“Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside. just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all.”


If you’d like to buy a copy (in Australia/NZ), it’s available from ReadingsGleebooksBooktopia, in paperback from Amazon, and an ebook from iBooks and Amazon.com.au. Bloggers and reviewers out there, always happy to send a review copy. You can contact me…


  • You can hear me talking about just_a_girl and girls growing up too fast with Natasha Mitchell and Michael Cathcart on Radio National’s Life Matters and Arts + Books Daily.
  • I’ve appeared at Clunes Booktown, Sydney Writers’ Festival and Bendigo Writers’ Festival talking about writing just_a_girl.
  • I was live-streamed via the Wheeler Centre from Bendigo talking about Risky Fictions.
  • Donica Bettanin, former programming manager of the Wheeler Centre, named just_a_girl as one of her Best Reads of 2013, describing it as a book “which vividly took me back to being a young woman grappling for the first time with sexual power and vulnerability”.
  • It reached number four on the bestseller list at Gleebooks and has had a hugely enthusiastic response on Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter and in the blogosphere.


just_a_girl has been widely and enthusiastically reviewed in the mainstream press and online. See all the reviews so far — including The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Newtown Review of Books, Lip Magazine, Birdee, Literary Minded and YEN.


I’ve appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in Katoomba, Clunes Booktown and Bendigo Writers’ Festival for a number of years, given radio interviews and chatted with many wonderful bloggers. Here are more details on media appearances with just_a_girl.


If you’d like a taste, here is an introduction to my novel, just_a_girl. The three characters’ narratives interweave throughout the book: 14-year-old Layla, her single mother Margot, and Tadashi, a shy man Layla meets briefly on the train. You can read an extract or download the book club notes.