I request a do over…

August 2, 2015 at 8:13 pm | Posted in real life, Writing | Leave a comment
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…of the last 2 months. First, I worked myself into exhaustion and had to take 2 weeks off to recover, and then last week, a good friend and coworker died of breast cancer, after a really sudden deterioration.

It’s that last one that’s knocked me for a six. Several women in my circle have said to me that we’ve all known someone that this has happened to, and that’s true, but for me this is the first person who’s been really close to me who hasn’t made it. Breast cancer is not in my family, and maybe I am still a bit young to have known that many people with breast cancer, and so my chance of being close with someone who died from it is smaller, I don’t know. What I do know is that I have no desire to repeat this experience again. I have cried inconsolably more in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 years, possibly more than in the last 3 decades. Tomorrow is the funeral, and I am speaking for a few minutes at the service. I’ve decided that since my friend was one of the jolliest, funniest people that I know, that I’ll tell a funny story involving her so I can laugh for a while, and remember her how she’d want to be remembered.

I know things will get better. Even now, they’re better than they were at the beginning of the week. It’s the nature of these things, isn’t it? We can’t crumple into a heap for too long, because the world goes on around us in ways that force our participation. So I’ll get there eventually. It might just take a little while, that’s all.

Needless to say, I’ve done absolutely no writing recently. I feel very bad for those blog visitors who look at my Coming Soon page and constantly see sweet FA. I’m not the type of writer who can write in the face of massive emotional turmoil, I’m afraid. But maybe I’ll put a few words down tonight, and a few more down tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. One foot in front of the other and all that.

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Where is the time going?

March 29, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Posted in real life, Writing | Leave a comment
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How it got to be almost April already, I have no idea. I tell myself I’m going to blog regularly, and then life happens, and I just don’t.

2015 is turning out to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I have a very intense and mentally draining day job, which tends to ebb and flow in terms of workload, but I can safely say that we are the busiest that we have been in years, with no sign of it slowing down. Add to that some serious health issues being dealt with by people close to me, and all I can say is thank God it’s Easter next week because I am so tired I can hardly bear it.

Having said that, I have been writing – my current WIP is around 53,000 words at the moment, so not insignificant. Given that I never plan things I’m not sure how long it’ll end up being, but at least 80,000 I’d imagine. So a while to go yet, but it’s getting there.

I hope you’re all well, and getting much more sleep than I am!

Interview at LJ LaBarthe’s blog

April 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Promotion, Writing | Leave a comment
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You would think that after more than 10 years of friendship LJ LaBarthe would have run out of things to ask me about, but she has not! So there is an interview with me over on her blog, where I talk about writing, story locations, and my favourite place in the world.

The post is here – feel free to come over and say hi.

Sometimes you have to see it with your own eyes

March 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Posted in real life, Writing | 2 Comments
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Some could argue that in the age of the internet, with Google Earth, Google street view, Flickr, etc, that you don’t have to visit a place to write about it. I know of authors who have written novels set in cities that they’ve never set foot in, and I’ve done it myself, never having visited Kalgoorlie and its surrounds, where Eyes Wide Shut and Rust Red: Galvanized are set.

No one’s ever picked me up about any location errors in those books; still, set something in a real place and it’s always a risk that there’ll be something you miss. I almost made a location error in Whitewater – there were plenty of photos of Wylie’s Baths, the place where Luke goes for his daily swim, online for me to look at, beautiful, atmospheric photos that showed me that Wylie’s was just what I wanted in a beachside pool for Luke. But what none of the photos I saw online showed me, what I saw when I got there, was that the pool was graduated, less than ankle deep at the land edge and only about 3 feet or so deep at the sea edge. The photos also failed to show me the big “NO DIVING” warnings painted on the concrete along each of the pool’s edges. Originally I did have Luke and Cam diving into that pool, but in the finished book they walk in, because to remain faithful to the reality of that place, they couldn’t dive.

Now, obviously there is room for poetic license, and writers do that all the time; I made up a whole town in Equilibrium, and made space for a bakery and a beachside café in Coogee for Whitewater where there is no space for those things in the real Coogee. Sometimes, if you need something to be there you just plop it down where you need it and all is right with the world.

