Monthly Archives: July 2010

Anyone interested in writing for computer games?

Over at the ROR blog the Sunday Writing Craft post is a Beginner’s Guide to Writing for Games. It’s a two-parter with the second half being posted on Tuesday.

And this scary little girl is one of the ‘little sisters’ from Bioshock 2. The design of the game is very retro 1930s. I love the look of this period,  everything from Art Nouveau to Art Deco.

Leave a comment

Filed under creativity, Writing craft, Writing for computer games

The Uncrowned King doing well …

This is Sassy cat inspecting my advance copies of KRK book two.

The Uncrowned King – I love this cover

Now I’m doing the happy dance.  KRK book 2 – The Uncrowned King is number 6 on Galaxy Books Best seller list.

This is Sydney’s specialist spec fic bookstore, so I’m over the moon. Thanks to the guys at Galaxy!


Filed under Covers, Fantasy books

Writing Vs Real life

It’s Kerbside Clean up next weekend.  That’s when our council tell people to put their big rubbish out on the footpath and they come and take it away. You know how things accumulate, like that microwave that broke down, and the office chair that lost one of its wheels and tips people off at inconvenient times. Well, this is a chance to get rid of these things.

I know I should be sorting through our house, putting things into piles. Things that are rubbish and go in the bin, things that can go out in the Kerbside Cleanup, and things that we will give away to the Salvation Army.

But I would much rather be writing. Up to page 108 of the rewrite of The First T’En. If I’m not careful I could just disappear into it and not surface for a month!

So there’s a battle going on. Do I stop writing and clean up the house, or do I keep writing and hope someone else will do the cleaning for me.  (Like that would ever happen!)

How do you balance life and writing? I walk a tightrope.


Filed under Nourish the Writer, The World in all its Absurdity

Currently Watching …

IT Crowd, series 4, can thoroughly recommend it.

Having attended many SF conventions surrounded by people who could have stepped out of the IT Crowd, I feel quite at home watching this show.

Back at Christmas time I had a tooth out (stitches, yuk) , so what did my sons do? They put on the IT Crowd to cheer me up. It hurt to laugh, and I mean really hurt but I couldn’t stop laughing.

I laughed until I cried and had to leave the room, then I came back for more.

Sad, really.

My favourite line?

When Roy is helping Moss learn to deal with the bullies. Roy role plays a bully.

Moss bursts into tears. ‘It’s too real Roy, too real!’

I have days like that. We all do.  What’s your favourite line?

Leave a comment

Filed under Fun Stuff, Genre, Movies & TV Shows, The World in all its Absurdity

The Gender Divide

I belong to a writing group called ROR. (For background on the group, see here). Every year or so we get together to review out manuscripts and give feedback. There are 8 of us, but numbers vary depending on our families, work, deadlines etc.

There are five females and three males in ROR, it just happened that way, but this year there’ll be even numbers at the ROR retreat.

Although I don’t think of it as a ‘reatreat’ I think of it as a writing craft feast. Spending time with other people who are just as obssessed about the craft of writing as me, is heaven. I love dissecting story.

There is no point denying it, mens and women’s brains work differently. (Architect’s and trucker driver’s brains also work differently).  I have four sons, I know their brains are wired differently from mine. As a writer I don’t write for a male or female reader specifically. But I like to know that I can appeal to both genders and this is where having feedback from both genders helps. So I’m looking forward to the ROR feedback this year. (Not that I don’t always look forward to ROR).

As a writer I don’t limit myself to writing from a female View Point, I have male View Point characters, too.  One of the things I like to do is run a chunk of male VP text through the Gender Genie, to see if the genie can pick the gender of the character.

They say boys won’t read a book if the narrator is a female character. I can’t say that this bothered my sons. And I must admit that I don’t mind if the View Point character is male or female, as long as they are interesting.

I’ve deliberately written short stories where I don’t specify the gender and let the reader make up their mind.

What do you think? Does the gender of the View Point character influence how you relate to the character?


Filed under Characterisation, Readers, Writing craft, Writing Groups

Mentoring Retreat in the Tropics

Good friend of mine, Sandy Curtis, is running a writing retreat at Kellys Beach Resort. So if you live up that way, near  the coast in central Queensland and you’d like to spend 3 days at a lovely resort with a published mentor going through your book, short story or play …

Writers retreat to the beach!

