Thursday, September 20, 2007

Books, books, books

One of the fringe benefits of being a writer is that I seem to get constant deliveries of books. Not just the books we buy and read, but mysterious parcels that arrive in the post. Sometimes they're books by friends, usually poets; sometimes they're my own books (I have a shelf full of Pellinors!) and sometimes they're books to which I've contributed in some way.

In the past couple of days I've had two of those. One of them is an handsome orange paperback called Contemporary Australian Poetry, in which I have a poem. I'm not sure which poem it is - I contributed it along time ago - because I can't read a word of it: it's all in Chinese. It's edited by John Kinsella and Chinese-Australian poet Ooyang Yu, and translated by Ooyang. Translation is a mysterious business. In European languages, you might not understand the words, but you can still see the shape of the poem. In Chinese, I can't even see that - I just stare at the page in baffled admiration!

I can read the other book, though. This one is called The World of the Golden Compass, and it's a collection of essays on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, written by young adult authors (including not a few Australians, such as Juliet Marillier and Sophie Masson). It's edited by Scott Westerfield and put out by Ben Bella Books as a Borders exclusive. For that one, I wrote about the poetry Pullman used - there's a lot of it - thus combining two of my passions, poetry and fantasy. I loved writing that essay. The whole thing is a great read, so look out for it. (I think, though, that it's only available in the US).


Friday, September 14, 2007


Brilliant news from Penguin Books Australia, who are my home publishers. They're planning to repackage the Pellinor books, relaunching the whole series a few months before The Singing is released mid-next year. And they're planning to use the Walker Books covers (right), which will be familiar to UK readers.

I'm very fond of these covers, which are designed by Patrick Insole. Assiduous Pellinor readers will be familiar with Patrick as Professor of Ancient Languages of the University of Leeds - when I asked him to help me out, he also designed the Treesong runes for me. (This might surprise some of you, but I have absolutely no visual imagination.)

As for The Singing, Draft 2 is now in hand. As usual, there is an extra chapter to write (this has happened three times now: it's always either at the beginning or the end. In this case, it's at the beginning). I always enjoy editing and rewriting: I get the buzz of writing the book without the panicky feeling that I might never finish it!


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Launch of The Crow and The Website

The Crow is launched in the US today, woohoo! And to mark its launch, my publishers Candlewick have created a wonderful website for The Books of Pellinor. It has all sorts of bells and whistles - author interviews, descriptions of the characters, maps, poems and lovely graphics. I am thrilled.

(And now I have to make the official weasely blogger apology for neglecting this blog. I'll be in more often, I swear, but maybe after October, which is the Melbourne Festival, one of my favourite but most exhausting times of the year. If you want to see how tired I've been, check out the rather wan author photo on the site!)