Trudi Canavan

bestselling author of The Black Magician Trilogy

Trudi's Blog

Get Reading!

I was delighted to find out that The Traitor Queen was picked as one of the 50 Books You Can’t Put Down in the Get Reading! promotion for this year. It aims to inspire Aussies to ‘kick back, relax, and get reading’.

There’s a free guide available at the site from the 26th August and from stores, libraries, at festivals, etc. and they’ve been holding lots of competitions and give-aways over on their Get Reading Twitter feed.

So pick up a guide and Get Reading!

September Calendar – Lorkin

It’s been a very busy two months since I drew the last two character sketches and I’ve had no time to spare for finding models. So with no reference photos I turned to my trusty figure reference manual and combined three pics – of a golfer, a boxer and a surfer – to make up the figure of Lorkin.

I chose to portray Lorkin disguised as a slave because there are enough sketches of blokes in robes already in this series of calendar backdrops. I’m also hoping to get some reference photos for Tyvara soon – maybe for next month’s sketch.

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Click on the image to get to a full size version. As before, if you don’t know how to download and set images to be your computer screen wallpaper, seek the help of your usual source of computer advice.

Guest Post at Orbit

When my publisher suggested I send them a guest post for the Orbit blog, I had no idea what to write about. I couldn’t think of a subject that I hadn’t already covered in this blog, or in subject specific interviews on other people’s blogs.

Also, I felt the guest post should relate in some way to The Traitor Queen without spoiling the plot of any previous books, while giving anyone reading the post who hadn’t read any of my books an idea where it fit in, but still be interesting to someone who had read all the prior books.

It was while I was baking up some cookies (I have quite a collection of cookie cutters and every time I buy more I have to use them once to justify the purchase) it occurred to me that this was my subject. (No, not cookies. Sequels.) And as I thought about the process I’d gone through to write a sequel it came to me in recipe form.

So, if you’d like to read about my process writing the Traitor Spy Trilogy, head on over to: Trudi Canavan’s Recipe for a Delicious Sequel. I hope you find it a tasty treat.

Word Counts, Stats & Report a Typo!

My books range from 120,000 words to 200,000 (rounded down to the nearest 5K). In fact, here’s the break down:

TMG 120K
TN 150K
THL 155K
PotW 180K
LotW 170K
VotG 170K
TMA 200K
TAM 130K
TR 135K
TTQ 140K
TOTAL: 1,550,000 words
(That’s published words. When I think about how much rewriting is involved in writing a book, that number boggles my mind.)

Which makes the average size 155,000 words.

So far there are 65 typos reported for all books on my I have a Report a Typo! page on this website. That an average of 6.5 typos per book.

Which is one error per 23,846 words. I think that’s pretty good, really.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to know about errors. If you tell us about them we can have them corrected in reprints. So if you find any, go to the Report a Typo! page (under the Contact menu). Check that it hasn’t already been reported, and fill out the form. Please, PLEASE remember to say which page it’s on, and in the case of ebooks the chapter number helps me locate the same typo in the print edition.

And it’s a page for reporting typos, not printing or ebook conversion errors. If your book has a printing error return it to the shop. If your ebook has an error contact the retailer.

(Oh, and I think the funniest error so far is in The Traitor Queen – in which Gol mysteriously turns into God.)

Thank you, and Wow!

The shiny new Dymocks Knox store

When I got the email from the fabulous Patrick at Dymocks Knox saying there were 40 confirmed attendees for the signing, I knew it was going to be a big one. Sure enough, on Saturday there was a small crowd there when I arrived and it grew as I did my reading and answered questions.

Patrick, the sf expert and signing organiser (and no I wasn't telling him off, it's just unfortunate photo timing)

Two and a half hours later I left, with 40+ names I’d signed books to. Which means that a lot more than 40 turned up because many came as couples, with friends and family.

The audience at the beginning

Afterwards I signed a pile of The Traitor Queens, so if you couldn’t make it then head town to Knox to grab a signed copy.

So thank you to everyone who came along, the Dymocks staff who did a wonderful job organising and wrangling the first signing in the new shop, and everyone who passed on information about the signing – especially whoever put it up on Goodreads.

New Bookplates

Last year, while at Imaginales in France, I met an amazing artist, Laurence Peguy. Since then I’ve wanted to commission some art from her, and when I ran out of bookplates recently I knew it was the perfect opportunity.

For my new bookplate, I wanted an illustration that conveyed the sort of stories and characters I write but not any specific ones, so that the plates could be used in all books. I suggested a magician-y figure, and Laurence agreed.

What she drew is all kinds of wonderful:

I’ll be taking bookplates along to the signing at Dymocks Knox on Saturday, as well as my new quote bookmarks. All I have to do is choose which bit of The Traitor Queen to read, and I’m all set.


Bookplates, for those who have never heard of them, are stickers that I sign and give to people to stick in their books who: a) stumble upon a signing but don’t have a book, b) couldn’t bring all of their books to a signing, c) have an ebook but still want me to sign something. I also sometimes send them to bookshops or my publishers. (I don’t, however, give them away to people who request them via the internet, or I’d be running a full time bookplate postal service and I’d have to start charging.)

The List

Click for a close up:

SO glad The Traitor Queen isn’t a paperback.

The Traitor Queen at No 1!

So apparently it has debut at no 1 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List. There were some very excited tweets, emails and calls last week, and some sparkling wine to celebrate.

I’m wondering if I should buy a subscription to a newspaper I’m not otherwise going to read (since I don’t live in the UK and don’t read newspapers) just to see it for myself. Unless someone could send me a photograph or a screen capture jpg?

Signing at Dymocks Knox

I’m doing a signing! In my home town of Melbourne! Which is actually pretty rare. I don’t often do signings often in Melbourne, because I live here and everyone assumes that means they can get books signed any old time. But the truth is the opposite because everyone makes that assumption.

When: 1:30 pm, Saturday 18th August 2012
Where: Dymocks Knox City

I’ll be doing a short reading and Q&A before settling in to sign books. I have quote bookmarks to give away, too.

I’ve asked if it’s okay for people to bring along my previous books and the answer was ‘yes’, so empty your bookcase of Trudi Canavan books and bring them along (and maybe a porter to carry them). If you don’t buy a book in the shop please have a look around while you’re there. You don’t have to buy anything, of course, but you might see something you want or to come back for later. Remember that if shops didn’t exist I would never get to do signings at all.

For more on book signing etiquette, see this post I wrote last year.

Hope to see you there!

Conclusion to the Pinterest Competition Experiment

Thanks to everyone who entered my bookmark competition. It’s been fun and interesting. The winners are at the end of the competition post. If you are one of these winners, please contact me via the email address under the ‘Contact’ menu above.

I’ve confirmed a few things and learned a few more. While I love Pinterest and see lots of potential there for interacting with readers, a few aspects of the interactivity will need to be developed before it can do what I’d like it to do.

First, what I learned. When I pinned the quotes I didn’t include in the label that they were part of a competition. So anyone who followed me on Pinterest but not on Twitter or this site wouldn’t have known they could repin them and win something. I’ll definitely have to remember to do that next time (if there’s a next time).

Second, I had problems seeing who had entered. Each of the pins showed a limited number of people who had repinned it. After ten it indicated that there were ‘+12 more pins’, but you can’t click on that or go anywhere to see those extra twelve people. I had to work out who they were from the notification emails Pinterest sent me. That would be more straight forward if those emails didn’t list more than one activity. Some emails show several pinners, doing a mix of repins, follows and comments.

At first I thought I could get around this in future by asking people to like as well as repin a pin. But it also limits the number of likes it show – up to 24 people. You wouldn’t want them to only like a pin, as it won’t make that pin appear on their followers’ feed.

Thirdly, I can’t contact the winners through Pinterest. There’s no way to email anyone of course. But there’s no DM (direct message) option as there is in Twitter, either. I tried to comment on their repins, but it wouldn’t let me. So I’m having to rely on the winners coming back to this website to see that they won, or see their names on Twitter.

Would I do it again? Well, it’s the difficulty with compiling a list of entries that puts me off running another competition through Pinterest. Searching through emails to find the repinners not listed under the pin is too time-consuming. Hopefully that will change in future, and I will be able to hold competitions for books. I hope so, because Pinterest does have a lot of potential for this sort of thing.