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Posts Tagged ‘Twelfth Planet Press’

Alisa wins World Fantasy Award!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on October 31, 2011

Alisa was interviewed here recently because we were really excited about her nomination for a World Fantasy Award. Well, the big news is SHE WON!

Here’s the Link. Scroll down to Non-Professional Award (meaning they edit for love, rather than being paid by a publishing house).

Special Award—Non-professional
Winner: Alisa Krasnostein, for Twelfth Planet Press

And here’s the winners’ speeches. Alisa comes on at about the 36 minute mark.

Right now Alisa is over at the World Fantasy Awards probably knocking back the chapagne! go Alisa!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Editors, Fantasy Genre, Indy Press, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft | 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 »

Indy Press Opens to Spec Fic Novels

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 8, 2011

Twelfth Planet Press will be accepting speculative fiction manuscripts

for the month of January 2012.

Alisa Krasnostein (interviewed here) nominated for a World Fantasy Award for her work with Twelfth Planet Press, has decided to branch into novels. She says:

‘Twelfth Planet Press is looking to develop a new line of dynamic, original genre novels. Twelfth Planet Press novels will push boundaries to question, inspire, engage and challenge. We are specifically looking to acquire material outside that which is typically considered by mainstream publishers.

We are looking for science fiction, fantasy, horror and crime. We will consider borderline literary, new weird, steampunk, space opera, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, military science fiction, young adult, paranormal romance and everything in between.’

For information on what to submit and how see here. Best of luck with this venture, Alisa.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Editors, Genre Writing, Indy Press, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Congratulations Alisa Krasnostien and Twelfth Planet Press!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 7, 2011

This post is also cross-posted to my blog.

Alisa Krasnostein is an environmental engineer by day, and runs indie publishing house Twelfth Planet Press by night. She is also Executive Editor at the review website Aussie Specfic in Focus! and part of the Galactic Suburbia Podcast Team. In her spare time she is a critic, reader, reviewer, runner, environmentalist, knitter, quilter and puppy lover.

Q: First let me say mega congratulations on being a finalist in the World Fantasy Awards (courtesy LOCUS) in the Special Award Non-Professional section for your work with Twelfth Planet Press.  I imagine you’ve been popping champagne ever since you found out. Did you have any inkling this was coming?

Thank you! My nomination was totally unexpected and took me completely by surprise.  I’m very excited because I was already planning on attending World Fantasy Con in San Diego.


Q: I was involved in Indy Press in the late 70s early 80s so I know how much work and money goes into this. If you’d had any idea that you’d be ‘working longer hours on the press than my day job and I still don’t have enough time in the week to get to everything that needs to be done.’  – (See full interview on Bibliophile Stalker) – would you have jumped in with as much enthusiasm?

Interesting question. I’m not afraid of hard work. I definitely lean towards the workaholic. I think also, being an engineer has trained me to get absorbed and focused on the task at hand. And the amount of time I work and the amount of work I create for myself is definitely self-inflicted. And I hear I can dial it back at any point in time if I want! I love indie press more now that when I first jumped in and I respect and appreciate the people who contribute to the scene even more so now that I know how much work and dedication and talent goes into everything that gets published. And I also believe that we are limited only by the passion, time, commitment and hard work that we put in. So. No pressure. And no regrets.

Q: And following on from that, if you could go back and give yourself advice about starting Twelfth Planet Press, what would that advice be?

The number one thing I regret is not taking my business more seriously from the start. My advice would be to set up my small press as a small business from the beginning and not rely on a box of receipts or a papertrail for forensic auditing later. I set the financial and business side up several years in and that was most definitely one of the most painful things to sort out. There’s so much more to writing and editing and publishing than the creative side and I would advise myself, and anyone jumping in (both at the publishing and the writing ends), to get a basic handle on accounting, legalese to read and understand contracts and basic business advice (like if you need an ABN and how to structure your business – will you be a sole trader or a company and what does that mean anyway?) .

Q: You did a post for Hoyden About Town on The Invisibility of Women in Science Fiction. It’s obviously a subject you feel strongly about.  Is Twelfth Planet Press seeking to address this issue with affirmative action?

Not in any formal or mandated way. Overall, I don’t have a gender imbalance issue at Twelfth Planet Press – I buy what I like and the best stories that are submitted to me. And funnily enough, that gender breakdown is different to the general norm (though that’s not true of my novella series).

The Twelve Planets – twelve four-story original collections by twelve different Australian female writers – is a project that came from a place of realising, at the time of idea conception, how few female Australian writers had been collected. That’s changed during the time of project development. But the Twelve Planets remains a project that will release over two years close to 50 new short stories written by women. And that’s something that I’m really proud to be doing.

