‘Another’ Post About Book Diversity

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Diverse Books

First, the good news:

The recent #WeNeedDiverseBooks Twitter coup was an admirable rebuff of the longstanding hegemonies in children’s and young adult fiction. It doesn’t look like a flash in the pan either, so that’s good too.

Now, the bad news:

The whole exercise has further illustrated – dare I say, reinforced – the pecking order of minorities in both the book debate and the wider society looking on.

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Seeing Is Believing

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AYSM - Cover With Quote 2

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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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.

A Story From Me, A Title From You

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Plastic Surgery

With the imminent Exciting Press publication of my 2008 work, The Umbilical Word, I’ve decided the novel needs some cosmetic surgery. Nothing too drastic. No collagen in the prose or liposuction of the plot. Just a small alteration to the face of the book.

A title-job.

But rather than entrust this delicate operation to my own shaky-handed devices, I’m entrusting it to an expert:

You!

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Fight To Be Free

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Rumble

As I write this, people all across North America are scrambling (yes, SCRAMBLING) to download a free e-copy of my novel, Kindling. At the same time, they are resisting the temptation to repeat the dose with noted public brainwasher, Nick Earls, and his work, Monica Bloom.

Why so?

Because no one wants to live under the tyranny that will ensue if Earls is victorious. Sure, Nick presents as a humble Australian artisan; a benevolent genius who authors stories as luminous as his work to aid humanity. Don’t be fooled: if, at the conclusion of May 28, the man known in closed literary circles as “The Cocked Fist” (see picture above)  has more freebies shared to his name than mine, the entire world will go to Hell. Your children, and your children’s children, will suffer under an oppressive regime of eminently likeable characters and delightfully crafted narratives. This is Hunger Games, people. Minus the hunger. And without the games.

So do the right thing. Get your complimentary copy of Kindling and play your part in ensuring the stable, loving, entirely problem-free world we all love and cherish is maintained.

And be careful with any retort Earls may have to this missive.

This is a man who wrote The Fix.

Fanning The Flames: ‘Kindling’ Released in North America

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Kindling - US Canada Ebook Cover

Courtesy of the fine folk at Exciting Press, Kindling is available for the first time in the Home of the Brave and in the True North, Strong and Free.

Now, apart from continental accessibility, what’s different about this publication compared to the original Aussie release in 2010?

  • Exclusively e-book (Kindle for the first 90 days, then in other formats subsequent)
  • Hawt new cover
  • Cheap as chips ($4.99 in the US; $5.12 in CAN)
  • Much less ink
  • Zero chance of paper cuts
  • Author is slightly older (though still sexy)
  • Every single copy downloaded has a different ending
  • Nazi zombies
  • Vampire zombies
  • Zombie zombies

As you can see from this extensive list, the work is TOTALLY different, barely recognizable from before. So, grab the new and improved Kindling while internet stocks last!

(Warning: Some of the statements above may be the product of author hubris and/or inebriation…)

Kindling in Kindle format for North America – buy the US version here and the CAN version here.

Kindling Some Autism Awareness

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Brain in Bloom

April is ‘World Autism Awareness Month’. April 2 is ‘World Autism Awareness Day‘.

And I am proud to announce Kindling has been officially selected as the ‘World Autism Awareness Novel of Awesomeness’.

To commemorate this prestigious achievement, I have pasted below an excerpt  from the book, soon to be published in the US and Canada through Exciting Press. The scene describes an epiphany for a grandfather coming to grips with his “lost” grandson. It’s a moment of not just awareness, but of true understanding. It’s my favourite moment in the entire story.

I hope it stays with you throughout April, and beyond.

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Billy, Don’t Use My Number

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Numbers

Writers love to tell you their word counts.

“Just did 500 words before breakfast!”

“Got my 1,000 words done for the day!”

“30,000 words done on the new novel!”

We take great delight in passing on the numbers we produce. I have been no exception. If you trawled back through my Facebook and Twitter posts, you would find statements similar to those above (though probably not without profanity).

Well, I’m here to tell you that’s all in the past. Aside from those punching the keyboard, no digits will ever again offer any implied measure of my authorial efforts. And if my colleagues on the shelves have a high regard for the craft – as I know they do – they will avoid any future reference to word counts, too.

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