Thank you

Finishing The Rephaim series has left me feeling a little reflective and contemplative, so please indulge me for this post. There are a lot of people I want to thank for being with me on The Rephaim journey. I think I did a reasonable job in my acknowledgements at the end of Burn, so I thought I would re-post it here.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Five years ago, I was frustrated and disappointed over yet another writing rejection – the Weston_Shadows-TheRephaim-Twitterlatest addition to a fat folder. To cheer myself up I started working on something for fun. That scene turned into the beginnings of Shadows and an outline for the four-book Rephaim series. Less than a year later, my agent Lyn Tranter pitched the series to Mandy Brett and Alison Arnold at Text Publishing. They liked it and I was offered a contract. After all those years of writing and rejection, the thing I had wanted for so long happened ‘just like that’.

10915288_919531344747805_6540803074086022022_nSince then, the series has been published in the United Kingdom, North America and Turkey. I’ve been a guest at writers’ festivals, a writer-in-residence at high schools, participated in blog tours, met lots of wonderful readers online and at events, and read countless reviews of my work (good, bad and otherwise).

I’ve rubbed shoulders with many of my favourite writers and met others who have since joined that list. I’ve chatted and shared book recommendations with a great bunch of dedicated bloggers and reviewers who do what they do purely because they love to read. The young adult writing community in Australia is quite possibly the most welcoming, supportive and friendly writing sector in the world today, and that’s been one of the greatest discoveries of all.

Haze__coverI still have a day job. Few people tell you how tough it is to earn a living as a writer. I’m just grateful to be in print, and especially grateful for publishers like Text Publishing who are still willing to take risks. There are plenty of writers out there who are where I was five years ago, so I take nothing for granted.

This is the fourth and last book in the Rephaim series, and there are plenty of people I need to thank.

Text Publishing: my editor Mandy Brett, for caring about a story filled with angels and demons. I’m well aware of how lucky I am to be able to work with you. And the entire team at Text, especially those I’ve worked with the closest: Anne Beilby, Alice Cottrell, Steph Speight, Alaina Gougoulis and Shalini Kunahlan.

Orion/Indigo Books: my editor Jenny Glencross and senior publicity manager Nina Douglas.

Burn_Text PublishingTundra Books/Random House Canada: Publisher Alison Morgan, Editorial Director Tara Walker and Publicity Manager Pamela Osti, as well as Val Capuani. Special thanks to Publishing Coordinator Sylvia Chan, for always going above and beyond.

Alison Arnold, for being there from the start of this series and whose influence still guides my writing (and inspires me to try to write beautiful sentences).

Rebecca Cram (Place), for nearly three decades of friendship and encouragement – and providing helpful feedback on an early draft Burn.

Michelle Reid, fellow YA book nerd, for providing outstanding attention to detail at draft stage and again in the home stretch. (Thanks too for the ‘arse’ conversation!)

Tony Minerds: my brother who can spot a typo at fifty paces. This time around he got a chance to find them before we went to print. Thanks bro.

Vikki Wakefield, a gifted writer who I’m proud to call friend, for feedback and candid conversations that help me feel like I almost know what I’m doing.

Marianne de Pierres – a multi-talented writer, friend and mentor – for invaluable advice and much appreciated support.

My family and friends, many of who had never read anything even remotely resemblingShadows_Text Publishing_2015 urban/contemporary fantasy before this series came along, for taking the time to read every book and make appropriate noises of enthu- siasm. You guys rock.

My amazing friend and business partner, Heather Scott, for her friendship and unwavering belief in me.

Mum and Dad, for their overwhelming love and support in all aspects of my life.

Murray, for knowing me better than anyone else on the planet, and for still being beside me twenty years on. And last, but most certainly not least, all of you – readers, bloggers, reviewers, booksellers and librarians – who have picked up the Rephaim series. There is no writing career without you guys. Thanks for being a part of this adventure.
I know the Rephaim series isn’t going to change the world, but I’ve loved writing this story and these characters—and they’ve certainly brought an amazing new dimension to my world. For that, I will always be grateful.

All things Burn (so to speak)

This is it, the day the fourth and final book of the Rephaim series steps into the wild. Australian readers get to have Burn first, with the UK edition releasing on 5 August (the North American edition is out next year).

There’s a lot I want to say about this series and my journey to get to this point, but I’ll save that for another post in coming days. This post is all about the launch, signing events and other bits and pieces you might be interested in. :)

The launch – 2 July 2015.
There’s still time to book if you’d like to be part of the Burn launch. It’s at Riverbend Books in Bulimba, Brisbane, on 2 July. It’s a free event, and open to everyone – you just need to book by 26 June. Huge thanks to the wonderful team at Riverbend Books at Bulimba for hosting all four launches, Text Publishing for making these launch events possible (in every sense), and to my friend (and award-winning writer) Marianne de Pierres for again officiating. Here are the details:

Burn invite

Signings
I’ve been fortunate to have the support of a host of wonderful booksellers, particularly in and around Brisbane. The following stores will be hosting me for signings over coming weeks. Come say hi!

Dymocks Chermside
Westfield Shopping Centre
Chermside, Qld
27 June 2015, 10.30am

Angus & Robertson
Riverlink Shopping Centre
Ipswich, Qld
18 July 2015, 10.30am

Angus & Robertson Victoria Point
Victoria Point Shopping Centre, Qld
25 July 2015, 10.30am

Dymocks Carindale
Carindale Shopping Centre
1 August 2015, 10.30am

#OzYAChat on Twitter
25 July 2015
7.30pm-8.30pm
I’ll be answering questions on Twitter during the next OzYAChat, which is hosted by the lovely Shaheen from Speculating on Spec Fic. To follow the conversation (and ask questions), simply search the hashtag #OzYAChat (or follow me @PaulaWeston, or @speculatef) and be online during that hour.

OzYAChat

Early reviews
Some early reviews for Burn are in:

Aussie readers: matching set of Rephaim books now available!
Shadows (Rephaim #1) has now been re-released with the international cover art concept, so Australian readers can now have a matching set. Check with your book store to see if they’ve got the new stock available, or order direct from Text Publishing (www.textpublishing.com.au). Of course, this now means the original covers are collectors’ items. (Assuming, of course, there will one day be collectors of Rephaim novels!)

Four books

And just to wrap up a HUGE month, I also received hard copies of the Turkish edition of Shadows, complete with gorgeous bookmarks, from my Turkish publisher Yabanci. :)

Turkish copies

First look at Burn (Rephaim #4): a teaser

It’s only a month now until Burn – the fourth and final instalment in The Rephaim series – is released in Australia and New Zealand (24 June 2015 – release dates for other parts of the world are below).

Hard to believe we’ve come to the end already.

I’ve had quite a few requests for a teaser, so…here it is! (Click on link or thumbnail)

Burn_Text

Back cover blurb:

Gaby remembers everything.

For a year she believed she was a backpacker chilling out in Pandanus Beach. Working at the library. Getting over the accident that killed her twin brother.

Then Rafa came to find her and Gaby discovered her true identity as Gabe: one of the Rephaim. Over a hundred years old. Half angel, half human, all demon-smiting badass—and hopelessly attracted to the infuriating Rafa.

Now she knows who faked her memories, and how—and why it’s all hurtling towards a massive showdown between the forces of heaven and hell.

More importantly, she remembers why she’s spent the last ten years wanting to seriously hurt Rafa.

Australia/New Zealand: 24 June 2015 (Text Publishing)
United Kingdom: 5 August 2015 (Orion – Indigo Books)
US/Canada: 7 June 2016 (Tundra Books/Random House Canada)
Everywhere else (English language): check your local book stores or try Amazon (for hard copy and kindle editions) (Orion – Indigo Books)

Supanova Gold Coast 2015

I’m back from two days on the Gold Coast after participating in Supanova 2015, my first gig at a pop culture convention. And I had an absolute ball.

I saw brilliant cosplay characters, met lovely and talented actors and artists, and spent the weekend with a fantastic bunch of authors: Peter F Hamilton, Traci Harding, Kim Wilkins, Alan Baxter, Justin Woolley, Lynette Noni, and Marianne de Pierres.

I saw stormtroopers, Jack Sparrow, Ripley (complete with alien bursting out of her abdomen), Harlequin and Poison Ivy, Thor and Loki, hordes of zombies, Street Fighters, Super Mario Brothers, Kick Ass and Hit Girl…and expanded my fledgling knowledge of Anime. I watched professional wrestling and high energy, full-band lip-syncing/air guitar/drumming (Rockstar Entertainment), visited the Weta exhibit and browsed the most eclectic and fascinating collections of artwork, memorabilia and medieval warcraft. There’s so much to see and do at Supanova, it’s almost overwhelming.

But what struck me most was the atmosphere. As well as the sensation of entering a different world, there’s the unmistakable sense of fun and camaraderie. People are there to enjoy and express themselves: it’s an inclusive and eclectic tribe coming together with a shared passion for pop culture.

The Gold Coast Convention Centre buzzed for two days, inside and out. Huge congratulations to all involved for such a well-run event that remained true to its vision to be family-friendly. The crowds were thick on both days, but – from my experience at least – there were no dramas. And thank you again to Ineke for inviting me to be part of the writing contingent this year. It was a blast.

