A double blast of outback vampires

Jason Nahrung and Lindy Cameron, of Clan Destine Press

Lunch with my publisher :) Pic: Kirstyn McDermott

Blood and Dust is about to become corporeal — and then some.

A little while back, Clan Destine Press publisher Lindy Cameron and I (that’s us to the left!) caught up over lunch and signed off on a contract to put my outback vampire novel Blood and Dust on to shelves, both digital and physical, along with its follow-up, The Big Smoke.

This will be a second life for Blood and Dust, initially released into the wilds as an e-book in late 2012. It was a finalist in both the Aurealis Awards, for best horror novel, and the Australian Shadows. But while it’s pretty much self-contained, Kevin the mechanic, now vampire, still had some work to do once the dust had settled out west. Hence, his journey to ‘the Big Smoke’.

I’m ecstatic that these two books, coming more than 15 years after the story was first conceived, are finally coming to life in paperback as well as digital. My dad might even get to read them!

Clan Destine has good people operating it, a solid stable of fellow writers, many of whom I already know. It’s a real pleasure to join them on this latest adventure.

So when will Kevin get to escape the garage on his own grand adventure? Well, Blood and Dust is getting new duco, and The Big Smoke is going in for its roadworthy. So all in good time, my friends, but rest assured, you’ll hear the motors revving!

Double trouble: Blood and Dust an Australian Shadows finalist

In the same week that the Aurealis Awards listed Blood and Dust and Kirstyn’s Perfections as finalists for best horror novel of 2012, lightning has struck twice: both books were announced last night as finalists for the Australian Shadows best horror novel.

This time, the pair is keeping company with Lee Battersby‘s Corpse Rat King.

That short-list of three is overshadowed by the short fiction award finalists — eight of ‘em! That’s a long short-list! I blame Kaaron Warren, who has not only three of the four yarns in her Through Splintered Walls collection listed there, but the fourth in long fiction (kind of a middle ground between short and novel) AND the collection itself. Pretty awesome, huh?

Here’s the full list, with winners to be announced on April 12.

Australian Shadows 2012 finalists

NOVEL

  • Lee Battersby, The Corpse Rat King (Angry Robot)
  • Kirstyn McDermott, Perfections (Xoum)
  • Jason Nahrung, Blood and Dust (Xoum)


    LONG FICTION

  • Daniel I Russell, Critique (Dark Continents)
  • Robert Hood, Escena de un Asesinato (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing)
  • Kaaron Warren, Sky (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)


    SHORT FICTION

  • Felicity Dowker, To Wish on a Clockwork Heart (Bread and Circuses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Jason Fischer, Pigroot Flat (Midnight Echo 8, AHWA)
  • Martin Livings, Birthday Suit (Living with the Dead, Dark Prints Press)
  • Andrew J McKiernan, They Don’t Know that We Know What They Know (Midnight Echo 8, AHWA)
  • Kaaron Warren, Creek (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Kaaron Warren, Mountain (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Kaaron Warren, Road (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Marty Young, A Monstrous Touch (Dangers Untold, Alliteration Ink)


    COLLECTION

  • Felicity Dowker, Bread and Circuses (Ticonderoga)
  • Martin Livings, Living With the Dead (Dark Prints Press)
  • Kaaron Warren, Through Splintered Walls (Twelfth Planet Press)


    EDITED PUBLICATION

  • Cthulu Unbound 3, eds David Conyers and Brian M Sammons (Permuted Press)
  • Surviving the End, ed Craig Bezant (Dark Prints Press)
  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2011, eds. Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)


  • Salvage, and Blood and Dust, finalists in the Aurealis Awards!

    Happy dancing here in the shadow of Wendouree Tor with the word that both Salvage and Blood and Dust are finalists for the Aurealis Awards’ best horror novel of 2012, AND Kirstyn’s Perfections is also in the running! Yes, we’re going head to head!

    This is my first short-listing in the AAs — The Darkness Within was highly commended in a year when there was no short-list — so it’s a hell of a thrill to have two, quite disparate titles listed.

    The fourth book in the finalists’ list is by fellow Victorian Jason Franks, who I met earlier this year at Oz Horror Con. He’s very cool and very passionate about his craft, so I’m looking forward to tracking down his Bloody Waters — it’s his first novel, following some well-received graphic novels. Nice, eh?

    Indeed, the Aurealis finalists make for an excellent recommended reading list.

    Another thrill is to see other writers by my publishers Xoum and Twelfth Planet Press making an impression on the lists.

    And check out the science fiction novel section — SIX titles in a category usually a bit light on, and offering a whole lot of variety.

    Interesting, too, to see self-published works making the short-lists, and the number of multiple nominations — Margo Lanagan, Jonathan Strahan, Jo Anderton and Kaaron Warren in the thick of it, amongst others. Wow, it’s a quality field all over. Congratulations, y’all!

    The awards will be presented in Sydney on May 18.

    Aurealis Awards finalists 2012

    FANTASY NOVEL

  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (Random House Australia)
  • Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (Tor UK)
  • Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
  • Winter Be My Shield by Jo Spurrier (HarperVoyager)
  • FANTASY SHORT STORY

  • ‘Sanaa’s Army’ by Joanne Anderton (Bloodstones, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘The Stone Witch’ by Isobelle Carmody (Under My Hat, Random House)
  • ‘First They Came’ by Deborah Kalin (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 55)
  • ‘Bajazzle’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • ‘The Isles of the Sun’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Suited by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
  • The Last City by Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)
  • And All The Stars by Andrea K Host (self-published)
  • The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina (Walker Books)
  • Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (Harper Collins)
  • SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

  • ‘Visitors’ by James Bradley (Review of Australian Fiction)
  • ‘Significant Dust’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • ‘Beyond Winter’s Shadow’ by Greg Mellor (Wild Chrome, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘The Trouble with Memes’ by Greg Mellor (Wild Chrome, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club’ by Kaaron Warren (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing)
  • HORROR NOVEL

  • Bloody Waters by Jason Franks (Possible Press)
  • Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)
  • Blood and Dust by Jason Nahrung (Xoum)
  • Salvage by Jason Nahrung (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • HORROR SHORT STORY

  • ‘Sanaa’s Army’ by Joanne Anderton (Bloodstones, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘Elyora’ by Jodi Cleghorn (Rabbit Hole Special Issue, Review of Australian Fiction)
  • ‘To Wish Upon a Clockwork Heart’ by Felicity Dowker (Bread and Circuses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • ‘Escena de un Asesinato’ by Robert Hood (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing)
  • ‘Sky’ by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

  • Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney (Allen & Unwin)
  • And All The Stars by Andrea K. Host (self-published)
  • The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Amberlin Kwaymullina (Walker Books)
  • Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Into That Forest by Louis Nowra (Allen & Unwin)
  • YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

  • ‘Stilled Lifes x 11’ by Justin D’Ath (Trust Me Too, Ford Street Publishing)
  • ‘The Wisdom of the Ants’ by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)
  • ‘Rats’ by Jack Heath (Trust Me Too, Ford Street Publishing)
  • ‘The Statues of Melbourne’ by Jack Nicholls (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56)
  • ‘The Worry Man’ by Adrienne Tam (self-published)
  • CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

  • Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
  • Princess Betony and the Unicorn by Pamela Freeman (Walker Books)
  • The Silver Door by Emily Rodda (Scholastic)
  • Irina the Wolf Queen by Leah Swann (Xoum Publishing)
  • CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

  • Little Elephants by Graeme Base (author and illustrator) (Viking Penguin)
  • The Boy Who Grew Into a Tree by Gary Crew (author) and Ross Watkins (illustrator) (Penguin Group Australia)
  • In the Beech Forest by Gary Crew (author) and Den Scheer (illustrator) (Ford Street Publishing)
  • Inside the World of Tom Roberts by Mark Wilson (author and illustrator) (Lothian Children’s Books)
  • ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • Blue by Pat Grant (author and illustrator) (Top Shelf Comix)
  • It Shines and Shakes and Laughs by Tim Molloy (author and illustrator) (Milk Shadow Books)
  • Changing Ways #2 by Justin Randall (author and illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)
  • ANTHOLOGY

  • The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Bloodstones edited by Amanda Pillar (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year Volume 6 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
  • Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan (Random House)
  • Edge of Infinity edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris Books)
  • COLLECTION

  • That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by K. J. Bishop (self-published)
  • Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody (Allen & Unwin)
  • Midnight and Moonshine by Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Living With the Dead by Martin Livings (Dark Prints Press)
  • Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren (Twelfth Planet Press)

    -#-

  •  

    New year, new home, new books!

    website clipping of ballarat

    When I’ve told people we’re moving to Ballarat, there are two comments that usually follow: ‘Why?’ and, ‘It’s cold, y’know. Like, freezing.’

    To the latter, the simple answer is, y’know, coats. But the former is a bit more long winded, to do with property prices in Melbourne, and how Ballarat is as close as we could get to spitting distance of the big smoke, and how it’s got a uni and a writers’ centre and a literature festival (hey, it’s Victoria: what town doesn’t have a literature festival? or a market…), and so on. I liken it to being on the Sunshine Coast and working in Brissie, without the coast. Or the ranges, for that matter. Okay, so it’s got a train and it’s got two lanes of divided road with a respectable stretch of 110kmh in between, and it takes about same amount of time, traffic (an hour and a bit) and rail gods (90 minutes and a bit) allowing.

    Ballarat’s a tidy town, brimming with neat cottages and such, and history oozing out its mine shafts. No river to speak of, but lots of culverts, and a very fine lake with swans. I’m told it has a very good Irish pub, obviously that friend’s first memory of a previous visit, and a very fine bakery, too — my friends have broad tastes, clearly. Plus — OMG — an absinthe bar!

    Kirstyn and I are looking forward to exploring the place, and the surrounds — for instance, the Pyrenees wine district, which I’m told does a very drinkable shiraz, which is what I want in a wine region. Oh yes. AND we’ve spotted a cafe with a view of the cemetery from the al freso dining area — w00t!

    By the end of February, we’ll be Ballaratians. Some might pronounce the former Ballah-ratt-e-ans, but I’m thinking of going for Bal-ah-ray-shuns. I guess Rats could also come up. B-Rat is just far too street. I’m stopping now.

    So, a new address, our own patch of suburban dirt with a line already dotted out for a future chook pen, I believe. Excitements!

    To go with the new house, new books (though the books came first, to be honest), one apiece: my outback vampire road-trippin’ blood-lettin’ romp, Blood and Dust, and Kirstyn’s dark tale of family secrets, an amazing game of make believe and how what you wish for can be a tad detrimental, Perfections. Both are available now in digital formats (all of ‘em) thanks to the small but passionate team at Xoum.

    There will be some kind of ceremony to mark the arrival of these two yarns into the wilds, but it’s been delayed by the move. One thing to be said for e-books — no packing!

    house with Hills hoist

    A Hills hoist of our own

     

    Blood and Dust on the Christmas tree

    blood and dust by jason nahrung

    You can’t get much more Christmassy than outback vampires spreading mayhem in a Monaro, can you? That’s what publisher Xoum thought, too, and they’re spreading some Blood and Dust at tinsel time, just to keep it real.

    Read an extract from Blood and Dust

    Blood and Dust is now available digitally, at Amazon, iBooks … all over the place.

    Also out: Kirstyn’s Perfections, at the Xoum website and Amazon(and all the rest)!

    And of course, Salvage is still available in paperback ($17.50 inc postage) and for Kindle.

    The Next Big Thing

    Angela Slatter tagged me in this Next Big Thing writerly chain thing, in which we answer the questions below before sending the same queries off to five of our pals. Blood and Dust is my next ‘big’ thing, to be released soonish in digital format by Sydney publisher Xoum. Let’s get started.

    blood and dust by jason nahrung1) What is the working title of your next book?
    Blood and Dust.

    2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
    The story began more than 10 years ago in a role playing game I was running while living in Rockhampton. Add in my dissatisfaction with the watering down of vampire as monster and metaphor, plus my love of Australian stories, and this yarn finally emerged. It originally moved from the outback to the big smoke, back to the outback, so I’ve cut the yarn into two standalone novels. Blood and Dust happens mostly in rural, regional Queensland; The Big Smoke — still a work in progress, and uncontracted — happens primarily in Brisbane.

    3) What genre does your book fall under?
    Let’s call it a supernatural thriller in which bad things happen. Does that qualify as horror?

    4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
    I’ve not thought that far ahead, but it would be exciting to see so many opportunities for Aboriginal Aussie actors to go crazy! It’d be a multinational cast, too: Eastern Europeans, English, Asian-Australians, yobbos. The sequel brings in serious Western European and US action. Get me the casting agent, stat!

    5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
    Bad things happen when an outback mechanic gets caught in the crossfire of an outlaw vampire motorcycle gang and a big city vampire gang.

    6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
    Blood and Dust was sold to Xoum by my agent, Selwa Anthony.

    7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
    The first draft took probably more than a year to pull together. That was in the late 90s.

    8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
    Based on hearsay, because I still haven’t read the sucker, maybe 13 Bullets or, in terms of nastiness and based on the disappointing movie version, 30 Days of Night.

    I like to think of it as Anne Rice meets Mad Max.

    9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
    This is a little like Q2, but let’s run with it and say Bram Stoker. He’s the chap who crystallised my love of supernatural, Gothic literature with Dracula. You’ll find references to it, Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and a few others besides, in Blood and Dust: little homages to the greats of vampire lit. How would vampires survive in the Sunshine State? This story is one answer.

    10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
    If this were a DVD, it’d have warnings on the cover for coarse language, violence, adult themes, drug references, sex. But, y’know, it’s got a big heart, too.


    That’s it from me. I direct you to my five victims to find out about their Next Big Things!

  • Cheryse Durrant
  • Chris McMahon
  • Charlotte Nash
  • Patrick O’Duffy
  • Scott Robinson
  • Blood and Dust on the digital horizon aka Kevin the vampire lives!

    blood and dust by jason nahrung

    This is the cover for Blood and Dust, my outback vampire novel coming soonish to digital shelves everywhere thanks to Aussie publisher Xoum. I quite like it! (Honestly, the art dept has fkn nailed it, yeah?)

    The cat has kind of slipped out of the bag on this one, but it’s nice to be able to share the horror joy. The story’s more than 10 years and four major iterations in the making, and for those who know — this is the story of Kevin, the vampire. And yes, the Monaro is still there …

    You might have also noticed recently another lurvly book cover hitting the interwebs:

    perfections by kirstyn mcdermott

    Why yes, I have read an unedited version of this novel by Kirstyn McDermott, and yes, it is very good. Coming soonish, too!