies

Readers have been playing guessing games with my novels for a while. I began by inventing everything. Right from the beginning, the readers of Illuminations assumed that the novel was about me and that events were real. Except they weren’t. The whole novel was invented.

Alas for humanity, for I’m an unredeemed stirrer. The moment I realised that most readers think that I write about reality, I started sneaking bits in. With Ms Cellophane and with The Art of Effective Dreaming, there are real incidents. Sometimes they’re things I experienced and sometimes they’re borrowed from friends. I challenged readers to guess which bits of the novel they were. No-one has so far got it right unless they were part of the event, in which case they laugh at me and say “I was there.”

My personal favourite error was when someone said “I know what’s real. The incident at the Murrumbidgee. That’s real.” This would be the moment when one of my characters swam naked in the Murrumbidgee (a local river) and was arrested. Me, I’m very self-conscious and seldom wear anything that could be called revealing even with a very stretchy imagination, so even paddling naked is unlikely. Swimming at all is impossible, for I can’t. So that’s an invention, complete and wholly fake.

Since it’s such a fun thing to do (at least for as long as it takes for readers to work out what’s what) I’ve done it again in my new novel, The Wizardry of Jewish Women.

In the interest of fair play, I’ll give you a head start. Two episodes, two hints.

There is a particularly splendid garden in the novel. One to make poets weep and artists dream. This garden is based on a friend’s. She is an amazing gardener and her garden in Canberra was the inspiration for Belinda’s garden in Canberra. I can’t tell you which of the various aspects of its story are real (for that would spoil things), but one most certainly is. This one is possible to deduce from the events, however. And that’s your hint.

The incident where Rhonda goes to Parliament House actually happened. It was an amalgam of three different events from my mad past. The senior politician who sat on the stone table was based Carmen Lawrence sitting on that same cold table. I can’t say who the other politicians were, because they’re amalgams of several who I met very briefly on different occasions. Some of that sequence actually happened, therefore and some most definitely did not.

None of the characters in my novel are real. I took the stone table incident from that occasion with Lawrence (where I was wearing a top that had holes in – ask me what really happened sometime) but I didn’t even try to give her personality to the politician in the novel.

This novel may have events inspired by real life incidents, but the people are all invented. This is how I manage to make events that look real and yet have them fit in the story. The Wizardry of Jewish Women has more borrowed events than most, but every single one of them has been reshaped to fit the characters in the story. No matter how much truth there is in them, they’re all lies.

Gillian will be launching ‘The Wizardry of Jewish Women’ at Readings, Hawthorn on the 5th of September at 6:30pm. We would love to see you there! If you can’t make it but would have liked to get a personally signed copy then please email Tarran on obiwankenobi31[at] hotmail {dot} com or you can pre-order a copy from Satalyte Publishing here


Book Launch – Gillian Polack – The Wizardry of Jewish Women

The fantastic Gillian Polack is releasing her new book ‘The Wizardry of Jewish Women’ at Readings, Hawthorn on the 5th of September at 6:30pm. A delightful, poignant novel that details the lives of Jewish women in Canberra. Mystical, memorial, and cheeky – come and experience the launch of one the next talked about spec-fiction books to be released this year. There may even be pink tutu’s involved.

Gillian Polack Launch Picture

Interview with Gillian Polack

I interviewed Gillian Polack as she celebrates soon the release of her new book The Time of the Ghosts.


Someone has to write this down.
Someone who has seen it all.
Seen the ghosts.
Eaten the food.
Even washed the dishes.

Ghosts trail after us. They are our fears and the shape of our hates. We bring them into our lives and into our homes.
A fairy – variety melusine – tells of her private ghosts in unreliable fairy stories. She handles her own haunting.

Some years our fears and hates are so strong that we turn our ghosts tangible. Instead of trailing after us forlornly, whispering “Believe in us, or you are damned,” they fracture our landscape. Poltergeists and the spirits of drowned girls; malicious presences and portents; cat vampires and roaming bushrangers.

These ghosts haunt Canberra. These ghosts can kill.
It takes four women, one cup of tea at a time, to deal with Canberra’s haunting.

1) – I was reading Mary Victoria’s interview with you and saw that you went to Aussie Con! I can’t believe I missed out on meeting you in the flesh at World Con in Melbourne. Where were you hiding yourself?

I wasn’t hiding! I was, though, a bit busy. Baggage was launched there (and now has a US edition) and I was on a few panels. Wherever I went, I ran into people I knew. I remember going down an escalator and waving at all my friends who were going up.  I was so impressed by how many people I knew who were there that I sat down with the members’ list and counted and I knew well over 200. It was my first big convention (the biggest I’d been to before than had 500) and it was amazing. So much to do! So many friends! My only regret is that I couldn’t do more and see more people. I needed to clone myself. If only I were a scientist, I’d have been a contender…

2) Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I live in Canberra. I’m younger than most of my characters in The Time of the Ghosts, but old enough so that five year olds hug me sympathetically for being so old (five year old friends are very sympathetic towards middle age – they also laugh at my jokes). I enjoy cooking, chatting with friends, most things to do with science fiction and fantasy, being a historian, being a writer, teaching and research. I do not enjoy housework.

3) – Can you describe your new book in three words?

