On the Road Again…

Last month I was back on the road with Supanova, doing both the Melbourne and Gold Coast shows.

This time around the big literary draw of the tour was Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara Chronicles, and one of the biggest-selling living fantasy authors. That last bit I got from wikipedia, and it’s italicised because I would not have known, because when you talk to the man himself, he is not the sort of braggart who’d talk about that sort of thing. Instead he was kind, good-humoured, sharp, and pretty bloody cheeky when he wanted to be (if he was Aussie, no doubt we’d call him a larrikin).

I have this thing where I never bother to go out of my way to talk to famous people. Partly this is self-deprecating (“Why would they want to talk to me?”) and partly it’s because I’m not really fussed by the whole celebrity thing. So, whilst I was happy to share a table with Terry and his wonderful wife Judine, I wasn’t going to bother them, because they’re busy people, probably worn out from all the travel and signing and all the rest. But, well, I’m glad Terry was having none of that, because some of the best times I had over those two weekends was simply chatting to him and Judine about books, movies, writing, and whatever else came up.

And beyond how great it was chatting to them personally, it’s also great to meet an elder statesman of SFF and find out that he’s just a really warm and friendly person, who seems genuinely interested in his readers, and in those writers who are still up and coming. (Similarly, everyone knows George R.R. Martin thanks to Game of Thrones, but it wasn’t until I travelled to Worldcon in 2016 that I realise how generous he is with his time [and money]. He’s a champion of diversity in SFF and genuinely cares about the field and where it’s going.)

Speaking of up-and-coming, also on the tour were Maria Lewis and Lynette Noni, who are both doing great things in fantasy. Maria is a fierce proponent for diversity (even when that means making it harder to shop around the rights for her own book), and shit, she’s just fierce in general. I feel like Lynette is going to be a really big deal in fantasy one day – and that’s simply based off the sheer number of fans she has already when her first book only came out at the start of 2015.

Also on the tour were Keri Arthur and Ian Irvine, who I also had the pleasure of Supanova-ing with last November. They’re both titans of Australian fantasy… who you may never have heard of before because that’s kind of the way it works here in Aus. Write 20 or 30 or 40 books, become a New York Times Bestseller, but if you’re writing in the genre ghetto, the Australian scene simply doesn’t care. Anyway, they were both fantastic to chat with, just like last time (and I’m seriously jealous of Ian’s deft way with naming books).

 

And I got to catch up with Marc and James Lindsay on the Gold Coast, who were selling their Perigord and Plato Wyngard books. They’ll be at Sydney Supanova, so be sure to swing by and say hello.

Anyway, I had a great time on tour. Really thankful to Supanova for getting us genre authors involved (and inviting me along), huge thanks to the volunteers who help us out all weekend, and thanks also to the QBD staff who do a great job of keeping our books in stock and visible.

 

Twin Hometowns

In April this year I’ll be doing Supanova again, this time in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast.

At these 2 shows I’ll be launching VOID BLACK SHADOW, part 2 of the VoidWitch Saga. I’m calling this a Twin Hometown Book Launch because both Melbourne and the Gold Coast are close to my heart.

My family moved from the outer Western suburbs of Sydney up to the Gold Coast when I was around 12 years old. It’s where I went to high school and university, it’s where I made plenty of incredible friends over the years, and it’s where my family still lives. I moved to Melbourne at 30, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. For one thing it has a real winter (unlike Queensland), but it’s also a city filled with great pubs and cafes, vibrant street art, music, culture, and a great writing scene.

I want to do something special for readers who make it out to the convention and say hello, so I’ve come up with the following GIVEAWAY.

The first three people at each convention to come up to me with both KILLING GRAVITY and VOID BLACK SHADOW (either that you already own, or purchased at the show), who tell me they need that third book will get a free copy of The VoidWitch Saga part 3 (I know the title, but I’m not telling yet) signed, stamped, and posted to them just as soon as I can get my own copies.

Again, in dot-point form:

  • Find me at Supanova.
  • Show me KILLING GRAVITY and VOID BLACK SHADOW.
  • Tell me you want that third book.
  • Give me your email address (I’ll be getting postal addresses just prior to posting in case people move house).
  • Wait patiently for me to get in touch (possibly October, maybe November).

Three copies to giveaway in each city for a total of six. I’m also hoping to have at least one short story done up as a zine to give to anyone and everyone who passes the table, so please swing by!

Supanova, Brisbane

This past weekend I was a guest author at Supanova in Brisbane, which was as amazing and hectic as you might imagine. I still feel a little run-down so the best my brain can do is a listicle.

[Arbitrary number of] Things That Happened at Supanova, and 2 Things That Didn’t

  1. I got to spend the weekend with some fantastic authors in our little book grotto built and maintained by the fantastic staff from QBD and the tireless Supanova volunteers (special shout-out to Paige and Kylie, our expert author-wranglers).
    List of Said Authors (List within a List. Listception. Yo, I heard you liked Lists so I put a List inside your List. Et cetera)

    1. Kass Morgan is the writer of The 100, and was (still is, I’m sure) a lovely person. She had a tonne of insight from both writing a series adapted into a TV show and from her day job editing YA fiction.
    2. Keri Arthur is a veteran of Australian fantasy. She was super friendly and relaxed… she’s done the convention thing all before and nothing can faze her now.
    3. Marc and James Lindsay are two brothers going all-in on the self-publishing game and doing it right. Seriously, if everyone who self-pubbed put as much effort and thought into the process as these two do, it wouldn’t be looked down upon. They’re also a pair of gregarious lads. They’re writing mythology-inspired action and adventure, so if that’s your sort of thing, check them out.
    4. Dr Karl is just as effortlessly entertaining in person as he is on the radio. And from the number of books he signed over the weekend, I think a lot of Aussies are learning more about science from him than they ever did in school.
    5. Ian Irvine – I hardly had a chance to talk with Ian because we were sitting apart and not on any panels together, but after sitting in on the ‘Pushing the Boundaries of YA’ panel and hearing what he had to say, I had a lot of respect for him. He was writing epic fantasy with deep female characters back in the day when many authors were happy with burly men and damsels in distress.
    6. And of course, last but not least, Marlee Jane Ward, my partner and one of the most original up-and-coming voices in Australian spec-fiction.
  2. I got to sit on some great panels with the other authors, with intelligent questions from the crowd, and the excellent Rihanna Patrick MCing. She’s an absolute natural, guiding the conversation and asking great questions as though she were born with a wireless mic in her hand.
  3. I got questioned on two separate occasions at the signing table. First was a group of Masters students looking for some advice on their sci-fi manuscripts. I really wish I’d been on the ball enough to ask them where they studied, because as both Marlee and I have mentioned in the past, our experiences with university were very unfriendly toward genre writing. Later, I was grilled by Eden, the 9-year-old future-journalist. She was the daughter of someone from a nearby stall, and on her own volition she came by to ask each of us authors about our books and our writing, and what our 16-year-old selves would think of the books we had written.
  4. I got to meet readers and sign for them – including people who had only just picked up the book, others who had read it on ebook and wanted a hardcopy, and others still who just wanted to stop by and tell me how much they enjoyed Killing Gravity. When you’re only 6 months into your career, any number of readers seeking you out is a great thing, so I really appreciate everyone who took time out of their busy convention schedule to say hello.
  5. I saw a guy dressed as a Stonecutter from the Simpsons, and another guy dressed as Raphael in his gumshoe disguise from the first TMNT film. I mean, there were so many fantastic cosplay costumes, but those 2 were my personal favourites.
  6. Got to chat briefly with Tom Taylor, an award-winning and bestselling writer of plays, comics, and TV, and a really nice guy. I mean, he even managed not to roll his eyes when I told him I want to do some comics writing in the next couple of years (something comics writers must hear ALL THE TIME), so you just know he has the patience of a saint.
  7. Drank an unhealthy amount of coffee.
  8. Ate some great vegan baked goods in the green room.
  9. Managed not to buy anything (my luggage was already over and I was flying one of those airlines, so I couldn’t allow myself a little retail therapy anyway).
  10. Had a very brief chat at the airport with a fellow Melbournian Supanova-visitor, who complimented me on my tattoo. Maybe one day I’ll write about that tattoo. I have no idea if she knew Marlee and I had been at Supanova, but I (almost) always like talking tattoos anyway.
  11. Probably more things I’m forgetting.
  12. Oh, but I didn’t see Stan Lee at all. Pretty sure he doesn’t exist. He’s a mass hallucination. Or maybe a character created by Jack Kirby.
  13. And I didn’t have time to get across the river and visit Pulp Fiction. Did I mention how hectic my weekend was? I wanted to pop in and thank them for all the support they’ve given to Killing Gravity. They’re an amazing, genre-focussed bookshop right near Central Station in the CBD, well worth a visit for any Brisbanites.

Supanova, November 2017

Announcement time – I’m going to be at Supanova in both Brisbane and Adelaide this November!

Obviously they made a mistake, seeing as I’m ABOVE Stan Lee and most everyone else.

Supanova is billed as a pop-culture convention, and features guests from film, TV, anime, and comics, so it’s great that they’ve also been supporting authors of science fiction and fantasy – both local and international. Also with me at the author desk will be my partner Marlee Jane Ward, author of the brilliant Welcome to Orphancorp and Psynode – so come along and say hi to Australia’s Science Fiction Novella Power Couple (TM).