When we first launched A Stranger's Tale, only a few months in, Covid hit.
I worked in Emergency at the time as a Clerk and it was the beginning of one of the most busiest and stressful times of my life. We were physically and mentally exhausted, worried and frightened of what was going on in the world. While I worked extra shifts and overtime, some days even missing breaks to work through, my little book took a back seat as did my plans for a book launch, something I'd dreamed about for as long as I've been writing.
From there, we went into lockdown after lockdown. Events were cancelled, bookstores closed and the only source of self-promotion I had, was Instagram. And what an awesome and supportive community that is!
Sales were doing great but being from Australia meant that postage costs to international readers was also quite high. But still you guys showed your support and paid the crazy rates! I teared up quite a few times because self-doubt has always been a constant with me so with every review left, with every sale that came through, I grew more and more confident in my little story.
Then, Australia Post increased their prices and my heart sank.
I had to up the price.
For a while I didn't. I didn't think it was fair to charge so much but as time went on, I began to tally up how much I was losing from this and eventually had to increase the cost of postage.
Still, those sales kept coming through. But I wondered so often, how many people weren't able to order directly from me because of this? How many missed out, even though they really wanted a book?
And this right here is why I'm thrilled that Adam Oehlers is running this pre-order. Because now, the other side of the world gets access to copies that are signed by him and that come with a stunning, limited edition print of our Stranger. Copies of the book that aren't attached with exuberant postage cost that are an absolute killer for indie authors and their sales.
Our book was launched during a time where the whole world stopped. A time when so much was uncertain. Now, it gets a second chance. 🙏❤
Head on over to Adam's website www.nomadicalley.bigcartel.com/ where you'll find the link to the pre-order!
But hurry as it's fast approaching the deadline before the pre-order ends.
Oh, how I love libraries! Those beautiful, sacred buildings full of learning. Growing up, I loved visiting the library. I loved my school library the most and clearly remember our old librarian who would read to us, who made sure her library was kept clean and her books respected and who taught her students that same respect.
There's always a sense of nostalgia whenever I visit a library. I get swept up in it. The rows of books, the hushed, almost revered silence and of course, that wonderful smell of books. Something akin to walking into a bookstore.
I discovered Christopher Pike's books in a library. R.L Stine, Caroline Keene's Nancy Drew mysteries and of course, Roald Dahl.
Dahl enchanted me. Dahl may have been the very first author who inspired me to become one too. Keene made me want to be a detective and Pike and Stine... well, their books are the reason I always tend to lean to the dark side of reading. Every now and then, I love to pick up a good horror and even some of my own writing has some of those darkish elements to it. Gosh I loved their books.
So you can imagine my reaction when I received some lovely photos last week of A Stranger's Tale in its new home at the East Gippsland Shire Council Library in Bairnsdale.
I can't begin to describe to you the feeling. Knowing that my book is freely available to all, that it rests upon a shelf waiting for someone to inspire as so many had once inspired me is just incredible.
What an absolute honour.
A huge thank you to the lovely people over at the Romsey Co-op for such a heart-warming display of A Stranger's Tale.
If you're visiting the Macedon Ranges in Victoria, pop by Romsey and check out this beautiful store which stocks all kinds of unique, handmade items from locals. Including yours truly. Perfect for those special Christmas gifts you won't find in the major stores.
Buy local and support small businesses if you can this year.
I'm thrilled to say that there are now signed copies of A Stranger's Tale available at Birch and Bear in Northcote.
A huge thank you to Kim and Donna for supporting an indie author. I just love your magical store!
Adam's debut book arrived in the mail over the weekend and my goodness it is everything and more! I was so engrossed in the details that I almost missed something very special.
I've never been mentioned in a book before, I mean, it's not something I really ever considered would happen. So you can imagine my surprise when my own name jumped out at me from the acknowledgment page.
What's more, it was the most beautiful thank you, formed in the most beautiful way, that I've ever received and safe to say, it had me in tears.
