Category Archives: Promoting Friend’s Books

Major Squee

Legends 2, where 'The Giant's Lady' appears, and the actual Aurealis Award for best fantasy short story

Legends 2, where ‘The Giant’s Lady’ appears, and the actual Aurealis Award for best fantasy short story


When I heard in February that my work had been shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards I was both delighted and surprised. In Australia the Aurealis Awards are our Big Thing.


Here are the short listed stories for the fantasy section:


“The Giant’s Lady”, Rowena Cory Daniells (Legends 2, Newcon Press)

“The Jellyfish Collector”, Michelle Goldsmith (Review of Australian Fiction Vol. 13 Issue 6)

“A Shot of Salt Water”, Lisa L Hannett (The Dark, TDM Press)

“Almost Days”, DK Mok (Insert Title Here, FableCroft Publishing)

“Blueblood”, Faith Mudge (Hear Me Roar, Ticonderoga Publications)

“Husk and Sheaf”, Suzanne Willis (SQ Mag 22, IFWG Publishing Australia)


And here is my KRK series rubbing shoulders with some of the best in the field.


The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin [The King’s Bastard (2010), The Uncrowned King (2010),The Usurper (2010), The King’s Man (2012), King Breaker (2013)], Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris Press)

The Watergivers [The Last Stormlord (2009), Stormlord Rising (2010), Stormlord’s Exile(2011)], Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)

The Lumatere Chronicles [Finnikin of the Rock (2008), Froi of the Exiles (2011), Quintana of Charyn (2012)], Melina Marchetta (Penguin Random House)

Sevenwaters [Daughter of the Forest (2000), Son of the Shadows (2001), Child of the Prophecy(2002), Heir to Sevenwaters (2009), Seer of Sevenwaters (2011), Flame of Sevenwaters (2013)], Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Laws of Magic [Blaze Of Glory (2007), Heart Of Gold (2007), Word Of Honour (2008),  Time Of Trial (2009), Moment Of Truth (2010), Hour Of Need (2011)], Michael Pryor (Random House Australia)

Creature Court [Power and Majesty (2010), Shattered City (2011), Reign of Beasts (2012)], Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)


Being shortlisted ‘made my day’.

Then, when Marianne and I were asked to co-host the awards I was both touched and honoured.  I figured I hadn’t won either award and this didn’t surprise me, not with such a strong field. Co-hosting the awards was a chance to ‘glam up’ for an evening and catch up with the friends I only see once a year. (Or in this case I haven’t been out in the ‘real world’  for over two years).

Here I am doing my Marilyn imitation (as a mother of six my life is not at all glamorous)

Here I am doing my Marilyn imitation (as a mother of six my life is not at all glamorous)


When I track down from photos (my camera has died) I’m going to do a separate post about the awards ceremony and the fun we had. But right now I’d like to say the things I didn’t say when I was so gobsmacked by winning the award.

I’d like to thank the team who organise the award for all their hard work. There was 55 entries (over 200 books) in the Inaugural Sara Douglas Fantasy Series Award and over 100 short stories in the fantasy section. I’d also like to thank Ian Whates for inviting me to submit to Legends 2, Stories in honour of David Gemmell. 



The full list of Aurealis winners is below. Many of these people are my friends and I am delighted for them. Others are up and coming writers and I wish them all the best with their careers. It is an honour to be included in such a talented group.


The Winners of the 2015 Aurealis Awards



Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Aurealis Awards!


A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia) 


The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)


“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)


“Bullets”, Joanne Anderton (In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep, AHWA)


“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)


“The Giant’s Lady”, Rowena Cory Daniells (Legends 2, Newcon Press)


“Defy the Grey Kings”, Jason Fischer (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Firkin Press)


“All the Wrong Places”, Sean Williams (Meeting Infinity, Solaris)


“By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers”, Garth Nix (Old Venus, Random House)


To Hold the Bridge, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)


Bloodlines, Amanda Pillar (ed.) (Ticonderoga Publications)


In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)


Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)


Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)


Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)


The Watergivers [The Last Stormlord (2009), Stormlord Rising (2010), Stormlord’s Exile(2011)], Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)


Letters to Tiptree, Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)

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Filed under Australian Writers, Awards, Conferences and Conventions, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Promoting Friend's Books


Only one sleep until the Aurealis Awards. And there’s an added reason to frock up. Marianne and I are going to be EMCeeing the awards.

This is a particular thrill for us as it is the 21st Aurealis Awards  night and the 20th anniversary of the Vision Writers group. 20 years ago Marianne and I escaped our families on Father’s Day (we have very patient husbands) and met at the very first Vision Writers group meeting.

