And Then … stake a claim on these adventure stories!

And-Then-offerAND now for a word from my publisher … who is publishing a massive two-book anthology of ripping adventure yarns. The books are now available for pre-order, and because it’s happening on Indiegogo, there is not just a discount on the RRP, but there are some other fab inclusions as well (the books will come out regardless, but why not grab a bargain?). Says Clan Destine’s Lindy Cameron:

And Then… The Great Big Book of Awesome Adventure Tales will feature 31 stories of action-filled page-turning adventures.

    No matter your reading preference – crime, fantasy, horror, sf or cross-genre – there will be stories galore in this fabulous collection just for you.

    By helping us you will get the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting a small independent press and our wonderful authors, but there’s also plenty of things you will get in return.

    First and foremost, of course, are the books themselves. And we do mean books. And Then… will be two volumes of fabulous new fiction, published as ebooks, paperbacks and Limited Edition hardcovers.

    So get on board and pre-order your copies. Follow the link below to see the great deals, discounts and other bounty you can score by partnering with us now.

    And please share this opportunity with other book lovers.

    Thank you for your ongoing support of Clan Destine Press.

The campaign runs till about May 16, so jump on board, me hearties: your future self will thank you!

And Then — a brand new adventure

Figurehead illo by Vicky Pratt from And Then... adventure anthologyClan Destine Press (publishers of my Vampires in the Sunshine State duology) has announced a new adventure — And Then…. The Great Big Book of Awesome Adventure Tales, a mammoth two-title set of tales featuring dynamic duos.

So far, 26 writers have been announced — the preliminary list is below — with stories to 15,000 words: ‘old-fashioned rip-snorting action adventures’.
My contribution takes place in the same world as Night Blooming, published earlier this year in SQ Magazine. As CDP publisher Lindy Cameron says, ‘ooh what fun’.

Check out that TOC below: that’s some serious firepower.

Readers can be part of the adventure, too. The books — more authors are yet to join — are to be crowdfunded through Indiegogo, so you can essentially preorder a copy of these rollicking tales and get other cool stuff besides. Stuff such as other CDP ebooks and paperbacks (lots of ’em), notebooks and pens, and themed critiques on 1500 words (fight scenes, erotica, openings, Ancient Rome and MORE!).

The figurehead illo, by Vicky Pratt, with this post is from the title page of one of the yarns, ‘Come Now, Traveller’, by Amanda Wrangles. It just gets more interesting, doesn’t it?


Peter M Ball ~ Deadbeats

Alan Baxter ~ Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade

Mary Borsellino ~ The Australian Gang

Lindy Cameron ~ The Medusa Code

Kat Clay ~ In the Company of Rogues

Emilie Collyer ~ The Panther’s Paw

Jack Dann ~ The Talking Sword

Sarah Evans ~ Plumbing the Depths

Jason Franks ~ Exli and the Dragon

James Hopwood ~ The Lost Loot of Lima

Kelly Gardiner ~ Boots and the Bushranger

David Greagg & Kerry Greenwood ~ Cruel Sister

Narrelle M Harris ~ Moran & Cato: Virgin Soil

Maria Lewis ~ The Bushwalker Butcher

Sophie Masson ~ The Romanov Opal

Keith McArdle ~ The Demon’s Cave

Jason Nahrung ~ The Mermaid Club

Andrew Nette ~ Save a Last Kiss for Satan

Amanda Pillar ~ It

Michael Pryor ~ Cross Purposes

Dan Rabarts ~ Tipuna Tapu

Tansy Rayner Roberts ~ Death at the Dragon Circus

Fin J Ross ~ Genemesis

Tor Roxburgh ~ The Boudicca Society

Amanda Wrangles ~ Come Now, Traveller

Get your Aussie vampires here

alison goodman launches the big smoke by jason nahrung

Picture courtesy of Alison Goodman

Home again from the Continuum convention in Melbourne, at which there was much catching up, some learnin’ and some launchin’.

Always good to reconnect with the clan, and very appreciative indeed of those who were able to make the launch for Blood and Dust and The Big Smoke — my Aussie vampire duology. So great to have them out in the world!

Alison Goodman did the launch business with aplomb — just look at that hat! Here’s a quote from her speech:

The Big Smoke is based on the old European vampire lore, but given a new bright Australian slant. These vampires wear a permanent sun squint and a pair of sunglasses. The book pulses with hot weather, hot blood and hot vengeance.

For more info, or to snaffle a copy for the vampire-lovin’ reader in your family, check out the Clan Destine Press links below! (edit: worth noting the books are also available at Amazon, Booktopia et al)

We have launch date: Vampires in the Sunburnt Country to hit the road!

blood and dust by jason nahrungHot on the heels of the cover reveal, the full books are about to hit the shelves — yes, after more years than I care to think about, the story of Kevin Matheson, outback vampire, is about to be released in paperback. Two, in fact: Blood and Dust, and the follow-up The Big Smoke. How much trouble can a country boy get himself into when the vampires come a’knockin’? Plenty!

Clan Destine Press are releasing the books in paperback and ebook, raising the curtain at 4pm on Sunday 7 June, as part of the Continuum speculative the big smoke by jason nahrungfiction spectacular in Melbourne. The wonderful Alison Goodman is doing the honour, cracking a bottle of something red across the tomes! Details are here at the Clan Destine site, where online orders will also be available.

Hm. I may have to wear black for this!

Kevin Matheson, outback vampire, rides again!

Here are the covers for the ‘Vampires in the Sunburnt Country’ duology: Blood and Dust* and The Big Smoke, courtesy of Clan Destine Press.

blood and dust by jason nahrung

the big smoke by jason nahrung


And look what happens when you put them side by side on the shelf — VROOM!

vampires in the sunburnt country books

The books should be hitting the road in paperback and digital in June. That’s not long, is it!

* But what do I mean, Kevin rides again? Well, Blood and Dust was released back in 2012 as a digital-only title, but CDP have ridden to the rescue to make it and its follow-up corporeal as well as ethereal. Sweet.

Snapshot 2014: Dean J Anderson

unnaturals by dean j andersonDEAN J ANDERSON began his professional writing career in 2008. Living with his wife and son on the Central Queensland coast in Australia, Dean draws inspiration from striking local landscapes and everyday people. His transformation from avid reader to author is ongoing and one that has seen him come alive within the realms of dark urban fantasy where every character gets their hands dirty. Relationships are multilayered; challenging. Dark urban fantasy is not a genre he set out to choose; he says it chose him. He is a passionate member of the Bundaberg Writers Club. Find him at


1. You’re based in Yeppoon, a place I remember for fish ‘n’ chips on the beach and houses clinging to the cliff. How has that coastal landscape informed your writing, in particular your Unnaturals series?

Sand, salt and water formed the crucible where the spark for Unnaturals flickered into life. Under the stars, sand underfoot, volcanic headland at my back with the rhythm of the ocean resonating deep. From the very first concept draft to the finished novel, that connection flows strong through both the setting and my people… my characters in Unnaturals. Like myself, Mason and his family are never far from water.

Time spent near water always seemed to feed my muse, stimulate ‘What if’ questions and of course provides me with a story setting that I have a deep connection with.

2. The first book of the Unnaturals, your debut novel, came out last year through Clan Destine Press, and as well as being a supernatural romp, it challenges some of the usual gender binaries. Was that a conscious decision or did it flow naturally from the story?

There is a line of dialogue between Nikki and Mason in the very beginning of the novel that shows the level acceptance of the person within the story:

‘Love does not discriminate against sexes and the longer you live the less it cares whether you’re male or female.’ She sat down beside Ruth. ‘You could be one of the few men who would understand this.’

‘It’s not easy.’ He let his eyes wander on her; her small dress flimsy and the whiteness of her thighs highlighted by Ruth’s hand. It was Ruth he desired, not Nikki.

Acceptance of the person plays a powerful role within the story. Sexual plasticity between characters such as Mason’s acceptance and understanding that Ruth, his wife, can love more than one person underpins the power of acceptance of just the person. Not their sexual status.

Same for Ruth: Mason is her rock, accepts who she is, and has no interest in any of her partners. But there is a part of him she has never been able to connect with and doesn’t wish to. This dark part of Mason’s personality is both frightening and exciting for Ruth. More so when she finally meets another woman who craves the darkness within Mason.

As a mainstream modern family unit they would not survive, they never were. The natural progression to a clan-like family structure with intense intimate relationships between two or more characters creates a powerful dynamic. One that will give them a realistic chance at living, loving each other as who they are while protecting their family.

3. As you proceed with the remainder of the series, what lessons are you taking from your experience with the release, and writing, of the first?

‘Say more with less’ is something I stick to now. No distractions, like falling in love with a secondary character and going off on a storyline that you write just to feed that obsession. For six months.

Also editors are awesome. Seriously, they do things I cannot with words. Yes, you can argue but I’ve found that by taking their advice and applying it you grow as a writer. Even if the advice makes you scream and hurl objects at the walls, windows and trees. Try it, find a balance and understand it’s not about you. All that matters is the story.

Finally, write a speech for the book launch. Winging it on the back of a stiff scotch only works for the likes of John Connelly, Chuck Wendig and John Birmingham.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

In the last year I have found myself hooked on sci-fi again with Perth-based author Amanda Bridgeman and her Aurora series. Love her voice, characters and of course the story itself.

The Blood She Betrayed, a gritty Oz YA from Cheryse Durrant rekindled my faith in YA after being battered for years by a flurry of YA merging into paranormal.

Also I have fetish for Oz vampire so I discovered The Opposite of Life and Walking Shadows by Narelle M Harris based out of Melbourne late in 2013. Which led me to RC Daniels from Brisbane, The Price of Fame, not vamp but a wicked paranormal read. Plus hanging for The Big Smoke, the follow-up from Blood and Dust by a Oz writer by the name of Jason Nahrung (cheers, Dean; cheque’s in the mail!).

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

People love to read, whether it be ebook or hard copy, readers are always looking for their next book. Whether the book be self published, indie or from the big publishers, readers will read what they like. So I write, when I can.

What I write is changing. Started out with dark urban fantasy but my publisher poked and prodded me to develop the flair for erotica I never knew I had. A novella and a series of short stories are now published and more are on the way and … wait for it … a straight, non-paranormal romance is being toyed with, in between the erotica and book 2 of Unnaturals. I like to exercise the muse by writing outside what comes naturally, the muse does protest a lot though …

2014 aussie spec fiction snapshot

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THIS interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian speculative fiction. We’re blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at:

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!

WriteFest windows of opportunity, and other writerly news

Bundaberg’s WriteFest is a great event, one of those fairly intimate occasions when everyone’s just chilled out yet totally keen. This year the organisers have upped the ante, offering a workshop with Louise Cusack — her writing advice is always worth it — as well as the chance to get feedback from Allen & Unwin’s Rachael Donovan on how to improve a submission to a publisher, and a chance to talk to Clan Destine Press’s Lindy Cameron about a manuscript. But you want to be quick: applications for the feedback sessions close on Sunday April 15. Check out the website: there’s plenty more on, including two workshops with Marianne de Pierres and seminars on many things writerly. WriteFest is held on May 19.

  • Michael Hauge provides insight into story structure and the rules of engagement for hero and ‘reflection character’.
  • The horror of having a book go to print without its opening line, and a constructive way of dealing with the misdeed, courtesy of Kirstyn McDermott.
  • I’ve recently had cause to chinwag with a.rawlings, this year’s Arts Queensland poet in residence hosted by Queensland Poetry Festival, and was again struck by the power of the written word when read out loud. I found her poem, ‘a hoosh a ha’, inside her collection Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists, and then this clip on YouTube of her performing the piece. It’s a gorgeous book, beautifully laid out, but to hear those words out loud: wow. To complete the narrative circle of this post, it’s worth the mention that one of Louise Cusack’s suggestions for improving self-editing is to read the work out loud. Advice I really wish I’d take more often, because it really does highlight awkwardness, errors and repetition.