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4 August 2018

on amazon my new book has just appeared from Altair Books in Australia. This is COALS & ASH, (Australian setting) the second in what will (I hope) eventually be a loose set of four disaster novels. Each set in a different country, each with mostly different characters, but with the same plague background. VESTIGES OF FLAMES (set in New Zealand) appeared in 2015 from Lethe in the USA. And IF all goes well, I plan to write SOME OTHER TRAVELLER, (UK) and ANOTHER FIRE, (USA) next year.

23 March 2018

The Certificates of Excellence are out for the (International) Cat Writers Association Awards.Each entry was independently judged by 3 Professional CWA members. Winning a Certificate of Excellence means that the average of those three judges’ scores for the entry is 90 or above.
As may be guessed from all that. My Ancient Egypt alternate history fantasy, Bastet’s Daughters, collected a Certificate of Excellence. The Muse Medallions for the Award for Best Fiction Book will be out in June.

just had an email from Wildside to say that SHERLOCK HOLMES:STRANGE EVENTS has made it to the public arena. Nice timing, as it was a return email, I’d just sent them the next completed Holmes double. Strange Events is a double comprising THE MYSTERY OF THE MISPLACED MOTHER, and THE CASE OF THE VANISHING OMNIBUS. And I look forward to my author copies.

1 March 2018

Last year I ultimately sold six books and did the revision for most. This year I plan to write three books, offer four, (and I’ll be stuck with the revision for those and one left from last year’s sales.) IF all that comes true and everything is sold and published, I’m going to hit the big 50 sometime in 2019 if not before. That’s fifty books published not years lived. Frankly I find the books more important. I love creating backgrounds, characters, and plots. I enjoy the convolutions and complications of their lives, and I enjoy seeing good win – usually. Who wouldn’t want to be a writer? I create worlds and lives, and it’s great.

12 December 2017

Just happily waiting on contracts – they MAY take a while as Christmas mail-clog is likely to start any minute – but when they arrive I’ll be signing for the sale of my SF/Disaster book, COALS & ASH, set in Australia. It’s sold to Altair Books in Oz, too, and as I’ve worked with the editor – Robert Stephenson – a number of times with short stories sold to his anthologies I already know he’s an excellent editor. If all goes well, the book should be out around mid-1918 and I look forward to it, the sf/disaster books are some of my favourites after decades of reading Day of the Triffids, Alas Babylon, Cold Sea Rising, and a whole shelf of other ‘post-holocaust’ books I have and regularly re-read.

7 November 2017

And – fortunately – my illness came AFTER I’d put in a lot of hard writing. My newest Holmes double, FOUND DEAD, comprising DEAD IN A KITCHEN CHAIR, and TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, went to Wildside well before that, and the Mandalay complilation, CATASTROPHE (meant for 2018) and comprising the novellas, DEAD FELL, MEDIUM DEAD, and DEAD LOSS, with short story, DEAD AND GONE, went to Wildside a day before I was whipped into hospital. Phew.

4 August 2017

Yes, QUEEN OF IRON YEARS, my collaborated (Sharman Horwood) alternate history fantasy, is now out again. With a new cover, re-edited (by the estimable Carla at Wildside) and Sir Julius Vogel Award winner of 2013. I don’t count it again on my list if published books, but it’s really great to see it back out there once more.

9 May 2017

Yes, SHERLOCK HOLMES; FAMILIAR CRIMES is out with Wildside. And for those who may not have run into my system yet, I write doubles. That is two 50,000+ word books in one volume. So Familiar Crimes has two books, each with its own title within that overall title for the volume.
I enjoy doing shorter books, they feel more ‘right’ to me with Holmes as the subject. I do know that I don’t usually like reading the full-length books, once they get up past 60,000 or so I find myself wondering why he hasn’t solved the mystery yet. So when I started with Beastly Mysteries, I was more confortable doing two shorter books per volume. And then there are the ‘Mandalay’ books, CATALYST was out December last year and I’ve signed contracts for CATACLYSM. Their natural length seems to be writing about 25,000+, so three of them and a short story, still add up to a reasonable book length, and are fun to do. So enjoy.
I am also definitely planning – bar hell or high-water – to attend the Conclave III natcon in Auckland next year. (Run by old friends Keith and Jacqui Smith who always put on a great con,) and I am considering offering a tuckerisation at the auction there (for one of the Holmes books,) please let me know if anyone would be interested. If there is interest, then I will. (Oh, and for those that haven’t met THAT term, it’s from Bob Tucker’s habit of auctioning off the right to have your name as a character in a book.) It’s more usual for SF/F, but wouldn’t you enjoy hanging around with Holmes and Watson? If so, this could be your chance.

22 April 2017

Quite by accident too. A friend emailed me, partly to show me a new poem of hers. I emailed back, inspired by her poem, with a brief 10 line fantasy one of my own. She snagged that for ALTERED REALITY, the magazine she does. So, ON CONSIDERING ALICIA AUSTIN is out, Interesting how things happen.

24 March 2017

URBAN LEGEND appeared in CRANIAL LEAKAGE Tales from the Grinning Skull Vol. 11 anthology. Nov. 2016. Yes, the print copy finally wandered in, no idea if it was going around in the mail for months or if it was sent after Christmas, but there it was and I’m very pleased. A classy presentation, interesting group of stories, and I was particularly pleased to see that story appear. It was one I wrote for an episodic novel years back and tried to get published in New Zealand.
As usual, not only no luck, but some idiot at one of the publishers suggested that the work was ‘too similar’ to some movie he’d once seen. I may add that I chased up his reference and discovered that the only thing movie and book remotely had in common was that they were ‘episodic.’ sigh.
So, since then I’ve been cannibalising the novel by selling single stories from it where I think an anthology would find one suitable, and by now I’ve sold most of the book. I regret I couldn’t get a book set here accepted here. But then, that’s applied to a lot of my writing over the years, and I can’t regret selling it elsewhere – and often being paid much better than I’d have been paid here. Swings and roundabouts.

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