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Posts Tagged ‘Power and Majesty’

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


The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)


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

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




The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)



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



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


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 »

Aurealis Award Wins for ROR Writers!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 21, 2011

First of all, it must be said that being a finalist in these awards is an achievement. Congrats to all the finalists. Secondly, I’d like to congratulate everyone who won in their sections.

But, since this is the ROR blog, I’m going to do a WOOT for the team.

Winner of the Young Adult Short Story Aurealis Award:

Margo Lanagan ‘A Thousand Flowers’ published in ‘Zombies Vs Unicorns’, by Allen & Unwin.

Winner Horror Short Story Aurealis Awards:

Richard Harland ‘The Fear’, which appeared in ‘Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears’, published by Brimstone Press.

Winner Fantasy Novel Aurealis Awards:

Tansy Rayner Roberts ‘Power and Majesty’, published by Voyager, (Harper Collins).

Winner Science Fiction Novel Aurealis Awards:

Marienne de Pierres  ‘Transformation Space’ published by Orbit (Hachette).

Break out the cyber champers!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Genre Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Winner of Tansy’s book

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 21, 2010

So many lovely, thoughtful answers!  I was completely spoiled for choice.  In the end I went with Christine and her evocative descriptions of the pros and cons of being a fly or an elephant.  But thanks to everyone who played along!

Christine, please email me at tansyrr (at) with your postal details and your preference as to which book you would like to receive.

Posted in Book Giveaway, Genre Writing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Meet Tansy Rayner Roberts …

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on December 14, 2010

I first met the sweet, but ever so sharp, Tansy at World Con in 1999. She’d just had her first book come out and we shared the same publisher. Since then we’ve shared many a ROR and convention. Tansy’s new series Creature Court is an eclectic mix of Ancient Rome and the 1920s. I loved Power and Majesty (book one) in each of its incarnations as it came through ROR and I’m biting my nails, waiting on book two!

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

Q: You came to writing success very early, winning the Inaugural George Turner SF Prize when you were nineteen (you were twenty by the time the book was published) with Splashdance Silver. If you were able to go back to the nineteen year old Tansy, knowing what you know now and give her advice, what would it be?

Get an agent BEFORE signing the contract!  Also, don’t expect that just because you earned a living at this for one year, you’re going to be able to every year, and the ease with which you write the second book is going to be totally misleading about the effort required for all future books… and um, by the way, your publishing house will be bought out within a year and your editor will leave and you’ll lose all your support, and…

Wow, that’s a really depressing topic to start out on!  I think something like “This is only the beginning, you will write better books, and this will (eventually) be your career,” is a bit more positive.

Q: You had success early, then you were ‘orphaned’ by your publisher and spent quite a few years out in the cold before being picked up by Harper Collins with your new Creature Court series. Did you ever feel like giving up? How did you sustain your creative drive?

It feels like a really long time (and indeed was a really long time) but I never really stopped.  I wrote short stories by the bucketful, and worked on my craft that way.  I spent several way fun years playing with small press as part of the ASIM collective.  I wrote several manuscripts, and workshopped them with ROR – some were discarded, some went on to publication.  I tried different genres and even tried on the hats of a few writerly pseudonyms.  I only had one year without a writing credit, the year 2000 – and that was a real kick in the pants.  After that I was always working on something, or getting something out there.

The first novel of the Creature Court has actually been six years in the making – I was about a year and a half into writing it when I had to put it away in the hopes of getting my PhD thesis submitted before my first daughter was born (it wasn’t).  It took a lot longer to get back to it than I thought and then it only took one more revision before the novel sold.  Lots of long periods of waiting – for publishers to decide, and then between the signing of the contract and the actual appearance of the book.

I never thought about giving up!  Stop writing, are you mad?

Q: You have two delightful little girls now. Do you find having children has given you a new insight as a writer? And are you ever tempted to write for children?

It’s made me less precious as a writer, for a start.  I remember when I used to need a WHOLE DAY to myself to write, and it always had to be at my desktop computer in the same part of the house… crazy, crazy luxuries.  I trained myself to write at the drop of a hat, with a baby clamped to my leg, or in a cafe, or in the ad breaks.

I think being a mother has taught me a lot as a person, and that necessarily changes my writing.  I don’t know that I’m a deeper or more insightful writer now, but I think I feel things more, and I suspect that has an effect.

I would love to write for children.  If I could just get a few months to MYSELF I would run off that superhero middle grade series for girls that I have in my head.

Q: This leads on from the last question. I notice you’ve been reading and reviewing a lot of YA. Is this an area you are thinking of writing in, or do you read it for the love of it?

