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Over the weekend I attended Continuum SF convention (#13) in Melbourne. It was also the National Science Fiction Convention this year. I don’t have a lot of photos but I do have a few anecdotes.

I drove down from Canberra and it was a lovely drive and I stayed at Lucy and Julian’s place Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then Keri’s on Monday. As a poor student with no stipend I had to do this trip on the cheap! My main reason for going was to support the fan funds and add to the general lustre of the fan fund delegates. I’m not officially the GUFF delegate until I head to Helsinki in August.

I was able to get onto a number of panels and I must say the program was exceptionally good with some really fun topics. I participated in four panels, which is a record for me. And I wanted to go to the fan fund auction as I had brought some items down to help raise money. The big item was a Regency bonnet made by yours truly.

the bonnet

 

I headed in to the Jasper Hotel on Friday night with Lucy. I was a bit not with it after a 8-10 hour drive, most of that time deep in Stephen King’s Dark Tower Book Three-the Wastelands. (I did finish it on the way home! Awesome series) but I managed to catch up with a few people and go out for some lovely, reasonably priced noodles and caught up with a lot of friends.

The fan auction was on Saturday and I bought things but I didn’t mean to. But the good news was that the bonnet was sold for a nice sum and Alison Goodman won the bid by phone! Here is a snap of Alison in her new bonnet.

alisona and bonnet

On Saturday I had three panels, one was at 9am. I thought no one would turn up that early but it had a nice full room. That was the Art of Publishing panel and was mostly audience driven as far as topics covered.

Then I was on the Fan Funds Panel. Not a great turn out there. Pity because they serve an important purpose and the panelists provide information about the funds and what they do and where they go. Guest of Honour Seanan McGuire popped in and helped us brainstorm ideas for fan fund auctions. The fan funds rely on fund raising and as I’m a delegate I have a task of raising the money to reimburse the fund for my trip.

The next panel was Panels and Prejudice. It was a packed panel and so much fun. I learned stuff. Thanks Jodi. It was a bit of get a word in edgeways type thing but I heard good things from the audience later. I was dressed in my Regency gear and Alison wore her new bonnet. I believe Paul has a photo of me but alas I don’t have one.

I also made it to Bren McDibble’s Book launch for her YA Climate Fiction story How to Bee. Great launch speech by Cat Sparks, great bee themed cup cakes. I bought a copy from the grandkids but I believe I will enjoy reading it.

bren and cat

Bren and Cat and a close up of those cupcakes.

beecakes

I notice that the cakes are in focus! Eep!

One of the things I snaffled from the Fan Auction was Leslie from Ghostbusters. Here is a shot of Justin trying to sell her. Holtzmann is in the background.Julian and Leslie

Getting her home was a bit of an ordeal. Lucky Keri had her big car and she took Leslie (Patty) to her place and then I collected her and now she’s in the hallway, freaking (I mean greeting) people as they come in. K J Taylor snaffled Holtzmann!

Both the guest of honour speeches were amazing. Likhain delivered a very moving speech about her relationship with the Philippines and the effect of colonisation on her culture and her concept of her forebears. She received a standing ovation.

Seanan McGuire blew me away. I know of her, but didn’t know much about her but she was amazing. What a life! What energy! What delivery! I’m now primed to read/buy her books. She also writes as Mira Grant. I also managed to chat with her just in passing and talk about school of hard knocks. An inspiration, truly. I hope she gets back to her fur babies soon.

Sunday panel adventure was a topic on Women in Star Wars and that was also a fun topic. I think I revealed way too much about my age and also the degree of my fan fantasies!

Sunday night was the Ditmar awards ceremony. My lovely friend Kaaron Warren took out best novel for The Grief Hole, making it three major awards in Australia for that book. Go read it. She’s amazing and so is her work.

Here is a pic of the MCs, Alison Goodman and Michael Pryor! Don’t they look good.

Alison and Michael

Monday I took a sickie. Naughty me but I think it all caught up with me so instead I hung with Lucy and Julian, met up with Rose and did a bit of a walk around Brunswick. Then it was off to meet up with Keri and do a girls veg night thing with lasagne, bubbly and Jason Statham (Parker) and Helen Mirren with a big gun! (Red).

So if you have never been to an SF con you should try it. I’m an extrovert but sometimes I find all the people a bit overwhelming. But for me, conventions are catching up with friends and meeting new people. I do a lot of this in the bar either drinking bubbly or tea.

Continuum Convention #13 organisers! You rock. Great job and I had a fab time.

