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So this is my first attempt at an author’s website, so I’ll ask you all to be patient with me.

I have finished the alpha (hopefully, beta) versions of Consequences and have sent them to beta readers to have a look over. I am hoping to send one of them to the editor (the wonderful Jeanne) by the end of the month (I can see Jeanne’s face now!).

Now that I am in waiting mode, I have returned to Dark Reign, the sequel to Dark Dimensions. I have a page exclusively for Dark Reign and will pop some information in it there.

I do hope to have Consequences out soon for all to read. In the meantime, please keep the word going about Dark Dimensions and, just as importantly, KCEditions, my publisher.

Heat – again

So we’d started to cool down but then again, we haven’t. Another stinking day here – at least we’re not in Mordor like a friend is!

But down to business.

Someone asked in a Facebook Group how deep people plan.

I couldn’t answer that question. Because I’m what most people call a plantser. While I’m planning, my fingers are getting itchy and my characters are starting to get antsy – sorta telling me “get on with it! Stop this planning stuff and get that keyboard ready! I wanna talk to you!”

So my planning is basically – start, middle, finish. I know where the story starts and where it’ll end up – it’s what’s in the middle that’s interesting. Because I don’t know most of that.

Take my sequel to Dark Dimensions. A friend read what I had written and gave me feedback and I thought and thought and realised that there was an element that was missing. So I tried to put that in. But my characters kept fighting me about it. So after a week of struggling, I just pulled the scene. There was no way it was going to happen. I even tried it from 3 different characters’ points of view.

But it was an interesting process to go through because the scene was evolving as I was writing it. I really wanted it to go in one direction, but there was no way I could get it there, no matter how hard I tried. I could turn around as I have above and say it was the ‘characters’ faults, but in reality, who are these characters but facets of me and my creativity. So it was my creativity that was blocking the scene.

So that’s what I mean by a plantser. And I don’t plan anything before NaNoWriMo. Or if I dream anything.

Take Delta Recoveries (to be completed). That wasn’t a dream so I planned a lot of the different elements in it. And even though I had planned this particular work, it still led me in a direction I hadn’t expected to go which made me do a helluvalot more planning in the background for the NaNoWriMo experience this year. And that’s what happens when you take 2 completely different creatures, gene splice them, blend the DNA and splice the genes again, then do a huge amount of more genetic manipulation and end up with 2 races that are quite clearly related yet look nothing alike and nothing like the 2 creatures from the beginning. (Oh, the pain of planning that side of Delta!)

Competitions

So, I did an unusual thing – well, maybe not for others, but definitely for me. I entered a writer’s competition in Queensland. Because it was time to do so. And there’s a movie option up for grabs. I’ve put Dark Dimensions forward because a) it’s finished and b) most of those who have read it have agreed that it would suit itself to a movie.

It was an interesting process. I had to give them 5000 words and the first chapter is 6330. So I left out some of the points in the first chapter. Then I actually had to write a synopsis. I’m not sure about other writers but that’s right up there, along with editing. <shudder> But it’s part of writing so I knew it had to be done. After doing a really looooooooooooong one, I passed it on to Jeanne who tidied it up beautifully (she’s such a great help!).

Then it was a matter of reformatting the manuscript to fit what they wanted, so I spent time on that. Eventually, I got it in on time and am now waiting to hear back.

And waiting. And waiting. *Hate this part of it.* And waiting. And waiting. And so on. But that’s part of a writer’s life – waiting. And that’s why we have other Works-in-progress – so we can get on with what we adore doing the most – new writing!

Compliments

It’s not every day you get a compliment and especially about your writing.

I think my first compliment from someone who wasn’t familiar with my work was from my dentist. It was two years ago and I was having a crown done. The first week was pulling the old filling from the tooth and while we were waiting for the anaesthetic to take effect, I happened to mention I had published a book. After asking me its name and what the author name was, I was sitting in the chair and I heard his keyboard pecking. I said, “Are you googling it now?”

He said, “Of course I am.” I thought ‘wow! My dentist is reading my book!’

So a week later I go in for the other bit of work and as I walk into the workroom he says “I bought your book. I read all the samples and couldn’t put it down so I bought it.” I was gob-smacked.

Six months later, when we brought out the hard cover, I let him know. Six months after that, I signed that book for him.

A few months after that, a friend I had known for a very long time got a copy. He texted me in tears and told me “you’re not supposed to kill off major characters. And why him?” I was speechless. He told me when he’d finished that the book had him running the full gammutt of every emotion possible. My heart swelled.

Just last week, this friend and I were talking and he told me his daughter hadn’t yet read it and he was disappointed “because yours is so much better than that Twilight stuff.” Again, speechless. Now waiting for movie offers! Just kidding.

My whole point of writing is to entertain people. To take them out of our drudgery world of ‘work, sleep, eat, study, maybe play if there’s time’. If they enjoy the book at the same time, then I have truly done my job. Of course, the fact I enjoy writing has nothing to do with it.

Australia's Heat Continues

So we’re well into January, now and Perth has now started climbing back up. Well, it did on Wednesday and Thursday, but today is a much cooler day – almost mild at 30-ish.

The fires still go on in NSW and Victoria, however, and my heart goes out to those affected. At work I spoke to someone who’d been allowed back to the their house only to tell me that they’d just had a warning the fire had turned and was heading for them again.

I don’t think, even with the years I spent in the Swan Communications Brigade, I can even imagine how horrific it must be to live through something like those fires. Everything I’ve seen through social media and through Ch 24 (Australia’s ABC) are devastating enough to watch. To experience must be far worse.

I will say I am quite disgusted at those scammers who have created donation platforms to scam people out of money and cause money to be diverted from the Bushfire victims.

I will also say that I am officially astounded at the outpouring of support – including monetary – being sent our way. We are a tinderbox and the world is noticing. I just wish certain people in Australia would put aside greed and realise that something needs to be done. As a meme on social media implies – if we clean everything up and nothing happens, we don’t have egg on our faces, we have a beautiful world to live on. If we don’t clean everything up and climate change is allowed to continue, we – well, we might not be here.

I just hope that our amazingly diverse state does not experience the hell that NSW and Vic have and are still living through.

I noted that a photo that talked about the vegetation regrowth was from a fire in Kulnura. I checked the fire map and found that Kulnura had not been impacted last year. I kept watching this month and noticed the fire keep heading towards Kulnura, then by yesterday it had backed off. I was pleased to see that an area I’d been following was safe.

On a different note, I have again been invited to sit on a panel in GenghisCon. As the panel does not start until 6pm, we’ve decided to stay at the hotel that night and enjoy luxury for a change – in other words, going down early tomorrow to sit by the pool all afternoon, then go to the panel, then tea. Ah. Not sure if I’ll even take the laptop!

So next week, I will do my best to impart the fun I had on the panel! Escapism Teaches us how to Escape. Like I don’t write that?

2020 is here

So we are now a 3rd of the way through January 2020, which, to me, means 2020 has arrived. Along with it, it has brought dry weather in Perth, our first “dangerous” fire for the city but more importantly, it has brought wet weather to Melbourne. I’m not sure about whether rain has hit any of the fires, but at least some of the country has rain. Oh and it’s also brought the first Cyclone for Western Australia.

Cyclone Blake landed and was immediately downgraded. But for a while there, we were totally cut off by road from the rest of Australia. I hear there was panic buying as trucks were stranded on either side of the Nullabor. I’m glad we buy fresh vegies because we were still able to buy them. Apparently some of the supermarkets were running out.

Is 2020 the year of songs? I’m not sure – for the whole week I’ve had Smashmouth’s All Star singing to me, then today a friend shared an article calling the fires of NSW “The Ring of Fire” – need I say more – and apparently the Canberra Times had an article titled “The Heat is On”. I’ll let you all decide if it’s a music year or not!

For writing? Everything is coming together nicely and I’ve even had some ideas for the 4th Clans in Conflict book. Which is a relief ’cause I wasn’t sure what the plot was going to be. But, no spoilers here!

Hello 2020

Hello to 2020! Wow! That rolls off the tongue. And to think – 100 years ago it would have been called the start of the flappers!

We’ve got 5 years to go before it’s 100 years since Art Deco got its name. And we’re 6 years behind when Art Nouveau was around. Maybe I should have mentioned that sort of thing? Oh well, this is not going to be a “what happened 100 years ago” post.

No, this post is going to include a shout out to all those emergency service personnel across Australia and the defence force who are dealing with fires and supporting infrastructure. Gods, what I’ve seen makes the eastern states look like a scene from an apocalypse movie. To think – some of those fires have been raging since August 2019 – that’s 4 months roughly. So thank you all for doing what you’re doing. You are our lifeblood and I wish I was in someone else’s place so I could say “Stuff everything else – throw money at the emergency services!”

On a different subject, I am writing an interview between Troy and a journalist. Now some scenes roll off the tongue, so to speak, so easily that they write themselves. Not this. This thing is being pulled out, fighting and screaming and I have to fight the impulse to write something easier. But I have to get this out as this will tie in a lot of things and present important information to you all – my audience/readers.

And finally, on a third subject, Happy New Year and I hope 2020 gets better. I hope that these fires can be extinguished soon so that the year can improve. For everyone I know, I hope your year to shine is this year! Especially the kids! Again, Happy New Year!

Christmas/New Year

Well, it’s a little late but Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And I’ve done it. I’ve written the bare bones of Consequences 3. It’s taken probably a week or so to get the basics down but I just couldn’t let it go. And the only way it’ll produce another book is probably in the series’ future – roughly 20 years time. In reality? I’m not sure. I must be having fun with the characters and the setting because I tried my darnedest to go back to Delta Recoveries but Albermarle just took over all my thoughts.

It’s probably got a lot of changes to be made – I’m not sure if the main plot line is strong enough, but that’s easily fixed. Because there’s a helluvalot more to write. Currently, it’s not even a novella at less than 20k but there’s so much info missing that there’s no way it’ll be a short story. Not with me, it won’t.

So eventually you will get a 3rd Consequences and hopefully everyone will enjoy it – actually I hope people enjoy the first one, let alone the 3rd one!