You know how you have people who you look up to? People who inspire you? People who make you think, ‘That’s how I wanna be’? Well Kylie Ladd is one of those people for me.
A couple of years ago I started following Kylie’s weekly blog on Web Child. It was around the time that I was making moves towards writing seriously myself. Reading Kylie’s pieces I made up my mind that I wanted to get me one of them thar blog thingies. And so I did. I was thrilled to be keeping company with Kylie on the same website. When she finally left it was with the announcement that she was off to await the publication and release of her first novel – After the Fall – and to concentrate on writing her second. More inspiration for me.
Before After the Fall was released, Kylie had already published two books: Living with Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias (2006) and Naked: Confessions of Adultery Infidelity (with Leigh Langtree,2008). I had only read a little of the latter – a non-fiction collection of essays and personal stories about infidelity. From that small taste I could see that it was an intelligently edited work, published not for titillation but in a spirit of social and cultural exploration.
It’s easy to see that some of Kylie’s discoveries during the editing of Naked may have informed the narrative and characters of After the Fall. But her novel also showed that she is a writer of amazing breadth. Her fiction writing is as engaging as her blogs and the opinion pieces which have featured in publications like The Age and O Magazine.
By the time I grabbed a copy of After The Fall Kylie and I had struck up a tentative email friendship due to our Web Child connection. She is amazingly supportive, friendly and down to earth. Naturally, I was worried about reading her novel – what if I didn’t like it?
I have only ever read one other novel by a writer with whom I had such a friendship. That was the wonderful Joanne Fedler. Joanne wrote Secret Mothers’ Business and I so engaged with the narrator in that book that as soon as I closed the last page I scribbled off an effusive fan email to the author. My heart literally skipped a beat when Jo’s reply landed in my inbox several minutes later. Joanne is an amazing woman and a wonderful writer. During the time that we chatted online she was in the final edits of her novel Things Without a Name. I bought a copy the first day it was released and was so thrilled to discover that I ADORED her book. I can imagine it would be kinda awkward if I didn’t. (BTW Joanne will have a new book out this year and I will let you all know when it is released.)
Happily, when I finished After The Fall I had the same feeling. I wanted to shout out, “Bravo Kylie!” Luckily by this stage I had my own little website and I was able to post a review of After The Fall. You can read it here.
Kylie’s star continues to rise. After the Fall is into its first reprint in Australia and – how excitement! – is being published by Random House in the US in June of this year. I am super proud of Kylie. She’s an Australian author going places and that’s ALWAYS a good thing.
So – to celebrate the whole darn thing – Kylie has kindly given me three copies of After the Fall to give away. I’d like to be cheeky and say tell me your story of infidelity for a chance to win, but I don’t really think I’m equipped (despite previous assertions) for quite THAT much oversharing. So all I need is a comment here – before midnight on Sunday Feb 14th. Even just a smiley face. I will put all commenters into a random integer draw thingy (It’s ok – I do it at work all the time. I’m not really a flake 🙂 and I am very honest and fair). And you too could have your very own copy of this book. It’s a fabulous novel to curl up and lose yourself in. Trust me.
BTW – as of last night you can find Kylie on Twitter. I must say I played a small hand in seducing her to the dark side. But with the fabulous welcome she got from my tweeps I know that now she can see why I love ’em so much. 🙂 Kylie’s Twitter name is @kylie_ladd.