Donald Finnaeus Mayo about women’s fiction, spycops and divided societies (Interview, Part II)

KOB: Both of your novels are driven by strong female characters. Would you consider your work to be “Women’s Fiction” and if so, how do you feel your position as a male novelist impacts your female-centric writing? DFM: I have noticed that women seem to respond well to my work, which I'm happy about because … Continue reading Donald Finnaeus Mayo about women’s fiction, spycops and divided societies (Interview, Part II)

Donald Finnaeus Mayo about journalism, modern history and inspiration (Interview, Part I)

Kelly O’Brien: Both of your novels, Francesca and The Insider’s Guide to Betrayal are set in the 1970s and 1980s, is this period of time significant to you? What interests you in the writing of historical fiction? Donald Finnaeus Mayo: Most decades have something interesting to offer, and if you have lived through them your … Continue reading Donald Finnaeus Mayo about journalism, modern history and inspiration (Interview, Part I)

“A gem for real noir fans” – a new review of BORDERLAND NOIR

Original review published on February 25, 2018 here: http://nudge-book.com/blog/2018/02/borderland-noir-edited-by-craig-mcdonald/ I came across this anthology when I was looking into a feature on Mexican crime fiction, also published this month on BookNoir. I’m glad I did because there is some fine writing here; there is a genuine connection between the stories based at La Frontera, the … Continue reading “A gem for real noir fans” – a new review of BORDERLAND NOIR

Donald Finnaeus Mayo about writing FRANCESCA

FRANCESCA: Genesis of an idea It's easy to forget just how different the world was back in the mid-1970s. No mobile phones, no internet, no Starbucks on every street corner. Easier, too, for dictators to keep a lid on their shenanigans. You could take out a town, empty a region of its population without any … Continue reading Donald Finnaeus Mayo about writing FRANCESCA

Summer in Capri with Kat, Edward… and Jackie Mallon

    Excerpt from Silk for the Feed Dogs    A barman accepted the fifty, distracted during the aperitivo rush, so we had a little money until new funds arrived. We figured it would stretch farther away from the city, and the next morning we headed for Capri. I expected to see descendants of Brigitte Bardot … Continue reading Summer in Capri with Kat, Edward… and Jackie Mallon

A single kiss

"A shooting star zipped across the sky. I watched it streak behind the mountain on the other side of the island as I thought about the woman against the opposite side of the concrete wall, so very different from me – or anyone. She was a genuine being, pure in spirit and without pretense, willfully … Continue reading A single kiss

Australia, I’m Coming…

…just not in person. Nope. They’re sending Kat and Edward. You see, Silk for the Feed Dogs is now on Kindle Promotion for a limited period in Australia! Time to let everyone know Kat and Edward have landed. I’m calling all my Aussie blogging friends; poking on Facebook my fashion lovelies who are ahead of … Continue reading Australia, I’m Coming…

Love to travel? Read from THE LAST ISLAND by David Hogan

The Last Island is currently on promotion in Australia.   "A full white moon glistened above and lit my way along the dusty road back to the cove. The walk was pleasant, and I took it leisurely, thoughtfully, kicking up rocks and staring at the sky, until I turned off the road into the unpaved path that led … Continue reading Love to travel? Read from THE LAST ISLAND by David Hogan

Love fashion? Read from SILK FOR THE FEED DOGS by Jackie Mallon

Silk for the Feed Dogs is currently on promotion in Australia.   "I got into my dress and new Prada shoes, smeared Ravish-Me-Red on my lips, and arranged the netting of my hat over one eye. I grabbed my coat and couldn’t get out of that draughty warehouse fast enough. Instead of traffic, the streets were now … Continue reading Love fashion? Read from SILK FOR THE FEED DOGS by Jackie Mallon

Helmut Lang Exhibition by Jackie Mallon

Jackie Mallon

Kirsten for Lang back in the day Kirsten for Lang back in the day

As a devotee of his runways in the late 90s and early aughts, I was mighty curious to see this exhibition. The press release describes his use of materials “with a certain history, elements with irreplaceable presence and with scars and memories of a former purpose.” Right then. I was all ready for a nostalgia trip, a slideshow of campaigns featuring his favorite model, Kirsten Owen, captured by his favorite photographer Jurgen Teller, washing softly over my eyeballs as I walked to the Bowery.

Inside I was rewarded with an opportunity for contemplation that would last longer than the time I spent in the gallery and it looks like I won’t arrive at any conclusions during this post either: there’s always time for ruminating on the longevity of fashion; the recycling of clothing; the myth of a fashion icon and the destruction of…

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Kindle edition of GIFTS free this week!

Christmas is not always magic but good books always are. Whether you love or hate Christmas, you might enjoy a good story. Our collection GIFTS: NINE BITTERSWEET CHRISTMAS STORIES is free on Amazon this week: getBook.at/FREE_GIFTS  

Donald Finnaeus Mayo on our Christmas Collection: “The perfect Gift for anyone who loves writing!”

Donald Finnaeus Mayo

GIFTSx2700 Take the pain out of giving this Christmas – look no further than Betimes Books’ Gifts

In many ways, it was born out of frustration. Frustration with editors who want the same formulaic junk that sold by the bucketload last year, frustration with editorial decisions being made by accountants, frustration with marketing departments who reserve their entire budget for the same half dozen or so big names, frustration with being constantly depressed by the gloomy state of the publishing industry.

