Tag Archives: Burqalicious The Dubai Diaries

Burqalicious in Bali…

3 Jul

Huge thanks to my friend Trevor here, who made a fabulous host at the Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries Q&A night in Ubud last week. And yes, it was last week, in case you were thinking this photo has a 1978 sort of quality to it. Not sure what happened there… my dress wasn’t even blue, but hey, it only goes to show how much we had to put up with before the world went digital.

If you’re heading to Bali in the near future, you have to check out the coolest venue on the block, Bar Luna. I was lucky enough to discover Casa Luna’s sexy sister on my first day in Ubud, as a result of reading about the Thursday literary nights in a little magazine. I made it a bit of a regular haunt while I was there; the food is great and even BETTER, the cocktails are buy-one-get-one-free from 5 till 8pm (try the Coconut Killer, it’s to die for). They have live music on Tuesdays too.

The Burqalicious night drew a nice crowd and although I was admittedly a bit nervous at first, it was pretty cool getting to chit-chat for an hour. Trevor was a natural and we had fun. He prepared all sorts of interesting questions and got me talking about the book in a way I haven’t been able to do, to this point. I was actually surprised how fast the time went! It’s a shame we couldn’t get any books delivered as I had a heap of people asking where they could get one, which was cool… but we have to wait for a reprint as they’re all out of stock in Australia, apparently. Sorry peeps!

You’ll find Bar Luna hidden down a little laneway about a 5 minute walk uphill from the main Ubud marketplace (walk in the opposite direction to the Palace). When you hit Nomads on the right, take the little street alongside it and you’ll find this hidden diamond seconds later, waiting for your arrival. Tell them I said hi!

Ah Ubud, I miss you so, but I know I’ll be back soon and there are tons more literary nights and events to look forward to in your wicked bubble of creativity and inspiration. Big thanks again to Trevor, and Chara, Janet and all the awesome staff at Bar Luna for a fab night and much-appreciated support for Burqalicious. Mwah xxx

Burqalicious is number 2 in Apple iBookstore chart…

27 May

Just got this lovely piece of news, which is very cool. Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries is number two in the Apple iBookstore charts! YAY! But wouldn’t it be awesome to get it to number one?!

OK ya’ll, if you haven’t bought this book yet, now’s the time to download it for the measly price of just 99c. Yes, that is LESS THAN A DOLLAR to read the nitty gritty life-changing events that took me over two years to write down. The whole painstaking process, the hours of labour, the blood, sweat, tears and emotional trauma, the wretched heartbreaking affairs that went down, all exposed, for less than the price of a cheeseburger.

Don’t feel guilty. Hey, I won’t hold it against you (much). You can buy me a glass of Cab Sav when next we meet and you can pretend you bought it at full price. I’ll never know and I’ll still think you’re great, so it’s win win!

Get onto you iBook apps and download that sucker now. If you don’t have the app yet, it’s easy peasy to download and you can read it on the train, or the bus, or on the loo, or at school, or wherever!

Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease go get it NOW! Thanks!



26 May

So next Spring my book will be published in North America and Canada, thanks to a lovely little publisher’s called Skyhorse. How cute is that name? It reminds me of galloping ponies in the clouds, maybe even unicorns and Care Bears. I like it a lot. It wouldn’t be the same if it was called SkyTiger would it? That would just sound like a cheap airline. Or SkyRacoon, or SkyMillipede,… ugh. I think they picked the right name.

Apparently I will have to edit it a bit for the American market, which may mean inserting a happy ending where Dubai is completely finished and everyone lives happily ever after, but who knows. Maybe I’ll just have to change all the s’s to z’s and everything will be fine. Either way, I’m happy to have another play with the text. As a perfectionist I’m sure I could re-write entire chapters if allowed, which I won’t be. I’d like to write a few songs in, too, as I know American’s like things with songs in them. Maybe Miley Cyrus could sing something when a little button is pressed on the cover? I’d like that. I think book shops would like that too – imagine the whole store blurting out Miley Cyrus at regular intervals! It would get annoying after a while though, the song would overlap itself as kids pressed different buttons at different times. An eight-track Miley Cyrus in stereo. The staff would have to wear earplugs. The book would eventually get banned… which would actually be cool because everyone always wants what they can’t have. Perfect. Let’s get it banned!!!

Anyway, I’m excited about this. I love America and I really, really hope they like my book. Canada’s nice too, though I’ve only been to Niagara Falls, so I can’t really comment on its people. The only people I met there were people like myself, all wearing bumbags and taking photos and saying things like “Ooh my gooood, there’s so much water!” I’m sure they’re nice too though. I hope they like burqas.

I should say, Amazon.com still have the book listed, which they shouldn’t, because although they’re letting you order it, it won’t be delivered till America actually gets it in stock, NEXT YEAR. So don’t order it yet, else you’ll be waiting ages! Same goes for the UK. It hasn’t been sold in the UK, so even though I’m British I have to change things like Boots Meal Deal into Starbucks SuperSize and you have to pretend I’m from the U.S. If anyone would like to print it in the UK please do, but tell us first, don’t just go photocopying it. We will find you.

I’m excited. I want to go to America and have a launch party so you must all come. I understood when you couldn’t come to the Australian one because it’s really far away, but America is the centre of the universe, so there’s no excuse.


Burqalicious in NW…

3 May

I haven’t really seen too many reviews of my book… and who knows, maybe that’s a good thing. But I was still quite excited when someone told me they’d seen one in this week’s NW magazine.

Before you say it, it’s not really a review – as such – rather a mention. They haven’t passed judgement or offered an opinion at all, like they have with Calling Romeo next to it. But still, they gave me half a star more than Alexandra so I’ll just be grateful that someone liked it an incy bit more, even if they haven’t said why.

I  took this piccy of it on page 85 with my phone, because I’m too cheap to buy it. Yes, that’s right, I’m too cheap to buy a magazine featuring a mini-review of my own book. Tragic isn’t it. Thanks to Sydney’s extortionate living expenses, it was a choice between buying the mag, or buying my lunch.

I chose a chicken wrap, and very nice it was too.

What’s Burqalicious in Russian?

29 Apr

Как удачливый я должен иметь книжное дело с российским издательством. That, according to my nifty oline translater thingy means, “How lucky I am to have a book deal with a Russian publishing house.” Which I am. YAY!

Of course, I’m VERY excited to see how it looks in such a…. such a… well, such an interesting language. It looks a bit like hieroglyphics really doesn’t it? I’m especially intrigued to see how they’ll translate the word ‘Burqalicious’, which doesn’t actually translate at all, unless you create several words from its meaning. I had a go at it myself. Here are a few ways they might choose to name it differently, all of which look quite pretty, but might actually wind up taking up the entire cover. Hmmm…

“Woman in very nice burqa” translates to “Женщина в очень хорошем burqa”

“Dazzling item of Arabic clothing” translates to “Ослепление пункта арабской одежды”

“Beautiful lady in burqa with shopping bags” translates to “Прекрасная леди в burqa с хозяйственными сумками”

I’m gathering there’s no actual word for burqa in Russia? Interesting.

Anyway, I’m sure they’ll do a marvellous job and I can’t wait to see what extra bling they add. Or how the fleet horse sounds when spoken aloud in such a fascinating language. Delightful!

There was an awesome Russian restaurant in Dubai we used to go to quite a lot, called Troika, in the Royal Ascot Hotel. They had a great menu, none of which I can remember because my eyes were permanently glued to the live performance acts that took place as we dined. The Russian dancers would dress in the most incredible outfits, all feathers and hats and sequins and stilts. The best part was the singing… or was it the fat old man who used to sit in the corner, dressed in a leopard print shirt, surrounded by beautiful ladies with pencilled-in eyebrows and fur jackets? Hmmm… it all got kind of blurry most of the time, thanks to the vodka.

I think each copy of “Ослепление пункта арабской одежды” in Russia should come with a free Troika restaurant pass and a shot of vodka. That oughta sell more copies.

New or best selling…

14 Mar

I’m not entirely sure which category Burqalicious comes under, but thanks to my friend Suma for snapping this pic just now at Melbourne airport. Looks like the book is on major display there at Watermark. Hurrah! I have a feeling it probably comes more under ‘new’ than ‘best selling’ but meh, I’ll take either 😉

This is good to see because I thought the book was only going to be on a big display throughout February, in Newslink. So I guess this means the people at Watermark have done this themselves, which is exciting innit! And it has made me feel a bit better about the fact that I have a stinking cold today. I’ve already blown through a whole box of tissues – arrrrgh.

I think there’s a virus going round Sydney so if you’re here, take those vitamins people. It’s too late for me but you can still save yourselves. xxx

To those who’ve ordered Burqalicious from Amazon…

11 Mar

There has apparently been a mistake. I’m sure the people behind Amazon are just really very busy, but hmmmm, according to the publishers at HarperCollins, Amazon do not have the right to distribute Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries for at least six months, which is why those who have ordered it are being told it’s not yet in stock, and/or not yet available! Sorry folks. You might be waiting a while for the goods.

The reason for this is that HarperCollins Australia have to try and get a publisher to pick it up in the other markets, and they have six months to do this (I thought I had deadlines!). It’s only if no one wants to publish it overseas that HarperCollins will release the rights for alternative distribution. Hoping this won’t happen (eek!) but sorry to those who’ve ordered already and paid good money.

Let’s take action!

Get on the phone to Amazon, email them and make your voice heard! If you have an account you can contact them here

If enough people want to read it and can’t get hold of it, publishers might get wind of the fact that Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries needs to printed OUTSIDE OF AUSTRALIA. Plus, if you have already ordered and paid for it, you deserve your copy sooner. They might make special allowances… if they’re feeling nice. No promises.

The book has already been doing really well… yesterday I learned that it was listed in the Most Mentioned section of every publisher and bookseller’s bible – The Blue Newsletter, which means that thanks to all this social networking, and your fabulous support, things are already looking pretty good. YAY! Shameless self-promotion pays off… hey, there’s a lesson for all of us. 😉

But I still want all my lovely friends and Dubai folk, and those who are interested in Dubai (or at least my somewhat debauched version of it) to be able to read it, obviously.

The Kindle is still your friend, but if you want to hold its glossy, golden goodness in your hands in full page-laden format, you’re gonna have to wait, unless you complain, now.

Get on the phone and be heard! And thanks for all your support in this exciting time! xoxo

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