Although I’d understand if you lost interest in this blog long ago.
It’s been five years since my last post. I’m keen to get blogging again on a semi-regular basis, and thought I’d start with an update on where I’m at in life and writing.
My last post was in 2017, when The Undercurrent launched. At that point, I’d lost my brother Steve a few days before the launch, barely two years after losing my dad, and my mum had been diagnosed with dementia.
The years that followed were full of ups and downs. I spent a lot of time with my mum, grateful for every day she remembered me. When my dad passed, it was quick and sudden. The last weeks of my mum’s life were the opposite. Both experiences were terrible, and each changed me in profound ways I’m still grappling with.
In happier news, a year later, my husband and I bought a 160-year-old cottage on a couple of acres in the Scenic Rim, an hour south-west of Brisbane. It’s been life-changing in all the right ways. Beautiful scenery, welcoming people, a sense of community, and a re-connection with life away from a digital screen. Our cottage is small, but my life is bigger in ways I’d forgotten I needed.
If you follow my author account on Facebook, you possibly saw I’ve had two pieces of news about The Rephaim series this year.
In March, Sarah Kelly – a lovely Canadian actress and screenwriter – bought the rights to adapt Shadows into a film. Sarah is from Algonquins of Pikwakanagan in Golden Lake, Ontario.
It’s an exciting opportunity for Gaby, Rafa and company. It’s a long road from print to screen, and this is an important first step. The process from here is for Sarah to adapt the book into a screenplay and then find a production company to bring it to the screen.
I’m so grateful to Sarah for loving The Rephaim characters enough to want to adapt the first novel in the series, knowing how many of her own projects she has going on. (This year alone, her short film Good Grief has won a stack of Canadian and international awards (she wrote, directed and starred in it), and she’s also been busy acting, and had another of her screenplays optioned.)
The Rephaim are in Poland!
In September, a Polish language edition of Shadows was released in Poland (print, e-book and audio). Interestingly, it’s been released as an adult book (rather than YA), and has so far been well received by Polish book bloggers.
The Instagram posts have been stunning.
After The Undercurrent came out in 2017, I spent a couple of years working on a stand-alone contemporary adult thriller, for a change of pace. I wrote it during an intense time in my life, so maybe it’s no surprise it didn’t find a publishing home.
And then I did something I should have done a while ago: returned to the fantasy series I’d been working on before The Rephaim. I had the first book drafted, as well as a few chapters of the second book, so I figured it would simply be a case of tightening up the line, giving it a polish, and writing the rest.
After working with editors on five published books, I’m not only a better writer, I’m also a better storyteller and have a stronger sense of the type of story I want to tell with this group of characters and the world I’ve created for them.
So, I’ve spent the last two years completely re-working the first book (the story is essentially the same but the characters are more nuanced and the world-building much richer) and am about a third of the way into the second book. I also have a completely new direction for the third than what I’d originally planned.
For the first time in a long while, I’m excited about writing. I’ve been doing a lot of fun research, in particular learning more about the middle ages, sword play and Greek myths.
The story will take three books to tell. Fingers crossed the trilogy finds a home.
I know…it’s been a long time between posts.
My life has been its usual craziness between my day job and working on the new book, but I thought I’d give a quick update on a couple of things.
Firstly, the new book…
My publisher, Michael Heyward at Text Publishing, gave it a lovely mention in a recent edition of Bookseller & Publisher, so I can now tell you it’s called The Undercurrent and it will be release in August 2017. As I’ve said before, it’s a totally new story set in a near-future Australia and is a stand-alone novel.
My favourite reads this year include (click on each for my thoughts on Goodreads):
I’ve also been lucky enough to read a draft of Vikki Wakefield’s new suspense novel Ballad for a Mad Girl (due out in March 2017) and can tell you that it’s spine-chillingly awesome.
I’ve also been watching:
(Jury is still out on whether I’m going to see out this season of Walking Dead after that first episode. I may not forgive the writers for that one.)
Okay, that’s it for me for now.
So, I made a fascinating discovery this week. (Okay, it wouldn’t have been so fascinating if I’d been paying better attention to my agent when she explained my contracts to me.)
As I’ve mentioned before, The Rephaim series to date is being published in three key territories:
- Australian and New Zealand, by Text Publishing
- the United Kingdom, by Orion (Indigo Books)
- the United States and Canada, by Tundra Books
Now, if you live in other parts of the world it turns out you can still access the Orion-Indigo (UK) edition, because it has the export rights (English language version) to a large chunk of the rest of the world not covered by Text or Tundra. (There are some exceptions of course, but the list is quite long.)
So, if you’re in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, South America or Central America there’s a chance your local bookseller either has it on the shelf or can order it in. Otherwise, you should be able to access the UK version on Amazon – as hard copy or as ebook. I don’t know how the price structure works in the export market, but hopefully it’s not too expensive.
I’ve had a lot of queries in recent months about availability of the Rephaim series from readers in Europe and Asia, so I hope this helps.
And US/Canadian readers – your edition of Shadows is not far away: 10 September!
You can find details on how to be involved here: http://textpublishing.com.au/number-3-chiller/post/want-to-be-in-a-text-book-trailer/
Registrations close 24 April. Should be a lot of fun. (And there’s more cool stuff to come between now and Haze’s release on 22 May. Stay tuned.)
I’ll be chatting about Shadows at the Victoria Point Library on 23 August (6-7pm).
This is another of those moments when a few of my worlds will collide…
I used to work at Redland City Council (to which the Victoria Point Library belongs), so I know the lovely librarian there, and my former colleagues in the Marketing and Communication team have put together this snazzy flyer promoting the event. (Thanks Lucas for not giving me a moustache!)
The event is being presented in partnership with Angus & Robertson Victoria Point, owned by Stephanie and Kevin Walkem. Aside from the fact A&R is my local book store, I worked with Stephanie many years ago when she was a major events and venues guru, so it’s serendipitous our paths have crossed again in the book world.
So, if you’re interested in hearing me talk about how Shadows came about, and how I got to this point in my writing career, come along!
The event is free, but bookings are essential. Just give the library a call on 3829 8770.