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NZ author's first novel to be made into a film

Monday 8th March 2010





Sarah Radclyffe Productions & Macgowan Films acquire film rights to novel JULIAN CORKLE IS A FILTHY LIAR.

Sarah Radclyffe (Sarah Radclyffe Productions Ltd) and Marian Macgowan  (Macgowan Films Pty Ltd) have acquired the option to produce a feature film based on the soon to be released debut novel Julian Corkle is a Filthy Liar by DJ Connell.


Between them the well regarded filmmakers are credited for producing a long list of successful Australian and international films including Two Hands, The Edge of Love, Death Defying Acts and My Beautiful Laundrette.  They are currently working together on South Solitary, an Australian feature in post-production.

“It’s hilarious, touching and totally original”.  Both Sarah and Marian are very excited to be working together on this.  


Media Release

Julian Corkle is a Filthy Liar

by D J Connell




Vernon God Little meets Little Miss Sunshine in small-town Tasmania.

"Laugh-out-loud funny and genuinely touching. A magical journey.

Julian Corkle is a big fat masterpiece." Eoin Colfer

Julian Corkle is a Filthy Liar is the witty, blazingly original debut novel by New Zealand-born author D J Connell who is in New Zealand now!

Julian Corkle’s got small-screenability. His mother is convinced he’ll end up on Tasmanian television one day. Not so his father who thinks TV is too much like hairdressing. An Australian man wants a son for sporting purposes. ‘Boys like Dinky Toys,’ he tells his son. Not this boy, thinks Julian, who knows better than to tell the truth. Besides, the family already has a sporting hero, Julian’s sister Carmel aka ‘The Locomotive’. Julian likes his sister, but is wise enough not to tangle with her bowling arm. It’s the same one she uses for punching.

 Julian Corkle Is a Filthy Liar is the hilarious story of Julian’s bumpy journey as he lies his way through school and a series of dead-end jobs to find his ultimate calling as creator of ‘The Hog’. His indefatigable spirit and habit of telling whoppers at the wrong moment make for lively reading and a charming, life-affirming tale.

Julian Corkle is a Filthy Liar appears destined to become an international humour classic. Notable French publishing house Editions Belfond was quick to snap up the rights for a French translation, while an agreement for a film deal has already been reached with prominent UK film production company Sarah Radclyffe Productions. Sarah Radclyffe is renowned for such groundbreaking films as My Beautiful Laundrette, Wish You Were Here and more recently, The Edge of Love.

Since leaving New Zealand for Australia, D J Connell has lived and worked in various countries. Julian Corkle is a Filthy Liar was written in Paris but D J currently lives in London where she writes full time. Her second novel, Sherry Cracker Gets Normal will be published by HarperCollins Blue Door in 2011.

Her writing career began in Japan where she arrived with a backpack and a handful of dollars after travelling alone through Southeast Asia. In Tokyo she talked her way into a job as a proof-reader at an English-language newspaper and was swiftly promoted to editor of the business pages after someone conveniently left the paper.                                                               


Landing a job at a newspaper office was a pivotal moment. ‘I walked in the door and knew I was in my natural habitat,’ she says. ‘I loved words and storytelling but needed skills to express myself on paper. I wanted to write, and do it well.’ The next twelve years in Japan were dedicated to achieving this goal and creating the financial base she would later use to write novels. In Tokyo, she went on to write for the international non-profit sector and advertising. She also worked as an illustrator and cartoonist.

D J Connell comes from a large, noisy family and credits her unconventional upbringing for her fertile imagination and wicked sense of humour. It was her mother, Marion, a funny, big-spirited woman, who controlled dinner-table conversation and infected all her children with a love of the absurd.

Her father, a gritty, hard-working Scotsman, came to New Zealand after WWII on an assisted passage. Gilbert was a great believer in knowledge and while he didn’t understand the value of the novel, he did invest in the family’s education by purchasing the Time Life books and World Book encyclopaedias from a cunning salesman. The only other book in the house was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This remained in mint condition because no one ever went near it.

D J didn’t discover the joy of the novel until her teens and perhaps it was this lack of exposure that enabled her to develop her unique, offbeat style. D J’s writing manages to combine the accessible, feel-good characters of authors such as John Irving and David Sedaris with the quirky, explosive humour of Jonathan Safran Froer.

D J Connell graduated from Waikato University with a degree in Politics and Sociology. Prior to finding her calling she did a wide variety of manual jobs, from farm work and pumping gas to delivering mail and cooking on bus tours.

She returns regularly to New Zealand. The last time she was home, she visited her mother’s dentist. While filling out the information sheet, she wrote ‘Funny’ in the blank next to ‘Business’. She gave a big smile as she handed it to the large lady on reception but got a frosty look in return.

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