Welcome to my Library!
In my first post I will talk a little about my writing and the Aurealis Awards. What are they? You ask… Read on and find out!
Future posts will feature details about my book, Illuminations, and my hopeful journey to become an author, (traditionally or self-published), excerpts from my book, book reviews, comments on writing courses, writers festivals, writing competitions, and support of speculative fiction in Australia. Also, my daughter Holly and I are starting a young adult fiction book club that needs a name. We are all out of ideas! Please comment below with your suggestion so we can improve on the current name. Click on our super imaginative book club title on the menu above to see what we are reading this month and join us for a monthly review and discussion.
- My Writing:
I have been writing on and off for a while now, sometimes putting it aside for a year or two at a time. I was meandering my way through the process of writing a novel with absolutely no idea what I was doing. Thankfully something prompted me to do a course and I realised my novel had no real purpose, a vague plot, and only became interesting about 10,000 words in! I needed help. So, I completed a few courses which taught me some of the structural aspects of creating a good novel, interesting characters and using a unique voice.
I then followed that up with two 5-month mentorships with author Kathryn Heyman. These mentorships were invaluable and helped me find the story lurking beneath my words. Not only did the mentorships with Kathryn help me improve my story structure and the quality of my writing, but also the deadline of sending 10,000 polished words to her every month made me work harder than I ever had before, and in the process finished my book.
A few months ago (even though I felt that my book was lacking in some areas and needed a professional edit), I decided, perhaps prematurely, to submit to a few agents and a publisher that Kathryn had recommended. I will post an update soon with how I am going with that, but meanwhile I am continuing to edit and refine my book and the world it is set in – which sometimes seems like an endless, unrewarding, frustrating process but I feel fortunate to be able to potter along with my ‘hobby’ with the support of my family and friends.
- First up on my literary calendar – the Aurealis Awards
It’s not long until I am heading down to Canberra for the Aurealis Awards Ceremony in the Great Hall, University House at the Australian National University. The awards are on Saturday 5th April and are, as the website states here ‘Australia’s premier speculative fiction awards’ for writers of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror and Graphic Novels.
I am really excited to be attending the awards with Helen of High Fantasy Addict who introduced me to the fact that these awards even existed when we met at the State Library for a short course during the 2013 Sydney Writers Festival called ‘Kill your Darlings’ (our darlings being our precious words we artfully place on the page, then brutally kill off during the editing process). Thank goodness I was sitting next to Helen at this course, as not only is she just lovely, but I was woefully uneducated about Australian authors of speculative fiction and out of touch with the fantasy reading girl within me that I had forgotten about in the last few years. So, I am very much looking forward to the awards, maybe meeting a few authors, chatting to some like-minded spec fiction writers (I think we are a different breed to other writers!), AND enjoying a beverage or two (of course I have booked the closest possible accommodation to the awards ceremony – on the campus of the university and pretty much across the road from the Great Hall). Cheers!
Here are the Aurealis Awards Finalists
I have set myself a speculative fiction reading challenge and will record all of the books I read this year. You can check out my progress under Lisa’s Spec Fiction Reading Challenge on the tab above. How many should I attempt to read each month? I am hoping to get through the following books from the Aurealis Finalists before the ceremony in two weeks:
- Ink Black Magic by Tansy Rayner Roberts (FableCroft Publishing) – nominated for Best Fantasy Novel category
- Lexicon by Max Barry (Hachette Australia) – nominated for Best Fantasy Novel
- Song for a Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt (Allen & Unwin) – nominated for Best Children’s Book
- The Four Seasons of Lucy McKenzie by Kirsty Murray (Allen & Unwin) – nominated for Best Children’s Book
For middle grade or YA readers, or any keen adults don’t forget to check out Lisa and Holly’s Online Book Club and leave some suggestions for the book club name!
Thanks for reading my first blog!