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Posts Tagged ‘Death Works’

Winner of Trent’s Give-away announced …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 13, 2010

Picking a winner is always so difficult. I really hate it, particularly when you have such a nice bunch of answers to choose from.

Gillian suggested the Aigues-Mortes (Dead Waters) in France and it is such a wonderful location that I am sure (if I was a much more meticulous researcher into the past of Pomping I would see that the Aigues-Mortes hosted a Moot in 1879, which indeed it did, now I’ve perused Brown and Sempkin’s Brief (and relatively secret) History of Pomps. Apparently there were two murders, a failed Schism (most Schisms fail), and a successful fishing expedition on the afternoon of the second day of the Moot, in which Mr D caught a xiphactinus, unfortunately at the cost of an Ankou, and two guinea fowl, why the guinea fowl were there is unknown.) So, as Gillian suggested, extinct food was also on the menu, possibly leading to the outbreak of a severe stomach flu which occured on the following day.

Chris L suggested Africa, and Africa has indeed been a popular location, and was the ONLY location until around 70 thousand years ago. I’m wondering if your mention of animals also included them on the menu. RMs are a bloodthirsty lot in the main – though these days a lot of them seem to go in for the tiny sandwiches cut into triangles  (crusts removed).

Cels suggested Tasmania, and I believe there … just let me consult Brown and Sempkin again…yes, a moot has occurred in Tasmania in 230BC(E) and 1606, though, of course, it wasn’t known by that name back then. And the food eaten would indeed be regarded as delicacies now – time makes everything a delicacy or, at the very least, exotic.

Belinda suggested Montville because it would cheer up the Pomps (and they can be a bit gloomy, thanks for considering their feelings) the local food is lovely.

I have to say I liked all of these answers, but I have to choose a winner, and I think I’m going to go with Belinda because (and I know this is a little unfair) Montville was where Death Most Definite had its cruel beating, I mean critiquing, by the ROR crew, and I really like the hills around there, and I could imagine my RMs hanging around discussing the business of death as the rain rolled in over the valley, much like we did almost two years ago.

Louise suggested London, to keep it all at a distance (Oh, those poor Londoners, they cop it with everything!) and bad food to get the RMs out as soon as possible. Interestingly, RMs always complain about the foods at these things, so I don’t know if they would notice.

So, Belinda, if you want to email me at teacupthrenody at gmail dot com with your postal address I’ll get your signed copy away to you.

Please let me know if you want it signed to anyone in particular.

Oh, and if any of you are interested, I’m more than happy to pop some signed bookplates in the post to any of the other contestants.


Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Creativity, Nourish the Writer | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Meet Trent Jamieson …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 7, 2010

I first met Trent at a Vision meeting back in 97, when Marianne and I were running the Vision Writers Workshop. He was working in a bookstore and writing short stories. Trent has had over 70  short stories published and his Urban Fantasy Trilogy Death Works is being published by Orbit.

We invited Trent along to the ROR we held in Varuna, because we knew we’d all benefit from his insight and we thought we needed some input from the male point of view.

Trent is one of life’s true romantics. His stories are both wonderfully whimsical and nicely ironic.

Trent has a copy of his latest book ‘Managing Death’ to give away. See the give-away question at the end of this post.



Q: Your stories have been finalists in the Aurealis Awards many times and have won two Aurealis Awards, yet I had trouble finding a complete list of your stories and where they were available. Are you not writing short stories any more?

I really should do something about putting a bibliography on my website. I guess there’s at least thirty stories I’ve published that I’d rather never see the light of day again, another thirty that I think are suspect and a handful that I’m happy with. Which may explain why I’m not writing any short fiction at the moment.

Short stories are too easy to screw up, and I’ve had a good twenty years of writing them (I started submitting short stories before my eighteenth birthday) so I don’t think there’s a pressing need for me to be writing them. Which doesn’t mean I won’t write any more, but right now I’m happy doing the novels.

Though, you never know when a story might grab you…

Q:Your Death Works trilogy is being published by Orbit. The trilogy is set in Brisbane, based on the premise that Death is a corporate business and your main character starts out as a little cog in a big machine. The Brisbane setting is evident and lovingly defined. Was there any resistance from your UK publisher to an Australian setting like Brisbane?

As far as I know there was no resistance from either my US or UK publisher. And these books are unashamedly set in Brisbane, but, hey, not every Urban Fantasy novel can be set in New York, New Orleans, London or Melbourne.

Q: You seem to be having a lot of fun with the whole Death as a Corporation premise. Where did this idea come from? Have you worked for a faceless corporation?

I just thought it would be an interesting approach to the grim reaper. Not so much a mystical job, but a job. And with the first book I was also writing with Work Choices very much in mind, things were looking for tough for workers and Unions, at the time, and I just reckoned that it would be even tougher for someone who worked for death. Must be the time for it, there’s a bit of a reaper vogue going on at the moment.

Don’t we all work for faceless corporations at one time or another – though they’re never really faceless. It’s the faces that make corporations interesting to write about. They’re states, cults and ideologies all rolled into one. I’ve had some interesting (and eccentric) bosses in my time, and there’s a bit of (some of) them in Mortmax.

Q: It is every writer’s dream to sell a trilogy. Yours wasn’t completed when you sold it. Have you found it challenging writing a book, while editing the previous one?

Yes, I was like the dog that catches the car. What do I with it now? Writing’s always challenging, and you never really know if you can do something until you’ve done it.

With all three books put to bed now, I think I can say that I know I can do this. Though, who knows, the next books I write may not go as smoothly (please ignore this, dear publishers).

It was harder than I expected in some ways – turns out, even with calendars and charts I still have a terrible grasp of time within a story – and easier, Steve’s voice often just dragged me through the narrative.

Q:You were working as editor for RedZine in 2001 How did this come about and what did you learn as a writer and editor while doing this job?

I learnt that editing wasn’t really for me, if I wanted to write. I also learnt that you really need to hook the reader from the beginning or you lose them, which I thought I already knew before this, but editing really drove it home.

Oh, and you should really read a magazine’s submission guidelines – they’re there to help you.


Q: Around this time Prime published a collection of your stories called ‘Reserved for Travelling Shows’. What did you learn in the process of compiling this anthology and is it still available?

One, that I had a bit of a death obsession, and two that really it was too early in my career to publish a collection. It’s a journeyman collection, and while there are some good stories in there, like all journeyman collections there’s some (to put it politely) not so good stuff, too.

It’s still available, and if you put the title into Google Books you can read a fair chunk of it.

Q: You’ve taught at Clarion South, and are currently teaching Creative Writing at QUT. You were a member of VISION for many years and you’ve been a member of ROR for the last 7 years so you have plenty of experience at critiquing. What is the most valuable thing you have learnt over the years about the craft of writing?

Be interesting, that is write what interests you, not what you think should be interesting or what you think you SHOULD be writing. The rewards of writing have to come from the writing itself first, and how can it be rewarding if you are writing something that really isn’t you, and that your heart really isn’t into.

Joy, enthusiasm, and peculiarity, these things make good writing for me.

Q: I believe you have handed in book three of the Death Works series. What is your next project?

I’ve three things that I’m working on. One is something that we critiqued in ROR, a duology called Roil and Night’s Engines. Another is a kid’s series called the Players (I’ve book One written, but I’m waiting on some feedback for that one) and, finally, I’m getting some notes and scenes together for book 4 and 5 of the Death Works Series – there’s still things I want to say about that world.

Q: When Marianne and I approached you back in 2003 to see if you’d like to join ROR, you agreed and have been part of the group ever since. ROR is very different from the VISION writing group in that we critique our novels in progress and we’re all published in novel length fiction. Did you find ROR helped you in developing or directing your writing? And if so, in what ways?

The simple answer is that I didn’t have a novel published before I joined ROR and now I do.

ROR to me is part critiquing group, part family. I find every member of ROR (awe)inspiring, and it’s great to have some wonderful writers with very different approaches to writing as friends and confidantes.

Q: At ROR we always do our realistic goals and our dream goals. So what are your realistic goals and what are your dream goals?

Finish my current projects by the end of 2011, I think that’s realistic enough. As for, dream goal, keep writing what I want, but with a few less financial pressures would be nice, but if not, well, I’m kind of living the dream now.

Give-away Question:

If you were charged with organising a meeting of the world’s Deaths, where would you host it and what food would you serve?

The competition will stay open until Monday night 13th December 6pm and the winner will be announced Tuesday morning on the blog.


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

Where I’m At – Or it’s nearly over and Done

Posted by trentjamieson on June 10, 2010

It’s actually starting to feel like I’m going to deliver book three it in time. I’m halfway through my draft, which sounds like there’s a lot to go, and there is even though my books are shortish, still all but a few of the core scenes are now written. For me the first half is always the hardest, it takes me a while to get traction, but it’s happening and the book is almost all I can think about.

I know how my characters change and grow in this book, the ending is written, and I have the bit that I love most about the initial drafting process to do now. The sorting out, the ordering of scenes and the filling in of gaps. There’s all manner of surprises to come, I know this because in both earlier books I was still surprising myself up until the copy edits, but I feel the bones of the book are sound now.

It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks this draft will be done. Of course, as we’ve already discussed in this blog that’s only one sort of ending and many more steps lie ahead. But, even though no-one but my editors will be reading this book until next year, I’m going to be moving onto new things. Even while I’m doing structural edits, copy edits and reading page proofs I’ll be tinkering with new things (and wondering if I can sell them).

New books are new starts, and I’m dying to get onto new things. But this third book isn’t finished yet, and there’s still a lot of pleasure to be had from it. I’m going to miss Steven, Lissa and co. And I’m going to miss writing about their peculiar version of Brisbane.

If you’re interested in what I’m going to be like just after delivering the manuscript feel free to come to my book launch on Friday the 13th of August at Avid Reader in West End. There you’ll see a writer with two books finished, one book out, waiting to hear back from his editors about the third, and wondering what he is going to do next.

The major difference between that writer and this one is that a dream of mine will finally be fulfilled: after thirty odd years of writing I’ll have a novel, and one that I adore (written about a city I love)on the shelves.

Posted in Characterisation, Creativity, Editors, Genre Writing, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »