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.

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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.

Reading for Writing Part 1

I’ve had quite a literary week. On Monday I went to see the entertaining and debonair Joe Abercrombie talking about his new book, Half the World, at Harry Hartog’s (and what a beautiful Canberra bookshop that is.) I had the opportunity to chat to him before and after his talk; beforehand I quizzed him about the sex scenes he writes (!!!) and after the crowds had drifted off my CSFG buddies and I had a chance to chat to him about a bunch of things including the fantastic covers on his books.

Meeting Joe Abercrombie at Harry Hartog's
Meeting Joe Abercrombie at Harry Hartog’s (That’s me on the right, behind Shauna O’Meara. The rest of the CSFG crew, behind Joe, from left to right: Craig Cormick, Ross Hamilton, Tim Napper)

Then on Wednesday, we had our first general meeting of the CSFG for 2015, which my good friend Kimberly Gaal and I kicked off with a session on goal setting for writers.

How are these two things linked? Well, one question Joe was asked on Monday night was what is he reading now? His initial answer to this was interesting: he said “I don’t read anymore.”

I found this interesting because a quick Google search will throw back at you plenty of quotes from high profile writers telling aspiring authors that the one thing they must  do is read. But even so, this is not the first time I’ve heard a high-profile author say they just don’t read anymore.

Joe then went on to demonstrate that, actually, he does read (of course). But when he talked about reading, it was very clear that it’s not something he does for leisure these days. He reads a lot of non-fiction for research, and he indicated the fiction he reads now is mostly in genres other than what he writes (dark fantasy).

At our CSFG meeting on Monday, one of the things we talked about in relation to goal-setting, was doing a reading challenge as a useful way to expand our horizons, connect with readers, understand markets and feed the muse. (Here’s a great post from Elizabeth Fitzgerald over at Earl Grey Editing about reading challenges.)

This all got me thinking about what and why I read. I absolutely do not read anywhere near as much as I used to. I have no hesitation in saying it is one of life’s great pleasures. I was an inveterate bookworm as a child. I read Charlotte’s Web when I was six. I started reading the likes of Anne McCaffrey and Tanith Lee when I was about thirteen. I read and read and then I reread and reread again. In University, I wrangled my degree so that it was about 85% English Literature subjects. This meant I (was supposed to) read something in the order of thirty to forty books a year. I can’t say hand-on-heart that I did read that many, but I read most.

But now…

I find reading uses a similar part of my brain as writing. It also scratches a similar itch and fills in the same few spare hours. So for me, it’s often a choice. Read or write. Still, I definitely do read. I just have to be very selective. I’m also pretty brutal now about finishing books. If it’s not doing what I want it to do for me, I stop reading it. I do not have time to persevere with duds. I set aside one massively popular bestseller just recently because I could not stand either of the two main characters and I did not want to spend another minute in their company. If I decide I want to know how it ends (I’m not fussed right now, I don’t want either of them to prevail), I’ll go see the movie.

Having said all that, I do still read, and it is still one of my favourite ways to spend an hour. Or three. Or eight. Like most people who love books, I have a to-read pile that in its darker, more unstable moments could kill small children if it toppled over. So in my next blog post, I’ll talk about what and why I read, and how I prioritise that growing stack beside my bed. And the one on the bookcase. And the one beside the bookcase on the floor. And –

*sound of books falling*

*muffled screams for help*