Saturday, December 20, 2008

News from Holiday-land

Last week, we went for a family holiday. This event, by no means unusual in most families, last occurred in ours nine years ago. (That's the downside of having writers for parents. Of course, as we keep reminding the beloved offspring, there are lots of upsides...)

However, when we do go on holidays, we have good ones. As we did nine years ago, on that other legendary occasion, we went to Queenscliff, an old-fashioned and very pretty seaside resort on the Bellarine Peninsula, a shortish train trip from where we live. It's notable for its food and its spectacular Victorian hotels, all of which escaped the evils of "development" and then were restored when Victorian splendour became fashionable again.

There we rented a townhouse with a giant tv (and other more modest ones distributed about the house), and plenty of room for the six of us to read, or play games, or hit each other with cushions, or snooze. (It wasn't the building above glimpsed through the cypresses, which is one of those towered hotels, but it was right next door to the famous Queenscliff Hotel, where we had a most memorable lunch). We took up a bunch of books, dvds and games, and spent the week in glorious idleness.

The most important decision each day was where we should eat. If you like eating, Queenscliff is a good place to be. It's a bit of a foodie's paradise, bristling with specialist delis selling exquisite concoctions bewitched from the excellent local produce, and, of course, restaurants. As you might surmise, I'm not the action-holiday type, so it was a week short on thrilling narrative and very long on leisurely pleasures. And all of us agreed that the only criticism to be made of our holiday was that it was too short, and that we shouldn't wait nine years before we tried it again. I certainly feel more relaxed than I have for, oh, nine years...

Sadly, I am not a very good photographer. The picture above is of a beautiful sunset behind the Queenscliff lighthouse. Just looking at it makes me feel good, because I have the memory to fill it out, but I'm certain it won't have the same effect on you. But you can see, I hope, something of the charm of the place.

But anyway, to get to the point: while I was away, the news came through of an offer for the Pellinor books from Spain. They plan to publish all four through 2009/10, which is quick work! So the Pellinor Plot to Rule The World (very quietly) still proceeds apace...

Which seems a very good omen at this year's end. Prost!


Shadowjhunter said...

Nice shots! I've been to Queenscliff once, I think; it was very nice. And I'm all for backing the 'Pellinor Plot to Rule The World'. Hope to hear some news about your new story soon - any news! I'm anxious to hear so that I can tell the customers some nice titbits of information about you.

Enjoy your holidays/Christmas! See you in 2009!

Holly said...

Well done on trying to take over the world allison!

In my local waterstones, suprisingly they have several copies of all 4 of the books in the childrens and fantasy section (yay!) :)

merry christmas and happy new year

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Holly - now, that's excellent news! May that become standard in ALL Waterstones, because then my plot will advance (evil laughter, of course).

Hi Shadowhunter - well, I read through the chapters I've written so far last night, and it seemed ok to me. I definitely want to press on with it. My plan is to write intensively through January, and with luck, to finish the first draft. So here's hoping.

And since you ask, I'll post progress reports!

Bookish Spirit said...

That's great news Alison! I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Years!!

P.S. The way you described Queenscliff makes me want to visit someday, though I was wondering do they cater for vegetarians?

Meganu said...

That looks like a lovely place to vacation, I'll keep it in mind!

Congratulations on slowly conquering the world!

I hope to read your new book soon! Make sure it gets to us poor American fans!

Shadowjhunter said...


I'm wondering if you have any tips or advice for aspiring Australian authors - or international for that matter - when writing and publishing a manuscript. How do you cope with writing and then sticking to that writing? Were there times when you were writing the Pellinor series that you thought: 'Oh, what have I done?' It would be great to hear your perception on writing, but don't feel as if you have to reply straight away - if at all. I know you're very busy.