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Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 | Author:

I once read an interview with the wonderful Australian writer Margo Lanagan in which she observed that many new writers approach the publication of their first novel in the same way that many new parents approach the birth of their first child: with all their anxious, exhilarated, terrified attention focused solely on the Big Event. That is, birth/publication. Whereas after publication there are still so many trials ahead for writers, just as there are for parents after childbirth – for decades to come…

At the time I read the article, I remember thinking Margo made a great point.

Now, however, I too can think of nothing beyond publication. I feel like the months I’ve spent polishing my novel, waiting to hear back from readers and agents, have been akin to enduring an unbearably long pregnancy. I’ve forgotten all the fun that comes with embarking on a creative endeavour, I’ve forgotten how sublime the feeling of flow I get from delving into a character’s head. I’ve forgotten that I’m in this for the love of it. For the process, not the product. Now I just want the labour pains to begin, and all this waiting to end.

Hopefully I’ll get some idea of a due date soon. Hopefully then I’ll be able to post more frequently on this website, to think about new projects, to remember the fun.

Tuesday, November 04th, 2014 | Author:

 

Well, I have of late completed what feels like one of the final drafts of When With Wolves. Now I’m taking a much-needed break from it to concentrate on other things, like polishing some old, unfinished short stories to submit to various anthologies. This past week I’ve submitted three; hopefully I’ll send another one off into cyberspace today. I’ve also shipped the Wolves manuscript off to several trusty reader and writer friends for feedback. And now I must wait, gnawing my nails, for their feedback… Still, it feels great to be at this point. It’s been a long, arduous slog through the ICTY archives and Lazar’s memories, but I’m incredibly proud of the story I (we) are crafting…

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 | Author:

 

Exciting news! My story ‘Anvil of the Sun’, published last year in Aurealis, has made it into The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012! ‘Anvil’ is a personal favourite: it’s dark, distressing, but ends, I think, on a note of hope, and I’m thrilled that it will be reprinted amongst such fine company. This year’s Year’s Best should be an awesome one – 34 short stories and poems from “New Zealand and Australia’s finest writers” (the publisher’s words, not mine!), including talents such as Joanne Anderton, Richard Harland, Margo Lanagan, Jason Nahrung, and Kaaron Warren, to name just a few.

The book will be available as a hardcover, paperback and e-book sometime in July 2013. And with 34 stories, it should make for a nice, fat read. You can see the full line-up of stories on the Ticonderoga Publications website and pre-order copies here.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 | Author:

 

Last week I had the honour of meeting one of Australia’s greatest writers, Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List. Mr Keneally was launching a non-fiction book by Kevin Windle, entitled Undesirable: Captain Zuzenko and the Workers of Australia and the World, the biography of the fascinating Russian fellow who inspired Keneally’s novel, The People’s Train, and my husband’s Russian teacher invited us along to the launch.

Funnily enough, both Lazar and I had just finished reading Schindler’s List — again — a couple of weeks previously. I’m writing about the wars in the former Yugoslavia and Oskar Schindler is such a wonderful, flawed and compelling wartime hero that I wanted to read his story again. So I went along to the book launch with my ancient, dog-eared copy of Schindler’s List (it’s now 30 years since TK wrote it, and about 18 years since I bought my copy) and was incredibly thrilled when Mr Keneally signed it for me. I just wish I’d been a little less overawed and tongue-tied so that I could have told him so!

Friday, April 12th, 2013 | Author:

 

I am now 30 000+ words into the second draft of my new novel, set in the former Yugoslavia and present-day Australia. It’s early 1993, and my main character is about to leave Sarajevo and head to Belgrade, and from there the vagaries of life and war will conspire to draw him back to Bosnia at the worst possible time, in mid-1995.

I’ve found the perfect soundtrack for this novel: the heart-wrenchingly beautiful music of Slobodan Trkjula, a flautist who gives traditional Serbian music a modern twist. Check out his gorgeous song ‘Andjele’ (Angel) and the amazing singing of his group of Orthodox monks here.

Interestingly enough, some of the YouTube footage indicates that Slobodan Trkjula’s music is also huge in China!

Thursday, April 04th, 2013 | Author:

 

Some exciting news – Bloodstones, which features my short story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is on the shortlist for Best Anthology in the 2012 Aurealis Awards!

Now I just have to wait till the awards night in May for a good excuse to pop a bottle of bubbly!

 

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Author:

 

Bloodstones, the dark fantasy anthology featuring my story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is now available on Amazon. Click here to buy it.

It also has a page on Goodreads. Visit the page to rate it.

Friday, January 06th, 2012 | Author:

 

I’ve just finished an amazing book called ‘Infidel’, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Somali woman by birth, and a Muslim, she ended up becoming a politician in Holland for a time and is now a campaigner for Muslim women’s rights. At times her life story is a pretty gut-wrenching read, but wow, what an incredibly inspiring woman! A very intelligent and thought-provoking book.