A few highlights:
As a die-hard Buffy and Angel fan, it was a treat to meet Charisma Carpenter, a dear friend of Marianne de Pierres:
IMG_1725My spot on the signing table was between the lovely Traci Harding and Peter F Hamilton. Peter is not only a legendary and much-beloved science fiction writer, he’s also one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to watch his interactions with fans, and to get the chance to chat with him for two days. (Plus, I got a book signed!)
IMG_1723Two actors who caused a fair bit of excitement (especially among teens) were Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) and Aussie actor Bob Morley (The 100). They were both pretty cool guys, so when they sat behind Marianne and I on the bus to the cocktail party, I thought I should capture the occasion. They kindly hammed it up.
IMG_1703Here’s a snapshot of my experience at Supanova Gold Coast 2015:

 

 

 

Come say hi at Supanova (Gold Coast): 17-19 April

Milestone moment: I’m on the same program as Spike and Cordelia from Buffy and Angel.

SupanovaOkay, I’ll probably be lucky to catch a glimpse of James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter across the green room, but still. I’m ridiculously excited to be a part of Supanova on the Gold Coast (17-19 April).

I’m in the literary line-up and, as well as hanging out to sign books, catching the cosplay action and star-spotting, I’ll be on a panel with Marianne de Pierres and Alan Baxter. As most of you know, Marianne is one of my favourite people, so I’m really looking forward to chatting with her panel-style. (I haven’t met Alan, but he seems like a pretty cool guy).

It’s such a great line-up all-round (Traci Harding, Kim Wilkins and Justin Woolley among the writers, George Takei and Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek, Tommy Flanagan from Sons of Anarchy and Willa Holland from Arrow among the headliners).

So, if you’re heading along to Supanova on the Gold Coast, make sure you come and say hi!

Here’s the program

Supanova banner

 

Must be time for an update…

It’s been a while between meaningful posts, so here’s a quick update on what I’ve been doing.

BURN7 swordFirst up, Burn (Rephaim #4)  is done! And by done, I mean the draft has been tweaked and polished and is almost print-ready. That doesn’t mean release dates are any earlier, it’s just a reflection of the lead-in times required for publication – and the fact that the draft will be further tweaked with those small word changes for overseas markets by my respective publishers (e.g. ‘doona’ becomes ‘duvet’ in the UK).

Burn will be released in Australia and New Zealand on 24 June and in the UK on 5 August. Shimmer (Rephaim #3)  and Burn will both be released in paperback in the US and Canada in 2016 (Shimmer in March and Burn in June).

Romancing the Stars

On Thursday night, I was one of 20 authors invited to participate in Romancing the Stars 2015 at the State Library of Queensland. This is a fun event hosted every year by Book Links and the Centre for Children’s Literature at which writers and illustrators get to update booksellers, librarians and teachers (and anyone else interested) on their latest works.

It’s a great format, promoted as ‘speed dating’ with authors and illustrators. Guests sit in circles of eight, with two chairs spare in each group for authors/illustrators. Each of the two visiting author/illustrator gets three minutes to speak, then, when the six minutes is up, they move along to different groups (heading in different directions so authors/illustrators get to mix it up too).

This year’s event was on The Terrace at SLQ (my favourite venue at the State Library). With Cyclone Marcia coming down the coast and the threat of heavy rain, strong winds and flooding on the cards, we were all braced for bad weather, but the rain and wind held off and the night went smoothly.

There was so much energy and support in the room. I connected with wonderful people and had a chance to meet talented authors and illustrators, including Sue Wright (AKA Tiny Owl Workshop), Lucia Masciullo, Alison Rushby, Peter Taylor, Kim Michelle Toft and Caroline Magerl.

Congratulations again to Jenny Stubbs and her team for putting on such a well-organised event. Here are a few photos taken on the night by official photographer Peter Allert. You can view the whole collection here.

Shadows gets a new look for Turkish edition

Shadows is about to make its debut in Turkey in a Turkish translation published by Yabanci Yayinlari (I’m in good company – among its excellent list of authors is fellow Aussie Jessica Shirvington).

Here’s the cover (which makes me grin every time I look at it):

Turkish edition

Shadows (aka Golgeler) is out in Turkey 16 January 2015. (And yes, I get a buzz seeing it in a language other than English!)

Burn (Rephaim 4): cover, release dates and stuff

Yes, I’ve been a tad remiss with my updates of late, so here’s a quick summary of where it’s all at as far as Burn (fourth and final book in The Rephaim series) is concerned.

Burn is written! It still needs tweaking and polishing, but I’m quietly happy with how it’s all come together. And no, this doesn’t mean it will be out any earlier. :) Sorry. Publishing schedules are pretty much set in stone.

We also have release dates:
Australia/New Zealand (Text Publishing): 24 June 2015
United Kingdom (Indigo/Orion Books): 5 August 2015
US/Canada (Tundra/Random House Canada): 2016

And in case you missed it…here’s the kick-arse cover.

BURN7 sword

 

North American blog tour for Haze

HAZE-BlogTourBannerI’m coming out of the writing cave for a few days because it’s the North American blog tour for Haze!

There are guest posts, interviews, reviews and giveaways. Here are all the links, now live:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
Wendy at The Midnight Garden (Setting inspirations – including locations inspired by random Google images)
Jo Ann at Journey of a Bookseller (review)
Lee at Rally the Readers (review)
Stephanie at The Bevy Bibliothèque (review)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2014
Lynne at Words of Mystery (a guest post, in which I talk about fear – including my own)
Alexandra at Collections (review)
Leslie at Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks (an interview with Gaby)
Ashley at Book Labyrinth (review and giveaway)
Jen at The Starry-Eyed Revue (some thoughts on casting/how I picture characters)

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
Summer at MissFictional’s World of YA Books (guest post: my musical inspiration for Haze)
Jillian at Centre of the Universe (review)
Jen at Perogies & Gyoza (review)
Crystal at WinterHaven Books (review)
Lisa at Turning Pages (review)

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014
Bethzaida at Bookittyblog (review)
Krystal at Krystal’s Stellar Book Blog (review)
Jaime (and her sister Erin) at FictionFare (an interview about cut scenes, weird google searches, characters who surprised me – and more!)
Marianne and Bec at Escape Club (an interview, in which I talk about Rafa’s appeal)
Christina at The Paperback Princesses (review)

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
Joy at Joyousreads (review)
Crystal at Crystal in Bookland (review)
Andrea at Cozy Up With A Good Read (review)
Kristen at My Friends Are Fiction (guest post: what Gaby and I have in common)

You can also check out the Tundra Books blog for more information on how to win a signed copy of Shadows (hard cover) and a brand new hard cover copy of Haze.

Massive thank you to all the bloggers who so kindly participated in the tour, and to Sylvia at Tundra Books for again organising. It was great fun! :)

My Writing Process (a blog hop)

The very lovely Dimity Powell tagged me last month in the My Writing Process blog hop. It’s taken me until now to get organised, but I’ve finally put together my responses.

First up, the preamble:
The #MyWritingProcess blog hop works like this: You get an invitation from an author-blogger to answer four questions about your writing process. When you do, you also invite three more writers to answer the same questions to pass the torch onward.

Step 1: Acknowledge the person who invited you to join:Dimity Powell 2010
Dimity Powell, whose information-packed blog you can find here. (And her blog tour responses are here.) Dimity is the author of the fun junior novel, PS: Who Stole Santa’s Mail.

Step 2: Answer these questions as deeply or briefly as you like:

1.      What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on Burn (Rephaim #4). I’m almost finished the first draft, but I have a mountain structural editing to do. I’m also been writing guest posts for Shimmer’s (Rephaim #3) recent release in Australia and the UK, and planning posts for Haze’s (Rephaim #2) upcoming release in the US and Canada in September.

2.      How do you think your work differs from that of other writers in your genre?
That’s a tricky question, but I guess the best way to answer is that I’m telling a story in a way that appeals to me. I enjoy exploring the complexity of relationships between all of my characters – the things that draw them close and the things that push them apart – as much as I enjoy writing fight scenes. I don’t know if that makes my writing different, but it does make it mine.

3.      Why do you write what you write?
It’s fun! The beauty of speculative fiction is that you make it whatever you want it to be. You can follow traditional forms of storytelling in a particular genre or you can head off in weird and wonderful directions (e.g. genre mash-ups). I’m writing a series about people with flaws, who also happen to be supernatural creatures with special abilities – but these abilities don’t help them solve their problems. (Well, okay, sometimes they do, but not the deep-seated issues:  those ones they have to work on without their swords and fists.)

4.      What’s your writing process, and how does it work?
I don’t know that I have a process (I used to think I did, but now I’m not so sure). Basically, I’ll mull over an idea for a while before I start writing. I tend to be thinking about the next book/story while still writing the current project, which I think allows for plenty of ‘percolating’ time. Then I tend to map out my plot (very roughly) and just dive in. Whenever I hit a brick wall, it’s usually because my plot or character arc isn’t quite right, so I may need to brainstorm (translation: daydream while driving and listening to the Foo Fighters) to get things back on track. My main process, though, is simply sitting down and writing, and fighting through that first half hour/hour when nothing seems to want to come out. The only way it will, is if I stay there and write (rather than checking twitter, Goodreads, facebook, IMBD, etc…)

Who’s next?
This is where I’m supposed to name three other writers to continue the blog hop, but I’m going to cheat and do what my good friend and fellow writer Vikki Wakefield once did, which is to invite any interested blogger-writers to pick up the question (and preamble) and go for it! (Feel free to link to your responses in the comments here.)