Snapshot 2014: Lara Morgan

lara mogan 1

Lara Morgan is the author of The Rosie Black Chronicles, a YA dystopian trilogy set in a future Australia, and the epic fantasy series The Twins of Saranthium. She is published in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Turkey. Before becoming a full time writer she was a project manager in the Arts and editor of a community newspaper. She lives in Geraldton, Western Australia with her husband and son.

 

 

1. Your current project is a series that has been a long time in the making. How do you feel about working on the  The Twins of Saranthium again?

At the moment I’m working on the third and final book in my epic fantasy series, The Twins of Saranthium while promoting the second book, Betrayal, which has just come out in ebook in English through Harlequin Escape. The first two books in the series, Awakening and Betrayal were previously both published as physical books in 2008, and 2010 but the series was dropped by my then English language publisher before the third was finished or released so it’s been a kind of resurrection from the ashes for this series and a long road to finding an alternative publisher.  Book three was partly finished in limbo for a time while I wrote other things and tried to get on with it all. So now it’s an odd mixture of feelings seeing Betrayal released again ( and revisiting it for the promotion side) but it’s certainly helped me get this third book on its way to the finishing line!

2. Your previous work was quite different – the wonderful YA SF trilogy, The Rosie Black Chronicles. Where did the inspiration for that series come from?

It’s funny where things come from because the starting idea for my YA series, The Rosie Black Chronicles, which has done quite well came from a short story that was rejected by Andromeda Spaceways Magazine (no ill will held btw! Great mag!).  I had no plans to write a trilogy  or even for it to be YA until I looked at a character from that story and started to think; hmm what if? But isn’t that often where the best ideas come from?

3. So what genre do you think you will be working in next?

I have so many ideas for more stories but at the moment barely any time to write them. With a two year old and another baby about to be born in a month I’m staring down the barrel of what will most likely be a very barren time production wise.  I will probably end up writing a stand alone YA or perhaps a contemporary romance, I haven’t decided, it all depends on how much real life allows.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

I have a bit of an appetite for travel memoir or travel related stories lately – probably because I just can’t go anywhere right now! I really enjoyed Alisa Piper’s Sinning Across Spain, where she walked the Camino Trail, and I have read most of Nicky Pellegrino’s novels which all feature delicious Italian locations and food in one way or another.  I also finally found the time to read Melina Marchetta’s wonderful Lumatere series and was so inspired both on a fantasy writer and a YA writer level. She thoroughly deserved all the accolades she received for those books and I wish she’d write another – even though it would make no sense in the world she created!

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

Probably the biggest change for me has been having the fantasy books come out solely as ebooks (in English anyway) which has meant I have to put a lot more effort into promoting through online avenues and trying to keep my blog and website current. It suits me in some ways because I live so far from the big cities and just can’t go to things because of the expense and time involved,  but on the other hand I also find it oddly isolating. Not having a physical book in my hands to show anyone, or to sell when I’m invited to a convention or festival, can make me feel I didn’t really write anything at all or that I’m just pretending to be an author. It’s an odd dislocating feeling. Five years? Hopefully I’ll still be publishing physical books but will also have better sales for the ebooks. Writing wise I will probably move into writing more YA and some contemporary works and probably reading more ebooks ( I currently don’t have an ereader) but still spending most of my book money on the physical books, it’s the tangible feel of holding the work that I refuse to let go of.

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith worked for some twenty years as an editor and publisher at HarperCollins and was the Associate Publisher of Voyager books for 14 of those years. Early on at HarperCollins she spent some years working on children’s books and also worked on a range of adult literature through the Varuna/HarperCollins Manuscript Development Program. Stephanie left HarperCollins at the end of March 2012 to relocate to Tasmania and set up a freelance business in structural and copy editing, proofreading, and manuscript appraisal and reports. She was awarded the Peter McNamara Achievement Award at the 2003 Australian National SF Convention at Perth’s SwanCon. She was one of the panel of five judges for the 2013 World Fantasy Awards.

1. Having officially ‘retired’ from your editorial position at HarperCollins and moved down to Tasmania for the quiet life you continue to do freelance work. Could you tell us about the most recent series you have been working on?

Since moving to Hobart I’m working at home (yaaay, no more commuting four hours a day) editing, proofreading and doing manuscript appraisals/reports. I work in fiction mainly, but have worked on some narrative non-fiction. (Lucky for me, the lovely Rochelle Fernandez at Voyager sends me work, so I still get my hit :-)).

Most recently in the speculative fiction genre, though, I’ve worked on the third book of Amanda Bridgeman’s fabulous Aurora series from Momentum. Excellent scifi/military space opera series, and also a thriller. Carrie Welles realises a dream to work on Space Duty Division and finds herself on the Aurora under Captain Saul Harris. Aurora: Darwin is the first book, where the ship is sent off on a rescue mission; the crew find themselves in a terrifying situation for which they are not prepared. Each book deftly builds the tension, uncovering betrayal and murder and raising the stakes in surprising ways. The series engages the reader on many levels and is well-paced and intensely gripping, while also canvassing serious questions about science and genetics, the military and industry, complicity and duty, love, honour … all the good stuff! The author doesn’t sacrifice character for overly technical details or description … relationships are as messy as they can get between a group of people (male and female) on a spaceship anywhere. The third book, ‘Meridian’, is due to be released on 11th September, so if you haven’t already, find the first two books now. Book two, Pegasus ended on a shocking and very emotional (for the reader) cliffhanger …

I’ve always loved scifi and, although not undergoing an explosion as fantasy did, science fiction has always been hovering. I think it’s gradually easing back into favour with readers, and it seems space opera is continuing to provide that broad link into the scifi genre and to provide writers with the opportunity to be somewhat subversive. The more that is written and published in any genre, the easier it is for a breadth of storytelling and styles to make their way out into the world. Stories build upon stories; the zeitgeist breathes, is alive, not just in terms of what is in or out of ‘fashion’, but as an organic process of action and reaction over a period of time.

2. You have worked with many of the best-known and loved SF and fantasy writers in Australia. Looking back, what have been some of the highlights of working in Australian spec-fic publishing?

It’s wonderful to work closely with so many different writers, who were all keen to talk about their work and quite happy to be edited … for writers, it can feel very intrusive, so when they had me on the other end of the phone, they no doubt felt quite frustrated at times, but invariably managed to keep their humour and manners intact :-). Then there were the wonderful people I met at conventions and the conversations about writing and reading; so many ideas float through those gatherings and people make ‘what if’ ideas happen more often than not. It was wonderful to watch the growth in number of local conventions over the time I worked for HarperCollins on the Voyager list. So many people in the speculative fiction community give a great deal of time to keep these communication channels alive and kicking. Also great to see the growth of small press and magazines, and the growth in online publishing; the continuing opportunity to publish short stories gives authors a chance to experiment and think about the business generally.

3. Do you have any plans for your next project? Have you ever considered writing fiction yourself?

The project in hand is editing Steve Wheeler’s third book: Obsidian Maul (third book in the series, A Fury of Aces). I’m looking forward to this one too … space technology, survival, politics, humans and aliens.

I don’t have any all-encompassing projects in hand; freelance editing is what I intend to keep doing for the next few years. Always open to ideas though :-). As to writing fiction … in short, no, no plans in that regard.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

Apart from what I’m working on, I haven’t done a huge amount of reading, and what I have read is often in the crime and general fiction areas. But I’ve just finished reading some unpublished manuscripts, so I have a stash of books I intend to start on, which includes Glenda Larke’s new book, The Lascar’s Dagger, Mitchell Hogan’s A Crucible of Souls and Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl. Then there’s Death at the Blue Elephant, Janeen Webb’s new collection and, on the crime front, Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko.

Thinking back (some, not all, that follow are from the WFA judging): Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island was a beautiful and disturbing read along with her collection Cracklescape. I really enjoyed James Bradley’s ‘Beauty’s Sister’, a beautifully written novella, and also ‘Tapestry’ a time-slip story by Fiona McIntosh. Lisa Hannet and Angela Slatter’s Midnight and Moonshine and Anna Tambour’s Crandolin.  A fun and fast read was Livia Day’s (aka Tansy Rayner-Roberts) A Trifle Dead … a crime novel set in Hobart. And, not an Australian writer, but I’ve recently read Louise Welsh’s A Lovely Way to Burn, the first of a trilogy; a crime/thriller with a dystopian theme.

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

The way I work hasn’t changed. I’ve been editing onscreen from way back, so that will continue … I guess it’s mostly the writing styles and the interests of writers and readers that changes. Publishing is going through change, but editors remain a valued part of the process.

In five years … I’ll no doubt still be reading the wonderful George RR Martin’s series! I’ll keep an eye on the Aurealis Awards as they’re useful to hear about new Australian works (plus the online blogs, reviews, etc). I find Keith Stevenson’s reviews on the Newtown Review of Books site useful (so my list of to-buy has Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky and Max Barry’s Lexicon on it). I’d like to think that in five years I’ll be reading some excellent cross-over between fantasy and science fiction. The speculative fiction genre is maturing and has a huge amount of potential to reach a very wide range of readers.

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Sylvia Kelso

Sylvia KelsoSylvia Kelso lives in North Queensland. She writes fantasy and SF set in analogue or alternate Australian settings. She has published 8 fantasy novels, including Amberlight and The Moving Water, which were finalists for best fantasy novel in the Australian Aurealis genre fiction awards. Her short stories appear in Australia and the US, including anthologies from DAW and 12th Planet Press. Her novella “Spring in Geneva,” a riff on Frankenstein, came out in 2013 with Aqueduct Press, followed by two short stories in anthologies, “The Honour of the Ferrocarril” and “The Price of Kush.”

 

1. Your more recent publications include the novella Spring in Geneva, published as part of the fabulous Conversation Pieces from Aqueduct Press. You describe this as your ‘riff on Frankenstein”: what prompted you to want to re-engage with this key text in the SF canon?

A re-engagement with Frankenstein was actually built into the cfs for “Geneva”: BookView Cafe’s first Shadow Conspiracy anthology posited that the Frankenstein experiment really happened: it was master-minded by Byron and Shelley as Evil Overlords wanting to exploit the poor “automatons.”

Though most other stories then followed the “automatons” abroad, I had lectured on Frankenstein and knew both book and background quite well. So my story began as something about Shelley herself, then a collision between the Monster, Mary, and a stiff-and-starchy Swiss banker’s son, who would be delightfully appalled by the mayhem the cfs envisaged. My novum was an image of the Monster in a Geneva park, trying to eat the hyacinths.

This was meant to terrify the banker-narrator, Anton, but he turned out an SF geek, too curious to be scared. Then Mary herself appeared, telling how she destroyed the first Infernal Device and rescued the Monster, and we left the original, since said Monster was already composed and articulate, and had assumed the significant name of William. (Name of Mary’s real father and first son.) But the period and the antho then pulled Geneva towards The Prisoner of Zenda, with lots of swash-and-buckle, sword-fights – or at least sword-brawls – and much stifled adoration as Anton fell Rudolf Rassendyll style for Mary Shelley – though no red rose once a year at the end, thank Heavens. Then I managed a brief homage to Nikolai Tesla, as you do, in these days of steampunk. I also hurt my ribs slipping in straight-faced lines like “his nether limbs,” and, “By Heavens, I will crush you all!”

Overall, perhaps I wanted, she said, very straight-faced, to lighten Frankenstein up a bit.

I did make one conscious re-engagement. In the original, the Monster laments over Frankenstein’s corpse with mingled hate and grief. In “Geneva,” just before the anti-conspirators’ climactic action, Mary relates her own lifestory, and confesses to feeling toward Godwin much as William-the-Monster might toward Byron. Feminists have done much work on Frankenstein as a mother’s novel, but I’ve always thought that putting the bio by the novel makes an equally clear argument for calling it a father-book. Especially given the way Godwin actually treated his daughter.

2. One of your most original and well received works is the series beginning with Amberlight, which takes a number of feminist sf tropes and turns them on their head. What were you trying to do with this series?

About the only conscious aim I had for Amberlight was to see how long I could walk a tight-rope between fantasy and SF: genre distinctions were much on my mind at that point in my PhD, and I used to regard Amberlight as “fieldwork,” as Octavia Butler called the afflictions of one of her heroines.

When the novel did get published there was wonderful disagreement on its correct pigeonhole. One reviewer called it political fantasy, one said feminist SF, one claimed it wasn’t feminist enough, and it founded an entire sub-genre of “pouty slave-boy” on the Feminist SF Wiki. So that project I count a success.

The series’ ongoing creative project, however, was to understand/discover the nature of the qherrique, the novum the creative gang threw at me in the first paragraph. Animal, vegetable, mineral? Creature, object, animate, inanimate, sentient, insentient? It took three novels to get past its own answer to such questions: “Your words do not work, do not work, do not work…”

Post-draft, though, I realised Amberlight was also about gender politics: in fact, it rewrote Nelson S. Bond’s 1930s story, “The Priestess Who Rebelled,” where doing so at the behest of a handsome male stranger toppled a matriarchy. Given my position in feminism, the re-write, not surprisingly, didn’t build a “good” matriarchy, but illustrated power’s corruptive capacity for either gender.

So my unsurprisingly (to me) bad matriarchy collapsed at the end of Amberlight. Riversend and Source moved to the more Utopian project of constructing a community with gender equity. They began in what Raymond Williams called the hardest part of such imagining: not a complete Utopian There, but showing how to get There from Here. That involved both internal and external politics for such a small, fragile community, and dealing with the joker in the pack: the return of the qherrique, but in a very different relationship.

The fourth book, Dragonfly, took some 4 or 5 years to incubate. It’s a literal daughter-of book, dealing with the next generation of characters and of problems with the qherrique and the world that succeeded Amberlight. It’s also an almost orthodox heterosexual lovestory – except for two sidewinding critical facts: the age of the two lovers, and the presence of the qherrique. I hope to have it out somewhere by the end of this year.

3. What projects are you working on next? Are you continuing to focus on your creative work, or do you still spend  equal time on SF/fantasy criticism?

Currently I have nothing creative under way, but the sequel to “Spring in Geneva” is making increasingly loud rumbles at the stove-back. So far I have the title: a significant phrase from “Geneva,” “The Waters of the Amazon,” and an opening note – “Geneva’s” form is epistolary overall – from Anton to his friend in Calais, demanding Pierre hold any ship headed for the West Indies – and find him a Portuguese grammar.

What comes after that, I have no idea, beyond the backstory: Mary and her Williams probably fled to South America, unspecified where. Anton promised that if she ever needed him, wherever she or he was – were? He would come. Obviously…

As for criticism/theory, in recent years I have published a non-fiction collection from Aqueduct, Three Observations and a Dialogue: Round and About SF, edited a special issue of the journal Paradoxa on Ursula K. Le Guin, and the fourth Wiscon Chronicles as well as continuing to present papers on a number of fantasy works, including Wind Follower, a rare example of African American women’s fantasy by Carole McDonnell, and some papers/articles on religion and sense of place in modern fantasy. I’ve always done fiction and criticism, sometimes literally, as with Amberlight, in tandem. At present I’m revising a paper on Lois Bujold’s Sharing Knife (fantasy) series for a one-day conference on her work in Cambridge, UK. It’s been a trial, since the series is new critical ground for me, and almost every paragraph offers the seed of an entire section, or even a paper in itself.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

With embarrassment I admit, about the only current Australian author I read is Kerry Greenwood. But I’ve followed her Phryne Fisher series with interest for the way it researches the Australian past, and also for its determination to retell that past with strong shadings of Difference.