Haunting, Canberra, fairies.

4) – What is the basic premise of your latest book?

The Time of the Ghosts has two premises. The first is that elderly women can do exciting things without the rest of society knowing because we tend to leave them to themselves a lot of the time. This is why my novel contains superheroes who are female and beyond menopause. Two of them are very far beyond menopause. The second is that the fears and hopes and despair we carry can manifest themselves and can be really, really dangerous.

5) – Who was the worst character to write and why?

The worst character was Ann. She’s a nice person going through very hard times and I wanted to talk about them and show how nice she was. Instead all the less charming bits of her showed because of what she was going through. She’s your next best friend, really. It’s just that many of us are our worst selves when life goes wrong. Ann wants to be as extraordinary as her best friends and thinks she’s a failure. We’re not seeing the thirty years when she was there for everyone, but the few months when she lost herself.

6) – Tell me more about Little My. Where did it come from and why? index 

Little My is a character from Tove Jansson’s Moomin books.

I went to Finland last year as part of my GUFF experience (I was representing Australasia at the world SF convention and got to meet fans in England, Ireland, Finland and Croatia as part of this) and I came back supporting the world convention in 2017. The convention organisers gave me a Little My soon after. When I visited Sydney, I gave her some adventures. Then there was a science fiction convention in Canberra and she had some adventures there. She absconded on the last day (to the disappointment of fans who wanted their picture taken with her) and was last seen flying over the Northern Territory. You can follow her adventures by looking me (Gillian Polack) up on Facebook and going to my photo albums. Little My is very social and got to know a lot of writers during her adventures, so you may well find pictures of her with your favourite writer. I remember she posed with Isobelle Carmody, for example, and scared Sean Williams.

7) – Why should people buy this new book?

Because it’s a lot of fun and just a little scary. Because the food side of it is amazing and I want to attend all those dinner parties myself. Because it will make you look at little old ladies with a lot more respect. Because it’s not the Canberra everyone thinks they know.

 8) – How many more books have you got coming out this year?

None! I had three and they’re all out!! The three were The Art of Effective Dreaming (a novel about making dreams come true), The Middle Ages Unlocked (written with Katrin Kania – loads of useful stuff about medieval England) and The Time of the Ghosts. I have another three coming out next year. Two novels and a non-fiction book again. I had a huge backlog of books sitting in various publishers’ in-trays and they were all signed up at once and are now magically appearing. I don’t actually write three books a year. I write about one every two years. What’s emerging now is fifteen years of very hard work.

9) – What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

Chocolate. Dark and rich and streaked with other flavours.

10) – Lastly, what inspired The Time of the Ghosts?                                                                                                                                                                                                                           index2

I was giving a lecture on the Middle Ages to a huge crowd of elderly women. One of them was my mother. I had a sudden idea and asked them (after the lecture) whether their families knew just how much they did with their lives. No. It turned out that they asked their families what they did, but their families assumed that their elderly parents/grandparents lived in a kind of limbo, waiting for younger people to turn up and tell them about living. 

I asked my mother on the way home (she drove) if she wanted to be a super hero or a villain. 

“Why do you want to know?”

“You’re fit and healthy and have a steady income. You do a lot with your time. And no-one asks you about it. You could plan to take over the world and people would just assume you were waiting in limbo.”

At that moment I started planning a novel. If enough people buy it, I’ll write another one. Elderly women make the best protagonists. Dark secrets and long lives and strong opinions!

Gillian Polack is an author at Satalyte Publishing and has many other fantastic books. Check out Gillian here

You can purchase the books through Satalyte here

Interview with Kathryn White (Writers on Wednesday)

Tarran Author Pic2

I’ve just been interviewed by writer and blogger Kathryn White for her Writers on Wednesday segment:

It was so much fun 😀 I hope you all enjoy it!

Here is the link to the interview! WRITERS ON WEDNESDAY – TARRAN JONES

Official news – Stones of Power has a home!


I would like to announce that my manuscript ‘Demon Wars #1 Stones of Power’ has been picked up by the wonderful people at Satalyte Publishing. This is such an exciting moment for me as I have been working very hard to make my dream a reality,

Look out in 2016 for book 1 of my fantasy series.

Demons, they were a myth; aren’t they? That is what Taliesin always thought, until the day one killed her parents. In the country of Kalitha, a Magi sparks off a chain of events that frees the First Lord of the Demons, held in captivity from the Demon War, 1000 years ago.

Oein, in Armanion is celebrating the end of the Trade War and whilst waiting for her father and brothers to come home, deserters from the Armanion army who have become bandits attack her village and violate her. She then starts to find her own destiny; one that combines with Taliesin.

Two women on the run, both in separate countries – yet bound to find each other. Oein trains to become Sword Master and The First Lord hunts Taliesin because she is one of most powerful Summoners there is and she can bring through the destruction of her world – for she can not only Summon Elementals but Demons as well.  

Felior, Taliesin’s uncle takes her undercover in Kalitha, only one step ahead of the First Lord. They are searching for another myth, the Stones of Power, as the means to destroy the First Lord has been lost. It is a race to restore the Magi’s lost knowledge, which leads to the question – how can so many memories and histories be forgotten in so little time?

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