Rhiza Press Blog

Rhiza Press blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Australian books for Adult and Young Adult readers.

Short on time, big on story

Too busy to read these days? It’s an interesting idea because as a civilisation we’re probably reading more now than ever before. But our time is so limited—life is so busy and interrupted—that we’re reading in bite sized chunks. Facebook posts, tweets, emails, texts and only when we really have the time do we relax with a novel. It seems too big a job to handle.book image for fb

This is why the Novella and Short Story as forms of writing are making a comeback.   The short story was where the Australian Literary scene began in the 1890’s. Back then, the issue was a different one: many readers struggled with lack of funds to purchase a bound book, so stories were published in magazines or as pamphlets. But I’m guessing time was also an issue then. The everyday person on the street or on the farm was busy just scraping by and getting the stuff done so they could survive.  Perhaps not so much has changed after all?

I recently spent an evening at the Queensland Writers Centre hearing Brisbane author, Nick Earls, talk about his set of novellas and his reasons for trying this form. Nick shared some interesting insights into modern reading habits. We want to read, we really do! But the time-poor among us are turning to shorter story forms to satisfy that need to finish the book. With a short story or novella, we can read it in one sitting and not feel we’ve failed to finish yet another task.

With these thoughts in mind here are Rhiza Connect we are planning to publish our first collection of Short Stories.  Submissions are open now until 31st December 2018.  For all the details you need, go to our Short Story Submissions page on the Rhiza Connect website.

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Unhinged Shortlisted for Caleb Prize 2018

Rihza Connect is proud to announce that Unhinged, by Amanda Deed, has been shortlisted for the Caleb Prize 2018.DeedAmanda

Amanda talks about the inspiration for her intertextualised fairy tales ...

Once upon a time … I was a child who loved fairy tales. Now I am an adult and I still love fairy tales, and happy ever afters, and romantic stories. Actually, I can’t remember exactly when this attachment began, but perhaps it is related to the amazing sacrificial love story of God and his people, which means more to me than any other story and by which I compare all other love stories.

When I started writing books in earnest I thought it would be fun to re-write some of my favourite fairy tales in my genre of choice—Australian Historical Romance—and sticking with the themes that speak to me in these stories.

I tackled Cinderella first, setting it in Hay, NSW in the 1880s with a theme of self-esteem. Unnoticed was thus born and subsequently published.

Next, I wanted to do Beauty and the Beast, but rather than make the Beast animal-like, or beastly in attitude, or with a physical deformity, I wondered if I could make him a sufferer of mental illness.

One day, while I was reading my Bible, I came across the story of Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king whose pride lead to a humbling downfall. It was prophesied to him that unless he acknowledged God as creator and king over all, he would go mad and live with the animals for a time until he did bow to the Almighty. He didn’t listen to the prophecy and so what was said came true. He was humbled, and on his return to sanity, he acknowledged God as the King of Kings.

Could I use that account in my Beauty and the Beast story and bring more awareness to the mental health issues which are so prevalent in our society, I wondered? It promised to work well in a historical setting: mental health patients were treated like criminals in those days and the treatments were inhumane.

With those ideas in place and after much research of the 1840s time and setting, I began to write Unhinged. Although I had a good story in mind, it was nevertheless challenging to write because, in reality, loving a person with severe mental health issues is sometimes very difficult. Hopefully I have been successful in showing those struggles within the novel as well as offering hope and a future. And, of course, the happy-ever-after that appeals to all lovers of fairy tales.

I am currently working on a third fairy tale – Rapunzel – which I am calling Unravelled, so stay tuned.

Take a look at all Amanda's books HERE

 

unhingedmedunnoticedesEllenvaleGoldesblackforestredemptionmedhenrysrunesthegreenfieldlegacyes

Buy all six of Amanda's novels for the special price of $80 Inc Free Postage

 

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Nick Hawkes talks about his 'stone collection'

dr nick hawkes non fiction authorI write books because I love great stories. You do too, I expect. There is something primal in us, isn’t there, that enjoys hearing tales of unlikely heroes doing extraordinary things—usually at some cost to themselves.

I also love exotic locations.

By the time you’ve finished reading, you should feel you know the places you are taken to… and hopefully find yourself enriched—for they are places that have enriched me. I’ve visited most of them at some stage in my life and when I did, I was like a child—revelling in all I experienced. I absorbed the culture, soaked in the ambience and noticed the wildlife (a legacy of my scientific training). My aim in writing is to have the essence of these places spill out on the pages… and delight you.

All my novels have the word ‘stone’ somewhere in their title. Six have been written. Three have been published… and three are in the pipeline. The “Stone” books are a collection rather than a series. Each has different characters, romances and adventures and each is set in a different location.

However, there are some common themes. Every book in the ‘Stone collection’ charts the story of someone journeying from brokenness to wholeness. Each book always contains romance as well as mystery and adventure. And all ‘Stone’ books are designed to be read by both men and women—particularly by those who need a page-turner to keep them engaged.

One of the most characteristic features of these books is that they are garnished with philosophy and spirituality. Issues such as grief, hopelessness, shame, and meaninglessness are explored. There is depth—but you don’t always know you’re absorbing it because it flows naturally in the dialogue. It peeps out from the mystery and adventure like a shy child… and you are warmed by it.

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Welcome to Rhiza Connect

Rhiza ConnectWe're so excited to be launching Rhiza Connect, an excellent platform for authors who write fabulous, well-crafted fiction for the faith-based inspiratonal market.

So why did we name this new imprint Rhiza Connect? You may already know the Rhiza Press logo as a tree covered in fresh, green leaves. The word Rhiza is from the Greek for root so our tree represents the life that springs from that root - the lifespring that dwells in the heart of each of our authors.

Rhiza Connect titles are styled in a way that will encourage the reader to make better connections with the people who share their life journey, and with the root of who they were created to be.

Our stories deal with relationship in all its ups and downs, and demonstrate characters who learn, change and grow along their journey. These are stories that our readers will want to share. They are real and relatable stories that will appeal to adults but with content that is suitable for our faith-based market.

In March we are releasing the latest intertextual work by Amanda Deed, an Australian version of Beauty and the Beast that explores the issue of depression woven with faith that brings joy into darkness. April will see the release of Snowy Summer by Patricia Weerakoon, a drama and romance that looks into cross-cultural differences, marriage, and a foundation of hope.

Look out later this year for London based mystery The Pharaoh's Stone, by author Nick Hawkes, and a biblical fiction by Cindy Williams with an original and heart-warming study of The Woman at the Well.

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Amanda Deed Talks Fairy Tales and Superman

DeedAmandaWhat was your inspiration for adapting the Cinderella story? What aspects of her story were you most drawn to?

I’ve always loved fairy tales and Cinderella is one of my favourites. What drew me to rewrite it is that Cinderella is basically bullied by those horrible stepsisters and stepmother. This kind of treatment affects a person’s self-esteem, and self-esteem is something I struggled with a lot in my teens. I can’t say I was bullied precisely, but I was teased often, leaving me feeling worthless and unloved.

When I grew up I realised that the very things other kids teased me for were actually my strengths. What a way to destroy a person’s potential. Thankfully I worked through those issues and now have more self-confidence. But, it did leave me wanting to encourage others about their self-worth, and so I decided to weave that theme into my Cinderella story – Unnoticed.

 

How do you think Price Moreland compares to Prince Charming?

Well, he’s handsome, charming (in a good way), and he is the heir to a large fortune/estate. His father is a ‘king’ in the booming railway and shipping industry in America. And, of course, he is able to look past Jane’s apparent servitude and poverty.

Jane is often self-conscious about her appearance and tries to go unnoticed (a very apt title). Do you think a lot of teenagers would relate to this?

Absolutely. When the target of teasing, it would be so much easier to disappear. You’d rather be unnoticed altogether, than noticed and made fun of for your perceived faults. I found that for myself.

I have also witnessed it in teenagers recently. Watching a sixteen-year-old girl walk across the room with her head down—looking uncomfortable to say the least—I asked her, ‘Why are you feeling so awkward walking over here?’

She told me: ‘I feel like everyone’s looking at me.’

I smiled at her. ‘You know they’re actually not. They’re all too busy in their own little world to be taking much notice of you.’

‘Well they should be!’ was her bold reply.

‘So walk like they should be. You are absolutely worth looking at and worth noticing. You are beautiful.’

There’s a kind of confused mixture of wanting to be noticed and accepted, and not wanting to be noticed in case we are rejected.

 

If you could be any fairy tale heroine, who would it be?

I can’t say I’ve ever aspired to be one of the fairy tale heroines, although I do love the way Rapunzel wielded that frying pan in Tangled. I’d more likely aspire to Lois Lane just because she got to fly with Superman. I love Superman. In fact, every time I see a kid in a Superman costume, I ask them if they will take me flying. Unfortunately, no-one has said yes yet.

 

What can we expect in the next instalment Unhinged?

Unhinged will be a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast – another of my favourite fairy tales. However, instead of the beast being a monster, or a physical deformity in a man, the beast will be mentally-ill.

It is very challenging to write. But again, mental health is such a big subject these days, even with teens. I just heard of a Year Twelve student being put on anti-depressants to deal with anxiety. It makes me sad that people so young have to struggle with such deep issues. Hopefully Unhinged, amidst an entertaining story, will give encouragement to people who deal with this kind of illness.

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New release: A Summary of the Bible

New release: A Summary of the Bible

A Summary of the Bible is released on 1 August 2014 and you can win a copy!

Subscribe and leave us a comment below with the name you subscribed to go into the draw!

Finally: for those who want to read the Bible in simplified form (one sixth full size)… or want to be guided through its complexities accurately and clearly, Dr Nick Hawkes, has written A Summary of the Bible: Simplifying the Greatest Book in History.

The book has already received international praise in the lead up to its official release. “For many of us, the Bible is big and complicated. Dr Nick Hawkes has done an amazing job in creating this Summary of the Bible. It has become one of the most valuable tools for our church planters and believers in Asia. None of us now have an excuse in not understanding what Bible is all about. This is a “must have” resource for both Christians and non-Christians,” said Jossy Chacko, Founder and International President of EMPART.

A Summary of the Bible is a unique idea … a fresh idea for a popular reference book that gives a great overview of the entire Bible,” said Scott Bolinder, President, Global Publishing, Biblica [Publishers of the ‘New International Version’ of the Bible].

A Summary of the Bible was written to meet the needs of time-pressured people who want to know what’s in the Bible—without having to read all of its 800,000 words!

Not all sections of the Bible are easy to understand. Dr Nick Hawkes, theologian, broadcaster and award-winning writer, guides readers through it with simplicity and clarity. He’s done this so effectively that the book has been translated into Hindi, due to demand in the two-thirds world for an easy-to-understand form of the Bible.

Dr Hawkes said, “I wrote this book because people in Africa and India asked me for a version of the Bible that could be understood by those without much training. I confess that I demurred until time-pressured friends in the West heard of the project and said they’d like it too.”

A Summary of the Bible is for me, an essential hands-on tool for ordinary people in our global village that will unlock Biblical truth,” said Mike Hey, Area Director, East Asia and Pacific, for Operation Mobilisation.

The book features key scriptures in full, an introductory page for each book of the Bible, scriptural memory verses and discussion questions.

Dr Nick Hawkes is also the author of The Bible on the Key Issues of Life, winner of the Bible Study category at the US Selah Awards 2014. 

A Summary of the Bible is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Aussie author Dr Nick Hawkes wins US Award!

Aussie author Dr Nick Hawkes wins US Award!

Dr Nick Hawkes, author of the upcoming, The Summary of the Bible won the 2014 Selah Award: Bible Study Category.

The 2014 Selah Awards were announced at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, USA last week. Adelaide based author, Dr Nick Hawkes won the Bible Studies Award for his book The Bible on the Key Issues of Life.

On hearing of his award, Nick Hawkes said, "I'm thrilled and humbled by this award. My passion is to make the Bible known in a really useful, easily accessible form. I'm delighted to think this might occur."

This award-winning book contains Bible studies on 50 of the most common questions asked about life and faith. Issues covered include: guidance; suffering; healing; getting a job: sex; the environment; and the resurrection.

Dr Hawkes' next book, A Summary of the Bible set for release in August 2014 continues his passion for providing the Bible in a simplified form. It is about one sixth the size of the full Bible and provides a simple, concise and easy to understand summary of its contents.

Dr Hawkes has two degrees in science and two in theology. He is an author, radio broadcaster, college lecturer and pastor.

Find out more about Dr Hawkes and his upcoming book A Summary of the Bible.

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Guest — Wendy Rose
Wonderful news. Congratulations Nick.
Monday, 30 June 2014 20:29
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My manuscript is ready! How do I approach a publisher?

Your manuscript is ready to go! You've had it professionally edited, proofread and you've been over it a thousand times.

Where do you go from here?

There are a few things you need to remember when approaching a publisher about getting your book published. The most important thing is to visit their website first. They will have a specific section that details their requirements for book submissions. If you want a good chance of being accepted for publication make sure you visit their page to see what they require.

It is important that you read this page carefully. Follow the details specifically. If the site says they are not accepting submissions at the moment, do NOT send your manuscript anyway. If they are so busy that they have closed to submissions for the moment, your manuscript is likely to be discarded. If they provide a time when they will reopen to submissions, don't send your manuscript early. It will make them think that you either haven't bothered to read their submissions guidelines, or have chosen to ignore what they said there. Neither of these things will make them eager to publish your book.

Make sure you follow every step. If they ask for the full manuscript first, make sure you don't send a query letter or just a few chapters. Send the whole thing. If they ask for it electronically, send it that way. If they want a physical copy and request that you send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for the return of your manuscript, please do that.

Make sure that your submission includes your name, phone number, email and postal address. Include a cover letter telling them briefly who you are and what you have written about (i.e. its genre, length and any experience you have in writing in that area). This cover letter should be no longer than one A4 page.

Some of these requirements may seem like common sense, but it is surprising how many people don't follow instructions like these. Remember, the more you make an effort to do what the publisher has asked, the more likely they are to view your manuscript in a favourable light.

Once you have submitted your manuscript, it is best not to continually call or email them to find out what is going on, especially if the submissions guidelines say it will be a few weeks before they get back to you. If they have given you no specific details on when they will get back to you, contact them after about a month. If they tell you that you still have to wait, don't continue to contact them for updates. Publishers have a lot on their plate and calling them a lot will slow them down even more.

Remember to be patient. It is often a few years between the submissions phase and the publishing phase. This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want your book published, you need to commit to a long haul to get it there.

To find out about Rhiza Press's submission guidelines visit the submission page.

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An interview with Dr Nick Hawkes

An interview with Dr Nick Hawkes

Dr Nick Hawkes is a broadcaster, novelist, ex-research scientist, academic and pastor. He has lived in a number of countries overseas – and his adventures there inform his writing. Nick writes in three different genres: 1) novels; 2) biblical resources; 3) apologetic works that make the case for Christ.

Dr Nick Hawkes is the author of A Summary of the Bible.

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?
My first novel was The Celtic Stone. I love ripping yarns that have a heart and make you think... so I had a go.

Question 2: What is your favourite part about being an author?
Authors have the power to reach people's hearts. It is amazing when that happens – and an extraordinary privilege to be allowed to do so. I loved hearing that one of my books was instrumental in changing a person's life direction from being a water engineer (and atheist) ... to a person training for the priesthood.

My novels are a bit different. I get huge pleasure when weary, time-pressured people report their delight in being refreshed by my novels.

Question 3: What is the hardest part about being an author?
Getting overseas publishers to take you seriously.

Question 4: What do you do for fun?
I do woodwork. I love building furniture.

Question 5: How do you test out your stories?
I test ideas with dear friends in coffee houses. On one occasion, it involved the waitress!

Question 6: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?
King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Green. It's full of adventure and valour - fantastic

Question 7: Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?
No. But my adventures overseas find their way into my novels.

Question 8: Have you met anyone even more famous than you?
Almost everyone is more famous than me! I once had a wonderful time in Oxford as a guest of Prof John Brooke (Harris Manchester College) – and had some great debates. Prof David Wilkinson (John's College, Durham Uni.) also has a fabulous mind and a gracious spirit. I greatly enjoy his company.

Question 9: What genre do you like to write the most?
Hard to say. I enjoy writing novels... but I also feel the passion and need to write apologetic works that make the case for Christianity. Along the way, I also write Bible resources. Perhaps the diversity keeps me fresh.

Question 10: What do you consider your biggest achievement?
The biggest achievement was getting 20 years of biblical research on life issues into one book, The Bible on the Key Issues of Life. It was a big undertaking – one I could not have done without the help of good friends.

Question 11: What book are you reading right now?
My latest draft of The Pharaoh's Stone.

 

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An interview with Adele Jones

An interview with Adele Jones

Adele Jones lives in Queensland, Australia. Her writing is inspired by a passion for family, faith, friends, music and science – and her broad ranging imagination. She has had a variety of poems, short stories, magazine articles, devotions and meditations published. Her first novels are due for release in 2014.

Adele is the author of Integrate to be released in September 2014.

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?
If I remember correctly, the first novel length story I wrote as an adult was about a lottery winner who swiftly discovered that money truly can't buy the best things in life. It has never been published (and that's probably a good thing).

Question 2: What is your favourite part about being an author?
Those moments when the ideas all come together and a story just pours itself out on the page. Oh, and going to conferences and meeting other authors. It's great sharing the journey with those familiar with the path and learning from their collective wisdom.

Question 3: What is the hardest part about being an author?
When life gets busy and I get hardly any writing (or anything else) done. It's like the ideas build up in my head and I get a bit antsy because it's like keeping track of all these thoughts in my head at once. (Always important to have a note pad on hand to jot them down before they run wild! ☺) I also find those writing sessions when it's just plain hard work writing anything half decent really frustrating. That said, I'm a great believer in "something is better than nothing" and know that eventually the ideas will start coming if I persist.

Question 4: What do you do for fun?
Lots! In addition to writing, I'm a mummy and wife, a musician, a science geek, a people person, and I like sports, so I've got plenty of things to choose from.

Question 5: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?
I was an avid reader as a child, so there are too many favourites to choose from. As an animal lover who was horse mad, I LOVED stories like 'The Silver Brumbies' series by Elyne Mitchell. I also loved historical fiction and non-fiction; classic titles by May Gibbs (Snugglepot and Cuddlepie); Anne of Green Gables and other stories by L.M. Montgomery. Lots and lots!

Question 6: Have you met anyone even more famous than you that was exciting?
Famous? LOL! Only my daughter thinks I'm famous, so that leaves every other famous person I've ever met to choose from. I have had opportunities to "meet" (i.e. goofy two second conversation) a couple of my favourite musicians, which was pretty cool, but I've not met very many famous people. Not really. That said, a work related event last year did include a brief introduction and shake of hands with Professor Ian Chubb, Australia's Chief Scientist. (He came across as a very pleasant, well informed man.) I've also been at a conference keynote address by Nobel Prize winner Professor Barry J. Marshall. Okay, so that's not meeting him, but I was so excited I couldn't wipe the smile off my face! (By some miracle I did manage to refrain from waving from the audience – just.)

Question 7: What writing genre do you like to do the most?
I like writing generally and perhaps one of my faults as an author is my propensity for writing across a variety of genres. But it is fun. I find historical fiction particularly satisfying due to the amount of research involved and the challenge of putting together all the puzzle pieces to form a whole, then knitting them into a story. That said, science fiction can also be like that, and being a science geek is kind of handy when writing in that genre.

Question 8: What do you consider your biggest achievement?
That's a really hard question. When I was a child I used to think it was pretty momentous when I'd gain the trust of a wild kitten or manage not to get thrown when my pony would get in a strop and pull a swift move on me! (I did mention that I was an animal lover...) As an adult it's harder to pinpoint a particular "biggest" moment. I suppose it's probably those occasions when I've stepped out of my comfort zone or taken up a challenging task and it all comes off. This is something that never gets old, whether it be a parenting experience; a successful result for a large project; or a performance that just works! I think if we stop doing things that are a little bit scary, then we miss something in life. The best moments often turn out to be the ones that are shared and the most satisfying journeys usually start with a leap of faith.

Question 9: Where do you see the future of children's books (ebooks/apps/print)
Hey, I'm still getting my head around iPads/tablets, let alone apps! (Oops, am I not supposed to admit that in public?) Having had a little play with an app, I think it's cool what can be done, but I also love the feel of a book in my hand and being able to flip back to favourite places as required, which you can't do with an e-book. (Although my daughter did demonstrate the "go to" function on my Kindle when I was bumbling around the other day trying to go back a few chapters. She's only used it a couple of times...)

Question 10: What book are you reading right now?
I'm a repeat multi-book reading offender. As such, I'm currently reading (or trying to read...) 'Parentless Parenting' by Allison Gilbert (it looked interesting); Creative writing by Adele Ramet (how could you go wrong with a name like that?); 'The seven habits of highly effective people' by Stephen R. Covey (I'm beginning to suspect that effective people don't try to read five books at once...); 'He still moves stones' by Max Lucado; and another book I've downloaded onto my kindle, the name of which currently escapes me (clearly life altering...).

Worse, since beginning these books I've started and completed several others, including 'The Self Leadership of the One Minute Manager' by Ken Blanchard, Susan Fowler and Laurence Hawkins; and 'Persuaded by the Evidence' by Doug Sharp and Jerry Bergman (great book – do read it if you haven't yet). Let's face it; I'm walking evidence for the time management fallacy we refer to as effective multi-tasking!

 

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An interview with Andrea Grigg

An interview with Andrea Grigg

Hi – my name is Andrea Grigg, and I live on Queensland's Gold Coast with my husband, Geoff, and Micky, our border collie. We have three adult children, two daughters, a son, and a son-in-law, who all live locally for which I'm very thankful. I moved to Australia from New Zealand when I was in my mid-twenties, and I have a foot firmly in both countries. As well as being a wife and mother, I was a primary school teacher for many years, but retired at the end of 2012 in order to concentrate on writing.

Andrea is the author of the upcoming Too Pretty due for release in August 2014.

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?
I wrote prolifically when I was a child but none of my stories were published. (A Day in the Life of a Coin – really?) Most of what I wrote was fan fiction. I remember writing extra chapters to 'The Secret Garden' and I re-wrote the ending to 'Little Women' because I was so annoyed when Beth died. (Apologies to Louisa May Alcott)

Question 2: What was your first book published?
My first book, A Simple Mistake, was published in 2012.

Question 3: What is your favourite part about being an author?
My favourite part (and it still thrills me when this happens) is when my characters take over my laptop and say or do things I haven't planned. Very addictive!

Question 4: What do you do for fun?
I love reading, listening to music and having coffee with friends. Most of all, I love it when my family is all together – there's a lot of hilarity!

Question 5: How do you test out your stories? Or who do you test them on?
I have a group of friends who read them for me. They are an eclectic bunch, and range in age from 20-something to 50-something. And then a fellow writer (sometimes two) critiques my manuscript. I appreciate these women so much - the feedback is invaluable.

Question 6: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?
I devoured the Famous Five series. When our family went on our annual holiday to Ngunguru (north of Whangarei in NZ) my dad posted a sheet of paper on the door of our little cabin, stating that it was 'Kirrin Cottage' and then named its inhabitants, ie. The characters from the books. I was in heaven.

Question 7: What writing genre do you like to do the most?
I've always enjoyed reading contemporary romance novels, so it was a natural progression to write it. I also prefer stand-alones, both to read and write, as they're bigger and I'm a very quick reader. I am not, however, a fast writer! Hopefully, that will change.

Question 8: What do you consider your biggest achievement?
My three children. They constantly amaze me.

Question 9: What is your favourite way/time to read?
I will read anytime and anywhere. I used to get reprimanded as a child for bringing a book to the dinner table. If it's only me at home, I still do it!

Question 10: What book are you reading right now?
I've just finished Nicholas Sparks' latest, The Longest Ride. I read it in a day.

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Guest — Paula Vince
Interesting interview I agree with you, Andrea, that it's fun to make up extra, or even alternative endings, to well known books.... Read More
Thursday, 13 February 2014 18:07
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Rhiza: So what does it all mean?

Rhiza (pronounced: rise -a) is the Latin word for the roots of a tree. A tree will not grow strong without a good foundation: strong roots. The name came after thinking about the ne­cessity of having a strong foundation to build on.

The fruit of the tree is what people see, though, not the roots. Our new logo shows the tree and the leaves and is very alive and welcoming. That’s how I would like to see our books. They show the fruit of our faith, the fruit of our strengths as writers and creators. Still the message is in the sto­ries, and those who have ears to hear will very likely get something.

Rhiza Press aims to publish exceptional stories and deliver fresh, family friendly titles in a wide variety of genres for all people who love books.

We made the decision to start afresh with Rhiza Press in order to reach not only the Christian market but the general wider audience, with great, family-friendly, real, natural and integrated stories that you can trust won't include any explicit content.

We want our books to show faith through the characters rather than telling the readers about the faith – in so many ways faith has to be experienced or welcomed, it (often) cannot be learnt.

 

- Rochelle Manners, Director of Rhiza Press

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Guest — Andrea Grigg
Great post, Rochelle. Love the concept, the logo, the premise for the new branding. Looking forward to how it all unfolds.
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 15:27
Guest — Mary Hawkins
Congratulations on this new venture and wishing you every success at reaching many more folk with the truths of the Word. ... Read More
Thursday, 13 February 2014 08:10
Guest — Dale Harcombe
Congratulations Rochelle. Sounds like a great move. Praying this tree flourishes and bears lots of fruit.
Thursday, 13 February 2014 08:33
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An interview with Rosanne Hawke

An interview with Rosanne Hawke

Hi, I'm Rosanne Hawke from rural South Australia; I write books for young people from 6 – 18 years, but adults read them too. I tend to use themes of relationships, culture, identity and place, but I also like writing about cats and music. I'm interested in Cornish culture, as I am a fourth-generation Cornish descendant, and also in the culture of the Middle East, especially Pakistan, as I and my family worked there as aid workers for ten years.

Rosanne is the author of Zenna Dare, set for re-release in July 2014.

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?
I have loved writing since I was little. It began with reading by the light under the door, or by moonlight, hanging out my window. My mother knew a jotter and pencil would keep me happy for hours. I wrote snippets of stories and buried them in tins. My first published story – in the school magazine – was called 'Bushed' set in the South American jungle.

Question 2: How did you start writing books?
I told my children stories; they gave me characters' names, settings, even a problem and I told the story with lots of their interjections. One night when we lived in Pakistan I told my eldest daughter a story she wanted about a kidnapping in Afghanistan as one of our colleagues had been abducted by freedom fighters. She thought how exciting that would be. She liked the story so much she begged me to write it for her to read, then to type it, then to send it to a publisher. She wanted to be able to buy a book that her mother wrote just for her. This became my second book, Jihad.

Question 3: What was your first book published?
Re-entry: The story of an Australian girl who had grown up in Pakistan and returned to Australia for high school. It explores one's own culture from the outside and culture shock.

Question 4: What is your favourite part about being an author?
Writing the stories and seeing how they affect readers. One mother told me reading one of my books (Zenna Dare) got her daughter off drugs. Another girl said she didn't know a book could change her opinions like Soraya the Storyteller did for her.

Question 5: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?
I had many but reread The Prince and the Pauper many times (probably a retelling) and loved all the fairy stories & folktales like The Arabian Nights.

Question 6: What is your favourite children's book now?
There are too many great books to mention just one. I love Glenda Millard's The Naming of Tishkin Silk and Kate DiCamillo's Because of Wynne Dixie. Christine Harris' Audrey of the Outback; Janeen Brian's Where does Thursday Go? Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall. The list is never ending.

Question 7: Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?
Yes, I was asked to speak at the Cornish Studies Centre in Redruth, Cornwall about Cornish children's literature in Australia, and also to speak in schools. I have spoken in an American school but that was arranged while I was holidaying with friends.

Question 8: What writing genre do you like to do the most?
I often write realism, but have written historical (Mustara and Taj and the Great Camel Trek), an historical fantasy (Wolfchild), and fantasy (Across the Creek).

Question 9: Where do you see the future of children's books (ebooks/apps/print)?
I think the future is exciting. Stories or books will never die but they will change shape. Print books will become a special event as children gradually lose the art of writing by hand.

Question 10: What books are you reading right now?
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton and I am Malala by Malala Yousefzai with Christina Lamb.

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Guest — Carol Preston
Great interview Roseanne. I just bought Zenna Dare and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Sounds like my kind of book, thou... Read More
Tuesday, 01 July 2014 15:22
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Adult Fiction Submissions

Adult Fiction Submissions

Rhiza Press is calling for Adult Fiction Submissions from 1 March 2014.

What we are looking for:

Rhiza Press publishes books for new adult and adult readership in two different lists.

Novellas – works of 35,000 – 55,000 words. Aimed at those who love to read, but have only limited time in which to do so. Primarily romances or drama for female readers.

Novels – works of 60,000 – 110,000 words for male and/or female readers. All audiences, family friendly stories.

General comments on fiction style submissions:

Books should NOT be first draft when they are submitted. Multiple submissions of the same manuscript because you realise you made typographical errors will not be considered.

Books may have multiple points of view, but points of view should not be broken with head hopping in the middle of a scene. We prefer titles that are not written in omniscient point of view. First or third person and past or present tense is the author's choice.

Books should be action driven with the principles of 'show-don't-tell' utilised. Books should be real, relatable and strong in plot.

Please watch out for attributions and adverbs that are overused or used in a way that distract the reader.

We recommend all authors get their work appraised or edited or both (perhaps more than once) before submission. Please include these professional appraisals in your submission including the name of your editor. If we contract your book, it will then go through further editing and proofreading before publication.

If you are an Australian author writing fiction we sincerely suggest you read other Australian authors so you know the style of writing in Australia. Check them out and ensure your book is unique.

Submission Instructions:

To submit a manuscript:

  • A personal CV/resume relating specifically to the field of writing.
  • A full synopsis
  • A minimum of four chapters of the book, at least three must be the start of the book.
  • Your full return details (name, address) which must also be included on the pages of your manuscript.
  • Your manuscript must be page numbered.
  • If you have not completed the manuscript when you submit a timeline of when you are submitting
  • Feedback from any editors you have worked with is welcome

We accept submissions via either post or email (never both). We do not consider query letters. Please do not phone to check on your submission. Queries can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For email submissions, follow these guidelines:

IMPORTANT: all information and attachments are to be sent in a single email only with a total maximum size of 2MB – if that is not possible, then you should submit via post instead. Emails that do not comply with these requirements will be automatically deleted.

A cover letter in the body of the email that includes well researched information on how your manuscript compares with other books on the market, and with other books Rhiza Press has already published.

An automatic response will be generated if your submission is received safely.

For postal submissions, follow these guidelines:

  • A return envelope with enough postage to cover the return of your manuscript (prepaid envelopes or parcels are best). Submissions without this will not receive consideration and will be destroyed.
  • Post submissions to: Rhiza Press, PO Box 1519, Capalaba QLD 4157

For specific details on other genre requirements visit the submissions page.

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Young Adult Submissions

Young Adult Submissions

Rhiza Press is calling for Young Adult Fiction submissions from 1 March 2014. 

What we are looking for:

Length: 45 000 to 80000 words

We want YA stories that are:

  • Relatable and engaging
  • Ultimately hopeful
  • Real life in terms of the challenges teens face, but family-friendly
  • Action or plot driven
  • Entertaining

What we don't want:

  • Sex scenes
  • Graphic violence
  • Horror
  • Excessive swearing

General comments on fiction style submissions:

Books should NOT be first draft when they are submitted. Multiple submissions of the same manuscript because you realise you made typographical errors will not be considered.

Books may have multiple points of view, but points of view should not be broken with head hopping in the middle of a scene. We prefer titles that are not written in omniscient point of view. First or third person and past or present tense is the author's choice.

Books should be action driven with the principles of 'show-don't-tell' utilised. Books should be real, relatable and strong in plot.

Please watch out for attributions and adverbs that are overused or used in a way that distract the reader.

We recommend all authors get their work appraised or edited or both (perhaps more than once) before submission. Please include these professional appraisals in your submission including the name of your editor. If we contract your book, it will then go through further editing and proofreading before publication.

If you are an Australian author writing fiction we sincerely suggest you read other Australian authors so you know the style of writing in Australia. Check them out and ensure your book is unique.

Submission Instructions:

To submit a manuscript:

  • A personal CV/resume relating specifically to the field of writing.
  • A full synopsis
  • A minimum of four chapters of the book, at least three must be the start of the book.
  • Your full return details (name, address) which must also be included on the pages of your manuscript.
  • Your manuscript must be page numbered.
  • If you have not completed the manuscript when you submit a timeline of when you are submitting
  • Feedback from any editors you have worked with is welcome

We accept submissions via either post or email (never both). We do not consider query letters. Please do not phone to check on your submission. Queries can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For email submissions, follow these guidelines:

IMPORTANT: all information and attachments are to be sent in a single email only with a total maximum size of 2MB – if that is not possible, then you should submit via post instead. Emails that do not comply with these requirements will be automatically deleted.

A cover letter in the body of the email that includes well researched information on how your manuscript compares with other books on the market, and with other books Rhiza Press has already published.
An automatic response will be generated if your submission is received safely.

For postal submissions, follow these guidelines:

  • A return envelope with enough postage to cover the return of your manuscript (prepaid envelopes or parcels are best). Submissions without this will not receive consideration and will be destroyed.
  • Post submissions to: Rhiza Press, PO Box 1519, Capalaba QLD 4157

 

For specific details on other genre requirements visit the submissions page.

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Biography Submissions

Biography Submissions

Rhiza Press is calling for biography submissions from 1 March 2014.

What we are looking for:

Our autobiographies and biographies consist of the stories of modern and past missionaries, or inspirational stories of ordinary people overcoming difficult circumstances. We prefer dramatised biographies where the stories read more like fiction rather than works of non-fiction, engage the reader in the ups and downs of life's circumstances for the person of interest rather than the author simply citing the story.

As a result please consider the rules for biographies as similar to fiction:

  • Consider point of view, characterization of your lead and other characters and the way you share the journey whether in first person style if telling your own story or third person when reciting the story about someone else.
  • Try to use the show don't tell principles.
  • Don't over dramatise or take liberties that are more extreme than you would expect likely to be in character.

Other things to consider when writing a biography:

  • Research characters as much as possible.
  • Always gain permission for all cited references or quotes prior to submission.
  • Please read the article 'Writing a Biography' by author and editor Lynne Stringer.
  • Please follow our basic submission guidelines on how to submit for this list.

Submission Instructions:

To submit a manuscript:

  • A personal CV/resume relating specifically to the field of writing.
  • A full synopsis
  • A minimum of four chapters of the book, at least three must be the start of the book.
  • Your full return details (name, address) which must also be included on the pages of your manuscript.
  • Your manuscript must be page numbered.
  • If you have not completed the manuscript when you submit a timeline of when you are submitting
  • Feedback from any editors you have worked with is welcome

We accept submissions via either post or email (never both). We do not consider query letters. Please do not phone to check on your submission. Queries can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For email submissions, follow these guidelines:

IMPORTANT: all information and attachments are to be sent in a single email only with a total maximum size of 2MB – if that is not possible, then you should submit via post instead. Emails that do not comply with these requirements will be automatically deleted.

A cover letter in the body of the email that includes well researched information on how your manuscript compares with other books on the market, and with other books Rhiza Press has already published. An automatic response will be generated if your submission is received safely.

For postal submissions, follow these guidelines:

  • A return envelope with enough postage to cover the return of your manuscript (prepaid envelopes or parcels are best). Submissions without this will not receive consideration and will be destroyed.
  • Post submissions to: Rhiza Press, PO Box 1519, Capalaba QLD 4157

For specific details on other genre requirements visit the submissions page.

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Welcome to Rhiza Press!

Welcome to Rhiza Press!

After 5 successful years publishing quality children's books, Wombat Books has expanded to include a new brand for young adult and adult readers.

Rhiza Press publishes exceptional stories and deliver fresh, family friendly titles in a wide variety of genres for all people who love books.

So why Rhiza Press? Rhiza is a greek word resembling or connected with a root.

"Our goal with this new brand is to grow from a strong foundation, both in our successes with Wombat Books and our passion for good stories. We want to reach the parents and young adults that have grown up reading our family-friendly stories," said Rochelle Manners, Director of Wombat Books and Rhiza Press.

"We are focused on our conversation with readers and our desire to publish what the readers really want. From talking with the parents who read our books to their children, we've seen a demand for adult books that are clean, family-friendly and don't contain overtly explicit content. But they still want the stories to be exceptional, relatable and inspirational."

Rhiza Press is focused on publishing books for anyone over the age of 14, including young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies and non-fiction.

The starting line up of new releases include best-selling and award winning authors such as Rosanne Hawke, Dr Nick Hawkes, Andrea Grigg and Adele Jones.

Rhiza Press is currently calling for submissions for young adult and adult fiction and biographies. For more information visit the submissions page.

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