Trudi Canavan

bestselling author of The Black Magician Trilogy

Trudi's Blog

GenreCon

I’ve added another event to my list of events for 2013:

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A convention for “… types of fiction that get relegated to their own corner of the bookstore.” So science fiction and fantasy, horror, crime, romance and more. Even romance fantasy knit lit would fit in here. Last year’s GenreCon was raved about by many a participant. I’d have gone if it hadn’t been on the weekend before the Brisbane and Adelaide Supanovas, and I didn’t think I’d survive three fun but exhausting weekends in a row.

I don’t know yet if I will be there this year. I’m considering going to a convention in the USA that weekend on the way to World Fantasy Con in Brighton, UK. I’d love to go. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.

Fearsome Journeys

This one’s a bit late as I’ve been immersed in writing Thief’s Magic and reorganising our library.

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The wonderful Jonathan Strahan has put together an anthology of fantasy with a tilt toward the military and sorcerous, and I was delighted to be invited to submit to it – not just because it’s nice to be invited, but I had the perfect story waiting for exactly that sort of anthology*. And I don’t write short stories very often.

Look at this fabulous table of contents:

Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
“The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats”, Scott Lynch
“Amethyst, Shadow, and Light “, Saladin Ahmed
“Camp Follower”, Trudi Canavan
“The Dragonslayer of Merebarton “, K J Parker
“leaf and branch and grass and vine”, Kate Eliot
“Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Heart”, Jeffrey Ford
“Forever People”, Robert V S Redick
“Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl”, Ellen Klages
“Shaggy Dog Bridge: A Black Company Story”, Glen Cook
“The Ghost Makers”, Elizabeth Bear
“One Last, Great Adventure”, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce
“The High King Dreaming”, Daniel Abraham

I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on this one!

* The story is not set in the same world as any of my books.

In other news, the anthology I blogged about a few weeks back, Epic: Legends of Fantasy, made it onto the Locus 2012 Recommended Reading List. A big congratulations to John Joseph Adams!

Summer

Things are quiet here at the moment. I’m working away on Thief’s Magic whenever the weather isn’t stupidly hot, and my New Year resolution to read more traditional fantasy (after a couple of years of sampling around the edges – steampunk, urban fantasy, fantasy knit lit).

Aus/NZ Events in 2013

It’s that time of year again. The one where I try to work out some sort of schedule for the year. So far it goes like this

Jan-June: Finish writing Thief’s Magic
July: Start writing Angel of Storms
Late Oct-Early Nov: World Fantasy Con in Brighton, UK
Mid Nov: Continue writing Angel of Storms

But there’s a lot more fun to be had down under. Lots of tempting, distracting conventiony fun. Unfortunately, most of it happening in the last 2-3 months before my deadline so I’m going to have to be very choosy about which events I go to. Here’s the list:

Perth, Mar 29-Apr 1: Swancon 2013
Melbourne, Apr 12-14: Supanova
Gold Coast, Apr 19-21: Supanova
Canberra, Apr 25-28: Conflux 9 (We have memberships & hotel booked, so I’m definitely going to this.)
Sydney, May ?: Aurealis Awards
Melbourne, Jun 7-10: Continuum 9: Contraindicators (We have memberships, it’s in my home town and N K Jemesin is a guest, so I can’t miss this one.)
Sydney, Jun 21-23: Supanova
Perth, Jun 28-30: Supanova
Wellington, New Zealand, Jul 12-14: Au Contraire
Sydney, Oct 11-13: GenreCon
Brisbane, Nov 8-10: Supanova
Adelaide, Nov 15-17: Supanova

When it comes to choosing which Supanovas I’m going to, I’m torn. I wanted to go to a different pair of them each year so I regularly move around the country. But I attended the Brisbane and Adelaide one last year, and the other four are not just within the difficult deadline time but match up with two conventions I’m already committed to. Conventions wear me out. Two conventions in a row wipes me out.

But I reckon I could manage the Melbourne one since it’s in my home town, and maybe the Perth one as it’s right at the end of June and would be a fabulous way to reward myself for finishing Thief’s Magic. In both cases I get a two week break between cons. Hmm, I might just have a plan…

10 Books I Enjoyed in 2012

I’m not a fast reader these days, so I only get through between 25 and 30 books a year. I have a to-read bookcase of about 120 books which never seems to diminish, thanks to those few writers whose next book I always have to buy, my publisher giving me books, friends giving me their ms to read, buying books at signings, buying the books of authors I’ve met, Paul adding books he’s read that he thinks I’ll like, and books I acquire for research. (None of which I mind).

When choosing what to read, if not for research or to support friends, I aim to try a wide range of books. I like a mix of old and new. I like to read around and beyond the fringes of fantasy. I like both fast-paced writing and richly-told tales. This year I’ve certainly covered all those bases. Here are ten of the books that I enjoyed:

Rogue Gadda, by Nicole Murphy
A great ending to a wonderful trilogy. Nicole writes sexy paranormal romance set in the modern world, but not the usual vampire/werewolf/whatever scenario. Hers contains a secret race of Celtic magic-users, and since magic is my favourite fantasy trope I really like that take on the genre.

Bite Me, by Christopher Moore
Though this is the fourth book about these characters, you can probably pick them up at any point. I’d describe them as a hilarious take on vampires trying to get on in the modern world. I guess technically they’re urban fantasy containing vampires and a romance, but the tone is closer to the film Mall Rats. And unlike many humorous series, they don’t get less funny with each book.

Cold Magic, by Kate Elliot
It’s been a while since a scene in a book made me exclaim out loud, but that scene where the cold mage first turns up and all the lamps start going out, and what follows … I won’t spoil it, but simply say I ripped through this book faster than I have any larger sized fantasy for quite some years. Kate is writing some of the best fantasy around right now.

Casting Spells, by Barbara Bretton
This was my first taste of fantasy knit lit. Yes, that is a thing. This one, and the following Laced with Magic, qualify as paranormal romance since they are set in the modern day, contain supernatural creatures/peoples and the story revolves around a romance. You don’t have to be a knitter at all to enjoy it, but if you are the jokes and references are a nice addition. (What? Knitting IS funny. Trust me.)

Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
Playing catch-up here. I’ve had this book in my to-read bookcase for a while. A marvellous story that goes to both bright and fanciful places as well as very dark ones. To use a term from the internet, something bad happens to a character that may be ‘triggery’, and the effect it has many years later is, well, I’d describe it as ‘uncomfortably satisfying’. But I love a book with such depth of emotion, and I have Margo’s Sea Hearts high on my list of books to read.

Timeless, by Gail Carriger
An excellent conclusion to the humorous, romantic, paranormalish, steampunk fantasy series. Alexia’s daughter is a wonderfully amusing addition to the extended family. I’m pleased to see there are many more books to come from this author.

Colour, by Victoria Finlay
Part travel literature, part history, this book traces some of the most romantic pigments used before the invention of chemical colours. Fascinating. Research should always be this much fun.

Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
Paul recommended this to me as an example of urban fantasy before the term stopped being what books by Charles deLint were called. Wonderfully written. The vampires are properly scary, the threat to the character and world truly worrying. The world is an alternate version of this one, kind of an alternate urban fantasy scenario. Also, there’s a lot of baking, so don’t read it when you’re hungry.

The Gift, by Alison Croggon
Another catch up read, and a pleasant surprise because the writing is actually the closest I’ve found to the feel of Lord of the Rings. I’ve read many that are closer in terms of plot and characters, but all written as if conscious of keeping the attention of, say, fourteen-year-old boys. That’s not to say that The Gift is a difficult read, but I wanted to slow down and appreciate each portion of the character’s journey and the world that was unfolding. I have the rest of the quartet, and look forward to savouring them all.

Winter Be My Shield, by Jo Spurrier
I actually acquired this book free twice. The first time in a con bag, and I confess gave it away because I was being ruthless about not adding to my to-read pile. When Paul got another copy as a freebie with a purchase at Supanova I cursed because I was only travelling with carry-on luggage. But I hate not giving a book a chance, so I decided to read the first chapter and if it didn’t grab me I’d give it away again. Well, obviously the first chapter did grab me. And it didn’t let go. Now I’m cursing because I’ve gone and started another series before the next book is out. Bring on book two!