Supanova wrap-up

Now that this weekend has rolled around, a weekend where I'll actually be at home and have some much needed breathing room, I thought I'd write a post about the wonderful madness that was Supanova. Also, Lynette Noni, a fellow debut author on the Supanova circuit, has made me feel guilty for not blogging enough because she posted a recap of the Melbourne Supanova that's almost longer than my novel, and she's doing another for the Gold Coast. I need to up my blogging game.

So, for the last two weekends I was a guest at the Melbourne and then Gold Coast Supanova Expos. I've attended Supanova a few times before as a fan and to help out the Gestalt Comics crew at the booth but this was my first time as a fully fledged guest author, and it was awesome.

It was great meeting so many readers and other wonderful people and sitting back and watching the cosplay go by. I spent most of the weekend chatting and signing books. In Melbourne I shared the author booth with this fine collection of word-slingers:

From left to right K.J. Taylor, Alan Baxter, Jack Dann, Traci Harding (in back), Lynette Noni (the other debut/baby-author there) (in back), myself, John Scalzi, Peter F. Hamilton and Posie Graeme-Evans (in front). I had an awesome time with these guys and each and every one of them is super nice. I got to sit next to John Scalzi at the signing table which, as a fan of his, was super-cool. Plus, I got to tell all his fans that John Scalzi was the next Justin Woolley.

Here's some highlights from the Melbourne leg of the tour:

This is Paris, she was the first person to buy and have me sign  A Town Called Dust  for her. She is terrifically wonderful

This is Paris, she was the first person to buy and have me sign A Town Called Dust for her. She is terrifically wonderful

On the Gold Coast our line up changed a little. Here's the author crew we had there:

Along the back is myself, Peter F. Hamilton, Alan Baxter, Marianne de Pierres, Kim Wilkins and Lynetter Noni. In front is Traci Harding, Colin Taber and Paula Weston. Again the Gold Coast show was amazing fun.

Late Night Selfies!

Late Night Selfies!

I was also on an author panel each weekend. In Melbourne I shared the stage with Lynette Noni and C.S. Pacat where we spoke about 'Impossible Quests' and how quests and journeys are represented in fiction. On the Gold Coast I was on a panel called 'Myths and Misconceptions' with Peter F. Hamilton, Kim Wilkins and Lynette Noni. Here's a picture of everyone looking at me expectantly, I'm sure I'm about to say something highly intelligent.

Apart from the other authors and wonderful readers I met some awesome people and made some great new friends including Bob Morley (Bellamy from The 100), Barbara Dunkelman and Arryn Zech (Rooster Teeth), Tony Moore (original artist on The Walking Dead), Kyle Stevens (Kirby Krackle) and Georgina Haig (Once Upon A Time). I had great chats with these guys over the two weekends and they were nice enough to grab copies of my book. I also hung out with heaps of the other guests, the highlight of which was probably sharing a packet of Tim Tams with George Takei.

So all in all it was a fantastic couple of weekends and it was great to get the news a few days ago that A Town Called Dust was among the most successful debut novels they've had at a Supanova, so that's cool. A last big shout out to Ineke Prochazka who is not only my Agent to the Stars (John Scalzi reference there for those of you keeping score) but also the Literary Manager at Supanova. She does a wonderful job bringing together all the authors and wrangling us around during the weekend.

Here's to doing all this again soon!

2014: A Retrospective

I brought in 2014 draped in beaded necklaces thrown from the balconies of Bourbon Street, New Orleans. I brought in 2015 asleep. How things can change in 12 months.

2014 was a big year, probably the biggest year of my life. March saw the birth of my first child, my boy Eli. Though it may be oft-stated there is still immense truth to it, having a child completely changes your outlook on life. Your priorities certainly shift. Your social life decreases, the time for your hobbies decreases, your ability to sleep in decreases too, but the supposed losses in your life are more than made up for by the overwhelming joy felt every time that little face smiles.

Of course November saw the birth of my other child too, A Town Called Dust, my debut novel released by Momentum Books. The culmination of not just the five years I worked to create the characters and the world of The Territory but really the culmination of a life long dream. I'm incredibly thankful to everyone who has bought, read and supported the book.

I still had some time to watch, read and play this year (even if it often happened at odd hours of the night). Here's my favourite good stuff of the year:

Favourite Book of 2014: The Martian by Andy Weir.

Favourite Movie of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Favourite Game of 2014: Destiny

Favourite TV Show of 2014: True Detective

Favourite Comic/Graphic Novel of 2014: Sex Criminals

So here's to 2015, hopefully another big year, and I'm looking forward to the release of A City Called Smoke which I'm working hard on finishing now. I hope 2015 brings everything you wish to yourself and your families. Here's to another good year.

Melbourne Digi-Guide App

And now for something completely different...

My newly released piece of writing is not a novel, it's not a graphic novel, it's not even a short's a travel guide. 

A while ago I wrote a mini-travel guide to Melbourne to be included in the Digi-Guide App and I just found out it's now available in the App Store. So if you're visiting Melbourne, know someone who's visiting Melbourne, or maybe you already live in Burn City but want some new ideas about places to explore check it out on the App Store here

It's available for iPhone and iPad and is loaded with walking tours, bars, restaurants, things to do and even the occasional anecdote, important things, like where to find the toilet with the best view of the city.

A 2012 Retrospective – On the Year That Didn’t End (The World)

I’ve just returned to civilisation after spending the last days of 2012 going off the grid and retreating to my family’s shack on the East
Coast of Tasmania. It’s located in a small seaside town that spends most of the
year as a lifeless flaccid balloon but then inflates to the point of bursting every
summer. So while it’s not exactly an inaccessible by road, hand built, oil-lamp-lit hut in the woods it’s still quiet and most importantly has no internet and no mobile
phone coverage, at least for my carrier, and that makes it ideal for reading
and writing.

During this escape and the enforced digital Sabbath that
came with it I finished rewriting my first novel in preparation for my agent
sending it back to some publishers that showed interest earlier in the year. It
was a rather symbolic thing to finish that book on December 31st as
it topped off what was a big year in 2012.

2012 was the year of misinterpreted Mayan Calendars, London
Olympics, American elections and American super-storms, we put an SUV sized
rover on Mars, found the Higgs-Boson, we lost Maurice Sendak and
Ray Bradbury and a crazy Austrian jumped from the edge of space. For me personally it was a big year both in and out of my writing endeavours.

After spending 2011 finishing my first novel ‘A Town Called
Dust’ I polished it off in the early part of 2012 and in May that book landed
me my agent. Also in 2011 my graphic novel ‘King and Country’ found it’s home
at Gestalt Publishing and in 2012 the illustrations started rolling in and they
look awesome, really bringing to life the world that is such a big part of that
story, I think people are going to dig it. This year also saw me win a Highly
Commended in the 2012 QANTAS Spirit of Youth Awards in the Written Word
category and I completed my second novel, ‘The Other Side’, which is currently
being shopped around.

Maybe it was the looming threat of armageddon but I worked super hard in 2012 to achieve a lot of my goals. However, I did still find time
to enjoy some content consumption and let’s be honest what self-respecting end
of year retrospective blog post would be complete without some best-of lists.
So, in no particular order here’s some of my 2012 top 5’s.

Top 5 Books

Here are the top 5 books I read this year, note that I
rarely set out to read books in the year they come out, mostly because the pile
beside my bed is leaning tower of Pisa high, so these are my favourites from
the books I read in 2012 not necessarily published in 2012:

  • Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman
  • House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
  • Lunar Park – Bret Easton Ellis
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
  • Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Top 5 Films

It’s been a big year for movies but here’s my painfully
selected top five from a range of genres and all for different reasons:

  • Argo
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Avengers
  • Skyfall
  • The Cabin in the Woods

Top 5 Comics/Graphic Novels

This year has seen a bit of a slide in the amount of
comics/graphic novels I’ve been reading, mostly due to reading the magnum opus
that is the BPRD hardcovers but here are my favourites this year:

  • Blue – Pat Grant
  • Batman – Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo
  • Locke and Key – Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez
  • Saga – Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples
  • The Manhattan Projects – Jonathan Hickman/Nick

Top 5 TV shows

Given that I decided to re-watch all seven seasons of The
West Wing I’m now woefully behind on some shows I have no doubt would feature
on this list like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, but
regardless here’s my favourites from what I got through:

  • Community
  • Breaking Bad
  • Homeland
  • Sherlock
  • Game of Thrones

And so with 2012 now squarely in the rear-vision mirror and
fading away down the long straight road of time we turn our attention to 2013. In
2013 I have one over-riding goal, secure a publishing deal for at least one of
the novels I’ve written (both would be nice of course!) I’m also aiming to at
least plot out my third novel, venture back into graphic novels by completing
another script and spend a little more time knocking out a couple of short

I mentioned 2012 had been an exciting year for me both in
and out of writing. I feel it would be remiss for me to end this post without
mentioning the biggest thing that happened to me in 2012, I got engaged to my
beautiful girlfriend and we’ll be marrying in 2013! So here’s to 2012 - the
year didn’t end the world and looking forward to 2013 – another year of possibility.

Where the Wild Things Were

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him "WILD THING!"...

And so begins 'Where the Wild Things Are' the classic story of Max who, dressed in his trusty wolf costume, travels to the land of the Wild Things, becomes their king, and returns a changed boy, all in the space of less than 300 words.

I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Maurice Sendak. 'Where the Wild Things Are' is perhaps the book I loved more than any other in my childhood, and I love it still.

With his tale of the monstrous Max, Sendak showed me the power of imagination, he showed me that other children lived in these fantasy worlds too, and he showed me that we shouldn't "GOBBLE UP!" our parents.

Then, 'Where the Wild Things Are' was the story of a young boy and his fantastically frightening adventure in the land of the Wild Things. Now I recognise it as the story of everyone's journey from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood - a journey into responsibility but one in which we can keep our imagination.

Thank you Maurice Sendak for helping me to unleash my imagination. I hope you're the king of the Wild Things now.