First Book launch event

On Thursday we had the launch of UNSW’s annual anthology, aka UNSWeetened 2014. I had a story that managed to get into it, which was very much awesome.

The night passed away in a blur of cheese, wine, crackers, signings and lots of discussions about books. It was pleasant, being able to chat to fellow book lovers, ranting on about own our stories and passing the anthologies along to each other to be signed. Yes, it was at university and I’m not exactly having people sleep overnight outside the bookstore to get hold of their copy, but it was fantastic to experience what would hopefully be the first of many events such as these. There’s artwork to go along with each story (some of the stories in the collection are very, very good), and they got sold off to a silent auction for charity. Also, I was told by many people that my work reminded them of Game of Thrones/GRRM, but that was probably just the wine.

I’d like to get hold of some photos (there was a guy taking far too many of them), but I haven’t as of yet. I’ll post ‘em if I do get them. In the meantime, a pdf/ebook version of the anthology should appear online soon, but if you, like me, prefer the feel of dead trees, you can pick one up free of charge at the UNSW bookstore. Or, if you’re unfortunate enough to know me in person,  I can give you one myself.

That’s it for now…

 

 

Bloody Cake News Editor’s Desk with Jane Johnson, Publishing Director at HarperCollins Publishers

jeremyszal:

Brilliant read about three of the best contemporary writers working today and the fantastic editor who’s helped them along.

Originally posted on bloody cake news:

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When three weeks ago the idea came up to interview a series of editors and ask them about some of their authors and their work relationships, I wholeheartedly volunteered to write a short introduction about Jane Johnson for this article. Little did I realise how I had just made a decision to walk into one of life’s perfect traps, for the more I read about her, the more I was drawn into this tale we may call her life, though in all honesty, it could pass as a fascinating piece of fiction, a story to be told huddled around the fireplace on a long winter’s night.

In vain I tried consulting the fantasy literature with my dilemma, where everyone seemed to know how to summon the genie from the lamp, but no one was able to tell me how to fit it in in the first place. Since this is…

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First angry “fan” mail.

So, I do occasionally get fanmail. Not often, but sometimes. And I’m always overjoyed to be receiving it, and I always respond personally to it. It’s quite flattering, and I love chatting with people who’ve enjoyed my work.

Not this bloke, though.

I’ve edited it for spoilers and language for the more sensitive enough you, but it concerns my most recent story, A Dome of Chrome. Apparently, he didn’t like it. Observe.

“i was reading your story a dome of chrome, and i was liking it until i saw the part about the ******** that was ******. what the ****! how could you do something like that???? yeah i know the **********, but ******** like that is so wrong!!! maybe its because your still a teenager and you dont have kids (i hope you never ever reproduce) , but any normal person could never write something so ****ed up like that. in fact i have nightmares ever since i read it. i have three kids and i see how wrong it is. but your a sick **** who shouldnt be allowed to write such twisted shit. get help. better yet stop writing. i dont care what your excuse is but your a sick ****ed up teenager who obviously takes his frustrations on writing dark ****ed up stuff. i hope you never ever publish again and hopefully one day you see just how much of a messed up, sick **** you are”

Quite the poet, his degree of subtle accusations rarely extending over four-letter curse words.

Just to be clear, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. In fact, now I’m on par with all the other writers (like Mark Lawrence) who’ve received mail like this. But I have to say, I’m not at all impressed with the language used, nor am interested in taking this person seriously, even for a moment, if they feel the need to resort to spewing such venom. It tells me that you’re an insecure tosser.

But either way, this person ripped everything straight out of context, turned it against me, and seems to think that I have some sort of responsibility to write fiction that’s bright, happy and cheerful. At the end of the day, it’s just fiction. I didn’t write it to be provocative; I wrote what I wanted to write. I wrote what I felt fit the story. Period.

Actually, I don’t even feel the need to defend myself, judging by the way they felt they needed to form their argument. Any chance of it being critical and constructive feedback sailed out the window on an anti-gravity board, shooting away at lightspeed. And I really don’t owe them anything by justifying what I wrote. There are a million ways to express yourself in a polite manner. Apparently they were off limits.

Either way, do I have permission to call myself famous now?

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From the Cloud: 20 things learned in 25 years of submissions

jeremyszal:

Stuff like this is what separates you from the rest of the pile. I’ve been in both ends of the scale (and will likely be in the future). Have a read.

Originally posted on AurealisXpress:

Aurealis has a proud history of publishing fiction in Australia. Since our first issue, we have introduced new authors to the reading public and given established authors a means to continue their relationship with their audience.

These are some of the things we’ve learned over nearly twenty-five years of selecting stories for publication.

  1. If you don’t read in the genre, you’re unlikely to create an original, refreshing genre story.
  2. One idea is rarely enough to sustain a story.
  3. Many stories would be far better off if they were a third shorter.
  4. If you use genre trappings, then your story will end up in the reject pile. ‘Trappings’ implies something added after the event, mere decoration. Respect the genre.
  5. Short stories are short. Don’t waste time—get into the story.
  6. If you can’t handle dialogue, your story will suffer badly.
  7. If nothing happens in your story, you don’t have a story. You…

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Fantasy author of the day on Reddit!

It seems that I’m fantasy author of the week on reddit. It would be greatly appreciated if you could pop along to visit, have a mug of ale, and even leave a question/comment for good measure.
Seriously, I would really, really appreciate it. I’ve been waiting for this for months now. I’m in Thailand as I type this, but I’ll do my best to answer questions by people who I’m sure will turn up…eventually.

Anyway, do come and visit!

The link is here…

Award winning story now available

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You know that award that I won (an Honourable Mention, to be specific) from the Writers of the Future contest? Well, the story that won it is finally available. It was purchased by the good people over at On The Premises Magazine, in Issue #23. Do you want to read it? Oh, why am I asking; of course do you. And you can read it here.

Enjoy, and do inform me of your thoughts, good or bad. I’m hoping that the majority, if not all of them, will be positive. I’d love to be proven correct.

Also, the brilliant artwork you see at the top was provided by Ken Kirkpatrick and the fantastic folks over at Bloody Cake News.

Honourable Mention from Writers Of the Future contest!

So, I sent in this little science-fiction short story in somewhere. Where, may you ask? Only the biggest writing competition in the world. The same one that shot people like Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind) to fame. I knew I was up against heavy odds. So then, after a bit of correspondence, I got this in the mail….

 

CCF08072014_00000Yep. An Honourable Mention.

I already knew I’d gotten it and was going to get something similar in the mail, but it hasn’t really hit home for me just how awesome this is. Until now, of course. I’ll be framing it somewhere. It’s my first major award, and I hope that it won’t be the last.

A special thanks to Alan Baxter, Mark Lawrence and Robin Hobb for their support and encouragement, particularly to Alan and Megan (Robin’s real name) who I met at Supanova 2014 here in Sydney. They’re awesome people, and their encouragement and urging to never give up did a lot for me.

The story that won, A Dome of Chrome, is scheduled to release in Issue 23 of On The Premises Magazine on July 12.  I’ll be in Thailand at the time. Yep. That’s my way of celebrating. (not really, I’m going there to visit my friends, who will be forced to read this story and savour every morsel.)