I long to be a YA author.  I have written a few manuscripts, but nothing that has landed a bite yet.  I also love reading YA for fun – my attention span has gone to hell over the last couple of years and I have found that YA is just so succinct as far as plot and character goes that it’s very enticing.  I’ve been working this year to lure myself away from YA just a bit – reading some actual grown up books – but I do love it, and I really believe that some of the most exciting speculative fiction of the last few years has happened in this genre.

Q: You’ve edited ASIM, Shiny and AustrAlien Absurdities. Do you find editing has helped you develop as a writer? Do you have any advice for short story writers?

I enjoy editing although have been doing my best to give it up because it uses a lot of the same energies as my writing, but doesn’t give (me, personally) nearly as many of the same rewards.  It was one distraction too many, once parenthood hit me over the head.  Editing has done a lot for me as a writer – increased my critical awareness quite strongly.  And it does tempt me back from time to time, but it would have to be a pretty incredible project to make me break my current stance on the matter.

As far as short story writers go – I think the most important thing to tell them is that it’s quite easy to get a half-decent short story published these days.  There are so many markets, and so many editors.  There’s nothing wrong with going for the cheap and easy sale when you’re just starting out.  But ultimately if you want people to take you seriously, you need to look at what you’re sending out there, and whether these are stories good enough to build a reputation on.  As someone who served out her “apprenticeship” in public venues, I look quite jealously at newbie authors who come out swinging, earning critical achievements and award nominations and so on with their first few published works.

This applies to novels too: a debut is a terrible thing to waste.

Q: It must have been a thrill to see your novella, Siren Beat, published by Twelfth Planet Press, win the WSFA Small Press Award. What led you to write this novella?

It was Marianne who did it!  She and Lynne Jamneck had a glorious plan to edit a charity anthology of Australian urban fantasy, to raise funds for Crohns Disease.  Their submission guidelines were so inspiring that I wrote a pitch straight away – because it was an anthology I decided to avoid vampires and werewolves on the basis that most people would choose them, and I decided to set it in Hobart because I figured again I was the only one who would do that!

Once I started thinking of how to turn Hobart into an urban fantasy city, it came so easily – the docks, Salamanca, seamonsters, and Nancy Napoleon standing damaged on the edge of the city, protecting it from invaders.  I was so excited that I took a month off what I was supposed to be doing and just wrote the thing.  They used it as part of their pitch document for publishers and it got within an inch of being accepted before the Global Financial Crisis hit, and suddenly an anthology wasn’t an appealing risk for a Big Name publisher.  So sad…

But Alisa loved the story when I sent it to her next and it was published as the first of the Twelfth Planet Doubles, along with a gorgeous story by Robert Shearman.  Since then – well, I have said repeatedly that Siren Beat is the story that keeps giving back!  It’s earned me more critical acclaim than any of my previous writings put together, and apart from the various nominations and the lovely win from the WSFA, it’s also now earned me two writing grants to give Nancy Napoleon a novel of her own.

Q: You have a PHD in Classics and spent a month in Rome. I believe the topic of your thesis was Imperial Roman Women. Did this area of study help you develop the world for Creature Court?

Technically the series was first sparked off in my head when a mouse invaded the study in our old house!  But that’s a far more mundane story of origin…  my studies of Ancient Rome absolutely infused these books.  I used my memories of tramping around the city to give a feeling of weight and reality to my imaginary city of Aufleur – which led to all kinds of fun and games when we got to the mapmaking part, I can tell you!  Turns out the Rome in my head is nothing like the one on the page…

It was actually my Honours thesis that contributed most to these books – I was studying women’s role in the Roman religion, and one of my great fascinations is the Fasti, a poem which details the many traditional festivals of the old city.  I started thinking what it would be like to actually live in a city where the economy revolved around rites and festivals – taking the old ‘bread and circuses’ concept and pushing it further.  That was the essential core of Aufleur – sure, there was this whole little plot about dark, twisted magical shape-changing superheroes and the sky trying to kill them, but MOSTLY it’s a book about ancient religious calendars.

Heh okay, that’s a total lie.  The festivals are purely background.  But they were an important inspiration for the society, and it made me think very much about the role of festivals and traditions in our society.  I say this as someone who just totally WON at Christmas, and is very smug at having all her presents bought and wrapped… apart from the 8 or so that haven’t been delivered yet!

Q: Book one, Power and Majesty is out now. When are the other two books due? Did you have the books written or planned when you accepted the contract? If not, was it a struggle with two small children to meet your deadlines?

Book Two, Shattered City, is scheduled for April 2011 and Book Three, Reign of Beasts, is scheduled for October 2011.  I had always planned for there to be more of this story, though when I sold Power and Majesty I only had three paragraphs, one for each sequel (it was originally planned to be a series of four).  As it turned out, everything from about halfway through Book Two was to change drastically from my initial plots.  Part of the reason there was such a long gap between the sale of P&M and its publication was to give me time to write Books 2 and 3.

