I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. I managed to get an infected bone. My finger is still infected but, bit by bit, I’m back to normal work. Routine has been very hard to regain, because of on and off restrictions due to the pandemic. I was restricted until I was vaccinated and now I’m vaccinated, my whole city is in a very thorough lockdown.
What have I been doing with my time? I’m working on my PhD. It’s the right kind of research for right now because I don’t actually need libraries at this point. I am being as clever as I can and working from my computer. It’s literary studies doctorate and my case studies are fantasy novels and it’s the perfect thing to do when life is sour. In The Wizardry of Jewish Women I made a joke about a demon-infested lemon tree throwing sliced lemons at one of the characters so imagine me turning those lemon slices into a delicious drink. It’s the best way of handling the impossible.
I’m a little public for a bit, too, because of Australia’s Reading Hour.
Every year Australians are encouraged to stop for an hour and read, and the world of libraries and schools and bookshops works together to encourage that reading. One of the key ways they promote it is to nominate writers as Ambassadors, and me, I’m one this year. This year is a bit light-on for events, because everything has to be online, but there is one that is free. Three writers (Sophie Masson, Juliet Marillier and me) will be chatting about books. Here is the link to it: https://www.newc.org.au/what-writers-read.html
While I was dealing with everything, my new novel came out. I call The Green Children Help Out a Jewish superhero book, but it’s a bit more than that. I wanted to build a contemporary magical world where the ground crunched underfoot, that is, it felt as if we could be there. I wanted the people who were saving it to be people who are heavily undervalued in our own world but are seriously, seriously cool. And I wanted to show that coolness. Now I want to move to that world, for it’s COVID-free and being Jewish is not something that needs explaining all the time. Also, I want to be one of the Green Children. I have absolutely no idea what my superpower would be, but I’m open to suggestions.