Seeing Is Believing

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AYSM - Cover Final

Behold the cover for Are You Seeing Me?, formerly Master Disaster, formerly Finding Fault, formerly The Mantle. How did a novel with this much schizophrenia finally make it across the line? I’ll let you know in a little while…

In the meantime, dream of earthquakes, sea monsters and Jackie Chan.

Are You Seeing Me? will be published by Random House Australia in August 2014.

 

Fertile Imagination

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AC

With our twins now on the cusp of becoming teenagers, it seems a lifetime gone since their very existence was in question.

It wasn’t that long ago, though. Latter part of the nineties, turn of the millennium, to be precise. While couples worldwide were daily adding millions to Generation Next, we were trying – and failing – to supply just one.

Difficulty having a child was not something I’d ever imagined. Not in high school (all too easy to get a girl knocked up); not in university (I’m never having kids anyway); not when my beautiful wife and I married (let’s have some fun first), not as a school teacher (I’m not ready to have one of these jokers). Not even when we decided to give it a go, see what happened.

Nothing happened.

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Summer Fun Fundraiser #1

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Delta Life Skills Society

My twelve year old Autism-diagnosed son, Jared, is participating in the Delta Life Skills ‘Summer Fun Program’ this year. Summer Fun is a unique six week initiative that enhances the social experiences for 50-60 children and young adults with special challenges and their families, and provides the opportunity to learn a broad range of basic life skills integral to a quality of life which they otherwise may not have had. It costs around $4,500 per child to run Summer Fun – parents are only required to pay $1,000 of that amount. The remainder of the money comes from fundraising, and goes entirely to running the program and providing one-to-one support for every participant.

The first fundraising opportunity this year is a Masters Golf Pool.

Run by the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen, the Summer Fun kids receive 50% of Pool sales up to 49 entries and once reaching 50 entries, 2/3′s of the revenue.

Here’s how to enter the Masters Pool:

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15 In 15

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Influence

Tagged by fellow scribbler, Lisa Wardle, to do this exercise on Facebook, I thought I’d throw it on Myperbole instead: 15 in 15.

The instructions imply influences of all sorts, not necessarily literary.

The Rules:
Don’t take too long to think about it.
15 influences, authors and poets  included, who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you.
List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Okay, here goes:

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Too Rude To Be True

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No Way

Fact is stranger than fiction – that is the adage.

But what if a strange, hilarious, compelling, gobsmacking, factual premise falls short on its potential? What if it fizzles out to nothing because real life isn’t scripted and doesn’t conform to story arcs and satisfying conclusions? What then?

Then fiction takes over.

Such a coup occurred in my recently published short story, Craigslist Boots. Its origins lay in the actual experience of a female acquaintance who tried to sell a pair of knee-high boots on Craigslist (funny, that). After posting her ad, she got a reply from an interested buyer: he was willing to take them on spec for $100. What’s more, he was prepared to toss in an extra twenty if she would acquiesce to a small request:

Would she pull on the boots and kick him in the balls?

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How To Explain A Book Deal

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Watchu Talkin Bout

I recently signed a paperback deal with Random House Australia for my novel, Are You Seeing Me?. It was exciting, especially after waiting for it longer than I cared to. Of course, I wanted to share the great news with friends and loved ones asap. But with the delivery of said news comes a challenge in helping people understand exactly what it is. Folks who don’t write novels and don’t receive publishing contracts and don’t read novels that have received publishing contracts generally have no real clue as to the true and appropriate level of significance to your achievement.

If you have good friends and you get on with your family, they’re instinctively happy for you. Oftentimes, they assume the deal is the ultimate life-changer; you’re quitting your job, moving to New York, buying a small island in the Pacific, rubbing elbows with Stephen King and JK Rowling and that raunchy bloke who wrote 50 Shades of Grey. Others have congratulations, but figure it can’t be too hard – look at how many books there are in the store we walk past at the mall! A few just smile and nod politely, wondering what the hell would possess anyone to want to write anything after the mandatory creative writing torture in Year 8. All need a little guidance in getting a proper handle on your modest ‘T’ triumph.

So, for authors perched on a similar rung of the publishing ladder as I, here’s three solid  pointers to explaining your new book deal:

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Au Naturel

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It's Only Natural

Those fabulous folks at Exciting Press have just released my brand new short story, It’s Only Natural.

The bones of the tale were pilfered from the carcass of a long-abandoned memoir, Things The Fortune-Teller Forgot To Mention (Great title, eh? That was the best thing about it). Things… was intended as a funny, sad, poignant parade through the gamut of procreation trials: fertility issues, pregnancy failure, pregnancy triumph, birth of twins, multiples madness and autism diagnosis. It’s Only Natural homes in on one tiny part of the journey – the part that involved a freaky naturopath and a sneaky acupuncturist. To give the shorty life, names were changed, scenes were embellished and Morgan Freeman was flown in to narrate. It was really nice of him to do that.

Download the story for free. And go natural.

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