THE NEW SPACE OPERA, edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, has just received a wonderful starred review from Publishers Weekly!
"The new space opera shares with the old the interstellar sweep of events and exotic locales, but Dozois and Strahan's all-original anthology shows how the genre's purveyors have updated it, with rigorous science, well-drawn characters, and excellent writing. ... The new space opera teaches us that despite the bizarre turns humanity may take to conquer these outre settings, a recognizable core of humanity remains."
I visited Texas, San Francisco and New York last year and this year I’m very much looking forward to returning to the U.S. I fell hopelessly in love with NY I have to admit and would happily live there for a year or so!
In other travels this year I’m heading to southern England for the launch of Odalisque in Britain and to see family.And then to Rome and a cruise into the Eastern Med with my immediate trio.My sons are now 16, have worked hard in their studies, and are tired of me constantly leaping onto planes without them.I come from the travel industry so it’s been a lifetime for them of saying hello or goodbye to me in airports.So, they’ve earned it and rather than give them this gift next year when they matriculate, we’re doing it early.They both want to see Rome and then we’re cruising the Greek Islands and visiting Ephesus in Turkey and further afield still.We’ll do a brief stopover in Dubai too so I can grab some last minute research for Goddess, Book Three of The Percheron Saga, as we move through the editing process for its worldwide release starting in Australia from November.
Also in November I’ll be heading to Saratoga via New York for the World Fantasy Convention that I find so helpful for meeting industry people and then I’m flying onto London via Dublin (in the hope of catching up with my friend and fellow writer, Monica McInerny) to do a week’s research for my second crime novel.After that I’m snatching a very brief few days in Paris to meet with my lovely editor over there and to do some signings, meet some booksellers.Home for Christmas.
What am I enjoying right now?I’m enjoying Autumn in our part of the world.I don’t cope well with the Australian summer; it’s just too hot and I’m no beach babe but I love these cooler months when it’s mild and sunny and the skies are very blue and the landscape goes green.It’s perfect.I’ve rediscovered television.I gave it up for several years but teenagers in the house ensure I’m dragged into everything from reality shows to full on drama.I’m a terrible 24 tragic…I adore Jack Bauer, but I refuse to watch him on anything but long haul DVD with just stacks of chocolate and nibbles and a whole weekend free.
Beyond Jack I’ve been sucked into Grey’s Anatomy by my kids and now I’m very McFreaky about it –- can’t miss an episode.And Ugly Betty is fun and harmless and we all love its biting undertone but predictably happy endings.I swear Betty’s going to end up with Daniel but I howled that from the rooftops from the opening episode.
I’m enjoying cooking right now too.Autumn/winter means lovely slow cooked meals and permission to bake cakes and biscuits simply to fill the house with that comforting fug of smells and warmth.I’m loving flat boots as well as stiletto boots, I’m loving soft and stretchy velvet cords and the promise that very soon I’ll be able to clamber back into sweaters and cosy gear. I don’t get much time to read for pleasure but I do read a great deal for research and that’s ongoing so my bedside table is always laden with books from life in medieval times to simple books on words or recipes that can help me.
Odalisque is out….hooray!What a good feeling to have the Percheron Saga finally unfolding across the U.S. Now you can meet the characters I’ve spent the last couple of years with and get to know the land of Percheron that so entrances me.And whilst you’re getting to know Lazar, Ana, Pez and co., you will be pleased to know that Emissary, Book Two of The Percheron Saga, is edited and waiting in the wings for release this October.And just to reassure you, book 3, Goddess, is also finished and I can promise you a big tale to get lost in.
I travelled to Istanbul, Rhodes, Dubai and Tunis for the story’s research and although I still make up most of what I write in terms of building the world of Percheron, Ihave drawn deeply from visits to these exotic locations.I shall find it very hard to leave the landscape I’ve loved playing amongst and I hope all of you readers enjoy the images provoked by Percheron.
So what am I working on now?Well, it’s never a dull moment.I’ve been busy crafting a novel in a new genre, which I will juggle alongside fantasy, and I’ve also been dabbling in children’s fantasy.I have a new quartet of children’s books called Shapeshifter that I hope will be seen in the U.S. soon and a new standalone novel with HarperCollins in Australia for fantasy lovers in the 8-10 age group.But I’m also giving a lot of thought to my fourth adult fantasy series, which I’ll start writing mid year for release in 2008 in Australia and no doubt will be read in the U.S.around the same time.It’s back to a familiar stomping ground for me of faux-medieval Europe but the story premise intrigues me and I can’t wait to get working on it.
I'm back home, and the tour is officially over, though I still have the decompression party this Saturday. (Can't wait, can't wait!) With all the wonderful hotels that Mr. J put me in, I'm arriving back at my desk more rested than when I left it, I think. ;-) Thank you, Mr. J!
The last stop on the tour was Dayton, an hour north of Cincinnati. The crowd was fabulous, with lots of questions of both the craft of writing as well as the characters. I think they were a little miffed I wouldn't let them ask any spoilers, but they forgave me. Books & Company, where I signed, is an absolutely fantastic store. You've got to love it when you can stand before a huge fireplace like that and talk.
Before Dayton was Chicago at Borders. The cold and rain that followed me from Minneapolis to Chicago, and then Dayton, didn't seem to stop anyone from coming out, and the event went extremely well. I ran into three readers who I'd been anxious to meet, which made it especially nice. That is why I love touring. It's you guys that turn it from chore to joy, and I thank you for all your smiling faces and enthusiasm from coast to coast.
This is going to be my last tour post, though I won't open up my post page for a few more days while I clear out my inbox and get those burning bunnies in the mail. I'd like to thank Diana Gill, my editor extraordinaire, for letting me shimmy on over here and use their space while I was out of my office. It went a long way in keeping me relaxed. ;-)
The tour is winding down, and only two more events to go, Chicago, where I've been looking forward to meeting a few people I've been talking to, and then Daytona, which is just outside of Cincinnati. I'll wave as I go over in the plane. Promise. ;-)
Minneapolis was wet and rainy, but that didn't seem to dampen the readers' enthusiasm. This shot is of me and a reader at Uncle Hugo's. It's a fantastic store, with anything anyone could want to read. I also visited a local Barnes and Noble for a reading and Q&A. The atmosphere was completely different as compared to Uncle Hugo's, but the love of books was at both, and totally welcoming.