Update on all the Things

Here she is. The update to update all the updates.

First! Threader was nominated for a Aurelis Awards. It didn’t win and I WAS ROBBED-ROOBBED-ROOOOOOBBBED!!!!!!!! The winner was Gemina: Illuminae Files 2, by the very talented Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff though. Now that book kind of rocks, so I’m not too cut up. You can check out the awesome reviews here.

I also started a very personal blog that’s more for parental units, all about what it’s like raising 2 kids with special needs – BUT TOTES WITH ALL THE LAUGH. I’ll talk about useful things: like how to apologise to the security guard after your 2 year old just punched him in the balls and yelled ‘happy birthday’.

As well as sharing my brilliant parenting techniques (The power of Christ compels you! Go to bed! The power of Christ compels you!).

In other news, the publisher has made a decision they won’t be picking up any more of the Threader series at this point in time. It did well, but not well quite enough to justify more books, and publishing is a business, after all. And if the publisher doesn’t make money, they can’t operate. BUT NO I AM OKAY REALLY I AM. HA HA HA.

Actually though, I am okay. That could be the hangover talking, or the line of sherbert I just snorted. But I’m good. Writing is one of those businesses you need a thick skin and the ability to move on. I’ve got another book floating around and fingers crossed it will get picked eventually. I’m working on other projects, including a FLASH FICTION piece, which I found so much fun to write. That’s my key word: FUN. My daytime job is a social worker, and being in this industry can really put things in perspective.

I know that finding the fun is such an important factor for me, because I did stop writing for a little while. Life got hard and I just stopped. I’ve been in this dark place before: when you feel like you’re drowning in a terrible cocktail of personal and professional issues that can strip the joy out of life. But because I’ve wallowed in this sludgy pit of self-doubt before, I knew how to pull myself out. Blame everyone else. Okay, no. Sleep, diet, excersise and all that good stuff.

To be very honest, one of the nasty self-sabotaging reasons I felt so crappy was a terrible sense of failure. At the end of each book, a writer can think they’ve written is the most amazing book ever. It’s going to Make You. It’s freaking brilliant, right? In 2012 I was picked up by Harlequin for their first Australian based e-book publisher. The book was an adult fantasy story called Chaos Born. Because it was involved in a launch of new publishing venture, I was flown to Sydney with four other launch authors. We had our hair professionally done, limos picked us up. Cocktails were named after our drinks. We were given speeches. It was crazy. Yes, this was the book that would launch my career. And yes, even though I kept hearing that backlist is king, no no no, this was the book that would make me my cocaine and stripper money.

(You know where this is going, right?)

It was all pretty great. But no. It didn’t ‘make’ me. I’m not sure many first books ‘make’ a writer. And yes, backlist IS king. When my YA sc-fi Threader got picked up for print in the AUZ/NZ region, then THIS WAS IT. That little beam of hope was lit once again inside me. Yes. This was the book that would get me that three book deal and secure my path to PROFESSIONAL WRITER.

But…

No.

My thoughts? Writing is a long con. It takes time to build a career. And following your art can be a difficult pursuit. I imagine acting, painting and other arty careers are much the same (If only a producer would see how fantastic my acting was in that haemorrhoids commercial, then I’d get that part in that movie that will make me rich and famous).

I also think this myth of writers making loads of cash is because they rarely share how much they make. It’s not a wage you can just look up on the internet. It’s a deeply personal amount that you, or an agent, negotiate for.  And it’s your art, man. You’re wearing your heart on the outside. But for most people who write, it’s not money that’s going to buy you gold-plated boots.

But that’s okay (who wants gold-plated boots anyway). I’ll always write because I love my art. I love to tell stories. And I am a writer. My heart tells me this. I don’t make career money (YET! *shakes fist at sky*). But that’s okay, because I will always find my way back to the keyboard and carve out time to do what I love. It’s about pushing on, regardless, and finding the fun.

Now excuse me while I get back to my latest manuscript (because for sure this one will make me)…

PLOTTING ALL THE EVIL THINGS

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By | May 16th, 2017|Books, Writing|2 Comments

Release Day! Erm… yesterday… BUT STILL!

Woohoo! Release day (yesterday) for Threader! I’m very, very, very excited.Can you tell? Thank you to Big W staff for not calling security…

THREADER – buy me! love me! review me!

Welcome to the Helios Academy: evolve or die

It’s the year 2050 and life is increasingly hard for ‘non-citizens’. A slowly emerging young minority  has been exposed as ‘talents’;  they harbour mutations that give them special gifts – super strength, regenerative powers,  psychic gifts or the ability to sink through shadows and travel through time and space. As governments unite to form a global talent registry and powerful corporations step in to take control, a ‘talent’ can be a passport to citizenship and a better life, but there is a cost as Josie Ryder is about to discover.

Orphaned at six, Josie Ryder has been raised by her uncle. Her talent is an unusual one: she is a threader, able to weave a combination of psychic talents around others to manipulate their powers. Working in her uncle’s antique store and dreaming of a better life, Josie has done everything to keep a promise to her late father: stay off the global talent registry and keep her talents hidden. But as Josie tries to make ends meet with the occasional illegal act, she risks a third strike with local law enforcement and, desperate for a better life, Josie finally breaks her promise to her father’s memory and sends an enquiry to the prestigious Helios Academy, a training facility in a distant country for talents. When the Helios Academy respond  by sending mysterious slider, Blake Galloway to extract Josie, then offer her a position at their select and highly competitive institution, things begin to get really interesting, and more than a little dangerous…

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By | May 28th, 2016|Books, Writing|4 Comments

Upcoming things!

As we crash towards the end of 2015, I’m excited to announce that I have 2 books coming out in 2016. An urban fantasy with Escape Publishing (April) and a young adult with Harlequin Teen (June). More details to come!

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By | December 17th, 2015|Books, Writing|Comments Off on Upcoming things!

Helloooo 2015, here I come

Farewell 2014! What a year you were. Many things happened of the writerly kind. I wrote a YA, a novella, finished an new urban fantasy I’d been kicking around for a while and then subbed Chaos Broken (Book 3 in the Chronicles of Applecross) to my publisher. The YA novel is in the publishing ether and for the novella, I’m thinking of venturing into the self-publishing world. Chaos Broken will be published in April 2015, when I shall put on my book promo underpants and shove it forth for everyone’s attention. Maybe even before, as those underpants sure look comfy.

Many other things happened int 2014 as well. I went on a writers retreat with my fellow Sisters of the Pen, and we did strange writer things and ate strange writer food.

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Yes. Yes it is Vegemite from a tube.

 

I also went on my first marathon Hen’s Night, involving beer, boats, cycling and penis shaped lipstick.

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Fun times…hic!

 

And of course, my traditional Christmas visit to Bundaberg to see my grandparents and visit all my relatives at Jo’s Roadhouse. It’s a tough 5.5 hour drive from Brisbane (especially with two small kids in the back), but totally worth it to stroll to the beach every morning with the family, eat bread fresh from the oven, and watch Grandad try to convince my kids to eat his chip and fish sandwich (The concept blew their minds!!)

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Me and Grandma!

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Delicious fresh bread. Mmmmm.

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The infamous sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing everyone an awesome start to their 2015!!

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By | January 13th, 2015|Writing|3 Comments

Advice of the writerly kind

I’m not keen on blogging about writing advice, because I always think I can’t say it better than so-and-so, who said this that one time, on that blog over there. But as I was stalking agent interviews on the web and trying not to feel dirty (Ginger Clark! Look at me! Look at meeee!), I came across a great list of advice, given by Elizabeth Kracht of Kimberley Cameron & Associates, in an interview by the writer Peter Hogenkamp. Thought it was so awesome, it was worth sharing.

1. Immerse yourself in the publishing industry.
2. Go to writers’ conferences and learn.
3. Read as much as possible.
4. Take writing courses.
5. Be savvy around genre protocol, i.e. word count.
6. Start building your social media platform now.
7. Build an author website.
8. Set up a writing routine.
9. Never send an agent your first draft.
10. Embrace revisions.
11. Be flexible around your writing.
12. Be grateful for any feedback.
13. Don’t give up.
14. Study character development, plot, character arc, story arc, writing setting and dialog, pacing…
15. Understand general submission protocol.
16. Perfect the 275-word query letter.
17. Learn how to write a one-page synopsis.
18. Always double space your manuscript and insert page numbers.
19. Work with an experienced freelance editor (in book publishing) before submitting to an agent.
20. Stay hopeful, especially in the face of rejection.

Pretty great stuff. You can read the whole interview here.

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By | August 29th, 2013|Writing|Comments Off on Advice of the writerly kind