People still like to read good books, don’t they? I know I do. They can’t all want the latest ghosted biography from some C-list celebrity or yet another Andy McNab knock-off.

So I was delighted to join the list of Betimes Books, a new imprint designed to retain the best elements of publishing (good taste, rigorous editing, high production values) whilst taking advantage of the digital revolution that, frankly, caught…

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“Outside your Bedroom Window in the Rain” by Colin O’Sullivan

Colin O' Sullivan

Been struck down with the neck hernia thingy again, thus the posts here have been a bit scant.

Never  mind, I’m still rifling though old poems and stories and casting them out to see where they land. Who knows, there may be a “Collected Poetry” book someday, or a “Complete Shorter Fiction of”…you never know.

Here’s a poem, from the mid-nineties I reckon. Another one about rain (must be the Irishman in me).

Outside your Bedroom Window in the Rain

Wrapped,

a warm blanket,

your rich black hair

festoons the pillow.

Wrapped

in home things:

the soft rug that

takes to your toes,

the piano

you tinkle

every now and then,

the grandfather clock

and its quaint chime.

No need to stir

I’m outside

upping my umbrella.

Rain beats a thousand rhythms,

we’re both as sheltered.

Tonight you do not hear my puddle dance,

tomorrow you will not know my…

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Flanagan’s Booker win a breath of fresh air

About the Booker winner Richard Flanagan who highlighted the struggle writers face to make a living from their craft

Donald Finnaeus Mayo

images-3 Man Booker Prize Winner Richard Flanagan

There was something particularly heartening about Richard Flanagan’s Booker Prize win for his novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”. Here is a writer at the top of his game, receiving one of the most coveted literary awards in the English speaking language, admitting that on completing the book he almost gave up writing to work in the mines of northern Australia so he could support his family.

Although I’ve never met Richard Flanagan, I’ve followed his career, not without a touch of envy, for a number of years. I first came across his work when I was in Tasmania back in the 1990s working on an early draft of a novel I was writing. I was out on some wilderness tracks in the far western part of the state bushwalking with my cousin and some friends, some of whom knew Flanagan from…

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“The Practices of Compassion and Cruelty” by David Hogan

David Hogan - Writer

Blacktailed Jackrabbit

“I don’t understand these people trying to help animals when there’s so much human suffering in the world. Shouldn’t they be helping humans instead?”

I was asked this question at dinner the other day. One of the characters in my novel, The Last Island, is an animal rights activist. The questioner thought that her passion, like that of many other animal activists, was misplaced. I answered the question as best I could at the time, but after some thought I realized that my response was inadequate. I’ve since come to a new conclusion.

Simply put, the advocacy of animal rights is a matter of compassion. Compassion is a practice, not a resource. It’s not limited and can’t be depleted. Like any other practice — meditation, prayer, kindness, love – it’s something within which one can grow and improve. Given that, compassion for animals does not displace or re-direct compassion…

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War is over… not quite yet

“You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying in the road.” ―Richard Price
Read here an excerpt from FRANCESCA, when the heroine’s home town of Dili, capital of East Timor, was invaded by the Indonesian army:

Donald Finnaeus Mayo

You hear it everywhere as we approach this time of year – in the shopping malls, on the radio, the optimistic crooning from John and Yoko’s classic: “War is over, if you want it”. Seems like we don’t want it, or not enough anyway.

I don’t think there’s been a time in recorded history when someone, somewhere hasn’t been fighting, killing someone else. Some months ago the British Army thought 2015 might be the first year in a century when it wouldn’t be involved in a conflict somewhere. With events in Syria, Iraq and Iran unfolding as they are, that hope looks less likely by the day.

Iraqi Freedom Image courtesy of soldiersmediac

It’s easy to get war fatigue, to throw up one’s hands in despair and tune out of it all. For me, it’s the civilians caught up in war, especially the children, who haunt me most. Here’s an extract from…

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“Hogan’s adept storytelling makes us ponder our spiritual essence.”

About THE LAST ISLAND in a Greek American newspaper The Greek Star: http://www.thegreekstar.com/index.php/art-literature/item/2455-book-review-the-last-island Novel Explores Themes of Redemption, Escape, Love, Our Flawed Nature Playwright David Hogan offers an intriguing novel, “The Last Island,” based on a fictional Greek island in the Sporades. The Bostonian who lived in Athens for many years and has spent much … Continue reading “Hogan’s adept storytelling makes us ponder our spiritual essence.”

Indonesia remains true to form over French journalists in West Papua

Why Mayo’s novel FRANCESCA is still relevant despite being set in 1970s

Donald Finnaeus Mayo

Unknown-4 West Papua, part of Indonesia, and the neighbouring independent Papua New Guinea

News that two French journalists have been arrested in West Papua should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the way the Indonesian government traditionally deals with threats to its authority.

Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat were arrested on August 6th, allegedly for working in the province without a proper journalist visa. The pair were shooting a documentary for the Franco-German TV channel Arte on the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), which has for years waged a low level insurgency campaign against the Indonesian government.

Since it gained its independence from the Dutch after World War II, and certainly since the Suharto regime came to power in the 1960s, Indonesia has traditionally taken a firm stance against any internal dissent. The most well known example occurred in East Timor in the 1970s; only it wasn’t so well…

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