I first encountered Darren through Nick Earls, whom I like to think sang the praises of Exciting Press. He’s also our first author with whose work I wasn’t already familiar.
I think I’m not alone that Kindling was his first novel I read — and loved. A powerful tale of family drama that occurs even as a wildfire rages and threatens to encroach upon it. The rest of his work is equally as taut, and equally as poignant.
Darren’s been all over the place in terms of events. He’s a great guest speaker who has facilitated workshops and master classes, and he’s penned myriad articles in lots of places. Darren knows what he’s talking about, and he’s happy to share it.
Recognition? Yeah, he’s got that. I mean, look:
WINNER in the Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Literature (AUS), for Are You Seeing Me?, January 2016
Shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards Young Adult Book Award (Australia) for Most Valuable Potential, August 2004
Official Selection in the ‘Books From Our Backyard: 100 Must-Read Books From Queensland’ Collection (Australia) for Most Valuable Potential, September 2006
Shortlisted (with brother Simon) in The Text Prize (Australia) for Concentrate, August 2009
Book of the Month, Booktopia (Australia) for Kindling, July 2010
Book of the Month, Notebook Magazine (Australia) for Kindling, August 2010
Selection in the ‘Best Reads of 2012′, Reading Rewards (Australia) for Kindling, December 2012
Among myriad others. His Are You Seeing Me has been a phenom, and the novels we’re publishing together share a similar depth and breadth.
Most of all, Darren is why I wanted to start Exciting Press. I wanted to find new authors who would become my favorites, and introduce them to new readers who might feel the same way about them.