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LIARS on the Kids' Top 51 longlist

Hi friends! Guess what?

Too slow. LIARS - my action-packed series about a kid who invents a lie detector app and then becomes a target of the master criminal known as Viper - has made it onto the long list for the Kids' Top 51 (a list of the 51 best children's books of all time, as voted by Dymocks booklovers.) Hooray!

If it makes the short list, it will be stocked at every Dymocks in Australia for a whole year! So if you love LIARS and you're a Dymocks booklover (or interested in becoming one) please vote:

And by the way, the fourth book in the series - LIARS: Lockdown - hits stores in June. More details about that soon!

Just One Bite hits North America

In Australasia, my new crime novel - starring cannibal FBI consultant Timothy "Hangman" Blake - is already published as Hunter. It's about to be published in North America under the more dramatic title of Just One Bite.

This is very cool, but the title change makes all the rave reviews and bestseller listings for Hunter pretty useless from a buzz-generating perspective. So, if you love this series, could you do me a favour (or "favor") and post something about Just One Bite on the social media platform of your choice? (If you tag @jackheathwriter I'll be sure to reply!)

And if you know anyone in Canada or the USA who likes their noir with a pinch of salt, please tell them about the book! (Learn more about it at

A video for parents of reluctant readers

I recently uploaded a video to Facebook which went a little bit viral - by my standards, anyhow. I talked about the challenges of getting books about girls into the hands of reluctant reader boys... who might be more willing to read them than their parents think. Check it out:

Notice my epic collar? I sure didn't, until now.

A free short story

Every time I teach a creative writing workshop, I challenge my students to write a story in seven minutes. I do the challenge at the same time, using ingredients chosen by the students. This means I have a lot of stories - well, scenes - saved on my computer, each about 200 words long (apparently that's how much I can write in seven minutes). I thought I'd start including them in my newsletter for my subscribers. What do you think?

Out of sight

Xander knew the enclosures by smell. To his right, the rhino - a leathery, sweaty stench. To the left - giraffes, with their odour of damp fur and chomped grass. Up ahead, the children's playground. A faint smell of Betadine and an even fainter smell of faeces. He walked confidently up the winding concrete path, neatly dodging screaming kids and grumbling dads. No dog, no cane - they probably didn't even realise he was blind.

The little box concealed in his palm vibrated at different frequencies depending on how far away the obstacles were, but today he barely needed it. He knew these paths as well as the corridors of his own apartment building. It was easy to hear the the shuffling footsteps, the crunching wheels of prams, the rustling of garden leaves in the breeze.

Soon he reached the pride and joy of the zoo - the thylacine enclosure. Usually crowded, especially at feeding time, when people came from all over the country to see the clone gobble huge steaks and gnaw on giant bones. But right now it was quiet. No visitors, which probably meant the animal was sleeping in a secluded corner, out of sight.

Xander faltered, suddenly uncertain. Was he lost?

His hands reached out, fumbling for the hand rail. There it was. Leaning over, he could feel the worn Plexiglas of the enclosure. He was in the right place.

But he couldn't smell the thylacine.

It was missing.


Here's a bunch of places you can meet me over the next few months. The brand-spankin'-new Terror Australis festival in Tasmania is especially exciting for crime fans:

Book recommendation

A New Beginning is a Doctor Who comic book featuring the lively thirteenth Doctor and her likeable friends from the TV series. The dialogue (by Jody Houser) sparkles, and the art (by Rachael Stott) really makes the most of the medium, going beyond the limitations of the show. I love it, and it's great for kids (action-packed but not too violent, complex but not hard to follow.)

If you love comics and/or the Doctor, check it out:

Until next time, friends!

I'll be back soon to talk about LIARS: Lockdown, 200 Minutes of Danger, 200 Minutes of Mystery, and - maybe - Hangman 3.

If you liked this newsletter - and personally, I think it was one of my better ones - feel free to share it. And if someone shared it with you, remember to subscribe at!
Copyright © 2019 Jack Heath, All rights reserved.

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