This was an intense week. We read 5 manuscripts beforehand and wrote reports then spent a morning, or an afternoon, on each ms. It reminded me why I love writing – sitting around, getting excited with my fellow writers about plotting, foreshadowing, characterisation, blending back story and of course … talking about the industry.
I had a bit of a problem with the room. The ceiling was at an angle, the chimney fireplace ran at two different angles and then there were the horizontals and the verticals… the angle of one of the chimney sides was at war with all the other angles in the room. It got so I couldn’t look in that direction. The others thought this was hilarious, but it really bothered me. Confession … writers can be a little neurotic. (I can’t find a photo of the wall in question that shows the ceiling and the chimney. You will have to take my word for it).
The guys did a brilliant job of critiquing all the manuscripts. I’m not allowed to say much about the books because we don’t want to jinx them.
Maxine attended virtually by skype and this worked surprisingly well. Her book is on its second draft and it was really interesting to see how she had incorporated the feedback from the last ROR. (Come on Maxine – get that book finished. I’m dying to read the ending!). Richard put in his usual quirky polished manuscript.
Dirk provided us with amazing cooking while giving excellent insights into our books. Somehow he managed to pull enough of a manuscript together despite life getting in the way, for us to get swept away by his project. Tansy has a follow up to her highly successful novella bubbling in the writing pot. Margo brought a new project along that was in a raw state deliberately to sound us out. This was really interesting and we had a terrific time brain storming. The guys were great with my book. They helped me realise the difference between book one of a new trilogy and book four of a series. Obvious once you say it, but really hard to see when you are neck deep in manuscript.
On the Thursday evening we drove into Hobart for the launch of Tansy’s Reign of Beasts and Margo’s Sea Hearts. (More on the launch). This was held at the Hobart Bookshop in Salamanca Square. Waves to Chris and Janet! (Here’s Margo being interviewed about Sea Hearts. The original novella won a World Best Fantasy Award). Book one of Tansy’s Creature Court trilogy won the Aurealis Award for fantasy.
There was a terrific turn out for the launch. I want to thank some of the ROR blog followers and the Twitter Team for turning up to wave the flag.
And while all this was going on I spent every spare moment chained to my lap top madly working on the rewrites for Solaris. Serious Brain Overload!!!
So, to help me and everyone else calm down, here are some photos from Steeles Island.