Our long, hot summer here in Australia is coming to an end. We have had terrible bushfires and at the same time devastating floods in tropical Queensland. This can be a harsh country and the reality of climate change is definitely upon us. If we ignore this, I’m afraid nature will punish us; relentlessly.
I have spent of lot of my time in our garden in the Blue Mountains this summer. Writing is usually a very solitary endeavour, but as you can see, I do have some delightful exotic visitors who watch me write, often for hours. This is an Australian king parrot who visited me almost every day during summer with his mates. How good is that?
As you know, reviews are hugely important to a writer, especially on Amazon. You can therefore imagine how delighted I was a couple of weeks ago to find that three of my books, namely, The Empress Holds the Key, The Kimberley Secret and The Forgotten Painting, were #1, 2 and 3 respectively in the Amazon Best Sellers in Historical Thrillers category.
And that wasn’t all … At the same time, Letters from the Attic was # 10 . To have four books in the top ten best sellers category is very rare, and needless to say, could not have happened without your support. So, a big thank you to you all!
Writing fiction is all about ideas and inspiration. Here’s a recent article about inspiration which appeared in the Mosman Daily in Sydney I thought you may find interesting. Mosman – a harbour- side suburb in Sydney – is my second home, and Balmoral Beach is where I often find inspiration for my stories during my morning swim. The article relates to Professor K : The Final Quest, the latest book in the Jack Rogan Mysteries series.
I am pleased to tell you that since it’s release in November last year, Professor K: The Final Quest has been very well received and has been nominated for the 2019 TopShelf Indie Book Awards which will give the book excellent exposure worldwide. This would not have been possible without you, my dedicated readers. Therefore, once again, a big thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support.
Now, it’s time for a brief update on how the next book is coming along. As you know, this will be book 5 in the Jack Rogan Mysteries series.
I am pleased to tell you that Jack’s next nail-biting adventure is making excellent progress. All the research in London and Florence and several other exciting locations I do not want to disclose a this stage, has been completed, and all the new characters I will introduce, profiled and ‘fleshed out.’ Authenticity demands believable, true-to-life characters that entertain and excite. Characters and action are the lifeblood of a gripping thriller, and I can promise you the next book has plenty of both.
As I am planning another lengthy research trip in September/October that will take us into Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, I have set myself a deadline: The book has to be completed before I leave, as we are preparing for a book launch/release in November.
So, exciting times ahead, and please remember, you are of course coming along with me to help me with the research which, you will recall, relates to another novella I am working on. I have no doubt we’ll have a lot fun exploring some fascinating places as we travel through this stunning part of Europe full of history, which will, of course, feature prominently in the novella. But more of this another time.
I can still remember my tenth birthday, most vividly. Why? Because on that day I was given the key to my grandfather’s attic. This magical place was in a hunting lodge in Austria that belonged to my grandparents.
(You can read about this in Letters from the Attic, a collection of biographical short stories you can download for free right now as part of my Starter Library. Just follow the link below:
Up there in his attic, my grandfather – an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army who died many years before I was born – kept his most treasured possessions: books. That’s where I first came into contact with some of the most wonderful books ever written, and met the literary giants who many years later had a profound influence on my writing. One of them was Leo Tolstoy, a great favourite of mine.
It is therefore most appropriated that I introduce you to Tolstoy and his epic work, War and Peace, that has entertained countless generations since it was published in 1869.
Lev Nikolayevitch Tolstoy was born into a privileged Russian aristocratic family in 1828 and became one of the most celebrated writers of his time. In fact, he is regarded even today, as one of the greatest novelists. His epic War and Peace and Anna Karenina are still revered as timeless masterpieces.
Both his parents died when he was very young and he was brought up by relatives and went on to study law and oriental languages at Kazan University. He began writing in his early twenties and after running up some huge gambling debts, he joined the army and became an artillery officer during the Crimean War and was stationed in Sevastopol during the famous siege in 1854.
Appalled by the senseless slaughter involved in warfare, he transformed his life from a profligate, privileged society author to spiritual anarchist who believed that the State was a conspiracy ” designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens …”
He corresponded with the young Mahatma Gandhi about this subject, and Gandhi sought his advice on spiritual matters.
Tolstoy’s illustrious literally career spanned several decades and produced such timeless works as The Sevastopol Sketches, The Cossacks, and of course his epic War and Peace.
Towards the end of his long life, in 1901, he was nominated to receive the first Nobel Prize in literature, but turned it down because he thought that the prize money would have a negative impact on his life and believes.
It would be presumptuous of me to even attempt to review Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Therefore, what I will do instead, is to recommend this book as an outstanding, inspirational read. Even if you have read this wonderful novel before, please try to read it again. It will feel different every time you look at it. It certainly did that for me.
The first time I read War and Peace was in my grandfather’s attic. His copy was in German, called Krieg und Frieden, and I kept it to this very day. Here it is, let me show you:
Finally, once again just a little reminder about the free Starter Library which can be downloaded right now by following this link:
Please share this newsletter with your friends and tell them about the free Starter Library. As my valued ‘literary ambassadors’ you are well positioned to spread the word about my writing and increase my readership.
Author Gabriel Farago