Several months ago I attended a workshop on short stories. It was incredibly informative, run by local author Karenlee Thompson, and involved a number of inspiration and development exercises for writing short stories. We were handed a number of photos, one per table, and had to decide how the person in the photo felt, and why, give them a distinguishing scar or tattoo, and a name. The story I created from this exercise was a simple one, about a man who regretted the choices he’d made in life – taking wealth and security over love.
The piece was a little over 500 words, so when Queensland Writers’ Centre ran a competition for Flash Fiction, I pared it down to the requisite number and submitted it.
Much to my delight, I was short-listed! “A Life Lived” can be read on the QWC Website.
In other news, I’ve had a hiatus from writing “Renaissance Woman” over the last two months due to the arrival of my second child, but a release date of November 2018 is still the plan!
It’s been a busy year. I chose to knuckle down and get To Kill An Emperor written and published – with the result that it was successfully launched last Saturday 4th November!
I also was accepted into Futurevision, a short story anthology by Australian Authors, and entered a number of short story competitons. Work has already started on Renaissance Woman, due out at the end of next year.
It’s the end of January already and I managed to avoid posting anything for almost 2 months. Writing has been a bit hit and miss with family and other dramas, but if you follow my page on Facebook you’ll see I’ve been making progress! Research on the Emperor Domitian will give you all a clue as to the title character of the third Turning Points book, which will be available in the second half of this year.
November was a crazy-busy month with book signings at Angus & Robertson Brookside, Supanova, Mary Ryan’s Milton and Dymocks Chermside. December is gearing up to be just as busy with the pre-Christmas rush. I did a signing at Dymocks North Lakes last weekend and spent a lot of time directing customers to various sections of the store as they thought I worked for Dymocks. I didn’t mind – it was great to chat to people and I didn’t envy them their pre-Christmas missions for gifts.
A&R Brookside is a gorgeous store with terrific staff!
Delia Strange, who writes the exciting Sci Fi series Wanderer of Worlds, took my books to Supanova!
I will sign books ordered through the website on request, and the option for free local pickup is great if you are in the Brisbane area, so there’s still time for Christmas if you want a unique gift. In the meantime I’m working hard on writing To Kill An Emperor, which will be available next year.
Had a fantastic time last night at the launch of Transylvanian Knight, held in the Geiss Library at my old high school of St Paul’s. A lovely crowd and great atmosphere had me feeling proud and honoured to have the support and interest of so many wonderful people. Transylvanian Knight is now on sale as a paperback and e-book (on Smashwords and Amazon).
Last few months have been very intense with getting Transylvanian Knight finished, edited and organised for publishing. 9th November is the Launch Date at St Paul’s School, Bald Hills. Contact me for details on getting there or check out the Facebook Event.
Speaking of St Paul’s, they were kind enough to invite me along to judge the Book Week Parade back in August. I dressed up as a judge and made pronouncements on costumes and characters – such an excellent variety and some very imaginative students. It was so much fun! I also got to talk to their book club about Masada and met some of the readers and writers in the school.
Just as exciting, I’m about to start writing the next book in Turning Points: To Kill An Emperor. Where and when is Gwyn going this time? Let’s just say some old friends might be appearing in this story…
June was a busy month! I attended the fantastic launch of Wisdom Tree by Nick Earls at UQ (Alumni got to go for free!) where he discussed why the novella was making a comeback. Got to meet Nick and get signed copies of Gotham and Venice, and chat to a few other past and current students.
Finally I had my first public Author Talk since Masada was launched at Corinda Library. The crowd wasn’t huge, but it was very attentive and got to chat to some Ancient History majors – very interesting and great fun.
July is also going to be busy, with Author Talks, book signings, recording footage as part of Sunshine Coast Libraries Digital Pop Author Series, and of course, the Author Day at InHouse at the end of the month!
And suddenly it’s August! I was away in Perth the first week of July, furiously editing Transylvanian Knight (read my blog post about editing), and the rest of last month was full of writing events!
The North Lakes Dymocks Book Signing was interesting and fun, and the very next day I had a well-attended and successful Author Talk at Chermside Library. Met some lovely writers, readers and travellers, and I’m very appreciative of Brisbane Libraries for hosting me.
I took part in the Digital Author Pop recording for Sunshine Coast Libraries, where they filmed me talking about Masada. Can’t wait to see the video.
And finally, the InHouse Publishing Author Day was on at Underwood! A great day, listening to some inspirational speakers and meeting lots of other authors. I picked up a few works by other writers and got to share some of my experience publishing with InHouse, plus it was great meeting the staff who make a book come to life.
Been dealing with several weeks of writer’s block but I finally know how TK will end and how Gwyn and her fellow characters will get there. In the meantime I met some lovely other local authors at Little Gnome’s 1st birthday celebration – thanks Bel for hosting! I met Becky of The Words of Bek and bought the first of the Wiccan Tales by Ken Mann, as well as some other lovely writers and readers.
Also got to chat to students today at local school Grace Lutheran College about the background of Masada and my trip to Israel in Grade 9 that inspired it. Was so much fun and I hope to get to their Caboolture campus in the near future!