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Posts Tagged ‘Collaborating’

Blitzing the book trailers …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 5, 2011

This Sunday we have a ‘call back’. In an interview with AA Bell, author of Diamond Eyes, she tells how the music that inspired her while writing the book led to a collaboration, that has created a killer book trailer. Then we hear from the musician involved in her project,  ‘David Meshow’.

We have a copy of Diamond Eyes to give-away. Watch our for the question at the end.

Blitzing the book trailers for many NY Times bestsellers this month is the non-traditional low-budget trailer for Diamond Eyes, by AA Bell.


Over 106,000 views in only 3 weeks! (Here and Here)

 

Interview with the Author:

 

How did music play a role during the initial creative process?

Since the main character is blind, music and poetry plays an increasingly important role in the Diamond Eyes trilogy, adding sensory depth to settings as well as a few main plot twists. During the research stage, I therefore searched high and low for musicians who could inspire me by playing as many instruments as my main character, and play them so well, they could do it anywhere – in a garden or forest, and with a quirky sense of humour too preferably, to suit the off-beat characters and varying paces of the story, from slow and melancholy to fast-paced action. That’s how I found French Canadian, David Meshow, a young musical genius who can play at least 8 different instruments (and up to 4 at once, while singing in English, which isn’t his first language!) He also taught me how to play the most amazing electric guitar melodies around a campfire, so I could use it to increase the ‘magical’ aspects of a specific scene in Hindsight (launching in June.)

And in post production?

It seemed only natural that such unique music should play a large role in post production too. So I wrote to David for permission to use part of the music which had inspired me so much during the creative process, and sent him a copy of the book, but he was so inspired by the story, he told me he was keen to write a brand new piece just to suit it. And wow, what a fabulous example of inspiration breeding inspiration. Over 5000 fans now agree it’s his best yet!

Interview with the Musician:

What inspired you when writing the Official Theme to Diamond Eyes?

 

From the story, I imagined how I would be if I was blind. Seeing nothing, but seeing something that nobody else can see, because it’s only in my head, gave me a lot of strange feelings. I first tuned my acoustic guitar with an unusual scale. After having found the main “chords” I recorded the guitar on my computer, just a simple test. Then i added some improvised piano. I love the sound of piano because you can get some smooth peaceful high tones and aggressive low notes at the same time. At the final recording step, I thought: What could I play to replace these testing notes? I tried different things but my final answer was; “Hey David, don’t change anything. The first recording test was pure emotion. It sounds deep.’ And finally, I used the soundless preview of the traditional trailer to get many ideas for the main ambiance and for adding different sound FX.

How long did it take?

A few minutes here and there, but if I calculate the full time of the composition, mixing and production to finished product, I’d say it took me a good full week. But i don’t like to calculate my time because it “scraps” my imagination and the mood I have when I’m recording a song. It has to be done with heart. The most difficult is the final mixing step because I have to admit that I’m never 100% satisfied. Sometimes I just need to stop or I’ll never release my work. Hehe!

What has this fabulous response from youtube fans meant to you as an artist?

Ha! I’m surprised! I’m the kind of person who is always anxious until I get the first comments. It’s always like that. I really wasn’t expecting such a good response. I wasn’t sure about making a video for the song either. I was wrong, I guess. A lot of fans have told me it’s my best yet. And if I’m here today, it’s thanks to them! This 50 million views could not have happened without them. I’m really happy about everything that’s happened!

To win a copy of Diamond Eyes, AA Bell asks: What music do you listen to when you write?

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Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Book Trailers, Creativity, Musicians, Promoting your Book, Sales | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Dynamic Double Novella from Twelfth Planet Press

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 29, 2011

Following on from the Washington Association Small Press Short Fiction Award for Siren Beat, by Tansy Rayner Roberts, Twelfth Planet Press (TPP) have released Above and Below, available here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we have the Dynamic Duo of Ben Peek and Stephanie Campisi to talk about the writing process behind these linked novellas. (Watch out for the give-away at the end).

