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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Conflux 13: Grimm Tales

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Conflux 13 is almost upon us! I have been a bit swamped the last few days putting the final touches on the program and scheduling all our wonderful panellists, but it’s almost there! And I am SUPER excited for this year’s con.

Firstly, what’s not to love about a dark fairy tale-themed SF con? *Swoon*

Secondly, the Guests of Honour this year…

Ellen Datlow and Angela Slatter! Hell, if I swoon any harder I’m gonna give myself consussion.

It was reading Ellen Datlow’s fairy tale anthologies in my early twenties that basically showed me that fairy tales were not just dragonflies locked in amber for all eternity, and that writers were still using all my favourite tales as inspiration for new stories. Which kinda inspired me to start writing my own stories…

And I will let you in on a secret and tell you Angela has been one of my author crushes for a while now. If you are into stories that draw on fairy tales and folklore all twisted up with a large pinch of darkness and more than a few shreds of cobweb, Angela is your gal.

So. Conflux! When I’m not running around troubleshooting or recovering from all of that in the con bar, here is where you’ll be able to find me:

Friday

10am – Con 101 with my good friend Elizabeth Fitzgerald. New to cons? A bit shy? We’ll have tim tams.

11am – Magic school. I’ll be talking magical education both real and imagined with Angela, Lyss Wickramasinghe and Dion Perry.

2pm – Fairy tales with teeth and claws. I’ll be moderating this conversation between Ellen, Angela, Kirstyn McDermott and Jason Nahrung.

4pm – Beastly transformations. A subject dear to my heart, you might say (boom-tish!)

Saturday

11am – Not for children. I’ll be talking about the dark roots of classic tales with Ellen, Angela and Kirstyn.

Sunday

9am – It’s early for a Sunday, but I’ll be soaking up the company at the Conflux 13 Guest of Honour Breakfast.

11am – Anthology makers. I’ll be honest, I put my hand up to mod this discussion between Ellen, Cat Sparks (who is launching her anthology with Liz Grzyb, Ecopunk, at Conflux) and Michelle Lovi of Odyssey Press hoping to get some hot tips for editing A Hand Of Knaves at the end of the year.

1.00pm – Deadly dance. I am really looking forward to this one. Dance & death in SFF fiction with Angela and Aiki Flintheart.

3.30pm – The Canberra Fairy Tale Ring agreed to let Conflux  host it’s September meeting (just a teeny bit later than usual). Conveniently this month’s tale is The Girl With No Hands, as that was the title story in one of Angela’s earlier collections of twisted fairy tales. So she’s going to come along to that too.

If you’re in Canberra over that weekend, come along to the Vibe Hotel & say hi. It’s going to be spectacular. (Ticket info on the Conflux website here.)

 

 

Book launch! Aurealis Awards! All the fun!

Last Saturday was a whirlwind of genre fiction goodness. First up I spent the afternoon at the launch of Ian McHugh’s award-nominated collection Angel Dust. His stories range from whimsical fantasy about turning fairies into wishes right through to one of the most fascinating and memorable sci-fi stories I’ve read, which interrogates how our assumptions might hamper our ability to understand and relate to an alien species. You should get it and read it. It’s awesome.

Ian Ian's launch

After that, I headed home for a nice cup of tea with the eternally energetic Nicole Murphy, which provided a much needed breather before the evening’s entertainment kicked off: the 2014 Aurealis Awards!

This year, as president of the CSFG, I was invited to present the awards for best collection and best anthology. I had the very great pleasure of being able to hand over the former to the formidable writing team that is Angela Slatter and Lisa L Hannet for their collection, The Female Factory; and the latter to Garth Nix, who was collecting on behalf of Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, for their anthology Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories.

Seeing as it was also the 20th anniversary of the awards, we were encouraged to get into the spirit by donning 90s clothing. My effort was limited to digging out from the back of my cupboard a pair of boots I bought in 1992 (covered in approximately 20 years of dust and cobwebs) and teaming these up with a felt fedora and a pair of big hoopy earrings. But some people went to quite a bit of effort…

Ginger (aka Melbourne writer Maureen Flynn), Posh & Baby Spice
Ginger (aka Melbourne writer Maureen Flynn), Posh & Baby Spice

 

It was a great night, and I really hope I can go next year when it will be in a location yet to be disclosed, but probably not Canberra. Check out the full list of nominees and winners over on the Aurealis Awards blog.

Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Ian McHugh
Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Ian McHugh

Ian McHugh, Dennis Murphy, Me
Ian McHugh, Dennis Murphy, Me

Shauna O'Meara, who didn't stuff up the powerpoint slideshow even once
Shauna O’Meara, who didn’t stuff up the powerpoint slideshow even once

Tehani Wessely, Angela Slatter, Lisa Hannet, Liz Grzyb
Tehani Wessely, Angela Slatter, Lisa Hannet, Liz Grzyb

Thoraiya Dyer, Cat Sparks, Rivqa Berger
Thoraiya Dyer, Cat Sparks, Rivqa Berger

 

Keri Arthur
Keri Arthur

All photos courtesy of Cat Sparks