Archive for the ‘Rayessa’ Category

I have known for a while that an Indie Publisher’s work is never done. I’m living the dream baby! Yeah! So much to do!

Bloodstorm, Dragon Wine Part Four was uploaded today and is now live on Amazon. I’ll pop by tomorrow and update the links in the My Books section. Next steps. I’ve booked Bloodstorm in for Smashwords formatting. I really don’t know why I bother because I don’t sell books on Smashwords, but you never know! I could be wrong.

Tomorrow evening I start the layout for the print version of Bloodstorm. I need to get that done and printed before I leave in 14 days. Yes, I’m off to Worldcon 75 in Helsinki in exactly 14 days. I’m so stressed. There is so much to do! But I’m also excited to be going. I just got back from New Zealand yesterday. I had an interesting trip stranded in Wellington during a storm. Lucky some SF friends came to the rescue. Thank you Lynelle and Ross! I would have been so sad, and wet and cold, without you. Photos for another post.

Tomorrow I’m back at uni and I have so much to do!

Now specials. I asked Escape Publishing to put Spiritbound (a Dani Kristoff novel) and Rayessa and the Space Pirates on special. That’s right people. 99 cent until 31 July so get in quick. This is a rare event. I don’t think Spiritbound has ever been reduced before and Rayessa was last 99 cents years ago.

The only links that seem to work for me is Amazon and iBooks.

Here we go:

Rayessa Amazon  iBooks.

Spiritbound Amazon   iBooks

Or try Escape Publishing for other retailers.

And if you want to try Argenterra,  The Silverlands Book One, which is an portal fantasy, it is on Instafreebie for free. Instafreebie require newsletter sign up. Link.

If you want to try Shatterwing, Dragon Wine Part One, my dark fantasy series, it is on Instafreebie for free. Instafreebie requires newsletter sign up. Link here.

And I have The Sorcerer’s Spell by Dani Kristoff for free on Instafreebie. This is a sexy paranormal romance. Link.


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I’m in between interviews so nothing new to post for you guys today.

My RSI appears to be on the improve, but no writing as such. But I’m reading and thinking up heaps of ideas. I’m going to go mad because I can’t write them all down.

A lovely review spotted on Facebook, but it originates on WordPress so I’ll link it here. I met AJ at Supanova so it’s great to see she got to reading Shatterwing. Review blog post here.

I also had a spot on the Galaxy Express with a bunch of other SF romance writers. I’m hoping to interview Heather Massey later on in August. Here is a link to that spot here.

I’m going to be signing books at RWA in Melbourne. I’ll be there as me and Dani Kristoff so do come along and say hi if you are around. After that Conflux in Canberra is fast approaching and I haven’t organised myself at all for that. Darn!

Meanwhile on the home front, I have randomly bought a new car and we’ve had the deck commenced and new sliding doors put in upstairs. Now we have bright open rooms and even more amazing views. We are still processing it all. I’ve organised new blinds (panel glides) and I’ll be chasing the builder for the railings and the roof etc, because it should be done by now. Below is a shot from my office which shows part of the aspect.

deck in progress

I also baby sat the grandchildren and I’m feeling a little knackered. I also made a most excellent Raspberry and White Chocolate Cheesecake. I think a soak in the tub is in order and then a good book. Cheers.

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It’s amazing how absorbed you can be in stuff and you lift your head up and realise you’ve been absent (smack, smack) from your blog for an unforgivable time. The main culprit has been the activity and effort involved in preparing my house for sale. Long nights after days at work. Weekends spent painting, packing, cleaning. Then when it’s ready there’s house hunting. My partner, Matthew Farrer, and I are moving into together. It’s a big commitment and a lot of work. Finding a house is difficult. We were gazumped on the first house, just a day or two before were were to exchange contracts. Right now we are biting nails to see if the current deal goes through. I was so active during the last couple of months that I lost 5 kilos (without the gym).  Go me. Mind you now that I’m not so active I have to watch the weight. I’m also addicted to a clean and tidy house. Imagine that. (it’s tidy because half my possessions are in storage and my study is naked of books).

I’m in the last four weeks of my Masters so I’m pretty flat out there and also in the last and important stages of my work project. At least my masters involves some writing and that story is coming along nicely. We have an intensive class tomorrow. I need to work on my presentation tonight and I have to go to work in the morning after all, beforehand.

Due to illness in the family, we’ve had to call off our trip to World Fantasy Convention in Brighton. I’m sad about that as I had been planning it for two years, but it also didn’t go well with buying and selling houses. So early Saturday morning I’m heading off to Genrecon in Brisbane. I’m looking forward to showing off my under bust corset at the Cutlass and Kimonos banquet. We hope to rebook our trip next year. There is a World SF convention on in London in late August 2014.

In writing news, I sent off the sequel to Rayessa and the Space Pirates to the editor. I guess I’ll hear in due course. This weekend I’ll be signing a contract with Alex Adsett Publishing Services. Alex is very lovely and is going to represent a few of my manuscripts. I also signed a contract with Escape for one of the paranormal romances I’ve been working on. That will be coming out under another name next year. I’ll keep you posted. It’s going under another name because my young adult stuff is under my name and the sexy paranormal has, you know, sex in it.
All in all everything is busy but positive.

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It’s a long weekend here in Australia, I think in most states. One way to make sure I got some writing done was to invite my retreat buddies over for a mini retreat or Donnacon as it is affectionately known. It also kept my  mind off not being at Continuum 9, listening to N J Jemisin, who was guesting there over the weekend. Here is a link to her GOH speech.

Starting Saturday morning, the gang came over and some just visited for an afternoon. The first trick for me when I have a stretch of days to write is to decide what I’m working on. I find drafting is most productive so usually don’t revise something I’ve written unless I have a deadline. At our retreat after Conflux 9, I had to work on my uni fiction so I didn’t even try for word count. I did add to the story but I was focusing on polish.

I had a few projects to choose from. Write more of Into the Dark Glass, write a short story etc. I chose in the end to start of the sequel to Rayessa and the Space Pirates. It turned out to be a good choice. I started writing and then I discovered I’d written an outline earlier in the year so I had a map of where to go with it. Due to RSI I can’t go for massive word counts. I have to pace and I have to take breaks. So far I’ve written 12,500 words and while I haven’t finished the story arc, I’m a fair way in.

The hard part for me was the voice. I’m not using Rae’s voice and she’s funny and quirky. Also, the way I wrote Rayessa is a bit stylised. It has cliff hanger chapter endings. Although, those were put in later. Today instead of finishing the story arc, I went back to the beginning to work on Essa’s character and to make it more interesting and fun for me to read. I noticed in the last chapter I was working on I had finally found her so I went back to the beginning to expand it a bit more and to get a feel for her self-centred and armored heart. Word count wise, Rae and Essa’s adventures in space is half way there.

Lucky me, I have a writing day on Wednesday so I may push it forward a bit more.

Overall a productive weekend writing wise. My waistline has expanded in line with my word count. We’ve stuffed ourselves with food. Today, Kaaron Warren brought over homemade mint slice. And she left a stack behind.

The writing weekend was tough on my family. I’m very grateful they bore with me. They probably don’t understand about devoting yourself to writing for a number of days, but they stand back and grit their teeth.

There won’t be anymore long weekends until October. I hope to have a bit more under my belt by then.

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To celebrate because I feel like it, I’m giving away a copy of my ebook, Rayessa and the Space Pirates-a rollicking space opera with romance suitable for young adults.

All you have to do is invent a quirky, interesting or funny space pirate name and a few words about the characteristics of said pirate and leave it in the comment field or use the contact form to email it to me. I will choose the funniest and maybe also do a draw out another name too. I’m running the giveaway for 2 weeks (ending Monday 17 June, 2013). To sweeten the deal, I’ll also be giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Voucher!Rayessa and the Space Pirates_cvr

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Finally I blog about the launch party to celebrate the launch of Rayessa and the Space Pirates, my first longer form publication. Technically according to Romance Writers of Australia I am still unpublished because Rayessa is only 30,000 words and you need to publish at least 40,000 words I think to qualify. So I’m chasing that goal right now. I also don’t want to be a one hit wonder!

So Saturday night was the launch party. In the lead up I caught a virus/cold/nausea bug that laid me out. Nicole Murphy was suggesting that I postpone it. I was close to deciding to do so. Friday I was still sick in the morning but I started to come right in the afternoon. I also had ideas that I could supervise cake baking and meatball making etc.

Friday night I baked the UFO cake (not decorated) and the base for Yumi’s princess doll cake. Then I flopped into bed.

Saturday well we were all at it. Erana, my daughter, Nicole came at 10 am and Matthew was here. Flat out we were painting props, cleaning, decorating etc. Lucky I had bought a few things in the lead up. I had black sheets to cover my retro eyepopping curtains, painted cardboard tubes, glowing stars, a plasma ball light, disco ball. I ducked out for a red police light etc.

I had to buy the food so I was at Aldi at 8.30 waiting for it to open. Erana and Yumi (6) made the meatballs.

Here are a few shots of the result. Remember this is a kitsch SF, dilapidated space station setting. We figured that Rayessa would have done up this sign and put it at the entrance.

Welcome sign

Then there was the entry. There is a bit of a story about the red tape. I got this set of 5 coloured masking tape from KMart. I tested it on the floor and it didn’t leave a residue. (story continues later).


I’m not sure it translates that well, but after you walk through a black crepe fringe with star shaped lights, you walked in here. I thought it looked awesome. Matthew did a great job on it.


Nicole painted wall panels and made signs. This was in the hall. Basically it’s a very defunct refueling post.

abort buttonEveryone was getting into it. Nicole made this for the wall. I thought it was very cool. Matthew started getting ideas and there were signs going up everywhere and new funky things being created.


This is a shot of the black sheets covering the curtains and a glimpse of a sign done by Matthew and the power generator created by Erana.

Here is a close up of the generator. We haven’t broken it down yet.

power generator

I had created things for the sample bag. I couldn’t get out to buy bags so Erana’s mother-in-law Wendy gave me some bags from her shop. Then Erana got the idea to put a design on them at the last minute. She did a great job. Inside was a small can of baked beans, a sample of hard tack (not as hard or as big as it should have been), a highlighter pen (my other daughter asked me why there was a pen shaped like a tampon in the bag), a little pack of smarties (protein pills), a glo stick bracelet, a space food stick (not shown), a Rayessa postcard, a welcome to Outpost 311 (like on Rayessa’s blog) and her Emergency Checklist.


Here are a couple of tubes. This may be arranged post party. I painted those and I thought it was fun. I had visions of doing movie props and then I tried painting something important and came back down to earth.


The food had a theme too. Asteroids, because Outpost 311 is in the asteroid belt, with a smattering of outpost possible food. I also wanted to cater for friends who were vegetarian, gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant as much as possible. I also didn’t want to go overboard.

So we had beef as well as chicken asteroids (meatballs gluten and lactose free), vegetable asteroids (jacket potatoes) and sweet asteroids (gluten and lactose free chocolate crackles)

We had mining shaft moss ( avocado dip), scum from the reclamation unit (a mustard aioli), spume from the air filter tanks (sour cream) and some other spicy salsas.

Then we had chili beans, green beans, brocolli and mineshaft fungus (mushrooms), lettuce leaves and tomatoes.

This actually was quite filling. And there was the UFO cake.

Drinks. This wasn’t my idea. I wanted to buy a punch bowl with little glasses, but Matthew said you have to serve the punch out of a bucket, one marked with the hazchem symbol.

So, 10429_hazchem_sign


Alcohol was in the hazchem bucket (vodka, a cranberry juice, sparkling grape juice). It was purplish.  The red bucket had a mango and apple juice with lemon sparkling mineral water. It was quite refreshing.

I had a great bunch of people over to help me celebrate the launch of the book. I’d been at this writing gig for 12 years. I didn’t think Rayessa would be the first thing I published, but there you go, you never know. I wasn’t planning on a ‘launch’ per se, rather a celebration. However, Nicole snuck in to my study and printed out an excerpt of the book and I read a bit. I had a lucky door prize, which was a Millennium Falcon USB  memory stick with a copy of my book. However, the USB memory stick did not work. It was bust (I must speak to Think Geek), so I gave one of my Rayessa mugs away and emailed a copy of the book to Sharon Ding, the lucky winner. Nicole had also organised a pass the parcel. It was hilarious what she had people doing. The prize was a three foot long green tentacle. Bob Phillips won that but I think there was some angst because others coveted it.

I had a great time and caught up with some lovely friends. Some couldn’t make it at the last minute. So sad. A big thank you to Cat Sparks and Rob Hood who drove from Wollongong (2.5 hours away). You can see Cat’s photos here.

The party could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of Nicole Murphy, Erana Loftus and Matthew Farrer. Thank you all.

Because I was sick I didn’t get a chance to get a poster printed, but here is the cover again.

Rayessa and the Space Pirates_cvr

Ps. That red tape issue. Well this is what happened. I lifted the tape.


This required methylated spirits and elbow grease.

residue close up

And the red goo got on my hands. I should have worn gloves.  I can’t get the red gunk off. Yew!

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So over on the Australian Romance Readers’ blog, I have a release day post.

Head on over and check it out.

There is a give away for ARRA members. Leave a comment to be in the draw.

It’s a very cool day today.

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As Rayessa and the Space Pirates comes out tomorrow, I have to make some changes to this blog, such as putting up a page for ‘My Books!’ So I do a happy dance. It will be listed on Escape’s website here.

The week has not been all smooth sailing. I have teenager issues. Just picture a very ripe thunderhead inhabiting a bedroom at the other end of the house. Picture the forks of lightning that lash out randomly. Hear the growls of thunder, enough to shake you to the core and make your heart stutter. Lovely.

I sent out invitations to the party to celebrate the launch, which will be on the 19th. Unfortunately, I got distracted by MS Publisher software giving me grief over the document and didn’t see the typo. So over half of the invites went out with a silly typo. That just inspires confidence in me doesn’t it?

Early this week I got a rejection for a novel I’ve put my heart and soul into. I thought it might make it but it wasn’t quite what the market requires. I’m still thinking about that one. However, I think trying to make it fit the market is a big job and it would be easier to write a new story. So I promptly got an idea for a romantic fantasy, called Into the Dark Glass. I have the opening in my head but I’ll have to jot down notes when the idea forms up a bit more. I have the beginning in my head. It’s going to be dark and gritty, ya, romance (not erotic).

Then this morning I got the HarperVoyager rejection for Dragon Wine. Hey I was expecting this when the announced how many submissions they had. How does one stand out in such a big crowd. Kudos to those who do. I’m so glad they wrote to people as they hadn’t intended to originally. Sending that particular MS to HarperVoyager’s digital call was a difficult choice for me because it meant (at the time) giving up the dream of a traditional deal. It didn’t help that the editor had it all year and didn’t get to read it either. I’d revised it and cut 50,000 words from it. But that’s life. It’s my job to make it better and keep on submitting. So I did already.

I had another MS and that one was wait for a month, then it became three months and I haven’t heard so that’s means it’s the silent rejection or maybe stealth rejection. But that’s fine because you know I sort of changed my mind about submitting it there.

On twitter this morning I called these rejections ‘daggers of spurn’ and if I get another one this week, I’ll be a porcupine of spurn. (Picture me with daggers sticking out of my back). The spurn word comes from Ian McHugh. He was showing us (the CSFG group) his submissions’ spreadsheet. Instead of ‘rejected’ under result he had ‘spurned’.  The group thought that was pretty cool.

