Category Archives: Specialist Bookshops

Aussie Author Give-away (Books not the Authors)

More years ago than I care to remember, when I first started out writing, I joined RWA. I met a bunch of wonderful, professional, supportive writers who believed in passing-it-forward. RWA covers a broad spread of genres and sub genres. I’m still part of DSDU, Darksiders DownUnder, that’s writers who leaven their science fiction, fantasy and horror with a little romance.

We’ve organised an Aussie Author Give-away…

 

Enjoy paranormal romance? Fantasy romance? Urban fantasy?

Post-apocalyptic romance? Steampunk romance?

Would you jump at a chance or three to win a box full of these sorts of books?

Who, what, where, when and how can I win? – I hear you cry!

Well, 9 Aussie paranormal romance authors have banded together and each have donated books and swag from their latest series to go into the Aussie Author Giveaway – two huge giveaway packages which will be on display at some of the specialty romance bookstores here in Australia.

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Rendezvous Books (Victoria) will host the first box of goodies and the giveaway will run the entire month of June 2013.

The second box of authorly-goodness will reside at Rosemary’s Romance Bookstore (Queensland) right through July 2013.

The third box of giveaway-fun will be with Galaxy Books (Sydney) over August 2013.

All readers have to do is order a book (or books) from these stores in the designated giveaway month – either in person or online. You’ll earn one entry per purchase in the Giveaway. The prize winner will be drawn at the end of the month and the Aussie Author Giveaway box of goodies will be posted to you.

NB. Due to postage costs, entry is restricted to Australian readers.

So, come on Aussies, come on! Support your specialty romance bookstores, get to know some local Aussie authors – and you could find a huge parcel of books in your mailbox at the end of June or July or August!

Participating authors:

BecMcMaster_headshot2_tn
Bec McMaster

keri-1

Keri Arthur

 

Christina+Bio+Photo

Christina Ashcroft

erica1

Erica Hayes

rowena72

Rowena Cory Daniells

KylieScott

Kylie Scott 

mjscott_96_350h

MJ Scott

 

KylieGriffin

Kylie Griffin 

shona

Shona Husk

 

 

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Filed under Australian Writers, Dark Urban Fantasy, Female Fantasy Authors, Specialist Bookshops

Dynamic Duo run National SF Con (Conflux 9)and have new books out…

I have been featuring fantastic female fantasy authors (see disclaimer) but this has morphed into interesting people in the speculative fiction world. Today I’ve invited the Dynamic Duo, Donna Hanson and Nicole Murphy who are co-chairs of the Australian National SF Convention, Conflux 9 and who both happen to have a book coming out this year. They are proof that you can be creative and successful, and give back to your community.

 

Donna and Nicole

Donna and Nicole

Q: Both of you have work and families, you are part of a writing group (the Canberra SF Guild and part of Fantasy Writers on Retreat), you’re published and you both have books coming out this year (more later), on top of all this, you put your hands up to be co-chairs of Conflux 9. Tell me honestly, when you came home from that meeting and told your significant others that you’d volunteered to run the Nat Con, what did they say? (From the photo it looks like you might have had one glass to many).

Donna

Well that photo on the website was my birthday shot ( a High Tea)  so I’m not sure we’d dived into the champers at that time. We think we’re insane and I think our partners know it. Matthew (Farrer) my partner has this wide-eyed stare every time we talk Conflux 9. The worried frown sort of says-‘she’s going to rope me in?’ And just last weekend I did too, do a couple of panels. It’s the power of the inevitable. However, this is definitely my last con.

 

Nicole

I dreaded telling my husband, Tim, cause he really didn’t like the time it took from me when I chaired Conflux 4. But the fact that a) it was with Donna, so the workload wouldn’t be as bad and b) I love doing this meant he was fine with it. However, we’re both swearing that this will be the last time we organise a con and hoping our partners will keep us to that. Not that that means it’s the last thing we’ll do for the community. We have ideas. One that keeps popping up in particular (you know what I mean, Donna).

 

Donna

Nicole do not go there. Do not pass go and do not collect $200. Think of the work involved. You’re insane.

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Q: Not only are you doing all of the above, but Nicole, you’re teaching Year of the Novel with the QLD Writing Centre and the ACT Writers Centre, and Donna you are doing a Masters in Creative Writing, and a course in Millinery (hat making). Is there a point where you think, I can’t take on one more thing? Or is your philosophy, the more I take on the stimulating life is and it’s just as well I’m really good at juggling?

 

Donna

I have my limits. Like if I sold a trilogy I’d probably have massive brain melt. But that’s not going to happen in the next 3 months. I’d like it but you know gee a girl can only do so much. Ironically, I do find the more I have on the more productive I get. RSI stymies me a little. I guess it’s a matter of stacking. Conflux is over at the end of April. Things are hotting up now with Conflux so I ease off on the writing. The Masters starts soon, but I’m taking all of April off to get the Conflux thing done and uni if needs me. Millinery if the course goes ahead (they need a minimum number) will be my time out. I have arthritis in the neck and one day I’m not going to be a happy camper so I do have this philosophy of doing as much as I can now rather than waiting until I retire or something. And to ease the pressure in my writing gears and cogs, I wrote two novels in the last half of 2012 and I just have to polish them and send them out this year. The pressure to write has eased a bit.

 

Nicole

There is no doubt in my mind that I am quite, quite mad. However, there’s nothing that annoys me more than being bored, and this year there’s little chance of that happening! The two Year of the Novel courses were important to me because I love teaching and helping people – I get as much satisfaction from seeing friends and those I’m mentored and taught succeed as I do from my own success. More, even, cause I don’t have to deal with the worry and fretting and constant fear of bad sales figures J And as Donna said Conflux is over is just over three months (eep, eep, eep!) and I’m going easy on myself on the writing front in order to keep things under control. That said – I’ve got two books coming out between now and then, one of which I’m editing and publishing, so… Back to the comment about being mad.

Marc Gascoigne

Marc Gascoigne

Q: You’ve been involved in running other Confluxes and other events like the World SF Con 2010. How did you get involved in running events? Was it overwhelming the first time? I know Conflux 9 is running a pitching opportunity with Marc Gascoigne from Angry Robot. Nalo Hopkins is the International writer GOH, Karen Miller is the Australian GOH writer and Kaaron Warren is the Special Guest writer, (see here for details), so you get to meet cool writers and editors. Are there other benefits to running a Con and is it something you’d recommend to people wanting to become writers? (For information on the pitching opportunity see here).

 

Nalo Hopkins (Photo David Findlay, 2007)

Nalo Hopkins (Photo David Findlay, 2007)

Donna

Nicole will tell you I roped her in. I’ll blame Maxine McArthur because I’d never heard of SF cons (well I had been to a Star Trek convention and knew about those but not fan run lit cons). I ended up being the Chair of Conflux (number 1) but I was just helping out on the committee (cough because Maxine gave me strong hints that I should) and then I ended up being the chair. I did the next one and then scaled down my activities to focus on writing.

I did make a lot of contacts and made many friends as a result. In those early days I was very enthusiastic and networked a lot and I guess brought in other writers to the fan scene. The rest is history. For that first con though I had 10 months off work and I didn’t write much either. I think I did other things like edit anthologies.

I do recommend getting involved with organising these conventions and helping out. It’s a good experience and you make great contacts. However, I do recommend a little balancing between your activities. I got invited to help out with worldcon because I got noticed doing the Conflux convention running. It can be addictive. Worldcons are great fun (going to them and being involved).

 

Karen Miller (Photo Mary CT Webber)

Karen Miller (Photo Mary CT Webber)

Kaaron Warren

Kaaron Warren

 

 

 

Nicole

Yes, it’s all Donna’s fault. She asked me to run the short story competition at the first Conflux. I wasn’t totally happy with my work on that, so I decided to work on the next convention to prove I could do it. And then the next convention. And then I chaired one. And then. And then…

And now, thanks to Conflux, I work full-time as a professional conference organiser. So yeah, I love them.

I’m not sure I’d recommend it to other writers, because it is very time consuming. That said, if you’re not good at networking (like me, I’m atrocious at it, unlike Donna who is an absolute marvel at it), then getting involved in convention organising is a great idea because you have to meet and interact with these people. I’ve not doubt that my work with Conflux helped me get my foot in the door with Harper Collins. Didn’t get me published – it was the fact the company loved the books that did that, but it helped.

So balance it up – the time it takes versus the fact it can be very beneficial. And fun. And you get to meet the coolest people, and often they’ll stay friends for a long time after.

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Q: Donna your book Rayessa the Space Pirate is available from Escape Publishing. You edited the Australian Speculative Fiction: Genre Overview, which was published in 2005. You’ve had a lot of short stories published which range from fantasy, through erotic horror, to SF (is this right?), yet Rayessa the Space Pirate is a rollicking Space Opera, which doesn’t take itself too seriously. Was it a relief to let your hair down and write for the fun of it?

AustralianSpeculativeFiction

Donna

I had fun writing Rayessa and the Space Pirates. I wrote it a long time ago, when I was a fairly new writer. Even though it’s been revised, I stayed true to the character during those rewrites. She’s fun, the story is fun. But when you take in my other work, it is surely different and not what you’d expect from me. I’m very proud of it because of its lightness, its vibrancy and like you said rollicking space opera.

Many of my short stories are me flexing my writing muscles. I evolved from just writing a story to experimenting with styles and content. I do tend to go a bit dark at times. ‘Heat’ was a bit like that with the split narrative (it’s in my free fiction section on my blog-warning adult content) and in the last couple of years I’d been writing short paranormal too, just to see if I could. I’m a bit astounded that I really like writing happy ever afters just as much as the soul sucking endings. I write what is in my head, pursue ideas and go with it. Who knows what I’m going to do next.

3 books.axd

Q: Nicole you’ve had numerous short stories published, and an Urban Fantasy trilogy set in Australia called The Gadda (Harper Collins). The tag-line on your blog is: Where Fantasy and Romance Collide. So your next book’s genre is a step sideway, but not that far. Arranged to Love is written under your pseudonym, Elizabeth Dunk. (For a taste of Elizabeth Dunk’s writing style see here, Claudine’s New Adventure). What was the genesis of Nicole the fantasy writer evolving  to include Elizabeth the romance writer?

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Nicole

It all started way back when I was originally writing the first lot of Gadda books. I’d been thinking I was a straight fantasy/SF writer, but I had one of those blinding moments of inspiration where I realised I kept putting romance in as a sub-plot and I’d probably be better off pulling it to the forefront. That was the genesis of writing the Gadda books and when they were done, I kept having ideas for contemporary romances as well.

In 2011 I was at home, writing full-time, and I needed to do something apart from the Gadda books to challenge myself. So yes, I took a step sideways – a small one, but definitely still a step. My aim was to write a Mills and Boon category style romance. The only way Arranged to Love matches that is in length – otherwise it fails. But it’s a great story and it had a checkered road to publication but I’m so happy it’s there.

I’d always intended to use a pseudonym, but to be open about it because some people read only genre, some people read an author. So there will be people who will read anything I publish and there will be romance readers who won’t touch the Gadda books with a barge pole and vice versa. Here’s hoping it works.

 

donna-corset

Q: I understand there is a Steampunk High Tea is planned for Conflux 9 on the Thursday afternoon at 3pm.  (For the full program, see here). I’m guessing this mean we all get to dress up in really cool steampunk gear, sip tea and nibble cucumber sandwiches. Do you have any fashion advice for the event?

 

Donna

I think people should go with that they feel comfortable with. I’m dressing up because: hey I made a dress so I must wear it. But people can come with a bow tie, or goggles or a gun or just in day clothes. I bought Matthew a Nerf Gun. I expect him to paint it and make it look all steampunky. My son gave me a steampunk necklace for Christmas. I’m almost kitted up.

It’s a bit of fun. People can do traditional Victorian or make it up with whatever they like. I’ve seen men and women in corsets, kilts, junk, jodhpurs and google, top hats, parasols. Any and all. Just come for the fun and the high tea. I believe we get lovely sparkling wine too. Try googling steampunk clothing and you’ll be amazed at what is out there. Mind bogglingly awesome. There are some very talented and creative people out there. Just remember you have to book and pay for the high tea as it is an extra event.

 

Nicole

Can I just add – cucumber sandwiches are awesome! Honestly, you read about them and think, how old fashioned, how silly, making sandwiches with cucumber only, what a strange thing to do. But they’re great. I prefer them with a yoghurt dressing, rather than cream cheese. Take note, Rydges!

JAFA2013-small

Q: You are also staging a Regency Banquet. Does this involved getting dressed up like Elizabeth and Mr Darcy? What can people expect at a Regency banquet?

 

Donna

Yes, if you want. We ran a Regency Banquet a few years ago and we had a great turn out. A lot of people love the period and went all out. Some had period costumes, some people adapted modern wear to make it look period, some of those were very effective.

The menu for the banquet is taken from the Conflux cookbook, Five Historical Feasts, by Gillian Polack. We are re-running that. The menu was researched and put together by Gillian, who is our very own historian (she’s a Dr), with the help of a bunch of us who tested and tasted the recipes. The food was really good to eat. Not good for my waistline.

This year to spice things up we have entertainment from Earthly Delights. They are the group that run the Jane Austen Festival in Canberra the week before Conflux. (they always get TV coverage of the event). John Gardiner, his wife Aylwen Gardiner-Garden will be organising the impromptu dancing and also music. John has agreed to do a 3 hour workshop on Regency Dance and Manners on the Friday. I’m so going to that. ($45 for members) and Aylwen is bringing items of costume to do a hands on workshop on costume design ($10 for members), so we are getting into the Regency thing. I hope we get takers because the dance workshop needs 16 people to work.

 

Lewis Morely and Marilyn Pride Conflux 5 (Photo Cat Sparks)

Lewis Morely and Marilyn Pride Conflux 5 (Photo Cat Sparks)

Nicole

The original Regency banquet was run during my conference, Conflux 4 and I may be biased, but I think it was the best of the lot. Everyone really went all out with the costuming and the whole place looked wonderful. The food was overwhelming – there was very little desert eaten because it was so rich we were already full. A fabulous night.

Note that while we’ve cut a lot of allergens out of the menu (eg there’s no fish/shellfish, no nuts), there’s one thing we can’t avoid – dairy. The Regency folks were nuts for it. And butter, so forget your diet! But if you’re lactose intolerant, there’s so little food available for you that you’ve got to seriously consider if it’s worth your while.

 

Donna Hanson, Cat Sparks, Alisa Krasnostein  Conflux 4 (Photo by Cat Sparks)

Donna Hanson, Cat Sparks, Alisa Krasnostein, Conflux 5 (Photo by Cat Sparks)

 

Q: Do you have any tips for first time convention goers who are planning to come to Conflux 9? (For membership information see here)

Donna

Be prepared to meet people, have fun, be entertained, learn things, network (drink). Be prepared to be thoroughly knackered. Come to our Meet the newbie session in the bar after the steampunk high tea. You’ll get to meet seasoned con goers to find out how to make the best of your convention.

 

Adam Browne and Keith Stevenson (Photo Claire McKenna)

Adam Browne and Keith Stevenson (Photo Claire McKenna)

Nicole

Don’t be afraid to approach your favourite writer. One of the great things about our industry is that we’ve all been in the same boat – having to greet our hero for the first time. A lot of the time, we made complete and utter fools of ourselves but we’ve always survived. Australia’s SF industry is wonderfully supportive, encouraging and fabulous and generally we only bite if asked to.

If you’re coming as a writer, intending to network with editors, agents and publishers – be cool about it. For professionals, conventions are part work, part fun and hanging with friends. So be aware of the circumstances and if you are going to approach them for a chat about your work, be polite and understand if they ask you to come back another time.

And whatever you do – don’t do what some shmuck did to poor Stephen King at a convention and chase a writer/editor/agent/publisher into the toilet with your manuscript and fling it under the door to them!

That said, a lot of us are very bribable. I drink red wine :-)

 

 

Rowena thanks for the interview. You’ve done heaps of research. It is much appreciated.

 

Donna Hanson

Donna Hanson

Catch up with Donna on GoodReads

Donna’s blog

Follow Donna on Twitter  @DonnaMHanson

 

 

 

 

Nicole Murphy

Nicole Murphy

Catch up with Nicole on GoodReads

Nicole’s Blog

Catch up with Nicole on Facebook

Follow Nicole on Twitter  @nicole_r_murphy  

 

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Filed under Australian Artists, Australian Writers, Conferences and Conventions, Conventions, creativity, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fandom, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, Indy Press, Pitching your book, Promoting your Book, Publishing Industry, SF Books, Specialist Bookshops, Steampunk, The Writing Fraternity, Tips for Developing Artists, Tips for Developing Writers, Workshop/s, Writing craft, Writing Groups

ROR … Recovering

Here I am, back from the 2012 ROR (See here for more info on the ROR writers group). This year we went to Steeles Island. Lovely spot, great premises.

Here's the view up the estury

The view up the estuary

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.

The room where it all happened.

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).

You can see the energy level from this pic of Tansy and Richard

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.

Margo being insightful

(Marianne and Trent couldn’t make this ROR due to work commitments and where they were up to in their current manuscripts).

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.

That's me enjoying the brilliant banter of the RORees

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.

This is me kissing my DH at the launch

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.

The steps down to the beach in the early morning light

Tansy's partner and their youngest on the tidal sands

Sunshine on sea a Wild Tassie Beach

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Filed under Australian Writers, creativity, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Fun Stuff, Nourish the Writer, Specialist Bookshops, The Writing Fraternity, Writing Groups

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
5:30pm
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
hobooks@ozemail.com.au
www.hobartbookshop.com.au

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

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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

Supanova – Be there or be Square!

Okay, maybe not, but it will be heaps of fun. There’s a great line up of writers coming this weekend to Brisbane Supanova!

Isobelle Carmody( is going to launch The Sending), Marianne de Pierres, Tracey O’Hara, Keri Arthur, Ian Irvine, Kylie Chan and myself will be at the Dymocks bookstore if you’d like to stop by and get a book signed or just chat.

Plus there will be panels and a workshop.

Friday –

Isobelle Carmody Writing Masterclass in the Cosplay Theatre at 6.45pm

Saturday –

1pm – Isobelle Carmody’s booklaunch for The Sending in the Wrestling ring – launched by Min

2.30pm – Marianne and Rowena in the Supanvnova Seminar Room – Steps to Publication

3.30pm – Tracey and Keri in the Supanova Seminar room – Introduction to Paranormal

Sunday –

11.50am – Kylie in the Supanova seminar room – Journeying towards Trilogies

1pm – Official launch of Ian Irvine’s Vengence by Isobelle Carmody in the wrestling ring

2.20pm – Ian Irvine in the Supanova seminar room – Vengence unleased!

Here is a link to the official event guide. And here’s some pics from the other Supanovas I’ve been to.

There's amazing costumes!

There's amazing authors. This was Sydney or Melbourne with Kevin J Andersen, Rebecca Moesta, Jennifer Fallon, Alison Goodman, Kate Forsyth, Marianne de Pierres and me.

This is Jennifer Fallon and me signing books.

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Filed under Australian Writers, Conferences and Conventions, Conventions, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fantasy books, Female Fantasy Authors, Fun Stuff, Paranormal_Crime, Promoting Friend's Books, Readers, SF Books, Specialist Bookshops, The Writing Fraternity, Thrillers and Crime, Thrillers and Mysteries, Workshop/s

Meet Kaaron Warren …

As the next of my series featuring fantastic female fantasy authors (see disclaimer) I’ve invited the talented Kaaron Warren to drop by.

Watch out for the give-away question at the end of the interview.

 

 

 

Q: You lived in Fiji for three years. How did this come about? And do you find living in Fiji has influence your writing?

My husband was posted there as part of the diplomatic service, so we felt a bit ordinary when we came back! I was hugely influenced by Fiji in my writing; the environment, the people, the history, the culture, the shopping, the food, all of it was so different to life in Australia.

The thing is, coming back to Australia has inspired me as well. The stories I’ve written over the last 18 months have been hugely inspired by the Australian landscape. The rivers, the country towns, the suburbia and the winding roads you travel.

Q: I see you’ve sold around 70 short stories (three collections: The Grinding House, The Glass Woman, Dead Sea Fruit (coming soon from Ticonderoga Publications). Would you say the short story is your natural length? Or do you feel equally comfortable writing novel length?

Both. Some stories are naturally short stories, others require far more exploration. I really love both things and love that I can write short and long.

 
Q: Your stories have been described as dark and disturbing. Are you a secret dark fiction (horror) fan? Does this mean you have the kind of dreams that make you wake up with vivid images and the echoes of a scream reverberating around in your head?

I love reading horror stories, but not the slash and burn kind. I also love the best crime stories, the ones that are full of horror.

I’m not such a fan of most horror movies.

I don’t have nightmares all that often; not the sleeping kind. My horrors come from hearing the news, reading the papers and magazines, from listening to the stories people tell, from watching my elderly neighbour be locked up against her will in a dementia ward.

Q: Your mantle-piece must be getting very crowded with the swag of Ditmar and Aurealis Awards you’ve won, since way back in 1996. What do you think goes into an award winning story?

Originality of idea and voice. Sharpness and clarity. A real story. Characters you can believe in.

Q: You sold three dark fiction books to Angry Robot. That must have been a real buzz when the news came through. Slights appears to revolve around death and the afterlife. What inspired you to write this book?

It was an amazing moment, to read the email from Marc Gascoigne telling me he was buying all three novels. I had to ask my husband to read it, because I thought I was dreaming!

My concept of the afterlife in Slights is that you create your own hell by the way you behave on Earth. This was inspired very clearly by the Hare Krsna concept of hell; that your personal hell is designated by the things you do. If you are a drinker, or a meat eater, or a philanderer, a very certain hell awaits you.

Q: Walking the Tree is your second book. Even after reading the blurb I find it hard to pin down the genre. What theme are you exploring with this book?

It’s quite an anthropological theme. I wanted to understand how much difference geography makes; how being born ten kilometres apart can make two people have very different lives.

I also explored the concept of the network; how everything connects.

Then there’s the idea of women in control; women the ones who leave. They are the ones who make the major life choices. I wanted to explore how this would affect people.

I also thought about the need to go home, the draw for home at the end of one’s life. I wondered what it would be like not to have this.

In doing this, I had to change my own perceptions. I had to understand that in the world of Botanica, leaving is important; saying goodbye is a natural thing.

 

Q: Your latest book is Mistification. It looks like dark urban fantasy. Can you tell us a little about it?

It’s the story of Marvo, a true magician. He’s born in a strange room, in silence, and for the first four years of his life he doesn’t speak. He has no opportunity to go to school. Once he leaves this childhood home, he listens to stories, and he learns from all he knows from them.

I think Angry Robot would classify it in their category of WTF!

Q: I was prompted to start this series of interviews because there seems to be a perception in the US and the UK that fantasy is a bit of a boy’s club. Do you think there’s a difference in the way males and females write fantasy?

I’m not sure that there is. I don’t think I can pick a writer’s gender from their writing, unless they deliberately choose to write in a particular way.

Q: Following on from that, does the gender of the writer change your expectations when you pick up their book?

Not at all. I do read some books totally on spec, but most books are either by friends, or have come recommended, so I’m dealing with those expectations instead!

Q: And here’s the fun question. If you could book a trip on a time machine, where and when would you go, and why?

I’d love to be able to solve a couple of long term murder cases! It would be hard to pick which one. I guess Jack the Ripper is a major one I’d love to know the answer to. But I’d also love to know what happened to the Beaumont Children, and to Eloise (another young girl who disappeared when I was about 7). I still have nightmares about all those kids, and feel such sorrow for the families not knowing.

 

Give-away Question:

What’s your favourite bricks and mortar bookshop?

Find Kaaron on GoodReads.

Follow Kaaron on Twitter:  @KaaronWarren

 

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King Rolen’s Kin spotted Sweden!

Kaia tells me there are around 3 spec fic shops in all of Sweden and she managed to snap this  at SFBOK. Thanks for the support guys!  (Kudos to all the specialist bookstores).

And thanks to the lovely Kaia for letting me know!

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Drive-by Supanova Post

Here I am, back from Supanova and I want to say a big thank you to the team of volunteers. First of all sending hugs to  the Superwomen of Supanova. Missy, Felicity, Nicole and Skye!

Marianne and I at the Dymocks Table

A big thank you to Sandra, Ineke and Claire who ‘womaned’ the Dymocks store.  And while I’m at it, I must say how great it was to catch up with fellow authors, Trent Jamieson, Jennifer Fallon, Trudi Canavan, Isobelle Carmody, Marianne de Pierres and Robin Hobb. Always a pleasure to spend time with!

The costumes are absolutely amazing. So much effort and the tone of the event is so friendly. At one point a huge conga line passed by with everyone dancing and laughing.

A big hello to Caroline and the team who put together the costumes from NINE. Thank you for the cute little No: 5 I was given.

Had so much fun catching up with readers, watching costumes and chatting to friends!

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Pssst, want to hang out with some writers …

Come to Victoria Point Angus and Robertson bookstore this Saturday, 11 am. (This is Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).

I’ll be there along with the cute, but canny Kylie Chan.

One of life’s true romantics, Trent Jamieson.

And the effervescent Marianne de Pierres (who moonlights as Marianne Delacourt).

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Drop by and say Hi …

Marianne, Trent, Kylie and I will be at the Victoria Point Angus and Robertson Bookstore on Saturday the 13th of November. Here’s the link.

It’ll be an informal chat about books and writing. Drop by and say Hi!

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