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The Black Hand, vol. 26
The death of Anne Perry
When I saw the news about Anne Perry’s passing, I felt a jolt because I knew this story. Perry was a successful writer of historical crime fiction. By 1994, she had published 18 novels across two series (the Thomas Pitt mysteries and the William Monk series, about an amnesiac sleuth) when details about her own criminal background emerged.
That was the year Heavenly Creatures (starring Kate Winslett and Melanie Lynskey, dir. Peter Jackson) exposed the secret Perry had tried so hard to avoid talking about: That she was actually Juliet Hulme, who with her friend Pauline Parker, had killed Parker’s mother by battering her to death with a brick in one of the most notorious murder cases in New Zealand history.
Both girls were too young to hang for the murder: Perry served a five-year sentence, and left New Zealand once released, becoming a flight attendant and then a department store buyer in England, her original birthplace. She and Parker were forbidden by court order from ever contacting each other again.
But Perry had dreamed of being a writer since childhood – one of the features of her ‘obsessive’ friendship with Parker was the extraordinary internal fantasy world they built together. And she finally got her wish: At last count, Perry had 100 books published, which had sold over 26m copies. She won an Edgar award in 2000.
Reading Perry’s story, it’s not hard to see why these young girls felt so threatened, and how they justified doing what they did. Their story was poignantly told by Jackson. But it’s the idea of Perry keeping such a huge secret, for such a long time, that fascinates me – and draws my sympathies.
Perry died of a heart attack, and is survived by her brother, who sometimes worked as her researcher.
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SOME SHALL BREAK Preorder Campaign is aliiive!
If you’ve bought the book – in any format – or requested it at your library, grab your screenshot and go here to enter.
Here’s the details:
💮All book-purchase entries receive:
*a set of exclusive SOME SHALL BREAK stickers
*a signed bookplate
*a digital pack (see details below)
💮All library request entries receive:
*a digital pack: an annotated chapter of the book, plus an invitation to a live post-release online Q&A with Ellie Marney (that’s me)
The preorder is open international until 10 June 2023 – yes, you can enter more than once, but each entry requires a different receipt, and you have to register each one separately. Purchase-entries get the whole pack; library requests receive the digital pack only.
Digital packs will go out just after the book release, with the date/time/link for the Q&A. Physical swag will be mailed in July 2023.
Go wild, get your receipts in, and thank you for supporting SOME SHALL BREAK!
SOME SHALL BREAK Launch events
Please join me in June for two amazing events to celebrate the launch of my book 😁
If you can make it, I would love to see you there!
I’m very delighted to say that I’ll be launching WE COULD BE SOMETHING, the extraordinary new book by LoveOzYA legend Will Kostakis (it is extraordinary, I’ve read it!) on May 15 at Readings Emporium in Melbourne. Please book here for tickets, it would be wonderful to see you, and you can find the book here 😊
I’ll also be at Sydney Writers Festival on Saturday 27 May, talking with Tristan Bancks and Mette Jacobsen about YA thrillers – you can find tickets here. This is my only Sydney event, so give me a wave if you’re in the audience!
…Aaand I’m also going to be at Oz ComicCon at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on 10-11 June – I’ve never been to ComicCon before, and I’m hugely excited. Please come visit my table and say hello!
This month’s giveaway is a signed copy of the Australian paperback of NO LIMITS. Check your inbox to see if you’re the lucky winner!
THE ISLES OF THE GODS and WE COULD BE SOMETHING
Oh, it’s a great time to be a reader of Aussie YA fiction right now! Because not only is my book coming out very soon, but THE ISLES OF THE GODS by Amie Kaufman is now out in the wild 😊
You absolutely need to check out this rollicking fantasy adventure romance about a girl in love with the sea, slumbering gods, and a magical prince who can cause carnage by taking off his shirt…It’s out now, so you can go grab your copy!
And as mentioned above, Will Kostakis (The Sidekicks, The First Third) has a new book arriving as well – WE COULD BE SOMETHING is part coming-out story, part falling-in-love story, part falling-apart story, and you should definitely buy a copy or request it for your library.
This month’s title is A HUNGER OF THORNS by Lili Wilkinson (it’s fab! I read it early 😊 ) and you can find us anytime at our new home on Instagram for monthly titles, author interviews, Oz book love, and readerly discussions.
And that’s it from me for this month – content this month’s a bit thin, isn’t it? Sorry! To be honest, I’m feeling a bit thin myself. With the release coming up soon, I’m running from pillar to post. It’s all very exciting, but I’m looking forward to the book being out in the world, when I can sit back and relax! (also you’ll be able to read it by then, so hurrah)
This moment – a few weeks before release – is the period when I spend a lot of time thrumming with nerves, thinking about how you’ll all like the book (or if you’ll like it at all) and what the reception of it might be.
I really did pour my heart and soul into SOME SHALL BREAK; I put it all on the page and left nothing out. It’s Emma’s story, to a large extent, but it also gives Travis and Kristin and Simon the space they need to really flower as characters. So I guess now’s a good time to say that – whatever the outcome – I really love the book? And I hope you do to 😊
Stay well, and happy reading. Next time we see each other, SOME SHALL BREAK will be out in the wild!