‘An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity’ discounted this week only

It hit the Amazon best seller ranks in 2016. Help me hit those dizzy heights again!

Here’s the short blurb:

The Walsinghams dabble in petty crime as they try to enliven a failing marriage. But a figure from the past tips them into a double murder plot. Could this respectable Home Counties couple really be killers?

And here’s where you can buy it for 99c/99p between 5 and 15 March 2018:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Kobo

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

‘An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity’ relaunching soon!

No, it’s not a how-to-do-it manual! It’s my second novel, which hit the Amazon best-seller ranks in 2016. I’ve left it unattended and unpromoted through 2017, when I was busy with the publication of Cairo Mon Amour.

As with all my novels, I set myself a special challenge: This time, I’d write a thriller with three points of view, two of them female. If the Amazon reviews are anything to go by, I pulled it off (with the help of my friends in the Write On! group at the NSW Writers’ Centre, who put me back on track when I wandered into  blokiness).

Here’s the short blurb:

The Walsinghams dabble in petty crime as they try to enliven a failing marriage. But a figure from the past tips them into a double murder plot. Could this respectable Home Counties couple really be killers?

And here’s where you can buy it for 99c/99p between 5 and 15 March 2018:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Kobo

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Martin F. Mooney – your perfect literary companion in the Trump-Brexit era.

MMFM 2016 coverProfessor Martin F. Mooney is a fading poster boy of the inner-city elites: Left-leaning, middle-aged and too frisky with his female students, he’s looking for a way out of the university before he’s pushed. Politics seems the obvious next step. This contemporary satire set in Sydney, Australia is your perfect literary companion in the Trump-Brexit era.

Now available at iBooks, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Find out more about Stuart Campbell’s books here.

 

‘An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity’ hits Amazon bestseller ranks in UK, Oz and Canada

canada sales 19:8:16A huge thank-you to my  readers and reviewers for helping to catapult An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity up the Amazon UK, Australia and Canada charts. I couldn’t have done it without you!

I hope I can reward your enthusiasm with my next novel Cairo Mon Amour, which will be released on 31 August. There’s a swish website here where you can read about it and even pre-order a copy for the promotional price of 99c.UK sales 19:8:16

Sydney novelist pledges to vote wearing Hi Vis vest

Hi Vis vestSydney novelist Stuart Campbell took a break from writing today to try on the Hi Vis vest he plans to wear when he casts his vote in Australia’s Federal Election on 2 July 2016.

Interviewed this morning by emerging social commentator Lesley Latte*, Campbell said, “Like the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition on the campaign trail, I like to slip on the Hi Vis when the going gets tough. I’ve come up with some of my best stories wearing this outfit”.

 

You can read more about books written by a man in a Hi Vis vest here.

*Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender.

Author Ann Massey – deft touch, deep concerns

ann
Ann Massey

I came across Australian indie author Ann Massey last year when I picked up her novel The White Amah. Looking at her diverse output, I’m tempted to ask ‘what’s her angle?’ And where does her latest novel The Little Dog Laughed fit into her body of work? In fact, Ann Massey is a conviction novelist, producing work that barracks for the powerless. If this sounds like the work of a humourless ideologue, it isn’t.

Her latest work The Little Dog Cover of The Little Dog LaughedLaughed is a sparkling time-travel fantasy that showcases her wit, her deep knowledge of Britain in Roman times, and for good measure her love of dogs. And woven into the whole nutty tale is a deeper theme about the travails of people caring for sick or disabled relatives. I never realised what hilarity could be found in a  mobility scooter!

Here’s Ann Massey answering a few searching questions I put to her:

Q – The Little Dog Laughed is impossible to place in a genre. Is this a help or a hindrance in finding readers?
A – I’ve been a square-peg all my life and this is reflected in my writing. I know smart marketeers stick to one genre and write series, but I can’t change who I am. I like hopping all over the place, and writing in many very different genres. The reader I’d like to attract is someone like me who reads everything by authors on my shortlist of favourites, and impatiently wishes they would increase their productivity.

Q – Like me, you’re a Pom who has spent the larger part of your life in Australia. Do you think that having a foot in each culture has influenced your writing?

