Monday, March 2, 2015

Sale: "Causeway", The Future Fire

Huzzah! I'm pleased to announce I've made my first sale for 2015.

The Future Fire will be publishing my post-apocalyptic weirdness "Causeway", date to be advised.

This is the third story TFF has picked up of mine, and it's always a pleasure to be published there.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SJVs 2015 voting, blurbs, and whatnot.

The nomination list for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015 has been updated to include reading links, bios for the New Talent category (hi!), and online voting forms for those not attending Reconnaissance.

To be eligible for voting you must either be a member of SFFNZ or attending the national convention in Rotorua this coming Easter. Online votes are due by April 1st, in person votes at the con by April 5th. All the relevant details on how to vote are available at the above link.

I'm aware that only so much space is available for blurbing on the nomination page, and I left the kind wordage to someone else (still anonymous, I will find out who you are and hug you!). But there is more to my writing experience, which you can find out about here on my blog, or if anyone likes they can contact me direct (email address in About). I'm more than happy to discuss my style, influences, mentors (Hi AnnCatNoraJeffGeoffGregoryTheClarion17CLAMLovelyNZPeeps), and plans for the future.

As much as I would have loved to have these conversations in person in the con setting and at the bar, unfortunately I am unable to attend the con this year.  So feel free to drop me a line and/or spread the word. We can meet at the virtual bar.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015

The ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards 2015 is now out, and I made the short list!

I have been nominated in the category of "Best New Talent".

The voting takes place during Reconnaissance, the national convention which takes place over Easter weekend in Rotorua, with the awards ceremony on the last night of the convention. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the convention this year (because of a certain major expense last year!).

Thank you to those who nominated me, and also wrote the very sweet blurb that accompanies my ballot. I hope I will live up to the expectations all my friends and supporters have in my writing ability.

I aksept dis ahward on behalving my gratist fans...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Awards Elibility...of a sort.

It's that time of year again where everyone is reminding everyone else about what their 2014 looked like publishing wise. The last couple of years I've done a fairly straight forward bibliographic list of stories published, but since I only had one original story published in 2014 I'm coming at my award eligibility from a different angle.

If you liked my story "The Dragon in the Wardrobe" (Betwixt, January 2014) enough to nominate it for something (probably the short story category for New Zealand's SJVs is a good place), feel free to do so. And thank you.

However, one of my friends in my New Zealand writer circles has been kind enough to nominate me for "Best New Talent" at the SJVs. I know I'm leaving this a little late to strengthen this nomination with my blurb (nominations close this Sunday), but here it is. Feel free to rearrange or use these words as you see fit if you're strengthening my nomination.

I started my speculative fiction writing journey in 2010, and my first publication was in the sorely missed Semaphore Magazine. I'm very pleased that my first speculative fiction story "My Dad, The Tuatara" had a New Zealand theme and was published in a New Zealand venue. The story was reprinted in the Christchurch Earthquake Fundraising anthology "Tales For Canterbury". I also had an earthquake inspired story published in the "Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction 2" in 2013.

I have had three professional short story sales - to Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres Magazine, and Wily Writers. I often write along the axes of feminism, QUILTBAG, and underrepresented characters (eg: disability and race, of which I am still learning), and I have been published in such feminist and QUILTBAG friendly venues as The Future Fire, Khimairal Ink, and Expanded Horizons. I am proud that my story "Blood, Stone, Water" was reprinted in Lethe Press yearly anthology "Heiresses of Russ 2014" - it is nice to have my name attached to a collection that is named after one of my writing heroines Joanna Russ.

Other influences on my writing include James Tiptree Jr, Anne McCaffrey, Melanie Rawn, Catherynne M. Valente, and NK Jemisin.

My greatest achievement to date also includes the last two names on that list. In 2014 I was accepted to the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop at University of California San Diego. An intensive six week writing summer boot camp highly respected by the speculative fiction publishing industry, I learned about technique and the business alongside 17 students from around the world and under the watchful eye of six big name authors Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, NK Jemisin, Ann Vandermeer, and Jeff Vandermeer.

So, if you think the last five years of my writing journey is worthy of "Best New Talent" (New Zealand wise), go for it. I appreciate everyones support. Here, have a kitten.

O hai, u thunk I haz teh skillz?


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Five Questions: "The Unofficial Guide to Travelling With Kin"

My first original story in a year has dropped. "The Unofficial Guide to Travelling with Kin" is now available online and in glossy print format in Betwixt Magazine Issue 6. This issue also contains a story by another Clarionite, Gabriela Santiago of the 2013 class. Much thanks to editor Joy Creslin for publishing my second story for Betwixt. It's a nifty magazine going places.

So let's dive into my Five Questions format for some brain pickings over how this story came to be.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year! "The Unofficial Guide to Travelling With Kin" now live at Betwixt Magazine.

Cover of Issue 6 Betwixt Magazine
A futuristic city of spires, with floating
New Year, new story release! Isn't that a great way to kick off?

My road story "The Unofficial Guide to Travelling With Kin" is now available in issue 6 of Betwixt Magazine. You can read it online, and buy a physical hard copy of the magazine. Check out the beautiful cover art by Alex Tooth. Very festive!

What do a unicorn named Bruce, a werewolf called Princess, a Dragon called Boh, and a mermaid called Late For Lunch all have in common? They're four of the crypto-menagerie who hitch a ride with a stranger. They all have something in common - they're running from something to anywhere, and they only have each other to look out for on the road. It's eat or be eaten in "Unofficial Guide".


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hey, It's: a 2014 In Review Post

Ann and Jeff Vandermeer wear silly
hats to add some well needed levity
to week five of an intense, exhausting
Clarion experience
This year has been the weirdest since I began my writing journey.

It's been a massive success with a goal I didn't set and a massive failure against the goals I did set, all at the same time.

I wanted to better my story sales numbers. In 2013 I had eleven original stories published, three of which were my first ever pro sales. I thought if 2013 was any indication of momentum, I'd be well on my way.

This year I only had one original story published (way back in January), and one reprint. However, it was a reprint I was absolutely stoked to earn, because it was in a venue I've very much wanted to be in for many years (Heiresses of Russ).

If Clarion hadn't happened, 2014 would have been a disaster, I would have seriously been considering chucking in the towel, and wondering what the heck is wrong with my work.

But I'm not. Because Clarion CHANGED EVERYTHING.

It's five months on and I'm still capslocking about Clarion. It was honestly the best thing that ever happened to my career so far. Clarion introduced me to a bunch of incredible people who are now there for me until the end of my writing life, and gave me a huge boost to the next level of improving my game. I won't go into details - have a read back over my Clarion posts for all the deets.

The offshoot of Clarion is that I gained two very important groups of critical readers. I now have a core of beta readers from my Clarion class and a network of editors interested in my work, and a group of local writers who I meet with once a month to critique stories we're working on.

Hell Yeah, Heiresses of Russ 2014
with ME IN IT. I'm an heiress of one
of my writing heroes.
My local group - we call ourselves "CLAM" for in-joke reasons - is also a great cheerleading and social squad. I don't feel so alone in the writing world anymore, which can be a concern for writers like myself outside the hub and convention circuit. My local group is keeping me on track, and I'm very grateful for their energy and motivation. It's giving me the opportunity to keep using the critiquing skills I learned at Clarion and a better focus to my stories.

Rediscovering my energy post-Clarion has slowed down my production somewhat. I'm more intent on making things right before I send out a story. This has been a concern to me (see: OMG I've only had two stories published this year), but it's almost like rebooting or refocusing my career. Once things clarify, once I start making some bigger sales/impacts on the industry again, things will happen.

And I'm absolutely positive they will. I have my down moments and doubts, especially with rejections, but it's all part of the process. 2015 won't be the same as 2014 - nothing could ever replace the greatness of Clarion - but it will be DIFFERENT. I already have three original publications to look forward to - the first tomorrow! - I have many stories I'm working on, and I'm absolutely aiming to break into certain favoured venues and make more pro sales.

So come on 2015, whatcha got for me?