2016

Well, it has to be better than 2015!

You’ll note things have been pretty quiet around here. That’s because 2015 knocked me flat and kept me flat, almost to the very end. Not a good year on any front, really, and I can’t tell you how relieved I am that it’s in the rear view mirror!

However!

New year, fresh start. I am still playing catch up with Tarnished Crown bk 2, which is going well in spite of all the health-related delays and setbacks. As soon as that’s handed in I’ll be romping with Gerald and Co. for the next Rogue Agent novel. After that, it’ll be finalising Tarnished Crown bk 2, then looking ahead to bk 3 and whatever’s coming next for the Rogue Agent universe.

This year promises to be quiet on the public appearance front, as I knuckle down and reclaim everything that got hammered last year. Writing, fitness, life stuff – all is up for renewal, replenishment and kicking into high gear. I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you the most glorious new year, with much joy and achievement and a minimum of heartache.

2016? Bring it on!

A quick update

First of all, helloooooo! to the lovely folk who’ve recently signed up to follow this blog. Thank you!

Now, I’m doing my best to keep up with stuff but juggling everything while trying to get my writing groove back is proving to be a bit of a challenge. Keeping up with social media is driving me nuts. I appreciate your patience, and in the meantime I’d say you might also like to hook up with my FB author page, if you haven’t done so already. Right now that’s pretty much the only attention span I have left! Give me a little longer and I’ll be ready to start going into more in-depth blog posts.

What I can say is that the groove is almost properly back, the words are flowing faster and more smoothly, I’m very happy with how it’s going and I’m doing my level best to pick up the pace.

Thanks for hanging in there with me, guys.

Here’s the link to my FB page!

Some musings on the way things are going

As I think most of you know by now, 2015 hasn’t been a great year for me. In a nutshell, after I came home from the UK (this time last year!!!!) I had a few little health hiccups that road-blocked my game plan for the next book. Then, just as I was revving up again, in early December  I had a tumble on my mother’s very steep driveway.

Read on …

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Random stuff

So this is me, keeping my word to be more present in my own space.

Right now I’m haunting the post office for my copy of Kate Elliott’s new book, Court of Fives. It’s her first YA fantasy, and I have no doubt it’s going to be a brilliant read. Because Kate Elliott is a brilliant writer. For more information and some great interviews, you can go here.

I’ve really got nothing to say about the recent Hugo awards, but one thing. I find it utterly shameful that Toni Weisskopf was denied recognition for her stellar work as an editor because a bunch of folk – many of whom claim to be professional writers – decided that anyone who was nominated by people they don’t like should be punished. I feel sick, and so angry, that the folk who dishonestly accused the Puppy side of misogyny should take out their spite on a woman. I wonder if they’ve even met the word ‘irony’?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I got all super excited about getting back my fitness. And then I fell over in my mother’s driveway last December and 2015 happened. One of these days I might write more about the things I’ve learned since. For right now, I’ll just celebrate the fact that I can walk for an hour on the treadmill, and lift some weights, and my world doesn’t end. Yay!

Must beetle off now. Stay tuned!

Not dead yet …

Well, I have to tell you, cranking my way back up to writing speed is bloody hard work! But I’m finally hitting my groove, at long last, after months and months of utter hell. I now have the all clear on the neck and upper back, after a couple of frustrating relapses. Then, because of course, the lower lumbar spine (scene of a previous disc rupture and several herniations) decided to kick off. But that too is now sorted. I just have to keep monitoring it due to spinal scoliosis and a history of truly spectacular horse-riding injuries. I defeated the double-whammy flu, too, and finally got rid of the lingering spastastic cough. Which actually re-herniated a disc in my neck, I was coughing so hard at the worst.

But like I said. There are words. And now I must write like a crazy woman. There is also exercise, and I’m being consistent and also careful. So, as spring hovers on the horizon, and I look back at the last many months of zero achievement, I start to feel optimistic again.

I might even get my shit together and get more active in this here blog!

Stay tuned …

Supanova, and what came next

So, the last two weekends of June were swallowed alive by the amazing Supanova Expos in Sydney and then Perth. I had the most fabulous time, meeting and chatting with extraordinary people. We all worked pretty hard (though the actors sweated the most!) and I thought I was doing pretty well keeping the winter lurgies at bay. I flew home from Perth on the Sunday night, the red eye, and immediately had a sleep. I hadn’t slept on the plane.

And then I woke up.

It’s now been a week of fighting a seriously crappy attack of bronchitis. I’ve had to upscale the antibiotics from normal to double-dose supercharged and even then I’m not entirely sure it’s working. I’m a bit better but I’m not great. Of course, I could be expecting too much too soon. I can’t tell you how sick I am of being unwell. I’ll reconsider my position towards the end of the week. Hopefully I’ll be functional enough tomorrow to get back to some work. Up until today it’s been a case of coughing myself dizzy and sleeping  in between bouts.

There’s a lot I do want to say about the experience, particularly some of the guest authors who were amazing – as were many of the guest actors.

Cross your fingers for me that the super drugs do a super job so I can crack on with the work. I have an exciting announcement to make in the next day or so, once the final organisational Is are dotted and Ts crossed.

Stay tuned …

So, that happened.

Went to bed Sunday night feeling fine. Woke up Monday morning feeling not so fine, with a swift and depressing slide into Oh shit, are you kidding me? Yes, my 7th cervical disc had herniated again. This time with a side order of something hinky happening in the cervical/thoracic junction. Yay! So this week has not been spent writing, it has been spent in pretty much non-stop pain from a non-functioning left arm, with physio, chiro and massage therapy, plus many many many drugs. But I can report that today, things are much improved. I even cautiously hope I can get back to proper work tomorrow.

I’m pissed, Roger. Now I’m really pissed.

On the other hand, I am thrilled because I’ve been invited to join the author stream at Supanova in Sydney and Perth. Stay tuned for more details on that!

Now I must get a hot water bottle onto my lumbar spine (because that’s going out on strike in sympathy) and take more drugs!

Life is a pain in the neck

Literally. I am making some progress with the stupid herniated neck discs. Off to the GP today to revisit the drug regimen, which I don’t really like. If I take the drugs, they knock me out. If I don’t take the drugs I’m in pain all the time. I think this is what they mean by a lose, lose scenario. Lots of exercises to do, plus lots of massage which actually helps. Let me sing the praises of expert deep tissue massage. Or maybe that should be scream the praises …

Work is still off the table – but I’m refusing to let myself melt into a shrieking mess over that. Serenity prayer, Serenity prayer. I can do dvd research because I can watch the tv without compromising my stupid neck. Reading is an issue. Lengthy typing sessions are an issue. I can still exercise, which is crazy, but at least I’m not getting fatter – which is what happened when I ruptured/herniated the lumbar discs.

So there you have it. If you’ve dropped me a line and you’re still waiting for a reply, my apologies for the delay. I shall provide one ASAP, I promise!

Interesting book trade article

So, real books are making a comeback, apparently.  Yay! Nothing against ebooks and the folks who swear by them, but I gotta say I’m a boring poky stick-in-the-mud traditionalist. I like me a real book that I can hold in my real hands. Also interesting in the article is the realisation that Hey! Every bookshop is different because every location and demographic is different! No, really? she said sarcastically. Sorry, guys. I adore Waterstones, I really do, they have been brilliantly supportive of me, but as a former bookseller and a current author, sometimes I do roll my eyes so hard they nearly roll out of my head.

I can’t believe the professionals need reminding about stuff like this. Bookshops are retail, but not all retail is the same. When was the last time a customer rushed into a supermarket demanding the newest Colgate toothpaste release????? Um, I think that would be never. Unless of course the customer is a dentist, in which case there is no hope for them. *g*

Of course managers should have the power to do their own ordering, based completely on what their regular customer base wants to buy. By all means make sure there’s other stuff to broaden the reading base, but core customers? They make the world go round. Also of course this means you must make sure to hire really good store managers, who love books and love readers and get their jollies interacting with them and talking books and reading  books which they then recommend and who encourage their staff to be the same way.

So hooray for Waterstones, who are getting back to good, old-fashioned basics. And let’s hear it for real books and the people who love them!

Wash – rinse – repeat

So last Friday morning I had a fall while helping my mother move house. Ripped my thumb, wrenched my arm, my shoulder, did something to my knee, traumatised the lumbar discs that are just recovering from the recent prolapse, bunged up a rib and rattled my marbles good and proper. 4 days later and I’m on the mend … but it’s yet another physical smackeroo.

I swear, it’s maybe time I stopped leaving the house entirely!

So I’ll be getting back to work tomorrow, once I’m sure I can stand and/or sit without pain. Can’t use the kneel-sit chair because stupid knee means I can’t put any pressure on it.

It’s official. I am done done done with 2014.

In closing … doubtless you’ve heard about the catastrophic day we had in Sydney yesterday. Heartbreaking and infuriating. There’s no way that terrorist slime should have been out on bail. I hope this terrible event results in more protection for innocent people and less hand-wringing for human garbage like this man.

Please hold the families of the two victims especially in your thoughts and prayers – and send healing vibes to those hostages who didn’t lose their lives but are still gravely wounded in mind and spirit.

Australia is a great country. We can – and we will – rise above this assault.

The fitness thang

So, this is a bit different. Well – for me, it’s a bit different. Being an introverted writer and what you’d call pretty bloody private, talking about personal stuff is a Very Big Deal and for the most part I just don’t. But then I thought about some of the blogs I like to read, and how brave and sharing those bloggers are, so I thought … okay. I’ll give it a go.

But to spare those of you who aren’t interested in one writer’s journey back to physical fitness, I shall now go behind the cut!

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Home again and — zzzzz ….

I’m back. It’s lovely to be home. Now all I need to do is conquer the jetlag, which is of course compounded by retroactive knackerdom due to the high level energy output of the trip! And of course the various germs accumulated on the trip home, since an airplane is nothing more than a self-contained petri dish of ick.

In other words … sleeeeep! Sleeeeep! And many many herbal drugs.

Going by past experience, I should be back to relative normal by Monday. I have resizing and sorting of photos to do, and then there’ll be a series of photo essays on the trip.

Work on Tarnished Crown bk 2 will resume on Monday too, with much excitement.

Reviews are coming in for The Falcon Throne and I’m both thrilled and relieved to report they’re largely positive. Phew! Will share some asap.

Now I must hie myself off to the chiropractor because naturally my back is playing up now.