Shadows is in the catalogue!

Very exciting moment for me today… Shadows is listed in the Text Publishing catalogue for January-June 2012!

You can check it out here: http://textpublishing.com.au/ (And see what other great titles Text is publishing in the first half of next year.) I’m under YA.

(The cover concept is pretty much what the final artwork will be, with a few minor tweakings. Once its finalised, I’ll be plastering it all over this site 🙂 ..)

Official publicity won’t start for few months yet, but I just had to share… Speaking of which, I also did my first blog interview last week with a friend of mine in the UK who’s set up a new book blog as part of her journalism studies. Again, it’s a tad early for publicity, but it was a great experience – and Courtney asked great questions!

You can check it out here (it’s a very good blog and worth visiting regularly): Lost in Fiction

Brief thougths on Breaking Dawn – Part 1

Everyone’s talking about it, so here are my brief thoughts on the first instalment of Breaking Dawn, for what they’re worth. (And if you haven’t read the book, you might want to stop reading now.)

What I liked:
– The wedding scene (especially the drunken speeches/singing).
– Bella’s pre-vampire suffering is kept to three seconds.
– Kristen Stewart genuinely laughs.
– The brutality of the birth scene (not so much that I liked it, but that I thought the whole scene was handled well – and we finally got a glimpse that the series could have moments of horror).

What I didn’t like:
– The wolf scenes (budget for special effects should not have been an issue).
– Jasper’s hair – and the fact he’s reverted to looking slightly constipated. Where’s the cool guy from Eclipse?

Worst moment: wolf discussion.

Best moment: Jacob’s reaction to the name Renesmee.

Overall, though, it was faithful to the book, and it was entertaining. 🙂

I’d love to hear what everyone else thought.

An update on Shadows

A quick update on where I’m at with Shadows (because, yes, this blog is meant to be me posting about my own writing and not just other people’s.).

It’s funny. I can write about other author’s work quite easily, but as soon as I start thinking about posting about my own, I struggle. Part of that issue is my morbid fear of sounding like a tool…

Anyway, some really great stuff has been happening that I want to share, so I’ll get over myself.

I had a quick trip to Melbourne a week ago and had the chance to meet the team at Text. It was everything I’d hoped it would be – and more. Had a brilliant editorial meeting with my editor, who knows Shadows inside and out (it’s always exciting when someone knows your characters as well as you do). We really clicked, and I’m so grateful for the constructive feedback she’s given me.

I met everyone who was in the office, and then had lunch with my editor, along with the senior editor who first loved Shadows (and to whom I’ll be forever grateful) and the lovely publicist who will be spreading the news about Shadows when publicity starts next year. (We’re still on track for a June release.)

When I met up with my sister-in-law afterwards she said I looked like a kid on Christmas morning. (And yes, I know the hard stuff is ahead. And yes, I know I’ll be a wreck when the book goes out for review, and the week it goes on sale. So I’m going to enjoy these exhilarating moments when they come along…)

So now I’m back home, putting aside my first draft of Haze (Book 2 – about three-quarters down now), to work on revisions for Shadows. Structurally, we’re all good, so I’ve got the luxury of time to go back over the prose and make it as tight as it can be. I tend to write quite quickly, which means I don’t often linger over words or phrases. Having the chance to do that now is a real gift. It’s those small touches – bringing in more visual imagery when setting scene, chopping out extraneous words etc. It might only a word here or there, but it makes all the difference to the polish.

In other news, the concept for my cover is almost sorted (thanks to the very talented WH Chong), following a collaborative process involving myself, my editor and my agent. I’m loving the concept and can’t wait to see the final design.

OK. That’s it from me for now.

The good reads continue…

I’m on a roll with great books at the moment. The latest is All I Ever Wanted, a  gritty, riveting coming of-age-story by Vikki Wakefield.

It’s a gutsy book about family, identity, and the realisation that love comes in all shapes and sizes, told through the eyes of Mim as she approaches her 17th birthday.

It’s unsentimental, but even though Mim’s world is rough and tumble, it’s not brutal. There’s no dressing up the poverty and criminality in her world, and yet there’s still dignity in lives of the eccentric and dangerous characters around her (well, most of them. Some are just arseholes).

But in her desperation to get away from everything that makes her who she is, she discovers a startling – and liberating – new way to view her life and those in it.

All I Ever wanted is tightly constructed and very well written. I loved Mim’s journey, and her narrative voice was so compelling I read this in two sittings. It’s Australian, it’s brilliant, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Check out a more detailed synopsis here