Attic Whispers from the Blue Mountains [January 2020 Edition]

Greetings from my attic in the Blue Mountains!
The good news is that thanks to the heroic efforts of an army of volunteer fire-fighters, the attic is still here!
As you would have heard on the news lately, we had some horrendous bushfires in Australia. The scale and ferocity of these fires was unprecedented and resulted in numerous fatalities, stock and property losses and even an evacuation by the Navy of some 2000 people, trapped on a beach by the fires on the south coast!

Thousands of volunteer firefighters battled these blazes for weeks, but unfortunately, many of them were just too big and out of control. Firefighters from around the globe reached out, and came to help. The US and Canada in particular, sent most needed assistance and the firefighters were welcomed with open arms.

This deserves a big Thank You! for a helping hand when it was needed most.

Up here at home in the Blue Mountains, we were surrounded by huge fires for several weeks and it was only due to good fortune and the outstanding efforts of the volunteer firefighters that we came out of this crisis relatively unscathed. Looking at other areas affected by these fires, it could have been a lot worse. To show you the extent of the fires up here, I have attached one particular image that will tell the story much better than I can.

Another sad, but inevitable consequence of bushfires on this scale, is the devastating impact on our wildlife. Numerous rescue efforts were made to save as many creatures as possible.

So, as you can see, the new year started with a lot of tragedy and sadness, but Australians are a tough and resourceful lot, and the long process of rebuilding has already begun. And there is more good news!

The long-awaited rains have finally arrived a few days ago, and rainfall up here in the mountains has been torrential and helped put out most of the fires. So at least for now, the danger seems to have passed

Many of you have sent me messages of support which have been greatly appreciated. It’s in times like these you find out who your real friends are! Thank you for your concern, and apologies if I haven’t replied to all of your emails as promptly as I would have liked to, but between watching the fires and keeping the garden alive, there just hasn’t been time.

This is also the reason I haven’t had a chance to post all the signed copies of my latest book to all the book launch winners. This is happening right now, and I am sure you will receive your copy shortly.

As I have foreshadowed in our last newsletter, now that the immediate fire danger seems to be behind us, we can look forward with confidence to an exciting year to come and what better way to start the year than share with you a delightful email I received recently in the middle of a firestorm!

Allow me to introduce to you Jan Louthis,  one of my dedicated readers who had this to say:

Mr Farago, I am almost finished reading the Jack Rogan collection of five books.  I’m so thrilled with them!  You and yours must have done an incredible amount of research, unless you are actually scientists, historians and biographers and just happened to know so much about everything in your books!  The mysteries are so fun and intriguing, but the facts are what fascinate me so much!  You have become my new favorite author.  I sincerely hope that you keep writing more books in the same vein, because I will read them all.
I’m disabled with several autoimmune diseases and have studied everything I can, as a layman.  The Dr K book really hit home with me, but you hit on many of my favorite interests.  Thank you so much for sharing your books with me through kindle.  I love books, but holding them has become difficult and I feel a bit like traitor to the publishing industry, but I do what I must!  I usually read 3-5 books per week.  I’ve been trying to read yours slowly, but they are so exciting that it’s difficult!
Thank you again for writing wonderful books that even I can completely understand.  You’re the best!
~Jan Louthis 

As you can imagine, a little note like this is the recognition and encouragement every writer dreams about. Thank you Jan, and thank you for allowing me to share this with my friends.
As you know, I greatly value your opinion and suggestions and encourage feedback on everything we do. In my view, this is the only way to keep in touch with my readership, and find out how my work resonates.

As writing is such a solitary endeavour, it is quite easy, and I admit often tempting, to just immerse yourself in the world of your imagination and shut out the outside world. Of course I know this would be folly. Instead, I listen to what you have to tell me, and try to shape my plans and approach to my work accordingly.
In that context, there is an important matter that  keeps coming up and I would like to address with you now: audiobooks.

I have received numerous emails from you asking about audiobooks. You would like to know when the Jack Rogan Mysteries series will be available in audio. The short answer is, soon. I am working on this right now, and hope to be in a position to have audio books available by the end of the year, but this is a complex process with serious quality and production issues that mustn’t be rushed.

As you can see, my friends, we have many exciting things planned for the year ahead. There will be travel adventures, and our usual newsletter features like Hooked On Classics,  and of course plenty of fascinating tidbits to pique your interest about the new book to come …

Finally, my friends, just another little reminder about the FREE Starter Library which can be downloaded right now on this link

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