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An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
An Ordinary Epidemic is a riveting, topical novel from a new voice in Australian writing.

An Ordinary Epidemic is the riveting novel by Sydney writer, Amanda Hickie of how far one desperate mother will go to protect her two boys and keep them safe as they struggle to survive terrible odds when Sydney goes into lockdown as fear and compassion collide as they struggle to survive while the epidemic spreads and the water supply is cut, followed by the power...

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
Amanda Hickie, I think it's much more interesting to look at the kind of decisions we make in difficult circumstances.

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
Author/Editor, Lynette Washington: We will launch this book in style where you can meet Amanda and other writers and have some fun.

You are invited to join MidnightSun Publishing for the launch of Amanda Hickie's highly acclaimed nail biter An Ordinary Epidemic. Editor and writer Lynette Washington will launch the book in style with plenty of drinks and nibbles. Bring a friend, dance, buy a book, chat with a writer, have fun! (By the way, I'm not kidding about the dancing, rumour has it, Internationally renowned Adelaide author, Sean Williams will once again act as DJ on the night! Folks still talk about the great time they had at the launch last November for Breaking Beauty when Sean entertained the crowd as DJ Extraordinair, "THIS IS AN EVENT NOT TOO BE MISSED."

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
Sean Williams Author and DJ Extraordinair 'Put on your dancing shoes and dance the night away!'

RSVP's much appreciated -
Please RSVP to Anna Solding 0400 047 426
or anna@

When: 8 May at 6.30 for a 7.00 start.
Where: SA Writers' Centre, Second Floor, 187 Rundle Street, Adelaide

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
SA Writers' Centre fostering,developing and promoting writers and writing.

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
Great opportunity for book lovers to meet author, Amanda Hickie and get a signed copy of her book.

I asked Amanda about her writing and how she came to write An Ordinary Epidemic?

I was living in Ottawa, Canada during the SARS outbreak in Toronto. It kept popping up in Toronto in people who shoudn't be getting it, so every night we were watching the news wondering, 'Is it already in Ottawa?'

I started thinking about how a family would get by in an outbreak that really took off. I think those two experiences were really the catalyst for this book, although I didn't think about writing it for maybe another five or six years.
I wanted to write about family and joy. My experience of having boys didn't match with the stereotype that I mostly read, so I wanted to explore that.

I have always been interested in ethical questions. I remember when I was aged ten that I annoyed my scripture teacher by asking, 'Is it immoral to lie to a murderer?'
For the last few years I've been a volunteer Ethics teacher in the Primary School program here. It's something I've always been interested in, the grey edges of our moral choices, and one of the things I notice is that it is easy to say what you would do in straight forward ethical situations - that doesn't tell you much. It's much more interesting to look at the kind of decisions you make in difficult circumstances. I love exploring the reasons why with the kids. They are very insightful and thoughtful and I often end up thinking about an issue in a way I hadn't before. In a sense, I wanted to put my characters in a lot of those situations that didn't have a right decision.

What else have you written?

I used to write a lot of plays. I took some to workshops and entered a few competitions and made runner-up. I wrote a radio play called After Zoe, which I couldn't get produced so I adapted it into a novel. I discovered I enjoyed writing prose a lot more.

When I went to Canada I took some time off to write. The change of scenery helped me write After Zoe. I sent it off to every publisher I could find and mostly got form letter rejections, but occasionally I received 'Oh, I loved your book, but I couldn't convince the editorial team.'

I decided I learnt so much writing After Zoe, and I felt I had got close, and it would be a waste to stop. I sat down and made a list of every idea I had floating around in my head, and that's when I got the idea of an epidemic like SARS.

When I finished writing An Ordinary Epidemic and sent it off, I decided to publish After Zoe myself.

Can you tell me something about yourself and your writing?

"I have lived in Sydney all my life apart from a few years in Canada. I started studying Computer Science, but I kept being sidetracked by English and Theatre Studies' subjects. I realised I wasn't very good at Computer Science, but it didn't go to waste as I combined my studies and I began writing as a Technical Writer.

I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in writing and books. All my books I still have from my childhood have fake library cards and stamps that I made for them. There are two-line stories I wrote in kindergarten where I'm using words far too long for me to spell and the page is covered with corrections, but I didn't care about my spelling, just my ideas.

I'd write even if no-one was reading it. In fact, up until the last few years no-one has, but that's fine, because I enjoy getting immersed in my characters' world."

Who are your favourite authors and some of your favourite books?

"My tastes tend to be all over the place and my favourite book changes depending on the day and my mood. Recently my favourite author has been Kate Atkinson - the Jackson Brodie books, and I particularly loved One Good Turn and Started Early, Took My Dog. Her characters are so real, and her books are full of extraordinariness in among the ordinary. And then Life After Life, of course. I'm looking forward to reading the follow up. I love My Beautiful Enemy by Cory Taylor, which I read last year. Again, the characters had a realness about them.
When I'm looking for comfort reading, a good Graham Greene never goes astray. There's simplicity and straightforwardness in the way he writes in books like Brighton Rock, but The End of The Affair is always one of my favourites. I love books where you really get into the character's head, especially if the writer can persuade you to see the world through the eyes of someone you wouldn't normally take sides with.

All are welcome!

So get your friends together and come along and join Writer, Amanda Hickie and Editor/Writer, Lynette Washington at the launch of An Ordinary Epidemic and be prepared to have a good time.

An Ordinary Epidemic: Book Launch at SA Writers' Centre
'It's utterly fascinating, a little gruesome and impossible to put down.' Jessica Broadbent in Books Publishing - See more at
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Why? Great opportunity to meet author, Amanda Hickie and and other writers and get a signed copy of her book at an event that promises to be a lot of fun too..
When: 6.30pm for a 7.00pm start, Friday, 8 May 2015
Phone: Anna Solding 0400 047 426
Where: SA Writers' Centre, 2nd Floor, 187 Rundle Street, Adelaide
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