Catriona is a young woman who sees herself as ‘one of the boys’ who finds her life turned upside down with the arrival of a new Team Leader at her IT firm. Cat is caught out by Victoria Cox’s manipulation and mind games. Not only that, Vickie steam-rolls everyone in her path and seems to have it in for Cat and her male colleagues. When Cat’s twin sister, Fiona, receives an awful medical diagnosis, their worlds are thrown into complete chaos. Will Fi survive? And just who is responsible for all the terrible things that keep happening at work? A dark and humorous exploration of both female and male toxicity, this novel will remind readers to be careful what they wish for.
Loosely based on William Blake’s poem, A Poison Tree the message is not to allow hatred to take over one’s life.
Let's talk about it
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I did Irish dancing before Riverdance made it cool.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
I chose to write about female bullying in the workplace after a discussion in my writing group. As the manuscript progressed, I found it impossible not to make the male characters display traits of toxic masculinity also.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
I had a lot of fun making some of the characters fairly vile. One obstacle was looking back at the manuscript from a feminist viewpoint in terms of concern that my femme fatale might be a stereotype. However, I decided to publish irrespective, as the story is simply that – something written to entertain and make readers think.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
No, my latest manuscript is historical fiction and about the hardships for women (and in particular Indigenous women) in rural Victoria in the 1920’s.
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
I used beta-readers for Cat Versus the World and the experience was positive. Most of the comments were things like readers wanted more – increased detail and further examples of spite and vengeance. Their feedback also increased my awareness of how important messages about respect are.
What’s next for your writing?
I am seeking an agent or publisher for my latest manuscript, ‘Into Darkness.’ I used a cultural sensitivity editor, who raised the level of my writing a great deal and I think that, it is my ‘best’ story and very commercially viable. (Think Mcleod’s Daughters with a touch of Bryce Courtney, or The White Girl by Tony Birch.)
The family I grew up in was pretty chaotic. I was one of six kids in suburban Melbourne, and often read to escape. I have always been a fan of both public libraries and free education. After completing a Bachelor of Education majoring in Literature, I travelled overseas, returning to an English teaching job in the country. Now that my boys have grown into young men, I have rediscovered my passion for writing and like to spend my spare time with my Greyhounds and being outdoors.
I have had numerous articles published in the South Gippsland News, and my short story Confessions of a Massage Junkie was published in a travel anthology.
My most recent manuscript is about women, and in particular, Indigenous women, in rural Victoria in the 1920s.