Saturday, August 31, 2013

Washing-machine sea

Today it was blowing a gale and squally. So, of course, I had to walk down to the sea.
Birders  will know what I mean. 
When the ocean is wild, with the wind blowing onshore, you can get all kinds of interesting things along our coasts. Shearwaters, petrels, even the odd albatross.
 No such luck today, although I did think for a time that I might have a Wandering Albatross, but it turned out just to be an Australasian Gannet. It was behaving like an albatross though, gliding in the troughs of the waves so effortlessly.
 I love the wind, and there is something that stirs the soul when you look out over an ocean like this and think to yourself: the next stop is Africa.
 Watch out on Monday for a big announcement from my publisher. I also had some champagne-popping good news yesterday but I intend to sit on that for a while until it is finalised.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A house came down my street...

A house came down my street today, 

How's that for a line from a SciFi novel?
Or maybe a Neil Gaiman fantasy?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gilfeather ... and a walk to the beach

 Years ago -- actually, not so very many years –- when I was writing the second book of the Isles of Glory trilogy, Gilfeather, all of the copy editing and proofing was done on paper. Huge piles of paper being sent backwards and forwards between me and the publisher.
Wattles out in bloom
Any sensible writer immediately put the alterations from the two edits into her digital copy of the manuscript. And usually I was that sensible author. But alas, I've just discovered that with Gilfeather I was an idiot.

So, when I've come to issue Gilfeather as an e-book through FableCroft books, what do I find? A digital copy of Gilfeather that lacks the editing. I don't think there was any single page of the book that didn't need alterations. But how to do it? The paper copy of the edits has long since vanished.

Eventually I decided that the easiest way was to get my computer to read aloud to me from the digital copy. While the computer was doing this, I followed the text in the paperback. Every time the two texts  did not match up, I highlighted the section in the paperback. Then after each chapter, I inserted or changed the text in my digital copy accordingly.


This has been very tedious, not to mention time-consuming process. The interesting thing has been how much of the book I had forgotten! I kept on finding bits and thinking to myself: "I don't remember writing this. Hey this is actually quite cool!" Anyway, next month Gilfeather will –- for the first time ever anywhere -– be out in e-book.
The book is set on islands and has a lot to do with beaches, seabirds and stuff like that, so I suppose it's appropriate that yesterday I took a walk to my nearest beach. In half an hour I can be walking on the fringes of the Indian Ocean. Beautiful, largely deserted stretches of sand in both directions. 
A Border Collie charges up and down with typical collie exuberance
And I think to myself how lucky I am.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spring in winter

 One thing I love about this part of Australia is that winter is not terribly wintery. Flowers bloom, birds nest, and I do without double glazing and any heating whatsoever. Oh, ok, I do sling a hot water bottle into the bed.
Friend Donna and I walk to the beach and then go for coffee & cake
The cormorants decorate the trees along the estuary
Wild flowers bloom
Even the butcherbird looks benign (he's not)

Pea flowers come in all colours

Sunsets are spectacular and so are the rainbows
Winter storms dump seaweed along the estuary foreshore
The blooms are saturated with perfumes
The bees are out in force


Oh, the perfume!
The male sheoak tree, covered in its brown flowers
The sheoak was buzzing so loudly as I walked by. The bees were so well camouflaged that they were invisible, so it sounded as the tree were singing...

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

For readers out there...

...Especially for the folk who have been complaining that the Isles of Glory is not, and never has been, available in Britain: there's good news. 

It's available now.

Set in an archipelago of sub-tropical islands with a history of magic, the trilogy tells the story of several ordinary people who end up as larger-than-life heroes. 

A conflicted priest, a citizenless swordswoman, a doctor with an extraordinary sense of smell, a runaway royal heiress, and a bore-wave rider are brought together by fate and accident, but end up challenging rigid citizenship laws, undermining corrupt and powerful rulers, fighting the horror of perverted sorcery -- and, yes, sometimes paying a hero's price. In between the adventure, the trilogy is also rollicking good fun...

I wrote The Aware back in 1990. It was the book that led to my obtaining an agent, the same agent I still have. It was not my first published book - that honour went to Havenstar.

The Aware evolved from the 1990 version to become the first book of a trilogy, The Isles of Glory. It was first published in 2003 in Australia and New Zealand where it was hugely successful, and a little later in the USA with Ace (Penguin). But alas, never in UK.

 Until now.

Now, thanks to FableCroft Books, it is available -- worldwide -- as an ebook.

It can be found at Wizard Tower Books (clicking on the button on the left sidebar will take you there). 

Note: all maps for the trilogy can be found at my website here

Book 2 Gilfeather should be out next month, and Book 3 The Tainted in October.   
The Aware can also already be found at and and
Weightless Books
It should also turn up at Kobo soon.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Scenes from my 6km walk today

A Winter's Day in Erskine

The Osprey on its usual perch
An 8cm  Motorbike frog (I think)
A couple of Stilts in this one...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The magic house...

The block next door yesterday

The block next door today

And this is how they do it.
They start with a very large crane 
and  those dangly bits form a sling around the house... 

This is a crane in the next street, as seen from my house.

And they pick the house up from the back of a truck in the sling (the house is that blue bit you can just see) and...

... they put it down where they want it on the block...