Words cannot express how hard it was to meet those deadlines.  I have always prided myself on being professional and I was so determined to be the author who met every target with quality and quantity and a big smile on my face.  I did pretty well to start off with, and even managed to get ahead of my deadlines as far as the writing went – which was totally necessary when my second baby was born!  It was the editing that killed me.  Juggling a school age daughter, a new baby and writing Book #3 was totally possible, but stretched me to the absolute limit of my resources.  So whenever one of those essential things like structural edits, copy edits or proofs arrived for one of the other books, I fell in a heap.  I resented that so badly, because I KNOW that I can do that kind of work standing on my head.  But it happened over and over, and every time I had to stop writing Book 3 to edit something, I lost all momentum.  It was hugely frustrating.  Luckily my publishers were understanding, and there was just enough give in the schedules to make everyone happy.  I know now that I need to take the fact that I have two children actually into consideration when planning deadlines.

Q: When Marianne and I approached you back in 2001 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?

Being invited to join ROR was a lovely surprise!  It came at a time when I was quite dispirited about my writing career, and gave me a boost that was sorely needed.  To be treated as a peer by writers – all women in that initial group – who were older and more experiences than me really made me think about my future, and what I wanted from it, and how to raise my own expectations of what I could do.  Also you guys were totally right about what I needed to do with the beginning of Power and Majesty!

There were times when RORing a manuscript gave me the confidence to pursue it and turn it into something great – and other times where I did just let one drop, which is also a good thing to do from time to time.  More than anything, I love the time we spend together on those rare weeks away, talking about writing all night, hanging out together, and just FEELING like a writer.  It’s soul-feeding.

Q: What are you currently working on?

You have caught me technically between projects!  I have some editing and proofing still to do on the remaining Creature Court books, over the summer.  I’ve just this week finished a small collection of stories for Twelfth Planet Press which I shall be able to talk more about in due course.  And as soon as the school holidays end, I am plunging back into the world of sea monsters, kelpies and Nancy Napoleon to write FURY, a novel that I received an Australia Council Grant and Arts Tasmania grant to write.  It’s very exciting!

After that, who knows?

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?

My realistic goals are to sell at least one novel a year for the next five years, but particularly to get the Nancy Napoleon series written.  I have one other fantasy series that I long to write but it still requires a lot of sitting and thinking time.

My dream goals are to have a YA career in tandem with an adult fantasy career (once Jem gets to kindergarten I can TOTALLY manage this), possibly running a second writing name to keep it all straight in my head as well as the bookshop catalogues.  Also, I long to judge the Tiptree Awards.  They are my favourites and my best.  I would also love to win one, of course, but that’s almost too dreamy a thing to long for.  I want desperately to attend a World Fantasy Convention.

My dream goal used to be about earning a living from my writing, but as the mother of two kids who is also running a small business from home, my concept of “earning a living” has shifted somewhat.  I have a lot of jobs right now!  Having said that, I would rather like to help my honey slam our mortgage into smithereens.  He’s invested rather a lot in me over the years and it’s about time I paid some of it back.

The Give-away question is: “if you could change into an animal, which would you choose and why?”

Tansy will be giving away either a copy of Power and Majesty or Siren Beat  Please nominate which you would prefer to receive. The competition will be open until Tuesday of next week when we’ll announce the winner.

Follow Tansy on Twitter:

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

Author as Performer

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on July 12, 2010

Consider this.
Writers are good at writing about people because they sit back and observe them.

They are good at writing because they spend hours alone with their keyboard, conversing with people in their heads.

Now consider this.

Publishers want writers to be ‘personalities’.

Ten years ago, the publisher’s publicist would take that introverted writer, kicking and screaming, and plonk them on a panel at a writers’ festival, or in front of a microphone on live radio. You can bet the writers struggled with that.

So how do they feel now that their expected to do podcasts and promotional videos for You Tube? There’s a New York Times article here on the topic. Perhaps the only thing the fish-out-of-water writer can be thankful for is that not many people will ever find their You Tube effort and watch it.

‘A mother still nursing her 8-year-old: 25,864,943 views; recent best-selling maternal memoirist: 5,124 views.’

According to the same NYT article only .2 percent of readers discovered their last book through a video trailer. Although 4 in 10 teenagers said they liked to see book trailers on book related blogs and 46 percent watched book trailers on You Tube. And a whopping 45 percent bought the book after watching the trailer for it.

Here’s hoping some of those teen readers will find Tansy Rayner Roberts’ new book trailer.  See it here. I know my own trailer (seen here) aroused interest when it was released.

So feel sorry for the modern author.

How about you? Do you like watching book trailers? I must admit I really enjoyed Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I’m talking about it now, so I guess that is good for the book.

Would you buy a book after seeing a good book trailer?

Posted in Promoting your Book, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Book Release Week

Posted by tansyrr on June 1, 2010

So Power and Majesty was officially released yesterday – sadly that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to find it on the shelves yet! There’s a difference between release date and “in-store” date – the June 1 books from HarperVoyager are either appearing on 28 May or 8 June, and apparently mine is in the later slot. This means that the books might be in the shops in boxes, but they’re not obliged to put them on the shelves yet! That doesn’t mean you might not find an early copy floating around, but for those of you who have been eyeing the shelves, you can stand down for a few days.

Of course, if you order a copy, that gives them incentive to open the box sooner, right?

Meanwhile, one shop which does have copies is the Hobart Bookshop, which is hosting my book launch tomorrow:

The Hobart Bookshop
presents the launch by Craig Wellington
of Tansy Rayner Roberts’
Power and Majesty.
5:30 pm, Thursday 3rd June,
22 Salamanca Square, Hobart.
All welcome to this free event.

There’s still plenty to be done, and I don’t just mean selecting which animal ears to put on my children for the launch. I was on local AM radio last night, explaining the difference between epic fantasy and urban fantasy to Annie Warburton, and plugging the launch, of course.

I’ve also been podcasting with teaser readings from the book, which might be of interest! You can play them on the page here, or download them directly here: Episode One, Episode Two. If you’d rather listen to them through iTunes, then search for ‘creaturecourtcast’ in the catalogue.

Posted in Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

And, on a Separate and Unrelated Note

Posted by trentjamieson on May 27, 2010

Tansy Rayner Robert’s book one of  The Creature Court Power and Majesty should be showing up in bookstores from today – though some places may not get it out onto the shelves until early next week.

Make sure you get your copy while it’s still box-fresh. You won’t regret it.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, it looks like this:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Ballgowns, Wordcounts and Podcasts

Posted by tansyrr on May 18, 2010

I had a very authory sort of day today. Two great writing sessions; I’m powering towards the final act or possibly the penultimate act of Book 3 (kind of depends on how long the book wants to be) and I finally managed to wreak some serious death and destruction, hooray!

I got an email from my editor at Voyager about cover ideas and had to spend the next half hour googling ballgowns. Yes, I DID have to do that. She called while I was googling and we chatted about a few things including new names for Books 2 & 3. I have one for 3 which works well, but we are still noodling around on 2. Nothing is perfect yet. And the more you think about these things… well, yes.

I also managed a bit of exercise, a bit of housework, a bit of blogging, a bit of shopping and a bit of reading. All this and I racked up the biggest wordcount I have in the last month and a half – around 2500 words though I wrote more than that – I also deleted quite a chunk! Had to be done.

Pretty much a perfect work day, actually. Which is a good thing, because Tuesday with the baby in daycare for the afternoon and my 5 year old picked up from school by my Dad, is the most child-free it ever gets around here. I did my first stint of writing in the morning while the baby was napping, and did all the other jobs pretty much around her. Having from 1pm until 5pm on my own in the house felt like a huge luxury – and indeed, it’s the first time I’ve had a day like that in four weeks thanks to an after school sports program that mucked my schedule up.

I won’t get another day like today for a week!

Tomorrow, my second-most childfree day in which I get 2 whole hours to myself, may not be nearly as productive, for many reasons, not least the fact that they are digging in a new power pole out the front of the house, and are cutting our power off for 8 hours. Actually it may be a super productive day because I won’t have access to the internet (sob!). Though it’s a good thing my baby doesn’t like her food heated up…

My final act of authoriness was to upload my new podcast, CreatureCourtCast#1, which contains me talking about my new book a little and reading the first chapter. I’ll be doing a few more of these over the next month because they are fun and you get to listen to me failing utterly to do manly voices, and using all the voice trills I have acquired from 5 years of reading Wind in the Willows and Charlie and Lola books. You can check it out on my site, and you should be able to find it on iTunes by tomorrow if you search for ‘tansy rayner roberts’ or ‘creature court’ or something along those lines.

If you like the CreatureCourtCast, you might also like to check out Galactic Suburbia, the SF chatty podcast I do with Alisa Krasnostein & Random Alex. We talk about… stuff. Books, awards, etc. I take off my author hat and put the reader & critic one on. Possibly that is two hats.

So think of me tomorrow! I may well spend a lot of it sitting in my car, letting the baby nap in the back seat while I tap on my internet-deprived laptop and/or read Joanna Russ books.

Posted in Covers, Creativity, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »