On 1 July 2020 my life will change forever, and many of my dreams and aspirations will actually come to fruition: I will become a full-time writer and publisher.
2020 has been a bad year for a bunch of reasons, the main one being of course the pandemic, which has touched on virtually every person on this planet. It has affected me and my family as well. And yet, through hard work and good fortune, my plans to move to full time writing and publishing from 2021, has actually turned into an ‘early mark’.
Over recent years my ‘day job’ was a good one, one where I had developed great professional relationships and where I believe I made a good contribution to my employer. As long as I was in this job my writing and publishing efforts had to be second in the queue, or where I had to find those extra hours at the oddest of times. It did take its toll on my health. Now this is no longer the case.
The biggest transition for me, moving forward, is to set up my new routines, where my new day job is split between writing and running my two publishing imprints, and of course, having more time to spend with my family (who have always been my highest priority in life). This is a challenge that I look forward to, and it will be a delight. I also look forward to attending more industry conventions, in Australia and overseas.
2021 is going to be another watershed time for me and my family, as we plan to find our ‘forever home’ and it is likely to be up north a fair way (we live in Melbourne, Victoria, and we will either move to NSW or Queensland). There is no rush with this, and we want to do this right.
So… you are reading the mutterings of a very happy writer and publisher. I so very much hope that your dreams will also come true for you.
Just came out of the virtual Launch Party for the Aussie Speculative Fiction group’s anthology, Journeys, where my horror piece, ‘The Body Parts Room’, is one among many stories included. All of them are excellent! The ASF did a great job – a very active group.
This story is about a journey, like all 15 in the anthology, but this one is about a man’s tragic story, intertwined with an event that occurred in the early 20th century, which is still journeying to this day. Say no more.
I am very pleased with the sale of my horror piece, The Body Parts Room, to Deadset Press/Aussie Speculative Fiction group’s anthology, Journey – to be published later this year. This is a fairly intense piece – good to see it have a home.
So pleased to reveal the front cover for Guardian of the Sky Realms, to be released early 2020 by Meerkat Press. A wonderful cover in itself, it is also perfectly in tune with the age group it is targeted for 12 to 14 years. I suspect anyone who likes unadulterated adventure would also enjoy my novel.
My Lovecraftian, very weird piece, titled Hime Gyaru, will be published in The Asylum Diaries by Oscillate Wildly Press, in a few weeks. This was a story I enjoyed writing, oddly mixing a set of Japanese protagonists and antagonists, with a setting in Sydney, and most pertinently Bondi Beach. You’ve got to read it to make sense of it.
There’s an interesting connection I fabricated with this very adult short story and my upcoming reprint middle grade fantasy novel, Guardian of the Sky Realms (Meerkat Press, January 2020): the art gallery in the Rocks features in both!
Keep an eye out for it in coming days, buy it, and enjoy it – top writers and artists involved.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the sale of my middle grade novel, Guardian of the Sky Realms, to US-based Meerkat Press, as well as an as-yet unnamed sequel. Guardian will be published in January 2020, and the sequel in 2021.
Guardian of the Sky Realms is a reprint purchase, while the sequel will be handed over to Meerkat Press with first publishing rights. I am very confident that my babies have been placed in capable, professional hands.
I have just come back with my family (Jenny and daughter Erin) from the States, as part of a quality-time holiday. As a background, early this year I asked Jenny if it was alright with her that I took a week out going to World Fantasy Con 44 in Baltimore – a big deal as Erin is autistic and at times she is high maintenance (not to suggest this is endemic). Jenny’s response was well played and I liked it – why not go to LA for two weeks, and I can do a quick fly-in/fly-out to Baltimore for the Con. Plan set and paid for.
Baltimore was amazing and my first world con. Highlights include:
Having a wonderful dinner at a seafood restaurant with Kaaron Warren, Joe Haldeman (and his lovely wife and sister-in-law), Janeen Webb, Dena Taylor, and many others.
Seafood was a highlight in itself.
Meeting so many great writers, and developing almost instant-friendships.
Attending insightful and entertaining panels and presentations (particularly liked Kaaron’s Australian landscape presso)
Visiting Edgar Allen Poe’s grave (and the atmospheric gothic church next to it)
Being able to impart (and take on) quality publishing/distribution knowledge among peers
And on an important professional level, successfully pitching two writing projects that still need to go through an assessment process, but have progressed beyond my expectations. More on this if they bear fruit.
Yes, Baltimore was fantastic (the domestic jet hopping was another story) and professionally, very important for me and my publishing imprints.
I viewed the LA wing of the holiday initially as an emphasis on having Erin experience the time of her life – and it worked. But having said this, boy I had a great time. Disneyland and Universal were mind-blowing, particularly the virtual rides etc (I rode the Pirates of the Caribbean 4 times, as I did the Harry Potter virtual), and I can honestly say Disneyland does make you feel happy. We bought tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party, and it was worth every cent – at 6pm non-ticket holders left Disneyland, leaving thousands of partygoers (as opposed to tens of thousands of visitors) and rides ended up having queues lasting but a few minutes in many cases. I left the party early to connect to a flight to Baltimore, but Erin and Jenny partied beyond Midnight.
Erin loves basketball and is a fan of the LA Lakers. Managed to get tickets to a home game and the three of us had an amazing extravaganza presented to us. Again, well worth the investment.
We visited the Tar Pits and other notable attractions in LA. We even experienced Target US and Walmart shopping in Burbank. That was an experience.
LA is a huge, bustling city but we found everyone we met were friendly and upbeat. We felt welcomed and it did make a difference.
While I wasn’t able to attend the entire Continuum 14 convention in Melbourne, I had a whale of a time.
As a resident of Melbourne for a good number of years now, I have always wanted to attend my local speculative fiction convention, and for most of the years I have been here, I’ve managed to make it. Early years saw me in the vendors space, selling IFWG books, but now that I have distributors to do that for me, it was a double bonus to turn up as a writer, and lightly as a publisher.
I have to admit the publishing hat was most pleased – IFWG Publishing Australia managed to nab two 2017 Australian Shadows Awards (Best Edited Work, Best Collected Work) – the details can be found here. And, as usual, a bit of schmoozing – that is, a lot of the publishing business seems to generate in the corridors and lunch/dinner tables. All very good.
I attended a few panels in my interest areas, and spent a lot of time catching up with old friends, and making new. As usual, there’s an opportunity to meet some friends who I have up to that point only interacted through social media – a bonus!
While the convention is still carrying on into Monday, I can say that it was an enjoyable, and professionally fulfilling experience.
Pleased to have my dark fantasy short story, ‘Brown Eyes’, sold to Bards and Sages. An unusual piece that starts in the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, and finishes on Queen’s Bridge over the Yarra in Melbourne. I believe it will be published in July 2018.
Pleased to see my flash piece, ‘How the Mighty Fall’ joining an excellent TOC in Trickster’s Treats #1: Tales from the Pumpkin Patch, edited by Steve Dillon. All stories had to be 666 or less words – mine ended up something like 660. All the stories are grouped under sub themes – mine under ‘carnival’ which is apt for a Circus story…