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Archive for May, 2010

News

Lots of news.

The big news of course is that my publisher, Angry  Robot Books, has moved house. No longer with Harper Collins, they are now with Osprey Publishing.  Osprey are a very highly respected Military publisher, wanting to move into exactly the kind of fiction Angry Robot publishes. My son thinks it’s beyond cool that I am published by someone who does war books.

The publishing schedule has shifted slightly, with Mistification now not coming out until June 2011. This is the US schedule for release:

Slights - US: September 2010

Walking the Tree – US: January 2011

Misitifcation - UK: June 2011; US: July 2011

I’m disappointed not to see Mistification for a while, but in some ways maybe the separation of time is good. I’ve seen the cover and love it. The main character is a bundle of magic, mystery, awkwardness, inexperience, brilliance, charisma and  hunger. Try capturing that with one picture!

In other news, Tehani Wessely’s World’s Next Door is available for pre-purchase. This is anthology for Young Adults, containing my story “A New Rat in Town”. This is one of those stories which has been cooking for many years. The first seed was planted when I was about nine or ten, and developed a terror of the local funeral parlour.

Here’s the cover:

And information on how to order is at Tehani’s livejournal.

I got to read the book because I helped a tiny bit with proofing, and it’s fantastic. Great stories (I was blown away by the first story, Dirk Flinthart’s “The Best Dog in the World”) which I reckon the kids will love. The stories are often edgy, which I think is good. My kids at least don’t always want happy endings. They like real stories where they can’t guess what’s going to happen.

My story “Loss” is in the Twelfth Planet Press anthology Sprawl, edited by Alisa Krasnostein. This is one of my saddest stories. I’m not sure where this character came from; this is one of those stories which appeared fully formed in my head and I just had to find the words to put in onto paper. Here’s the cover:

And in a very interesting example of the universe of ideas, here’s the cover for Baggage, from Eneit Press and edited by Gillian Polack:

I absolutely love the fact we have two different interpretation of geographical Australia. Baggage is a fascinating anthology, with stories from Australians based around the world. I wrote mine while in Fiji, but it has a real Aussie country feel. The character I created is so strong that he has forced himself into my next novel. Only an appearance, mind you. He’ll be making his famous apple-cinnamon muffins. My story is called “Hive of Glass” from this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon: “A village is a hive of glass, where nothing unobserved can pass.”

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A Positive

The story A Positive was published in Bloodsongs Magazine in 1997. It won the Aurealis Award that year, against another of my stories, The Glass Woman.

I wrote the story with Ellen Datlow in mind, because she was collecting stories for a Revenge anthology. I was inspired by many things, in particular the idea of  siblings providing bone marrow and blood to ill brothers or sisters. Ellen didn’t take the story, so I redrafted it and sold it to Bloodsongs.

I researched a lot about blood, and this research helped me develop the story. It’s one of those stories where I knew I couldn’t hold back, that I had to create characters as distasteful, as awful, as possible.

Watching the movie, there are parts which make me flinch! My son thinks I’m not scared of anything because I write horror stories. It’s an assumption a lot of people share.

In reality, I’m easily disturbed. That’s how I can write this stuff! If it didn’t bother me, I don’t think I could pour such emotion into the stories.

I wanted to build strong characters and relationships into A Positive. I reckon this comes through in the movie. When Bearcage Productions were casting, I wrote them a paragraph describing the main players and I hope this helped them both to cast and to direct the actors.

Seeing my story through someone else’s eyes is an amazing experience. And having to question each sentence, each development when we were talking about the script was an interesting process. Certainly holds up a big magnifying mirror to show up the flaws!

The story will be reprinted in the Ticonderoga Publications collection of my stories, Dead Sea Fruit, coming in August.

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A Positive

The short movie A Positive, directed by Chris Bamford and Serge Ou of Bearcage Productions, recently won the award for Best Australian short at “A Night of Horror” International Film Festival. Now I really wish I’d been there!

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