Book news

Where we’ve been on the internet

This week, it’s all about editing. We’re busy working on Alliance.

We have also done some guest posts for Linesman in the last month, so rather than leave you with nothing to read—if you missed any of our guest posts—here is an update.

Firstly though we would like to say a big thank you to John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, Mary Robinette Kowal for providing great support, not just to us, but to all writers. And a huge thank you to Sally, at The Qwillery, for her support for both us and all other debut authors, especially in our genre. Thank you all.

Without further ado, in order of posting:

July 2, 2015: John Scalzi posted our Big Idea for Linesman. Here we talk about where the idea for Linesman came from.

July 3, 2015: Interview with The Qwillery about writing in general, and about and Linesman.

July 9, 2015: Five things we learned writing Linesman, on Chuck Wendig’s site.

July 14, 2015: Mary Robinette Kowal posted Our Favorite Bit of Linesman on her site.

July 17, 2015: The Qwillery very generously allow us a guest post spot. This time we are talking about how we co-write.

And if you are still looking for something to read, there is always the book itself. You can read the first chapter by clicking on the link from the front page of our blog. (This is the ARC version, so it may have some typos.) Or you can read a longer extract on the Penguin Random House site, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


Talking about things

Sleeping in a cupboard

I love my cupboard. It is so cute and so just mine.

queensland rail single sleeper_1
This is the size of a single sleeper on the Brisabane to Cairns Sunlander. As you can see, it’s squeezy.

After GenreCon we decided to catch the train from Brisbane to Cairns. 30 hours by train. Naturally, we needed a sleeper (but not Queenslander class, because we both wanted bottom bunks). The single sleepers were the same price as the doubles. The single is the size of a cupboard. And I am sleeping in this cupboard tonight.

Queensland Rail single sleeper_3

Queensland Rail single jump seat
I’m 160cm tall. These photos are taken with me sitting either end of the carriage. First in the little jump seat, second in the main seat.
Queensland Rail single sleeper
Breathe in as you walk down the corridor. No room for overtaking or passing.


On writing

GenreCon 2013 – Take 2

This year, we headed to sunny Brisbane saying goodbye (temporarily) to the cold weather in Melbourne.

First things first.  Melbourne, why don’t you have an airtrain? Sydney does, Brisbane does. Instead we squashed onto a crowded bus and wove through crowded traffic out to Tullamarine airport. Arrive at Brisbane and enjoy a relaxed train ride into the city and a quick, two block walk to our hotel.

A shower, snack at the bar and off to register. Well, to find out where we were supposed to go for the GenreCon opening reception really, but registered at the same time. Nice and easy.

After the meet and greet, we meander back toward the hotel along the river. We know we should do the right thing and head to the bar—after all, GenreCon is about networking with likeminded people—but we needed time out. At Southbank, a night market is in full swing and the atmosphere is festival-like. The weather is warm and there is the most wonderful cool breeze straight off the water. Perfect for two weary Melburnians. Finally felt like I was away.

GenreCon 2013 moments in no particular order. And not necessarily all at the GenreCon event itself. If Chuck Wendig can do a top 25, I can do a top 10.

  1. Did you know John Scalzi looks better in a kimono that Chuck Wendig? (John, blame Chuck for that one.)
  2. The water pressure. It has been so long since I had a shower with decent water pressure it was worth mentioning. Thank you Rydges Southbank Brisbane
  3. That awful moment when drying my hair on a pristine white towel and realised that the hair dye was colouring the towel red. Very, very red. (Sorry Rydges)
  4. John Connolly, fantastic speaker. I didn’t want your talk to end. It must be the Irish in you. Almost, (only almost) wanted to go and read a Charlie Parker novel. Maybe I’ll try one of the young adult novels instead as they might not be so bloodthirsty. In the meantime, I keep repeating to myself ‘don’t hit send.
  5. Kathryn Fox, who made me cry with that little opening scene from ‘Up’. Another brilliant speaker.
  6. Meg Vann, Peter Ball and the Ninjas, who made the whole event happen. They did a fabulous job running and organising the whole thing. Thank you.
  7. Alex Adsett, who talked about contract and negotiations and was so very approachable.
  8. Sarah Fairhall for listening to Karen pitch and Rochelle Fernandez for putting up with me. Not sure I want to go through that experience again. It took me ages to recover. Strong coffee was the order of the day afterwards and I don’t like strong coffee. I still shake when I think about it. Whoever said pitching was easy. Caitlin, I don’t envy your job one iota.
  9. Kez, a fellow writer who we spent ages chatting with over the breakfast table post-con. I am really going to have to learn to play the drums. Kez writes erotica, a tad different to SF but it didn’t matter. Kez who told us that a drop of peppermint oil at the back of your tongue and holding your head up will help if you lose your voice when you speak in front of people. Will have to try it and see if it works).
  10. Brisbane weather. Has been fabulous. Couldn’t ask for a better introduction to Brisbane.

Karen’s take is here.

Writing process

GenreCon — Part II

Karen and I went to GenreCon, a genre writers’ conference held in Parramatta. Karen has blogged about her experiences, I am adding my two cents worth.

GenreCon 2012. Where romance met horror, space crossed with crime, and fantasy and paranormal danced together. From the first drink on Friday 2nd of November to the last fun-filled debate between the plotters and the pantsers on Sunday afternoon two days later. Where brinklies—those almost there—met with published authors—those who are there—agents, editors and everyone in between.

The program was full. No free time and too many sessions to choose from. I wanted to go to all the workshops and talks but had to choose one of three each time. Lucky there were two of us so while Karen went to one session, I went to another.

Two workshops I attended were Writing Popular Fiction with Helene Young and Getting Your Characters Moving with Karen Miller. These were informative, reinforcing what we already worked with. Good information given by successful writers.

The panels were great as well. The repartee between the panellists livened up the sessions. I particularly enjoyed After the First Draft with Jodi Cleghorn, Sarah JH Fletcher and Bernadette Foley, chaired by Irina Dunn.

The Pistols and Parasols themed banquet on Saturday night was fun and we were with a great table of people. I wasn’t one of the those who partied on afterwards. I hear the normals—racegoers in this instance—and convention goers clashed as to who had rights to the bar. The normals lost.

For me, the highlight of the conference was Ginger Clark talking about The Future of Agenting and I thanked the god of writers out there that we have our own wonderful, uber agent, Caitlin. I think she deserves every cent she earns from her clients. She is more than welcome to her job. I’ll stick to writing, thank you.

But I can’t finish without mentioning the great debate. All debaters—Kim Wilkins, LA Larkin, Narelle Harris, Anna Campbell, Lisa Heidke and Daniel O’Malley—put on a great show for us all. What I got from the debate, apart from a lot of laughs? Plotters know what they are doing and are much more organized, but the magic, unexpected moments come from the pantsers. Let’s hope I have a bit of both in me.

Thank you Meg Vann, Peter Ball and all the ninja’s, plus anyone I should have mentioned but didn’t. A great job. I am looking forward to GenreCon 2013.