Q: Twelfth Planet Press has had some remarkable wins for a new, small Indy Press. There were six finalistings in the Aurealis Awards this year. Two finalistings on the Australian Shadows Award. And Tansy Rayner Roberts’ novella Siren Beat won the WSFA Small Press Award for 2010. This novella was part of a series of back-to-back novellas that Twelfth Planet Press released.  It’s notoriously hard, from a writer’s point of view, to sell a novella to a publisher. Why did TPP start producing BtB novellas?

Thanks, I was particularly pleased with our Aurealis Awards shortlistings this year coming after seven shortlistings last year. It feels like validation for some of the choices that I’ve made particularly in terms of the direction I’ve taken. And the win from the WSFA was just unbelievably exciting. I’m so proud of the work that Tansy Rayner Roberts is producing at the moment.

I really wanted to have a product to sell at a particular price point, around the $10 to $15 mark. That was really the place that I started at for the novella doubles. I personally love the novella length, especially for science fiction and I loved the idea of paying homage to the Ace Doubles. I especially loved the idea of pairing two totally unrelated works and throwing them into a package like many of the Ace Doubles did. From a gambling sense, if you love one and not so much the other, that’s not a bad deal for $12. And from a publisher’s point of view I like the idea of perhaps enticing readers to find new or unknown to them writers or be exposed to a new genre by buying a double for one of the stories and getting the other one as a bonus. If I make the pairs right!

Q: An editor once said to me, I can’t tell you want I want, but I’ll know when I see it. This is incredibly frustrating to a writer. Can you tell us what you want?

Only that I’ll know when I see it. Sorry! But yeah, we look for what we aren’t expecting, what is outside of what everyone else is writing, that breaks new ground and feels fresh, that stands out from the pack. What I want is the project that stands out cause it’s not like all the other books on the shelf. I specifically look firstly for really solid writing – writing that is unpretentious and doesn’t get in the way of the story. And then I want to be emotionally or intellectually moved or changed by the work. I look for stories that demand my attention and then hold it. I look for stories that tell me something I didn’t know before – about myself, or about society or humanity. I look for a rewarding reading experience. So. Not much.

I’m very busy and I deliberately choose to read submissions when I’m in a bad mood and whilst doing something else. I want what I’m reading to demand attention, to demand I put everything down and just read it to the end.

Q:  A finalist placing in the World Fantasy Awards has to raise the profile of Twelfth Planet Press. Where would you like to see TPP in five years time?

I’d like to see us with wider distribution in brick and mortar bookshops all over the place (long live the bookshop!) and being in a position to pay pro rates for writing, art, design and layout. I’d like to see us pushing genre boundaries and continuing to publish top quality fiction by writers at the top of our field that inspires, engages and entertains.

Q: On a personal note, where would you like to see yourself being career-wise in five years time?

I’d like to be working full time for Twelfth Planet Press.


Follow Alisa on Twitter  @Krasnostein

Hear the podcasts on Galactic Suburbia

Hear the TPP Podcasts.

Catch up with Alisa on Linked in

Catch up on FaceBook

Drop by the ASIF Website.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Editors, Fantasy Genre, Genre Writing, Indy Press, Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Craft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

Book Trailers on a Budget

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on November 13, 2010

The irrepressible Thoraiya, reader and commenter on this blog has had a novella published with Twelfth Planet Press. Yay, for Thoraiya. To coincide with the release of this back-to-back novella, she’s made a book trailer. I was so impressed with it, I’ve asked her to come onto the ROR blog to tell us how she went about this. Take it away, Thoraiya:

ROR has already posed the question of “do book trailers sell books?” The consensus seemed to be, “no, but they are fun.” I don’t have a novel coming out, but I do have half of a Twelfth Planet press novella double coming. I couldn’t resist joining in.

My favourite book trailers are always ones that are more like movie trailers than a series of stills, no matter how tantalising the stills may be. Examples include Rowena’s King Rolen’s Kin trailer:

And this trailer (  ) for a French pop-up book illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe.

I couldn’t afford professional 3D animation. However, I have a tragic history of creating animated GIFs known as stick-figure-deaths, usually in a gaming community context. And if a bunch of scribbles in MS Paint could be put together using MS GIF animator, so could photographs from a digital camera.

“The Company Articles of Edward Teach” is only 14 000 words, so I wanted only a very short teaser that didn’t give away too much. Just a hint that the two main characters come from different backgrounds (Muslim, Jewish) and that they end up on Blackbeard’s ship together. (Yarrr!) Here is the finished trailer:

Rowena wanted me to mention how I decided what words to include. That decision came down to timing and also a backlash against the Forbidden Rhetorical Question in agent queries. Agents say they need a good strong hook in the first sentence in order to keep reading a query but they’re sick of seeing rhetorical questions. This ignores the fact that most Hollywood film trailers include assorted clichéd rhetorical questions which are actually very successful in getting people (OK, maybe it’s just me?) interested. Since I was only making the trailer for my own enjoyment, well.

Welcome to Rhetorical Questions R Us.

(Yes. This post describes the making of the kind of book trailer I like, and I am in no way a judge of which book trailers are actually the best or will get the most views!)

On the timing issue, in my previous stick-figure-death experience I would often get the complaint that I hadn’t left the words up for long enough. I’m a speed reader and also I already knew the material, so I would short change the type of people who don’t like subtitled movies (an example here) – they would say things like, “that was fun but the words went away too quickly.” So. On the one hand, I think it’s important to give a sense of the main conflict of the book in a book trailer.

On the other hand, I wanted the clip to move along quickly, and that meant not more than a few words at a time. Some other book trailers I have seen include actual pages or paragraphs from the book, but if I want to read, I will pick up the printed page and construct my own trailer in my head. YouTube exists to provide graphic goodies to my brain. Assuming my trailer was going to be less than a minute long (and some of these suckers run at fifteen minutes or more), and that it takes a few seconds for the brain to register half a sentence, there was a natural limit there. Note that Rowena’s trailer is 43 seconds long and contains a single, conflict-charged sentence that displays a few words at a time. The pop-up book trailer is 93 seconds and displays no words besides the title of each to-die-for illustration.

Because I’m no composer, I did have to pay for the music, a thirty-second swashbuckling tune from AudioMicro . It was about thirty dollars Australian? I chose a 60-second piece first, but that turned out to be too long (see below).

The storyboard I already had didn’t match the music at all, so I threw it out and did a new one. Now I know why the studios always record the soundtrack first!

I made each frame by cutting out paper silhouettes. With a desk lamp inside a cardboard box and a blue bed sheet over the top, I photographed each silhouette. Here’s the setup in daylight (I took the pictures at night):

I regret not having the skills or peripherals to use any graphics program more advanced than Paint, because I’m certain that I could have saved time if I could have drawn the silhouettes directly onto a tablet and skipped out the whole scissors and paper part. Also, I initially thought I’d be able to get away with 5 frames per second, as I do in stick figure deaths, but it looked clunky so I had to go to 10 frames per second, and that halved the length of the trailer.

Once I’d animated each moving sequence, I was ready to whack them all into Microsoft Movie Maker. Yeah, Microsoft is apparently evil, but if you’ve paid for Windows and Word, you sure do get a lot of cool stuff for free.

In conclusion, it is really fun to play around with this stuff and everyone should have a go. As Mr Chrulew pointed out, everyone with kids has Lego (and Play-Doh!) in the event they’re not so keen on pen and paper.

But when you discover a plot hole in your future novel and need something repetitive to do, there is nothing like cutting out a hundred silhouettes with a dodgy pair of scissors while your subconscious solves the plot problem for you. And just in time for NaNoWriMo, too!

Thoraiya DYER is a newbie Australian writer of short fiction. You can find her fantasy and science fiction stories in Twelfth Planet Press anthologies Sprawl and New Ceres Nights, Fablecroft anthologies Worlds Next Door and After the Rain (forthcoming), Zahir #23, Aurealis #43, and next year’s ASIM #51. The Company Articles of Edward Teach will be her first published longer work. Find out why pirates are better than robots at visit Thoraiya here.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Creativity, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Visiting Writer | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

Melbourne World Con – Just one observation

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 8, 2010

Let me misquote Douglas Adams and start out by saying the World Con is big, like really really big. In the US it can be 5,000 to 7,000 attendees, while in Australia this World Con had around 2,500 attendees. This is big compared to our National Conventions which have between 250 – 350 attendees.

So there was no chance to get to every panel, or even half the panels you wanted to get to. In fact it took me three days to walk down the first aisle of the dealer’s room because every time I tried I ran into people I knew and was waylaid chatting.

Here’s Marianne with her anthology ‘Glitter Rose’ produced by Twelfth Planet Press. Support Indy Press!

Here’s a link to a friend of mine’s blog who was much more organised than me and very thoughtfully took notes while observing the panels. This one is The Future is Overtaking Us. This  is my favourite quote:

‘Every generation has the moment when they realize this is no longer in the children’s world and have become adults and they’re now in the future’

I’m sure the other RORees will have much to say on the subject of the World Con, this is just a quick drive-by post from me.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Genre Writing | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »