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

 

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First review of Blood and Dust

vampire e-novel by jason nahrung blood and dustSouth Australian reviewer Sean the Bookonaut has pulled out the stops to provide the first review of Blood and Dust. Now that’s a nice little Xmas surprise 🙂


The book is now available in digital formats.

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!