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From a convention ten minutes travel from home, to a convention 30 hours travel from home!

 

We’re leaving Thursday morning for America. I’m so excited. Can’t wait to see family and friends and to attend my first World Fantasy Convention since Brighton. I love World Fantasy and am looking forward to picking up my book bag full of goodies!

 

Oh, and I’m Guest of Honor alongside Aliette de Bodard, Michael J Walsh, Tom Kidd and Scott Edelman!

Here’s my list of official events. I’m not keeping track of all the unofficial events!

 

Sunday October 28th

New Jersey

3pm-5pm

Meet and Greet the author

Factory Fuel Co Café

2 Stangle Road, Flemington NJ

 

 

Baltimore World Fantasy Convention

 

Thursday 1 November

8pm Opening Ceremony

9pm Ice Cream Social

11pm Poetry Slam, hosted by the fabulous Linda Addison

 
Friday 2 November

4pm Q and A with Ellen Datlow

8pm Mass Signing

 

Saturday 3 November

10am My presentation on the Australian landscape and how it affects our storytelling.

5pm Reading. Not sure what yet!

6.15pm Aussie Party. Hosted by Garth Nix, with tickets by Kathleen Jennings!

 

Sunday 4 November

World Fantasy Award Banquet 12.30

4pm World Fantasy Award Judging Panel

 

Wed 7 November

LA

8pm – 10pm

Bearded Lady Mystic Museum

3204 W Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA

Reading with Lisa Morton, Che Baker, Kathleen Kaufman, a contortionist,  and a sword Swallower.

$15 includes wine and snacks

 

 

 

 

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Conflux

My local SF convention, Conflux, is on again this year. I’ll be launching books, teaching a workshop, helping host a Frankenstein party, and more!

 

Here are the details:

Saturday, 29 September, 1.30:  Mary Shelley’s Legacy. Guest of Honour Rob Hood and I will talk about all things Shelley.

 

Saturday, 29 September, 5pm. Book Launch! Please join me in conjunction with Conflux 14 and Verity 112 as I launch my two new books.

Tide of Stone, a novel, is an exploration of crime and punishment set on an isolated Time Ball Tower. Edited by Lee Murray, it comes from Omnium Gatherium Books.
A Primer to Kaaron Warren is a short story collection, edited by Eric Guignard of Dark Moon Books. It contains reprints, illustrations and one new and very nasty story.

Lee Murray from New Zealand will launch the books. Verity 112 have invented a cocktail just for the event. There will be a cash bar, yummy snacks available, a door prize or two (warning: they will be very Kaaron-esque door prizes) and more. The bar is open until late and I’m hoping people will stay to chat, listen to music, maybe dance!

For those with a taste for malt, we will also have a whisky tasting, known as ‘Whiskycon”, at Verity 112 after the launch. Hosted by local Canberra writer Rob Hood, Whiskycon requires a booking and payment. If you’re keen, comment here and Tim Napper, the organiser, will get back to you.

Place: Verity 112, 112 Alinga St Civic (the bus interchange)

Time: 5pm till late

 

 

Sunday, 30 September, 12.30-2.30 Workshop at the Green Shed Underground in the city. This shop is full of second hand clothing. We’ll spend some time deciding on characters, then dressing ourselves to suit. Inhabiting the (possibly haunted) clothing of a person helps us to understand them better. There will be a courtesy bus from the convention for this one but you do need to sign up for it.

 

Sunday, 30 September, 3.45. Rob Hood and I will host an afternoon tea for Frankenstein’s 200th birthday! This should be fun. We might try to recapture the atmosphere of that isolated house…

 

Monday, 1 October, 10.30 am: Can Horror be Funny? A panel with Lee Murray from New Zealand and Rob Hood.

 

Monday, 1 October, 2.30pm: Judging the World Fantasy Awards. I’ll chat about the good and the bad books, show some of the covers off, and talk about what you need to do to stand out. I’ll have lots of the submitted books for sale, with proceeds going to a literacy progamme or perhaps a sponsorship. This to be decided! If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know.

 

 

 

This is a great go-to reading list, with staff choosing their favourite books read in 2017. J. S. Breukelaar , author of Aletheia puts The Grief Hole on her list!

I won!

Absolutely thrilled to win this award. It’s my fourth time winning it, and it carries a lot of meaning to me, because it celebrates small press and Canberran writers. Very, very proud!

Thanks to the ACT Writers Centre for making it all happen, and to the judges Anna Snoekstra and Robyn Cadwallader, both writers I admire greatly.

Thanks also to IFWG Publishing for continued support and enthusiasm. Stephen McCracken showed up for the awards, which means a lot to me!

This means The Grief Hole won the Canberra Critics Award, the Aurealis Award, the Ditmar Award, the Shadows Award and the ACT Writers and Publishers Award.

 

Gosh.

 

 

Baltimore, 2018

News is out: I’m a judge for the World Fantasy Awards 2018. Very happy to be taking on this challenge. It involves an enormous amount of reading in a genre I love, which will give me a good, rounded knowledge of the state of the business. I really like having that overall understanding, having read for international awards before. It makes you aware of writers and publishers you wouldn’t otherwise be aware of, and gives you something to talk about when people ask you what you’re reading!

From past experience, friendships form in the process, and I’m pleased about that, too.

So when I come to World Fantasy next year as a Guest of Honor, I’ll also be there as a World Fantasy Award judge. Busy year ahead!

 

Writerly updates

Last month I went to Lexicon, the New Zealand Science Fiction convention. I loved the location, Lake Taupo, where the air seems to suit my health. My hair doesn’t frizz, my skin feels soft, my lungs feel clear. And with the massive lake, filled with mystery and beauty, and things stick out of the water, I was creatively inspired as well! To be surrounded by that environment, and by clever, funny, creative people…what a great weekend it was.

Grace Bridges is chairing the 2019 Convention, which will likely be held at Rotorua. They asked me to return as a guest and I absolutely agreed!

Taupo

Lots of exciting things happening during the Conflux Science Fiction Convention which runs Friday September 29 to Monday October 2. I’m lucky enough to be MC for the event, which has two incredible guests: Ellen Datlow! and Angela Slatter! We’ll be doing a one hour event at Muse Bookshop, one of my favourite places in Canberra, on the Thursday night. Conflux is such a good convention for meeting writers, publishers and editors and for finding inspiration in words.

 

 

My story “Mine Intercom”, which I consider one of my scariest, appears in the 2015 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror. Edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, this book is a beauty with great stories from Australian writers. This story first appeared in Review of Australian Fiction.

 

years best

Possibly the biggest news is the awards! “The Grief Hole” has become the first Australian novel to win the Aurealis Award, the Shadows Award and the Ditmar Award. Absolutely thrilled! It also one the Canberra Critics Circle Award, and I’m beginning to the think they are the predictors of what’s to come, because they also gave me the award for “Through Splintered Walls” and “Slights”, my other two most awarded books!

Here is the book its awards. Admittedly the Shadows Statue is my one from last year, but I couldn’t wait to post the news!

Awards

 

 

Eating the Alice Cake

A while ago, I picked up a pile of books for free from a second-hand book stall. They were on the ‘recycle’ pile, headed for pulp. I loved the covers, so brought them home.

One was Muriel Spark’s Robinson.

What a bizarre, fascinating, creepy novel this was. It’s about a woman who is shipwrecked on an island called Robinson, after the sole inhabitant. He’s a manipulative, brilliant, obsessive man who lives, in part, from the salvage of wrecked ships.

One moment stood out for me, and sat in my backbrain waiting for the right story to come along. The main character refuses to wear the clothes of the dead, or to touch any of the other salvage. Robinson, meanwhile, has no problems with either.

I wondered; what sort of person would live only on the food left over in dead people’s houses?

I know. It’s a very odd place, my backbrain

This inspiration came to roost in my story “Eating the Alice Cake”, which I’ve sold to Ellen Datlow for her Mad Hatters and March Hares anthology for Tor. All stories inspired by Alice in Wonderland! Cannot wait for this one. Look at the amazing writers I’m sharing space with!

Gentle Alice                                        Kris Dikeman  (poem)

My Own Invention                            Delia Sherman

Lily-White & The Thief of Lesser Night C.S.E. Cooney

Conjoined                                            Jane Yolen

Mercury                                              Priya Sharma

Some Kind of Wonderland                  Richard Bowes

Alis                                                     Stephen Graham Jones

All the King’s Men                             Jeffrey Ford

Run, Rabbit                                         Angela Slatter

In Memory of a Summer’s Day         Matthew Kressel

Sentence Like a Saturday                    Seanan McGuire

Worrity, Worrity                                Andy Duncan

Eating the Alice Cake                          Kaaron Warren

The Queen of Hats                             Ysabeau Wilce

A Comfort, One Way                                     Genevieve Valentine

The Flame After the Candle               Catherynne M. Valente

Moon, Memory, Muchness               Katherine Vaz

Run, Rabbit, Run                                Jane Yolen (poem)