This week, I’ve been caught up with Conflux program set up. (if you are coming to Conflux9 in April and haven’t told me you want in, your time is running out). It’s taken me a lot longer than I thought. Tinkering and checking is more time consuming than the initial set up. I’d pretty much given up the thought of doing any writing this week.  I had planned to write the whole week but the Conflux stuff just derailed me. Logistics vs creativity.  Logistics wipes me every time. It’s like doing your taxes. All creative thought goes out the window as your jaw clenches and your eyes narrow as you start the quest to find all your receipts etc. However, I surprised myself today. I’ve been doing revision and getting through it.

Revision is like clipping toenails and reorganising your bookshelf. Satisfying as you cut the excess, but requires one to be logical and make sure things are sorted where they should be. Having beta reading comments helps.

So until tomorrow.

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Yesterday was a bit of a loss in the writing or doing anything stakes. A quick trip to the mall for coffee ended up taking 4 hours and when I finally got back  it was so hot I completely flaked the whole day. I was meeting a new friend for coffee and she had a turn and is now in hospital. I went without a car and caught the bus home (a new experience). That’s why it took so long. In the evening, I watched Vampire sucks and read JR Ward’s Lover Revealed and finished off an MS I was beta reading. Come to think of it, maybe I’m being hysterical. The day doesn’t seem that wasted does it?

Thanks to the teenager, I had a 2.00 am trip to the cop shop and so today is not looking too crash hot either. Well I thought it wasn’t but I wrote an outline for the next Rayessa story and that’s an excellent thing! I wrote Rayessa in 2003 originally and back then I did have an idea about the next story and the opening scene. Things moved on. I wrote other things and Rayessa was having a snooze in my hard drive. Like a backpacker, she changed nesting places as computers were replaced or died. Now with Rayessa coming out into the world, I need to think about putting more words to paper. The first step was to do an outline. It’s not a careful outline. It’s rough and meant to get the ideas that have come to me recently meshed with the ideas of old. It also means I can now swill it around my head (something like mouthwash) and then when I’m ready I’m going to spit it out, possibly into a word document. Writing the outline also stops me from carrying the ideas around in my head, relieves me of the guilt that I just don’t sit down and do it and allows me some freedom to play with my other projects.

So today I’ve opened up The Sorcerer’s Spell and I’m revising, polishing, tweaking etc. You know, I’m really enjoying it. I’m putting no pressure on myself to get word count. I’m happy if I get through chapter one and really happy if I make it through chapter two. I want to savour this, enjoy the process of taking something a bit rough looking (maybe a cake that doesn’t look pretty) and smoothing it out, embellishing and making it beautiful (like putting fondant on a cake and decorating it).

It was probably very therapeutic to read a bit between finishing Bespelled and diving into revisions of another novel. Reading something like JR Ward’s Lover Revealed, makes me appreciate the complexity and the thought that is going into that book and that series. It is also very cool so it’s great fun to read it. Beta reading Nicole’s MS was a good experience too. She does her characters so well. They have depth, darkness, a past and that’s a good thing for me to be thinking about when I work on all my work. I want to make my characters as real on paper as they are in my head.

Anyhow, time to saunter off and pretend I’m working and not having a fun time. I must keep the image up.

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I’m supposed to be writing

Instead, I did a few things on my checklist, particularly doing stuff for Rayessa’s blog. I’ve done the welcome to outpost 311, hard tack, Rae’s emergency checklist (fun) and Rae’s list of her favourite vidmovies. These were things I was going to do for the launch party and I am, but I also thought they’d be good on the blog too for a bit of fun.

The last remaining thing besides the party itself is getting the trailer done. I’ve not put one together before. Apparently I need a script so I’ll do that tomorrow maybe. I’m waiting on Taamati TeRata to do the animation of the cover. He’s very busy doing paid work so I have to wait.

Now I’m going to take a break and then come back to the writing. I had insomnia last night and that means I’m a little hung over. Although I made it to the gym and feel great now, I’m fuzzy headed. Also, my timer says I’m overdue for a break off the pc.


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