Cartier cigarette case

I went to the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia today. Amongst all the *very* sparkly diamonds (so many sparkly diamonds) and pieces with fascinating stories attached (including Grace Kelly’s engagement ring; a massive duck-egg-sized sapphire that is part of a lost set of jewellery belonging to a Russian Grand Duchess and the tiara that both Queen Elizabeth II and Kate Middleton wore at their weddings, but NOT Meghan Markle, because it was here in Australia ), there was this, which I think was my favourite piece.

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This cigarette case is decorated with an actual fragment of an Ancient Egyptian tablet inset into all those chunks of emerald. Imperialist tendencies to loot the antiquities of other civilisations aside, what a marvellous story prompt…

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MOAR proofs!

No rest for the wicked! The proofs for the US edition of The Beast’s Heart arrived a couple of days ago, for me to look over. And it so pretty!

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I am looking forward to the cover reveal for this one! In the meantime, back to re-reading the whole thing, backwards, paragraph by paragraph…

 

Sydney here I come!

If you are in Sydney this weekend you can catch me at your choice of Dymocks store!

(Pictures aren’t showing up 😦 but the links work.)

2.30pm Saturday, Dymocks George St

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11am Sunday, Dymocks Penrith

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I’m not excited… much! 🙂

Blog tour & launch pics

It’s about 10pm in the UK on Wednesday 2 May right now, but it’s early in the morning  on Thursday, 3 May, here in Canberra, Australia. Which is an exciting day, because that’s the day the hardback of The Beast’s Heart is released in the UK.

Squee!

Hodder are taking my Beast on a bit of a blog tour. Here are the dates!

The Beast's Heart Blog Tour Poster

And here’s a few pics of the launch here in Canberra last week, from my lovely colleague Amber O’Shea.

Two women sitting in front of a wall of bookshelves. They are immersed in conversation.
Angela Slatter asking me tricksy questions.
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Harry Hartog Booksellers thought they could only fit 80 people in the shop. As it turns out, they can get about 120 people in.
A woman sitting at a small desk with a book open in front of her. She is writing on the first page of the book. She is looking down at the book and smiling.
My partner gave me a lovely fountain pen to sign the books with. So I spent the entire evening terrified I was going to blot someone’s book. (Spoiler: it all ended happily ever after with no blots.)
A woman sitting at a table. She is holding a pen and has paused in the act of writing something in the book open in front of her. She is laughing.
What? They sold ALL the books? Every single copy?

It went brilliantly. We sold every copy of the book. O_o There wasn’t a single one left in the shop. James at Harry Hartogs closed off the RSVPs at 80, because he thought he could only fit about that many in the shop. As it turns out, he can fit about 120 people in the shop. (He was pretty happy with it all.)

And…

AND

My fave high school English teacher turned up.

It was a great night. Thank you to every one who came. I still feel giddy when I think about it.

Launch day…

 

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So my not-so-little novel was published on Tuesday, and tonight I’m having a book launch at Harry Hartogs Bookseller. Fortunately Angela Slatter (Vigil, Corpselight, Black Winged Angels and about a dozen others…) is going to be on hand to help me out.

I’m not nervous at all.

It’s a thing, it’s really a thing.

And, once more, because it’s just so pretty, how about that stunning cover from Jo Myler & Daren Newman? *swoon*

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What’s happening?

Rather a lot.

I have been super busy over the last few weeks, but here’s some important stuff.

1. Book launch

The Beast’s Heart will be published in Australia & New Zealand on 24 April and in the UK on 3 May and I am dizzy with excitement. Dreams coming true.

If you’re in Canberra on 26 April, I would love for you to join me at Harry Hartog Booksellers at 6pm to launch it. There will be cupcakes and bubbles, and one of my fave author crushes, the incomparable Angela Slatter, will also be there to help me launch it.

Want more info? Hit the pic of the giraffe below to go to HH’s events page. You’ll need to RSVP!

A giraffe stands above the text Harry Hartog Bookseller

2. Books!

Things are staring to get real. Really real. In the last week TWO boxes of books have turned up on my doorstep. First to arrive were the completely stunning trade paperbacks that will (as of next Tuesday) be available in all good bookstores:

A box full of paperback books, titled The Beast's Heart. The cover is decorated with shiny coppery ivy.

Then, two days ago, the box of hardbacks arrived from the UK. Yeah, my face was sore from smiling. Aren’t my book babies beautiful?

A box full of hard cover books, titled The Beast's Heart.

This box came with a card and a present that I am forbidden to open until Tuesday!!! ARGH! The agony!

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3. Workshop

Last Wednesday I ran a workshop at one of the local libraries here for their The Write Stuff series. It was for 2 hours and when they gave me the topic I nearly fainted: From idea to publication!!!

Just a small subject. There’s probably only about 20 workshops worth of material in that, not counting the actual business of actually doing the actual writing. Nevertheless, I rose to the challenge and even in the absence of a powerpoint presentation, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I had fun, anyway.

What’s next?

The book launch next week! Followed by publication in the UK. *chews nails*

And I’ll be up in Sydney again on the first weekend in June, doing events at a couple of the Dymocks stores, and maybe something else if I can squeeze it in. You’ll definitely be able to find me at:

  • Dymocks Sydney (George St) at 2.30pm on Saturday, 2 June
  • Dymocks Penrith at 11am on Sunday, 3 June.

So if you’re in Sydney then, I’d love to see you.

Purple prose

Hoboy, do I have a very special treat for you.

I was doing a bit of a clean up in my study this weekend and made a couple of hilarious archaeological discoveries. Here’s the first.

Context: I have none. I don’t even remember writing it. I must have been about 11 or 12. I remember discovering Alfred Noyes’ poem The Highwayman around that time, so that’s a possible source of inspiration.

Enjoy.

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(I think she’s kneeling, not pregnant, in that last pic.)

It’s got everything, doesn’t it? A catchy title, killer cover art, kissing (“for two minutes”), broken ankles, drunk highwaymen, secret forest lairs, murder, egg sandwiches…

A Hand Of Knaves TOC lineup announced

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Selecting the stories for CSFG’s upcoming anthology, A Hand Of Knaves, has pretty much consumed most of my spare time over the last couple of months. So it’s hugely satisfying to be able to finally announce the author lineup. Look who Chris & I get to play with!

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  • Eugen Bacon, Ace Zone
  • Amy Brown, A Tale Of The Marriage Of Gawain
  • David Coleman, Immortal, Coiled
  • Tom Dullemond, The Killblaine Legacy
  • Maureen Flynn, Gardening Through the Danse Macabre
  • Rebecca Fraser, The Pedlar
  • Isobel Johnstone, The Apothecary’s Apprentice
  • Grace Maslin, A Question Of Identity
  • Chris McGrane, Trojan Thoughts
  • Claire McKenna, The One Who Walks The Permanent Way
  • Cassandra Page, The Best Heist Yet
  • CH Pearce, The Last Magicians of Sad Hill
  • Simon Petrie & Edwina Harvey, On the Consequences of Clinically-Inhibited Maturation in the Common Sydney Octopus
  • Louise Pieper, A Widow’s Worth
  • Robert Porteous, A Fair Wind Off Baracoa
  • Charlotte Sophia, Stardust
  • HK Stubbs, Lost Property
  • David Versace, A Moment’s Peace
  • Angus Yeates, Anchor Point

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(The official announcement is over on the CSFG website.) Congrats, you guys, your stories are awesome.

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Chris and I are now embroiled in doing the edits and, while this is a huge amount of work and sort of wonder how I will manage it all, it is also making me even more excited about being able to share these stories with the world, come September.

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Confessions of an unashamed Harry Potter tragic

Following Bloomsbury’s announcement the other day that the whole HP series will now be released in house colour editions…

…I spent a chunk of time this morning* working out which books I’ll get in which house colours.

1. Hufflepuff. That’s me. (Already got it, so I figure I’m committed.)
2. Slytherin. COS is all about Slytherin.
3. Gryffindor. Two generations of Gryffindors in this one.
4. Hufflepuff. Coz Cedric Diggory.
5. Gryffindor again. OOTP is all about Gryffindors.
6. Ravenclaw. Given all that biz about the tiara.
7. Slytherin. This is a pretty Slytheriny chapter in the HP story.
What do you reckon, fellow Harry Potter tragics? How are you going to play it?
*I was out, having brunch with my other half, so, NO, I wasn’t procrastinating.

Bring on 2018!

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Well it’s farewell to the old year as we usher in the new. And if you’re reading this, I wish you happiness and love and peace and all things sweet and good for 2018.

There were many, many things that were pretty shit about 2017. But here are a few things that made me happy this year.

  1. I signed the contract with Hodder & Stoughton to publish my very first novel, The Beast’s Heart. I’ve definitely raved on enough about this, so suffice to say everything about this particular journey has been awesome.
  2. I won an Aurealis Award for my story Pretty Jennie Greenteeth. Frankly, the nomination alone would have made it to second place on this list. I did not expect to win, so again: off the scale awesome.
  3. I got to meet one of my heroes of the publishing world, Ellen Datlow. *swoon*
  4. Finally, FINALLY, Australia legislated to legalise same-sex marriage. I remain strongly critical of what it took to get there, but there is no question the end result in itself remains a good, sweet thing.
  5. I was part of the creative production team on TWO writing festivals/conventions, and attended a further three.
  6. I got to go to Dark MOFO in Hobart. A. May. Zing. I never knew there were so many delicious varieties of hot alcohol. And the art. Holy fuck. It blew my tiny mind.

Those are the high points. There are a million other things that made me happy over the last 12 months, including that my family are happy and healthy and here with me and this remains a state of awesome that underlies every other awesome thing in my life. I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing people in my personal and professional life. And I’ve read some fantastic books (many of which were written by friends) and eaten some spectacular food this year (I don’t want to understate the pleasure eating delicious things brings me, or the gratitude I feel that I’m in a position to do so.)

I’ve got a few plans for 2018… But for now, I hope you have a fab time seeing off the old year, and that 2018 brings you all kinds of wonderful.

xoxo