Louise Cusack’s trilogy set for ebook launch

Congratulations to fellow Queensland writer Louise Cusack for the upcoming release of her fantasy trilogy Shadow Through Time as ebooks with Pan Macmillan (only $5.33!).

The three novels, Destiny of the Light, Daughter of the Dark and Glimmer in the Maelstrom were originally released a decade ago in print and were popular with readers who like a bit of romance with their fantasy adventures. I interviewed Louise back in my days as a journo and read (and enjoyed!) the books. Louise has been a long-time supporter of other writers, providing mentoring and manuscript assessments, and it’s great to see these books get a new lease on life.

The ebooks are now available for presale on Amazon Kindle and within the next few days they’ll also be available in other ebook stores.  The official release date is February 15.

Find out more about the books here: http://louisecusack.wordpress.com/books/

If you haven’t read this series, start with Destiny of the Light (find it on Amazon).

Home town urban fantasy

There’s something a bit special about reading a story set in your own city. Even better if its urban fantasy. Better yet if it’s good.

I heard Trent Jamieson speak at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival last year. I took a shine to him immediately. Such a mild-mannered guy with a dry wit and a deep passion for writing, writers and story-telling – and so respectful of his fans.

I went to buy one of his books straight after the session (an entertaining hour with Marianne de Pierres) but someone literally grabbed the last copy of his Death Works Trilogy before I could get to it. It took me another three months before I got around to buying it, but it was worth the wait – I bought it at Avid Reader, where Trent works. And he kindly signed my copy.

Anyway, I’ve just finished the first instalment, Death Most Definite. It was a great. Very cool in fact. And Mr Jamieson is a very cool writer. He’s not the first to write about Death, or the business of reaping, but he’s done it in a way that’s original and highly entertaining.

Death Most Definite is a fast-paced read, with a narrative character who is funny, witty, self-deprecating, and sexy in a nerdy kind of way (and who’s hung-over for most of the book.)

I love the Brisbane locations and the concept of the massive One Tree straddling a parallel river city in the Underworld. And that Death’s head office is on George Street, along with all the other heavy hitters in town. Brisbane is so much edgier with the undead hooning around in stolen cars, heavily armed, and some of the city’s most iconic landmarks have deeper significance.

Death Most Definite is unashamedly Australian, which I also love. If you like well written urban fantasy with heavy doses of dark humor and wit – and you haven’t already discovered Trent Jamieson – you need to check out this series.

For more thoughts on Death Most Definite, you can check out my longer review on Goodreads here.

It’s official… I’m on Goodreads

Shadows appeared on Goodreads this week (those wonderful people at Text Publishing are so organised.). This, of course, led to another session of mad grinning…
It also enabled me to upgrade my profile from reader to ‘Goodreads author’ on the site.
So, if you’re one of my friends on Goodreads and you’d like to follow me as an author, you can now do so at: http://www.goodreads.com/paulaweston.
No pressure… 🙂

Update on reading adventures

I’ve made headway on my summer reading list, so I thought I’d post links to my brief thoughts on each book so far.

(As for writing…the latest draft of Shadows is now with my lovely editor at Text, and I’m back working on Book 2.)

Click on the cover to check out my comments on Goodreads.

I’ve also become slightly addicted to Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Here’s what I’ve read so far (again, click on covers for my Goodreads comments):

Right then. Back to work.


Inspiration’s a funny thing…

It’s a question authors get asked a lot: where does your inspiration come from?

Some writers have profound or witty answers, but most (including me) struggle to articulate how ideas arise. More to the point, we actually don’t want to analyse it too closely, for fear we’ll somehow corrupt it.

I’m not talking about the moment or experience that prompts a writer to tackle a particular issue or topic. I’m talking about the day-to-day inspiration that becomes the heart and soul of a good story.

Anne Lamott, in her fantastic book on writing, Bird by bird, talks about creativity coming from the unconscious, and the need to get out of the way and let it do its thing:

‘…everything you need is in your head and memories, in all that your senses provide, in all that you’ve seen and thought and absorbed. There in your unconscious, where the real creation goes on, is the little kid or the Dr Seuss creature in the cellar, arranging and stitching things together. When this being is ready to hand things up to you, to give you a paragraph or a sudden move one character makes that will change the whole course of your novel, you will be entrusted with it. So, in the meantime, while the tailor is working, you might as well go get some fresh air… Otherwise you’ll want to sit there and try to contribute, and this will only get in the way. Your unconscious can’t work while you’re breathing down its neck.’

It definitely resonates with me, this idea of trusting the unconscious.

I still have to plot my story, work on characterisation, polish my prose and know what I’m doing and where I’m going. But those ‘aha!’ moments that solve a problem or take my characters in a new direction, tend to arrive without warning – and usually not when I’m actually writing.

This ‘inspiration’ crops up when I’m driving (yes, listening to the Foo Fighters), cooking, cleaning or about to fall asleep. I write the idea/s down and then can’t relax until I’m back at the computer, working them into my writing or editing. Sometimes those ideas do come when I keep plugging away at a line or a paragraph, but mostly they arrive when I’m not looking.

And see, now that I’m writing about this tricky thing called inspiration (aka the muse, the unconscious, the temperamental inner child), I’m already worrying that I might have scared it away…