My life was described by one of my editors as “impossibly exotic” – although really it was not my life, but me, that was the exotic, the uprooted plant, the one who didn’t belong, always living in someone else’s backyard...
Now I am back in Australia, the returning native learning to live where I was born. Writer, traveler, environmentalist. Author of The Isles of Glory trilogy (The Aware, Gilfeather, The Tainted); The Mirage Makers trilogy (Heart of the Mirage, The Shadow of Tyr, Song of the Shiver Barrens) and, writing as Glenda Noramly, a stand-alone book Havenstar. The latest trilogy is called The Watergivers in Australia and the Stormlord trilogy elsewhere: THE LAST STORMLORD, STORMLORD RISING, STORMLORD'S EXILE
And you had something boring like fried eggs for breakfast this morning?
This is what was on our breakfast table. It's a Kelantanese dish (Kelantan is one of Malaysia's northern peninsular states, known for its good food).
It goes by the name of Nasi Kerabu, which translates as Salad Rice. And a very complete meal it is too, all wrapped in waxed paper and costing just US$1.00 in our local open market down the street.
The rice is coloured with the juice of a common wayside flower. There's a small fried fish flavoured with tumeric, half a salted duck egg, some prawn crackers some coconut fried with spices, some green sprouts.
One of the disadvantages of living where I do is that I don't meet too many fantasy writers. Regular readers may remember that when one did pass this way, Maria V. Snyder, I pounced on her and we had a lovely day together in Melaka.
Today Maria has put up an interview with me here on her blog, and here on GoodReads, and is offering a free copy of The Last Stormlord, American edition, to several lucky people who drop by and comment. So pop over to her blog for a chanceof a free copy, or if you want to read the interview.
And, by the way, I don't have the slightest hesitation in recommending Maria's books. I'm in the process of reading her first trilogy, and believe me I she tells a fabulous story with great characters. She didn't get on the NY Times bestseller list for nothing!
Who would have thought: the authorities have decided to sieze more local books from local bookshops in their ongoing attempts at intimidation (instead of going through legal means available to them to officially ban books).
This time - after 14 months of a book being on sale locally, they have decided that it may "have a negative impact on public tranquility/morals/public safety/relations between the country and foreign nations"... and have siezed copies in Melaka.
How intelligent. And strange that I have heard nothing of the 14 months of mayhem this book has brought to the streets...
Later: Come to think of it, if one wanted not to have a negative impact on the way one was regarded internationally, it might be a good idea to stop raiding bookshops. Because, y'know, it makes you look sort of...immature. .
Extracts from Paul Magrs' review of The Last Stormlord:
I spent almost a week inside the first volume of Glenda Larke’s new Stormlord series and I really feel like I’ve visited an arid and frightening and wholly convincing land… and I’ve loved very minute of it.
This is a splendid set up. A large cast is assembled: lords and ladies, peasants, painters, warriors and orphans. We move so easily from one to the next and – unlike in so many unwieldy fantasy novels – we’re never in any doubt who we’re with and why. We always know what’s at stake for the characters and there are – even in 600 pages – no long, dull stretches of exposition. This book keeps moving and tumbling from one fantastic set-piece to another.
I love all the textures and close-up details of this… the vividness of all that red dust, and the deliciousness of the prized drinking water… the evil chittering and buzzing of the deadly insects...
Go on, read the whole thing. Better still, read the whole book. You know you want to.
. Every published writer battling deadlines and plot problems, late payments and imprints that fold, copy edits and reader mail overflowing the inbox, one star reviews or no reviews at all, will relate to this:
"Speaking to unpublished writers is like speaking to couples pregnant with their first child; it's very hard to get them to look past the birth scene into the 18 years that follow."
. Some time ago I mentioned that The Last Stormlord has been submitted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy (2009).
If you want to vote for it, or some other nominee, go here to sign up. The books proposed are here.
If you want to talk about the book, or comment on its appropriateness for this award or otherwise, then go to this forum page.
If you want to know more about David Gemmell and his writing, then go here. In fact, before voting, you really ought to read this page anyway. This is not just a popularity vote; it is the hope of the organisers that winning books will reflect the aspects of a fantasy novel that David's writing emphasized.
I am not sure when the voting closes, but probably the end of March. .
...from the birdwatching part of our trip. This taken in the rainforest at Mary Cairncross, north of Brisbane. The animal is a Red-legged Pademelon Thylogale stigmata. A marsupial a bit smaller than a wallaby.
When someone first said, Look out for the Pademelons," I was confused as I heard it as "paddy melons" - which my mum and dad used to call a species of melon we grew on the farm, mostly as animal feed, although my mother made gorgeous jam from them too.
Just to keep you entertained while I write - another photo from Qld. Self, Trudi Canavan and Matthew Farrer, photo by Donna Hanson. And what a lovely bookstore. I would have liked to walk out the door with half their stock...
. And now the fun begins. I re-read and decide if I have written 166,600 words of crap or something so brilliant my star will shine in the firmament...
...or more probably something somewhere between. I will cut and expand and polish and tear my hair and weep and laugh and swear. And somewhere in the next 2o days a book will emerge that might be halfway readable.
And as I submit the MS for my editors have their first look at the end of this month, folk in the US and UK will get their first look at The Last Stormlord, and folk in Australia will be buying Stormlord Rising. Ye gods, life is exciting sometimes.
Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found. In fact it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.
Listening to music reduced the levels by 61 per cent, have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 per cent and taking a walk by 42 per cent. Playing video games brought them down by 21 per cent from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.
My daughter's street. The kids were sledding down the hill in front of her house. University closed. School closed. Trouble is, when you live in a place where it rarely snows, neither the services nor the cats cope well! They need a 4WD just to negotiate their driveway...
. You may note that I have brought the goalpost a little closer...The first draft looks like coming in a little less lengthy than I anticipated. Books one and two were pretty much the same length, a shade over 180,000 words. I suspect this one in its final version is going to be about 10,000 words shorter than 1 and 2.
I am not one of those authors who necessarily gets wordier and wordier as the series progresses. The book length has to fit the story, and this one looks like being around 170,000 or a little more.
So, one more chapter to do! I am still maintaining a steady 2,000 words a day.
I have never had such a day as yesterday. Here is it in a nutshell blog.
I heard, separately, in different emails from different people:
Shadow of Tyr has gone to reprint in UK.
Having attracted the attention of 2 separate publishers, the Mirage Makers trilogy has had an offer that I am accepting for foreign language rights. Shan't say any more because I haven't signed on the dotted line yet. This is the second foreign language for the trilogy (the other was for French rights)
I heard some nice news from Orbit US about publicity for The Last Stormlord, which I'll tell you about closer to the date.
Had some fabulous news from Orbit UK also about The Last Stormlord, which I'll also tell you about later. Over the moon about this one. *Does little dance.*
HarperCollins Australia has submitted The Last Stormlord for the David Gemmell Legend Award.
Have had the first signs of an interest re The Last Stormlord for foreign language rights from two different countries. Nothing may come of these, but it's never happened so early before.
And the whiz of a writer Karen Miller booked our room for World Aussicon in September. That's right - we are room mates again. Yay!!
So I told my husband as he went out to meet a friend tonight that he ought to buy a lottery ticket...
Oh, yeah, you know how much actual writing I did? Just about none. .