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I’ve been to the UK four times. To Spain once and to Italy twice for long visits. I had never visited France so this time around we took some time out to catch the Eurostar and head to Paris for three days. We travelled with the fabulous Cat Sparks and Rob Hood, our buddies from Wollongong.

To tell the truth I was worried about going under the English Chanel in a train, in a tunnel but I had been told it would be a good experience and of course, Paris!

So we were on the train (lugging great loads luggage Ugh!) and I was doing edits still and I looked up and said this must be Dover and we’ll be in the tunnel soon. He said I think we are already in France. So we looked out the window and after a while I realised he was right. We’d been through the tunnel and I didn’t even notice.

We nearly got conned at the station by these guys saying ‘want a taxi?’ only to be led to a private car offering to take us at 3-4 times the going taxi rate. Cat said no way and we were in the taxi cue. An American lady came over and said. Some guy wants to charge me 120 Euro to take me to my hotel. Does that sound right? We told her she was being scammed and she joined the taxi queue.

Our hotel was in the Saint Germain De Pres area, the Millesime hotel was lovely and quaint and we loved it so much and so reasonably priced for a very swish part of Paris. We went walking about. Notre Dame, the Seine and just the buildings were all so lovely. I had tried to learn some French from an app on my phone but I’d been too busy with edits to really study hard. I’m also shy with languages so oops! But we got on okay without the French and people were lovely and polite.

Notre Dame, Paris

Notre Dame, Paris

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

 

Sign along the Seine

Sign along the Seine

Black canal boat Seine, Paris

Black canal boat Seine, Paris

Travelling with a bunch of writers (and geeks) is great. We thought this black canal boat was a supervillan lair.

Cat managed to book us tickets to a concert of Vivaldi music at Saint Chapelle, a amazingly beautiful church. We had front row seats. We also shopped, got lost, tried the metro, the tourist boat thing up and down the river, the museum Art De Metier (and the steampunk themed metro station), the modern art museum of Pompadou and the Arc de Triomphe. We crammed a lot in, including marcons in those three nights and two days. I’d love to go back to Paris and France.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Inside Saint Chapelle, Paris

Inside Saint Chapelle, Paris

Cello player playing Vivaldi

Cello player playing Vivaldi

The concert

The concert

Art de Metiers metromstation

Art de Metiers metro station

Matthew on the steam punk station

Matthew on the steam punk station

astrolabe

astrolabe

Steam powered airplane

Steam powered airplane

1895 typewriter, Art de Métier

1895 typewriter, Art de Métier

Pompadou, modern art museum

Pompadou, modern art museum

 

I managed to get pick pocketed in the metro and lost a credit card and drivers license withsome cash. But I coped with that and had made sure my stuff was split up. Luckily I had my phone in my hand because that would have killed me to lose that.

I took this lovely shot of Cat Sparks and Robert Hood, pity Matthew photobombed them.

Cat Sparks and Robert Hood, photo bombed by Matthew Farrer

Cat Sparks and Robert Hood, photo bombed by Matthew Farrer

 

And we were across the road for a Lauduree shop. We had cake but then was told via Twitter that this shop makes the world’s best macrons so we bought a supply to take on the canal boat.

Cake from Lauderee

Cake from Lauderee

One mustn’t forget the two tiered carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Two storey carousel

Two storey carousel

Or some shots from inside the Notre Dame, because no flash it was hard to take piccies.

Stained glass window, Notre Dame

Stained glass window, Notre Dame

Death taking Jesus, Notre Dame

Death taking Jesus, Notre Dame

And this post is a bit short really when you consider what an excellent time we had. I’d be going back to Paris one day and maybe explore further. The world is such a big place and I feel eager to know it all, to see it all, but that’s a bit like reading books isn’t it? There are too many books to read in one life time. I’ll have to make sure I come back again.

View across the Seine to the Notre Dame

View across the Seine to the Notre Dame

Next travel post will be the canal boat trip.

