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Howdy! Should I tell you more about my life? I don't really want to.

Partly this is because it's not very interesting - I spend my days at a desk, alternatively typing and reading Wikipedia - and partly because I don't think readers should know too much about writers. I'm glad that I've had the opportunity to meet so many of my favourite authors in real life, but it has never once increased my enjoyment of their books. Quite the opposite - the more I know about them, the harder it is to convince myself that their characters are real. You can't enjoy the puppet show if you're thinking about the puppeteers.

But I've noticed that the only newsletter I always open and read is NPR's pop culture newsletter, written by critic and author Linda Holmes, who wrote Evvie Drake Starts Over (one of my all-time favourite novels). My favourite bit of her weekly email is always the start, where she talks about her own life and her thoughts about it. A recent sample:

I never expected to be able to do A/B testing on whether I preferred being able to enjoy entertainment in rowdy and unpredictable groups, or whether I preferred seeing everything by myself. I never expected to have a chance to spend a year watching everything in a place where I could control the environment, the temperature, the sounds (the dog excepted), the interruptions, the light, the timing. I never expected the monkey's-paw story where I sat in a theater and thought, "I wish I could just watch everything in my living room," and then I spent a year watching everything in my living room.

This section of her newsletter really makes me feel connected to her - and makes me feel like I'm short-changing the readers of my newsletter by skipping that part.

Anyway, today I typed, and read Wikipedia. Let me know if you want more juicy gossip like that in future issues!

New book!

After years of work, 200 Minutes of Mystery is finally here! For the eighth* book in my bestselling and award-winning Minutes Of series, I decided to put a bit of a spin on things. As always, there are ten dangerous situations and ten resourceful young heroes with a limited amount of time to escape... but this time, each of the heroes also has a crime to solve.

Who sabotaged Kane's parachute? Who stole Gawain's buried treasure? Who started the fire in the library? Has Fang's father committed treason? And how is it all connected? You'll have to read the book to find out.

Oh, man, I had so much more to say.

I was going to do a Q&A about the book, share a book review I wrote, tell you about the confirmed release date and cover art for my second comedy, give you some more details about my upcoming crime novel, and beg/bribe you to vote for Hideout and maybe win some books at

Enter the draw to win Australia’s Top 100 Books!
...but I've run out of time. Sorry! I have to drive my child to a karate class. (See? Life details!) So I'll be in touch soon with all the stuff you missed out on this time. Gotta go!

*If you include the Countdown to Danger/Pick Your Fate series, which I do, sort of. They do include resourceful young heroes and dangerous situations from which to escape in real time, but not in handy multiples of ten. Look, the series is complicated, OK?
Copyright © 2021 Jack Heath, All rights reserved.

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