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Archive for the ‘Fantasy Genre’ Category

Rockin’ round Queensland

Posted by richardharland on May 9, 2013

I’m having a great time, doing school visits in and around Brisbane. On Monday, I did talks for students at Aquinas (Gold Coast), then at Marymount on Tuesday (also Gold Coast). Further north to Coolum State High on Wednesday, then back down to Mary MacKillop in Nundah, Brisbane today. All accessories play a part in the ‘show’ – new pull-up banner, aviator helmet, goggles, Steampunk hat, book trailer video, PowerPoint – and of course THE GUITAR! I left my camera behind, so I only have photos from today – doing a reading while showing off my guitar!

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Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Trailers, Fantasy Genre, Steampunk, Visiting Writer | Leave a Comment »

Steampunk guitar! Oh wow!

Posted by richardharland on May 5, 2013

I have to share this! I took a secondhand guitar up to Lewis Morley in the Blue Mountains three days ago, and collected it from him on the start of my school visiting tours yesterday. What he’s done is just amazing – it’s a steampunk vision! A work of art in gold and gadgetry! I knew he was good – now I know he’s an absolute magician!

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That globe on it even lights up with zigzag lines of lightning! I’m rapt beyond rapture! It’s not only perfect for SONG OF THE SLUMS – which tells of the invention of rock ‘n roll in the middle of the 19th century, a hundred years before Elvis – it actually plays too. Oh, I am going to have so much fun!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Fantasy Genre, Steampunk | Leave a Comment »

Supanova steampunk documentary!

Posted by richardharland on June 6, 2012

It’s a week and a half to the Sydney Supanova – the special big bash, Supanova’s tenth anniversary celebration. Not only stars of film and TV (more than I can list – check ’em out at http://www.supanova.com.au/guests/) but also two RORees as author guests – Marianne de Pierres and yours truly, Richard Harland! (the overseas author is Christopher Paolini, of Eragon fame)

For me, the most exciting bit will be the filming of a steampunk documentary. Michael Pryor and I will be doing a panel on all-you-ever-wanted-to-know about Steampunk, and filming will take place during and after the panel. Come in steampunk togs if you have any – or come anyway.

Here’s the official invite, open to anyone attending Supanova on the day –

“Would you like to appear in a Steampunk TV documentary? Simply, attend Michael Pryor and Richard Harland’s panel over the weekend at Supanova in Sydney. Filming will take place during the panel as well as an opportunity to be interviewed straight after the panel. So come dressed in your best outfit and tell us why you love Steampunk! Tell your friends and family to come along and make this event one to remember!

Keep checking this page for confirmation of which day and room this event will be held.
http://www.facebook.com/events/336659733073113/

We look forward to seeing you there.”

For any further information, please contact Trevor Howis at info@vinceroproductions.com

http://www.supanova.com.au/activities/calling-steampunks/

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Fantasy Genre, Genre TV Shows, Movie/TV Adaptations, SF Books, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paula Weston asks: Why aren’t YA books as respected as ‘adult’ books?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on June 2, 2012

Today we have Brisbane based author, Paula Weston, whose debut YA fantasy Shadows has just been released from Text Publishing. Paula is going to talk about her passion, writing for Young Adults.

She raises the question why are YA (and children’s books) less respected than adult novels.

Watch out for the give-away question at the end.

 

‘Young adult is a point of view, not a reading age.’

I don’t know who said it (or in what context) but I love that sentence. Not just because it justifies the amount of time I spend reading (and enjoying) young adult stories of all genres, but because it’s true.

To suggest – as a Times magazine columnist recently did – that adults should only read adult books and leave everything else to teenagers, is remarkably narrow minded. His justification? Because ‘books are one of our few chances to learn’. In other words, there is nothing of value in young adult stories.

In that case, why do we let our teenagers read them?

The idea that a young adult novel is somehow less well written, less intelligent, less engaging and less capable of moving a reader, is insulting to writers and readers alike. Sure, there are varying degrees of quality among young adult books, but that can said of novels in any section of a book store or library.

Yet young adult novels come under stronger criticism. And when you combine the words ‘paranormal’ and ‘young adult’, you’re almost guaranteed to be immediately dismissed as lightweight in many circles. (And yes, I know spec writers – adult and young adult alike – have faced this sort of discrimination for years.)

Like many writers whose books end up in the YA section, I didn’t set out to specifically write a young adult novel.

I’d had an idea bouncing around for a while for a paranormal story but I kept pushing it aside because I was working on a fantasy series. My agent (Lyn Tranter of Australian Literary Management) came very close to scoring a publishing deal on the latter, and when it fell through, I went through my usual round of self doubt, frustration and yes, a teeny bit of self pity. (At that point I’d written five full-length manuscripts, with my first rejection slip dated 1995.)

Once I dusted myself off, I knew I needed a break from the pressure I’d put myself under to land a publishing deal. I just wanted to write something for fun, and that increasingly insistent idea in the back of my mind was the perfect outlet.

So I started on a story just for me, not worrying about anyone would think. I wrote a few scenes, which became a few chapters, and suddenly I had half a novel. Characters had never come so easily and I’d never enjoyed writing so much. I sat down and fleshed out the plot in greater detail and realised I had a story that would take more than one book to tell (four in fact). My agent loved the idea, and those early chapters, and I suddenly had an exciting new project on my hands.

I chose the age of my characters based on what would work best from a narrative perspective and what I needed for plotting (Gaby, my narrative character is 19…or so she thinks.)

When the wonderful folk at Text Publishing offered me that long-awaited contract, they felt the Rephaim series was young adult. The team there really knows what its doing in the YA market, and I was more than happy with that call. My only concern was that my series not be marketed to children or younger teens, given the amount of violence and profanity it features.

I’m an eclectic reader – from literary to paranormal and everything in between – and I’ve consistently found some of my favourite writers on young adult shelves (Aussies Melina Marchetta and Markus Zusak, and US writer Maggie Stiefvater). Some of the best books I’ve read in the last 12 months have been YA (and written by Aussies), including Vikki Wakefield’s All I Ever Wanted, Leanne Hall’s This Is Shyness and Jane Higgins’ The Bridge (okay, Jane’s from New Zealand, but you get the picture).

And if you don’t think YA spec fic stories can’t be complex and rich with analogy and metaphor, check out Marianne de Pierre’s Night Creatures series or Veronica Roth’s Divergent series.

Certainly, some YA stories can have a lighter touch, particularly when it comes to dealing with sexual issues (compare the YA and adult paranormal novels of writers like Richelle Mead, Lilith Saintcrow and Kelly Armstrong), but others push the boundaries more than adult fiction.

I agree there are boundaries that should be respected when the primary target is teens. But more and more, young adult novels are crossing over to wider markets. Harry Potter – still referred to in some quarters as ‘children’s fiction’ – sparked that fire, and it shows no sign of burning out any time soon.

Absolutely, teens should own the YA section of book stores. But the rest of us shouldn’t have to feel like we’ve left our brains at the door when we want to read great stories that just happen to wear the YA label.

Paula has a copy of Shadows for one lucky commenter. Give-away question:  When you were growing up what YA novel (or writer) made a big impression on you?

Shadows: Book 1 of the Rephaim series (Text Publishing) is out 2 July

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Characterisation, Fantasy Genre, Genre Writing, Publishing Industry, Readers and Genre, Visiting Writer, Writing Craft, Writing for children, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Having a ball at Supanova!

Posted by richardharland on April 23, 2012

I had a ball at Supanova, signing Worldshakers and Liberators, and doing a joint presentation on steampunk with fellow Australian steampunk author Michael Pryor. I was a huge event – I didn’t hear final numbers, but on Saturday it was well on the way to being the biggest Supanova ever. Most of the guests were international, stars of TV and film, graphic novelists, all sorts of talents. It was exciting to sit in the Green Room chatting to them!

The authors were mostly Australian, except for Brendan Sanderson, the American author who’s finishing off Robert Howard’s Wheel of Time series. [Whoops – quick revision – I had a brainsnap there – I meant Robert Jordan!} Our very own Trent was there – also Keri Arthur, Kylie Chan and my fellow steampunk author, Michael Pryor. Michael and I did a talk on steampunk – very well attended and approved enthusiastically. Steampunk is definitely making waves!

I loved seeing so many steampunk costumes there! In fact, there were more the second day than the first – because people had been buying steampunk gear from the stalls around.

For some classy steampunk costuming, here are Angela, Cherie and Michael (not the author) – plus me, not quite so classy because my shirt is hanging out. A real Victorian-era gentleman would probably die of shame if seen with his shirt hanging out!

I’m wearing my aviator helmet and goggles in that pic, but I got to wear my new steampunk hat most of the time. It attracted a lot of attention, that hat! Here I am wearing it, with Michael Pryor who also dressed up in full steampunk regalia.

I haven’t got a pic of all the authors at the signing table – I was sure I had, but I haven’t. Nor of Trent at the event – perhaps you can post one up, Trent?

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Fantasy Genre, Genre TV Shows, Movie/TV Adaptations, Steampunk | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Congratulations to the ROR Aurealis Award Finalists 2011

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 23, 2012

First of all a big congratulations to everyone who made the final lists for the 2011 Aurealis Awards. Having worked on the awards for 5 years I know what goes on behind the scenes and I want to thank the team who organise the awards and the panels who read the entries, and agonise over the final lists, all of them volunteers!

Celebrating our ROR 2011 Aurealis Awards – Finalists

FANTASY NOVEL

The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)

FANTASY SHORT STORY

“The Proving of Smollett Standforth” by Margo Lanagan (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperVoyager)

“Into the Clouds on High” by Margo Lanagan (Yellowcake, Allen & Unwin)

 

HORROR NOVEL

NO SHORTLIST OR WINNING NOVEL – TWO HONORABLE MENTION:

The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)

 

HORROR SHORT STORY

“Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)

 

YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“The Patrician” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

COLLECTION

Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

 

 Best of luck to everyone on the awards night. For more infor see here.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Fantasy Genre | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Double Book Launch

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 25, 2012

Anyone going to be in Tassie on Thursday 2nd of Feb?

We’re pleased to spread the news that Margo Lanagan will now be joining us on February 2nd for a launch of her new book, Sea Hearts. Margo and Tansy Rayner Roberts will share the evening, making it a very exciting double launch for us — don’t miss it!
Thursday February 2nd
5:30pm
The Hobart Bookshop*
Rowena Cory Daniells will launch Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
This is the final book in Rayner-Roberts’ The Creature Court trilogy.
Richard Harland will launch Margo Lanagan‘s Sea Hearts — an an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.
 
So if you happen to be around, drop into the Hobart Bookshop and toast to Tansy and Margo’s new books!
*The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
hobooks@ozemail.com.au
www.hobartbookshop.com.au

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Covers, Creativity, Fantasy Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Publishers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Boost for the ego!

Posted by richardharland on December 3, 2011

Had the best possible author’s night last night! It was a Battle of the Books at Montreuil, where young readers, in groups of two or three or solo, spoke up for their favourite book in 3 minutes. There were about eight books presented – and Le Worldshaker was the only book that got spoken for twice! What could be nicer than to sit and hear words of praise for one’s own novel, as young readers try to persuade everyone else to read it! Here’s the first group


They had drawn pictures of Col and Riff that they held up as they talked – just visible in the photo. The second group focused mostly on doing a reading, which they did v well … But it was bad luck that their reading overlapped with the same passage that the first group had read. Here they are reading


Other groups or solos used different forms of presentation, e.g. Interviewing one another about the book – each group trying to do something different.
I’d have loved one of Le Worldshaker groups to win – a jury of three each gave a mark out of five for every presentation – but no, their best score was joint third, I think. The girl who won, speaking solo, was a v good, v natural public speaker.
I was the only author there, dressed in my steampunk gear, of course, and I got a big introduction at the start. Honestly, it doesn’t get any better than this!

Earlier in the day, we went to the chateau at Fontainebleau – another out-of-town trip. ‘Sumptuous’ was Aileen’s description – endless rooms of unbelievable luxury. And the sun came out for us!

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Fantasy Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Reviews, Steampunk, Writing for children, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Montreuil Book Fair

Posted by richardharland on December 1, 2011

Whew! it’s big, this book fair – even though only for children’s and YA. Seems to me there’s about 100 publishers’ stalls. We wined and nibbled at the opening night last night, and managed to talk French with the help of many hand gestures, plus Italian in Aileen’s case. Here’s me with publisher Sophie (on right), editor Gilberte (on left), and Elsa who looks after overseas rights.


Today I had a presentation with a class of school kids who’d all read Worldshaker – I managed to answer their questions in French – at least they said they understood! Then they enacted some tableaux from the novel – here’s the scene where Riff goes to eat the jelly, Col tries to stop her, and Sephaltina is about to faint –


It was a real treat for me!
Later I went to the Louvre. Yesterday I wandered around the Marais and bought some shoes and books. Did I mention I found the perfect steampunk goggles at the fleamarket at St Ouen. They’re actually Austrian army goggles, probably for use on snow, so old they’re probably WW I. I’ll take a piccy, but right now here’s a steampunk Metro station – it’s on one of the lines at the Arts et Métiers stop –

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Fantasy Genre, Promoting your Book, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Steampunk | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

The Creature Court Fashion Challenge Contest

Posted by tansyrr on November 9, 2011

It’s Nanowrimo so I’m currently swamped with writing a new novel. I hated it bitterly for the first week, resenting every 1667 I had to squeeze out of a stone daily, and devastated that the book I had been waiting two years to write was betraying me so badly.

But now it’s week 2, my momentum is up, and I’m falling happily in love with exactly the same novel. Ah, the ups and downs of the writering.

There are still a couple of months before the release of Reign of Beasts, the third in my Creature Court trilogy, and to celebrate I am making a quilt. Well, I started making a quilt, and then I photographed some of the bits, and then I stopped making a quilt. The *important* detail is that I was able to print up some gorgeous postcards in honour of four of the novel’s heroines – Velody, Rhian, Delphine and Livilla – and I have a plan to write sneak peek excerpts of Book 3 onto said postcards, and release them into the wild.

If you are one of those people hanging out for Reign of Beasts (and particularly if you are among those people who were counting on it being out in October – sorry about that!) then all you have to do to earn a postcard hand-written with a tantalising glimpse of Book 3 is:

Design or describe an outfit for one of the characters of the Creature Court novels to wear.

EVERYONE’S A WINNER:

Everyone who enters the contest & provides me with a postal address [to creaturecourt (at) gmail.com – please don’t post addresses in comments] will receive a Creature Court postcard with a juicy snippet from Book 3 hand-written by me.

You can take the challenge as seriously or as flippantly as you choose. I look forward to seeing your entries. Unless you request otherwise, I will post your entries on my blog. If you wish me to remove them from public display at any time, just ask.

Competition is open until 15th December or until I run out of postcards, whichever comes first!

The first wave of entries are up here and I have another batch to put up shortly. The sooner you enter, the sooner you will get your postcard!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Creativity, Fantasy Genre, Promoting your Book | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »