Me, on a Publishing Panel at a Writers Festival? Yes Please!

My continuing run of good luck, as foretold by the birds pooing on my car (it’s my new predictor of how my life is going to go) has led to one of the most exciting things I’ve done as an author.

I received a message from one of Australia’s best-loved and most successful fantasy (including adult, teen and children’s books) authors, Kate Forsyth. Kate, who is the organiser of the festival, asked if I would like to sit on a panel at the upcoming NSW Writers Centre speculative fiction festival. I was laughing and crying at the same time, I think because Kate, in all her modesty, informed me she was “an author just like you.” Um excuse me? First of all, no introduction needed as I have The Witches of Eileanan series on my bookshelf and ‘just like you’ I think not. I’m a baby at this and Kate has published around twenty five novels, some of them prize-winning and I’m sure all of them best-selling (thank you so much Kate).

I’m going to be sitting on a publishing panel and answering questions about my experiences with self-publishing. I’m nervous of course, but I’ve already been informed that a few of my interstate friends are coming up to support me and enjoy the day, as there are many awesome talks to sit in on by great Aussie authors. I’m super excited and thankful as these opportunities don’t arise often (if at all).

So, aspiring Australian writers, get along to the NSW Writers Centre at Balmain for what is going to be an exciting day (have I already said it’s going to be exciting?). Tickets are a bargain at $80! Go to the site, check out the program and book now before everyone else beats you to it. I hope to see you all there.

Cover Reveal – Imran Siddiq’s Disconnect

My fellow author and friend, Imran Siddiq, has a new book coming out on the 22nd of Feb, 2013, and he’s had a cover done by a professional artist. I was more than happy to share because the cover looks amazing—if only more indie authors would go to as much effort. Congratulations Imran, it looks amazing!


In space, love has boundaries.

Dirtying fingernails in sewers is fast approaching worthlessness for Zachary, a 16-year old Underworld scavenger. When footage of an Overworld girl, Rosa, is discovered, his intrigue heightens at why she expresses sadness with a lavish lifestyle.

In meeting Rosa, Zachary is scorned by her opinion of the deprived. She pities him and provides a means for them to communicate. With time, friendship and something he’s never felt grows; love for another human. Knowing Rosa calls him when it suits her isn’t enough; he wants to meet her, but how? Relationships in Underworld are few, let alone the impossibility with those above the ceiling.

Underworld will suffer when plans to conquer Jupiter’s moon, Europa move ahead. Worse is Rosa’s father, a disgraced Overworld ambassador, approving the plan.

Zachary must defeat the prejudice of the worlds, sneak within opposing forces, lose friends and challenge Rosa’s sadness. In doing so, a twisted secret is uncovered that may devour the reason he lives; Rosa.

About the Author

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in each novel – literally throw.

My Five Minutes of Fame is Here—Quick Look Now Before it Goes!

Hey Tweeps and Peeps. Today was a very exciting day for me because I made the Internet version of the Sydney Morning Herald—one of Sydney’s biggest newspapers. I was interviewed by Melbourne journalist Matt Smith for an article he’s done on the success of authors with e-books and the new climate where publishers don’t get to say whether our book gets out there or not. It’s great article and I was so happy that he interviewed another awesome indie author, and one of my great friends, Charity Parkerson. We both come off looking quite good I think, and for that I’m grateful lol. I was, of course, nervous about saying something stupid but he managed to edit it quite well ;).

So today I’ve enjoyed my fleeting, but highly smile-enducing, five minutes of kind-of fame (the next best thing to actual fame). It’s a great piece on how fab it is to be indie, hope you enjoy reading it (go on, you know you want to click the link).

What? Shadows of the Realm is in a ‘Real’ Bookshop?

Part of my blog post is probably going to piss a few people off. I’m sorry in advance, and want you to know that I’ll still love you if you disagree with what I have to say—it’s not personal, it’s sensible. I have an opinion and I’m not afraid to wave it around occasionally.

So, firstly, the non-offensive part—what’s the latest news from my journey with Shadows of the Realm, you may ask (or maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway). Yesterday I visited a super cool, exists-in-the-real-world, fantasy/sci fi/horror bookshop—Infinitas in Parramatta (in Sydney) where I nervously presented my book to the owner, Tim. I have to admit, he was not blown away like I was hoping, but he agreed to take two of my books, which is awesome!

Tim has been in the book business a long time and he has seen a lot of indie books recently, many of them not up to scratch, so I’m lucky he gave mine a go. I know where he’s coming from, because many indie books I read have not been edited, nor proofread, and while it’s common to have a few (and I don’t mean a lot, I mean a few) typos, it’s disheartening when grammar and punctuation have been neglected in the author’s attempt to entertain us with their genius.

Why do some authors think it’s ok to do only half a job, when they wouldn’t do it at their 9-5 profession—imagine going to the mechanic and he takes the engine apart and decides he’s had enough. Treat it like a business, because your reader is not an idiot, and while you won’t fire yourself, a reader probably won’t come back for the second book if the first was a disaster.

I guess I’m having a little whinge because it’s been damn hard to get my book into shops. Everyone needs to read it first to make sure it’s not more suited to cleaning number twos in the bathroom. Why is this? Is it because my book looks like crap? No, because I have an awesome cover, done by a professional. Is it the fact that I look stupid when I turn up, because I’m wearing a clown suit and have a fish shoved up my nose? No. It’s because indie authors have a bad name, as a lot (and I’m not saying all because there’s some very professional and talented ones out there) only do half the job. The rest of us get battered with the same crumbs so it’s super duper hard to get anywhere.

Anyway, enough whinging from me. I’d like to say thanks again to Tim, I really appreciate the shelf space in Infinitas. I have my fingers crossed that some lucky reader will notice it and do something earthshattering—buy it. I’ve also managed to get my book into a library and a school, with more shops and school libraries currently considering it, so I’m kinda happy. To all those indie authors out there who work hard to put out the best product they can—you are awesome and I salute you  :).