Having said all that, if you can visit a place, it’s usually an advantage. Lake Pupuke is a freshwater lake in the middle of the North Shore of Auckland, formed in the craters of two volcanoes (yep, volcanoes). A lake in a volcanic crater sounds like a place where some paranormal happenings might take place, does it not? Observe:

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OK, admittedly, the bright, sunny day makes it look like the best place ever for a swim, but people have drowned there, so…yes. We will see what happens. 🙂

Cutting Out: the novel, and other lovely things

March 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Free fiction, Writing | Leave a comment
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Despite suffering the catastrophic meltdown of my main laptop on Friday night (it died and is dead, never to be backed up again – thank god for Dropbox is all I can say), I have managed to update my Coming Soon page with the news that Cutting Out, the novel-length adaptation of my short story of the same name, will be out mid-year. So yay to having something new out relatively soon!

In the meantime, I will be occupying myself with another freebie, because I accidentally tripped and fell into the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s annual member prompt frenzy. I didn’t mean to, because I do have other things to write, but when you’re confronted with something that looks like this:

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how can you possibly resist?

Reader, I couldn’t.

The prompt that goes with the post is this, from the lovely Donna:

This is my life… by day I walk on land and I am as human as the man standing next to me… but by night… the water calls to me and I must return to it… all I have ever wanted is a man who would love me for who I am… both day and night…

I would only ask for a story… as beautiful as this photo

So it gets even better. I have Plans for that young man, is all I can say. If having to survive for the next 2 weeks on my very non-grunty netbook until my replacement computer arrives doesn’t kill me first, anyway.

Book news

November 5, 2013 at 6:55 am | Posted in Writing | 4 Comments
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I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Bottom Drawer Publications for the expanded version of Cutting Out, my Oz MM Meet anthology story. There are a lot of gaps in Shane and Lachie’s story as it stands now, so I’m filling them in. Those boys haven’t quite finished with me yet. 🙂

The expanded version should be done by the end of the year (side note: can you believe it’s November already? How did that happen), so I expect that the book will be out sometime early 2014. BDP is an Australian publisher that I’ve heard good things about, so I’m looking forward to working with them. My talks with them so far, about me and what I want for my books, have been great, so I think they’ll be a good fit for me. Now all I’ve got to do is get that book written!

Metal Heart is out!

January 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Metal Heart, Writing | Leave a comment
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So, it’s January the 28th in most parts of the world now, which means that Metal Heart is now officially for sale! You can find it at the Dreamspinner store in ebook or paperback formats, at All Romance ebooks and Amazon, although for some reason it’s currently only in paperback there. I’m sure it’ll be available at the Kindle store very soon.

I have a couple of promotional things planned for the book, including participating in a massive rock star-related blog hop in February which I will tell you about very soon.

As befits a book release day where I also have the day off (thank you, Auckland anniversary day), I have spent the day making a soundtrack for Metal Heart; since I always rabbit on about how music is instrumental to my writing process, I decided to finally pony up a playlist for you, which is fitting for a book about musos.

Not every song I listened to during writing is on there, but there’s enough there for you to get a flavour of it:

Here it is if you’d like to take a listen.

I even uploaded some obscure Aussie rock for you, so prepare to be baffled by that! 🙂

I also made ice cream today but since I can’t pass any of that through the Internet, you’ll have to content yourself with some music instead.

Dessert question

June 10, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Writing | 2 Comments
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Internets! I have a question for you.

If you were a pastry chef (and so could make any sweet thing you liked) making a dessert for a person who you were hoping to get into bed (preferably as soon as dessert is finished), what would you make?

If it matters, this is the first time you’re cooking for this person, and they’ve told you that they’ll eat anything.

Enquiring minds want to know. I have my own thoughts on this, but it never hurts to get a second opinion.

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

May 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Posted in Links, Metal Heart, Novel, Promotion, Reviews, Rust Red: Galvanized, Writing | Leave a comment
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Hello blogland, long time no speak! While I admit that I am a terrible blogger under usual circumstances, I am not generally this bad. But when your book suddenly decides that it wants to be 20,000 words longer than you originally thought, and you’d like to get it done before the end of the century, there’s no choice but to put your head down, your bum up, and not stop until the very last word is written. I’m thrilled to be able to report that the last word was written last night, and it has been submitted. After I submitted it I felt a lot like how I used to feel when I was at Uni, after all my exams were over: like a weight had lifted from me, and I was free at last, free at last. Tonight I feel a lot like how I felt when I submitted my PhD: vaguely nervous, somewhat unsettled, and like I should be doing something instead of lollygagging about. Every time I remember that I’m finished and I’ve given myself a couple of weeks off writing, it’s a little bit of a shock.

So, anyway. The novel is called Metal Heart, it’s around 88,500 words, and it’s the same story that I talked about in this post, when I posted a little snippet of it.  I’m not very good at waiting, but hopefully I’ll hear whether it’s been accepted soon. Cross your fingers and toes for me, poppets!

In other writing related news, my good friend LJ Labarthe interviewed me for her blog, and the interview is posted here, so you can have a look at that if the mood takes you. I do a fair bit of waffling about being Australian, and about Brokeback Mountain, and also say why I am a cactus. Who wouldn’t want to know that, I ask you?

Brief Encounters reviews also reviewed my Torquere Press Color Box, Rust Red: Galvanized, here, and gave it a B, so yay to that! In her review, Tam says:

I really enjoyed this follow-up, watching the guys work it out, seeing Chris’ fear but his determination not to be that guy who nearly lost Adam in the first book. I liked the author’s voice, and those who enjoyed the first one will equally enjoy this glimpse at the guys.

Which is very nice of her. And let’s not forget that the prequel to Rust Red: Galvanized, Eyes Wide Shut, is available as a freebie in various places, and freebies are always good.

Right, that’s me done, I’m off to read a book, because I can do that now, and hopefully it won’t be another two months before I post again!

Music and writing

November 27, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Dreamspinner Press, Equilibrium, tinsel and dust, Writing | Leave a comment
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Music is very important to my writing process. I only write without music if I absolutely have to, which thankfully isn’t often. The music I listen to while writing has an impact on the mood of the story: a dark story has to have a soundtrack full of dark music, while a more lighthearted story can have a more lighthearted soundtrack. Each of my published stories has a soundtrack, either a mix of songs from different artists, or a single artist; for Equilibrium it was a mix of songs, for Reasonable Force it was Velvet Acid Christ, for Eyes Wide Shut and Rust Red: Galvanized it was Midnight Oil. For Tinsel and Dust, my upcoming Equilibrium sequel, it was the John Butler Trio. Music actually plays a larger role in Tinsel and Dust than it ever has before, in that the music of the John Butler Trio actually features in a scene.

Now, I’m not going to give away what that scene actually is, because that would be telling. 🙂 But what I will tell you is what songs I was thinking of when I wrote it. To me, they fit Michael and Ryan’s situation to a tee.

Both of these songs are off the album Sunrise Over Sea. The first is called Peaches and Cream:

For so long I’ve sung this sad ol’ song,
And it feels like my time is up.
For she came and landed in my arms,
And she filled my half empty cup.
Yes she filled my half empty cup.

There you are right in front of me, 
A brand new day sunrise over sea.
No longer my cup half empty cause there you are…

and the second is called Seeing Angels:

Why do I deserve such a visit
From the one I thought I’d never meet.
Beyond my greatest expectations.
You exceeded everything. 
Well here I am 

Take me for what you see
For I’m transparent in the light of you. 
And look inside,
See that fire burning bright
The same one you rekindled inside me 

My mouth was dry
only you quenched my thirst
I thought I was last
You told me I was first. 

So there you have it, two great songs for my boys. Tinsel and Dust should be released mid-December, I have a tentative release date of December 14th for it. That’s not set in stone at the moment, but if I learn any different I’ll be sure to let you all know.

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