Bio: Gert Loveday is the pen name of sisters Joan Kerr and Gabrielle Daly. Gabrielle’s background is in nursing, medical research and music, while Joan is a widely-published poet. Since 2006 they have written several comic novels together. You can read more about how they came to be Gert on this interview with Guy Savage of 'His Futile Preoccupations' http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/gert-loveday-interview/ Gert Loveday writes with authority on peculiar diets, exercise regimes, body makeovers, extreme fashion, gurus, pigeons, religion, poetry, politics, the health bureaucracy, gourmet cooking, reality TV and literature from the Norse Sagas to Jeffrey Archer, with a sharp eye for character foibles and the pricking of pomposity. Our books are available in digital form only. 'Writing is Easy' is available from Amazon, Kobo, Bookworld and iTunes. 'Crane Mansions' and 'The Art Of The Possible' are on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords and its affiliated bookstores. 'Crane Mansions' is also available as an audiobook at http://www.audible.com.au/pd/Comedy/Crane-Mansions-Audiobook/B01I486SDW Gert Loveday's Fun With Books is our playground, where we hope to find others who like the same games. We post midweek and at the weekend - stuff about books, writers, writing, words, things that amuse us, some of our own writing.

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61 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi — can’t get goodreads to load, so am posting this review here — you can put it on any appropriate website. Thanks for a lot of fun — Teri

    Writing Is Easy, by Gert Loveday

    May 12, 2014

    Having finished this book, with a sigh, I have begun concocting new groups that Gert Loveday can send to Gagebrooke for a week. How about the scientists’ symposium hosted at Gagewood, a small elite group, there for a week to hammer out a 21st-century set of guidelines for peer-reviewed work? Or perhaps, artists, there to memorialize the magnificent surroundings? Or, to really stretch Andrew and Mandy’s resolve and kitchen, a group of food writers, all with special diets and interests.

    Gert has populated Gagebrooke with a coterie of engaging characters –not likable, many of them, but they sink their hooks in, and pretty soon, you can’t put the e-reader down. Marcus Goddard and Lilian Bracegirdle are competing authors who are offering a pricey week-long writing seminar at the plush country estate of Gagebrooke. The owners Andrew and Mandy set up the place with Mandy’s father’s money and Andrew’s perfectionist culinary skills. And the students complain rather constantly about not getting their money’s worth, but in fact all (spoiler alert) do take home new perspectives on themselves and their writing – not to mention enough new material to fill several books.

    The characters are deftly drawn and skewered, then enlarged and made human, so that in the end, the reader wants to know more. What will happen to Marcus? Did Helen ever publish? Where did the murder mysteries end up? How did things work out for little Janie?

    Writing Is Easy features two other important characters – the food, and Gagebrooke, not so much satirized as enjoyed for their over-the-top luxury. The meals in particular are portrayed with great love. Certainly the fondue offers as much humor as deliciousness, but most of the delicacies are there for the reader to salivate over, even as they impel the characters to do things against their better judgment (that does suggest that they have a level of good judgment, which in many cases is not so). We are just as eager to see Andrew’s next menu as we are to see how Marjorie will warp events to suit her needs.

    If you’ve ever spent a few days at a writers’ conference, you are likely to recognize yourself and others. You will laugh in spite of that. Writing Is Easy provides satisfying characters, a fast plot, lots of words that Americans may have to look up, and a solid dose of laughter.

    1. Wow, Teri, thanks so much for this review. And that’s a wow of relief too that it made you laugh. We always think our books are more likely to click with UK readers than American, but we’re being educated about that. The rv is up on Goodreads and LibraryThing but Amazon didn’t like it, maybe because it was under the author’s name.
      And glad you liked the food! We had a lot of fun with that.

  2. Our shelves are stocked with a very sizable collection of P.G. Wodehouse, a good deal of Chesterton, Hillaire Belloc, and others, so might not be the usual American reader.

    “Writing Is Easy” kept reminding me of “Bimbos of the Death Sun,” by Sharyn McCrumb, a satire on fantasy character/sci fi conventions. You might like it.

    1. Good Lord, Charlotte, where did you get that from? Gert is a bit of a liar, but I don’t think we’ve gone that far. Perhaps it’s our preoccupation with Karl Ove Knausgaard that gave you the idea.

    1. Joan got a Dishonourable Mention in the Bulwer Lytton back in the 80’s and has the certificate to prove it. But you forgot the link- never mind, we’ll look it up.

        1. My favourites were Randy Blanton in the Romance category and Joel Phillips’ Western. The South Australian girl’s Dishonourable Mention was pretty good too.We must take notice next year of the entry times and put something in. I fancy the Romance category or the Puple Prose. What about you?

            1. Yes, the Washington one is pretty funny. Randy Blanton in the romance category is doubly funny for an Australian because “randy” to us means …. er…well… I leave it to your imagination.

                1. Really? I never knew that. Why on earth do people call their kids Randy? It isn’t used all that often here these days, but an expression that used to be fairly current was “a randy old goat”, usually applied to a certain type of older man.

  3. Absolutely the same connotation here, but most people are unaware, I guess, that the connotation exists. I think that boys who are nicknamed “Randy,” might have been named “Randall.” Sometimes girls named Miranda are also nicknamed “Randy;” that’s less common. People call their boys “Dick” too, despite the far-more-common appropriation of that name as slang with other meanings. Language (English especially?) is so capable of distortion that sometimes it’s hard to avoid.

    1. I’m sure it’s the same in every language, and of course there’s the unintentional humour of a word in one language sounding very like one in another language. I did a stint as a volunteer teacher in Papua New Guinea and the Home Economics teacher couldn’t understand why the girls were convulsed with embarrassed laughter whenever she spoke of a cookery book, until she found out that “kukeri” means diarrhoea in Motu.

    1. What a find, Teri! I’ve just been wallowing round in the site and have bookmarked it. We grew up in a house full of many such books. And coincidentally I have just come across a recently -published book that must be destined to join the ranks of the neglected, “A Cultural History of Zombies”. I’ve promised it to my husband for a birthday present but he says he already has it.

  4. Hi Gert — Here’s another — this is a quiz about children’s books written by authors famous for their work for adults. Interesting to see who wrote what, and to wonder whether those are children’s books worth seeking out (a couple sounded promising, but not all). http://www.slate.com/articles/life/quizzical/2016/03/children_s_literature_quiz_name_the_author_who_wrote_this_children_s_book.html?sid=5388d10fdd52b8417a00cac3&wpsrc=newsletter_tis

    1. Oh, fun! You’ve derailed my plan to spend the weekend in useful pursuits…
      By the way, we have found a substitute for Nar Nar Goon for you. It’s Upotipotpon, and we think you’ll love it. It’s a stronghold for woodland conservation and the home of the Grey-Crowned Babbler. If you google ‘Upotipotpon pictures’ you’ll find lots of pics.

        1. My husband wrote a letter to the paper just the other day to suggest we might need to set up Macquarie Island (on the way to Antarctica) as a refugee holding camp for Americans fleeing the Trump presidency. As you may know, we have highly-enlightened refugee policies here, which consist of holding them in hellish conditions on islands run by corrupt politicians, refusing to allow the press access, and threatening to jail anyone who discusses the conditions there. So if you’re up for that, welcome.

            1. It’s a sad story. The issue was used so ruthlessly and effectively against the Labor govt that relaxed the rules back in 2007 that they went to water and are just as bad as the current govt.

  5. I probably need that book for my daughter, and for her advisor from college (he might already have it because one of his academic specialties is monsters — he is very sympathetic toward them). Thanks for mentioning it —

    1. Maybe you could cut and paste That link comes up as an advertisement for Google. Would love to read it, been revisiting Issa lately.

      Don’t know that ‘entertained’ is the right word. Putting our hands over our eyes and shouting ‘No.oooo’ is more the case.

    1. This is great; not only do I have his (erroneous) instructions on how to write a haiku, I also know how to open a snack quietly or how to tell my husband about my day and many other useful things. He is a very funny guy.

      But when will the world realise that seventeen syllables works for Japanese haiku but is not essential in other languages. Sometimes it seems that is all people know about haiku.

      We, however, have been taught otherwise by a master.

  6. We have been taught otherwise. I am interested too, that most of what I’m reading in contemporary haiku also does not have seventeen syllables, and often enough, doesn’t have three lines. We were also taught that, and it’s interesting to see it in practice.

    If you want to be parodying haiku, however, seventeen syllables in the three lines seems to be the way to go!

  7. On a completely different topic, today’s New Yorker newsletter has an article titled, “Weeding the Worst Library Books,: things with titles like, “The Psychic Sasquatch and Their UFO Connection,” and “Be Bold with Bananas,” among others. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/weeding-the-worst-library-books?mbid=nl_TNY%20Template%20-%20With%20Photo%20(35)&CNDID=17848534&spMailingID=8851560&spUserID=MTA5MjM5OTQxNDU4S0&spJobID=902895614&spReportId=OTAyODk1NjE0S0

    Seemed like your cup of tea.

    1. Well, stone the crows, Chicken Lady, we have a post ready to go up later today on the AND. We didn’t include budgie smugglers because as you say the image of our loathsome ex-PM Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers is burned into our brains and we really would prefer to forget it. Thanks for this – I’ll put the link up on our post.

  8. Just reading in the New York Times that “A blistering exchange in Australia’s Parliament: Malcolm Turnbull denounced the opposition leader Bill Shorten as a “simpering sycophant” and a “parasite,” and Mr. Shorten shot back that the prime minister was “the most out-of-touch personality to ever hold this great office.” [ABC]” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/briefing/travel-ban-vladimir-putin-carbon-tax.html?google_editors_picks=true

    Seems that the Gerts have a whole storehouse of more insightful and vivid phrases that your leaders could be using. I don’t know that it is your civic duty to advise them, but it could lead to more interesting days in Parliament (and out of Parliament, if they are as given to tweets as our president).

    1. Tremendous carry on in our parlt at the moment because poor old Malcolm Turnbull who was though to be the voice of sweet reason and more moderate than the right-wing crazies in his parties is under great pressure from those RWCs and feels the need to be very big and tough. He’s on a perilously thin margin and has just had it reduced still further by the defection of a particularly crazy rightwinger called Cory Bernardi , who has left to set up his own party (delusions of grandeur). We did have a PM called Paul Keating back in the 90’s who had a wonderful turn of invective . He called someone “all tip and no iceberg” and described the senate as “unrepresentative swill”. We do miss him.

      Donald Trump is like a great big tantrumming kindergartner. BAD! SAD!

  9. Paul Keating sounds like a treasure. Perhaps he left a motherlode of invective behind to mine? I am very fond of “all tip, no iceberg.”

    Seems likeTrump might be treading on dangerous ground to be commenting about his daughter’s businesses. Dangerous ground seems to be his favorite territory, of course.

    1. And I see his wife is suing the Daily Mail on the grounds that her opportunity to make big bucks from being First Lady will be affected by their claims about her. America, oh America!

    1. Yes, Barnum and Bailey spruikers had nothing on the Trump gaggle. Kellyanne Conway is breathtaking, absolutely shameless. They just could not get away with such blatant self-interest here. Our politicians do lots of dodgy things but we kick up a hell of a stink when we find out.

    1. Steve Bannon is a real worry. But I wonder how long it’ll take Trump to turn on him when people are saying he’s the power behind the throne. Wouldn’t it be great if someone set up a Twitter account @ stevebannon and tweeted about how he was pulling T’s strings?

  10. Hi Gert — we (Jim, me, our two daughters, and Regina’s partner — Regina and Deke have been to Australia several times already) are getting ready to collect on that trip to Nar Nar Goon. And see Wagga Wagga. And go to the Melbourne beach. And more. We are thinking that we will arrive in early February, and spend some days in Melbourne; a few days in Sydney, a few days driving in the Bush/Outback out of Sydney; and a week in Cairns/Great Barrier Reef, maybe taking the train there. We would be delighted to hear any suggestions for hotels in Melbourne that would allow us to walk or take public transport (we are only planning to rent a car for the road trip out of Sydney); I found some in the $100/night range that looked fine. We hope to get a chance to take you to lunch or dinner while we’re there.

    1. Quite a caravanserai. Canadian friends stayed at the Vibe Hotel which is right opposite Southern Cross train station where the airport bus comes in. It’s walking distance or a tram ride to galleries, arts centre, the river, museum, restaurants, the market etc. Or you could stay at an apartment hotel like the Mantra in Little Bourke St where you could have a family apartment that would probably fit you all, or two smaller ones. They have kitchen facilities so you can cook for yourself if you want. Prices on booking.com are better than the ones on the hotel sites.
      Alas, we think Nar Nar Goon would be a sad disappointment. Over the past few years as the suburbs have spread it has lost any charm it might once have had. If you look at “things to do in Nar Nar Goon” you only come up with the Field Artillery Museum.
      Gabrielle will be in India till Feb 7th so we hope your time in Melb will be after that. Hope it won’t be too hot- Feb can be beastly. And of course we will be the ones to take you out to dinner!

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