Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tour dates

August is going to be a very busy month for one Ms Croggon. This is because The Gift has been chosen as one of the Books Alive 50 Books You Can't Put Down. Which is very cool. Books Alive is a huge annual reading campaign involving lots of authors, and which is launched officially this Sunday; but I'll wickedly leak some details here, exclusively for Pellinor readers. Especially because I hope people turn up. You can catch me being a fantasy author here:

August 11, 6.30pm: Diamond Valley Library, Civic Drive, Greensborough, VIC FREE

August 12, 1.30pm: Fitzroy Library, 128 Moor Street, Fitzroy, VIC FREE

August 13, 1.30pm: Lilydale Library Anderson St, Lilydale, VIC FREE

August 14, 6.30pm: Brunswick Library, cnr Sydney Rd and Dawson St, Brunswick, VIC FREE

August 15, 6pm: Warrnambool Library, 25 Liebig St, Warrnambool, VIC FREE

August 25, 7pm: Mosman Library, Reference Library, 605 Military Road, Mosman, NSW $8.80/$6.60 conc

August 27, 6.30pm: East Melbourne Library, 122 George Street, East Melbourne FREE

It seems a bit hard that Sydneysiders have to pay... Meanwhile, my Melbourne Writers Festival sessions, which cover some other writerly hats, are threaded sometimes rather hectically through these ones...I'll certainly be running from Federation Square to the East Melbourne Library one busy Friday. For the record, diehard Croggon fans can also catch me at these sessions, at Federation Square in Melbourne:

August 28, 5.30pm: ACMI 2 - Poetry now
Where are we? What’s the next big thing? Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Justin Clemens, Alison Croggon and Robert Gray will name check the movers and the stayers in Australian poetry.

August 29, 2.30pm: ACMI 1 - Legacy or burden?
Melbourne's APG and Sydney's Nimrod were the hippest places to be in the ‘70s. Their impact on future theatre generations is discussed by Gabrielle Wolf, Julian Meyrick and Alison Croggon.

August 29, 4pm: BMW Edge - One not used to happiness – Anna Akhmatova
Before the Soviet nightmare changed her song, Anna Akhmatova wrote some of Russia’s finest love poetry. Orlando Figes, Alison Croggon and Ellen Koshland discuss the life and work of the magnificient Anna Akhmatova.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

And who is that bearded bloke?

Amazon Germany tells me that the Pellinor books are doing nicely over there (many thanks, Bastei-Lübbe: you've done me proud). They've just bought The Singing, which is apparently due out there in March next year, hot on the heels of the US edition. No one can say the Germans are not efficient.

But the cover image suggests that the designer is yet to read the book. At least, who is that bearded Bard looking all, well, wizardly on the cover of Das Baumlied? Any suggestions gratefully received...

Meanwhile, Pellinor's plot to take over the world continues with the purchase by a Portuguese publisher of The Gift and The Riddle...


Friday, July 11, 2008

Who says fantasy is mediaeval?

I have always said my characters have a life of their own. And they just proved it - they have their own Facebook pages! Imagine my surprise when one Cadvan Lirigon, looking rather more ruggedly handsome than I anticipated, asked to be my friend. He's a "Dark ass-kicker" who enjoys "a good game of pool". Hem and Dernhil (who seems to have generated his own little fanclub) have their own pages too. They're all loyal viewers of a tv show called Days of Our Bards (wot, no Dr Who?) Wow. I look forward keenly to further revelations...


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Back home

...after a month long trip to England, where I was mostly being a poet and sometimes having a holiday. It was a totally brilliant time, and I've come back to the chaos of my desk deeply refreshed, if also deeply jetlagged - for those who haven't done it, Melbourne is a very long way away from Europe, and you never feel it more than when the plane seems to be poised endlessly over Central Asia... There's no getting away from the fact that it's a horror flight.

I had lunch with Walker, my English publishers, always a pleasant thing to do, and kept bumping into Pellinor fans even though I wasn't doing Pellinorish things, including the enterprising Lsle (did I get that right?) in Norwich, who hunted me down at the New Writing Worlds festival, even though I wasn't reading, with a much-thumbed copy of The Gift. That was lovely, and also unexpected. My editor wants me to write a book of short stories, along the lines of Ursula Le Guin's Tales of Earthsea, and I have to say that idea has its charm - I reread the short story I wrote last year, Two Friends, while I was away (my editor also, oh horror, made me do some work and edit it) and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I'll keep you updated on when that will appear... I couldn't face writing another novel of Edil-Amarandh, but some short tales might be a really fun thing to do.

Also, (I confess, to my considerable astonishment), Penguin is organising an Australian tour. The initial dates unfortunately clashed with some dates I already have at the Melbourne Writers Festival, but they are on the case with Books Alive! and if they can reschedule I'll be popping up in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and... Warnambool. So any Warnambool fans take note. Are there any? Please come if there are.

And a story that warmed the cockles of my heart. My son Josh was book browsing in town yesterday, checking out The Singing and loyally contemplating turning the covers face-out (all my family and friends seem to do this), when an excited young man with a back pack rushed up behind him, grabbed The Singing with a whoop, and rushed off to the counter. Now, that makes an author excited!