I’ve been thinking through the notion raised in the first review of Shatterwing that an editor or copy editor made a mistake on  because it contains ‘sexual brutality’, that they somehow overlooked this, or that they failed to warn me in some way or that it should have been removed before publication.

I think there is a confusion here about what an editor and copy editor do. To my mind, editors assist in improving the content, the expression of the ideas but are not censors of content. I believe a commissioning editor exercises that role when they decide to commission a work or not or accept a work with a proviso…say I’ll take this if you change x & Y and or Z. They may do this for a variety of reasons. This was not the case. Shatterwing was acquired as a dark fantasy and it deals with some gritty and less than savoury aspects of the world setting.

The inclusion of any such content is entirely my decision. My name is on the cover after all.

I wrote Shatterwing (and Skywatcher) a long time ago, when some pretty nasty things were going on in the world. To some degree the content is me processing this through the narrative. When I was doing the copy edits I did stop, think and question. Some parts of the narrative are not comfortable to read and I may have deleted a line here or there voluntarily, but I didn’t change anything materially.

I have no issue with people liking or disliking this aspect of the work as that’s entirely a matter of taste. I am grateful that people are willing to review and discuss the books.

 

 

I’m still in the UK. Actually I’m in the non-tourist town of Scunthorpe with Matthew visiting his relatives. But that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate my release day for Shatterwing. Finally it is here.Happy dance!

I know my good news announcement was not that long ago but I have been working on this book for 10 years. I’m working on the proofs of Skywatcher, part two, right now. (There is no rest for a wicked author). So I can claim at little festivity for its release.

Thank you to those who have thanked me on Twitter and Facebook and on the CSFG and Visions email lists. That’s so good of your to share my day with me.

Many thanks to Haylee Nash, Joel, Tara and Patrick at Momentum and to my fabulous copy editor Brianne Collins, who put me through my paces in very good style.

On the link below you will see that Shatterwing is also available in print as well as digital. I believe you can order it from your bookstore.

 

There is a link to a sample from the book.

Shattering cover

Shattering cover

http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/shatterwing-dragon-wine-1/

PS Scunthorpe is Danish. Thorpe meaning village and Scunta after the lord in the area.

 

I believe all authors eagerly await their first review. I know people say you shouldn’t read reviews or comment on them either if they are bad.

My first review is a two star review so it’s in the negative. I should shut up now, right?  But the reviewer says some nice things about the book, which warm the cockles of my heart and touches on the things that I worked hard to achieve.

He has a major issue with an aspect of the book and that’s fine too. He highlights something that portrays the nastiness of the world and the reality that the inhabitants live with.

I believe that aspect of the book is going to be contentious. I didn’t think it would make me notorious but you know maybe it will. I’ll consider discussing these issues in further posts.

I’d also like to thank the reviewer for his review and his time in reading it.

The review is on Goodreads but is also here.

I’m still travelling but the publishing world moves on regardless. I’ve had edits and proofs and PR and other guff going on. It’s fabulous and exciting even though my energies are divided and access to internet haphazard. As we are staying with the lovely Abnett’s in Kent, we are making the most of their great company and internet.

We are about to head out for some sightseeing fun. Canterbury I think, so I’m getting this post ready.

Here is the cover reveal for Skywatcher, Dragonwine book 2. It will be available for pre-order when Shatterwing is available. Skywatcher is due for release on 9 October I think.

Cover of Skywatcher

Cover of Skywatcher

For those of you who know me can understand how exciting this is. I love what they have done with the cover. A consistent image but with a colour theme change. Well done Momentum books and many thanks to Haylee Nash who takes good care of me. The gang there have been fabulous too, Joel, Patrick and Tara.

I hope the book does well so you can read more of the series.

As a follow on from my Loncon 3 report, I thought I’d do a post on London. We arrived Tuesday 12

September. We were sharing an apartment in Limehouse with Kim and Shauna. It was a lovely place and close to the DLR, which we needed to get on the metro and to the Excel where Loncon 3 was being held.

