I have let out hints on Twitter and Facebook about contracts! Yes, plural. I’m so excited and I’ve been dying to tell but a few things happened. One, I hadn’t signed the contracts yet. Two, my laptop fell off my bed and broke. I’m afraid I was traumatised. But it’s now fixed and all is right in my world again.
If you have been following me for a while, you would know about my novel Dragon Wine. It’s the work of the heart, my major work, my first glimpse of writing something good way back when (2005). It was a massive door stopping beginning to a trilogy, which I started in 2005. It wasn’t quite as good then as it is now. If it wasn’t for the Varuna MS development awards it may not have been written. I was encouraged by being long listed for the first 25 000 words (all I’d written at the time) of this first imaginings of Dragon Wine in 2005. At the time, I had a little vineyard so I did think a lot of it up while I was out there working on the vines, pruning them, caring for them. I wrote more in 2006 and it made the long list again, then I submitted again finally making the shortlist.
I did a quite a lot of posting a while back about how I cut it back after some feedback and also to make it eligible for some slush piles. However, I hadn’t quite got it where I wanted it to go. And those slush piles. Shrug. Publishing is a different place from when I started writing way back when.
I was thinking to do another rewrite of Dragon Wine this year, as you do with a work you never give up on, when I had a chance to submit it to Haylee Nash at Pan Macmillan Australia. The wonderful thing was she read it straight away and loved it. I was offered a deal with Momentum Books and I took it. All very quick. It felt amazing to have an editor read it and love it. You can’t imagine how it felt. I’ve been working on this book for 9 years.
So Dragon Wine is coming out really soon. It is coming out in two parts. Dragon Wine is the name of the series and the first book is Shatterwing, which is the name of the remains of the shattered moon above Margra, the planet where Dragon Wine is set. The second book is called, Skywatcher, which is the name given to the people who watch the skies and shoot down meteors. Alex Adsett, my literary agent, coined the term-post-apocalyptic dragons when she read it.
You can probably tell that this is a weird sounding fantasy as it seems to have science fiction elements. It does! It’s also a pretty dark fantasy in that the world is not nice and is inhabited by some pretty nasty and desperate people. Of course, my story is about the people who are good and want to change things. Anyway, you will have to wait for the blurb! Then not very long after for the books. I am hoping to launch them at Conflux in October in Canberra.
Meanwhile, I post things as I hear or see (like the covers!). I’ve just got the copy edits for the first part. And I’m going to get the next ones when I’m in the UK in August, eep! There is more to the story of course, but being a commercial world we need to see how these two go before decisions are made about the next installments. But I do have the next two drafted!
And I have good news for Dani K too, but that’s another blog!
Posted in Dark fantasy, Digital Publishing, Dragon, Dragon fantasy, Dragon Wine, fantasy, General excitment, post-apocalyptic, Sale, science fantasy | Tagged alien world, dark fantasy, dragons, fantasy fiction, magic, Momentum Books, post-apocalyptic, power, science fantasy, Shatterwing, Skywatcher | 7 Comments »
warning-there may be typos!
Well we have no internet so that makes me more productive and so I’m writing this blog post wihtout an intenet connection because I’m waiting for the potatoes to bake.
David Dufty from the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild organised this retreat in Braidwood. However, we’re not quite in Braidwood but near it. It’s called Half Moon Retreat and it’s on a big property about 7 kilometers out of Margarlowe, which is about 13 kms from central Braidwood. It is three kms from the gate to the house. We are in deep. The house is large. It’s got a huge living area that could accommodate a country dance.
It is a great writing space with floor to ceiling french doors all around. Matthew and I arrived at night so we caught glimpses of stars, the full Milky Way in all its glory but nothing prepared us for the morning. The house is sitting on a ridge with spectacular views of wooded hills and scrub around us. There is some interenet but you have to sit by the water tank to catch a glimpse of it. And tonight, it is too darn cold and dark to try and get a connection.
There are five bedrooms in the house, three double rooms and two bunk rooms. We are in the room with an ensuite, which is lovely. We’re the only couple so that makes sense to me! There is one huge bathroom that’s the size of a bedsit. It’s huge and I’m guessing that everyone has to share that one. A bit of a disadvantage but it is still a fabulous house. We believe part of it is original and transported there, an old weatherboard place and the huge living area is built on as is the three quarter deck.
Last night and today as we had people coming and leaving we talked about writing goals. David likes to have a bit of structure and as he organised the retreat we are up for that. My goal was to write 10,000 words on my wip and then do some reworking and maybe outline my next novel, which is The Changling Curse, the sequel to The Sorcerer’s Spell. So far I’m on track as I’ve written 10,000 words today and put on the roast lamb!
I took a break in the middle of the day to walk to the river. I explored the property keeping to the graded road as there are mine shafts apparently. I found an old ruin, just the chimney and encountered a kangaroo, a few wombat holes, the river eventually which was amazing. It was still and quiet and the bird calls were amplified in that space that it sounded so loud and surreal. There was was another ruin of a miner’s cottage by the river too. I made my way back, loving the bush around me and day dreaming how much Matthew and I would like a place like this. It.s so quiet and picturesque that we cuddled on the verandah and watched the quiet grey hills and glimpsed the sunset while we were restocking the wood for the fire.
