The lovely folks at The Writers Bloc — great name for a collective! — asked me to tell them about ‘the book that …’ and of course I had to wax lyrical about Dracula. You’re about 16, there’s a storm outside your bedroom window, and the vampire is creeping down the castle wall … You can read more here, and see what these creative folks are up to in furthering the writers’ cause.
Keith Stevenson’s Coeur de Lion is launching its new digital magazine Dimension6 in April, and I’m happy to say I’ve got an Aussie vampire story — ‘The Preservation Society’ — in it!
I can’t tell you who else is in there because I don’t know, but Robert Hood, Cat Sparks, Richard Harland, Alan Baxter and Steve Cameron have all been tapped as being in one of this year’s first three editions. Pretty awesome company! These writers are well worth the effort of hitting the download button for.
Dimension6 will be FREE, with a cheap-as-chips end-of-year omnibus edition.
Coeur de Lion brought us the wonderful X6 novella collection a few years back, so I’m dead excited about Dimension6. The first issue is due out on April 4.
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 SHORT STORY
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
HORROR SHORT STORY
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)
ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL
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!
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.
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)!