I thought a self catering apartment would have advantages. We could could meals, wash clothes and hang in the sitting room. This was a good plan except Kim and Shauna discovered the cafe on the corner and once I went there I wasn’t keen on cereal for breakfast. We think it might have been Polish but we don’t really know. We went there everyday and when we left popped in to say goodbye. Limehouse is in the East end of London, closer in to the river from Whitechapel (Jack the Ripper fame). I wanted to walk to Whitechapel, but as it was Matthew and I walked into Gracechurch Street and cheapside on day.

The walk in was interesting because of the ethnic mix of people and the sort of poorer area. We went to a market and had a look around. Along Commercial Road there were numerous direct to public clothing warehouses. I was sorely tempted but I had a goal to walk into the city. We could see the Gerkin for most of our walk.

Gracechurch street is where Lizzie’s uncle lives in P&P. It’s in Cheapside. We also found a patch of river and I picked up some pieces of pottery, which satisfied the archeologist in me. On the way back we got some fab shots of the Tower of London.

Tower of London, exterior, taken August 2014

Tower of London, exterior, taken August 2014




Banks of the river Thames with bits of the past washing up

Banks of the river Thames with bits of the past washing up

Under London Bridge

Under London Bridge

Gracechurch Street, Cheapside, London, August 2014

Gracechurch Street, Cheapside, London, August 2014

 

During our time in London we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum and we have some lovely photos. We went to the Wedding Dresses exhibition but no photos were allowed. I really enjoyed just walking the streets and soaking up the feel of the place.

You will see from the photos that I concentrated on the Regency and Victorian fashions. Be prepared for a photo fest.

Victoria and Albert Museum taken from the quadrangle

Victoria and Albert Museum taken from the quadrangle

Bonnet

Bonnet

Focus on bodice, Regency gown V&A

Focus on bodice, Regency gown V&A

Catalogue for fashions Victorian era

Catalogue for fashions Victorian era

Victoria era dress showing rear view of draping V&A

Victoria era dress showing rear view of draping V&A

Crinoline petticoat V&A

Crinoline petticoat V&A

Top and fabric for dress, Victorian era V&A

Top and fabric for dress, Victorian era V&A

Male dress, Regency era, V&A

Male dress, Regency era, V&A

More historic male clothing

More historic male clothing

Bodice close up of black and white Victorian dress V&A

Bodice close up of black and white Victorian dress V&A

IMG_2668

Regency dress coat

Regency dress coat

We ate in the V&A cafe, which was very Victorian.

image

V&A ceiling of the tea room

V&A ceiling of the tea room

Shauna O'Meara, V&A tea rooms, August 2014

Shauna O’Meara, V&A tea rooms, August 2014

Kimberley Gaal, V&A tea room, August 2014

Kimberley Gaal, V&A tea room, August 2014

Because I’ve been travelling and haven’t had much opportunity to blog, I haven’t blogged the cover of my new book, Shatterwing (Dragonwine book 1). So I’m going to do that now because…the cover of Skywatcher is going to be revealed on Wednesday so it makes sense to do Shatterwing now.

Shatterwing is also up on Netgalley and if there are reviewers out there please let me know because it would be fab to have a book I’ve been working on so long reviewed.

Shatterwing will be available from major e book retailers and will be able to be ordered in print from bookshops. I am planning to have print books available for my book launch at Conflux in Canberra in October. I am also planning some bookshop visits, but more on that when I return to Canberra. And without further ado, Shatterwing-the cover!

Shattering cover

Shattering cover

 

I particularly like the look and feel of this cover. Fantasy covers are hard to convert to ebooks as thumbnails are important. I think this cover does the job and I love what Momentum books, my publisher has done. It stands out and coveys the fantasy genre as it is meant to.

It evokes Game of Thrones, which is kind of cool and there are dragons in it, more particularly dragonwine.

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