A city has fallen from the sky.

 

Above , the alphabetic first half of Twelfth Planet Press’s latest release, focuses on Devian Lell, a window cleaner. Living in one of the many the floating cities that form Loft, he is drawn into the political turmoil that erupts when Dirt sends a diplomat to negotiate the trade of minerals that keep their cities afloat. Below, the alphabetical second half, features Eli Kurran, a security guard mourning the death of his wife to the toxicity of Dirt. Blackmailed by his former employer, he is forced to provide security for a diplomat from Loft, a woman three times his age, and easily the oldest living person ever to come to Dirt.

Above, written by Stephanie Campisi and Below, written by Ben Peek, is designed to be read in any order, to be read twice, in fact, and is a novel that will challenge your certainty of who, in Loft and in Dirt, is right.

Speaking together, the authors claim that the idea to write the book together was Campisi’s. “Alisa Krasnostein, the publisher of Twelfth Planet Press, was looking for proposals for her double press line,” Campisi says from her apartment in Melbourne. Currently working as a freelance writer, she has a reputation for quirky, beautifully written short fiction, and will feature in Twelve Planets, a series of twelve short story collections promoting female authors in Australia by Twelfth Planet Press. “I asked if Ben watched to pitch something with me and we came up with the idea of Above/Below pretty much on the spot. When we emailed Alisa, all we had was the title and the idea of a city falling from the sky, but it didn’t take long to go from there.”

Ben Peek

Peek agrees that the start was very organic. “We divided the two halves of the book on the strength of our prose,” he explains from the outskirts of Sydney. Splitting his time between teaching and writing, Peek is the author of a pair of critically acclaimed novels. “Out of the pair of us, Steph has the more beautiful, elegant writing, and so she ended up with Loft, a city that is essentially full of refined and cultured people. That left me with Below, the ugly, dirty secret. That kind of suits me, y’know? So I stripped back my style, left it lean and sparse, and wrote about a culture of people who really don’t have very long to live and whose life is dominated by death.

“After we had worked that out, the pair of us pretty much went off and wrote our piece, with no real hassle.”

“He’s lying terribly,” Campisi interjects over skype. “I must have gotten sixty emails in the first week from him, each with a new idea, each changing the previous, altering his plot and his world. I really had no idea what he was doing. They would appear at odd hours, too. I took to turning my phone off at night, just so I could sleep.”

“I would get emails about fruit,” Peek admits. “I got a text messages about the economy. That was about the time I started thinking of how I could blow her city up.”

Steph and Jono

“I was busy trying to work in air strikes at that stage. The quicker I destroyed him and took over his land, the better!” Campisi laughs. “No, seriously, we set up a google wave and left notes for a while before writing our pieces. We would send emails to each other every now and then, explaining a character we had created from each others city, or an event that we were working in as important history, but that was about it.”

“We actually made the decision early on not to worry too much about what the other was writing at the start,” Peek explains. “Well, I made the decision. The way I write involves a lot of editing, with me going back and forth and shifting and fixing and trashing. Nothing really stays the same after a while. Steph, though, she works a little differently, with her first drafts being much more polished and to the point than mine, so it was really a better deal to just get out of each others way and come back once we had finished.”

“When that happened, we actually found we had done a lot of things that just meshed really well,” Campisi continues. “Our two protagonists had a lot of similarities that allowed the two books to resonate throughout, and when the rewrites began, I tweaked little bits here and there to make it stronger. Devian’s wife, for example, had a much larger presence in Above after I had read Ben’s.”

