Published...Or Not

Thursday 11:30am to 12:00pm
Australian and international authors talk about their books and how they got published or how they self-published. Listeners, writers and readers will also hear about what's going on in our local writing community.


Jan Goldsmith and David McLean


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About Published...Or Not

In English.

Jan Goldsmith and David McLean chat with authors each Thursday at 11.30am.

Conversations may include characters, plot lines, topics introduced through the narrative and settings. Authors are often asked to read a little from their book and tell about their publishing story. Jan's past profession was in librarianship.

But what makes a good story?
How about one with a barber, close shaves, murders, blood and pies. You may know this one as Sweeney Todd but our story has a different ending. Jan met David backstage and when the final curtain came down they started talking about books. This lead to David joining Jan in co-presenting Published or Not.
The world of literature has been a backdrop to David McLean's life for quite some time. He taught English and Literature for years, took words from the page as a director and performer and placed words on the page as an author.  Now he is helping other writers bring their words to listeners on Published or Not.
Join them, listen in and learn more about new books or how writers got their stories into books on 'Published or Not' on Thursdays 11.30am to noon.

If you would like to contact the program email us at

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Best of the Books - 2015

Jan Goldsmith and David McLean chat with authors each Thursday at 11.30am.
 ‘Published or Not’ is on podcasts at
These are books from Australian authors that we found interesting in 2015.

Why are those women in jail? What is their crime? Charlotte Woods, The Natural way of things' is a book for everybody’s book club because you will need to discuss it with somebody after you finish reading it,
And other crime novels all set around Melbourne
Anne Buist knows about infanticide from her professional life. In Medea’s Curse she has characters inside Dame Phyllis Frost Centre. On the outside, Natalie is a feisty singer in a band playing in Collingwood and a forensic psychiatrist helps solve cases without overstepping the patient’s privacy.
Psychological thrillers have another name ‘Domestic Noir’ and Tania Chandler’s Please Don’t Leave Me Here has Bridget with amnesia of the crime she committed, but she is having flash backs especially after she starts a writing course at the CAE near Degraves Street.
Altona has drugs, racism, deaths and a social worker who needs to find the connection before harm comes her way in Good Money by J.M. Green.
If autobiography is your preferred read…..
Lesley and Tammy Williams are Murri women.  In Not Just Black and White their stories follow as a domestic servant, teacher, school girl essay writer, Michael Jackson, Geneva and the High court of Australia. An extraordinary read about a mother and a daughter.
And back to fiction….with some well researched facts….
King David’s life is biblically known from Goliath to harp playing and psalms. Geraldine Brooks gives some fascinating depth in The Secret Chord.
Coorong is a beautiful piece of South Australian coastline. Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar is the story of a pioneering family who face isolation along with aboriginal encounters and try to make this bad farming land their home.
Shirley Barrett based Rush Oh! on the fact that killer whales helped the whalers of the 1890’s around Eden, NSW. Fearless Davidson is the father and it is a fictionalised account of what happened to his family around this time.
Working class, unions and communism around the time of the depression is when Hunger Town takes place. Wendy Scarf uses a female artist to narrate the story set in South Australia and the civil war in Spain is also explained.
1930 is also the time Leonie Binge begins to tell the story of her family and why her grandmother put her four daughters into an orphanage in Nellie’s Vow.
On a lighter note…..
Behind the scenes, in a celebrity kitchen where it is not just cooking going on, is in Yes, Chef! A very amusing read based on reality by Lisa Joy
‘I managed to be born and I’m pretty confident about dying. It’s The Bit in Between I’m struggling with’. Claire Varley’s book, about a women discovering a new life in the Solomon Islands, but a coincidence occurs. Her partner is an author and as he writes his book the events begin to happen in their lives.
Marion Halligan writes a fine story and Goodbye Sweetheart is about desire and regret. The father died suddenly and his wives, children and mistress learn more  themselves, about each other and him.
Hope Farm is a hippie commune with a very different type of family, Peggy Frew tells the story through a young daughter growing up in it this community.
If you have been to Broome, you will enjoy revisiting it through Di Morrissey’s Rain Music. It’s history keeps time with the story of a musician finding himself. What ever your thoughts about single sex marriage, Unmarry Me by Nicki Reed will have you laughing and perhaps even thinking about this predicament.
If a psychic described your perfect soul mate and it wasn’t the one you were with what would you do? Lisa N. Edwards uses her knowledge of the Hollywood entertainment industry in Can’t Fight Fate, the first in a 3 book series.
The culture of having babies has changed from home births to hospitals. Sally Hepworth has put this very readable family drama, involving three generations of women in Boston. It is not the how, but the who in The Secrets of Midwives.
Or fiction set in other worlds
Clade by James Bradley is set in the near future with floods, fires and plagues. However there is also courage, human endurance and love.
Skin by Ilka Tampke is set in Iron Age Britain with definite class divides..
These books may be classified YA but can certainly be enjoyed by all!
Bad Behaviour by Rebecca Starford is a memoir of a boarding school in the Victorian countryside A year of friendship, joy, shame, fear and bullying.
When man walked on the moon is the era of Robert Verlander’s book Of White and Shady, with a teenager coming to terms with responsibilities and girls!
Van Uoc Phan is a studious Vietnamese student in Year 11, Billy Gardiner is the school ‘jock’, a most unlikely couple in Fiona Wood’s, Cloudwish
X rated section!
Krissy Kneen has a sci-fi superhero, based on William Reich’s actual experiments, where orgasmic energy could be captured and stored in Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine.  Funny erotic literature!
Honey Brown has very cleverly written 6 short stories of 6 different types of sexual couplings (although one is a threesome) in Six Degrees.  The characters have all a connectedness which gives a sense of satisfaction in the end!
Does your book club have difficulties choosing books? So does the lesbian book club, one of the amusing chapters in Fables Queer and Familiar by Margaret Merrilees. There are also cartoons of the super-avengers, women over 50 too!
David McLean – co-presenter on Published or Not

It’s time to take stock of my 2015 reading year.

There have been self-published authors with Paul Dalgarno’s, ‘You May Find Yourself’, and Cen Fox’s, ‘A Plum Job’.

We had discussions with Lisa Dempster and Sam Twyford-Moore about the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers Festival.

Anne Buist’s, ‘Medea’s Curse’ gave impetus to several other thrillers throughout the year; Adrian McKinty’s ‘Gun Street Girl’, Robert Gott’s ‘Port Fairy Murders’, Roland Perry’s ‘The Honourable Assassin’. Lucy Sussex also took us back to one of Melbourne’s original detective stories in ‘Blockbuster’ which was about the handsome cab murder.

There were intriguing international guests like Tom Rachman – ‘The Rise and Fall of Great Powers’ and Geraldine Brooks who had just released ‘The Last Chord’. There was also Annie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff’s stellar ‘Illuminae’ which took the world by storm and New Zealander Pete Millett from across the ditch giving us his DIY Spy series.

Of course there was plenty of home grown talent. George Ivanoff had his ‘you choose’ series. A.S.Patric gave us ‘Black Rock, White City’. Lisa Gorton provided us with ‘The Life of Houses’ and Rod Jones took us back in time with ‘The Mothers’. ‘On Brunswick Ground’ by Catherine De Saint Phalle made the suburban perspective personal while Robert Power produced the magical ‘Tidetown’. Peter Birch’s ‘Ghost River’ saw the Yarra come to life and Antonia Hayes incorporated mathematics in ‘Relativity’. Joel Deane’s ‘Catch and Kill’ then took an historical at local state politics. And we shouldn’t forget David Astle’s ‘Riddledom’.

Biographies included Hannie Rayson’s, ‘Hello, Beautiful’ and Maria Katsonis’, ‘Good Greek Girl’.  There was even a biography of a dog in Anne Crawford’s ‘Ralf’ along with a masterly insight into the life of Charles Bean in Peter Rees’, ‘Bearing Witness’. And Jane Caro challenged us all in ‘Plain-speaking Jane’ while Cameron Anson took us into his past in ‘Boyhoodlum’.

There were intriguing items like Jenny Ackland’s ‘The Secret Son’ inspired by Ned Kelly and Cassandra Atherton’s ‘Trace’ where illustrations were an integral part of the story. Simon Griffith’s then took us on a relaxing cruise in ‘Boat’.

Short story collections like Sonja Dechain’s, ‘An Astronaut’s Life’, Abigail Ulman’s ‘Hot Little Hands’ and Murray Middleton’s, ‘When There’s No Where Else to Run’ kept us entertained as did Lynette Washington talking about ‘Breaking Beauty’.

Conventional and unconventional romance was evident in Jennifer Scoullar’s ‘Turtle Reef’ and C. S. Pacat’s, ‘Captive Prince’ and an indigenous perspective was provided by Jane Harrison’s ‘Becoming Kirrali Lewis. ’

Al in all, an exhausting year.