Surfacing for air for a moment to let you know that I’ll be at the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend. I’m doing a talk, a workshop and a panel. I’m looking forward to getting out into the real world for a little while, though I may have to sneak back to my hotel room to write as those deadlines are doing that looming thing they like to do.
The last couple of months I’ve been either nursing a head cold or rushing about trying to get what I planned to do done as well as what I failed to do when nursing a head cold. It’s been awesome (apart from the cold) and can I say a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who bought and helped me celebrate the release of Salt of the Earth, my Doctor Who novella, back in March, and Thief’s Magic, first book of the Millennium’s Rule trilogy, in April, May and June. Thank you to the booksellers, reviewers, bloggers, readers, tweeters, facebookers, convention-runners and more.
I’m now knuckling down and writing the second half of Angel of Storms. This is currently requiring wristwarmers and extra cups of tea or hot chocolate to combat Melbourne’s winter chill. I’ll be saving my typing for the book mostly, so probably won’t post here as often, but it’d take a lot more than that to keep me off Twitter, and keep and eye on my Facebook Fan Page for information and fun posted by my publisher.
Hope you’re keeping warm – or cool, if you’re on the other side of the planet – and enjoying a good book.
The Sunday after the launch I headed down to Chelsea to Notions Unlimited for a signing event. I love Chuck’s store. I’m a sucker for any bookstore dedicated to science fiction, fantasy and horror, and Notions Unlimited has an extra cosy atmosphere. Maybe it’s because Chuck is so friendly and welcoming. Maybe it’s the couches and table in the centre, where I spent the evening relaxing and chatting with the readers who came to see me, and one who just happened along.
At the end of the night I signed more books and left wishing I had a Notions Unlimited in my local shopping centre, so I could hang out and go to books signings, as well as be able to pop in whenever I wanted a book. Though I that would just mean my out of control To Read pile would grow even faster.
If you’ve read my longer bio, you’ll know I am an artist and former illustrator. I like to draw my characters, and sometimes I’ll even paint scenes from the books. The maps for the Age of the Five trilogy feature characters from that story, and a few years ago I made some simple line drawings of twelve characters from the Black Magician Trilogy and Traitor Spy Trilogy and turned them into free downloadable computer wallpaper calendars.
For Thief’s Magic I tried something different: watercolour sketches outlined in black ink, scanned and brought together into one illustration in Photoshop.
The black background shapes represent the way the absence of magic can appear in the story: Rielle sees blotchy patches of Stain when she first encounters it but for Tyen, who has been trained to be more efficient at drawing in magic, Soot appears as neat, radiating lines.
It’s sure to find a home on some swag at some point. Maybe a badge, or a postcard. Perhaps even a t-shirt.
Life here has been pretty hectic these last few weeks, so I’m a bit behind in writing blog posts. So first up: the launch!
Lots of people came along to help me celebrate the release of Thief’s Magic. There were platters of cheese and bikkies and glasses of bubbly or soft drink, thanks to Dymocks and my publisher. All made for a great atmosphere.
First up in the formalities, Louise the events co-ordinator for Dymocks did the introductions:
Then Alison Goodman, friend and fellow writer (her Eon and Eona books are wonderful) made a wonderful speech and launched the book:
Then it was my turn. I talked about the long and complicated birth of the story, then thanked nearly everyone I meant to thank:
Then chose a winner of the awesome RSVP prize, a beautiful hand bound leather journal and a cool steampunk fob watch, which went to Daniel:
And then settled in to sign books:
Jason showed off his Guild symbol tattoo:
Then I signed a pile of books. At the end of the night I thanked the lovely Dymocks staff:
And ventured out into an unusually warm autumn evening for a celebratory dinner. A fine and happy night!