Monthly Archives: January 2011

Shaun Tan up for an Oscar!

“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann has been nominated in the Short Film Animated section of the Oscars.

Here’s what Shaun has to say about the nomination.

It’s not every day that someone you know is nominated for an Oscar.  Not that I know Shaun all that well, but I have met him. A couple of years ago, when I was on the Queensland Writers Management Committee, Shaun Tan ran a workshop for the QWC and I took him out to dinner. Since then, one of my sons has become a mad Shaun Tan fan and has all his books.

His artwork is quite haunting, so take the time to look him up.

Shaun is one of those quiet unassuming types and I have to confess I have a very dark sense of humour and no impulse control. When I took him out to dinner his books had won the Children’s Book Council award several times and he may have a won a World Fantasy award at that time too.  I asked him about his family and he told me about a brother and sister, one was a lawyer and one was a doctor (or something like that).  Gee, I said, Where did you parents go wrong with you?

He stared at me for a moment, then gave a dry little chuckle. I don’t think Sean gets teased much, but he took it in good humour.

So, here goes Shaun, wishing you all the best and I’m sure your parents are be very proud of you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Australian Writers, Awards, Children's Books, creativity, Fun Stuff, Inspiring Art, Promoting Friend's Books, The World in all its Absurdity, The Writing Fraternity

Writers pitch in to help flood victims

See blog post about this picture.

You might have noticed that my home town, state and most of Australia has been flooded (or suffered bush fires, what next?) in the last month. The Queensland Writers Centre has organised a fund raiser Writers on Rafts to raise money to help the flood victims.  Lots of prizes such as book packs, author visits and writer support up for grabs. Drop by and enter. Every little bit helps!



Filed under Australian Writers, The World in all its Absurdity

SF Nerd alert …

Okay, I admit I’m an SF nerd, but … there’s a new series of Red Dwarf coming out!

Craig Charles, who plays Lister says:

‘We’ve gotta recapture the highlights like series 5 series six, that kind of stuff. If we can hit that mark then brilliant. There’s no point doing it if it’s a bit so-so.’




Filed under Characterisation, Fun Stuff, Movies & TV Shows

King Rolen’s Kin Facebook Page

Sending out a big thank you to the person who set up the King Rolen’s Kin facebook page. You made my day!

LOL Cat picture to say thanks!



Filed under Fun Stuff, The World in all its Absurdity

In Praise of the Fantasy Genre

Over at fellow RORee Marianne de Pierres‘ blog I’ve written an article about the fantasy genre.

It’s a genre much maligned by the literary world, yet many literary books are fantastical in nature. As in all genres there’s a bell curve with a lot of stuff sitting in the middle, being neither remarkably good or really bad. Yet fantasy can be used to explore all sorts of interesting concepts. You only have to look at the work of Margo Lanagan to see how freeing it can be. And you only have to read a Terry Pratchett book to see how it can be used to satirise our world. For Terry Pratchett fans here’s link to TP Quotes.

Closing with a quote from the great TP himself:

‘The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.’



Filed under Fantasy books, Nourish the Writer, The World in all its Absurdity, The Writing Fraternity

Floods …

I live in Brisbane, which is currently experiencing its worst flood in 100 years. As a young teenager, I lived through the floods of 1974. And my great grandmother lived through the floods of 1983.

I’m lucky, my family are all safe. We kept calling around yesterday to make sure everyone had checked the flood levels for ’74 and knew how high the water would come. My brother was headed to work through Toowoomba when he got a call to say don’t come in, so he missed the ‘inland tsunami’.

The fridge is full of food. We’re not expecting to lose power, but we do have a gas stove, so we’ll be able to cook if we do lose power.

It’s funny. This is the first sunny day we’ve had in ages, yet the news programs are constantly talking about the flooding and they keep showing views of the city with water lapping into buildings.

What’s even odder is that we’ve had 10 years of drought, when the dams got down to less than 15% capacity, now they are at 170% capacity and the flood gates are open, releasing the equivalent of two Sydney Harbours full of water each day.

The disaster had brought out the best in people, with strangers turning up to help people move their belongings and others risking their lives to save those trapped on cars or roofs.


Filed under The World in all its Absurdity

We writers are Needy Creatures

We slave over our books, and devote years to writing them. The characters become as real to us as members of our own family. We cry when the plot makes us hurts them and, at times, we laugh aloud. (Yes, I know it’s sad).

And then we send them out into the cruel world, our books released into the wild. All we can do is hope that someone will read them and enjoy them. And then this happens …

Rob Will Review has listed his favourite 11 books for 2010 and not only has he mentioned my good friend and fellow RORee, Trent Jamieson’s wonderful Death Most Definite. But he has mentioned my trilogy. Rob says;

‘No point in beating around the bush.  Rowena Cory Daniells’ The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin trilogy is one of the best new high fantasy series I’ve read in ages.  Simultaneously intimate and epic, this gloriously entertaining triptych presents a richly realized world with compelling, three-dimensional characters, an intriguing use of magic–referred to here as “Affinity”–and a densely complicated political situation that inspires a mindbendingly complex web of intrigue, manipulation, and misapprehension.’

Wow, Rob, I’m blushing!

I’d post a YouTube video of my doing the Happy Dance but it would be embarrassing and my kids would never live it down!


Filed under Australian Writers, Dark Urban Fantasy, Fantasy books, Genre, Readers, Reviewers

It must be holidays …

I’ve noticed the number of hits on my site has gone up over Christmas. I can only think of two reasons.

People got copies of my books for Christmas. (Thank you for giving my books as presents, who ever you are!).

And/or people have time on their hands over Christmas holidays and are surfing the net.

Of course, if you are like me then you probably have less time over the Christmas holidays. Why did I think renovating and writing the new trilogy at the same time would be a good idea?


Filed under creativity, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff

Go Clint!

Kudos to Clint Langley, the cover artist for the KRK trilogy. Clint’s cover for book one ‘The King’s Bastard’ has been nominated for the Ravenheart Award. That’s the cover section of the Gemmell Award. Fingers crossed Clint!


Filed under Awards, Covers, creativity, Fantasy books, Fun Stuff, Genre, Inspiring Art

Inspiration, or an Art Nouveau

I’m a very visual person. I used to work as a graphic artist. I love watching movies that are visually rich. I love wandering through the art gallery. I leave feeling like I’m floating on air.

One of my favourite styles is Art Nouveau.

Everyone would be familiar with the work of Alphonse Mucha. He shaped the look of the period. My DH bought me a book on Mucha and his work for Christmas one year and I devoured it in a day, then dreamed in Mucha stylisation for a week. Poor Mucha, they told him not to bother with art school because he would never amount to much!

What you might not be aware of  the beautiful jewelry of the period.

And furniture …

And there is the architecture, both internal and external. Think Gaudi, among others.

Now wonder when the set designers were looking for inspiration for Rivendell, they looked to Art Nouveau.

I’ve spent way too long putting this post together. I got lost wandering through a feast of Art Nouveau images. The sad things is that I can’t use this for resonance in my writing because if I use the term art nouveau it will throw the reader out of the secondary world of the book and if I say the flowing/sensuous organic lines of the building/jewelery it doesn’t really convey the power of the art nouveau period.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this dip into Art Nouveau as much as I have.



Filed under creativity, Movies & TV Shows, Resonance, The World in all its Absurdity