Monthly Archives: November 2012
A week ago, Jason Nahrung tagged me to post for The Next Big Thing blog chain. In the 80s, when I was a kid, chain letters came on paper and promised good things for copying them out and passing them on. So in homage to that era, which also brought us Fraggle Rock, She-Ra, The Bangles, Jem, and Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego, I’m delighted that it’s now my turn for this writerly conversation. 🙂 This is how it works — I’ll answer 10 questions about my book, then I’ll tag other writers to do the same next week.
So here we go …
1) What is the working title of your next book?
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
In 2005, I was a medical student on placement in north-west Queensland. A lot of weird stuff happened that I’ve kept on mental file. The right circumstances converted those mental files into the bedrock for this book (see also question 9).
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I call this rural medical romance – rural settings, medical details, romance between the two worlds. 🙂
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Hmmmm … I don’t visualise characters like this. So, that’s a tough one. I’m more likely to try to shoehorn an actor I like into a role, which is arse-backwards. This is why I’m a writer and not a casting agent. *an hour passes as I “audition” various actors using the power of the interwebz*. Ahem … In the spirit of my first novel, I’m going to say that ideally, the actors shall be awesomely talented and yet undiscovered Australian up-and-comers. 😉 But in the absence of that, let’s have:
- Mia Wasikowska perhaps for Dr Daniella Bell. I loved her in Jane Eyre.
- Chris Hemsworth for Mark Walker 😉 If New Zealand can do norse gods in Auckland, I reckon I can cast one for north-west Queensland. Besides, since book 2 will feature Mark’s brother, another Hemsworth could fill in for that role too!
- Keisha Castle-Hughes could play Jackie beautifully.
- Matthew Le Nevez could play Dave Cooper.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Promising young doctor Daniella Bell takes a temporary job in remote Ryders Ridge to escape a professional secret and falls in love with a determined cattle station heir.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Ryders Ridge will be published by Hachette Australia in April 2013. I’m not agented at this time. 🙂
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Three weeks for the 90,000 word draft. Yes, that’s right. *feels the green glow of dagger eyes everywhere*. Three weeks was my window between two paying jobs, so I treated it as a professional exercise to get it done in that time (for QWC members, I wrote about it for WQ in November 2011). The draft had two structural edits before being ready – all up I think it was around nine weeks work, some full-time and some part-time.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I find myself thinking more about A Country Practice, The Flying Doctors and All Creatures Great and Small because of the medical angle in this story, but brought up to more modern times. Plenty of awesome Australian writers write stories that capture the rural heart of Australia – Fleur McDonald, Rachael Treasure, Mandy Magro, to name just a few. In concept and background, I probably share more in common with Loretta Hill, except that I’m writing with a medical context.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My writing group, the Brisbane floods, and a whole lot of weird (in the original meaning) stuff. I’d been writing seriously for several years and had three manuscripts and a bunch of short stories under my belt. But after the 2011 floods, I went to Sydney to work. I met people there who opened new windows in my world view. When I came back, I was looking for a new direction. We were on our writers’ retreat and were talking about rural romance. I realised I’d had experiences I could write about. Three weeks later, I had the first draft.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you like shows set in the medical world like ER, A Country Practice or The Flying Doctors/RFDS, this book is certainly set amidst reasonably realistic medical drama and in a small town, with the spice of secrets, romance, and danger. And if you fancy sitting ringside at a rodeo or campdraft, Ryders Ridge will take you there, and with friends you’d like to know.
That’s it from me. Now, to the chain part of this process … I tag these writerly friends to follow on next week. You’re it!
So, I’m writing, writing, writing. Am hacking my way through book 2 of my urban fantasy series. Hacking, I tells you. Limbs are flying. Structural edit ahoy! I can’t see the light yet, but I know it’s there. I’m at the point when another project beckons to you like a siren, crooking her finger sweetly, saying, hey, come over and work on me, I won’t be as hard. Well, I’m NOT FALLING FOR IT BIKIE WEREWOLVES IN TASMANIA. I shall soldier on and finish this project first. Book 2 of the Chronicles of Applecross is going to be most awesome, I can smell it in my keyboard. Or is that last nights popcorn…
I’ve met some amazing writers through the experience of getting published with Escape Publishing. My website is up and people have been lovely in their congratulations. I’m reading some of the other launch author’s books and they are pretty damned good. I had a most cool write up in the paper, including a saucy excerpt of Chaos Born, which my grandmother read (yikes) and promptly showed my grandad (double yikes). And don’t talk to me about my hair in the shot. Why I didn’t flat iron it is beyond me. Whatever! Still delighted for any publicity of Chaos Born.
To inspire me in my quest to finish and polish book 2, I’ve discovered a cool new trailer soundtrack artist, Zack Hemsey. Behold! Click here to listen to some of his awesomeness. And here is another one (Please note, I still like this song, but after watching the video clip, I felt like jumping off my roof. Surgeons Warning: Don’t watch if you’re feeling a bit blue).
On that note, I’m off to
hang the washing out write.
Add your thoughts here… (optional)
So, it’s been super secret until now, but finally I can announce formerly the launch of my first book in my urban fantasy series, Chaos Born. I’ve just arrived back from the Sydney launch of my publisher, Escape Publishing. They are a new eBook initiative, with a zippy two week response time for your submissions. I’ve done some interviews for the Escape Publishing website, talked to the Courier Mail, chatted to bloggers and discussed the industry with fellow authors.
A blast, I tells you, I’ve had a blast.
The launch party last night was AMAZING. We were dolled up by a make-up artist and hairdresser and then climbed in a limo to various locations for some photos. Woohooo! My outfit was Jackie Collins glam and my heels were suitably painful and shiny. We even had cocktails named after our books, which was the kind of attention to detail I…
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Well, GenreCon was on the weekend and sadly, we are now in the work week. For those who aren’t in the know, GenreCon is an annual conference that celebrates genre fiction and explores genre writing craft . There were panels, workshops and even a chance sit down and chat with an agent or to pitch to a publisher.
Fantasy writer Joe Abercrombie, Ginger Clarke from Curtis Brown and Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, were guest speakers. They were very approachable and full of great advice. Sarah Wendell’s talk, Author Platform 101, was packed. It was very interesting to hear her talk about the uses of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest when promoting yourself as a writer. Joe Abercrombie was hilarious in the Practical Worldbuilding panel. Ginger Clarke’s talk, entitled The Future of Agenting, highlighted how much things had changed in the industry, compared to five years ago. She talked some grim facts about the reality of publishing and how she found her role expanding beyond its usual parameters as she supported her clients in the current publishing climate. (Oh, and she also talked about Neal Stephenson, Sister Charlotte adds).
The Saturday night three course banquet was awesome fun, and the theme of Pistols and Parasols saw some great costumes. There was even an interesting clash of cultures when costumed revellers tumbled into the bar which was full of rowdy Parramatta younglings, fresh from the races and probably feeling like they’d wandered into another dimension. Sister Charlotte was asked if she was a leprechaun. No, she wasn’t. But perhaps if you’re a slightly sozzled racegoer, a leprechaun looks like a character from the Firefly universe.
I had some interesting conversations with other writers about their work and how they were carving their own way to publication and beyond. There were quite a few published writers at the conference, all interested in learning more about promoting and growing their careers, and everyone was happy to share their knowledge and experience.
The last session of GenreCon was a rousing debate on Plotting vs Pantsers. Kim Wilkins delivered a magnificent opening speech for the Plotters. There was much shouting and cat-calling, and things didn’t look good for the Pantsers side when one Pantser debater threw her notes on the floor to make a point and promptly forgot what to say next. Point made for the affirmative! Author Narelle Harris delivered an almost knock-out blow with her evangelist sermon on her sinful, sinful Pantser past. There was also much talk of Romans, sex and three-legged dogs. Daniel O’Malley, representing the Pantser side, made an interesting point when he pounced on the moderator and planted an ‘unplanned’ kiss. However, there is some suspicion that kiss might have been planned, making it a moot point.
So, a great weekend was had by all and even better, the organisers announced GenreCon 2013 will be held in Brisbane with additional academic stream. All I can say to that is: woohoo!
Woohoo! GenreCon kicks off tonight!
I haves me a costume. I haves me babysitters. I haves me a camera. Am looking forward to meeting new writer friends and listening to the panels. I’m particularly interested in hearing Ginger Clarke talk. She is a lovely agent from Curtis Brown and will be chatting about the future role of agents. I’ve seen a few agents begin to advertise services for writers looking to publish with e-publishers and have wondered how that is going to work. Then of course, I want to hear Joe Abercrombie talk about his work and worldbuilding methods. I’m planning on taking heaps of photos at the Pistols and Parasols Banquet, and sincerely hope my corset will hold tight for the night.
So, I’m off now for a good writerly time, and coming home with my pants on my head!