Ripping Ozzie Reads

Ozzie Spec Fic Authors offer you worlds of Wonder and Imagination

Posts Tagged ‘Tansy Rayner Roberts’

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 »

Margo Reveals What it’s like inside a ROR Crit Week!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on February 6, 2012

From Margo …

A Deepening ROR—a wRiters On the Rise workshop, from the inside

That's where we were circled in red

First there’s a bit of foreplay. Someone pipes up online: “When’s the next ROR?” Someone at the other end of the country: “I’ll have a novel draft ready by about January; how’s everyone else set?” And all the ROR-ettes speak up one by one, with their first or later drafts that are in synch, or the obligations or health issues or financial limitations or lacks of work-in-progress that’ll keep them away this time.

ROR meets roughly every 18 months to 2 years; I haven’t been able to get to the last couple of retreats but when this one was mooted, I decided that I had a chance, if I went hell for leather during November-December, of getting a super-rough first draft of my colonial NSW fantasy written for ROR’s perusal for the end of January workshop.

Tansy and Andrew scoped out Steele’s Island Accommodation; we discussed timing and settled on the weekdays 30 Jan-3 Feb, because the place is booked out with weddings most weekends.

All went quiet for a while. I dealt with Sea Hearts copyedits and proofs, wrote stories for Twelfth Planet Press, judged the Australian/Vogel’s Award, wound up my time on the Literature Board talked at the Brisbane Writers Festival, launched two other writers’ books, day-jobbed 3 days a week and, by the looks of the calendar, dined with a lot of different people. Clearly I didn’t scratch myself; there wouldn’t have been time.

On 1 November I started writing the draft of Formidable Energies. I registered with Nanowrimo, because I wanted some company, and besides, they have this neat graph that you can use to track your progress against the ideal path towards the 50K words. I like a neat graph, and I’d never make one for myself. Generally I’m not wordcount obsessive; this time, though, I definitely had to achieve a book’s worth.

It was lonely, exhilarating, hilarious, keeping up the pace, papering over the chasms in my research, blithely charging on, jumping in and out of the story, going from jam scene to jam scene and ignoring any bread-and-butter bits, but trying to keep it coherent enough for my ROR friends to be able to see what I was getting at, the nature of this beast.

I didn’t have the know-how, about Celtic gods, about Irish language, customs, culture and history—and only a 20-year-old history degree to help me with the convict ships, penal law and early colonial Sydney. I researched as I went just so I could picture enough setting in which to tell the tale. Perhaps this research was the most fun. I prowled around the State Library, requesting old travel books on Ireland and copying useful pages onto the iPad. I learned so much during that month—but most of all I learned what huge gaps existed in my knowledge, and the enormous job I might have on my hands if I ever went at the research properly.

And I knuckled down and wrote. Here’s my completed Nanowrimo graph, to give you the bare bones of the story of my month:

I was happy with that. I booked my ticket to Hobart. I wrote on for another 2 weeks into December, and managed a draft of 45K, which took the story from (what I imagined was the) beginning to (one possible) end. Manuscripts began to fly between email boxes. I did what pulling-together of the draft I could, wrote some explanatory/apologetic notes to cover the worst breaks, trailings-off and confused bits, took a deep breath and sent it off to my ROR-mates.

There was a flurry of communication as we sorted out accommodation moneys. Then came silence as we read each other’s drafts; that’s a lonely stage too, that one, keeping your opinions to yourself, addressing comments to an unresponsive screen, worrying that you haven’t quite captured what you felt about this character or that piece of plot logic, or that you haven’t phrased it helpfully. Weeks, it takes, reading five novels and assembling meaningful critiques.

Departure date loomed. I anguished a bit more over my reports, then saved them, printed them out for good measure and started packing.

The view up the estuary

Steele’s Island Accommodation: the perfect place for a writers’ workshop. Huge spaces for meeting and lounging in, more rooms and beds than we could fill, even with half our families along. Outside, a river-beach to stride along to the sea, a wooded hill across the water, waves and mountains in the distance, weather pouring across the sky. Only a few distant holidaymakers reminded us that there was a world beyond ROR. And the landscape showed that this was once an extremely popular place to feast on oysters. We kept to that tradition, at least.

Steeles Island Midden

But aak!, Formidable Energies was scheduled for the first critique session in the morning, and I hadn’t thought about it for six weeks—how would anyone’s comments make sense to me? So after the welcome dinner, deep into the first night and early in the morning I went over it again, reacquainting myself with its wild ambitions, its flights of fancy, its longueurs and its pathological avoidance of any form of action on the part of its main character.

Then on the Tuesday morning, all those weeks of solitary work suddenly blossomed into community, and made perfect sense. My story, which had seemed so stale and stuck, sketchy and hopeless, suddenly loosened, lightened and took flight on contact with the possibilities brought to it by my colleagues. From feeling as if I couldn’t progress without wearing amounts of research and tedious clunky plot-making, I went in the space of 2 hours to being excited about the many, many ways this story could go, the means by which I could get my main man moving, the significance I could bring to the powers plaguing him, both in Ireland and the new land. I saw the way forward; I saw several ways forward. I couldn’t wait to get back to the ms. and try out these ideas.

Just as good, if not so directly personally affecting, were the rest of the critique sessions. I would come out of the 2 x 2-hour sessions almost unable to think straight, I’d absorbed so much as I listened to Rowena, Richard, Dirk, Tansy and Maxine’s encounters with the same manuscripts. They’d responded so differently – or they’d felt the same, but phrased their response so differently, or come up with some completely ingenious solution. It was thoroughly absorbing to watch other RORers’ novels fly apart under each critiquer’s hands and then be brought back together in new ways.

Thank you so much, ROR-ettes, for the time and thought that went into your reports. Thanks for the privilege of reading and considering your works in progress. Thanks Tansy and Andrew for finding Steele’s Island, Dirk for the wonderful food, Daryl and David for radiating calmness, Steven for tourist-ing on our behalf, and Raeli and Mima for providing an understorey of questions, songs, sand-sweeping, fruit-eating and general play.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Dialogue, Editing and Revision, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Plotting, Point of View, Research, Story Structure, World Buildng, Writing Craft, Writing Groups | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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
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

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 »

Raring to ROR…

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 18, 2012

As some of you might know our ROR writing group gets together every 12 – 18 months to critique our books in progress.

Back in 2001 at the first ROR we read Margo Lanagan’s Black Juice anthology and wept over Singing my Sister Down, which went on to win a World Fantasy Award. That was also the year we read Maxine Mc Arthur’s Less than Human, which went on to win the Aurealis Award for SF in 2004.

Since then there have been many RORs, and critiqued many books. Some of these books have been shelved or are still waiting to be completed and others  have been published, some of have won awards or been shortlisted for awards. (This reminds me I must update our success page. There’s been more sales since then. My bad).

For those of you who are interested, I’ve blogged about how to set up your own ROR group and how we critique. There are eight of us, but due to life, family and deadlines we don’t get to every ROR. (I’ve done them all so far, but I’m a bit of a ROR groupie. I even maintain this site in my spare time. All very sad, really).

Our next ROR is coming up in a couple of weeks. Having a deadline to get a book written for is a great motivator. We’re all madly reading each other’s WIPs (Works-in-progress), writing reports and planning to run away and be full time writers for a week!

There will be one book launch and possibly two, stay tuned!

From the Steele's Island web page. Link below.

This time we’re going to Tassie to Steele’s Island. Looks perfect for a bunch of nerdy writers!

So I’d like to raise a glass of cyber champagne to:

My writing friends, ROR ten years* on and still going strong!

* We couldn’t squeeze in a ROR last year in 2011, which would have been exactly 10 years, so this 2012 ROR is our official 10 year birthday bash.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Book Launches, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Plotting, Writing Craft, Writing goals, Writing Groups | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 who enters the contest & provides me with a postal address [to creaturecourt (at) – 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 »

Sharing Reviewerly Goodness!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 14, 2011

Kudos to Tansy and the team at Twelfth Planet Press. There’s a good review over on Gwennth Jones’ blog. (See it here)

As authors it is always a buzz when a fellow author says they like your book or story. Another author can see all the craft because they build stories too.

So, it’s a bit like building a bridge and then having another bridge engineer come along and say: ‘Hey there, like your bridge’.

I must admit when ever I read a Terry Pratchett book I read it on two levels, one for enjoyment and one for the pure appreciation of his craft.