This book is a treasure. Something to read and re-read for years to come. The pure magic of nature shines through each page as the story takes the reader by the hand and guides them through this surreal world.
I read this book out loud and though I had read it before in its earlier stages, it felt like I was stepping into the story for the very first time and was in awe of where it took me.
I'm so damn proud of this man and this magical piece of art he's created. To order yourself a copy or to check out his artwork, head on over to his Instagram or website.
BETWEEN THE PAGES WITH NATAŠA XERRI
Hello! Tell us about yourself!
Hello, hello! My name is Nataša Xerri and I live in the beautiful Macedon Ranges in Victoria. I work as an Emergency Services Clerk in a busy hospital in Melbourne and when I'm not there, you’ll find me reading, writing, or attempting to try my hand at one of my many hobbies. I’m a winter person, forest lover and self proclaimed storyteller who likes to see the magic in the everyday things. I enjoy writing tales that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, that both enchant and give a moment of pause and contemplation. A Stranger’s Tale is my first book, with several more on the way.
How did you decide to become a writer, and who or what are major influences on your work?
I don’t remember when it was that I decided. I don’t think it was a decision I ever consciously made. I just knew, from a very early age, that I wanted to write my own stories and could always be found scribbling away madly in a notebook. I was enchanted by so many amazing stories growing up and I knew from somewhere deep inside that I wanted to be a storyteller. I wanted to write tales that would enchant readers of all ages just as I was enchanted as a child. But it took me many years to feel confident enough to take the next step with my writing and publish.
The greatest influence on my work would be the traditional folktales and mythology from around the world. I find these ancient tales beyond fascinating and have spent many years researching and gaining much inspiration from them. There are also many writers who have influenced me and it’s hard to only name a few but JRR Tolkein, Neil Gaiman, Kate Foryth and Juliet Marillier would be my biggest inspirations. I’m also a visual person and have a great love for art. I like to map out my stories and use various images to aid me. Rackham, Dulac, Nielsen and Waterhouse are just some of the most inspiring artists whose work always manages to take me to far off worlds.
What was your favourite book as a child?
This is a really hard question! I was an avid reader as a child (and still am!) and would read just about any book I could get my hands on. Growing up I always had one of those Golden Books in my hand and would carry one with me everywhere I went. As I grew older, Roald Dahl and R.L Stine became my two favourite authors whose books I devoured. I read widely as a child, books were magic to me and still are. But there are just so many books I loved, each one taking me on new and exciting adventures. How could I possibly choose just the one?
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As a new author every little milestone is rewarding to me. It’s always the little things that make me smile and make me want to do a happy dance. But I think the most rewarding part would be hearing from my readers. It’s a surreal feeling when people from all over the world begin posting photos of your book, leaving reviews and even getting in touch to tell you their thoughts. I’m beyond grateful for each and every one of them.
Since we're all library lovers here, how has the library played a role in your life?
It’s played a huge role in my life. Growing up, libraries were a place of solitude and escape for me. A place of silence where you could take your time to browse through their many shelves before choosing that one book to curl up with and take home. I clearly remember my primary school librarian who would read to us, who always had new books to share and who seemed to me, to know each and every book in her library. She was just wonderful and as a child, she seemed to me a keeper of all those many books. A guardian who ensured there was a revered silence about her place, who made sure we all knew how to take care of each book we took home with us, and who would even (sometimes) allow us to take several at a time. Each time I visit a library, a feeling of nostalgia wraps itself around me. It’s a warm feeling, a feeling of safety and utter awe of the magic these places of learning hold.
Plug time! What's your latest book and where can fans stalk - I mean follow - you online?
Agh! Fans, my fans. Again, just such a surreal feeling. Ok, so I’ve been working hard on a piece I was invited to submit for an anthology titled Creating Cinderella. It’s a project I’m really proud to be a part of and features not only myself, but several amazing writers who have conjured up tales that will leave you in an utter daze. It’s a YA anthology and is due for release in August. The proceeds will go toward the Australian bushfire relief so I feel quite honoured to be a part of it.
I always love to hear from my readers!
Instagram is mainly where you’ll find me @natasa.xerri. I'm a visual person so I love that I can express myself through images that are accompanied by text. You can also reach me on my website where you can have a read of my blog, stay up to date on where I am and what I’m doing or browse through the gallery of photos sent through from my readers. I can also be found on Facebook and Goodreads.
To see the interview for yourself or to find out more about ALIA head over to
The August issue #133 of Aurealis magazine is out now and I’m super happy to announce that A Stranger's Tale received a bit of a glowing review by Eugen Bacon.
The Aurealis Magazine is one of Australia's most iconic Fantasy/SF magazines, so to get an honest review and a glowing one at that, is a big achievement for my little book.
As with all reviews, there's always that dread that it will be negative. But reading is very subjective and while I’m quite blown away that A Stranger's Tale has yet to receive any bad reviews, I’m also quite realistic in the fact that it will happen at some point. Although I dread the day, I like to think I’ve mentally prepared myself for it.
So when I read this wonderful review, the two sentences that I homed in on were the negative ones and I’m please to say, I took it very well. In fact, I felt almost relieved and have taken the feedback and used it to fix up some errors I didn't know existed. For that, I’m grateful.
All in all, these are the kinds of reviews to be proud of, the kind of reviews to learn from and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you all.
It's not every day you walk into a butcher shop and see them selling books. But the amazing fellas over at Burnbrook Fields in Romsey have a few signed copies of A Stranger's Tale out on display!
I live in such a beautiful and supportive community. Never imagined I'd see my book sitting on an old butcher's block or above the meat displays, but damn it looks good!
Oh, and yes, that is a Hannibal cookbook...
ATTENTION FOLKS! I have some big news! Signed copies of A Stranger's Tale are officially available for purchase at Red Door Books in Lancefield.
This is a dream. Not only to publish my own book, but to see it on the shelves of a bookstore.
A big thank you to John and Emma for their support during such an uncertain time. Because of COVID-19 I haven't been able to approach any bookstores and now that Victoria is back in lockdown while we ride out this second wave, my book has had to take a back seat once again. But that's ok, my little tale will get its chance to shine soon.
For those of you who are from the Macedon Ranges, head on over to this beautiful bookstore located in the heart of Lancefield. Have a browse, buy a book or two (mine preferably!) and support a wonderful, indie business.
I'm so excited to announce that our anthology, Creating Cinderella, is officially available for purchase via Amazon. The twelve of us have come together with twelve amazing tales based around the classic story we all know and love.
But what I am most proud of is that the proceeds of each sale will go directly toward helping our Australian wild life.
It is estimated that nearly three billion animals perished in those catastrophic fires or were displaced. Three billion... an unfathomable number and a devastating loss. I'm honoured to be apart of such a great project, an important cause, with some truly wonderful humans.
We'd love your support folks. You can buy the ebook or paperback version via Amazon and not only will you be getting a great book with some damn good tales, you'll also be helping to focus on the rehabilitation, rescue and recovery of our beautiful animals. 🐨
Huge shout out to the lady behind the idea and the one who has worked tirelessly to make this thing happen. Kim Miltimore you're a legend and I can't thank you enough for what you have created here and letting us all be a part of it.
Another massive shout out to the wonderful E.H. Alger who designed the beautiful cover! But If you're impressed with that, wait till you see the back!
Truly incredible, awe-inspiring work that brought a tear to my eye when I first saw it. You're an absolute star Elizabeth.
And to the new friends I've made throughout this entire journey. To the wonderful humans who have shared their stories freely and worked hard to get them to you in the form of this stunning collection. You all have my utmost respect and love and I hope we get a chance to work together again.