 

 

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Well it’s been a long wait!

The reversion of rights process did not go as planned. Shatterwing and Skywatcher were taken down early (I had requested May) and I had a mad scramble to get covers and get the books prepared etc. I’m so lucky that Crocodesigns were able to do the whole series. Don’t you think Frauke did a great job? There is more to come. She’s working on the covers for final two parts (not actually written yet) and box set covers.

I can’t decide which cover is my favourite. I really love the meteors and the depiction of the observatory in Skywatcher and I love the colours in Deathwings and I love the dragon in Bloodstorm. Overall, I think the covers portray the darkness and the space elements of the stories. Shatterwing and Skywatcher are out now everywhere! iBooks should flow through today. I uploaded them this morning.

Deathwings I think I’ll put up next week (maybe). I’m so nervous about releasing this part three. It’s been edited and proofed and it’s waiting to go. But holding on to it seems like a good idea. I’d like to be able to release Bloodstorm, Dragon Wine Part Four soon after. That’s due back from the editor next week. Still I’m nervous. Stupid I know…but I can’t help it. I had ten years to work on Shatterwing and Skywatcher. Although I drafted Deathwings and Bloodstorm a while ago it is only recently that I’ve picked them up again. Hopefully there will be some good reviews. I need to work on the final two parts.

These books are retailing around $3.99 US per book. I’ll be putting links up in my book section later on. I need to drink some French Champagne just now and eat chips and dip and chocolate and veg in front of Netflix. Sorry duty calls. I presented my confirmation seminar for the PhD today and it went well! So celebration.

 

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And I’m going to release Part One and Two together as a ebook box set. Maybe next week. Estimated price is $5.99 USDragonWineVolOne-3D

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Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

Ungiven Land is coming. Book three in the Silverlands Series is coming. Happy dancing in sexy (not) trackie dacks!

It’s a long book at 145,000 words. It’s a bloody trilogy and it’s almost there. Almost to the bookstore!

There is a small matter of proof changes but phew! Wipes brow. It is done and I honestly never want to write a long book again or a trilogy. Alas, there is the Dragon Wine Series to complete so desire might have to wait.

I’m not going to put up a blurb because that would contain all kinds of spoilers. Argenterra and Oathbound lead to Ungiven Land and I consider them one story in three parts.

All I can say is Ungiven Land the exciting conclusion to the Silverlands Series. Guaranteed no cliffhangers in Ungiven Land!tripple-cover

Also, I’m reposting the map. I think the Smashwords version ate my map or it’s hard to see in ebooks. I will have to get to work on the print versions too.

Final Map Argenterra

Get your copy of Argenterra, Oathbound and Ungiven Land. Unfortunately Ungiven Land is only in Amazon atm, but will be with other retailers shortly.

The Silverlands’ Series is an epic fantasy series, featuring magic and the occasional sword fight. It’s a portal fantasy featuring two young women from our world who are transported to Argenterra.

About the Silverlands

In a land where oaths can’t be broken be careful what promises you make.

To break the binding oath is to risk the very magic of Argenterra.

Vorn and the First Comers fleeing death and destruction came to Argenterra through the Crystal Gate. On arrival, they made a binding oath to not kill — and in return the land gave them the given, a native magic. For over a thousand years they have prospered but now the Ancient Evil seeks Vorn’s descendants and reaches a hand into the land.

Oaths are bound with the given and every promise must be kept or the land’s magic will compel completion of the oath or prevent its breaking. Only a murder can sunder the binding oath, which would make the given fade. In his later years, Vorn prophesied that a time would come when the land would be ungiven. That time is near.

Argenterra, The Silverlands Book One

Sophy is not looking for a talisman: she is the talisman!

Sophy is snatched from our world during a ghost tour. Landing in the lush world of Argenterra, she’s the odd one out. She can’t use the land’s native magic, the GIVEN, even though her friend Aria, and everyone else, can.
Worse still, she’s a faded version of herself and doesn’t fit it at all.

Abandoned by Aria who marries a handsome prince, Sophy travels the land with Oakheart, the high king’s ambassador, to explore the mystery of why there is a crystal leaf growing inside her.

Then the accidents start to happen and she realises a dark force wants her: alive or maybe just dead…

Argenterra with subtitle

Argenterra is available in print and in ebook.

Buy links. Print copy from Book Depository here

Amazon  here.

Kobo Here

ibooks Here Barnes and Noble here. Print (Amazon.com) Here.

 

Oathbound, The Silverlands Book 2

 

Oathbound

Amazon link  here.

Barnes and Noble link here.

Kobo link here.

iBooks link here.

Smashwords link here.

And you can pre-order Ungiven Land from Amazon here.

 

Remember if you want to hear about any of my books going on discount or for free, or other cross promotions sign up to my newsletter Wing Dust. .

I do not sell or give away email addresses and as the list in managed by Mailchimp it complies with the law and you can unsubscribe at any time. Link here.

And to make your day, a pic of me in my trackie dacks!

me in my trackie dacks May 8 2017

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I was bright eyed and bushy tailed yesterday.

This morning not so much.

Of course there are a number of reasons for this. Yesterday afternoon I sent off Ungiven Land (The Silverlands Book 3) for proofreading after quite a while working through the toughest edits yet. It was going to take me a lot longer but on Sunday I hit of spot of chapters that had light edits and I pushed through them and built up some momentum. That left yesterday morning to finish it off. I had some family obligations during the day, but after that I did some more tinkering and sent the book off. It’s a bloody long book at 145,000 words.

Then yesterday evening, I picked up the revision I was doing of Bloodstorm (Dragon Wine Part 4) without much recollection of how much more I had to do. Well, I was further along than I thought so I pushed through and sent that book off to the editor last night. It’s a shorter novel at just under 90,000 words. I think I have more work to do on a battle scene but the edit will help with that I think. It gives me a month to think about it and make notes. I needed to push it off my plate as I have important PhD stuff to do.

So you would think after an excellent sleep that I’d be ready to roll and full of vim and vigour. Obviously my stories are still in my head. I was thinking about both of them while driving and drove right past two turns offs to my university and didn’t realise until I made a t-junction. Oops! So I had to go to another entry and park in a different spot. Then I realised I hadn’t brushed my hair. This called for emergency coffee and I hope  it kicks in soon.

After having these deadlines I don’t think I like them. I had listed Ungiven Land for pre-order on Amazon. For some strange reason beknownst only to my back brain I put down 31 May 2017 as the delivery date. However, I had not allowed enough time for processing proofreading changes so I had to push it back by two weeks. Amazon lock you out of the file about 3-4 days before release btw. I have had now had my pre-order privileges revoked for one year because I pushed back the date. Thank god for that. I can’t be tempted to put in hard dates that give me stress. I don’t want to do that again because that deadline plus the ones I had with the editors really put the pressure on.

As I don’t have more fiction planned other than putting up books of which I have the rights back, I’m going to give deadlines a miss for a while. I have my PhD novel to think about.

Fingers crossed I get some covers this week because Shatterwing and Skywatcher are ready to go. Deathwings and Bloodstorm the next two parts of the Dragon Wine series are coming soon.

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I am back on campus after sick leave. I was AWOL for over a month but all good now. This has put back my PhD project timetable unfortunately.

I thought I’d provide an update on the romance survey. It is still running but I will close it off at the end of May as that is when I am scheduled to deliver my confirmation seminar and be confirmed in my PhD. It’s a formality I have to go through. Then I’ll be starting the interviews. So if you are interested in completing the survey you still have time as a reader or a writer. Links below.

Looking at Survey Monkey today I have received 682 responses from romance readers. That is absolutely fantastic. It’s an international survey and I’ve received responses from Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, UK etc. Brilliant. I’m so thrilled.

The number of skips. Skip are where respondents abandon a survey or skip questions or miss questions. I haven’t done the analysis yet on which questions were skipped so I’m only giving total numbers here. The skips for readers vary from 14 to over two hundred and some questions it’s about 184 skips. From a quick scan a lot of the responses that required the reader to type a response had the highest number of skips. Overall I don’t have a problem with the skipping. Romance readers have been very generous with their answers and there’s very little abandoning the survey before finishing it.

However, if you are a respondent on the reader survey and would like to send me your thoughts on the survey and any issues you had then they would be most welcome. Overall, it’s an amazing response. Either reply or send me an email through the contact page or use Twitter or Facebook.

Survey responses from writers so far are 377, which is also amazing and I’m very grateful for these. Also international and that’s been mind blowing really. Writers though appear to have difficulty with the survey with a very high number of skips and people leaving the survey.

From what I can see about 136 people just stopped the survey just after the start and I don’t know why. The rate of skips is fairly consistent so the real response rate is closer to 241.

Early reports from respondents indicated that they had tried to use the survey on the phone and had technical issues. Some of those skipping have come back in and completed the survey but as I’m no tech guru I don’t know.

If there was a reason you as a romance writer dropped out of the survey please let me know if you can. It will help me to understand what issues there were and if I can answer your questions then you still have time to participate if you want. The survey can be completed anonymously. I only ask for contact details if you want to be included in follow up interviews. I will not be interviewing that many people so I can’t say who will be interviewed as yet.

The first part of the survey contains the compulsory questions I must include as this is an authorised survey through the University of Canberra, complete with ethics approval. You need to agree to me using the data you provide or you will be exited from the survey at the beginning. All data will be kept in accordance with the University of Canberra’s data retention and privacy requirements. I will not be using any email addresses or contact details other than contacting those volunteering to be interviewed. The only info I see is the IP address, which I’m no guru so I wouldn’t know how to identify you. No unselling or stuff like that. This is entirely aboveboard. There is even a complaints process outlined in the information materials.

So help out if you can.

Let’s see if we can get the overall response over 1000! Come on. We can do it!

Romance READER survey  link to Survey Monkey. Here.

Romance WRITER survey link to Survey Monkey. Here.

 

Couple Love Beach Romance Togetherness Concept

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Just a quick post about an impromptu freebie. Opi Battles the Space Pirates is my latest SF romance that has been up on Amazon for a little bit. Normally $2.99 it is currently free. (for a few days only)

opibattlesthespacepirates

To celebrate getting the print version up and running, I’m also running a Goodreads giveaway. So enter to win one of three print copies.

If anyone is interested in a review that would be great but no pressure. Links below.

In other publishing news, I had a timetable set for different things and now it everything is converging! Eep!

The covers for the relaunch of the Dragon Wine series have not appeared and the artist has gone quiet. I’m sure I’ll hear something soon but!!!!. Then today I heard the edit of Ungiven Land is coming back. This is great news as I was hoping it wasn’t going to be delayed. The proofreading of Deathwings is delayed until the end of the month. The edit of Bloodstorm is put back ten days to the end of the month. By my reckoning everything is going to land at the same time. Best laid plans and all that.

If you see posts that sound like I’m frothing at the mouth later this month, then I probably am.

Link to free Opi Battles the Space Pirates- It’s light and a bit of fun. Link here.

Link to the Goodreads giveaway. The widget isn’t working. I’m putting the link here.

 

EDIT: The sale is now over. I’ll blog again when Opi Battles the Space Pirates is on special. To hear about it promptly sign up to my newsletter Wing Dust! Epic Fantasy or Dark Fantasy version. Click here.

Opi Battles the Space Pirates by Donna Maree Hanson

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Like most people I know I have a big to read pile. Some of my to read books are very old. There is no particular reason why I haven’t read some of them. It just happens. Mood. Other recommendations that send a book higher on the pile, new acquisitions etc.

I remember picking up Garth Nix’s Sabriel. I had the trilogy for ages but hadn’t read it. And when I did, I was like…I could have read this and enjoyed this for years before now. I could have kicked myself. It was so good and I read all three books. I have Clariel too on the to read pile.

So for a while now friends have recommended Anne Bishop. Apparently she does dark and my Dragon Wine series is dark so just for research purposes I should have read at least one of her books. So after a recommend from the romance group lunch last Sunday I went into our house library and picked up a book I bought in 2005.

I met Anne  Bishop when she was guest of honour at Thylacon in Tasmania in 2005. Rowena and Marianne were trying to get her to suck her coffee through a Tim Tam and I was like…real Aussies don’t do that. She was a quiet lady. I bought her book and she signed it for me.

Wow. 2005. I looked at the price on this book, Dreams Made Flesh, and saw that I paid $29.99 for it. Back in 2005 I had money to burn so often spent hundreds on books a time and on DVDs whatever. My how times have changed. My how the market has changed. These days people quibble about paying $2.99 or $4.99 for an ebook. There weren’t many ebooks back then. I don’t exactly quibble about prices but I am much more careful about what I spend. I have a limited income now so $29.99 seems like a lot of money to me.

I am about half way through Dreams Made Flesh and it’s really good. I like her style, her complex world building, I like the romance to balance the darker elements. I’m so intrigued about the story that precedes this one. Dreams Made Flesh picks up after the Black Jewels Trilogy.

Today I got paid some royalties for Dragon Wine books so reinvested them in the Black Jewels Trilogy. Tada! So not only am I reading a to be read book that’s been sitting there for twelve years, I’ve ordered more. Apologies to Anne Bishop for taking so long.

Dreams Made Flesh

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