Here I am with some exciting news! Before I tell you I’ll explain why my posts have been few and far between lately: I’m drowning in a champagne glass full of editing work, writing, and flitting about festivals. The sides of my self-imposed glass are tall and impossible to climb out of since they slope inwards, although I’m enjoying the invigorating bubbles (I’m hoping you can picture my imagery; if not you’ll be sitting there thinking this woman is crazy and I have no freakin’ idea what the hell she’s talking about.)

Did you like the suspense? Now that I’ve annoyed you long enough, I’ll get to the point. My exciting news is (da na na na na): I sat on my first writers festival panel on the weekend, and I didn’t get heckled, not even once! I attended the NSW Writers Centre Speculative Fiction festival and spoke on the publishing panel. I, of course, represented self-publishing. I was nervous at first, although the amazing and super-nice Kate Forsyth did her best to make me feel confident (thank you Kate, it worked).

Me on the panel (I'm on the far right: your right, not mine).
Me on the panel (I’m on the far right: your right, not mine).

Surprisingly, I managed to answer the questions like I knew what I was talking about, and the crowd was generous enough to pretend they didn’t notice I was pretending to know what I was doing; I in turn pretended they weren’t pretending not to notice my pretending—I’m sure you’ll agree, we all did a great job! The pretending was so out of hand at one stage, that members of the audience were tweeting quotes from me. Ha! I’m quotable. Who would’ve thought (not me, that’s for sure). I heard these tweeters were paid in slabs of rocky road but we’ll pretend they did it because I’m fabulous ;).

There were other great panels on the day, and I listened enthralled as Kate Forsyth, Ian Irvine, Juliette Marillier and Garth Nix (who, by the way, should be in country music with a name like that), among others, chatted about subjects ranging from writing fantasy, to e-books, their publishing journeys, to fairytale retelling. It was a fantastic festival and I would highly recommend it to anyone who writes or reads speculative fiction. I am also happy that I got to represent self-publishing. I’ve discovered that I enjoy being an advocate for professional self-publishing.

The gorgeous Kate Forsyth and I.
The gorgeous Kate Forsyth and I.

It was also awesome because after the festival I caught up with some writer friends (a couple of whom I’d only met online). We had a cheap pub dinner and held an impromptu writers group meeting. We read each others’ work while people around us got pissed. Ah, the life of a creative.

I have to go now, because other than the fact that you’re probably becoming bored (stop nodding), I have to clear these champagne bubbles out of my nose and finish the first draft to A Time of Darkness, the Shadows of the Realm sequel, so it can fly off to the editors on Tuesday. I’m so excited and will post an update next week. Cheers!

18 thoughts on “The Day I Became a Self-Publishing Avocado … I Mean Advocate

  1. I wanted to go, especially because my publisher Russ Farr was there, but it was sold out. I would have loved to have met you. Are you going to Conflux next month?

    1. Hi Patty! Russell was really nice (he chaired my panel). It would have been great to meet you too. Unfortunately I can’t afford Conflux because I went to the ARRAs in Brisbane a few weeks ago, so my budget is shot lol. I’m on a panel at the Sydney Writers Festival in May this year, so maybe I’ll see you there?

      1. Haha! No, I don’t plan to go. I don’t feel I’m the right type of person for the SWF and yeah, there’s probably only so many of these events you can attend. But I’ll share a table with two other writers from the Kindleboards at Supanova in June.

  2. I am glad you had a great time on the panel. It sounded like everyone had a great time pretending. Sounds like everyone was respectful and wanted to hear what you had to say. Cheers for no heckling.

  3. Oh Honey! I’m so pleased for you. You have come such a long way on this wonderful journey, and so quickly. I do hope you remember us when you’re famous. Really thrilled :))

  4. Good on you, Dionne! It’s good to hear you had a great time. Although i’m sure you weren’t really pretending … you are one knowledgeable woman! I would have loved to attend, although i’m sure my bank balance would have laughed at me when i tried to buy a ticked to Australia.

  5. I was actually sitting directly in front of you in that picture. Right in the front row. I kept whispering to my friend Cassandra, “She’s got the most amazind delts.” Really loved when you said, “If you don’t spend the time on your novel, why should a publisher?” I even put it in the review I dd on my blog.

    1. So funny (about the delts), thanks! I’ll have to go and read your review now. Also, thanks so much for the positive feedback, it’s great to know I made some kind of positive impression :).

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