Ditmar ballot joy!

The Ditmar preliminary ballot got released today and, holy freaking hell, I’m on it!

The Beast’s Heart has been nominated for Best Novel, A Hand of Knaves has been nominated for Best Collection, and I’ve been nominated for Best New Talent!

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The Ditmars, in case you’re not familiar with them, are Australia’s fan-nominated awards, so I am more than thrilled to find myself on this list. Just to give you an indication of the kind of company I’m in, when I showed my partner the list of other names The Beast’s Heart is up against to take out the gong, he laughed. Any day I find myself on a list with the likes of Sam Hawke for City of Lies, Kaaron Warren for Tide of Stone, Alan Baxter for Devouring Dark, or Amanda Bridgeman for The Subjugate, is a good day.

And, not only has A Hand of Knaves been nommed for Best Collected Work, but the obscenely talented Shauna O’Meara has bagged a well-deserved nomination for her exquisite illustrations.

It’s immensely satisfying to see so many other good friends receive nominations. It’d probably be just as easy to re-post the entire list rather than list them all individually, but I’m particularly pleased to see the noms for Rivqa Rafael & Tansy Rayner Roberts’ anthology Mother of Invention (including a nom for Best Artwork for it’s stunning cover by Likhain) and for Elizabeth Fitzgerald for Best Fan Publication for her review blog on Earl Grey Editing, especially given she’s just announced she will be winding that up in the near future (sad face).

Happily, I have already booked my ticket to Continuum in June (where the awards ceremony will take place). I’m really looking forward to sharing a drink with the others on the ballot and toasting the winners. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for the nominations, and congrats to all my fellow nominees. See you at Continuum in June!

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Conflux 14: The Unconventional Hero

 

conflux14-finaldateIt’s that time of year again! Yep, Conflux is next weekend.

This con is very dear to my heart – and not just because it’s my local SFF con and always has really strong programming aimed at writers. But it is a great opportunity to hook up with my tribe. If you’re new on the Australian spec fic scene (like I was, once!) it is the best place to connect with people involved in the SFF writing community from across Australia – not just writers, but editors, agents, publishers, the whole shebang.

Anyway, here’s where you’ll definitely find me over the course of next weekend:

Pre-con stuff:

Friday, 28 September

From 6pm King O’Malley’s pub in Civic: Welcome drinks to Conflux 14.

Conflux 14, the Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport

Saturday, 29 September

9am – Opening Ceremony

9.30am – Hero cliches & how to make or break them, with Ion “Nuke” Newcombe, Sam Hawke & Louise Pieper.

1.30pm – The Unconventional Romance, with Keri Arthur and Freya Marske.

Sunday, 30 September

5.45pm – Launching A Hand of Knaves (squee!)

Monday, 1 October

11.45am – The Book Love Fest

1.30pm – When the dream comes true – what really happens when you get a deal with a big publisher? With Cat Sparks, Sam Hawke, Craig Cormick & Claire McKenna.

At all other times, try the bar first!!! And if you want to know what else is on, all the details are up on the Conflux website!

 

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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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.