Coming soon: Rust Red: Galvanized

September 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Color Box, Novella, Rust Red: Galvanized, Torquere Press | Leave a comment
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This time next week, I will be in America. This time in 3 weeks, I will still be in America and yet the world will be filled with sunshine and puppies and rainbows, because my Torquere Press Color Box will be out. Woo hoo! As my subject line implies, it’s called Rust Red: Galvanized, and you have no idea how difficult it is for me not to type “my Torquere Colour Box, Rust Red: Galvanised” every time I talk about it.

Seriously, America, you kill me with your Zs all over the place and your lack of Us where Us should be, you really do. As if me facing another 6 weeks of driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t bad enough, you also have to curb my natural inclination to spell properly.

Joking, Americans! I love your country. You have Junior Mints.

Anyway. The new book is a novella of about 17,000 words, give or take, that continues the story of Adam and Chris, who we met in Eyes Wide Shut. The cover art and an unedited blurb are below the cut.

Continue Reading Coming soon: Rust Red: Galvanized…

Rust Red Color Box teaser excerpt

August 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Color Box, Eyes Wide Shut, Novella, Rust Red: Galvanized, Torquere Press, Writing | 1 Comment
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There are three lines published by Torquere Press that I find endlessly inspirational: the Color Box, Spice it Up and Birthstones lines. God I love a theme like that. So when the opportunity to write a Color Box came up, I jumped at the chance. The colour I chose was rust red, and I did that for a very specific reason.

About a year ago I wrote a little story called Eyes Wide Shut, that was part of the Healing Hearts Charity sip blitz in 2010. The characters from that story – Royal Flying Doctors Service physician Adam Taylor and his mining engineer boyfriend Chris Barker – stuck with me, as did the red landscape of the WA outback, and when the call for Color Boxes went out and I saw what had and hadn’t yet been taken, lo, the idea for a sequel to Eyes Wide Shut was born. I’m quite pleased that Adam and Chris’ story gets to continue.

It’s called Rust Red: Galvanized, and it will be out at the end of September.  It’s quite a bit longer than Eyes Wide Shut, clocking in at around 17,000 words. Even though I wrote it a while ago, it’s still early days, since there isn’t even a blurb for it yet. However, I’ve gotten my edits back, so I’ve decided to post a little teaser (although obviously since it’s still in edits, this may or may not appear like this in the final version).

The story picks up 6 months after the end of Eyes Wide Shut. In this excerpt, Adam and Chris are in Surfer’s Paradise visiting Adam’s family. It is Schoolie’s Week, a time when about a million teenagers are in Surfer’s celebrating the end of high school by getting roaring drunk and generally making pests of themselves. The boys have just had their morning nookie interrupted by Adam’s mum. Heh.


Chris had recovered enough from his trauma to come out of the bedroom after breakfast, and he even consented to a dip in the pool in full view of both Adam’s parents, who were reclining in the shade of the verandah. He lay on his stomach on an airbed, his wet hair glistening in the sunshine, and ignored Adam, who swam slowly around him, much like a shark stalking its prey. That was what interrupted sex did for Adam, but he was doomed to not get any satisfaction that day.

Adam completed another circuit around Chris’ airbed, and this time Chris cracked open an eyelid. “Go away.”

“What? I’m not doing anything.”

“Yes, you are. You’re lurking. Plotting.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “Plotting what? My parents are just over there.”

“I don’t know. Something.” Chris rested his chin on his arms. “I wouldn’t put anything past you today.”

Adam rolled his eyes. “Talk about paranoid.” He swam around the airbed once more, and when he came up to Chris’ head again, Chris was still watching him. “Let’s go out tonight, just you and me.”

Chris was silent for a minute. “Where do you want to go?”

Adam shrugged, hanging on to the end of the airbed. “I don’t know. Out to dinner. There are some nice restaurants on the main strip.”

Chris made a face. “Won’t there be a lot of kids out there tonight?”

“Yeah, but we don’t have to go to any pubs. We’ll just go to a restaurant and come home.” Adam tugged on the edge of the airbed. “We’ll just have a nice meal, that’s all.”

“Okay. As long as we go somewhere with as few teenagers as possible.”

Adam nodded. “Deal.” He watched Chris for a moment, then smiled, slowly tugging the airbed around so that Chris’ back was to his parents. He glanced over at the verandah; his father was reading the paper, and his mother was on her feet, heading into the house. “Give us a kiss.”

Chris’ eyes narrowed. “Why?”

“Because I want one.” Adam tugged the edge of the airbed a little. “Come on. We were so rudely interrupted this morning…”

Chris looked over his shoulder, then turned back. “All right, but just a quick one.”

Adam grinned and moved in. “I knew you couldn’t resist me for too long.”

“Whatever. Get over here.” Chris grabbed the back of Adam’s head and kissed him firmly, then tried to push him away. Adam resisted, kissing him again, softly, turning it into something to linger over. It was Chris’ turn to resist that, but after a moment he gave in, his fingers on Adam’s head turning gentle as they stroked through the hair at the nape of Adam’s neck.

“Lunch is ready, boys!” his mother called from the doorway of the house.

Chris groaned quietly, and Adam laughed into Chris’ mouth. He broke the kiss and leaned his forehead against Chris’ as Chris’ fingers tightened around his neck. “It’s just that kind of day today. A frustrating one. This is why we have to get out on our own tonight.”

“We’ve got to do something on our own. Like have cold showers,” Chris said, letting him go and tumbling off the airbed and into the water.


Equilibrium has a release date!

May 26, 2011 at 7:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Equilibrium will be out in print and ebook on June 24th, yay. Since the blurb and cover are now up on Dreamspinner’s Coming Soon page, and my author page, I figured I can post it here too so you can all have a squizz at the lovely cover. Catt Ford did a great job on the cover, I love it.

Welcome to Burreela, New South Wales. Population: more animals than humans. Although most (human) occupants are trying to get out of Burreela, the tiny town is the perfect place for veterinarian Michael Stone to break out of the bad habits that almost cost him the most meaningful part of his life: his profession.

Michael is struggling to regain his balance after hard personal losses and two years of promiscuity and drug abuse. He’s not prepared to meet Ryan Mitchell, a nice guy who won’t take no for an answer, whose patient pursuit leaves Michael less and less inclined to keep refusing. But Michael’s bad habits aren’t that far behind him. Can Michael hold himself together enough to be the man Ryan needs, or will he lose his equilibrium while trying to be man enough to hold on to the one he loves?

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival, day 1

May 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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This is taking me ages to write up, but I better do it soon because I didn’t take many notes (because when I did I felt like I was at work, so I stopped) and I’m in danger of forgetting if I don’t. Overall this year’s festival was really enjoyable, and I’m not sure why that is. Certainly all the writing advice that was given out wasn’t anything new to someone like me, who spends a lot of time procrastinating reading about writing online – write what you love, write what you want to read, read a lot, take notice of the world around you, etc. Despite that I still feel like I got a lot out of it.

Friday, May 13

Climbing the Mango Trees – an hour with Madhur Jaffrey.

Madhur Jaffrey is a very interesting woman.

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.


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.

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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