Admittedly, among the Chinese, Russian, Lithuanian, and other variations on whitebread Anglo-Saxo stock, I have yet to find any indigenous Australians, and there’s an increasing tendency for Phoebe to appear a Lady Bountiful rather than a real activist like her sister. But otherwise I find the series is pretty good.

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

Changes over the last decade have certainly made me spend a lot more time on the Web, or in writing for promotion – not that I ever got much in the way of promotion from traditional publishers. Now that much of my work is appearing, either in first or reprint form as ebooks, and there are the options of self-publishing without vanity via Smashwords and Kindle, I do feel a certain freedom from concern that things will find a place.

One recent example: after the short version of “Spring in Geneva” missed the original BVC anthos, and I had expanded to the novella length, which meant a good deal more work invested, I approached both an Australian publisher and Aqueduct with the mental proviso: OK, give these people a go, but let them know that it’s only a step on the road to Smashwords… There was considerably less angst about the process than any other submission I’ve made.

What am I likely to be publishing, writing OR reading in 5 years time? I have no idea. If the planet survives in its current state, I will be most interested to find out!

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Kim Westwood

kim westwoodKim Westwood was a weedy asthmatic kid who devoured books like dinner. This made her want to cook up her own stuff. In 2002 she won an Aurealis Award for her short story ‘The Oracle’. Since then her stories have been chosen for several Year’s Best anthologies in Australia and the US, and for ABC radio. She has also won the Judges’ Prize at the Scarlet Stiletto women’s crime short story awards. She is the recipient of a Varuna Fellowship for her first novel, The Daughters of Moab. Her second, The Courier’s New Bicycle, won an Aurealis and a Ditmar Award, and made it onto the honours list for the James Tiptree Jnr Award. It was also shortlisted for the Ned Kelly and the Davitt crime fiction awards.

1. Your last novel The Courier’s New Bicycle was very well received, winning both the Ditmar and Aurealis awards and being shortlisted for the Tiptree. The book explores some very serious political and philosophical issues including gender, animal rights and democratic freedoms; do you think spec-fic offers you more freedom to explore these contemporary issues?

No, not really. I think of ‘spec-fic’ as a genre label applied post-fact. Way before that, the story emerges with its own flavour of prose, and that’s what decides both the parameters and trajectory of my exploration. The Courier’s New Bicycle has an alternative-present setting with a grim ‘what-if’ scenario that a broad cross-section of readers responded to (along with the three awards you mentioned, it was shortlisted for two crime fiction prizes: a Davitt and a Ned Kelly), so if you want to talk in genre terms, I think it straddles a few of them. That said, my writer’s mind veers to the ‘what if’ of a world turned on its head, which is something the spec-fic realm is very conversant with, and adept at.

2. Your previous short stories and novel, The Daughters of Moab, all tend to have a very strong Australian tone and feel deeply connected to place and setting. How much influence has country had on your writing?

An enormous amount; but lately not enough. The Daughters of Moab and a number of my short stories were responses to the different wildnesses of Australia: the direct experience of them. Those external landscapes influenced and changed my internal landscape. The Courier’s New Bicycle was my response to an urban environment—the ‘socioscape’ of Melbourne—and the story grew out of those atmospheric inner-city alleyways. The current novel I’m writing, however, has gone very interior—an intense and murky mindscape—and I’m going to need some country soon to recover from it. I got out my tent the other day. It was mouldy. Too much dark space and not enough air. The spores of the universe are telling me: go bush.

3. What are you working on currently? Do you plan any new novels in the near future, or are you focusing on short stories?

Last November I had a short story, ‘Hole’, published in the Review of Australian Fiction. It was the first short work I’d written in a while, and it felt good to be back in that mode. My current work—the murky one—is actually the sequel to The Courier’s New Bicycle, and I received an ACT arts grant this year to complete it, which helps enormously on the invigoration front. So for now the short story ideas are taking a little sojourn, not enough room in my head for any worlds other than the one I’ve stumbled into.

  1. What Australian works have you loved recently?

Courtney Collins’ The Burial and Mark Tedeschi’s Eugenia.

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

The way I work—the process that produces a short story or a novel—is the same as it’s always been: basic. Woody Allen tapping away on his old Olympia typewriter comes to mind. And coffee. The world will keep introducing new machinery to help us create, and new methods of connectivity with which to communicate, but my process involves tunnelling down (think wombat) and buffering against the noise. I’ve always joked about being a Luddite (and as with the originals, it’s not about the machines, per se, but about what factory environments do to individuals—that means chickens and pigs and cows too), so it doesn’t surprise me that right now, mid-novel, I’m having a Walden moment. A crofter’s cottage on some Scottish isle sounds good. Alternatively, I could heed those spores and take my tent bush.

As to five years from now…well, another novel. That’s my answer to all three parts of the question.

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Andrew McGahan

andrew_mcgahanAndrew McGahan is one of Australia’s finest writers of fiction. His first novel, Praise, won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award in 1992. In 2004, The White Earth won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, The Age Book of the Year, and The Courier Mail Book of the Year Award. His most recent adult novel is Wonders of a Godless World. In 2009, Andrew was shortlisted for the Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards for his contribution to Australian Literature. The Ship Kings is his first work of fantasy. Andrew lives in Victoria. For more information visit the Ship Kings site at http://shipkings.com.au/

 

1. August marks the release of your most recent book, The War of the Four Isles, the third in your well received YA series the Ship Kings. Are you enjoying this foray into YA fantasy and exposure to a very different audience than your previous works?

Yes, still enjoying it vastly. To be honest, I thought when I started that I’d probably be a bit sick of it by now, and be looking forward to getting Book 4 out of the way and the series finished. But instead I seem to relish it more with each volume – and I can already tell I’m going to miss the Four Isles world when it’s all over.

2. Your past novels span an incredibly diverse range of styles and genres, including a crime novel and the wonderful Wonders of a Godless World, which won the Aurealis award for best SF novel. Do you deliberately set out to experiment with different genres?

I’ve only ever done it deliberately once. For my third book I made the conscious decision to try a crime novel – I couldn’t think of what to write at the time, and a crime novel seemed as likely a way out of the impasse as any other – and then set about making up a story. With all the other novels the tale has presented itself first, and the genre, if any, has been defined by the story.
3. The Ship Kings series is slated to finish with a fourth book,  The Ocean of the Dead. Do you see yourself continuing to write in YA and/or fantasy?

That’s a tricky one, and the decision lies at least a year off yet. At the moment though, it feels unlikely that my next book after Ship Kings would be more fantasy. That said, I’m not sure I’ll be heading directly back to the sober world of straight fiction either. I do love a good ghost story … and there’s a tale that I’ve been considering which happens to tend that way. But we’ll see.
4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

I’ve been that flat out over this last year I haven’t read much of anything at all, sad to say – and I don’t think any of it was Australian. The one book of speculative fiction that I’ve truly loved of late is in fact Irish – Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policemen, written in 1939 but currently enjoying a popular revival. Officially blew my mind. Upon finishing it, I immediately turned around and read it again, just for the sheer joy and wit of the language, and the strangeness of the tale.
5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

These are wild days, undoubtedly. I’m sure it’s a cliché already to say so, but the writing world is undergoing its greatest revolution since the invention of the printing press; the signs and stresses are visible everywhere. It’s not a revolution that readers have to worry about – books will keep coming, more of them than ever, and cheaper than ever – but it’s a complicated time to be earning a living if you’re on the writer side of the equation, with the old systems collapsing and the emerging systems not quite universal or perfected yet.

So – five years from now? Who the hell knows …

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Kate Gordon

SONY DSC Kate Gordon lives in Hobart, in a mint-green cottage, with her husband, her very strange cat, Mephy Danger Gordon, and a wonderful little girl who goes by the name of Tiger. Kate dreams that one day she and her little family will live in another cottage, by the beach, with goats and chickens. In the meantime, she fills her house with books, perfects her gluten-free baking technique, has marvellous adventures with Tiger, and she writes. Kate’s first book, Three Things About Daisy Blue – a Young Adult novel about travel, love, self-acceptance and letting go – was published in the Girlfriend series by Allen and Unwin in 2010. Her second book, Thyla, was published by Random House Australia in April 2011 and her third book, Vulpi, the sequel to Thyla, was published in April 2012. Her latest book, Writing Clementine, was published in June 2014 by Allen and Unwin.
Kate was the recipient of 2011 and 2012 Arts Tasmania Assistance to Individuals grants, which means she can now spend more time doing what she loves. You can find her online at http://www.kategordon.com.au/blog

1. Your new book is the heartfelt and touching coming of age story, Writing Clementine. While it is mainstream YA, there are speculative elements present in the wonderfully eclectic and supportive steampunk society featured in the book. Was this influenced by your own encounters with ‘geek culture’ and the spec-fic community?

It was partly influenced by my genre crush on steampunk. I have friends who write steampunk novels and I am thoroughly envious. I’m totally in love with the aesthetic and wish I had the guts to dress like Clem does (though, I’d probably go for the knickerbockers and waistcoat, rather than the corset)! Funnily enough, though, the greater part of the influence came from my time in the SCA (Society of the Creative Anachronism – mediaeval re-enactment, for the laypeople out there). I didn’t do it for very long, but I’m fascinated with the whole idea of accountants and teachers and hairdressers who ditch their business suits and aprons to don armour and go jousting and feasting all weekend. I guess it’s the same for any fandom – the attraction of casting off your mundane garb and becoming someone entirely else for a little while. From Dungeons and Dragons to WoW to Magic Cards to cosplay – the freedom to totally lose yourself in a whole other world is intoxicating. I’d love to write a sequel to Clementine, seeing where she goes with it!

2. Your previous series was a YA  fantasy  duology about shapeshifters set against some of the darker elements of Tasmanian history. What inspired you to tell this story as fantasy rather than straight history?

I’ve always loved historical reimaginings. Maybe it’s just a childhood watching Doctor Who and Monty Python – I’ve always got a little thrill from thinking “what if”. What if this time-travelling alien really did land in Elizabethan England? What if Brian was the new messiah? What if (as in Heather Rose’s The Butterfly Man), Lord Lucan really did scarper to Mount Wellington, Tasmania after offing the housemaid? It was the last one that inspired me the most – the idea that there’s something going on up that grand, mysterious mountain that we don’t know about. Having also had a long-stranding passion for shapeshifters, thanks mostly to Tamora Pierce, it just made logical sense to me that, if there is something strange going on up the mountain, it’s probably shapeshifting Tasmanian tigers. And there are so many straight Tasmanian histories out there (which is a brilliant thing, as each one uncovers some wondrous new truth), I thought we could do with one that had were-thylacine in it.

3. Do you see yourself returning to fantasy at all, or is there another genre you would like to write in? What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Yes! I definitely want to continue writing spec fic in some shape or form. I really love horror as well, and have been inspired to write more of that after re-reading Lovecraft recently. I want to explore horror, fantasy, paranormal and other spec fic genres (maybe even steampunk, if I’m brave enough), in a short fiction form, as that’s something I’ve never felt was my strong suit, and I’m looking for a challenge. I’m really keen on writing some magic realist picture books, too. I’m really into Shaun Tan. I’d love to do something like what he does, eventually. At the moment I’m working on another contemporary YA, but that’s only because that story was calling to me. I have no idea what I’ll do next!

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

Ah! So many! But here are just a few of the ones I’ve read and adored very recently:

  • Two Wolves, by Tristan Bancks
  • The One and Only Jack Chant, by Rosie Borella
  • Cracked, by Clare Strahan
  • Jumping Fences, by Karen Wood
  • Kill the Music, by Nansi Kunze
  • My Life As An Alphabet, by Barry Jonsberg
  • Girl Defective, by Simmone Howell
  • The First Third, by Will Kostakis
  • The Zigzag Effect, by Lili Wilkinson

… And a few non-YA:

  • Ink Black Magic, by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Peacemaker, by Marianne de Pierres
  • Eyrie, by Tim Winton
  • Coal Creek, by Alex Miller
  • The Long Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan
  • Bay of Fires, by Poppy Gee
  • Barracuda, by Christos Tsiolkas
  • The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty
  • The Blue Cathedral, by Cameron Hindrum

… And some picture books, for my Tiger:

  • Mr Chicken Lands on London, by Leigh Hobbs
  • Monsters of Tasmania, by Rachel Tribout
  • I Was Only Nineteen, by John Schumann, illustrated by Craig Smith
  • Welcome Home, by Christina Booth
  • The Rules of Summer, by Shaun Tan

And, oh, there are probably a bazillion more I’ve forgotten!

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

Hmm … Tough question. I guess it’s a bit harder for everyone to get published than it was even a few years back, when I started out. My first book was published in 2010, so not so long ago, but things have changed radically since then. I’m very, very, very lucky to have found a brilliant publisher in Allen and Unwin, who had faith in me. I’m lucky to have a great agent, too. I never for a moment forget my gratitude for those two serendipitous, wonderful things. I’m actually excited, though, about the future of publishing. As long as marvelous publishers keep up with changes, I think the years ahead are thrilling ones. As for what I’ll be reading … The same, I guess. I have little time, so I pick my reads carefully. I rely on word-of-mouth and recommendations for my next book, and I’ll continue to do so. I’ll be writing whatever story calls to me. I’m hoping people will still want to read what I have to write. I’m eager to see what the future offers up!

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Marianne de Pierres

MdP author pic_web

 

MdP author pic_webMarianne de Pierres is the author of the popular PARRISH PLESSIS trilogy, the award-winning SENTIENTS OF ORION science fiction series, and the genre-bending PEACEMAKER Western/urban fantasy series. The PARRISH PLESSIS series has been translated into many languages and adapted into a role-playing game, while the PEACEMAKER series is being adapted into a novel adventure game. Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy a dark fantasy series for teens. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs (and once upon a time three sons–before they grew up). Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at:  www.mariannedepierres.com  www.tarasharp.com.au and www.burnbright.com.au

1.    Your latest release Peacemaker has had an interesting history, having started out as a webcomic. Could you tell us more about how this project began and has developed?

Peacemaker actually began its life as a short story entitled Gin Jackson. It was published firstly in Agog! Smashing Stories in 2004 and then later reprinted in a FableCroft anthology. The short story was set in the outback and had a strong spiritual theme, but when I began writing the novel, a few years later, I changed the setting to the city.

Sixty or so pages into it, I became obsessed with the idea of turning it into a digital comic. I’m still not sure why! That process took months, as I had to find an artist and teach myself a new way to write. I was reasonably happy with the first issue, but my artist had a change of direction in her life and couldn’t draw issue 2, so I lost the impetus to continue.

