Getting published … a blog series

the darkness withinNicole Murphy (also writing as Elizabeth Dunk) is running a series of posts at her blog about how writers were first published. It’s yet another reminder of how diverse the routes to getting that first book out are, and how varied are the reasons that people want to get published.

One of the bumps in the road my first novel, The Darkness Within, suffered was a switch of editors between the structural and the copy edit. I enjoyed working with Dmetri, found his advice and feedback highly useful, and would’ve liked to have seen the project through with him. I’m chuffed to be working with him again on my next novel, The Big Smoke, coming out mid next year. It’s also worth noting Dmetri is running a workshop on horror writing later this month for Writers Victoria, encompassing general techniques as well as the peculiarities of the genre.

You can read more about The Darkness Within‘s detours, as Nicole so nicely puts it, at her blog.

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Secret Gardens: fantasy on page and in paint

oracle of azura by gail collins

‘Oracle of Azura’ by Gail Collins

garden of the two moons by caz mcdougall

‘Garden of the Two Moons’ by Caz McDougall

the blood stones of poora singh by annie higgins

‘The Blood Stones of Poora Singh’ by Annie Higgins

Four years after conception, the Secret Gardens project is finally about to be unveiled in Brisbane.

Three artists from northern New South Wales – Gail Collins, Annie Higgins and Caz McDougall – have been inspired to translate Australian fantasy stories onto canvas.

Books by Kim Wilkins, Paul Brandon, Louise Cusack, Karen Brooks, Melaina Faranda, Alison Goodman, Cecilia Dart Thornton, Kim Falconer, Anita Bell, Caiseal Mor, Annie’s husband Simon Higgins and yours truly (The Darkness Within, Annie tells me, but no sneak peek!) have been given the treatment – some more than once.

The trio didn’t stop there, though. As well as contributing six paintings inspired by published works, each has painted their own fantasy landscape, pictured above. They are running a short story contest to coincide with the exhibition, in which they invite short stories to 500 words based on one of the three paintings. The prize is a limited edition print of the painting. The contest closes on August 30 and is free; you can enter by email.

Secret Gardens shows at Jugglers Art Space, 103 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane from September 26 to October 2, with a grand opening night on Friday September 28 from 6pm. I can’t wait to see what these three have cooked up.

The Darkness Within available from England

the darkness within

Not quite as exciting as the headline sounds, but an interesting comment on the global market and self-promotion in one. An eBay seller in the UK has managed to snaffle five copies of The Darkness Within, though it was released only in Australia and NZ. At 12 quid plus postage, it’s still a discount on the cover price ($33), even when shipped back to Australia.

It’s also being offered for $A23 at The Book Depository, an excellent UK shop I’ve patronised in the past that has free international shipping.

Three cheers for the global market place, eh?

QWC blog tour

I’m now living in Melbourne, but I’m continuing my membership with the Queensland Writers Centre because it’s a damn fine organisation with plenty to offer, even for an ‘outpost’ member such as myself (a writer who wouldn’t have a book on the shelf were it not for the QWC). The centre has been kind enough to include me in their blog tour, offering a Cook’s tour of writers’ blogs. You can find out more about the blog tour at the end of this post. Meantime, here are the requisite questions answered:

Where do your words come from?
The words themselves probably swim up from a lifetime of reading and study and movie-watching. But of the origin of the ideas that drive them, I’m not sure. Perhaps also in the words that have gone before, adapted by experience and observation, daydreaming and nightmares. I tend to download my stories from the ether of the subconcious, then set about shaping them, making sure the words are the best possible ones to tell the story. And then there’s Roget’s 😉

Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up on a Queensland cattle property about half way between Maryborough and Gympie, an hour’s drive to either. It was a fertile place for the imagination, fuelled by books of all sorts. I’ve been leap-frogging my way through gradually larger cities since, most recently to Melbourne where I’m still waiting for my blood to thicken and save me from the embarrassment of being the only person on the street wearing gloves.

What’s the first sentence/line of your latest work?
My most recently published story, “Smoking, Waiting for the Dawn” (Dreaming Again, 2008) opens with, “George stood by the bleached skeleton of the Wyandra stockyards, breathing in dust and sun-baked silence.”
The first sentence of the story I’m meant to be working on at the moment is still a work in progress…

What piece of writing do you wish you had written?
Macbeth’s Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow speech. It’s stuck with me ever since I had to recite it in high school.

What are you currently working towards?
I’m planning a new novel, probably a follow-up to The Darkness Within, or yet another iteration of a linked story that just won’t behave. Or maybe something else again. November is my self-appointed crunch time.

Complete this sentence… the future of the book is…
… assured, though its delivery method will expand into the electronic realm with much wailing and gnashing of copyright regions.

This post is part of the Queensland Writers Centre blog tour, happening October to December 2009. To follow the tour, visit Queensland Writers Centre’s blog The Empty Page.

Die Jägerin der Finsternis

Die Jägerin der Finsternis

Die Jägerin der Finsternis

Hier ist eine Besprechung von Die Jägerin der Finsternis.

Es macht mich sehr glucklich.

Ahem. My German really is very bad. And I don’t have an umlaut key… But as you might have gathered, a German website devoted to the television show Blood Ties has kindly reviewed the German version of The Darkness Within, and given it four stars out of five on the Blood-o-Meter. We think that’s a good thing 😉 Seeing the word “erotic” without a nicht in front of it certainly is 🙂

Tschus!