“Yeah, I remember going back and altering a lot of descriptions after I read Above,” Peek adds. “Tiny things that most people probably won’t notice, I suspect, but I thought they made the two parts to mesh better. I also made my world a little dirtier. There is a moment in Above where Devian meets the diplomat, Dhormi, and Devian comments on how filthy he was. I realised that I had not allowed for that to be part of Below. I didn’t really think of crusted nails, skin with dirt lodged in the lines and wrinkles, but after I read Steph’s I thought it was pretty cool, so I went back. It was hard to do, though, because no one sits around and thinks that they’re a filthy. I worked with a guy once who had the worse body odor I had ever smelt, but he was fine with it because to him it was very natural. He was pretty cut when management spoke to him about it. So finding the right balance for that was hard, but I think I managed to strike it well enough―though it is a much stronger and more striking moment in Above, something I didn’t want to detract from.”

After they had done that, Alisa Krasnostein took the two pieces and began editing. “She did a fine job,” Campisi says. “From the outset she was really concerned with the quality of the book and did not want to put out something bad. It’s her brand, so she watches it keenly. When what we gave her meant that we would put out something inferior in the first deadline, she wasn’t afraid to push it back and push us. It was very important that the three of us stood behind the work.”

“Very much so,” Peek agrees. “While Above/Below has come out in the double press line, we want it to be considered as a novel, not just two novellas joined together. The double press format is really neat and allows for you to do something really quite different if you put the time and effort into it, and that’s what we did. We deliberately aimed to create a co-written novel that was co-written in a very different way, avoiding that style that emerges when two authors mesh their words together. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and some authors do it very well, but we were allowed to do something different in terms of co-writing for Above/Below and we embraced that idea.”

“The final product is something we’re all proud of,” Campisi adds. “Everything meshes so well together, it has little Easter eggs buried in it, and on top of that, it is a cute book, with beautifully designed covers by Amanda Rainey.”

“Yeah, we cannot give Rainey enough credit for what she does,” Peek says. “She will probably go down as a bit of a forgotten champion for the look of the book, which is a shame because without her, I don’t think it would be the object of desire that it is.”

Above/Below is available now from the Twelfth Planet store, where it can be purchased in either its paper form or an electronic from. In conjunction with the ROR site, the authors have organised a competition that will give a book away to one reader. All you have to do is write, in five hundred words or less, what your hobby would be if you lived in a city that floated in the sky. The best idea wins a copy of Above/Below.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Book Giveaway, Collaborating, Covers, Nourish the Writer, Publishers, Visiting Writer, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Meet Dirk Flinthart …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 28, 2010

Way back when the VISION writing group was in its infancy, Dirk Flinthart walked into a session and life has never been the same since.  I think of Dirk as the Greenman of pagan mythology. Larger than life and full of life! His stories have been a finalist and received an Honourable Mention in the Aurealis Awards, and has been working on a libretto ‘Bedlam’ which the operetta company hopes to premiere in Brisbane in 2011 (subject to grant funding).

Dirk has a copy of Worlds Next Door to give-away. Watchout for the question at the end of the post.

Q: While studying Entomology at UNI, I believe you led a rather dissolute life which led to the publication of ‘How to be a Man’ co-wrote with John Birmingham? Have you considered doing any more forays into contemporary humorous self/help books?

I’d argue it wasn’t dissolute so much as anarchic, bohemian and poverty-stricken. Birmo took all the worst and ugliest parts for ‘He Died With A Felafel In His Hand’, simply by asking all of us for share-house stories. That the book did so damned well is a testament to his ability as a writer – and to the resonant, shared nature of those stories. Everybody who share-housed through the eighties and nineties had lived through the dark heart of that book, which only goes to justify my earlier statement regarding my putative dissolution.

Look it was the tail-end of Whitlam’s free tertiary education era. We were the children of early baby boomers. We were smart, and we were fairly savvy because of our exposure to modern media culture… but we had nothing. No money. No venerable ancestry. No old-school ties. All we had was our brains, our attitude, and most importantly, each other.

Felafel’s a good read. Funny as hell. The movie not so much. But the movie manages to touch one thing the book doesn’t really dwell on strongly enough: the trust. The sad, brave, desperate, hilarious trust that kept us all going, all living together, bickering with each other, struggling, and eventually, escaping into some kind of adult life.

I don’t think it’s really possible to put that kind of thing into a book. Not if you really plan to do it justice. John made a brave attempt, particularly with the sequel (The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, in which yours truly plays a larger-than-cameo role as a somewhat exaggerated caricature of himself) but the truth is a lost country, a past that binds together some of the cleverest and most influential people in Australia today.


The book I wrote with Birmo was How To Be A Man. It was, yes, an informative and funny sort of guide to getting one’s manly shit together in the late nineties and early noughties. It did surprisingly well.

Birmo’s gone on to bigger and better things. I’ve gone on to… oddities, actually. But both of us now have kids, and being parents plays a big role in our lives. I haven’t told him yet, but I’m giving serious thought to How To Be A Dad. What do you reckon?

Q: A while ago you put a humorous upper primary novel to the ROR group for feedback. How is it going and are you planning to write any more books for children?

Lots of good feedback from various publishers and editors, but no serious bites. You win some, you lose some. I’m not giving up on the novel, but I’m moving on to other projects, as one must. I’d love to revisit it, however. Perhaps if I can put the Flinthart name out there on the back of a few novels, someone will pick up “The Farnsdale Incident” and its truly odious alien invaders.

As for writing for kids yeah, why not? I’ve got three, and they love the things I write for them. Including The Farnsdale Incident, by the way. Kids are fun.

Q: You have edited ASIM and Canterbury 2100, a themed anthology. What did you learn from this process?

Whoa.

Yeah. Okay. Editing is not writing. But it is closely akin. And if you have to have a certain sensitivity when allowing your work to be edited, then you need fifty times that to edit another’s work.

I’m fortunate in some ways. I read quickly, with a very high rate of comprehension, and I have a knack for working within the style of other writers. There were a few stories in Canterbury that I altered with permission and co-operation from the writers, naturally and I’d defy you to pick which ones purely by reading the text.

Editing ASIM was just plain fun. Mostly I got to pick good stories and run with them. However, with A Day In Her Lives, I had the distinct pleasure of helping a new writer take a very interesting story and lop about three thousand words off it, making it sharper and stronger in the process. That was a real privilege. I wouldn’t mind doing more editing work, actually. The collaborative side of it is truly rewarding.


Canterbury was a major challenge. It was an homage to the Canterbury Tales: a collection of oral stories by travellers on a stranded train in the year 2109, on their way to Canterbury in an England trying to recover from a century of climate change, ecodisaster, economic catastrophe, plague a collapse of the worldwide civilisation we have today.

I prepared a simple outline of a future history for the writers, and asked them to riff on it any way they wanted. The proviso was that we were not telling the future history, though: we were telling the STORIES of that future history. So they had to be tales that travellers might share, to pass the time, and to bond with one another in the face of a night of storm and fear.

I was really pleased with the collection in the end, but it nearly did my head in. So much of basic SF technique had to be thrown out! Historical exposition, for example: why would characters who’d lived through history bother explaining it to each other? The truth is that they wouldn’t so I had to teach myself to see that kind of thing, as an editor, and then remove it.

It had to be that way. The goal was to create a collection of stories that challenged readers to wonder; to imagine what kind of century led up to the events of the train journey. Answering those questions in the stories would have been counterproductive which is completely contrary to the usual SF storytelling technique.

On top of that, I had to come up with a framing narrative to hook the stories together. When Chaucer and Boccaccio did it, they were only creating a frame for their own stories, and to be honest, their narratives are pretty weak. The stories are great, but the framing tales are just fluff.

The problem for me was that I was putting together a collection of disparate stories from twenty different authors. If I’d written a piece of ‘fluff’ to frame them, it would have been a disaster. It would have seemed forced, and false.

In the end, I created a narrator character, and gave him a reason for being on the train, and for observing the storytellers carefully. I also gave him his own adventure, which weaves in between the others, and allowed me to write a kind of ‘afterword’ without actually breaking register.

It was a monumental challenge, actually and I count myself lucky that all the writers were so very wonderfully helpful and supportive. I hope that means I did something right!

Q: Your novella ‘Angel Rising’ was published by Twelfth Planet Press. This was an unusual premise for a story and you wrote it as a novella. What led you to write ‘Angel Rising’?

I fell into the New Ceres stuff by helping out as an assistant editor. ‘New Ceres’ is a setting dreamed up by several writers and editors, including but not limited to Gillian Polack, Alisa Krasnostein, and Tansy Rayner-Roberts. It’s an interesting, challenging kind of setting – a planet some seven hundred years in the future that deliberate restricts itself to 18th century technology and manners – and as I edited, ideas started to roll.

I figured a planet which eschewed visible, conventional technology might be prepared to accept biologically altered humans who were, in a way, victims of that technology. Equally, it was obvious that such a planet would need a very effective spy system to defend itself from infiltrators.

In this fashion, George Gordon was born. He’s appeared in three tales, now, as Proctor General of the planet. His job is to monitor offworlder incursions, and to eliminate them where they represent a threat to planetary security. It isn’t a nice job, but Gordon wasn’t genetically engineered to be a very nice man.

He’s a fun character to write, because he’s smart, cynical, incredibly dangerous, but flawed as hell. He isn’t exactly human, and he will never be a simple, comfortable human being, but he desperately wants to believe in humankind, and the possibility of some kind of redemption.

‘Angel Rising’ pits him against one of his fellow Proctors, on a group of islands where the inhabitants try to mimic 18th-century Japanese culture. A refugee from the ongoing space war between two major forces in the human expansion falls to New Ceres, bringing with her information which can change the whole face of the war – and possibly even more. Gordon gets to fall in love, fight lots of bad guys, discuss Zen and ethics, and maybe save his world. Oh – and he also gets to take sides in a pitched battle between ninjas and Zen Buddhist nuns. What else could you ask for?

Q: You put your Libretto to the ROR group for feedback last time we met and it has since been turned into an operetta called ‘Bedlam’. This opera is set in bedlam and two of the main characters are Lord Byron and Mab, Queen of the Fey. Tell us a little about how this project came together and what your inspiration was.

I’m not certain she’s Mab. She’s certainly a Faerie Queen; if not the very last, then one of them. And she’s been trapped in Bedlam Asylum for three generations, due to the machinations of the doctors that run the place the Monro family.

Inspiration is a quirky thing. I never know where it’s going to come from. I do know this: the more restrictions you place on me, the more likely I am to come up with something quickly. I don’t know why that works, but it does.

In this case, an old friend rang and asked if I’d write something for her. Intrigued, I asked what she was after. She told me the setting she wanted, and the kind of thing she was after, and while we were still on the phone, the outline started to come through.

I want to say that it was all obvious. Bedlam is a legendary place of madness, and of course, there’s a long history of association between madness and the Faery folk. To be ‘elf-shot’, for example, is an old term for being mad. And then there’s the term ‘fey’, which is often used interchangeably with faery or fairy or elf but also means eccentric, mad, ‘doomed’, ‘fated’, and so forth. I want to say it was an easy leap from there to trap an elf-queen in Bedlam, and to put the famous Lord Byron into the role of rescuer. And why not? Club-footed Byron (obviously marked by the faery at birth!) is as fine a role-model for the elf-shot, mad, romantic hero as ever you could want.

But the truth is, I suppose, it wasn’t obvious. Except to me. Inspiration is about what’s in your head, and how it interacts with what you see and hear. So it happens I knew enough about Bedlam and Byron and the fey/mad thing to see a shape, and to cut at it until it emerged.

I’m delighted with the direction it’s taken, in the end. The emerging story is complex, with a range of powerful themes and archetypal characters, working towards a gratifyingly tragic and heroic conclusion. I get to play with Elizabethan language for the characters of the Bedlam Court of the Faerie Queen, and I get to play with that lovely, formal, poetic language of Byron for the rest. If I can get away with this, I’ll be over the moon!

Q: What was it like collaborating? There were singers, dancers, a director and set designers, all interpreting your vision and bringing their own vision to the final production. It must have been a real change of pace from writing away in your study.

Collaboration is fascinating. It didn’t get me out of my study, though!

This isn’t the first time I’ve worked with stage or screen folks. Dragonwood Studios worked one of my stories into a short film a few years back, and I’ve written stuff for radio and for stage shows and so forth. Plus there was the book with John Birmingham, and the highly collaborative effort on Canterbury 2100.

I enjoy the challenge of collaboration. Whenever someone else picks up a piece of my work, or vision, they invariably bring something new and unexpected to it. The stories that came out for Canterbury gave me pictures and images of the Dark Century (ahead of us!) that I had never even considered, and I was absolutely delighted.

With Bedlam, I sketched out a storyline for my opera-producer friend, and talked her through the major themes over the phone. I explained the nature of the central conflict, and the role of the three major players Byron, the Queen, and Thomas Monro, the Iron Doctor and how they would have to develop in order to allow for a meaningful arc of conflict, resolution, and development.

Next thing I knew, I had an email from her: all stuff I’d put in front of her, neatly bundled into ten scenes. And could I please create dialogue to bring those scenes to life?

Right away, it was a challenge. Because, of course, I’m not just writing dialogue. This is a libretto. The composer (David Lazar) chooses the lines he wants and creates the song lyrics therefrom. Naturally, the first proviso is that the dialogue must be the primary means of storytelling. And almost as important, those lines of dialogue have to resonate. They have to have rhythm. They have to be singable: no clumsy, expository tongue-twisters.

After a quick exchange with David, we agreed that I’d write something like a play and that it would probably run a lot longer than necessary. Poetic language and imagery is difficult to do well, and even more so if you’re working with archaic versions of English, such as are called for by this work. Rather than trying to boil it all down and refine it to the the sharpest, clearest moiety, I decided to offer David a range of imagery and poetry. I wanted him to be free to choose the elements which worked best for him in terms of rhythm, vision, and musicality.

Once I had the opening scene in decent shape, it went to David, and he very quickly put some music behind it. When I saw the demonstration video that Outcast put together, I was completely taken aback. I mean… sure, yeah, those are my words, but… that music! The dancers! The staging! The lights, the costumes! Holy crap!

That’s way past collaboration, there. I couldn’t even dream of taking credit for the gorgeous stuff those people have done. The story is a framework, and a good one. I’m proud of that. The words, though the poesy is only one element of the operatic effect, and quite a small one, I personally feel.

Seriously: have you seen that video? Those people are amazing!

Hopefully, ‘Bedlam’ will premiere in Brisbane late in 2011. Assuming we manage it, I am absolutely, totally going to be there for the opening night. I will even wear a tuxedo for the occasion!

Q: Your Red Priest stories have been very popular and I know you put a Red Priest novel to ROR. With three small children and a wife who is a GP in the wilds of northern Tasmania, you don’t get much time to write. Have you had a chance to polish the Red Priest book?

No, dammit. Not to my satisfaction, anyhow. I’ve had a difficult stretch for writing over the last eighteen months. Kind of burned myself out over the fiendish Christmas period, and took too long to get my act back in gear. But I am very much looking forward to the year coming. All three kids will be at school five days a week, and all I’ve added to my personal schedule (which includes studying Iaido, and teaching ju-jitsu, as well as maintaining the property, helping out at the school, feeding the family and so forth) is a Masters degree. That shouldn’t be too much, should it?

