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February 1st Author Stalker with Ali Lowe!

The gorgeous Ali Lowe's spectacular debut, The Trivia Night,

has been optioned by a major Hollywood television studio!

'I still can't believe it!'

Welcome to the first edition of The Author Stalker for 2022. I hope you have all enjoyed some time off over summer to rest and recharge. My holidays were spent at home, catching up with family and floating away the hours on my porch swing, devouring some amazing new and upcoming releases. Oh what a treasure trove the publishers have in store for you all.

And there is no better way to get the ball rolling than with this stunning debut by the enchanting Ali Lowe. The Trivia Night (February 22nd 2022 release) is an ABSOLUTE PAGE-TURNER.

Set on Sydney’s gorgeous Northern Beaches it introduces us to four very different couples who, after finding themselves on the same table at a school trivia night, become deeply entangled not only with each other, but within the web of lies and secrets people often hide.

This debut has it all. A stellar cast of diverse characters. Subterfuge. Scandal. Swingers and sex, all delivered within a pacey, multiple point of view narrative. And just when you think everything is said and done…there's a killer twist!!

Publisher Hachette calls it ‘A gripping, domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth’ and their description couldn’t be more accurate. After turning the final page my first thought was Ooh I can already visualise the tv adaptation. Nicole…Reese…check this one out!

And guess what...I was right! Well not about Nicole and Reese...but The Trivia Night has been optioned by a major Hollywood televsion studio! I cannot wait to see this come to the screen. Get your popcorn and bubbles ready everyone :-)

After growing up in picturesque Cambridge, Ali's journalism degree led her to the bright lights of London and a newspaper and magazine career. It was during her time working for UK mag OK! that she found herself stalking David & Victoria Beckham around the grounds of Elton John's Windsor home, during his 7th Annual White Tie and Tiara party in 2005 ! As a fellow stalker, I applaud your efforts Ali and I LOVE the photo. And to top that she has also flown on a private jet with Simon Cowell!!

But it was an interview with talented Australian author Jaclyn Moriarty and her recommendation, that led Ali to Sydney's Faber Academy's Writing A Novel Course.

'That’s where I wrote The Trivia Night, which was scooped up by my London agent overnight and went on to sell to Hodder & Stoughton in a two-book deal. I know I am exceptionally lucky – it doesn’t always happen this way.'

Ali's second novel, The Running Club (2023 release), is about 'a wealthy suburb where secrets simmer beneath the surface, and all is not as it seems!' And if her debut is anything to go by, book two is going to be a cracker!

Hodder’s publisher Kimberley Atkins said: “I can’t wait to publish the excellent The Trivia Night – a novel which feels a little like Liane Moriarty meets ‘Desperate Housewives’. It’s such a fun, clever and spiky debut with an addictive premise…”

And it seems that writing runs in the blood with Ali's London-based sister, Joanna Miller signed to a UK literary agent, and currently working on her debut historical fiction novel. I may have just stalked Joanna on watch this space!

But now, without further ado, I will hand you over to the gorgeous Ali.xx

Q1: What was your inspiration for this story and how long did it take you to write the first draft?

A: A girlfriend casually mentioned there were some parents at her children’s primary school who were swingers, and I remember being fascinated and saying, ‘This would be a GREAT premise for a book.’ It had so much scope for exploration – what if someone got pregnant? What if someone became obsessed? I took the idea in to the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course and wrote The Trivia Night in nine months.

Q2: You are hosting a spectacular dinner party. Name four dream guests you would love to have seated around your table, and what would they be dining on and drinking?

A: Ooh, great question! Agatha Christie would be one. I grew up reading her books – she was a genius. I’d also ask Sally Hepworth because I am a huge fan (I happy-sobbed when I found out she’d given me a blurb quote for the cover of The Trivia Night!) Next up, British author Richard Osman, because his ‘Murder Club’ books are hilarious and his turn of phrase completely brilliant. I’d ask my husband too, for diplomacy reasons. We’d eat Yum Cha because it’s fun and everyone should experience yum cha at some point in life.

'I once went to Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara party and stalked David Beckham round the garden for a photo! It was 7th annual White Tie and Tiara party, in 2005, and I was working for OK!'

(OMG...SO jealous Ali. You look stunning!

You are giving the glam Posh a run for her money. Shelley.xx)

Q3: What is your favourite book of all time and why?

A: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I first read it in my teens and I have a slight obsession with collecting various editions of the book. When I got my book deal for The Trivia Night three years ago, I bought myself a first edition from 1938.

(I too have a love of writing memorabilia...My first edition isn't as fabulous, but it is just as special. A copy of Catherine Woolley's Ginnie & The Mystery Doll. This was the book that made me want to become a writer. Shelley.xx)

'My favourite thing….

I feel as though you’re looking for something literary here, so I’ll say my first edition of Rebecca. I also have a postcard from Daphne du Maurier to her aunt. The photo on the front is of Menabilly House in Cornwall, which was the inspiration for Manderley.'

Q4: If you could travel anywhere in the world to write for a year, where would we find you?

A: Fiji. I wrote a few chapters of The Trivia Night while I was on the Mamanuca Islands in 2019. I love the people, the pace of life and the stunning scenery. It’s my happy place.

Q5: Describe your go-to reading spot at home and what book/s would I currently find there?

A: I have no sense of loyalty - I’ll go wherever it is quiet, whether that’s the living room, my bed or the bath. I’m currently reading Holly Miller’s What Might Have Been and it’s fabulous.

Q6: Tell us a bit about a typical writing day…

A: I’ll get up, rush around making packed lunches and usher the children out of the door. Then I’ll drink a LARGE coffee and set to work. I’m used to writing for hours at a time from my journo days, so it’s often lunchtime before I realise I should take a screen break. At 3pm I’ll extract myself from the imaginary world I’m inhabiting for school pick-up.

'My writing space…

I write in a study nook in the middle of the house. It doesn’t have a door, so I’m constantly interrupted by people, and animals, wandering in. Thankfully I’m used to writing with noise and distraction from my hectic newspaper days.'

Q7: As a lover of words, is there a special quote you would like to share with us?

A: ‘There’s no place like home.’ L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz.

Q8: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

A: My other role is as a PA, personal shopper and general dogsbody for my children – that takes up a lot of time. You might also find me hanging out with my girlfriends, reading or doing some kind of exercise.

Q9: Any advice for aspiring authors?

A: Write to the end and don’t look back. It is the hardest thing to do, especially if you’re a perfectionist, but from my experience, it’s the only way to get finished. The magic happens in the editing process!

(I need to take note of this advice! Shelley.xx)

Q10: In a few lines, which debut/emerging Aussie author should we look out for?

A: Can I mention two? First up, Holly Craig Holly is a thriller writer signed to a UK agency and I have a feeling she will be huge.

Also Anne Freeman Anne’s upcoming book Returning To Adelaide is out in March and it’s heart-warming and lovely.

The events at a school fundraiser night get quickly out of hand, and the fallout leads to devastating results for a group of four couples . . .

Question: How long does it take to tear someone's life apart?

Answer: Sometimes just one night.

From the outside the parents of the kindergarten class at Darley Heights primary school seem to have it all. Living in the wealthy Sydney suburbs, it's a community where everyone knows each other - and secrets don't stay secret for long. The big date in the calendar is the school's annual fundraising trivia night, but when the evening gets raucously out of hand, talk turns to partner-swapping. Initially scandalised, it's not long before a group of parents make a reckless one-night-only pact. But in the harsh light of day, those involved must face the fallout of their behaviour. As they begin to navigate the shady aftermath of their wild night, the truth threatens to rip their perfect lives apart - and revenge turns fatal.

THE TRIVIA NIGHT is a gripping, domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth.

Thank you Ali for being my February 1st Author Stalker victim. xx

The Trivia Night is available now for pre-order through bookstores and online.

If you would like to find out more about Ali, you can find her here:

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Leonie Kelsall
Leonie Kelsall
Feb 01, 2022

ooh, this sounds fabulous, Ali! And nice to have you back, Shell x

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