Monday, May 23, 2011

Everyone's a Critic

 I turned my back for a moment on the weekend and Tivali got her teeth into the cover printout from my editor >.<

 Blud Song? Hmm. Nawt enuf blud.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cashore Guest Post and Blood Song on Goodreads -- and Travel

Today I'm over at the Readings Books blogging about Kristin Cashore for their influential YA fantasy authors series. Readings Books are an institution in Melbourne, an independent chain of stores around the inner suburbs that host great events and have a wonderful atmosphere. You're probably all aware how much I love Cashore. If anyone is going to the Kristin Cashore event this Friday and she says ANYTHING about Bitterblue, tweet me ASAP! I'm dying for news about it. I won't make it, unfortunately :( For reasons stated below.

I was so thrilled to be able to reveal the cover and blurb for Blood Song this week. Thank you all for your kind words and excitement! It's a very exciting time. So good to see the cover cropping up all over the interwebs, including the Facebook page and blogs like Pirate Penguin, A Cupcake and a Latte (who was the first person to mark Blood Song to-read on Goodreads, incidentally!) and LovLivLife.

Since Blood Song appeared on Goodreads two days ago I must confess I've been almost constantly refreshing the page! Just under 100 people have marked it to-read at the time of posting and it's climbing every hour. The internet does make being a writer a very exciting place.

This Thursday I will be boarding a flight to New York! I'm there for six days and I will be at Book Blogger Con. I'll also be meeting my wonderful agent Ginger Clark for the first time. I'm away for six weeks altogether, and I'll tell you all about my itinerary shortly. But now I must got buy some luggage and comfy gear for the plane.

If you're going to BBC or are in New York, hit me up via Twitter or email. I'd love to meet you.

A very happy Caturday to you all!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cover and Blurb Reveal for my book, BLOOD SONG

I'm finally able to show these! I'm so happy with the cover and can't wait to meet it in person.

Blood Song: The First Book of Lharmell, release date September 1, 2011 from Random House Australia

I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more. 

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

So, what do you think? I love how Zeraphina is looking over her shoulder like there's something behind her...because MAYBE THERE IS. *evil laugh*

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

An English village experiences a strange phenomenon in the form of a "Dayout", an entire day in which everyone in Midwich is unconscious. Several weeks later, all the women of childbearing age discover they are pregnant. After birth the Children grow uncommonly quickly and begin to exhibit strange and unsettling powers. The time of humans being the dominant species may be over, for the Children have plans for Earth, and it's not big enough for both them and us.

I read somewhere that Brian Aldiss, a contemporary of John Wyndham's who also wrote sci-fi, referred dismissively to Wyndham's books as "cosy catastrophes". That probably applies more to The Midwich Cuckoos than the other of his books I have read, namely The Chrysalids and The Day of the Triffids. The Chrysalids is a brilliant book, set far into the future after a nuclear holocaust has transformed most of the Earth into wasteland. Humans exist in tenuous pockets, and mutation is rampant. The Day of the Triffids is highly enjoyable too, even if one or two of the characters and sections did sour it for me.

If there's one certainty it's that Wyndham can invent a brilliant premise. Every woman mysteriously pregnant! How creepy is that? What's going to emerge in nine months' time? How on earth would you cope with such a thing, keep it secret? But secret it does remain, at the behest of the military, naturally. Written during the Cold War, there are lots of whispers that it's some bizarre Russian tactic.

But while the premise is brilliant, the execution is sadly lacking. I found myself wishing that someone like Stephen King had written it and an omniscient or multi-person narrator had been used. The story is told by a character who has very little involvement in the actual story. There are far too many lengthy--and dull, dull, dull--passages of dialogue in places (many places), something I'd noticed in his aforementioned books. But it wasn't such a problem until I read this book. The writing itself is witty enough, and I did enjoy the "cosy" village aspect to the novel. But the way it's put together...I could see how it could have been so much better, and that's rather a disappointing experience for a reader. Some of it was probably due to the book being dated--it was written in 1957--but The Chrysalids was executed almost perfectly, so, Mr Wyndham, I simply can't excuse you on those grounds.

I should really mention the themes Wyndham goes into, as they go someway into redeeming this book. It examines our place as the dominant, sentient beings on this planet, and what might happen if there came to be a more powerful species than us to contend with. One without pity or love; merely a wish to survive and dominate. The interesting thing is the Children act as we do to most other species on the planet. They must survive, no matter what. They will not be reasoned with, as--being the only species capable of such a thing--we won't be reasoned with either.