So goals for 2011 include finishing and polishing the opera; finishing a bundle of short stories requested by various people; polishing the Red Priest novel actually, novels, thank you RORians very much for that; and at least one other moderately new project. I also want to manage my 2nd dan in ju-jitsu, and take another grading in Iaido, if I can. Oh, and the Masters degree, of course. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Q: When Marianne and I approached you back in 2006 to see if you’d like to join ROR, you agreed and have been part of the group ever since. Did you find ROR helped you in developing or directing your writing? And if so, in what ways? (I felt we needed a question about ROR. Feel free to change the focus of it, if you like).

ROR is a bit of a lifesaver. Living out in the boonies, it’s hard to feel a connection to the community of writers and editors. Sure, I get to one or two conventions a year, but my daily life revolves around handling a fifty-acre property, holding three kids in check and running a household, teaching and practicing martial arts, and being a part of a busy rural community. It’s easy to lose the necessary focus on writing and storytelling.

A good writers group is a thing beyond value. Getting solid critical feedback on your work is indescribably important, and nearly impossible to acquire from the people around you. The ROR group has given me considerable confidence, and helped me maintain my determination to write, create, and publish. The insightful reading and sharp comments from dedicated professionals in the field is something I honestly feel it’s difficult to repay from my own moderate talents… which is one reason why I make the ROR retreat menus as special as I can!

One vital aspect of ROR is the very professional nature of the participants. All of you have more experience than I do at the sharp end of publishing, and your advice with regards to dealing with publishers and the various meta-aspects of writing and publishing have been like the very Word of the Lord unto me. You folk remind me that I’m not just writing stories because I like doing it: I’m writing them to be published, and there’s a vast and complex dance of behaviours which go with that particular territory.

I’m not good at those behaviours, I know. I’m storyteller, because I’ve always been one. But a storyteller is not the same thing as an author, and the ROR folk are my go-to source whenever I’m trying to make sure I’m on the right track, there.

Q: What are you currently working on?

The opera libretto. Five different short stories. Four novels. Various potential webcomics. (Know any comic artists who feel like collaborating?) A lot of silly animation, here at home with the boys, because it’s fun. (All you need is a digital camera, a computer, and some software – most of which you can get free on the Web. Animation is HUGE fun!)

I’d like to be more specific about the writing, but I find I prefer to keep things close until I’ve written them. Talking too much about them before I’m done is a sure way to kill my interest. I hate that.

Q: At ROR we always do our realistic goals and our dream goals. So what are your realistic goals (what are you currently working on) and what are your dream goals?

I’d like to make enough money to live on, thanks. But… writing, publishing, and seeing people enjoy my works is where it’s at.

I don’t really have dream goals. Things come as they will. Up until recently, I never even considered writing for opera. Now I’m having the time of my life watching my words and ideas become song, music, and dance. How good is that?


And the giveaway question:

Among the range of things I do, cooking rates highly. (So the ROR folk tell me, anyhow.) I enjoy cooking, and I like both learning and creating new dishes. Today, for example, I discovered that fresh, ripe raspberries dropped into gin will rapidly perfuse both colour and flavour through the spirit, turning it a delicate shade of pink, and imparting an utterly delicious raspberry tang. I therefore give you

Mr Flinthart’s Raspberry Gin and Tonic

Take 300gm of fresh, ripe raspberries. Place them in a sealed container with 500ml of reasonable gin. Refrigerate for half an hour. Now use the gin to make gin and tonic exactly as normal, but without the twist of lemon. Serve over ice, with a couple of extra raspberries thrown in at the last.

So what’s your favourite recipe? Whether it be newly created by yourself, or stolen from the oldest, hoariest volume of Escoffier, so long as it’s a personal favourite, I’m happy.

The person submitting the most interesting recipe will win a signed copy of Worlds Next Door, from FableCroft Publishing and I will do my damnedest to create the dish at the next ROR retreat!

Note – give-away questions will stay open until Tuesday of next week, when I’ll ask Dirk to select a winner.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Collaborating, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »