Dreamspinner’s 4th birthday sale

May 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Happy Birthday Dreamspinner Press – May Specials
Now through midnight EST May 31, 2011.
20% off all ebooks in the Dreamspinner Press store.
A drawing each week for an ebook reader of the winner’s choice: Kindle WiFi, NOOK WiFi, or Sony PRS 350SC
49.99 on the 2011 DD set – First Time for Everything until May 25

Week One Specials:
40% off all ebooks that are turning 4 with us:
A Summer Place
To Love a Cowboy
Slight Details & Random Events
Caught Running

Week Two Specials:
30% off all ebooks that are turning 3
Far From Home by Madeleine Urban
Alliance in Blood by Ariel Tachna
The Archer by Abigail Roux
Murder Most Gay by John Simpson
Love Ahead by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Condor One by John Simpson
Sparks Fly by Clare London
Selfless by Michael Powers
Children of Bacchus by Andrew Grey
Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Task Force by John Simpson
Covenant in Blood by Ariel Tachna
Irish Winter by John Simpson
True Blue by Connie Bailey

Week Three Specials:
Download the first book from seven of our most popular series FREE – a different book each day.
Sunday – May 15 – Condor One by John Simpson
Monday – May 16 – Litha’s Whim by Amy Lane
Tuesday – May 17 – Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Wednesday – May 18 – Promises by Marie Sexton
Thursday – May 19 – His Hearth by Mary Calmes
Friday – May 20 – Love Means… No Shame by Andrew Grey
Saturday – May 21 – Luke by Jan Irving

Week Four Specials:
All Dreamspinner Press Anthology ebooks 50% off!
A Brush of Wings
Games in the Dark
Know When to Hold ’em
Make Me a Match, Vol. 1 & 2
Making Contact
Mr. Right Now
Myths and Magic: Legends of Love
Reflections of Love
Riding Double
Sandals and Sodomy
Sindustry Vol. 1 & 2
Uniform Appeal

Check the Dreamspinner Press Homepage May 29, 30, and 31st for three special surprises.

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival

April 20, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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It’s time once again for the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. Originally I thought there was bugger all on, but then I looked at the programme properly, and found some stuff. And of course there are clashes, because why on earth wouldn’t there be when I only want to see a handful of things over three days.

Definitely or potentially interesting sessions

At a loose end

April 17, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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For the first time in ages I find myself with nothing to write. My goals for the first part of the year were to finish and submit Equilibrium, which I did, and to fulfil my Color Box obligation to Torquere, which I did by the skin of my teeth (famous last words: Oh, god, April is AGES away! I’ll get that story done EASILY! I might as well have pasted a big sign on my ass inviting the universe to kick me there as hard as it could). So now…I have nothing currently in progress.

My goals for the rest of the year are to finish another novel and get a few short stories out. I have about 10,000 words of a novel that I started before Equilibrium that I put aside, because originally Equilibrium was going to be a short story for a submission call, except it just kept growing and growing until it didn’t fit into its short story pants anymore. So I can pick that back up, and I will, but I also had a few short story ideas pop up every now and again during the writing of Equilibrium that I ignored at the time, but I suppose now’s a good time to explore some of those and see if any of them will come to anything. Hopefully then they can be spaced somewhere between when Equilibrium comes out in June/July and when my Color Box comes out in September. Or between June and Christmas, anyway. At least one of the stories I’m thinking of is set in NZ, so that’ll be nice, to write about somewhere where I’m actually living. I’ve already gone on a location check for that one, actually, but more about that in another post. Maybe.

That all sounds like a plan, doesn’t it! Shocking. In other news, it’s 10.20pm and I’m still in my pyjamas from last night (what’s Sunday for if not to stay in your PJs all day, I ask you), and I am absolutely GUTTED about the outcome of tonight’s NZ Masterchef. It was an absolute fricken travesty, and I cannot believe it. I’m sure the whole of New Zealand is in an uproar as I speak.