The story just wouldn’t go away though, and I later went back to working on the novel. Angry Robot bought it in 2013 (plus the sequel), and it was published this year. In 2014, Stirfire Productions optioned it to adapt into a novel adventure game. A strange journey, indeed, for the little short story that could…

2.    You have now published more than 15 novels spanning SF, crime, YA and now western/urban fantasy.  Looking back, what book or series are you most proud of?

I think I’m proud of them all for one reason or another, but I wrote the Sentients of Orion series during a time of ill health and personal pressure, so it was a triumph against odds. Of all my works, it remains the series that required the most research, the most detailed world-building, and some hard-arse, headache-inducing thinking to bring the story threads together at the end. I feel like I sweated blood over it.

3.    Next year should see the release of the second book in the Peacemaker series, Dealbreaker, as well as the intriguingly titled Emo Traders. What other projects do you have in the works?

I’m such a flibbertigibbet; I have lots of project ideas that are in various stages of development. But the two that have priority are Dealbreaker (Peacemaker sequel) and Pharmakon, a near future thriller/road journey. Then I’m also working on a crime novella for Twelfth Planet Press, and Emo Traders, a YA novel about trading emotions to gain access to an alternate reality. Starting a new writing project is the worst kind of addiction!

4.    What Australian works have you loved recently?

A ton of good stuff has come out lately from Jo Anderton, Dirk Flinthart, Andrew McRae, Alan Baxter and many, many others. And every day something drops into my inbox about another new Aussie author. I’m really looking forward to Keith Stevenson’s and Russell Proctor’ debut novels this year.  And Anna Tambour’s new collection in 2015. And Trent Jamieson’s new novel from Text. However, picking one above the others could prove to be a dangerous act on my part :-)

5.    Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

Changes would be something of an understatement, Helen. Publishing’s gone through the kind of transformation that music experienced a few years ago. The main way it’s affected me (as with all writers) is financially. And it’s so hard to know exactly where the path is leading. Obviously, there will always be a desire for stories, but how (in what form) people want to consume them, is evolving. I honestly don’t know where it will take us, other than increasingly online.

Personally, I’ve felt this kind of perverse desire to write more slowly because of it—to savour the experience, produce the absolute best I can, and not be hurried or worried into trying to make the same income as before. I think it’s a stress reaction, but I’m running with it!

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Dirk Flinthart

squareflinthart1Dirk Flinthart is an Australian writer of  speculative fiction, living in north-eastern Tasmania. When he isn’t staring blankly at a computer monitor, Flinthart spends his time raising three kids, handling a fifty-acre rural property, teaching martial arts, cooking, drinking, and playing with swords and bows. Notable to date mostly for short stories, he is also the editor of the Canterbury 2100 anthology, (originally published by AGOG! press, re-released in ebook form in 2013 by FableCroft), and has the distinction of sharing a Ditmar award with Margo Lanagan, which he is quite proud of.

His first novel, Path of Night was recently released by Fablecroft, and is planned as the first in a series of stories centering around Michael Devlin. You can find him in his online lair at http://dflinthart.wordpress.com/

1. The recently released Path of Night is your first novel and also marks a bit of a shift for you in genre terms. You seem to have had a lot of fun with this novel – how did you find working in the longer form?

Okay… about writing a novel.  It took me a while to find a rhythm for the longer form. I’ve tackled it a couple times before, each time getting a bit closer to where I wanted to be. The key to this novel, though, was that word ‘fun’.

See, like most writers I fell into the game because I like writing. As in: I would rather sit down and thump out an interesting story than, say, attend a footy match or go mountain biking. Storytelling is fun!

At least, it was when I started. The problem is that the more you write, the more you start thinking about publishing. And the more you focus on publication, the more you try to polish your writing to a publishable level. As writers, we get together in groups and we pull apart each others’ prose. We agonise over Oxford commas. We write, and rewrite, and edit, and rewrite again, and then like as not, we bin the outcome and start over. And if we don’t get published, we tell ourselves it’s because we haven’t sharpened our technique enough yet…

Somewhere amongst all those stories, those awards and shortlists and nominations, I kind of lost sight of the fun, you know? Oh, certainly the challenge was still there. I mean — I really love some of the pieces I’ve written. “This Is Not My Story”, which got me a shared Ditmar with Margo Lanagan — I think that piece came out beautifully, and it says something that I still find valuable and touching. But writing it was hard work, and there was tremendous thought involved in it.

I tried writing a novel that way. And who knows? There may come a time when I actually write a novel with the same intensity as some of those short stories. But for “Path of Night”, I gave myself permission to kick back and have fun… and it paid off. I enjoyed the hell out of the story and the characters, and I’m enjoying hacking around with the sequel. I’d also argue that it’s really not much of a shift in genre. I mean sure — it shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards under horror, yes. Which I am not known for. And the major arc of one of the two central characters hinges on a pretty damned horrifying decision, true. But much of the book is action, adventure, humour and crime. Those are all very much part of my genre baggage.

The sequel to “Path of Night” is well underway, as it happens. The title is “Midnight in Chinatown”. I’m still working largely with Sydney as a backdrop, but this time there will be some wicked kung-fu vampire Night-beasts, and I plan to incorporate the famous Mardi Gras parade into some particularly nifty action sequences. And yes, once again the intent is to enjoy the process of writing as well as creating something which is fun to read.

The feedback on “Path of Night” has been excellent. One thing I’m really pleased with: both overseas readers and Australians have remarked on the Australian nature of the book — setting, characters, dialogue, etc. It hasn’t put off the foreign folks, and I haven’t seen the ‘cultural cringe’ from the good people of Australia, so — hey. Maybe we can start presenting ourselves to the world again, instead of taking the easy way out and setting everything we write in America, or England, or whatever.

 2. Despite your very hectic life, you continue to produce a steady stream of short stories appearing in numerous collections. Do you enjoy working within the constraints of a theme or set sub-genre?

Now, as for that steady stream of short stories… it’s a bit less steady, of late. That’s mostly due to the Masters degree commitment, but the next Night Beast novel is playing a role there too, as is my ongoing commitment to my children, and to martial arts training and teaching. On top of that, I got used to the freedom of movement inherent to the novel length. It’s nice to be able to launch a few sub-plots, set things moving at a pace which permits them to unfold in different directions. It wasn’t easy coming back to the short-story length, trying to bring all that complexity and devilment down under five or six thousand words.

I like short stories, though. The challenge in doing them well is addictive, and reading a really good short story is just the best thing ever.

Themes and set sub-genres are – well, they’re another kind of challenge. Left to myself I generate story ideas fairly slowly. They bubble to the surface every few weeks, and I take notes of the ones I like. But when confronted by a themed anthology… well, for the “Bloodstones” (Ticonderoga Publications, 2012) anthology, I bumped into Amanda Pillar at a convention and asked her if there was anything interesting in the works because I’d enjoyed working in the earlier “Damnation And Dames” collection. She laid out the guidelines on “Bloodstones” for me, and added that I’d come along a little late. But that was okay, because within five minutes of talking to her about the theme (ancient mythical creatures and monsters in a modern setting… but less of the vampires and werewolves, more of the off-beat beasties) I had the outline of “The Bull In Winter” in my head. And when Simon Petrie nudged me for “Use Only As Directed” (Peggy Bright Books), I’d worked out “The Eighth Day” in about half an hour. And again, recently: for “Kaleidoscope” (Twelfth Planet) the major concepts of ‘Vanilla’ were laid out within hours of hearing about the theme of the anthology.

I like themes and constraints. I think my brain works better when it believes it’s trapped…

3. Path of Night is first in a series – when can we expect to see the follow up books, and what else do you have in the works?

