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Some people may think writing a book is easy. Maybe writing a trilogy isn’t too hard. And that fantasy stuff? Why it’s all made up so what’s the problem? Anyone can make stuff up.

Ahhh…I’ve finished a trilogy and it was a challenge. I thought they were easy before I finished one. Now I know it’s damn hard work. Also, I started The Silverlands more than fifteen years ago. I know so much more now than I did then but it’s hard to go back and change things so you have to be happy with what you have and what you can achieve within the limitations of your original vision.

But the map? I always had a drawing of Argenterra but a wise person once said to me back in 2003-That’s not a map! And proceeded to tell me all the things that were wrong with it-scale, place names, the size of a lake etc.

Through the years I worked on the Silverlands series and on Argenterra, the imagined land. I thought about the landscape and what is going on with the magic in that land. How did it get there? What does it do? What does it all mean?

To cut a long story short, with the excellent assistance of Russell Kirkpatrick, (@insanemapboy), I have a map. It was hard work. I think I drove Russell to the brink of madness. I’m sure he wanted to throttle me. Yet, he dragged me kicking and screaming into a better understanding of maps and I listened. So now there is the map of Argenterra, taken from my scribble and drawn into perfection. (as perfect as it is going to get). The ebook is not going to show the map well. The print book maybe. So I’m putting it here for you all to see. You won’t see the tears, the sweat, the anguish, the retro fitting. I mean I literally moved mountains and changed the course of rivers to bring you this. Something I envisaged so long ago and now here looking awesome.

Final Map Argenterra

And, yes, it was Russell Kirkpatrick that told me my map wasn’t a map way back in 2003, when I was a babe in the woods. He sent me on a path to better understanding. Thanks Russell.

I have put the map with the series description under MyBooks! Link is here.

 

 

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So this week has been busy!

My son who works in China developing computer games was visiting this week. So there was him and grandchildren and daughters and stuff.

I read mostly romances this week and following on from my previous post, most had no social issues. The Charlotte Lamb I sampled were full on Bronte channeling with a rampaging Heathcliff in one. However, at present I am reading a Love Swept title featuring a deaf hero so of course it deals with discrimination. So I have a happy face.

My academic paper will be back in front of me on Monday. I was taking a breather and waiting for comments from my supervisor.

As for Canberra, it was chilly this week although today is glorious!

And for the other me, Dani Kristoff, this news.

 

 

 

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Just  a quick post. I’ll blog the launch later and stacks of other stuff. (BTW the book looks so lovely! Momentum Books have done an amazing job. So pleased!)

Skywatcher is out now! Both books are available in print. You can order them online or ask your bookshop.

Meanwhile the ebook of Shatterwing is free for a short time on all platforms. It has two five star reviews so far!

Cover of Skywatcher

Cover of Skywatcher

More over the weekend. I have to go to my day job now.

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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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So over on Nicole Murphy’s blog, I’m being interviewed about how I got a publishing deal as part of Nicole’s ‘The Call’ series.

The blog interview is here.

 

In other news, my son, Taamati, came over to take some author shots. He’s pretty busy at the moment but he has to do things to them, including cropping and colour correction etc. So I could only choose 3 author shots.

Here is one that didn’t take the shot. I like it because it is out there.

Me in my not author shot

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Yesterday I was tweeting about a gig I had in Sydney. I wasn’t too sure what I was allowed to say because I’d been told it was all under wraps. However, I soon let it slip that I was at the Harlequin Escape launch (Twitter# goescape).

I thought people might think it was my amazing smooze power that had secured me an invite. But alas, I was invited because I am one of the authors. (to clarify not the goddess like debut imprint authors). My day will come in January some time. I realised I was allowed to say stuff when Pollina, the Harlequin Escape twitterer, tweeted a shot of me as the new young adult author. Then the questions rolled in.

So I drove up from Canberra and back again yesterday. It was worth the whole six hours in the car and the 2 am home time. What an amazing thing that launch was and what an amazing amount of author love (for the imprint’s debut authors!). Alas I am not one of the imprints debut authors but never mind because I don’t.

So the tweets came early in the day about hair getting done and a white limousine to show the four authors the highlights of Sydney and cosy chat with Harlequin staff. I was thinking  wow, this is some launch build up.

I invited my youngest daughter to the launch cocktail party. On arrival we had a photo taken on (maybe red carpet) and then we went into to get our name tags. I was listed under author, which threw me a little bit. Then we chose a key. The picture below is the Key(s) and the lovely invite I received.

There were four cocktails through the night all named after the books, plus wine, beer etc and stacks of people. I had met two of the authors launching their titles so I went over to meet them and congratulate them etc.

I met straight up, the lovely Jane who asked me what my title was. She was like “Hey, I’m going to illustrate that one next. I really want to read it too. And can you give me some ideas for the cover?” It was great, wow.

Then there was food. Oodles of food. The food was still going at 9.30 when I left (it started at 6.30).

I met Rosie from @Fangbooks and Abigail @Bothersomewords. I also met other editors.

Rosie from @ Fangbooks and me

Abigail from @Bothersomewords and me

My daughter took photos and found people to talk to, like Nina who has a book coming out the same month as me. It is a medical romance and my daughter works in a hospital. They hit it off!

Pollina and I slurping cocktails. #goescape twitter stream

My daughter made me pose for this pensive shot. I’m impressed she got the Harbor Bridge in there.

Erana’s shot of me being pensive.

Here is one of me in my lovely dress. (I  love this dress and the shoes). Shot taken by Pollina Harlequin Escape.

Me in my party dress! Photo by Pollina, Harlequin Escape

The big announcement moment came. The MD, Michelle LaForest, gave a great talk on what the Harlequin were trying to do with Escape. Also that answers were within 2 weeks and if accepted published in 3 months. A lot of work and corporate ingenuity was behind this imprint. After speaking to the staff, they are all in there working hard and getting it done. Awesome bunch of people.

So remember that photo with the keys above? Well the shiny one is actually a USB with the four books being launch on it available for free. ( I believe you get to download tem for free). Anyhoo what a clever idea! Who thinks up this stuff. Wow!

The other key, it was revealed, was for the Treasure Chest. I’m not sure exactly what was in there. My key didn’t fit. My daughter didn’t either but she said the girl behind her had her key fit. Part of the prize was a $200 voucher for Red Balloon and the surprise was an Iphone 5. Wow. Impressive.

The photographer wandered around snapping shots of people. I got a quick word with Kate Cuthbert (my editor/publisher). Here is a shot of her with Rebekah Turner. They had tired feet.

Kate Cuthbert and Rebekah Turner

My tired feet encased in pretty shoes.

For me it was great to see such pizzaz and marketing might behind this new imprint and also the innovative approach to selling the product. It was also great to speak to people who were excited about what I wrote. That just encourages me to send them more.

I managed to get a shot of my daughter in the lift as we were leaving. She said I was to invite her to the next cocktail party.

Erana Loftus

And one final word, Harlequin Australian and Harlequin Escape are bringing Australian voices to international markets. Escape titles will be available in all the big stores, like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ibooks etc. All DRM free. As well as direct from http://www.escapepublishing.com.au. Link is here.

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