Saturday, August 1, 2015

Release day imminent

So we’re down to a countdown of 6 days until the release of You Are the Reason.  When did time go so fast?  If you wish to pre-order, the book is now available on all the main channels:

The initial few reviews are out – which makes me excited and nervous all at the same time.  Thank you to the reviewers who took the time to read my book and say some kind words about it.

So, the question is, what can I say about the book to entice you to buy?  Hmm – it’s funny?  It’s sexy?  It’s hot-damn Australian?

It may be something that has been mentioned before, but at times Australians seem to have a unique sense of humour.  To me it’s not unique – because my father has it, my neighbour has it, the guy at the petrol station has it...  To me it’s normal.  It often surprises me when the humour isn’t understood by a reader in a different country.

I once worked with a bunch of anthropologists.  These anthropologists worked with traditional aborigines in north-west Australia.  They once explained to me, that one of the hardest things to get people to do, is to describe intrinsic beliefs and systems.  If it’s normal to you, and you don’t know that everyone doesn’t have this same system, then how do you tell outsiders about it?

For example, modern culture simply expects that a mother will birth a baby, and she will look after it, feed it, care for it, etc unless there is a problem.  Imagine if there was a culture where a mother birthed a child, and then gave it up to the head of the family to raise as part of their daily life?  We, as a modern culture, would cry that it is natural for a mother to care for her child, that it’s nature.  But that is our belief.  I could cite you a number of animals that don’t care for their off-spring.  To them it is natural.

Coming in very close to these cultural norms, are superstitions.  Superstitions can range from faith systems (such as “crossing” one’s self when someone mentions Satan), to luck systems (carrying around a rabbit’s foot), to unexplainable systems (like not washing your socks for the whole football season).  I remember studying for my exams using a particular pen, and then insisting on taking that pen into the exams with me – because it knew all the answers.  Logically it was irrational, but it was something I needed to do, or fail the exam.  My BFF’s father banned me from their house when he learned I had not been christened.  He thought the house would fall down – despite the fact that I had been inside dozens of times without a single shake of a weight-bearing beam.

In You Are the Reason, Davo has a superstition.  A silly one.  A stupid one.  One that he logically knows cannot be true, but it has never failed him, and so he sticks with it.  It involves a toy that you can buy from most toy stores.

Magic 8 Ball.

Davo uses his Magic 8 Ball to make major decisions in his life.  Like whether to visit his mother on a particular day, and when to call Lee.  Not only does he use the Magic 8 Ball, he slavishly adheres to its advice.
Monday morning I consulted Mr. Magic 8 Ball again.

“Should I message Lee this morning?”
Very doubtful.
I sighed in relief and went to work.

Lee however doesn’t believe in it.

I left him to wake up and returned to the kitchen. I poured the coffee and slid the yellow mixture onto plates. Then I picked up Mr. Magic 8 Ball.
“Will I need to wake Lee again this morning?” I shook the ball and turned it up.
My sources say no.I smiled and sat at the table, not realizing I was being watched, until he spoke from behind me. “You really believe that shit, don’t you?” he said as he plonked down on the chair opposite me.
“Huh? What?”
“The Magic 8 Ball. You realize it’s a toy, don’t you?” He picked up his coffee mug and took a sip. Then he screwed up his face. “Ugh. Sugar, darling, sugar. Never feed me coffee without it.”
I laughed and got up to retrieve the sugar bowl. “My Mr. Magic 8 Ball is not a toy,” I said as I pulled the bright yellow bowl from the pantry. “He’s an oracle and is all knowing.”
Lee studied my face for a moment. Then his jaw dropped. “Oh my God. You’re serious.”
His face was disbelieving, so I picked up my oracle on the way by and placed the sugar bowl within Lee’s reach. Then I said, “Is Lee mocking me?”
Signs point to yes.
I showed Lee the answer with a smirk. “He’s never wrong.”

It gets a few laughs throughout the story, and it makes Dave more real to me.  But do you want to know something funny?  Not funny as in ha-ha.  Funny as in you-are-shitting-me.


While writing this story, each time Davo reached for his Magic 8 Ball, I used an internet Magic 8 Ball site for the answer.  I would type in “Should Davo message Lee now?”, and whatever the answer it brought up, then I put it in the story.  If the Magic 8 Ball said yes, then Davo did it.  If it said no, then he didn’t.


It told Davo (and thus the author, me) when he was going to visit Jake, when he was going to visit his parents, and just when he forgave Lee.

Now if that isn’t enough to prove to you that the oracle never lies, then I don’t know what is... **wink**

You Are the Reason releases this Friday, 7th of August.  I hope you enjoy.

How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

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