So Kudos to TPP, Tansy, Lucy Sussex, Deborah Biancotti and Sue Isles.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Creativity, Editors, Indy Press, Nourish the Writer, Reviews, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Read to Write

Posted by tansyrr on May 30, 2011

There are times in my life when I forget how to read.

To be more specific, I forget why it is that reading needs to be a prioritised task, if not in my day, then at least in my week.

Priority of tasks is one of those things that absolutely drives my day. I have two daycare days a week for my baby, which is heavenly, and yet my elder daughter’s after school activities take a chunk out of both those days – so my working day starts somewhere about 9:30am after the school run, and finishes about 2:30 as I head out for the second school run. Five hours, twice a week.

On non-daycare days, I get somewhere between an hour and two hours of baby-free time, depending entirely on how long she naps. So priority of tasks is huge to me. I have to write, obviously. I have a book to finish this year. I don’t have enough time to be able to manage two big brain-heavy working shifts in the day, which means if there are edits or proofs or other writerly tasks to be done, it’s that OR drafting the new novel, not both.

All other tasks, like blogging, checking emails, housework (ha!), (damn that reminded me I had to set the robot vacuum going while writing this post), book publicity, etc. all has to be squeezed into those precious baby-free hours – or I have to ask myself whether it is in fact something which can be managed during a baby-present period of the day.

I can work while the baby is there. It’s just harder. Sometimes she plays at my feet or watches Play School or runs off into corners to giggle with her big sister. Sometimes she clings to me like a limpet. Sometimes she really really REALLY wants me to read that story to her for the third time, or dance like a giraffe, or build a tower so she can knock it over with her mighty tiny hands. No, she can’t talk yet. Yes, she gets her message across.

The tasks which get pushed into the ‘sure I can do that when the baby’s awake’ list, it has to be said, tend not to get done at all. It’s an erratic sort of list and I do feel rather sorry for the tasks that get shoved there indefinitely.

Technically anything that involves my laptop (WRITING BOOK) should be easier than anything that requires me being in another part of the house (WASHING UP, and damn I still haven’t set the vacuum going…). But I have to think about my brain, too. I’m fairly well acquainted with how it works these days and while it is technically possible for me to write a few paragraphs of the new book draft in between breastfeeding and ‘this little piggy,’ it’s not a very effective way to produce dark, sexy prose.

Which is all a long way around saying that reading books, a task which can technically be performed anywhere, and which technically requires less attention span than writing books, often gets shoved into the ‘oh I can do that while baby’s awake’ list. And that’s how I end up with books scattered, half-read, across the house, all with their bookmarks missing (Jem likes to steal bookmarks, it is less appalling than her book chewing phase was, but the glee on her face as she does it makes it very clear that she know EXACTLY HOW EVIL IT IS) and my ability to concentrate on anything more complex than Spot Goes To School goes out the window.

It’s easy, when I’m not reading, to think about the task as an indulgence, or a reward. Something to be done when the housework (DAMN IT, okay, I’m setting the vacuum up now). Somehow I have no problem justifying the expense of books to myself or my partner (duh, tax-deductible!) or the space they take up in the house (THESE ARE MY TOOLS OF WORK!) but I still can’t shake that guilty feeling if I have to admit I spent half my work day reading.

But here’s the thing: reading makes me write better. I don’t just mean research books which I hope will save me from major Jubilee-Line-in-World-War-2 type faux pas, or even those gorgeous classics of literature which train me to write better sentences, through pure osmosis. Reading anything, but especially books that inspire me with their goodness and occasionally those that anti-inspire me with their woefulness, flips a switch in my head that makes me think more actively about writing, and technique, and theme, and what I’m actually doing in that dratted book of mine.

No other leisure activity does this so successfully. Some do a bit – my new habit of inhaling Big Finish audios are quite close to it, and TV & movies-at-the-cinema often spark off the Story Creatures in my brain. (I recently watched 4 episode of Skins in a row and by the end of it was trying to figure out if I could achieve anything close to it with a series of linked short stories IN SPACE) But books are the best. They remind me, over and over, that I am a writer, and if I’m reading regularly while writing first draft work, then the work I produce is better and cleaner and more inspired, and faster to produce.

