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 11am on Saturday, 2 June
  • Dymocks Penrith at 3pm 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

 

 

Joy of the season to you

I’m officially on my Christmas holidays as of now. Not being religious, for me this holiday is all about spending time with family, taking stock of the old year and looking forward to the new and taking a break from my day job. It is, however, a time of year when I traditionally do a heap of writing, so wish me well on that, won’t you?

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Whether you’re somewhere cold or somewhere warm (like me), and however you celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, I wish you a safe, happy and relaxing break, and I hope you get to spend it with people you love.

See you in the new year!

xoxo

Vasilisa the bewitching

I came home from work today to find a very exciting present waiting for me.

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See how it says “artwork”? So excitement. So I opened it…

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And this is what I saw. SQUEEEEE! I KNEW IT!!!

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Then I turned it over.

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Isn’t it completely glorious? I cannot wait to have this framed & up on my wall. (And I got bonus postcards! AND my pre-ordered copy of Vasilisa the Wise – which got launched last Thursday! – will be arriving just in time to make it onto my Christmas reading pile. What is Vasilisa the Wise? Oh my sweet. If you love fairy tales, Kate Forsyth’s enchanting storytelling, or the bewitching, other-worldly illustrations of the extraordinarily talented Lorena Carrington, head over to Vasilisa’s website and check her out.)

Reviews and roses

The Read3r’z Re-Vu team have put their lovely review up over on their blog, along with a short interview with me that captures some of the questions they asked me in their week-long readalong. And what a great bunch they were to hang out with.

NJ then surpassed herself with this glorious tiny work of art:

Thank you guys, it was such a pleasure!

Busyness and roses

I’ve had so much going on lately, I feel like I’ve barely had time to stop and breathe (or write a blog post).

First there was the Read3r’z Re-Vu  read through of the proof of The Beast’s Heart, which was WONDERFUL. I could not have wished for a lovelier, more thoughtful, more enthusiastic bunch of first readers. They had so many good questions and so many astute observations and their responses left me in tears of joy on more than one occasion. You can see their individual reviews up on Goodreads (more tears of joy), and I’ll post a link to the review they post on the Read3r’z Re-Vu website when it goes up. But I have to say, this was a favourite moment:

Other busy things:

  • I have finished reading all the subs for A Hand of Knaves!
  • We have launched the Indiegogo crowdfunder for A Hand of Knaves! (Check it out – there is some super cool swag on offer for supporters.)
  • I went to Genrecon in Brisbane a couple of weeks ago. That was just fantastic. Highly recommended.
  • I wrote an article for Hodderscape giving y’all an opportunity to snoop around my writing space.

And…

I have been conspiring with my good mate Shauna O’Meara (who is responsible for the amazing playing card art for A Hand of Knaves) on a new Secret Project involving roses. It has been amusing to find she shares my “get it right” OCD in respect of historical details, to the point where she went to great lengths yesterday to find samples of rose breeds that would have been around in the 17th Century (there is a hint as to the nature of the Secret Project, right there.) Here’s a snippet of our conversation while she communed rapturously with nature…

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Because, you know. Historical accuracy.