What a year it’s been! 2018 has been an absolutely smashing year for books and we’re willing to admit our heads are still spinning from all the incredible books that have come out this year alone. What will 2019 bring, we wonder?
But before we set our focus forward to all the upcoming titles we’re excited about, we thought we’d look back at just a few of the unforgettable, must-read, page-turners that have landed on our desks in 2018. What’s so great about working at Booktopia is that we get to actually meet a lot of these authors too.
Not only do we get to meet them, we get to interview them about their books, hear about their inspirations and ask them about their writing processes. We know it can be hard to keep on top of all the latest and greatest in the book world, so just in case you haven’t heard of the following authors or their new books, we thought we’d share with you just a few of the amazing interviews we’ve been a part of this year.
First up is author, award-winning journalist and our dear friend Trent Dalton. Trent has been in to visit us twice this year, since he’s had not one, but two incredible new books. His debut, Boys Swallows Universe, has had jaw-dropping success over the last six months and it’s absolutely no surprise to us here at Booktopia.
“Boy Swallows Universe is pretty deeply inspired by my own life… it’s a real coming of age tale, set in the Queensland criminal underworld.” – Trent Dalton
One by one here at Booktopia we have fallen for Trent’s magical and powerful debut. He bends his own horrific story of a chaotic youth into a stunning novel that has already become an Australian classic. Trent has released a second book this year By Sea & Stars.
Listen to his interview below!
Where to next? There are so many great authors to choose from! We’ll talk about Liane Moriarty now, as it’s a name you probably have heard of. If you don’t recognise the name, you’ll recognise her work. Liane’s novel Big Little Lies was recently adapted as a thrilling TV series starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley.
Just when the world thought she couldn’t get any bigger, Liane dropped Nine Perfect Strangers on us and this book is so many kinds of perfect!
Check out our interview with Liane below, where we chat about juggling a writing career with stardom in Hollywood.
If you haven’t read Jane Harper’s bestselling crime novel The Dry, we beg of you: please go do it now! Jane is leading the charge in Australian crime fiction with her novels The Dry, Force of Nature and most recently The Lost Man. Her books just keep getting better and better – which is saying something considering how amazing The Dry was!
Also, in case you hadn’t yet heard, The Dry is being adapted into a movie starring Eric Bana!
Jane came by a few months ago to talk about her phenomenal new book, The Lost Man, how her writing practices have changed and how her life has changed after all her amazing success.
We all need to have a few laughs now and again, right? Well, we’re here to tell you that Matt Stanton’s Funny Kid series will do the trick! Matt co-writes mind-boggling children’s books with his wife Beck (This is a ball, Did You Take the B from My _ook?) and he also co-writes hilarious children’s books like Burpzilla and There’s A Monster Under My Bed Who Farts with author Tim Miller.
On top of all that, Matt writes his own bestselling series called Funny Kid.
“I don’t sit down and go ‘what story do I want to write?’. I sit down and ask myself who I want to write a book for. I find that incredibly helpful creatively to feel like you are, not only creating something for someone in mind, but you’re serving them… I am creating these books FOR these kids that I meet, that I talk to, that I joke with… if it doesn’t work for them, I have to do something else.” – Matt Stanton
With his latest book out – Funny Kid Get Licked – we sat down with Matt to chat about his writing process and the importance of reading for children.
Okay. This one is super exciting because … we got to meet Lee Child!
Lee’s phenomenally successful Jack Reacher series has been going for 21 years and 23 books. Every 9 seconds someone somewhere in the world buys a Lee Child book (and you’re next?) – so it’s kind of needless to say that Lee Child is a pretty big deal in the book world.
When John and Sarah sat down to interview Lee, they were a flurry of nerves and excitement. They got through it though and spoke with Lee about his writing process, his new book Past Tense and the upcoming new Jack Reacher Series TV adaptation. We are so ready!
When Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief was released, it did something to people. It became an important book to have in one’s collection. It made many of us (including yours truly) sob hysterically. There is no shame in crying during en emotional read like The Book Thief. This is a safe book space, and we understand that Markus Zusak is an international bestselling author for a reason!
After waiting 13 long years, Markus has finally returned with his new book called Bridge of Clay. Saying that it was well-worth the wait is an understatement. “Bridge of Clay is a big, bold Australian family saga in the tradition of Bryce Courtenay, or Colleen McCullough,” says Booktopia’s John Purcell. “But one written for a new generation of readers. It’s time again for readers to get swept up in a home-grown epic.”
Listen to our interview with Markus below:
Ever been locked inside a shark cage with a serial killer? Ever had dinner with an ex-President? Ever written killer novels that hook readers from the get-go? Candice Fox has done all these things and more!
There’s a little bit of a love affair happening in the office when it comes Candice Fox. Ever since her first novel Hades, Candice has had success after success. She co-writes a series with James Patterson alongside her own series of Crimson Lake, Redemption Point and the upcoming Gone By Midnight.
Candice explains that a crime writer’s life is a weird life. We can’t even begin to explain and know that we won’t do her stories justice if we retell them here for you. So we will let Candice tell you herself!
As a journalist, Leigh Sales often encounters people experiencing the worst moments of their lives in the full glare of the media. After one particularly bad string of news stories – and a terrifying brush with her own mortality – Leigh set about looking for answers about how vulnerable each of us is to a life-changing event.
Enter her new book Any Ordinary Day. We cannot even begin to tell you how popular this book is! Any Ordinary Day has been flying out the door to the point where we’ve had to ask Leigh to return in for four book signings – which, we can tell you, has never happened before.
Any Ordinary Day is an investigation into how ordinary people, on ordinary days, are suddenly forced to find their resilience. Inspiring, confronting and moving, this is a must-read.
We could go on – as there have been dozens of incredible authors this year alone! But for now we will leave you with these eight interviews and, we hope, some inspiration to grab a copy of these amazing reads.
Stay tuned – we will be back with more!
About the Contributor
Before entering the exciting world of books, Bronwyn served in the Royal Australian Air Force, travelled extensively and worked (still does!) as a barista on the weekends. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn's debut fantasy novel Relic is coming out in 2019 with indie publishing house Talem Press. They are to publish her entire trilogy called The Relic Trilogy. In her spare time, Bronwyn writes, reads and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for Peter Pan (J.M Barrie), Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Stardust (Neil Gaiman), The Illuminae Files (Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman) and Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.