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Review of Within the Ward

Delighted to have received this review of Within the Ward from speculative author Helen Marshall:
“A thrilling debut that had me turning the page well past midnight. Larkin handles a difficult topic like depression with imagination, courage and sensitivity. This is what speculative fiction does best: it asks hard questions and finds exciting new answers.”
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Reflecting on the Journey…

As some of you know, I started writing Within the Ward as part of my doctoral studies at USC: University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia back in 2015. The journey of this book has spanned:
• Writing copious notes.
• Experimenting with voice.
• Drawing wonky diagrams of dream reality landscapes.
• Deciding I simply must read the Divergent Series again.
• Adding commas to sentences.
• Deleting commas from sentences.
• Meetings with my supervisors.
• More writing and rewriting.
• Researching Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.
• Workshopping with peers and friends at USC.
• Reading the Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver. Crying. Reading it again.
• Writing cover letters, synopses, and pitches.
• Being offered a publishing contract with Rhiza Edge.
• Telling people that my book will be published.
• Forgetting who I’ve already told about my book. Instead telling people about our new fridge and its ability to keep food cool without leaking everywhere when someone asks, ‘What’s new?’
• Edits, copyedits, and proofs.
• Discussions about cover design.
• Holding the actual, printed book and thinking, ‘This is real.’
I’ve learnt a lot and am still learning, and I’m so glad to share this book with you!
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World Mental Health Day

Today is World Mental Health Day, and a good reminder to look out for others and ourselves. The pandemic has been a tough time for many, but I’m grateful for the positive experiences I’ve had over the last couple of years, and hope that we can try to support each other.
Author Matt Haig states in his beautiful book Reasons to Stay Alive, ‘Just as none of us are 100% physically healthy no one is 100% mentally healthy. We are all on a scale.’
I think that this is true, and that it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to never be upset, unhappy, grief-stricken, or anxious. We’re capable of feeling turmoil and heartache — and peace and joy. We’re not machines; we’re gloriously messy humans, and let’s try to recognise that.
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I’m stoked to have booked a table at Supanova Comic Con & Gaming‘s Brisbane event this year. I look forward to selling copies of Within the Ward and meeting lots of lovely people. I’ve attended Supanova a bunch of times over the years and love it!
What’s not to love?!
Colourful costumes – √
Happy, passionate nerds… ahhhh, my people – √
Conversations about Pokemon and D&D – √
All of the things to buy! Candles, clothes, artwork, and books, books, books! – √
Lunch with friends – √
The feeling that there’s been a tear (or maybe total dismantling) in the universe/space-time continuum, allowing multiple realities to collide. I mean, where else would you encounter Hermione Granger alongside Galadriel, Vegeta, and Darth Vader? (Oh, right… maybe in fanfaction.) Anyway… huge tick! (√)
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Book launch at Avid Reader!

UPDATE! I’m delighted to hold a book launch for Within the Ward at Avid Reader Bookshop at 6:30pm on Friday, 10 December.
I look forward to answering questions about my novel and signing copies of the book, which will be available to buy. 😊
To attend, please register by checking out this link:…/emily-larkin…
Hope to see you there!