A – I was born in Bolton and grew up in the tough environment of a council estate in post-war Britain. Both my parents left school at fourteen but I was I was fortunate enough to win a scholarship to a Grammar school. The majority of my contemporaries were first generation grammar school pupils, most of them with parents who by economic circumstance had been deprived of an academic education. I believe the justice for all themes that run through my books sprang from the opportunity to receive an education that had previously been restricted to a privileged minority. The plots and their backgrounds, however, are the offspring of a lifetime spent in Australia
None of my books are autobiographical, but in each I have used my personal knowledge of its unique world to give the story a genuine authenticity. For instance, I was marketing manager of the Daily News when Perth’s afternoon newspaper went the way of afternoon newspapers worldwide. Uncertain what I wanted to do, I applied for the position of governess on Minilya, a sheep and cattle station in the Australian outback. The station was located close to the Carnarvon Tracking Station built for the Gemini Space Program. To entertain my pupils, I invented a story about the International Space Station crash landing on a station very like Minilya. Mo, tbedhe jackeroo who found the wreckage in my debut novel, The Biocide Conspiracy, slept on a bed very like the one that was provided for me, pictured here

 

Q – A Little Dog Laughed and Salvation Jane have strong social justice themes but you manage this with a light touch. What’s the trick?

A – Several readers categorised Salvation Jane as chick lit albeit with a message. This was exactly the reaction I was after.  I  confess that when I began the tone was darker and more serious. But as the story progressed I thought about my readers. I wanted my book to be read by the masses and if they’re anything like me they don’t want to be preached at. So how do you get readers to read a serious commentary on homelessness in Australia? Take it from me it’s very tricky. In the end, I wrote a plot driven story— funny, a bit sad, a little deep and (I hope) inspiring. The ‘up in the air’ ending I considered—the type that always disappoints me— was dropped in favour of a much more satisfying one.

When it comes to the light touch, I might have succeeded too well  in The Little Dog Laughed because all its reviews mention that its unique, refreshing, funny, and wildly creative, none mention its dark theme of carer abuse.

###

Being British in Australia: No joking matter

Arthur or Martha? © Sara Campbell 2015
Arthur or Martha?
© Sara Campbell 2015

What happens when a planeload of Poms lands at Sydney airport? What I’ve always found intriguing about this Australian joke is that it only seems to have one punch line: When the engines stop, you can still hear the whining. It’s a model joke: Concise, based on a neat double meaning, and it delivers an ethnic slur with devastatingly effective understatement. Even better, it isn’t offensive. You can quickly test this proposition at your next dinner party: Replace ‘Pom’ with ‘ Chinese’ and watch the eyebrows shoot up in alarm and confusion.

I was prompted to think about this by a Guardian article[1] that proposes that British jokes about Australians are more to do with the Poms’ attitudes towards their own class system than about Australia itself. But back to my airport joke: The reason that this potentially productive joke stem only has one ending may be that British Australians (as opposed to British visitors) occupy an indistinct zone in the Australian ethnic spectrum, and putting aside the standard stereotypes about whinging and personal hygiene, aren’t particularly joke worthy.

I felt a twinge of doubt when I threw in the term ‘ethnic slur’ just now. I’ve lived permanently in Australia since 1977, or for more than half of my life, and I’ve never been described as belonging to an ethnic group in the way that Armenians, Thais and Somalis might be categorised. So, what kind of insult is it that the Poms are supposed to suffer if the airport joke isn’t an ethnic one? I’ll come back to that in a moment, but I’ll firstly make some remarks on the nature of being a British Australian … or is it an Australian Brit?

The essence of being British in Britain is the negotiation of social diversity along class and geographical lines. Like exotic beetles, the Brits develop – metaphorically speaking – huge antennae, which they wave around when they meet a new acquaintance, sniffing for clues about where this person was born, where they are in the pecking order, and what they are worth. To complicate things, the class signalling system has been subverted over the decades, so that the British are happy to accept the irony of concert pianists who sound like scrap metal dealers. Britain revels in all of this, egged on by a comedy industry that is supercharged by the exploitation of class differences.

