No, I didn’t drop off the planet.
The last few months (close to a year now) have been absolutely crazy-busy for me; so much so that despite all the very best intentions of uploading writing tips and art and general stuff (life, I guess you’d call it) to my blog, I haven’t had a moment.
I plan to fix that right now, so here goes … post 1 for 2014.
During Conflux 9 (talked about in my 2013 blog posts), I got to attend several novel-pitching sessions with a range of different agents and publishing houses (all really nice, approachable people). This resulted in my being offered the opportunity to submit my novel to them. At that stage, my novel – a science-fiction crime thriller set in post-global warming America – had gone through second edit, but I still wasn’t perfectly happy with it. As a result, I have been working my butt off over the last few months polishing this monster, getting it down from some 180000 words to 139000 (like most wannabe novelists, I have a full-time, pay-the-bills-or-you’ll-be-homeless-and-hungry job – so all my writing/editing gets done in those ‘stolen moments’ between work, laundry, sleeping and life).
Then, at the end of last year, I found out that I had placed second in the Writer’s of the Future Competition third round with a story called “Beneath the Surface of Two Kills” (massive squee!) – meaning that I will be heading to LA in April to attend a masterclass with some of the best writers in speculative fiction today (including Kevin J Anderson who I learned loads off when I attended one of his masterclasses at Conflux). Which naturally meant even more novel polishing!
And, in the midst of everything, the lovely, eager-as-a-labrador-puppy, star-on-the-rise Jason Fischer http://jasonfischer.com.au/ and Australian Horror Writer’s Association critiquer and editor Mark Farrugia approached me to do the artwork for a 10-page comic called “The Geebung Polo Club” for Midnight Echo Magazine. So of course, I said yes – because, firstly, those two people are awesome to work with, secondly, it’s Banjo Patterson and thirdly, for not-very-well-known-yet artists like me it is vital to take the opportunities that fall in your lap like that with both freakin’ hands and hold on!
And then, in January this year, writers Helen Stubbs and Elizabeth Fitzgerald, in association with the amazing Jodi Cleghorn of eMergent Publishing (an independent) approached me to create the cover for their up-coming “Undertow” Gold Coast Anthology. Which I also did for reasons one and three above.
So there you go. Moral of story – no blog. But I’m back now and will try to do much better.