Author Archives: amandapillar

Aussie Ishtar launch on Saturday 9th June at 2pm

If you’re keen to grab your copy of Ishtar and are in Melbourne for Continuum 8, then you need to come to the Ishtar launch!

Where: Continuum 8, Drummond Room.

When: Saturday 9th June at 2pm.

Who: Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren and Deborah Biancotti will be there!

What: You can buy your copy, have it signed, and also chance winning the door prize!

Don’t miss out!!!


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Australian Ishtar Print Release!

Are you Australian? Do you love Cat Sparks, Deborah Biancotti or Kaaron Warren (or all three)?

Do you want to get your hands on a print copy of Ishtar?

Well, if you answered yes to any of the above, then you will soon be in luck!

The print copy of Ishtar will be launched at Continuum 8 in Melbourne, over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren and Deborah Biancotti will all be present at this exciting event – so if you want your copy signed, please come along!

The time and venue are yet to be confirmed, but it looks to be taking place on Saturday June 9th.

And there will be a door prize!

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Ishtar  has been nominated in the best anthology category in this year’s Aurealis Awards, and Deborah Biancotti’s ‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’ was nominated for Horror Short Story.

It is fantastic news for Gilgamesh Press’ debut book!!

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Ishtar available in print!

Ishtar is now available in print at

Don’t miss your chance to own this stunning collection!

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10 Things About Kaaron Warren’s ‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’!!

Dying to know just that little bit more about the ideas behind Kaaron’s story? Well, here’s 10 Things!

10 Things About Ishtar:
‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’

I don’t want to give my story way, so instead of listing ten things about Ishtar, I’m going to list ten things about washerwomen!

Ten things about washerwomen in history:

10.    The washerwoman has been known as scrubber, swabber, char, Mrs Mop, gleaner, picker, scavenger bird, crow and vulture, according to Roget’s Thesaurus.

9.    Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) has been around for a long time, variously known as miner’s knee, tennis elbow or washerwoman’s thumb.

8.    The Night Washerwomen walk the land eternally, cursed for killing their own children. If they catch you, they will wrap you in their washing and drown you where their pool.

7.    The opposite of the Night Washerwoman was a real woman called Oseola McCarty, who washed clothes all her life, saving half of what she earned, until she had enough to establish a scholarship fund.

6.    The Washerwoman is an old profession. She was once known as Lavender. Other old jobs are the Kempster, or wool comber, the Pigman, or crockery dealer, and the Colporteur, or peddler of books.

5.    The Mormon Battalion of 1846 took along four laundresses.

4.    A few drops of kerosene or some peach-tree leaves are a washerwoman’s friend, because they will help to whiten the clothes.

3.    Hooch Girl is Vietnam War US slang for a Vietnamese woman hired by the American military as a washerwoman. John Wayne was slang for a can opener.

2.    Here is Paul Guigou’s Lavandiere.

1.    Ishtar’s washerwomen inherit their job and they serve her until the moment of their death.

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Behind Kaaron Warren’s ‘Five Loves of Ishtar’

Here at Gilgamesh Press, we want to continue with the sneak peaks into our debut book, Ishtar!

The first story in the Ishtar collection is a historical piece, written by the lovely Kaaron Warren. Here are her thoughts behind why she wrote her incredible tale:

‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’

When I first began reading for my Ishtar novella, I was living in Suva, Fiji. The public library has two shelves of history books, all of them predating 1970, most of them donated by departing diplomats. I had sporadic internet. I also had an anthropologist as a friend, who had brought with him his enormous library. So that’s where I started.

As I read, one message emerged to me; that Ishtar was a powerful presence over many millennia. The stories told of her were in the present; as if she had lived for those thousands of years and people had actual memories of her.

I wondered how she’d change over the years, and if time made her tired.

At the same time, I wondered about her companions, and one in particular. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated about the washerwoman in history, after watching a documentary by Terry Jones, where he said that there were washerwomen who travelled on the Crusades. Women risking their lives, suffering the hunger and the privations that the men suffered, yet never named, rarely mentioned. I have the image of them working tirelessly, scrubbing, washing, drying, only noticed if they failed to do their jobs.

I wondered what sort of washerwomen Ishtar might have, and what they might know. I thought that perhaps they would know every secret; you can’t keep things from the woman who washes your underwear.

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10 Things About Cat Sparks’ ‘Ishtar’!

In addition to giving us a sneak about about the world in her Ishtar story, Cat Sparks has also written the top 10 Things about her tale!!

10 Things about Ishtar:
(‘The Sleeping and the Dead’)

10.    The nuns collate their scriptures from a myriad of ancient sources: celebrity cookbooks, women’s magazines. That glossy paper made it right through Armageddon, barely blackened by the pyres of burning Bibles.

9.    She likes tattoos inked before the fall. Everything from hot rods to baby feet. Jesus, naked ladies, dragons.

8.    Storm clouds sully the horizon. Vast, voluminous boiling things, cauldrons of corrosive isotopes and acid flashback.

7.    Windborne apparitions linger like imprints, remnants of better places, better days.

6.    Women worship at her feet. The walking dead whose wombs still pulse with blood.

5.    Ishtar has heard the skulls speak on more than one occasion, a fact she keeps hidden from the nuns.

4.    The ossuary endures.

3.    Death stalks the surface. The men were safer in the Underworld. Much safer.

2.    Memories are as unreliable as seasons.

1.    A deity cannot attain salvation. She must create it.

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