Path of Night/Midnight in Chinatown isn’t the only longer piece in the works. I’m supposed to be assembling a collection of short stuff, and I’m being encouraged to write more on the Red Priest, one of my favourite characters from stories past. I’d actually like to do a full collection of Red Priest stories, but it will take some thinking about. He’s a monster hunter of sorts, you see, and although I personally know his backstory and his longer arc, there’s a real risk that a collection of stories featuring him could easily feel like a kind of fourteenth-century “Supernatural”. The world has moved on. Once upon a time, Robert Howard could write a series of stories in which Conan the Barbarian essentially beat up any and all problems by virtue of bigger muscles and better swordplay. Predictable stuff: good, hearty pulp fiction. But fantasy readers are a smidgen more sophisticated these days — or at least, I imagine they are.

I’ve been careful with the Red Priest stories so far. They’re all about developing the character and hinting at the backstory as much as they are about conquering fiendish creatures. In “The Red Priest’s Homecoming” he gets to rediscover something of his family in Venice, and form a new connection there — while battling something horrible. And in “The Red Priest’s Vigil”, he risks his life and freedom to save an old (dead!) friend from demonic doom while simultaneously thwarting the machinations of a sinister sub-cabal of the Spanish Inquisition. “The Garden of the Djinn” sees him exorcising a creature which is apparently not at all evil, and we learn a little about why he’s driven to do these things, and about his own, possibly monstrous (all right, Mister Nietszche. Sit down in the back, there!) nature.

So they’re not “monster of the week” stories, you see. And despite the derring-do, action and adventure, Tommaso Dellaforte — the Red Priest — is a complicated sort of character. I can probably put one or two lightweight stories into a collection for the sheer fun of it, but by and large I have to fit them into the greater arc of his life, and to imbue them with enough significance to make them feel like milestones in a tumultous career… Working on that!

Meanwhile, there’s the Masters degree. There’s a ridiculously long piece of steampunk story-telling in ottava rima poetic form coming out of that already, and there will be a novel. Oh yes. In fact, some thirty thousand words of that novel have already been written. So as you can see, I don’t really have much of an opportunity to slow down…

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

What Australian works have I loved recently? Oh, that’s not as easy as it should be. Because of the MA I’ve been reading interminable books on genre and literary theory, and I’m about ready to hunt down and brutally murder as many post-modernists as I can lay my hands on. Meanwhile, my reading-for-enjoyment has been drastically curtailed. I carry a slew of books in the car, and I read them while I wait, in between picking up and delivering my accursed children to their various lessons, practices, auditions, competitions, games and parties. As a result, these books get stood on, crumpled, jammed under seats, smeared with food, and otherwise maltreated — so I tend to pick up cheap-ass books from remainder sales and stuff. I would NEVER subject a decent piece of interesting Australian fiction to the “car-book” treatment.

But I have to say that the Australian short fiction scene is going on from strength to strength, and some of the works coming from Angela Slatter have been delicious. Likewise, just about everything out of Twelfth Planet and Ticonderoga have been as good as anything on the planet at the moment, and I can’t mention them without pointing to Fablecroft as well. I was a bit worried that when Cat Sparks pulled the plug on agog! it might have been a sign of things to come — but it was only a sign that Cat was going to spend more time writing very good fiction.

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way I work? Definitely. Definitively. I won’t bother submitting a short story to a place that doesn’t accept email submissions, for example. There was a time when I would assemble a paper MS and do all the right things with envelopes and stamps and… you know what? It’s the 21st century. More and more people are reading electronically, and almost everyone writes that way. I can’t see why anybody would insist on hardcopy short story submissions. (Novel length MS are different, mind you. I do a bit of manuscript-doctor work now and again, and I would hate to try to do it from the screen. I need to be able to flick back and forth from page to page, jump from chapter to chapter in a way that hasn’t yet been duplicated electronically.)

There’s more to it than that, though. The changing attitudes within the industry towards electronically published works definitely affected the way I chose to write “Path of Night”. Follow the reasoning: I saw “Fifty Shades of Grey” come out. It happened online first. The quality of the writing is, frankly, execrable. And yet it hit a note with the readers… and that was enough. The publishers picked it up, and away it went. Same sort of thing with “Wool”, except the writing’s better, of course.

Things like that made me look again at what publishers (big ones) do, and how they do it, and why. Couple that with my study of literary theory of genre — which insisted on hauling me into studying fandom, and the marketplace, and the publishing industry as well — and I realised what should have been obvious to me years ago.

Big publishers in genre fiction don’t give a flying fart in a fuckstorm if your writing is any good.  These are people who will publish Dan Brown without apologising. These are people who will spend tens of millions, world-wide, to market a final “Harry Potter” novel which had no chance at all of failing (what? All the readers of the previous novels were suddenly going to ignore the climax of the series?) but won’t spend money on developing new writers.

You see the problem? I mentioned it at the start. As writers, when we learn our craft we imagine it’s all about writing more eloquently, more beautifully, more powerfully. And within certain limits, there’s some truth to that. But eloquent, powerful, beautiful writing is not a prime requirement of popular fiction (which includes the speculative stuff that I like to read and write!) and can, in fact, present a problem for publishers. (Consider Margaret Atwood’s position in the world of literature…)  The truth is that the bigger publishers want to make a profit. They want a story that will engage and entertain the readers. They want it to be accessible to a sizable book-buying demographic. And they want it quickly. Now. Right now.

When I set out to write “Path of Night”, I promised myself the MS would be complete to a solid first draft in six months. And I promised myself I would enjoy writing it, and I promised myself that it would be something that I might enjoy reading if I’d picked it up from someone else. That’s it. Those were the only conditions I set, and I hit all three of them. I aim to do exactly the same with the rest of the series, though I’m having to work around family demands and study, and come the end, I’ll take a look around and see where things stand.

That, of course, gives you some idea of what I plan to be doing in five years. There are five, maybe six books to the Path of Night series, and I’d like to roll ‘em out yearly, or even slightly faster. (Hey! Listen — if you folks want me to do ‘em faster, go kick a publisher who can afford to pay me to sit on my arse and write like hell. If I could buy myself the time to write I could do two of these a year — but small press doesn’t have the money to give me that freedom.)

Aside from the Night Beast books, there’s the novel associated with the MA, and the poem, and the opera (which are all bound up together.) So that’s another thing. And — depending on what the government does to our university system and the fees associated with studying — I’d like to do a PhD in creative writing. In particular, I’m interested by potential new forms and approaches to narrative as moderated by the new technologies, and the new market-structures created by those technologies. I have some really interesting ideas for a work of half a million words or so…

…which I am not getting done while I sit here, answering these questions!

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Jane Rawson

 

Jane picJane Rawson is the author of ‘A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists’, short-listed for the 2013 Aurealis Award for science fiction. Her short fiction has been published in Sleepers Almanac and some other lesser-known spots. For money, she writes about IT. She lives in Melbourne’s western suburbs with her husband and two fairly nice cats.

Jane blogs at http://janebryonyrawson.wordpress.com

 

1.    Your novel, A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists was shortlisted for an Aurealis award and is a striking and original blend of SF, portal fantasy and surrealism with a distinctively Australian feel. In it you present a disturbing yet convincing picture of a stifling, dystopian Melbourne that may lie in our future; what inspired you to imagine the city in this way?

wrong-turn-cover-smallWhen I was writing Unmade Lists – quite a few years ago – I was working in transport policy, and as part of my job I had to read a lot of projections of how climate change would affect Melbourne and Australia. My favourite was talking with a consultant about how rising sea levels would overwhelm our antique sewerage infrastructure and push raw sewage into the showers and baths of houses in the bayside suburbs. That didn’t make it into the book, unfortunately.

A lot of the projections for our future sounded like Phnom Penh now: I’d spent three months hanging around there in 2003 with an empty wallet and a broken heart. So the Melbourne in Unmade Lists is both my memories of incessantly drinking cheap booze in Phnom Penh bars and never having enough money, and my efforts to imagine how actual, scientific predictions of climate science might turn out for Melbournians.

I feel like a lot of dystopian novels spend much of their time on what caused the dystopia, but I reckon if you lived in a dystopian future you’d barely ever think about why the world was the way it was. Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about, for example, how WW2 or the meeting of Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand made our world how it is today. So I wanted to write something about a dystopian future, but where that’s just the background and where regular people just get on with dealing with the minutiae of their regular lives.

I live most of my life in my imagination and, because I’m a worrier, that’s a pretty dystopian place. I didn’t want all that worrying to go to waste, so I thought I’d share it with the world.

2.    This is your first published novel, although you have had experience in many different forms of writing, including travel writing. How did your past writing and reading experiences feed into this book?

Various bits of Unmade Lists came from my work with Lonely Planet, if not directly from travel writing itself. Part of the story follows two teenagers who’ve been sent by their parents on a quest to see ALL of America (not just the interesting parts – they have a map which splits the country into 25ft squares, and they have to stand in each of them). There used to be a lot of talk at Lonely Planet about travel versus tourism; travellers, of course, were far superior creatures. And while everyone agrees part of being a traveller is having really seen a place, you can then spend many hours (either at the pub or online) debating what seeing a place entails. This section of Unmade Lists takes that idea to its logical extreme. And a lot of what I write is about taking a basically stupid idea to its logical extreme. I love the idea of trying to create hard data about a nonsensical concept (for example, can you prove that ‘life is so much faster now than it used to be’ or ‘there are more smells in the world now than there were in the Jurassic period’).

As for reading, my favourite books for the most part are either terrifically slow, meditative pieces of beautifully written art (anything by WG Sebald, Marilynne Robinson’s ‘Gilead’), or strange, fever-dreamish wanderings through ideas and across genres, where oddness is taken for granted (David Mitchell’s ‘Cloud Atlas’, ‘Gormenghast’). Jokes and office settings are a bonus (David Foster Wallace’s ‘The Pale King’, anything by George Saunders). I’ll never be good enough to write like Sebald or Robinson, so I’ve taken the manic route instead. Unmade Lists is no ‘Cloud Atlas’, but it is a bit ‘Number 9 Dream’, and the bureaucracy in it reminds me pleasingly of Saunders’ hilarious short story ‘Pastoralia’.

3.    You are currently working on a non-fiction book about surviving climate change – a theme that is certainly a familiar one in much contemporary science fiction. Do you see links between this project and the themes you worked through in the novel? What role do you think speculative writing has to play in both fictional and non-fictional approaches to climate change?  

There are definitely links, I guess because a lot of my paid work the past few years has been in climate change policy so this is the kind of thing that’s in my head. The non-fiction book is a bit more pragmatic and a little less despairing than the novel, but there are times it’s hard to write because the subject matter isn’t at all cheering.

I didn’t write Unmade Lists to change anyone’s mind, I just wrote it because that’s what I was thinking about and worrying about. This non-fiction book is much more directed at changing people’s attitudes and behaviours. I guess speculative writing’s contribution to all this is it can help us imagine how our own lives might be affected by climate change; it can make it more immediate, less catastrophic and more annoying and inconvenient. Annoying, inconvenient things are much less sexy than catastrophic things, and we also feel more motivated to change them, so I hope that by presenting the dull, grinding reality of adapting to climate change I might inspire a few people to stop being either morbidly excited or overwhelmed by it, and more like it’s something you just have to knuckle down and deal with, like defrosting the fridge or doing your tax return. Just get on with it.

4.    What Australian works have you loved recently?

Two stories which I’ve gone back and read over and over are Jennifer Mills’ ‘Worms’ and AS Patric’s ‘The Dead Sun’, both published in Australian Review of Fiction. I would love to be able to write spec fic like ‘Worms’ – a world built with a bare minimum of words and explanation, a situation that feels so humanly real though it’s absolutely nothing like my own life. Both ‘Worms’ and ‘The Dead Sun’ are completely enigmatic without being at all confusing, and both are heart-breakingly bleak. Read them!

I’ve been doing the Australian Women Writers challenge this year, which requires me to read and review ten books written by Australian women. So far I’ve read 25. Of those, my favourites are Margo Lanagan’s two brilliant novels, ‘Sea Hearts’ and ‘Tender Morsels’, both of which left me shattered, Sofia Laguna’s creepily beautiful ‘One step wrong’, Chi Vu’s gothic horror novel ‘Anguli Ma’, set in the Vietnamese community in Footscray, and Anna Dusk’s relentlessly disturbing Tasmanian teenage werewolf story, ‘In_Human’.

5.    Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

The life of a published author has been a bit of a shock to me. I knew I wasn’t going to be rich and famous from my first novel (OK, maybe I hoped), but I hadn’t realized just how few copies I should expect to sell and how little financial difference it would make to my life (ie none and none). This probably isn’t a result of recent changes in the publishing industry though; I guess it’s been decades since non-mainstream fiction was a product people actually wanted to spend money on (if indeed they ever did). Along with the realities of lack of demand for novels, though, is that there are so many amazing little publishers in Australia publishing cool stuff, which is great news for readers and writers (have you read Canary Press? You should).

As to how that’s affected the way I work, I guess before I lived in the real world of fiction publishing I thought I’d spend two or three years working quietly in isolation on a novel, have it published, start the next one etc. Instead I find I’m writing heaps more short stories and articles, and spending lots more time talking to other authors on social media, than I ever imagined I would. Both are partly in an effort to ‘maintain my profile’, but partly because they’re fun. While I romantically love the idea of working in isolation, unwatched, operating among a community of writers isn’t the worst thing.

Online and small publishing also seems to be creating a space for some pretty cool collaborative writing experiments, such as if:book’s ‘Lost in Track Changes’, where authors rewrite one another’s short stories over and over, and Seizure’s ‘The Drovers Wives’, where Ryan O’Neill is adapting Henry Lawson’s classic story into seemingly hundreds of different forms. So I’m hoping I’ll get to join in on some of these conceptual japes as a writer as well as a reader. But I also expect in five years I’ll still be trying to figure out how to make this damn novel about a shipwreck work….

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot

Snapshot 2014: Graham Storrs

CNCover200X300Graham Storrs is a former research scientist and interactive multimedia specialist. These days he lives and writes in the Australian bush. He has published many short stories in magazines and anthologies as well as five novels: the sci-fi thriller, Timesplash, and its Aurealis Award shortlisted sequel, True Path;the augmented reality dystopian thriller, Heaven is a Place on Earth; a sci-fi comedy, Cargo Cult; and The Credulity Nexus, a near future thriller dealing with the rise of transhumanism.

His blog is at http://grahamstorrs.cantalibre.com/  and he’s always happy to chat on Twitter, where his monicker is @graywave

1. It is only just over a year since your first novel came out, and you appear to have been pretty busy since then! What book (or books) are you currently working on?

My latest novel, The Credulity Nexus, has just been released. This is an exciting project for me as it is the first book in a very long series set in my world of Placid Point and spanning ten thousand years. It deals with first contact and the rise of transhumanity – two subjects that fascinate me. There are three phases in my plan for the whole. The first is an open-ended series set in the near future when humanity is coming to terms with the transhumans among us. I’ve written two books in this series so far and The Credulity Nexus is the first. The second phase is a trilogy, based about four hundred years from now when we have our first contact with extraterrestrial species. I’ve written two of these books already and have just begun writing the third. The final phase is another trilogy, set ten thousand years in the future. The story is told by one of the characters from the second phase – a sentient robot – but it will eventually involve characters from the very first series as it unfolds. I’ve only written the first of these so far but I’m very much looking forward to finishing the trilogy.

So, at least eight books in all (possibly more), and I’ve written five so far. It’s the biggest writing project I’ve ever undertaken and, even after five novels, I’m still completely gripped by it. Of course, some of these books were written before my first novel was published. I really don’t write that fast!

2. Your second novel True Path was was shortlisted for an Aurealis award and forms part of your Timesplash series. Could you tell us more about the world and time-traveling science in these books? Do you have plans for any more?

Timesplash had quite a history before Pan Macmillan/Momentum picked it up. Back in 2011/12 it became a Kindle best-seller as a self-published novel. But that’s another story. I wrote it as a stand-alone novel but Momentum asked for a sequel. I really couldn’t understand how I could do it at first. I mean, how could lightning strike my protagonists twice without it appearing contrived and unrealistic? I was in a funk for weeks, drawing giant mind-maps of all the possibilities. Then inspiration struck and True Path was the result. I suppose after all that hand-wringing, I must have forgotten to turn off the inspiration tap because a third Timesplash idea came to me almost straight away and a third novel – working title FORESIGHT – was the result. I pitched it to Momentum and they very kindly agreed to publish that one too. The publication date is set for October 9 2014, so there isn’t long to wait!

The series is set in the near future. Some time in the 2030′s the world hits “peak oil” – where global supplies begin to diminish and prices go through the roof. The world is plunged into a massive depression which leads to the collapse of many nation states – including the USA. Only Europe and China manage to hold on to a reasonably advanced civilisation, but even there, things are very bad. In the chaos, a couple of young PhD students – now living in poverty – discover the secret of time travel into the past. You can’t go far back because the energy requirements are exponential, and, when you get there, you can’t change a thing, but if you try hard and set up some serious temporal anomalies (like shooting your grandmother), you can create a “timesplash” where causality goes haywire just for a while until the universe sorts itself out. But the craziness flows forward to the present and creates yet more causal mayhem. With small jumps back, the amount of weirdness in the present is enough that kids at rave-like “splashparties” can get off on it and a big, underground youth culture builds up around it all. But then one guy takes it too far and goes so far back and creates such a big timesplash that the backwash in the present destroys a small town and kills people. Terrorists and criminal organisations, even rogue states, are quick to realise that a new weapon has become available to anyone who can afford to fund the splash teams.

3. You have already tried your hand at a few different styles of sf ranging from thriller to comedy – do you plan to stick with sf in the future?

I love science fiction. It is mostly what I read and it is all that I write. I’ve tried my hand at crime (I have a couple of things published under a pseudonym) and fantasy, even literary fiction, but it is science fiction that gets my pulse racing and my head fizzing. I love the world-building and I love the exploration of ideas. I take the ideas very seriously. Recently I’ve been working on a novel about the Fermi paradox (why haven’t we met any aliens yet, when we should have done on most reasonable assumptions?) but I’ve had to abandon the book after 45,000 words because I’m not yet happy with my answer. One day I’ll work it out and get back to the novel. Similarly, while I wrote Heaven is a Place on Earth in the style of a Robert Goddard thriller, I also used it to explore questions about how much trust we can place in authority as we move into a world increasingly dominated by augmented and virtual realities – questions I find extremely vexing!

I don’t find science fiction in the least bit constraining. It’s a huge and unexplored universe of possibilities and genres. As you say, I’ve written thrillers and comedy, I’ve also written police procedurals, horror, and other forms (even a ghost story) all under the sci-fi umbrella. The Timesplash series is as much a love story as it is a time-travel thriller. I’m very serious about my sci-fi and a complete nerd when it comes to defining what’s in and what’s out! But it is such a rich literature – from Ursula le Guin to Gregory Benford, it is full of deep and fascinating explorations of the human psyche and the physical universe, beautiful writing, and awesome ideas.

So, yes, I’ll be sticking with sci-fi – probably until the day they prise my cold fingers off my keyboard.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

To my shame, I have only recently discovered George Turner, one of the great Australian sci-fi writers. His novel, The Sea and Summer, was recently re-released as part of the Gollancz’s SF Masterworks series – otherwise I might never have come across it. It was a disturbing revelation that there was a sci-fi author this good whom I’d never encountered before – and an Australian one at that! It’s a bit like meeting Aussie sci-fi fans who haven’t read Greg Egan. That guy is one of the sci-fi authors I admire the most, and yet you’d be amazed how many people have never read him – or even heard of him!

Another Aussie writer who has knocked my socks off recently is Alexandra Long. Not sci-fi at all but lit. fic.. I found a short story collection of hers in a second-hand book shop and I thought it was brilliant. And yet… I can’t seem to find anything else by her. She may be the same Alexandra Long who, after starting as a novelist, switched to screen writing and had a number of moderate successes in the 90s. If anyone knows more about her, please let me know!

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

In five years’ time, I expect I’ll be publishing, writing and reading exactly what I am now. Reading mostly science fiction, and writing and publishing only science fiction. There are huge changes taking place in the industry but I think I’ve already gone past what some people are struggling with. I’ve never had much patience with how slowly the future arrives!

I only really began my fiction-writing career in earnest in 2008 – after a series of road-to-Damascus revelations about what the publishing business is all about. The ebook revolution was well underway by then and as far as I could see, print had already begun its slow death-spiral. I began submitting short stories and manuscripts and was shocked to find that most of the big-name publishers and mags would still only accept submissions on paper! Fortunately, most of them have now caught up with the 20th Century and may one day even make it into the 21st. You still see it, though, in odd pockets here and there.

I have never had my fiction published in print (except in some anthologies and magazines which had electronic and print editions). For me a book is a story, it’s ideas, it’s the world it builds, the characters, the language and so on. The technology used to make it available is irrelevant, so why not go for the easiest and cheapest – and that is presently what ebooks provide. All of my novels are electronic only. I know this means that some readers won’t be able to access them, and that’s a shame, but this is 2014, for heaven’s sake. It’s time things changed. I bought my first Kindle in 2009 – as soon as it became available in Australia. I have not bought a paper novel since then (except for second-hand books). Eventually, all paper books will be converted to ebooks but, increasingly, a good many ebooks will never be available on paper. People who don’t read ebooks are already missing out and this trend will continue to the point where books printed on paper will become an oddity – a luxury item for those who like collecting things. That won’t happen in five years but we will all have moved a few more paces in that direction.

I began experimenting with self-publishing as soon as the tools became available and “free”. These days I’m more comfortable publishing my own work than selling my rights to a publisher. Unless something drastic happens and publishers find new and effective ways to sell books, I can only see them becoming increasingly irrelevant in the supply chain between writer and reader. There is much still to do to bring order to the currently disrupted publishing world – more effective ways need to be found to make books discoverable online, financial systems for sales and author payment need to be streamlined, territorial licensing makes no sense any more, and so on – but the direction of the trend is obvious.

SnaphotLogo2014

This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

Alex http://randomalex.net/tag/2014snapshot/
Benhttp://benpayne.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Davidhttp://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Elanorhttp://mayakitten.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Helen Mhttp://www.merwood.com.au/worldsend/tag/2014snapshot
Helen Shttp://helenstubbs.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Jasonhttp://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Katharinehttp://ventureadlaxre.wordpress.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Kathrynhttp://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Nick -http://crankynick.livejournal.com/tag/2014snapshot
Seanhttp://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2014snapshot
Stephaniehttp://stephaniegunn.com/tag/2014snapshot/
Tansyhttp://tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2014snapshot/
Tehani http://fablecroft.com.au/tag/2014snapshot
Tsanahttp://tsanasreads.blogspot.com/search/label/2014snapshot