Editor Barney

I’d like to introduce you all to Editor Barney … and his charming assistant, Mz Jezebel. I don’t know what it is about cats and writing, but they seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Barney (or Barnabas, to use his full name) and Jezebel came into my life at the same time. A couple of years ago I was getting ready to fly over to Los Angeles for the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention and had business at my vet’s practice before I went. Lo, there I found Mz Jezebel, an abandoned kitten in need of a home. I had a cat at that time, the spectacular Harley (rescued from Chatswood High School when I was teaching Creative Writing at the Adult Evening College there) – but Harley was extremely elderly by then and experience has taught me that the grief of losing a beloved pet is eased if their passing doesn’t leave an absolute absence in their wake. Continue reading

The Tarnished Crown Map

The Falcon Throne, book 1 of my new series The Tarnished Crown, releases in Australia at the end of August and in the US and UK on September 9th. To whet your appetite, here’s the map of the The Tarnished Crown world. If you want to see a bigger version, just click on it.

Final Tarnished Crown map

And here’s what I can tell you about where The Falcon Throne fits in. The drama of this first book in the series takes place in the old kingdom of Harcia, what is now known as the Duchy of Harcia, the Duchy of Clemen and the Marches. There are also some adventures in the Duchy of Ardenn, which you’ll find in the Principality of Cassinia.

Throughout the story of The Tarnished Crown, we’ll be travelling to many, many places shown on this map. And where we don’t phsyically go to some places, well, it could be we’ll meet some folk who call those places home.

This is the biggest canvas I’ve ever played on. It’s turning out to be hugely demanding, creatively, and a whole lot of fun!

Stay tuned for more tantalising teases about The Falcon Throne

Guest post: Marianne de Pierres

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with Australian spec fic author Marianne de Pierres.


GR author pic_webMarianne de Pierres is the author of the popular PARRISH PLESSIS trilogy, the award-winning SENTIENTS OF ORION science fiction series, and the genre-bending PEACEMAKER Western/urban fantasy series. The PARRISH PLESSIS series has been translated into many languages and adapted into a role-playing game, while the PEACEMAKER series is being adapted into a novel adventure game. Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy, a dark fantasy series for teens. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs (and once upon a time three sons–before they grew up). Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her website at www.mariannedepierres.com.

And now here’s Marianne, in her own words …

I often get asked how I choose which project to work on next. Occasionally, the answer is terribly prosaic i.e. whichever book I’m contracted to produce. But whenever I’m out of Continue reading

Influences on writing

Actors, writers, singers, dancers, choreographers, songwriters and directors of all dramatic performance have one thing in common: every one of them is a storyteller. The mediums might be different, but the end goal is the same. Tell a great story, excite and entertain the audience. Make them laugh, make them cry. Take them on an unforgettable emotional journey.

As a writer, I’ve been immeasurably enriched by my work in local theatre. Starting out on the stage, acting, then moving backstage to rehearsal prompt, stage manager and finally director, the process of bringing a playscript to life and experiencing the immediacy of an audience’s response has taught me many, many things about how people react and Continue reading

Guest Post: D.B. Jackson

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author D.B. Jackson.
DBJacksonPubPhoto800D.B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, has recently been released in hardcover. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera. You can find him at www.dbjackson-author.com.

And now here’s D.B., in his own words:

Riots in the streets of Colonial Boston, Samuel Adams (the historical figure, not the beer), British soldiers (also known as Redcoats, also known as Lobsterbacks), smallpox Continue reading

Guest post: Joshua Palmatier

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author Joshua Palmatier.

PalmatierJoshua Palmatier is an epic fantasy writer with a PhD in mathematics.  He currently has six books out from DAW, including the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy and book one of a new series, “Shattering the Ley”.  His short stories appear in numerous anthologies and he has edited three anthologies with co-editor and co-conspirator Patricia Bray, including “Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens” (coming August 2014).  He is also the founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains LLC, which will produce SF&F themed anthologies.  You can find him at www.joshuapalmatier.com.

And now here’s Joshua, in his own words:

One of the main questions I get asked about any of my books is where the idea came from, and for Shattering the Ley, I think the story is quite interesting, so I thought I’d focus on that.  You see, back in the 80s I was reading a ton of fantasy, and nearly every single book (it seemed) mentioned magical ley lines, the mystical force that supposedly Continue reading

Guest Post: Carol Berg

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author Carol Berg.

CarolBergCarol majored in mathematics at Rice University and computer science at the University of Colorado, so she wouldn’t have to write papers. But somewhere in the middle of a software engineering career, she started writing for fun. The habit ate her life. Carol’s epic fantasy novels have won national and international awards, including multiple Colorado Book Awards and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. They’ve been read, so readers tell her, on five continents, on a submarine under the Mediterranean, in the war zone of Iraq, and on the slopes of Denali.

Her newest novel, Dust and Light, is the first of a new fantasy/mystery duology about a sorcerer who draws portraits of the dead. Publishers Weekly calls it “a captivating and satisfying fantasy epic” and RT Book Reviews names it “outstanding.” Carol lives in Colorado and on the internet at www. carolberg.com


And now here’s Carol, in her own words:

Thanks for having me in, Karen. Since we’re celebrating the launch of your new series, I thought I might talk about some of the series-related questions I hear a lot. Questions, such as:

How do you know whether a story is going to be a series or a standalone novel?
Do you outline your entire series all at once? Continue reading