Sickness redux

March 19, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ve been in hospital again, for another week. Things weren’t going as well as the docs were hoping, so they whisked me back in to get more intensive acute treatment. Hopefully that will be the final time, because this going to hospital all the time thing is really getting old; while I believe with my heart and soul that government-subsidised public healthcare is essential to a country’s citizens, I never wanted to experience those services so intimately myself. Just goes to show that you can’t predict these things, there but for the grace of God go I, etc. I am in much better shape now than when I left hospital last time, and my longer-term therapy has begun now, so hopefully I’m coming out the other end of it. I live in hope.

Thanks for all your comments and emails, too. I apologise for not having replied as yet, at the moment I’m finding all that fairly difficult. I do appreciate everyone’s kind words, though. Thank you all for keeping me in your thoughts.

March 6, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

During the past two weeks, I have been the sickest that I have ever been in my entire life. So sick, in fact, that I was admitted to hospital on Monday, and I stayed there all week while they tried to find out what was wrong and started treatment. I’ve been home since Friday afternoon, and I have a diagnosis – it’s not life threatening, but it is chronic, and it’s going to take me a while to get over this episode. Things have been very up and down since I’ve been home, so I’m definitely not out of the woods yet.

Anyway. Normally I wouldn’t make a post like this, but I’m likely to be slow with things right now, and probably off the radar a bit more than usual, and I just wanted everyone to know that there’s a reason for it and I’m not ignoring anyone.


February 12, 2011 at 10:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Thanks for all your comments about titles guys, it was interesting to see how everyone approaches them, from a writer’s and a reader’s perspective. I ended up calling the story “Equilibrium”, for reasons that will hopefully become obvious once I’ve got an official blurb to share with you. It definitely satisfies my need for the short and the snappy, and like I said, it even has something to do with the story, so it ticks the boxes on all counts, yay.

Happily I will have an official blurb to share with you eventually, because Dreamspinner have accepted it, with publication slated for June. I am very, very happy about this, since it will be my first novel-length publication, and it’ll be available in paperback as well as ebook. Very exciting!

What’s in a name

January 31, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

One thing that I generally have trouble with is thinking of titles for my stories. Sometimes they come easily, but mostly not. I get a lot of my titles from quotes and/or song lyrics, but sometimes nothing really presents itself. I’m on the verge of submitting a novel, which has a name that I’m not sure I’m happy with, which is annoying. I tend to like snappy titles, short and to the point, with at least a tenuous connection to the story itself. Titles can put a reader off – I know that I’m more reluctant to buy a book with a title I don’t like, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But then what makes a good title? What appeals to one person won’t appeal to another, so you need to be happy with it yourself, so at least one person likes it, haha.

So, authors – how do you find inspiration for titles? And readers – does the title influence your decision to pick up a story? Do you find yourself favouring certain types of titles over others? Enquiring minds want to know.


January 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments
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I’m gradually settling into the new house, although a week is hardly any time to live somewhere when you lived in your last place for 5 years. I own this house though, which of course makes it different; when I see things that annoy me (which I have, it’s amazing what you don’t notice when you’re just looking at a place during an open home) the thought that follows on from that is that when I have the money I can just get whatever it is changed. It’s a good feeling. I spilt tea on my brand new sofa today, which means it’s christened. Last week I also dropped a dining table on my bare foot and bled all over the carpet (seriously, blood was positively gushing out of my big toe. Toes bleed A LOT, FYI), so I guess that means that me and the house now have some sort of mystical blood bond or something.


The thing I’m most looking forward to is putting pictures up. In the years I’ve been renting I’ve actually not lived in a place with existing picture hooks, and it always seemed like too much trouble to ask to put things up, but ever since I’ve been planning to buy a house, I’ve been thinking about finally putting up some of the things I’ve collected over the years. I’ve travelled a lot over the last 10 years or so, and I have a lot of photos from those trips. Over the past 5 years or so I’ve also been collecting art, either prints, sketches, or paintings of the places I’ve been. I have quite a few of those now, so I’m going to put those up, mixed in with my own photos. I’m really looking forward to doing it too, although going through all my photos will be a mission.

I was thinking of doing this before, and wondering what photos I’d choose. The travel photos from before 2005 are all printed and in photo albums (so totally old school, I know), and the albums are lurking somewhere in a box I haven’t unpacked yet, so I was restricted to the ones I have on my hard drive. The earliest ones are from a trip to Italy I took in January of 2005, and I was just idly picking through them and decided to fish some out and post them here; they’re not necessarily the ones I’ll choose to get framed, but they’re ones I like all the same. I love Italy, it’s a beautiful, quirky country positively bursting with personality, but in the end I had to stop going there, mainly because if you can walk around Rome without a map then you’ve been there too many times, and it was time to remind myself that there was all of the rest of the world to explore as well.

Italy – Tuscany, Rome, Venice, Pompeii

First post of the year

January 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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2010 was quite a good year for me, particularly professionally, but also personally. I wasn’t under as much stress as I was in 2009 and 2008 (2008 was the Year of the Huge and Stressful Project(s), and 2009 was the Year of Ridiculous and Chronic Insomnia), and it really made a difference. Long may that continue.

I’m quite looking forward to 2011 – soon I’ll move into the house I bought, which I’m looking forward to so much I can’t even say. I think living in a house that’s mine will really make a difference to my outlook; maybe that’s silly, but I think it will. I’m really having to stop myself buying all new furniture for the place, haha! Those furniture places are so seductive with their rows and rows of bookcases and chests of drawers. I need another bookcase, too.

My goals for the upcoming year are relatively simple: write more (and hopefully publish more) and blog more. That seems achievable now while I’m still on holidays, of course; mind you, I have managed to fritter away the day and haven’t done a scrap of the editing I was meaning to do, so it’s not like being at work will make my procrastination any worse. I haven’t started packing either, but never mind. I’m not moving for 2 weeks, there’s still plenty of time! (Famous last words if I ever heard them.)

Not a Terminator sequel

December 22, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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It’s quite hard to believe that it’s almost 2011. I’ve dropped off the face of the earth recently, as I tend to do – something to rectify in the new year, for sure – because I’ve been quite busy. Apart from work stuff, which is always busy, I’ve bought a house and finished writing a novel. It’s quite hard to buy a house and try to finish a novel at the same time, I discovered. Very hard, in fact. But I did manage it, and I only wanted to shout at my lawyer and my bank guy a few times, which was a miracle, all things considered. Not that wanting to shout at them had anything to do with the novel. Not directly, anyway.

But I’m happy because now I have a lovely house that I’ll move into in a couple of weeks, and 66,000 words that manage to come together to form something resembling a coherent story, so yay. I’ve heard back from one of my betas, and once it’s back from the others I’ll shine it up and submit it in the new year, in between packing books into boxes.

So far it’s the longest thing I’ve written, with my two published things being shorts of ~8,000 words. Finishing something so long was a very weird experience. It was a lot like when I finished writing my PhD thesis, which took me 11 months (5 months full time, 6 months part time, ugh what a slog that was) – on the one hand I was so incredibly relieved it was done, but on the other hand it was very strange to come home from work and not have anything that I had to do. Right now I am enjoying having a little writing break over the holidays, but then I also can’t stop thinking about what to do next. I have a Color Box for Torquere due in April, but that’s a fair way away yet. I have some ideas for more short stories, which I can fit in with the Color Box, and also 10k worth of words for another novel in progress, which I can’t. But I can’t really decide what I want to do.

So far I am dealing with this paralysing indecision by lying around on my mother’s lounge watching cooking shows on cable and eating ice cream. Because that’s another thing, I’m not at home at the moment, I’m in Australia, at my mother’s for Christmas. I’ve been here for a few days and have a few days to go before I leave to go back to NZ. History tells me that I never write anything while I’m away from home, and given that it’s Christmas, that’s not likely to change now. So I probably shouldn’t worry about it at all and just continue to watch the Food channel and eat ice cream. Sounds like a plan.

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