Archive for March, 2010

Time Lines

There comes a time in the writing of every novel when I realise I need a timeline. This is when I get tired of flicking from page to page trying to figure out how old a character was in 1992,  or how old they are when their mother dies.

Making a time line is not an easy thing to do when you’re crap at maths.

I sat there with my calculator figuring out birthdates back from 2013, where the story ends.  I got to the end and realised I’d missed out years or added in years and I had things happening all over the place. I kept at it, though, donating a couple of writing days to the process.

It’s done, though. I’ve added all the details of schooling, deaths and marriages.

Now it’s much easier to write through. Because it really does make a difference if a character is 13, 23 or 33 when their mother dies.

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Slights has made the longlist of the British Fantasy Awards!

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The British Fantasy Society has set up a new Author’s page, where you can go ask questions of dozens of writers. Authors are welcome to set up their own page there, as well. There are already people like Ramsey Campbell, Gary McMahon, Rob Shearman and Sarah Pinborough, so worth a look!

Also, Cara Murphy at Temple Library Reviews has posted a review of Walking the Tree.

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SF Signal Mind Meld

The latest topic is “SF/F books that would make a good TV series.

I had a lot of fun answering this one. I hope some TV producers take note because there are a lot of good suggestions there!

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Harry Markov

I talk to Harry Markov at Temple Library Reviews about my experience working with Angry Robot Books.

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Ben Peek

The writer Ben Peek posed all sorts of questions to me over the last week. We’ve known each other for a while and have an easy communication, so this interview was a lot of fun! Ben has a lot of interesting things to say over the rest of his blog, too.

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Early Beginnings

How important are the early stories you write?

I just excavated a box of notepads containing all sorts of scribbles and notes from stories I wrote between the ages of 14 and 18. Unfortunately, most of them were destroyed by possums and by the dead rat who snuggled his way in to die between the comfy pages of my early work!

I rescued one notepad though, which was on the top and not too damaged. The others I had to toss without even re-reading them, and that really did hurt. There could have been gems there, treasures!

The notebook I saved contains the beginings of a time travel story (Mr Josef found himself wondering what wives were like 2000 years ago, of if there was wives at all) and one called “Kid Gloves” (For there first time in a long while, the tension was almost tautened to breaking point. The year was the future and the time was incredibly early, incredibly cold). Neither excerpts worth saving!

However, this little piece of philosophy I found interesting: No one will or can ever be wholly satisfied with themselves or their lives – or else there will be nothing to live for. Conversely, satisfaction breeds dissatisfaction.

I was calling myself “Kaz” then. It never took off. I don’t think a single person ever called me Kaz.

Anybody else have childhood writings they just can’t let go of?

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Thanks to the brilliant Cat Sparks for my new banner! Cat recently won an Aurealis Award for her fiction, so you can see she is multi-talented.

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Australian Shadows

The Australian Shadows Awards finalists have been announced. What an incredibly strong year for Australian Horror Fiction!

Long Fiction

  • A Book of Endings by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Red Queen by H. M. Brown (Penguin Australia)
  • “Wives” by Paul Haines (X6, Coeur de Lion Publishing)
  • The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette Australia)
  • Slights by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)

Edited Publication

  • Grants Pass, edited by Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar (Morrigan Books)
  • Festive Fear, edited by Stephen Clark (Tasmaniac Publications)
  • Aurealis #42, edited by Stuart Mayne (Chimaera Publications)

Short Fiction

  • “Six Suicides” by Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings)
  • “The Emancipated Dance” by Felicity Dowker (Midnight Echo #2)
  • “Busking” by Jason Fischer (Midnight Echo #3)
  • “The Message” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Midnight Echo #2)
  • “The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfalls” by Kaaron Warren (Exotic Gothic 3)

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I’m always riffling through piles of magazines at the op shop, at fetes and garage sales and at the tip. I’m looking for mags that will give me insight into other people.

Here’s a selection from my box from the shed. I’ve got plenty more. Really, I need another life to cut out snippets and catalogue them all ready for my third life, when I’ll write about them all.

Current Biography. This issue is June 1991 and carries biographies of Cher, M. Scott Peck, Sinead O’Connor and Janet Jackson. there’s also; Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, a Russian Foreign Affairs Minister; Susan Butcher, a sled-dog racer; Jill Ker Conway, historian and others. Lots of lovely detail if I need it. At the back are the obits, which will help me this year as one of my characters is an obit writer.

Organic Growing carries details of Sweet Annie, an anti Malarial herb.

Discovering Art has Henry Moore on its advisory board and shows me Paolo Veronese’s Venus and Adonis, where Venus enslaves the young shepherd. Check out the look on her face!

V.A.S. News (Victorian Archaeological Survey) in 1989 talks of the projects they are taking on; Otway Ranges, Wreck Corrosion Study, Underwater Wreck Trail and more. I wonder how these projects turned out?

Man, Myth and Magic (the most unusual magazine ever published) has a family tree leading from Aphrodite through Romulus and Remus to King Arthur as well as articles on black magic, altars and Amida, the Lord of Bountless Light.

Must stop now. Just had an idea for a story…

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