8 States of Catastrophe takes us on a journey through the Australian continent, exposing snapshots of lives both separate and delicately connected. Mysterious coincidences and a series of catastrophes accompany an ex-journalist and his faithful dog as they twist their way around the continent in this unashamedly Australian novel. From the political fringes of Canberra to the northern beaches of New South Wales, and into the outback of Queensland (where a mysterious oasis exists on the edge of reality), the story trains an unwavering lens on lives catastrophically altered. In places as diverse as a West Australian wheat belt town and suburban St Kilda, our trip guides - MV (a motorcycle-riding psychic poet) and Rider (his old black Labrador) - introduce us to an eclectic cast: Daniella of the nine lines; Ninette, the Keeper of Secrets; Anjellica, a talk-show host lured back to Melbourne from Chicago, and her charismatic chairman-of-the-Melbourne-Football-Club boyfriend; and Carmel, whose childhood was a breeding ground for murderous revenge. Lives intersect, and loss and love collide in this intricate web of humanity.
Karen lee Thompson has a degree in Journalism and English Literature. Her previous manuscript Dances with Rabbits was highly commended in the Queensland Arts Council Awards in 2006. Her short stories and articles have appeared in publications as varied as The Weekend Australian, Woman's Day and Writing Queensland. She is passionate about writing from an Australian perspective and taking our stories to the international stage.