Three storytellers will each offer their unique insights into writing at a mentoring retreat at Kelly’s Beach Resort, Bargara on the coast near Bundaberg, in Queensland.
The Bundaberg based professionals will mentor emerging novelists, short story crafters and playwrights over three days from 15-17 October 2010.

Mentoring the Muse is proposed as an intensive retreat-style development program similar to iniatives like the Varuna Manuscript Development Awards in NSW or the QWC/Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. These have been highly successful at supporting writers to improve their work to publishable standard, resulting in numerous publishing contracts for participants.

There is nothing like getting away from family and work and concentrating on your writing in a beautiful environment with other writers, while being mentored by someone who ‘gets’ your writing!

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian Writers, creativity, Mentoring, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft

When friends have books coming out …

I get to celebrate!

Over at the ROR blog Kylie Chan has done a post on Sustaining Plots. Since this is book six of her Dark Heaven series, she can speak with authority. She’s also doing a giveaway of ‘Hell to Heaven’.

Go Kylie!

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian Writers, Book Giveaway, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fun Stuff, Promoting Friend's Books, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft

I make lists …

If I don’t make lists, I forget things. I forgot to do  guest blog for the Mad Hatter. (Really sorry MH). Will try to do better next time.

I used to remember everything. At least I thought I did.

How would you know that you’d forgotten something, if you’d forgotten it?

Now I have to make lists.

It might have something to do with the fact that I’m an associate lecturer teaching two subjects in an accelerated course (three trimesters over the year instead of two semesters).

It might have something to do with the fact that we are renovating our house at the same time. (Three of our six children have moved out and we’re going to sell and buy something smaller before they can move back home).

It might have something to do with the fact that I just organised a national workshop for RWA and have another one in the planning stage.

Or that I’m trying to write another book by the end of the month to send off to ROR (my writing group).  Then I have to read all their books and write reports on them in time for the World SF Con, which will be held in Melbourne this year. Yay.

And on top of this I can’t wait to get back to the trilogy I’ve just sold to Solaris.

Why do I have to sleep? I could get so much done, if I didn’t have to sleep.

I dream of running away to a monastery (not a religious one, a writing monastery), where I sit at my desk and write, and no one asks me to drive them to work, or take them shopping, or what’s for dinner. Sigh…

Everyone I talk to seems to be running on the spot, to stop from going backwards. Are we all taking on too much?


Filed under Nourish the Writer, The World in all its Absurdity

Go Trent!

My good friend Trent Jamieson has been interviewed over at The Australian Literature Review.

He talks about how he writes:

‘Well, I’m not much of a planner, so first drafts are generally me trying things out and trying to make sense of stuff. Most of this book was written at the Toowong Library (in the local history section) in longhand. I’d walk down there every weekday, that I wasn’t working, listening to the same music to get me in the right frame of mind (mainly, for the first book Okkervil River, Gotye, and Spoon) and write until I’d filled about eight pages or so of my notebook. Then I’d go home and type them into my computer.’

Having read Trent’s book in its final form before it went off to the publisher (and loving it then) I’m really looking forward to getting a copy of it when it released.

And over at the Galaxy blog, Trent has done a guest post on his new series and writing in general.

For more on Trent and his weird and wondferful world view, drop by his blog.


Filed under Australian Writers, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fun Stuff, The Writing Fraternity, Writing craft

Advance copies of KRK book two

Came home from work yesterday to find a big package. Advance copies of KRK book two have arrived.  YAY!

Naturally, Sassy cat had to investigate.

Of all the KRK books this cover is my favourite. It’s so rich and lush. Exotic. Kudos to Clint Langley for the excellent job he did on the whole series.

I have a couple of friend who I’ve promised copies, so now I can pass these along.

Meanwhile, you’ve heard of the cat in the hat, well, meet the cat in the bag.  She likes to climb inside things and curl up asleep. I’ve gone to clear a shopping bag off the table only to discover her curled up inside asleep!


Filed under Covers, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, The World in all its Absurdity