Sunday 5 April 2020

Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo ~ H R Kemp

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast, and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo

I'm delighted to welcome author, H R Kemp

What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

I have a sweet tooth and love anything French. In 2009, I spent six months living in France and it was a fabulous experience. We had a cottage near Sarlat, in the Dordogne and spent our days exploring and experiencing the French way of life. There was so much to love, and of course, the food was a highlight. I particularly love their almond croissants, ‘snail cakes’ (pain au raisin) and all kinds of French pastries. Sunday Brunch is the perfect time to share a selection of those. 

Would you like a pot of English Breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz? 

I’m definitely a coffee drinker and long black is my poison of choice. I do try to limit my number of coffees each day and lean towards herbal teas for the rest of the day. Now, with the social distancing and social isolation looming for us in Australia, I’ve resorted to buying take-away long black coffees from my favourite cafes whenever I can. Usually we drive to our beachside, sit in the car and enjoy. 

Which of your literary heroes are joining us today? 

I’m a big fan of John Le Carrรฉ, Peter Temple (who will sadly join us in spirit only), Elliot Perlman and Anna Funder. I love books with a plot (it can be crime, thriller or other) and touches on social issues. 

What’s the title of the book nearest to you? 

Red Birds by Mohamed Hanif. I’ve been planning to read this book since I heard Mohamed speak at last year’s Adelaide Writers’ Week. It’s next, when I finish my current read ‘The Cut Out Girl” by Bart Van Es. 

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What’s the oldest book on your book shelf? 

The complete works of Shakespeare – bought when I was fresh out of school - and it’s still in good condition. I find it harder to read now-a-days, the print in those older books is very small. I’ve got a whole host of classics on my shelves, and I keep meaning to read them but…. 

Which book do you really want to read but haven’t had time for …yet! 

I have a whole bookcase full of books to be read. They tell the story of my reading tastes going back many years. I would love to make a real dent in this pile, but unfortunately I can’t resist buying more, especially during the Adelaide Writers’ Week, when I always promise I will not buy any more books. This year I only bought 5. Maybe now, I’ll have more time to read. 

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure, and if so will you tell us about it? 

No guilt about reading. It’s hard to find the time, but I squeeze it in. I still enjoy reading paperbacks more than eBooks. Maybe now I will have more time to plough through my TBR (although since setting up the launch of my debut novel, the second novel has been impatiently waiting for me to get back to editing it). 

If the house was on fire which book would you rescue? 

Only one? I think I would rescue my photo albums first, then my travel diaries (I write pages each day to capture the essence of my experiences when we travel. Finally, if I have to choose, both ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor. E. Frankl and ‘Stasiland’ by Anna Funder had a profound impact on me. 

Do you have a reading/writing playlist on Spotify, or a favourite CD to listen to when reading/writing? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you feel happy? 

I don’t often listen to music when I write but I love listening to Australian artists like John Farnham, Rene Geyer and Doug Parkinson (all from my teenage years). My taste in music often follows what my family exposes me to. For many years, my daughter played trumpet for symphony orchestras, and a ballet and opera orchestra; my young grandson is learning guitar (and loves AC/DC and plays stairway to heaven); and I love to mix nostalgia with something a little more modern. 

Do you have a favourite place to settle down to read/write? 

I read wherever I can, often that’s on the bus or tram, in the car while waiting for grandchildren after school and even in front of the TV. Strangely I don’t like reading in bed, I can never get comfortable. 

Writing happens in two general locations. Twice a week I write (in long hand), or edit, while enjoying a coffee at one of my favourite cafes. The rest of the time, I write at my desk (using the laptop). It’s upstairs with a view over roof and tree tops but the desk has become a very messy place. (I was always so tidy, I don’t know how this happened) 

Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs? 

Coffee, pens, beautiful notebooks and electronic devices like laptop and phone. (I know that’s more than four but…) 

What can you tell us about your latest novel, or your current work in progress? 

My debut political conspiracy thriller, Deadly Secrets, was released on 31 March. It is a thriller with a difference and involves an ordinary public servant whose innocent investigation into the suspicious death of her friend, uncovers a deadly high-level conspiracy. 

Deadly Secrets 

What unspeakable truths lurk beneath the lies? 

Can ordinary people thwart a powerful conspiracy? 

Shelley Ormond’s life is about to change forever. Her friend, a young refugee, dies suddenly and the federal police have shrouded her case in secrecy. Shelley has never been bold, but she will have to break the rules and jeopardise her safe, public service career to learn the truth. 

Her new friend Adrian, a medical researcher, is studying a mystery illness in outback communities. Young children are falling fatally ill, but there’s no obvious cause although suspicious mining activity in the area is worth investigating. 

Shelley delves deeper and is drawn into a sinister world of police cover-ups, organised crime and corporate greed. If she obeys the law, the powerful can go on breaking it. 

The stakes are high, and the treacherous schemers will do anything to keep their deadly secrets. Lives don’t matter, not even hers. 

Can they expose the plot before more lives are lost? 

Will the formidable and ruthless forces behind the conspiracy stop them? 

Deadly Secrets is available from: 

Amazon UK (eBook & paperback) 

Amazon Australia (eBook & Paperback) 

The eBook is also available from 

The paperback is also available from:

Where can we follow you on social media? 

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