I like retreats because they make me focus. We have gathered to write and the expectation is there and that is great for me because I don’t shirk. I was hoping to be working on my new novel but I’ve been slack so I’m finishing one instead.
The day before we came here I broke my laptop and the document I was working on is open on that one. I’m hoping that when the repairer looks at it I can retrieve if and then put the two documents together.If not Ill have to rewrite that little section I worked on during my writers date on Tuesday.
So as I have reached my word count, tomorrow will be about rewriting the ms and fixing things. You see I had a flash of insight that I needed to make the relationship between Earl and Nea more than about sex so I’m going to work on that and generally tidy up.
Here is a few selfies of us.
Selfie with some of the gang
That’s us (ignore scary guy in the middle. Thats the Dweeb)
The living areas with the windows and sun
Some of the view and the house
Posted in Writing retreat, Zombie Apocalypse | Tagged Braidwood, Bush pics, Canberra, CSFG, Half Moon Retreat, writing groups, writing retreats | 1 Comment »
I’ve been busy and then tired so I haven’t blogged. I’ m going to have to split the blog post up because there’s lots of photos.
New Orleans is awesome. It’s different, multi-cultural, lively and heaps of fun. I hate long plane trips but I love travel. I’m here to attend my first RT convention (formerly Romantic Times Convention) and it being in New Orleans was what sealed the deal for me. I came early so I did some tours and I met up with the wonderful Keri Arthur for serious retail therapy. The conference itself is huge.
I am staying at a bed and breakfast near mid town on Canal Street. That’s the same street as the conference hotel but a cable car ride away. So there are pros and cons, but I think there are mostly pros. I’m forced to take the cable car everyday and that allows me to see real life around me and I’m meeting people over breakfast and Monica is the best Innkeeper ever so it’s all good.
Here is a pick of the house. It has a raised basement, which is where my room is. It was built early 1900s. Below is a shot of the parlour, and a lovely ornate fireplace.
Canal Street Inn, New Orleans,
The Canal Street Inn, The Parlour
Then I did some touring around so there’l be more photos.
So I have done a few short tours. The City and Cemeteries, with an educated and informative guide. The tours are quick so I think they are more like an introduction if you want to focus on a particular spot. I’ve also done a tour of two plantations, Laura Plantation and Oak Alley, both very different but haunting and sad in the slavery side. I think it’s important that we don’t forget how these people (stolen from Africa) were treated. I also did a ghost and vampire tour and the stories were scary.
Joan of Arc Statue,
New paper boxes. Who said print media is dead.
street view French Quarter
Poker machine cubicles, Flannagan’s Pub, French Quarter
The architecture in the French Quarter is very European, most Spanish than French. The French houses were destroyed by fire and rebuilt in brick. It’s quite reminiscent of Europe.
Note. I was in the pub to take a tour. The cubicles fascinated me. They were better fitting that the toilet doors.
And my keyboard died so limited typing for me.
Posted in New Orleans, RT Convention | Tagged New Orleans, RT Convention, travel | Leave a Comment »
So my bags aren’t quite packed, but my darling man bought a keyboard cover for the iPad Air so I can take it instead of the heavy laptop. I’m so excited by that. He is awesome. I didn’t have time today to go shopping but Matthew went after work.
Tonight my children cooked me a late birthday/early mother’s day dinner, with prezzies. Homemade lasagne and flourless chocolate cake with coconut cream/chocolate frosting. It was great to see them and I’ll miss them while I’m away. Matthew is staying here holding the fort, having horror movie nights, hopefully not eating too badly and enjoying the cold. I understand that New Orleans is warm. Yay, I had to totally rethink my wardrobe, but I’m quite prepared to shop!
I’ve printed out the stuff I need, now I just need to organise what I’m taking with me. Not easy to do when you’re on the computer.
I injured my knee in the move in November and have a torn tendon. Everything had been going fairly well, not hurting, able to walk, except these last couple of days it’s flared up. Now I have to get on a plane for 15 hours with a bad knee. I’ve bought a knee support and just hope I won’t need to buy a walking stick. Eek!
I’m looking forward to the RT Convention and the shopping and eating, except I believe I’m now allergic to fish so I have to be careful. I love fish so you can imagine not being able to eat it is going to be tough. The other night we had chips from the local takeaway and I reacted to them. I’m getting more and more sensitive.
I’m taking Invoked, my current WIP with me to work on. I’ve not done much in recent weeks except on writing dates, with my mother being deadly ill over Easter and then family coming down to say their goodbyes, but mum rallied, but is still exiting this life, just more slowly. I really thought she was leaving and I went through all the saying goodbyes, the crying, the grieving and now I have to adjust to her being still here, but also with a different personality. It’s just plain odd, but the brain injuries do weird things.
Anyway, it’s time to cuddle my man and leave this computer be. I may blog while I’m away, it depends on how well wordpress and ipad get one.
A shot of me and Cat Sparks
Posted in General excitment, New Orleans, RT Convention, Travel | Tagged New Orleans, sore knees, travel, Writing | 2 Comments »