Fresh Poms arrive in Australia with antennae flapping, but can’t tune into the signals. The huge things are as much use as an extra pair of nipples, and they soon shrivel. Adrift, the recent arrivals resort to crude judgments linked to their memories of Britain; when I arrived in 1977 I soon decided that Australians were very much like people from British council estates – just about the most damning class slur available to someone whose childhood was spent in such places. Homesick and disoriented, I immersed myself in the novels of Thomas Hardy for a few months, bathing my violated sensibilities in the bucolic balm of an invented rural England. I was saved by Australian literature; authors like David Ireland, Hal Porter and Patrick White helped me draw the social blueprint of my new home. At the same time I was writing the grammar of an Aboriginal language for a Masters thesis at the Australian National University, getting the first real clues about another way of seeing Australia. Like my fellow migrants I was gradually absorbed into the land of Arthur and Martha that is Australian Britishness.

So back to that joke. It’s obvious that a British ethnicity in Australia is difficult to pin down: A common language softens the definitional edges; millions of Australians have British forebears just a  generation or two away; the UK is still on the pilgrimage route for Australian travellers; and the ABC often seems to function as a southern branch office of the UK TV drama industry. There isn’t really a clear ethnic target at all, so there’s no incentive to make jokes.

I’m inclined to think that the airport joke survives simply because it’s very well-constructed and therefore worth retelling. I spent some time trying to create some alternative punch lines such as ‘The soap factory goes onto overtime’ and  ‘Australia’s average IQ goes down ten points’.

You’re right – they are lame, and you might also agree that they look much more like ethnic slurs than the original, because of course they could be applied to any ethnic group. There’s a fondness about the whining joke, a self-deprecating acceptance of British cultural roots, an irony in the joke’s lack of sting.

Now I wonder what colour socks go with these sandals?

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/what-british-jokes-australians-mean . Downloaded 29 May 2014.

Sydney author slams “Young Kipper War” gaffe

charcuterie monthy 002Sydney author Stuart Campbell says he is ‘disappointed and upset’ at Lesley Latte’s ambush interview with him in New Caledonia, in  which the roving correspondent said that Campbell’s new novel Cairo Mon Amour was set in the 1973 ‘Young Kipper’ War.  He has called on the new editor of Charcuterie Monthly, Gilbert Saucisson, to ‘send  Latte back to school to learn some history’.

In a brief statement, Saucisson said that Latte would be censured for h** error, adding that Charcuterie Monthly‘s editorial guidelines require that all articles include reference to meat, but not fish.

 

** Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .

LESLEY LATTE BLOWS H** EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH STUART CAMPBELL

Stuart Campbell's student card. Cairo University 1973
Stuart Campbell’s student card. Cairo University 1973

I was browsing some tempting sausages at the charcuterie stall in Nouméa’s municipal market last week when to my astonishment I saw Sydney author Stuart Campbell at the coffee stand.

An appointment with the reclusive and publicity-shy Campbell is hard to get – an impromptu interview a virtual impossibility. I approached him and gave him my finely honed elevator pitch. My luck was in. Was it the sultry laid-back groove of New Caledonia? Or perhaps the large glass of Pernod on the counter?

“I’ve got ten minutes,” he said with that trademark suave elevation of the slightly grizzled but really incredibly sculpted masculine eyebrow

OM Freaking G, I thought! Two weeks out of on-line journalism school, and I’ve scored an exclusive with the author of An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity.

So tell me about your next book, I ventured.

Campbell nodded to the barman, who topped up the Pernod and brought another flask of water. Frankly, I don’t know how anybody can drink something that looks like what you spit out after you’ve cleaned your teeth, but old blokes seem to drink it all the time in France, or maybe they just look old because they drink so much of it and they’re, like, quite young really.

Anyway, I gather the new book is called Cairo Mon Amour. It’s set in Cairo in 1973 during a war, I think he said the Young Kipper? Not sure about that, but apparently he was a student in Cairo during that war and always meant to write a thriller about it. It’s coming out in July 2016.

At this point he asked me if I had an aspirin because he had an earache because he got some coral in his ears swimming and he’d gone deaf.

“Who do you say you write for?” he asked me.

“I’m an emerging social commentator and the roving correspondent for Charcuterie Monthly,” I responded.

“Didn’t you say The Guardian?”

“I might have done,” I confessed.

“Go back to your sausages,” he said.

Well, I don’t know about you, but his new book sounds like crap.

###

** Lesley Latte reserves the right not to disclose h** gender

Buy Stuart Campbell’s books in paperback and ebook on Amazon by clicking on these title links:

An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity

The Play’s the Thing

Stuart Campbell’s covers are designed by Rachel Ainge .