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Archive for the ‘General excitment’ Category

Phew! What an amazing ride! A big thank you to my many hosts. I could not have done it without you. Thank you for the amazing array of questions and article topics. I count 24 separate posts!!!! The blog tour took place from 16 December 2015 to 8 January 2016. The draw for the books will take place on 15 January. You are welcome to leave a comment here to be in the draw. Meanwhile I’ll be trawling through social media shares etc and blog comments to compile the draw list.

Below I list and link blog posts from the blog tour. If you press the link it will open a new page in your browser.  If you are planning one of these blog tours be prepared for a lot of work and a little bit of organisation. I love how this whole process was so collegiate–other writers helping other writers! I don’t think I’ve ever pushed myself so hard and talked about so many things.

  1. Amanda Bridgeman over in Perth. You should check out her SF Aurora series. This post was an excerpt from Shatterwing. A nice way to ease me into the flow. Here.
  2. Alan Baxter in the ‘Gong, who asked me to talk about the inspiration to the world building for Dragon Wine. Here.
  3. With Matthew over on Smash Dragons. I believe Matthew is in Bathurst. I wrote a short article on what makes fantasy dark. Here.
  4. Alis Franklin also from Canberra asked me for five pieces of advice to the younger writer me. Here.
  5. This one was fun! Matthew Farrer my partner and I in conversation where I’m trying to get him to host me on his blog. The Dweeb and the Dweebette. Here.
  6. This in-depth interview is two-pronged. Ian McHugh (Canberra)  interviewed me and it appeared on his blog and the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild’s (CSFG blog). Ian did an amazing job, a follow up to his in-depth interview last year. Here and Here.
  7. Over in Canada with Liz Munro,  West Coast Book Reviews, who asked me some quick quirky questions and has been a great supporter since she review both Dragon Wine books. Liz is a spec fic author too. Here.
  8. Glenda Larke in Western Australia. If you haven’t read Glenda then you should right now! Glenda interviewed me with some probing questions. Here.
  9.  David McDonald (Melbourne) included me in his Paying for our Passion series. Here
  10. A Christmas post by me. Here.
  11. Keith Stevenson, also from the ‘Gong, asked me a few questions about the inspiration behind the world and story of Dragon Wine. Here.
  12. Fellow Canberran, Chris Andrews asked me to talk about my darkest hour (writing). Here.
  13. Sydneysider, Joanne Anderton, asked me about my work life balance or lack there of. Here.
  14. Patty Jansen, also from Sydney, asked me to talk about romance in speculative fiction. Here.
  15. Leife Shallcross, fellow Canberran, asked me about my research habits or my own personal research rabbit hole. Here.
  16. Dawn Meredith who is a fellow CSFGer, but lives in the Blue Mountains, let me talk about how reading helps my writing. Here.
  17. Me again for my New Year’s Post. Here.
  18. Romance author, Maggie Mundy, had me talking about romance in Dragon Wine. Now I consider Dragon Wine to be unromantic because it’s dark and nasty, but I did find that I had two love triangles. Who knew?  Here.
  19. Allan Walsh from Queensland had me talk about world building. Here.
  20. DL Richardson had me over for a wonderful and fun coffee chat. Such a fab idea. Love it! Here.
  21. Kim Cleary had me on her blog to talk about why sweet little ol’ me wrote such a nasty story. Here.
  22. Nalini from Dark Matter Ezine had me over to talk about Female Heroes. I’d like to extend this blog post at a latter time as I was quite knackered when I wrote it and there’s so much more to say. Here.
  23. Last stop was MJ Oliver, currently resident in Indonesia, where I talk about how writing is not all about the writing. You know that promo stuff. Here.
  24. This probably went out first. It was an article in Scott Robinson’s newsletter- some writing advice . His website is here.  I’ll put the text of the article here. Writing in the zone. One of the best things about writing is finding the zone. I used to call it the zen zone-the frame of mind where I’m into the story, I’m creating stuff and I’m getting a buzz. Often I’d only get into the zone on a writing retreat. The peak time for the zen zone would be Wednesday of week two. These days I can’t rely on retreats to get me into the zen zone. I need the portacot type of zen zone. One I can assemble and set up and use anytime.I think that is doable, but finding out how to do that requires some self reflection and understanding of what inspires one to write.

    I don’t think I have met a writer who hasn’t had a crisis of faith in their writing, or their writing career. This can be brought about from lack of success in getting anything published, or lack of achievement in finishing the novel or even after being published and having that novel they have worked on for ten years not selling. All of these things can be detrimental to the mind set of putting your head down, believing in yourself and writing.

    Now I don’t have a one size fits all solution to this. I have some suggestions for finding out how to tap into your own zen zone, mostly from my experiences.

    1. Don’t buy into the self-doubt talk down.

    This is where you obsess about not being good enough. For example, you’ve just read the best book ever and you feel that it’s all over, you’ll never be that good and why should you even try. Bollocks. There’s always going to be someone, no matter how good you are, that’s done something more interesting, more popular or award winning than you. It’s not about them it’s about you. Writing what you love, what you enjoy and doing it to the best of your ability. Don’t listen to that voice in your head that tells you to give up. Not if you really want to succeed. If you’re not the best you can be yet, then keep at it, keep practicing. You’ll get there if you really want it.

    1. Figure out how you work best.

    I heard an interview with a writer recently who studied when she was the most productive. Although she was a morning person, she found she actually wrote more at certain times in the afternoon. Some people like writing to music. Or they have to be in a certain space in a certain chair. Others like writing in coffee shops. The thing is to actually think about what contributes to writing well for you. If you stop writing and spend all your time on the internet then think about leaving your phone off, and disconnecting from the internet. If you watch tv instead of writing, think about not watching television at all. Whatever distracts you or makes you feel out of frame, you need to identify it and address it. That will help you get into the zone.

    1. Be kind to your body.

    As a person who has developed RSI and spinal issues over time then I am all for looking after yourself. Take breaks. Use a timer. Take a walk or do something physical. We weren’t built to be on the computer all day. Writing requires that. Unless, of course, you try dictation software or standing up or both. Whatever you do balance the physical with the mental. That way you can enjoy your zen zone to the max.

    1. Read widely and often.

    Reading teaches and it also opens your mind up to possibilities whether you are reading fiction or non-fiction you are shoving stuff in your head that’s going to come out in your writing either the next week or the next year or five years from now. You can learn from other fiction writers about techniques, taking risks or just opening up your mind to possibilities. This is like fertiliser for the zen zone. You have built up enough fuel to give your zen zone blast off.

    1. Try to do the best you can do.

    My motto here and it’s only recently adapted into my approach: Enough isn’t good enough. I am trying to put some perfection into my writing. Maybe this is because I’m pretty sorted with story and plot and world building, although I think I can do better with characters all around. But I don’t want to be just competent or good, I want to go for more. For me that might be patience and subtlety in my story telling. It might mean one day aspiring to write the literary genre masterpiece. All I know is that writing is a continuum and I want to climb up that line of achievement and explore what I can be as a writer. Seeing a goal also gives meaning to my zen zone. When I’m there it’s so right and good and sigh…I just want to be there always.

And here is the exhausted me!

Exhausted me on 8 January 2016

Exhausted me on 8 January 2016

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Happy New year! 2015 is done and 2016 is here. Yipee!

2015 was a tough year for me on many fronts. My mother passed away on the 4th of January and then my health was a bit up and down. (Looks like it’s thyroid issues). Work became a bit of struggle and then I injured myself, resulting in a diagnosis of some thoracic disc protrusions. That diagnosis sent me on a downer. Not only was it (is it) painful it curtailed my writing in a big way. The bigger thing that diagnosis it did was make me look at my life at what I was doing with my work and what I wanted to do with my productive time. You see, I can only see this arthritic spine of mine getting worse over time and so doing things like craft, writing  etc becomes more precious to me. I love making things. It’s my life blood.

