There is some speculation that Kate Morton, author of The Shifting Fog, has one-upped Chloe Harper’s $1 million advice from 2002, collecting the largest publishing bounty ever granted to a debut Australian novelist. The book proposal started off as an elaborate, small-time Ponzi scam so that Morton could garner a bit of pocket money out of the Australian publishing industry. To everyone’s surprise, while waiting for the checks to come in the mail, Morton ended up writing her novel. And the deal became legit shortly after Allen & Unwin admired Morton’s inventive approach to sales. They responded with largesse.