Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Time to move - announcing Reimkennar

What with Black Spring about to be imminently landing on the shelves, I thought it was time to shut down this blog and start another. So from now on I'll be posting at Reimkennar, my new novel blog. Please follow me there!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Pellinor book. And other tidbits.

Yes, I am hard at work on one. Having sworn to everyone that I thought the quartet was all the Pellinor books there were, I woke up one morning a month ago with an idea that was just there. It must have been hiding behind all my excuses. I'm now past page 50, and so far, so good. On good days I think I might finish it in July; on my rather more sane days, I think I'll type FINIS some time in September. Then there will be the endless process of turning it into an actual book, which takes ages. AND AGES.

It's a prequel, and it's about Cadvan. And that is all I am going to tell you until the damn thing is out. I haven't yet been able to think of a title for it. Did I tell you I am very bad at titles? If you're very nice to me, and I'm very sure about them - which means, not for a good long while - I may post the odd sample chapter.

In the meantime, my gothic fantasy BLACK SPRING is on the way - it will be out in Australia late 2012, and in the UK and the US early 2013. I am very excited about this one. Also, in other exciting news, Walker Books UK is reissuing the Pellinor books with some smart new covers - which I adore - and some new intros from their hapless translator. They'll be out some time this year.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And some sample chapters

You can read a sample of Jimmy Wonderspoon here.


Jimmy Wonderspoon

I know, I know, I haven't posted here in ages. Part of the problem has been that, although I've been very busy, there hasn't been much to tell you. Black Spring, which I told you about months ago, is now in the publishing tunnel, but it won't be out until Christmas 2012. That's ages and ages away, and excited as I am about it - and I am - it's a long time to wait.

However, I have idly published a book over the past couple of days. Years ago, when my daughter was around 11, I wrote a book for her called Jimmy Wonderspoon. I wrote a chapter every day and read it to her every night. It's an absurd adventure that begins in a suburb very like the one we lived in at the time, before it heads off into another world, and it featured all the cats we knew. I started writing it after a very vivid dream in which I was flying in a blue shoe over a strange, purple land full of wonky houses.

Nobody has much been interested in the manuscript, and so it's been languishing in my drawer - or, more accurately, in the bowels of my computer - ever since. But then I read about an author who put her unpublished books on Amazon Kindle, and thought, well, why not? The worst that can happen is that nobody takes any notice. So I made it into an e-book, and now you can buy it on Amazon.

It's been very satisfying. I like publishing things, and have often published magazines (not to mention blogs), but I have never published a book before. I hope the cover is not too naff. It's the best I could do with my limited talents. I am still rather fond of the story, and my kids enjoyed it, so maybe others will too. Blurb below, with handy links for anyone who knows any young readers.


For Ages 9-12

An adventure story in sixteen chapters and eight cats.

Sam Gorey knew that she had an odd family, because other people said so. She lived with her mother Elena in a little house by the sea, and her uncle Jimmy Wonderspoon, who most people thought was even stranger than Elena, lived around the corner. Her father, David Gorey, had disappeared two years before. It wasn’t that unusual not to have a Dad, but it was unusual to have a father who had literally vanished in a puff of blue smoke at the supermarket while he was buying toothpaste. Just after her tenth birthday, Sam discovered her father was not only a wizard, but a spy, and not only a spy, but had been thrown into prison in another world peopled by cats and rats. And that was only the beginning of her accidental quest to rescue her missing father from the evil Ingkor of Wat...

A book for younger readers from the author of the best-selling fantasy series, The Books of Pellinor.

Sample chapters

Buy at Amazon Kindle on the links below



Monday, August 30, 2010

Appearances at AussieCon 4

I am excitedly gearing up for the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, AussieCon 4, which very conveniently is on in Melbourne this year. And which will be my first World Con! I am so on the quivive you can barely see my limbs for the blur.

Below, for any of you who will be there and interested, are my panel appearances, where I will be chatting with some awesome colleagues, as well as a Kaffeeklatsche - a casual hour where I and anyone else interested get to hang out with caffeine - a signing, and a reading. I can't help wondering if anyone will turn up, since it's such a huge event, so if you can, do come!

The whole program for AussieCon4 is available here.

Thursday September 2, 5pm: Signing, Room 201;
Friday September 3, 3pm: : Eowyn and Sam: underappreciated heroes in The Lord of the Rings, Rm 219;
Saturday September 4, 10am: Science fiction and the theatre, Rm 217;
4pm: Micro-audience and the online critic, Rm 219
Sunday September 5, 10am: The eternal stories: myths and legends in YA spec fic, Room 213;
2pm: The fantasy plays of William Shakespeare, Rm 217;
3pm: Reading, Rm 207;
4pm: Let’s get lyrical: poetry in YA spec fic, Rm 211;
5pm: Mary Poppins: from the Outback to Cherry Tree Lane, Rm 219;
Monday September 6, 11am: Kaffeeklatsche, Rm 201.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Myths and Emily Brontë

The lovely children's author Lucy Coates - with whom I spent a most pleasant summer afternoon in London a couple of years ago - has recently been running a weekly series of interviews on her blog Scribble City Central, in which she asked different writers about what myths mean to them. They're all worth reading, but I'm rather egotistically posting about it, because this week's instalment is with me. They were fun questions to answer, and interesting to think about.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago I finished the first draft of Black Spring, the novel on which I've been working since last year. That's kind of Wuthering Heights, set somewhere in an alternative 19th century Eastern Europe, with vendetta and wizards... It turned out a bit stranger than I thought, and the last month of writing was really difficult because, well, difficult things happen to the characters, as you'd know if you've read Emily Brontë's book. In a way, the book is for Emily, for whom I've always had a strong fellow feeling. One of my earliest poems, written when I was 16, is about her. Here it is:

Emily Brontë

The bell of my loneliness
Is a note so high and pure
It leaves you breathless.

These windy slopes are shorn
of the things that make life comfortable:
broad trees, broken bread, the swell

and supple curve of a lover's back.
These come only in dreams,
fade achingly before the besom dawn

sweeps away sleep's comfort. I
can sit here in my window, catch
the rough sweet scent of heather in my nostrils

and write of death and love entwined
like adders together. The poetry
lies wild in my veins, the poetry

of windy slopes stabbed by rocky outcrops,
the giving spring of turf, the taste
of solitude like aloes on my tongue,

the bare, unchanging moors, which take
my sisters and myself with mute indifference
and conquer under soil all our passion.

(From The Common Flesh, New and Selected Poems, Arc Books UK).

The novel manuscript has now been sent to my agent, which means that it's dropped out of my head. Until I have to start work again on editing, of course; but I like editing.

Right after finishing the novel, I also finished a music theatre script for young adults, Night Songs, that I've been co-writing with my husband Daniel Keene for the Bell Shakespeare Company. And after that, I had unusually busy couple of weeks of journalism - four theatre reviews and a couple of big articles for the Australian. And I've driven myself straight into the ground.

As a result, I've caught a bad cold and have been feeling a bit sorry for myself, which is never a good look. And the problem is that I can't blame anybody - it's all my own fault, dammit!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - already!

Oh, I am a bad Pellinor blogger. Keeping up two blogs is more than my capacities allow. Even one blog is more than I can deal with, frankly. Apologies to all...

You'll be glad to know - I hope - that 2010 is Croggon's Year of the Novel. I am now around half way into Black Spring, a kind of Wuthering Heights-with-evil-shepherd-wizards and vendetta (but no vampires of any description). I love you, speculative fiction, for permitting me to pretend that I am the bastard child of Emily Bronte and Ismail Kadare. My present ambition is to finish this ms to first draft by the end of February. Wish me luck.

After that, I'll be working on a number of other things. Too many, really. Ambitions include three pieces of theatre, including an opera on the poet Mayakovsky, and three unfinished novels. We'll see how that all rounds out at the end of the year.

In Pellinor news, the US paperback edition of The Singing will be out in spring with Candlewick. It seems strange that it is still evolving there! There are other English language editions proposed, including audio books for the Australian/New Zealand and US markets. I'll be fascinated to see who will be reading them. I guess Cate Blanchett is too busy...

Meanwhile, I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the best of luck in all your own activities!