After discovering that we had 9 children between us and that were both eager to pursue our dream of becoming published authors we buddy-ied up, going to workshops and events together.


Here we are hanging out at  Melbourne Convention

Here we are hanging out at a Melbourne Convention

There were many times we were all set to go to Brisbane Writers Festival event then one of us would have to cancel because of a sick child.

Here we are at a Supanova event

Here we are at a Supanova event

Through the ups and downs of writing, getting rejected, writing some more, finding an agent and getting published we supported each other. Twenty years later, dozens of books and with our kids all in their twenties now, we have become the ‘establishment’ LOL.

Honestly, it is an honour to be asked to EMC the awards.

If you’re in Brisbane and you’d like to come to the Aurealis Awards tickets are available here.

And the national SF convention CONTACT is on in BrisVegas over the Easter weekend. You can find out more about CONTACT here. This is the place to be if you are interested in the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror this weekend.

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Filed under Australian Writers, Awards, Conferences and Conventions, Conventions, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Fun Stuff, Nourish the Writer, Promoting Friend's Books

Whoot Aurealis Award Shortlist

Had some lovely news yesterday. I heard from the Aurealis Awards organisers. Drum roll…

My story, The Giant’s Lady, that appeared in Legends 2, edited by Ian Whates, is a finalist in the Fantasy Short Story section. A big thank you to Ian for inviting me to submit to this anthology in honour of David Gemmell.


And, another drum roll…

My series, The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin, is a finalist in the Inaugural Sara Douglas Fantasy Series Award. This award was named after Sara Douglas who sadly passed away from cancer. There were 55 series entered in this section so I am really honoured to find my work in the shortlist with these wonderful authors.


A big thank you to the team of hard working volunteers who make the Aurealis Awards possible.

And congratulations to everyone on the shortlist. The full list can be found here.




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Filed under Australian Writers, Awards, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Promoting Friend's Books, The Writing Fraternity, Uncategorized

Supanova with Chris & Cheryse

Off to Supanova today and tomorrow.  Cheryse and I had heaps of fun yesterday.

Here we are all set up with our books.

Here we are all set up with our books.


Will be in the RICC building, in Artist’s Alley (booth 191). We Artists are underneath the Signing Hall.

And here we are thinking about running away with the Doctor. (They were still setting up at this point, hence the ladder etc).

And here we are thinking about running away with the Doctor. (They were still setting up at this point, hence the ladder etc).

Today Chris McMahon will be joining us.  I’ve known Chris since way back in 1997 when he joined the Vision Writers group so we’ve been through the upheavals of trying to write, while looking after our families. Today he’ll be bringing along copies of his Jakirian Cycle. A little while ago I was teaching my UNI students and one girl mentioned this really cool book she’d found by a Brisbane author but could never find the rest of the trilogy. Turned out it was Chris’s first book, The Calvanni. Small world.

Hope she sees this and comes to Supanova.


‘Think Kill Bill meets Dune . . . Heroic Fantasy in world of ceramic weapons where all metal is magical . . .’

So if  you’re coming to Supanova, drop by and say Hi!

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Filed under Australian Writers, Conferences and Conventions, Conventions, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, Promoting Friend's Books

From Fantasy to Felony and Fangs…

I’ll be dashing straight from work to the airport to fly off to Melbourne on Friday the 12th of April for a Sisters in Crime Event, where I’ll catch up with Alison Goodman and Narrelle Harris (aka the Daggy Vamp). We’ll be talking about writing across genres. After all, as readers we don’t stick to one genre, why should our creativity be restricted to one genre?

And we even got a nice write up in the print media! (The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald)


Narrelle M Harris will interrogate two fellow authors – and herself! – about why they’ve turned from fantasy to crime to explore Melbourne’s underworld and other-worldly…


WS-Rough-front-207x300Narrelle M Harris writes both crime and fantasy. She is the author of two frequently hilarious crime vampire novels set in Melbourne: The Opposite of Life and its sequel, Walking Shadows, published last year by Clan Destine Press. Both feature daggy Glen Waverly resident, Gary Hooper, who might be Melbourne’s (or maybe the world’s) least impressive vampire and his geekgirl librarian friend Lissa.

Narrelle also writes in the business sector. She created the Melbourne Literary iPhone app in association with Sutro Media.


a_new_kind_of_death_ebook_cover_finalAlison Goodman has received world-wide recognition for her fantasy books Eon and Eona which have been sold into 18 countries, and translated into 11 languages. Her first crime novel, A New Kind of Death, previously published in the USA as Killing the Rabbit, is now available to an Australian audience, thanks to Clan Destine Press. It’s a dark and wickedly adult comic thriller with just a touch of speculative intrigue and was highly recommended in Sisters in Crime’s Davitt Awards.

Alison was a D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellow at Melbourne University, holds a Master of Arts, and has taught creative writing at postgraduate level. She is currently working on a new fiction series.


Fantasy writer R C Daniells has also turned her hand to crime – with a paranormal twist in The PoF Wraparound ResizedPrice of Fame (Clan Destine Press). At its centre is documentary maker Antonia Carlyle who uncovers dark secrets in St Kilda when she researches the cult ’80s band, The Tough Romantics, and its doomed singer Genevieve James. The iconic band’s rise to international fame, she discovers, had as much to do with its cutting edge sound as its history of tragedy, betrayal and murder…

In her spare time, Rowena has devoted five years to studying each of these martial arts – Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Iaido, the art of the Samurai Sword.


If you’d like to attend, here’s the info:

The Rising Sun Hotel, cnr Raglan St & Eastern Rd, South Melbourne (no lift). Mel Ref: 57, H2.Try 1, 55, 112 or St Kilda Road trams. Free on-street parking after 6pm.

$10 (members/concession )/$15 (non-members). Dinner upstairs from 6.30pm. Men or ‘brothers-in-law’ welcome. No bookings necessary. 10% for members from the Sun Bookshop bookstall.

Info: Carmel Shute on 0412 569 356 or go to


Filed under Australian Artists, Conferences and Conventions, Dark Urban Fantasy, Paranormal_Crime, Promoting Friend's Books, Thrillers and Crime, Thrillers and Mysteries

My Next Big Thing…

Last week Cheryse Durant tagged me on her blog, as part of a chain of author recommendations called The Next Big Thing. Today it’s my turn to reciprocate and to pass on the torch. I’m going to answer questions about my new project King Rolen’s Kin Book Four . Then I’m going to tag some wonderful authors who will tell you about their Next Big Thing on Wednesday 12th of December. (Here are the other authors who are blogging today on their Next Big Thing: LJ Smith, Kallee BuchananChris McMahon and Keren K)

PS. Regarding my Next Big Thing.  I really had trouble deciding between the book that will be released tomorrow, The King’s Man and the book I’m currently writing. In the end I decided to talk about how writing The King’s Man influenced writing KRK4.

PPS. This blog post contains spoilers if you haven’t read the first KRK trilogy.

Q: What is the working title of your next book?

At this point Solaris Press want to call KRK4 King Breaker (or maybe King-breaker). I wanted to use words associated with kings and royalty, since this was the title theme of the King Rolen’s Kin trilogy.

Q: Where did the idea for the book come from?

I always knew there was going to be more KRK because when book three of the trilogy ended Byren had dealt with one of the Big Bads (as they’d say on Buffy) but the other villain still lived and sat on his father’s throne.

The problem was, I didn’t know how any of this was going to unfold. Then a friend* who had read KRK said to me, ‘Garzik can’t be dead. He just can’t.’ And I realised he wasn’t. And just like that I had the premise for The King’s Man ebook, released 6th December.

*The King’s Man is dedicated to: Leanne, who refused to believe that Garzik was dead.

Q: How did writing a book about Garzik help you write KRK4?

In the writing of The King’s Man I explored the larger world and having a richer world opened up more narrative possibilities. I am a voracious reader, which helps with world building.

I’ve always been fascinated by how societies evolve. What seems perfectly normal to us would be unthinkable to people at some other time, in some other place.

For instance, in Tibet they practice a much more varied form of marriage than we do. Two or more brothers* will marry one woman. All the children the woman has will be regarded as the children of the marriage. Because of the harsh conditions people need a certain amount of land to survive. If each of the brothers took a wife for themselves and had children, the family land would be broken up in the following generation and become non-viable. This would cause rivalry within the extended family. Their society evolved these customs over time to survive and it all seems perfectly normal to them because, for them, it is.

*This is a simple example. For more detail read Stratification, Polyandry, and Family Structure in Central Tibet by Melvin Goldstien.

Q: Speaking of world building, you explored a very differently structured society in The Outcast Chronicles and in KRK one of the central characters is gay. Were you worried that people would be offended? And why write about sexuality?

Some people were offended. There was one reviewer who said they refused to read KRK book one once they realized Orrade was gay. So far the reviews of OC have been positive, but I’m sure some people will find the way the mystics live in sisterhoods and brotherhoods confronting but just like the people of Tibet, the mystics’ society is logical for them.

And I write about sexuality (among other things) because I write about the human condition. I believe that fantasy can take a mirror and hold it to the world to make us question our assumptions.

Our world is a lot larger and more amazing than people realize, and I do my research. Things are never as simple as they first appear. For instance there are straight men go in search of gay sex* for various reasons. For one thing it is much easier than chatting up a woman, as there are no complications since both parties know what they want. For another, some men rationalize it as not cheating on their wife or girlfriend.

Sexuality and the search for love is one of our primal drives. If I avoided it, I would not be writing honestly. I would be skimming over the surface and the act of writing would feel unsatisfying for me. Besides, sometimes it is good for us to be confronted.

*For more information on this see Dr Joe Kort’s articles here.

Q: There are some confronting things in The King’s Man. How has this book been received?

The book will be officially released tomorrow but the first review is already up. I have a beta reader in one of my adult sons. He is a keen fantasy reader and he’s my target audience. If he doesn’t understand something or he wants to know more about it, I will elaborate. He reads most of my books before I send them to my publisher.


Q: After all that serious stuff, here’s a fun question. If you found yourself in a lift with a movie director you admire and had the chance to pitch your book to them, what would you say and who would that director be?

I’d say: I write rollicking fantasy that keeps readers up all night. But underneath all that adventure and fun King Breaker is about the price we are willing to pay to achieve our ambition and asks is it worth it?

And my dream director would be Allan Ball because of his wicked sense of humour in True Blood and Six Feet Under, or Peter Jackson because he is a consummate story teller, or Guillermo de Toro because of his lyrical vision in Pan’s Labyrinth.

Q: It’s been a busy year for you with four books coming out. How do you find the time to write?

Actually, it’s been five books this year – The Outcast Chronicles trilogy and The King’s Man, (both fantasy) and my paranormal crime, The Price of Fame. Plus I’ve been cleaning up my original trilogy, (new title The Fall of Fair Isle) to re-release it some time next year. (When I get the chance).

I’m an Associate Lecturer, we’ve been madly renovating, we have six children (the last one just finished high school) so it has been a really hectic couple of years. But the thing that keeps me sane is writing. This is what fascinates me, exploring worlds via character. If you took this person and put them in this situation what would they do? What would they learn about themselves? That is the core of why I write.

Q: When will we see King Breaker? And what will be your Next Big Thing?

I’ll hand the book into Solaris in May and it is scheduled for release late in 2013.

As to my Next Big Thing… there have been a lot of comments on my blog asking for more Outcast Chronicles and I find this series compulsive, so I will probably dive back into the OC.


And here are the authors I’d like to introduce. They will be blogging next Wednesday (12th December), when they talk about their Next Big Thing:

Lee Battersby, author of The Corpse-Rat King and its sequel Marching Dead, lives in Western Australia. He has had over 70 short stories published and won numerous awards.




AA Bell, author of the Diamond Eyes trilogy of SF & Fantasy thrillers. Twice winner of the prestigious Hemming Award for Excellence… Website and blog.




Glenda Larke is an Australian living in Malaysia, an rainforest environmentalist who has worked in avifaunal conservation. She’s also author of three fantasy trilogies and a standalone fantasy novel, seven of which have been shortlisted for the Aurealis Best Fantasy Novel of the Year.



Gail Z. Martin is the author of Ice Forged in her new The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga (Orbit Books), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn  and The Dread).  Gail blogs at, and her web site in


Filed under Australian Writers, creativity, Nourish the Writer, Paranormal_Crime, Promoting Friend's Books, Readers, Reviewers, The Writing Fraternity, Thrillers and Crime, Thrillers and Mysteries, Tips for Developing Writers, Writers and Redearch, Writing craft

Winner Jason Nahrung Book Give-away!

Jason said:

What a tasty selection of vampires! Pam, one of my favourite characters from True Blood played so brilliantly. Christopher Lee, legend. Thanks to Mark, I have a new series to investigate.

But it’s the double whammy from Shadow of the Vampire that gets the nod: Dafoe’s Orlock is wonderfully nuanced in his re-creation of Schreck’s character from Nosferatu.

And now I have a great desire to go watch Lugosi’s Dracula again. Thanks all, and Sean and mooyah, for taking the time to leave a comment!

So, Scott J Robinson,please email Jason. jnahrung(at)gmail(dot)net to organise the posting of your book.

Meanwhile… Jason says:

Bookings open for Salvage Queensland events in August

Bookings are now open for those able to attend my chat at Caloundra Library on Monday August 13 at 10-11am and at Noosa Library on Tuesday August 14 4-5.30pm. Expect to hear about the writing and publishing process, landscape as character and inspiration, and vampires, of course. Given that Salvage was primarily written on (and is kind of set on) Bribie Island and polished off at Noosa, it’s something of a homecoming.

You can also rsvp for the Brisbane launch at Avid Reader, 6 for 6.30pm, on Friday August 10 by emailing events @ or phoning 3846 3422, or drop me a line and I’ll pass it on. Kim Wilkins will be doing the honours.

You can also book in for the Darkness Down Under panel, with Kirstyn McDermott, Angela Slatter and myself, at Logan North Library on Saturday August 11 at 1.30-3pm. If you like reading or writing horror and dark fantasy, there should be something in this for you.

All events are free. Copies of Salvage will be available. There will be coffee and time for chinwagging. I’m looking forward to it!

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Trent Jamieson’s Book Launch for ‘Night’s Engines’. (Book 2 of the Nightbound Land)

Back in 2003 the ROR group went to Varuna to critiue our books in progress. Oh my, we all look so young! (Tansy, Marianne, Trent, Maxine and me). Trent put in a book which would later be developed into the Nightbound Land duology. I remember being in awe of his vision for this world, so different and inventive. And Margaret, would she escape…

Flash foward to 2012 and the second book of the Nightbound land is about to be released. Yay!

Trent says:

The Nightbound Land was inspired by my love of monsters and Steampunk. I wanted to write a big secondary world science fantasy filled with steam engines, mad men, and creatures out of nightmare, and the world of Shale was the perfect canvas for my obsessions. It’s everything I love about fantasy bound up in tooth and claw and clockwork machines. I only hope that it’s as fun to read as it was to write.

AVID READER (in Westend,brisbane) are holding a “Night’s Engines” evening, where they’ll celebrate a stella year of writing and publishing books!
Thursday 19th July
6pm for a 6.30pm start
Free event but RSVP essential
RSVP to 38463422
Trent Jamieson must be the hardest working writer in Australia. We have had book launches for 5 Jamieson books in the past two years and we are SO PROUD! To celebrate publication of the second book in his Nightbound Land series we are holding our first ever dress up party. Come as Trent Jamieson means obligatory moustaches, beards and/or glasses. Dress up and have some fun or just come on down and celebrate with us in the traditional un-hirsute manner.
So, here’s wishing Trent, all the best with this duology. I’ll be coming along to the launch, although I won’t be in steam punk costume. (Haven’t got anything suitable).


Filed under Australian Writers, Book trailers, creativity, Dark Urban Fantasy, Promoting Friend's Books, Steampunk

Aussie Female Fantasy Authors featured in Mainstream Media

Great article on Australian female fantasy authors in the Melbourne Age today. (Great photo of Kim Westwood).

If I was American I’d say, ‘You go Girls!’ But since I’m an Aussie I’ll say, ‘Good on yer, mate!’

I think I’ve interviewed all of these writers on my blog. Check out the interview page if you want to know more about them.

In the article Tansy Rayner Roberts says that she thinks science fiction is due for a comeback. Her feeling is that a lot of the trends in reading are being led by Young Adult.  You just have to look at the popularity of Harry Potter, Twlight and now the Hunger Games. What do you think?


Filed under Australian Writers, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Gender Issues, Promoting Friend's Books, Publishing Industry

I Disappeared down a Rabbit Hole

But I will resurface!

(I set myself a goal for a rewrite and have been chained to the keyboard but more on that later).

The good news is that I’m going to ROR next week and apart from the wonderful time I’ll be having with my writing buddies, I get to launch Tansy new book! We’re going to make it a double launch so Richard will be launching Margo’s new book. Her book, Sea Hearts, is based on the novella by the same name that won the World Fantasy Award for its section.

If you live in Tassie or are going to be there Thursday, Feb 2nd…

We’re pleased to spread the news that Margo Lanagan will now be joining us on February 2nd for a launch of her new book, Sea Hearts. Margo and Tansy Rayner Roberts will share the evening, making it a very exciting double launch for us — don’t miss it!
See below for details of both books.

Thursday February 2nd
The Hobart Bookshop
Rowena Cory Daniells will launch Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
This is the final book in Rayner-Roberts’ The Creature Court trilogy.
Richard Harland will launch Margo Lanagan‘s Sea Hearts — an an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804

If you happen to be a Taswegian, then drop by the Hobart Bookshop and say Hi!


Filed under Australian Writers, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Fun Stuff, Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting Friend's Books, Specialist Bookshops, The Writing Fraternity