Last year, I was challenged to write a 100 word horror drabble for Black Hare Press. “100 words!” I thought. “Should be easy.” Only it wasn’t. It took me three goes over three months to get it right, but in the end my little Christmas tale — slightly humorous and very dark — was accepted into the December Issue. You can find it at this link: A Song for Dorian.
Story in Aurealis #145
I’m super pleased to announce my SF/Dark Fantasy short story, “She who Played for Morrocks” is now available here at Smashwords for AUD$2.99.
The story is about two different species of human who both value music and each acknowledges the other’s sentience. Their attempts to respect each other are muddied by preconceptions, misunderstandings and instinct.
And what a beautiful cover for this issue, by Atelier Sommerland.
And Another Year Over…
I’ll never be a prolific blogger, but my plan has always been to keep in touch now and then. I didn’t publish any fiction in the past twelve months, but my hard drive has been filling up with work that isn’t yet ready to submit.
This time last year, I threw myself into yet another major edit of my Fantasy/Steampunk novel with the plan to have it published by 2019. I gave myself three months to get the edits done. They took eight. Then I sent it to a professional editor friend who gave me a face-to-face critique along with a stash of notes. I hoped to need only a line edit (I had, after all spent years editing it myself), but it needed a few more structural edits. Nothing major fortunately, but a few things that needed some time to think about.
That’s the trouble with self-editing. I’m so close to my writing, something that needs fixing can stare me in the face and I won’t see it. Editors are gold. Just saying.
I’ve also got an epic fantasy novel on the boil. Opening chapters for Draft One are done. I’m keen to get started on this again as soon as the previous novel reaches the line edit stage.
Last year was also the year of reading and convening for the Australian Aurealis Award’s Anthologies and Collections panel. I can’t say any more about that until the Awards Ceremony on the 4th of May, but it’s been a fabulous experience, and I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed every moment.
This year, however, I’m planning to take a break from judging. My to-read pile is getting taller and the novel really is my preferred form. Here’s a taste of what’s waiting for me:
Washington Black by Esi Edougyan
Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Riders by Tim Winton
House of Sighs by Aaron Dries
The Cup of Jamshid by Andrew Old
Into the Sounds by Lee Murray
Moonfall by Donna Maree Hanson
Plus there’s more staring down from the top of my bookshelf.
My favourite reads for last year that weren’t connected to Aurealis judging:
The Second Cure by Margaret Morgan
Ecopunk edited by Liz Grzyb & Cat Sparks
The Silver Well by Kate Forsyth & Kim Wilkins
Science Fiction and the Moral Imagination: Visions, Minds, Ethics by Russell Blackford.
Kisses by Clockwork Cover Revealed
Ticonderoga Publications have released the fabulous cover for their forthcoming anthology, Kisses by Clockwork, which includes my dark, fantasy romance, “Siri and the Chaosmaker”.
I wrote the first draft for this story in Clarion West 2008 Week 2. I have given it several revisions since, with the final edit while on holiday in France as I was taking the TVG High-speed train from Paris to Avignon. Lovely scenery, nice place to write.
Kisses by Clockwork will be launched in a few weeks at Continuum in Melbourne. Stay tuned for details.
Sale to “Kisses by Clockwork”
My steampunk/fantasy/dark romance, “Siri and The Chaos-Maker, has been accepted in Ticonderoga’s upcoming anthology, Kisses by Clockwork. I wrote the first draft for this story during Clarion West 2008 and have been tinkering with it off and on ever since. It’s set in the same world as my novel, Heart Fire, but in a different country and era.
Contributing to Kisses by Clockwork’s 105,000 words are:
- Marilag Angway, “Smuggler’s Deal”
- Cherith Baldry, “The Venetian Cat”
- Gio Clairval, “The Writing Cembalo”
- M L D Curelas, “Ironclad”
- Ray Dean, “Practically Perfect”
- Stephanie Gunn, “Escapement”
- Richard Harland, “The Kiss of Reba Maul”
- Rebecca Harwell, “Love in the Time of Clockwork Horses”
- Faith Mudge, “Descension”
- Nicole Murphy, “The Wild Colonial Clockwork Boy”
- Katrina Nicholson, “Lady Presto Magnifico and the Disappearing Glass Ceiling”
- Anthony Panegyres, “The Tic-Toc Boy of Constantinople”
- Amanda Pillar, “A Clockwork Heart”
- Angela Rega, “The Law of Love”
- Carol Ryles, “Siri and the Chaos-Maker”
- DC White, “South, to Glory”
Clockwork Kisses is scheduled to be published in April.
Many thanks to my Clarion buddies and to my novel crit group, Egoboo WA (Satima Flavell, Helen Venn, Joanna Fay, Sarah Parker, Keira McKenzie and Laura E Goodin) for critting this for me.
Short Story Competition Win
My short story, “The Silence of Clockwork”, picked up third prize in the Conflux 9 short story competition. I’m especially pleased about this as the story works as a prequel to my unfinished novel, Heart Fire, by showing some of the history of its male protagonist, Ruk, a bold, daring shapeshifting spirit who plots to escape the human word, but his shifterness prevents him.
Conflux 9 was held in Canberra in late April. It’s theme was steampunk (angels, junk and steam), an added bonus.
I wrote and edited the “Silence of Clockwork” at the same time as I was madly finishing my PhD, squeezing it in before bed over 5 days — the quickest 3000 word story, I’ve completed ever! It was subsequently published in the Conflux 9 Convention Programme book (page 37).
Many thanks to the Conflux 9 judges, Joanne Anderton, Jenny Blackford, Dirk Flinthart, to Elizabeth Fitzgerald for her fine editing, and also to the convention organizers for putting on such a great convention.
Winds of Change Now Available as an ebook
CSFG’s Winds of Change which includes my story, “Saint Olivia’s Light”, is now available as an ebook at Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.
For more details see: the Winds of Change Page at the CSFG website.
Book Launch Swancon Sunday 24th April
Ticonderoga Publications are launching their two anthologies, More Scary Kisses and Dead Red Heart: Australian Vampire Tales at Swancon 36 at Hyatt Hotel, Perth, Sunday 24th April, 2011 at 5pm.
I have work in both these Anthologies:
“Snake Charmer” in More Scary Kisses.
“Talent shines in this beguiling collection of 17 paranormal romance stories from Down Under, many of which are more haunting and humorous than scary.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
“The Tide” in Dead Red Heart, a collaborative story with Martin Livings at the helm with myself, Lezli Robyn, Kaaron Warren, Patty Jansen, Alan Baxter, Devin Jeythurai, Felicity Dowker, Andrew J McKiernan, Gillian Pollack and Chuck McKenzie contributing.
“The Tide,” a multiauthored story that charts vampires’ rise from second-class citizen to the nation’s ruling elite, mix horror with humour.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
Review in The West Australian
My story, ‘Deeper than Flesh and Closer’, has been mentioned again, this time in a review for the anthology, Belong in The West Australian (25/1/11) in the monthly column ‘writingWA Recommends’:
“The stories are challenging and fascinating, interesting and compelling, alien and familiar. My favourite was Carol Ryles’ ‘Deeper than Flesh and Closer’; I hope to see the story expanded into a series about the Glyr who live in such close communion with the Rhizome”
I was particularly pleased with these comments as ‘Deeper than Flesh and Closer’ was originally planned as part of a short story collection about the Glyr. I’m still working on it, and now have added incentive.
Belong can be purchased at Indie Books Online, Amazon.com and The Book Depository.
Sale to More Scary Kisses
Sold my paranormal romance story, “Snake Charmer”, to More Scary Kisses, to be launched April 2011. Here’s the Table of Contents and a blurb from the Ticonderoga Publications website:
Heather Albano – “The Dark Season”
Annette Backshall – “Hunting Rabbits”
Liz Coley – “Marriage of Convenience”
Dayle A. Dermatis – “Matchmaker”
Roxanne Dent – “Miss Luella’s Magic Shop”
Felicity Dowker – “Berries & Incense”
Donna Maree Hanson – “Phantom Love”
Martin Livings & Talie Helene – “The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker”
Kirstyn McDermott – “Frostbitten”
Nicole R. Murphy – “The Protector’s Last Mission”
Jason Nahrung – “Resurrection in Red”
Amanda Pillar – “Philomena and the Blond God”
Carol Ryles – “Snake Charmer”
Fraser Sherman – “Sword of Darcy”
Eric Steele – “3am”
Frank Summers – “Dances with Werewolves”
DC White – “The Dark Night of Anton Weiss”
More Scary Kisses promises vampires, aliens, fairytale princesses, parallel universes, voodoo, werewolves, wizards, phantoms, dryads and cherubim.