I lost my friend Sonia to scleroderma and other close friends have had some health scares. My eldest son moved to China for work. He loves it. I miss him.

On the bright side, and there is one (or many), I’m generally healthy, so is my partner, Matthew, my children and my grandchildren.

2015 me and dweeb

Me (the Dweebette) and Matthew (the Dweeb!)

So apart from some chronic pain I’m really happy on in the inside. That makes a big difference. We love our house. Our deck got built and it’s amazing.

deck 2015

The long awaited deck and a peak at the views.

I also got to see some Koalas when I took some visiting Indonesians out to Tidbinbilla.

2015 koala

As I wasn’t able to write, I had to do other things to keep me sane so I did some craft-weaving, sewing and millinery. I try to use a timer to alternate through different things so I don’t injure myself. Millinery can be done standing up. I also discovered Audible and have been listening to some fab books. I’m going to continue that.

I also did a few cakes. Like this one for my daughter. Totero and this one for my boss’s farewell, a vintage Kombi.

So what is in store for me in 2016? As previously mentioned on this blog, I am commencing candidature for a higher research degree (PHD). That starts in February. I have lots of reading to do and some papers to write. The topic is Feminism in Popular Romance.

I’ve got a bit of organising to do to get ready for that. I need to clear the decks of some writing tasks. The reason I’ve taken January off work. I also need to do some practical things like reorganise my office in readiness for study. I wouldn’t call it organised now…but that needs to be improved. I had a message from my daughter. Mum: junk attracts junk. I get the message.

I’m hoping some books will also come out in 2016. I may experiment with self-publishing. Sometimes it can take too long to flog a book and it gets dated. In that case, I may as well get it out there and experiment.

Appearances wise, I’m hoping to get to Contact in Brisbane over Easter and to the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Adelaide later in the year. I’m very tempted by Supanova!

With regards to hats, I’m working on doing more of those and setting up a website to sell them. Bring on the steampunk hats!

I’ll be finishing up on the day job in the first part of the year. Losing the good income is a scary prospect, but you know I’m going to take the leap and see where it gets me.

Happy New year! Hopefully you will pop back again.

2015 hat by cat

Me in one of my hats. Photo by Cat Sparks.

Oh and Dragon Wine Part 1 is on promotion. It’s free in ebook. I’m also doing a blog tour and a give away of a hard copy. To be in the draw to win a print copy of Shatterwing leave a comment.

Dragonwine

Dragon Wine Series

Blurb

Dragon wine could save them. Or bring about their destruction.

Since the moon shattered, the once peaceful and plentiful world has become a desolate wasteland. Factions fight for ownership of the remaining resources as pieces of the broken moon rain down, bringing chaos, destruction and death.

The most precious of these resources is dragon wine – a life-giving drink made from the essence of dragons. But the making of the wine is perilous and so is undertaken by prisoners. Perhaps even more dangerous than the wine production is the Inspector, the sadistic ruler of the prison vineyard who plans to use the precious drink to rule the world.

There are only two people that stand in his way. Brill, a young royal rebel who seeks to bring about revolution, and Salinda, the prison’s best vintner and possessor of a powerful and ancient gift that she is only beginning to understand. To stop the Inspector, Salinda must learn to harness her power so that she and Brill can escape, and stop the dragon wine from falling into the wrong hands.

Dragon Wine Book 2 :Skywatcher, the follow on book is also available in ebook and print.

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

 

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Organising this blog tour took a lot of work but it  has been fun and interesting to boot. Many thanks to my generous hosts and for the ideas, questions and interesting topics to discuss.

The blog tour starts tomorrow 16 December, 2015.

Why am I doing a blog tour?

My dark fantasy novel, Dragon Wine Book 1: Shatterwing, is free on promotion during December and into January. Doing a blog tour is supposed to help me get the word out and I thought I’d also have a give away of the print version for people who leave comments. Leaving a comment on this post lets you enter the giveaway too.

Also, Dragon Wine Book 2: Skywatcher is available for purchase.

Dragonwine

Dragon Wine Series

Here is a link to the Momentum Books website where you can get your free copy. It has links to all the retailers there too.

Here.

This is a schedule of the blog tour and the topics/interviews etc. I’ll be popping back to leave the links as they come up.

Amanda Bridgeman 16 December
Alan Baxter 17 December
Matthew Summers 18 December
Alis Franklin 19 December
Matthew Farrer 20 December
CSFG interview with Ian McHugh 21 December
Liz Munro 22 December
Glenda Larke 23 December
David McDonald 24 December
Christmas post by me 25 December
Keith Stevenson 26 December
Chris Andrews 27 December
Joanne Anderton 28 December
Patty Jansen 29 December
Leife Shallcross. 30 December
Dawn Meredith 31 December
New year post by me 1 January
Magie Mundy 2 January
Kim Cleary 3 January
Allan Walsh 4 January

Also, Scott Robinson has included an article by me on writing in his newsletter.

Because I wasn’t able to undo the cut and paste on that list, I don’t have room to put the topics so I’m going to give you a few hints and you’ll have to look for the ones that interest you. Some maybe obvious! Like The Dweeb and the Dweebette interview. I also have articles on writing romance in speculative fiction, research habits, an in depth interview about Dragon Wine (totally cool), I have interviews about what I gave up to write, my darkest hour, world building, about my choices in writing versus a well-paying career and my dark past. I also did an article on what makes dark fantasy dark, five things I’d tell the younger writer me, work life balance and how reading helps your writing. Phew! Now wonder I haven’t been near my manuscript since 30 November!

I hope you will check out some of the posts. If you don’t have a copy of Shatterwing and you like dark, nasty fantasy then please help yourself to a free copy. If you liked Shatterwing then please spread the word!  Leave a comment if you want to be in the draw for a print version of the book.

And there is more the story.

And now my not so official photo!

IMG_0932

Me in my not author shot

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Over the labour day long weekend, I attended Conflux SF Convention. It was a local SF convention with a nice, cozy crowd. On the Saturday morning, I was being the timelord for the pitching sessions. This means I wrangled the editors taking pitches and the authors pitching novels. It was a really good space to be in. Full of hope and anticipation on both sides. It also stopped me being nervous about my launch.

Just after that was my scheduled book launch for Shatterwing. Shatterwing is a dark, epic fantasy, set on a post-apocalyptic world where mankind is at its lowest ebb. It has dragons, but maybe the humans are the worst kind of beast on this world.

In the lead up I wasn’t sure I was going to get books. But they arrived on Friday. I was so excited I couldn’t sit still. Yes, I almost wet myself. A guy I work with helped carry the boxes up to my office and then he bought the first copy. I liken it to receiving my first degree. Something I’d never thought would happen to me and a great personal achievement. So publishing Shatterwing is up there with that.

I’ve had ebooks published before, and that was amazing. The launch for Rayessa and the Space Pirates was so much fun and real highlight in my life. Here is the picture of the UFO cake I made for that launch.

ufo cake 1

There are two things that make this launch extra special for me. This is Dragon Wine. The book I’ve been working on the longest, the book that I poured a lot of myself into. It is special to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love all my stories and the characters, but this has my blood, sweat and tears in it. The other thing is that this has a print copy! Like wow! I can hold this, wave it about and I can see it. This is useful when you know a lot of people who don’t read ebooks, don’t get ebooks and don’t really think you have published anything.

Me with the first copies of Shatterwing

Me with the first copies of Shatterwing

So even though I didn’t think there would be books, I wanted to have the launch anyway to celebrate with my spec fic buddies, because well why the hell not. As it turned out there were books. Thank you to my publisher Momentum Books. They look lovely btw.

In a previous post I talked about the launch shoes. I didn’t quite organise the dress so I wore this lovely retro dress.

Launch shoes from the UK (Irregular Choices)

Launch shoes from the UK (Irregular Choices)

Me in my dress and shoes

Me in my dress and shoes

I stole Keri Arthur’s shoe mojo when I got those. I was also inspired to buy them by Nik Vincent in Maidstone, Kent. The dress is my own kind of weakness. The swing style hides a lot of flaws.

The launch was heating up. The books were on display. The drinks were arriving. My son, Taamati and my daughter Shireen (Beans) came along. Beans isn’t in the photo as she looked liked she’d been a the gym. My friend Deb Kelly came down from Queensland to be at the launch. Waves to Deb. That was an amazing thing for her to do. Thank you so much Deb.

Taamati and me

Taamati and me

The wonderful Cat Sparks agreed to launch the book for me and good buddie Nicole Murphy was the MC and my lovely partner manned the receipt book.

Nicole, dragon, me and Cat (photo by Robert Hood)

Nicole, dragon, me and Cat (photo by Robert Hood)

Cat just happened to have this amazing dragon at her house, which matched the colours of Plu in the book. Here is a shot with Cat and her dragon. It is beautiful and enormous and I have envy.

Cat Sparks and her dragon

Cat Sparks and her dragon

 

 

Cat launched the book, highlighting some of the world building elements and stuff about me. She gave people a warning about the darkness in it. Nicole made me read while people got their drinks and pizza.

Me signing Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)

Me signing Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)

 

Then came the signing. People bought books and I signed them. People who I knew and some of whom I didn’t and that was very touching. Thank you all for coming and celebrating with me.

Me reading a scene from Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)

Me reading a scene from Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)

Nicole chose a scene for me to read because I hadn’t prepared anything and I couldn’t decide in case it was a spoiler. A bit pathetic of me I know.

Donna-dragonAnd to finish a shot of me signing again. A great photo by Cat Sparks. I am very grateful to Cat for reading and launching Shatterwing. I know she is very busy with her PhD and writing so I appreciate it, heaps. Many thanks to  Nicole Murphy for MCing and being a great support. Hugs to Russell and Kylie for making the launch. And Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara! Thank you to my Canberra Speculative  Fiction Guild buddies. Thank you to those of you who attended who were too many to name. I really am humbled by your support.

Donna Maree Hanson (photo Cat Sparks)

Donna Maree Hanson (photo Cat Sparks)

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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.

 

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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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I’m sadly behind in the blogging. Sorry but it’s been a bit of a whirlwind during this trip to the UK with not much internet. The few windows of access I’ve had I’ve peppered Twitter and Facebook with photos and stuff.

I’d thought I’d back track to talk about Loncon3, my fifth worldcon. Wow. Loncon 3 was huge. That has good sides and bad sides. To accommodate so many people meant the venue was big. But it was a convention centre after all. Despite having edits I did get to a few things.

We stayed in this fab apartment in Limehouse with Kimberley Gaal and Shauna O’Meara, fellow Canberrans and CSFG people. It gave us a bit more freedom than a hotel as we had a sitting room and a washing machine and two bathrooms. Loncon 3 was about catching up with people and about getting to see famous people in panels.

I managed to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. Glenda Larke, Karen Miller, Cat Sparks, Robert Hood, Amanda Bridgeman, Abigail Nathan, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Alisa Krasnostein, Russell B Farr, Liz Grzyb, Ben Peek, Jenny Blackford and Janeen Webb, Justin Ackroyd and a wave or two to Jonathan Strahan. The new acquaintances were entirely international Alistair Rennie (Scotland), Fabrizio Luzzatti (Italy), Teador Relijc (Malta), Gert (Netherlands) and Isabelle Varange (France). These guys were fab.

 

Robert Hood, Ben Peek, Cat Sparks and Firenze?

Robert Hood, Ben Peek, Cat Sparks and Firenze?

Me and Glenda Larke

Me and Glenda Larke

Alistair, Fabuzzio and Teodor, with Matthew

Alistair, Fabuzzio and Teodor, with Matthew

I went to a few things. Not as many as I would have liked because it was a big con and the rooms were full. I sat on the floor with Glenda Larke to hear an interview by Paul Cornell with George RR Martin and Connie Willis and that was fab. My first taste of the convention really. We went to a panel on full time writing, which was one of the best we saw. It had Scott Lynch and Juliet E McKenna, who we chatted with later. Actually Kim hijacked Juliet and took her to dinner with us. Alas, her meal didn’t arrive in time and she had to leave for a panel. The service was pretty bad at the Fox@Excel that day. Lots of people. Scott Lynch was really interesting too. The interview with Robin Hobb was very interesting. Her childhood was so interesting. In Alaska!

Scott Lynch and Matthew Farrer, Loncon3

Scott Lynch and Matthew Farrer, Loncon3

Here is one of Matthew and Juliet E McKenna and then Kimberley Gaal doing the high five.

Matthew Farrer and Juliet E McKenna

Matthew Farrer and Juliet E McKenna

Juliet E McKenna and Kimberley Gaal

Juliet E McKenna and Kimberley Gaal

I also met up with the lovely Tsana Dolichva too. She very kindly name-checked me in a panel.

There are other photos but they are on my iPad and as I’m travelling I’m not sure how to get them off. Ahah! secret missing to swap to iPAD accomplished.

I’ve now switched back to the laptop because I can’t control where the photos are going from the iPad. But here are a few more.

 

Here is Shauna on the Throne of Swords (Yes there was one in the fan lounge)

Shauna O'Meara, mother of vets, Queen of everything

Shauna O’Meara, mother of vets, Queen of everything

 

I have to put up a picture of the lovely girls, who are so good to room with and hang with.

The lovely girls, Kimberley Gaal and Shauna O'Meara

The lovely girls, Kimberley Gaal and Shauna O’Meara

 

Did I mention this thing where Kim takes her little Russell Bird and poses him with people. Well here is Russell B Farr with Russell Bird.

Russell B Farr with Russell Bird

Russell B Farr with Russell Bird

And to round things off, this is Matthew and me being very relaxed at Kensington Gardens in the Orangery.

Matthew Farrer and me

Matthew Farrer and me

So overall we love travelling around Britain and the food and the people and the accents so there will be more blogs to come. I also want to congratulate the London3 team for a brilliant job of organising the convention. The program was varied and interesting and events were well organised.

And finally from me. A photo that says everything.

Me, mother of swords, Queen of food

Me, mother of swords, Queen of food

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It amazes me after all the years I’ve been writing that I can still get something from a writers conference. Well I shouldn’t be amazed because the romance writers have been knocking my sox off since I went to my first conference in 2012. This one was my third.

Like a very good girl I went to all the sessions (I had to skip the AGM to check in to my hotel on Saturday-sorry) and I thoroughly enjoyed every one. Either I learned something new or I was reminded of what I should be doing but sometimes get lazy about.

As I’m in my hotel ready to do so editing before we head out to the UK, I can’t wax lyrical on the subject matter. Cherry Adair was hilarious and informative and generous. Marie Force was a force to be reckoned with but certainly opened my eyes to how much work can be involved in self-publishing if you want to do it well. Fiona Lowe’s session on characters amazed me, particularly the amount of structured analysis she does. Wow Kate Belle did a great session on sex writing-I certainly learned a lot about writing and a bit about sex! Tim from Smashwords was also fantabulous! And James Scott Bell on revision made me repentant. I can be slack sometimes.

So some photos of the highlights.

Cocktail party was so much fun and the costumes were varied and hot! Go Ros Baxter dressed as Cher. If you’ve got it flaunt it. Here are Tania’s boots. (apparently from Amazon and around $60 and in different colours)boots

Here is another shot of the boots but with all of Tania. Did I mention how much delectable food there was at the Destiny Cocktail party? OMG! Diet went out the window. Actually the food was very good all round.

Tania full

Then there is me and Nicole Murphy (actually in the bar beforehand)

Me and Nicole Murphy, RWAus14

Me and Nicole Murphy, RWAus14

me and alex

Me and my agent, Alex Adsett (Above oops)

Keri Arthur and me! Leather and Lace, C\cocktail party, RWAus14

Keri Arthur and me! Leather and Lace, C\cocktail party, RWAus14

And you may have heard to story of Keri Arthur and I shopping in New Orleans. It may have been a frenzy, depends on your definition of shopping, but here is our ultimate purchases.

Here is my swag.

Swag from RWAus14

Swag from RWAus14

Then we got serious. Here is a shot of Fiona Lowe giving her workshop.

Fiona Lowe

Fiona Lowe

Then there was the awards…Here is a shot of Anna Valdinger, Joel Naom, Hayley Nash and Alex Adsett, editors and agents.

Anna, Joel, Haylee and Alex

Anna, Joel, Haylee and Alex

That really was an excellent ceremony and part afterward.

The Harlequin Escape afterparty really took off. Fab music and a photo booth. Here is a couple of shots of me and Alex being goofy. And we were tame compared to others.

Me and Alex photobooth

Me and Alex photobooth

And here is another (note they are photos of small photos)

Me and Alex photobooth shot

Me and Alex photobooth shot

And then comes moving towards the end of the conference. Here is a shot of Alyssa J Montgomery (also published as Alyssa James) at the last session on dialogue with Cherry Adair.

Alyssa J Montgomery

Alyssa J Montgomery

And near to last the sad and somewhat exhausted Nicole Murphy at the closing ceremony.

Nicole Murphy, closing ceremony RWAus14

Nicole Murphy, closing ceremony RWAus14

But to leave you with some cheer. Me in my underbust corset (which might be upside down-not the first time) feeling lovely and constricted.

Donna Maree Hanson, underbust corset, RWAus13

Donna Maree Hanson, underbust corset, RWAus13

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A quick post because I’ve got to head out.

I packed the things I wanted to take. Then as my bag was way over my weight limit I unpacked the things I wanted to take. Sad face! Looks like my lace corset won’t be getting an outing at the Hugo Award Ceremony after all.

This is just my stuff mind you. Matthew has taken the ten kilos of books and chocolate that we’re taking over as I couldn’t afford the weight.

Stay tuned for more ‘merry ol’ England’ photos and maybe some of ‘gay Pari’s. I am hoping to get into a sewer in England, possibly Brighton as London sewers will be closed. This is research for Emerald Fire, the sequel to Ruby Heart (currently with my agent). I also intend to do some street walking in London. Not that kind of street walking! Walking tours and self tours a bit Dickensian I know. More research for the Victorian gothic/steampunk/romance.

I will miss home while I’m away but I’m not going to miss the bloody freezing weather. Listen here England, keep the sun fires burning. I expect warm weather.

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So after my news, I find that things are moving along very quickly. This week I’m hoping to see the concept art for the cover of Dragon wine  1: Shatterwing. You can’t imagine how excited I am about that. Momentum have been great to work with so I have expectations!

Then it’s just over 5 weeks before the book comes out. I mean how quick is that (I mean 10 years in the making).

I’m heading the UK for Loncon 3 and I’ll also be at British Fantasy con in York in September. It will be fab to catch up with friends and acquaintances and also do some research. I need to trawl through the streets of London for the Ruby Heart sequel Emerald Fire and maybe get into a sewer (but as London’s sewers are closed when I get there I may have to settle for a sewer tour in Brighton). While I’m away I’m expecting the edits to Dragon wine 2: Skywatcher and I don’t know how hard that will be doing those while travelling. The edits of Shatterwing required a bit of effort. Not that I’m complaining. I’m very glad to be put through my paces. I just don’t know how that will mesh with travelling and conventions etc. However, as my partner is a writer I’m sure he’ll be supportive and it will all work out. We even bought a mobile office thing to carry my laptop safely.

Travel is also a time to get inspiration and to research streets, buildings and people for future work. It is also a time when I can relax and my mind can invent new scenes.

I’m going to have print copies available and I will be doing a few launch type things when I get back in October. I’ll keep you posted about that.

Meanwhile, Dragon Wine 1: Shatterwing is turning up in places for pre order in ebook. Here are a few of them.

Amazon

Amazon Australia

Google Books

iBooks

 

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