Young writers

When I was at the Sisters-in-Crime convention, SheKilda, in early October, I was pleased to see several young writers in the audience, and noticed that they attended as many sessions as they could and took notes, and also perused the bookstore offerings with grave discernment. No quick flicks through the odd book, but a sound, though short, assessment of a book’s reading potential before they purchased.

It was great to see this because going to writing conventions and workshops and analysing published books to see what works is what all aspiring writers should be doing. And even published authors go to workshops, because you can always learn something new. Good luck, Tennille and Daniel, and may you stay determined and true to your dreams.

With Tennille Chase and Daniel Kennedy at SheKilda
With Tennille Chase and Daniel Kennedy at SheKilda

There is a group of young writers in Bundaberg called the What If group and it’s fantastic to see them so dedicated to their writing and so supportive of each other.As they all write speculative fiction I felt quite honoured that they came to my book signing. I hope they always follow their dreams.

Sandy with the What If writers group after the Fatal Flaw book signing
Sandy with the What If writers group after the Fatal Flaw book signing

SheKilda and the Chaos Fairy

Just a little over a week to go before the Sisters-in-Crime convention, SheKilda, will be held in Melbourne. For readers interested in the crime genre and the romantic suspense sub-genre, it will be a must-attend event. Top Aussie crime writers will be sharing their knowledge and baring their souls (well, their writing souls). Aspiring writers will have the opportunity to come along and ask their favourite authors those questions they’d never otherwise have a chance to ask. Readers will get to see their favourite authors in the flesh and have books signed.

As a Queenslander I was writing winter woollies on my packing list, but was pleasantly surprised to see Melbourne temperatures in temperatures in the high twenties (C). Just as I was thinking of revising the list, the city lived up to its reputation of having four seasons in one day and the mercury plummeted. It’s a good thing Rob and I are driving down – I’ll need all the back seat to stack the many changes of clothing I’m sure to need.

On Monday a journalist from our local newspaper, the NewsMail, phoned and said she wanted to interview me about the publication of Fatal Flaw and send out a photographer. I looked around the house – saw the stuff that’s been piling up in the past few weeks as the Chaos Fairy swatted me a few good ones with her wacky wand and kept me from concentrating on housework (all right, I’ll be honest, I try to avoid housework but I don’t like it to get too feral) and knew I was in for a quick clean-up. I looked in the mirror and knew that was a good place to start, especially as my hair looked like I should mop the floor with it. Deciding it needed a colour to give it a lift, I quickly dragged out the plastic gloves and set to work. During the colour-setting time I made like the mad woman in the Ajax tv ad and did a surface clearance. Just as I was about to dive into the shower to rinse off the colour the phone rang. I looked at the number. It was my publisher. I couldn’t not answer it. Ten minutes later I half stripped, stuck my head in the shower and was towelling dry when the photographer arrived. Luckily for me it was Max Fleet, a great guy with a lot of patience. I didn’t have time to throw on any spak filler, but he managed to play with the light so I didn’t crack his lens. The result can be seen here.

Promotion Schmotion

Once upon a time authors wrote books, did book signings and a few media interviews and went back to writing the next book and left any other promotion to their publisher. Times sure have changed. Now we have to blog, facebook, tweet, make book trailers, and a host of other activities that leave most of us gasping for breath and hoping we’re not being seen as a cross between a circus ring master and a cheerleader. Max Barry gives a good idea of the feeling in his latest blog. Me? I’m still trying to figure out the difference between my wall and my page on facebook.

If you happen to hear that I’m slowly killing off my family, please don’t take it literally. With the wonderful Clan Destine Press giving me a lot of input with my e-book covers I’ve been using family members as bodies (alive and dead) on the covers. Daughter Kris on Black Ice and daughter-in-law Cherie (writing as Cheryse Durrant) and niece Kelly Byrne on Dangerous Deception. Kris is also responsible for re-vamping my website and is gradually getting it into shape. I asked her to aim for user-friendly and I feel she has achieved this.

I’m looking forward to attending SheKilda Again, the Sisters-in-Crime Convention in Melbourne on 7-9 October. It’s going to be a great two days and nights and I’m in wonderful company on two panels, Crimance with romantic suspense authors Bronwyn Parry, Helene Young and Emma Boling, and chaired by the wonderful Anne Gracie, and State of Play, as well as co-presenting the workshop Writing Crimance with romantic suspense author Bronwyn Parry.

I’m thrilled that Fatal Flaw will be on sale at SheKilda.

Melbourne should be putting on her Spring airs and graces with leaves and blossoms forming on winter-bare branches and the sun peeping through grey skies earlier in the day. But I’m bringing my woollies just in case 🙂