As long as, you know, I remember to put the books down SOMETIMES and pick up the damn laptop. Which really isn’t a problem at the moment, as I’ve got so out of practice at reading substantial works that I don’t seem capable of sitting still for more than 15 minutes at a time. Good for a less sedentiary lifestyle, not so good for finishing the latest Glenda Larke before Volume 3 comes out.

Does reading make YOU write better, or does it get in the way? What fiction has inspired you lately?

Posted in Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , | 16 Comments »

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 »

Countdown to the Aurealis Awards 2011!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 20, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again. And this year the Aurealis Awards will be held in Sydney. Harper Collins Voyager is sponsoring the awards. Kudos to the new AA management team, SpecFaction for pulling it all together. A national award like this with a different panel for each section, and a different panel for both the novels length and short stories is a major taks to organise.

This year the RORees have books and short stories in several section.

Young Adult Short Story

Dirk Flinthart has a story in this section. Goodluck with ‘One Story, No Refunds’ which appeared in ‘Shiny’ #6, from Twelfth Planet Press.

I’d wish Dirk all the luck inthe world, but this is where it gets tricky because Margo Langan has a story in the same section. ‘A Thousand Flowers’ published in ‘Zombies Vs Unicorns’, by Allen & Unwin.

Then to make matters even more complicated, Tansy Rayner Roberts has a story which she co-wrote with Kaia Landelius in this section. ‘Nine Times’ appeared in ‘Worlds Next Door’, published by Fablecroft Publishing.

Horror Short Story

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

Horror Novel

Here we have Trent Jamieson with the first book of his ‘Death Works’ trilogy, ‘Death Most Definite’, published by Orbit (Hachette).

Fantasy Novel

Here Trent’s book ‘Death Most Definite’ appears again, along with book one of Tansy’s Creature Court trilogy, ‘Power and Majesty’, published by Voyager, (Harper Collins).

Science Fiction Short Story

Tansy does it again, with her short story ‘Relentless Adaptions’, which appeared in ‘Sprawl’, published by Twelfth Planet Press.

Science Fiction Novel

Marienne de Pierres’ books from her ‘Sentients of Orion’ series, ‘Mirror Space’ and ‘Transformation Space’ publsihed by Orbit (Hachette).

So, here’s wishing the RORees best of luck on Saturday night. TAnd while we’re at it the ROR team would like to wish all the finalists* the best of luck and congratulate them all for making it into the final 5 or less.

We’ll keep you posted. Tansy is going to be a presenter, so I’m sure she’ll be tweeting from the audience.

*For those of you who would like to view the complet list of finalist see here.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Fantasy Genre | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

RORees appear on the Aurealis Awards Final Lists

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 26, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again and the finalists for the Aurealis Awards have been announced.  (See here for the Press Release with the full list).

But for now I’m going to do the  Happy Dance for my fellow RORees.

In the Young Adult Short Story Section, we have Dirk Flinthart with his story One Story, No Refunds (Shiny#6, Twelfth Planet Press)  . And this is where it gets interesting, because Margo’s story A Thousand Flowers (Zombies Vs Unicorns, Allen and Unwin) is also nominated in the same section. And that’s not all, Tansy Rayner Roberts’ story Nine Times (Co-written with Kaia Landelius, published in Worlds Next Door, Fablecroft Publishing) is also a finalist in the same section. All I can say is what a line up!

In the Horror Short Story Section, Richard Harland’s, The Fear (Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears, Brimstone Press) is a finalist.

The we come to the Horror Novel Section where Trent’s Death Most Definite (Orbit, Hachette) is a finalist. And just to prove how versatile Trent is, his book is also a finalist in the Fantasy Novel Section! Along with Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Power and Majesty (Harper Voyager, Harper Collins).


Then we come to the Science Fiction Short Story Section where Tansy’s Relentless Adaptions (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press) is a finalist.

And finally we come to Science Fiction Novel Section. Here Marianne de Pierres has two books, Mirror Space and Transformation Space (Orbit, Hachette). These are the last two books of the Sentients of Orion series.

So I’m doing the Happy Dance for Richard, Dirk, Margo, Trent, Tansy and Marianne. It’s an honour for my fellow RORees to be finalists and fingers crossed on the big night in May!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »