I’m an Australian speculative fiction author who loves cake, sport and good stories. That’s the short version! But if you check out my websites you’ll find out a whole lot more!
Your debut novel, Peacemaker, is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in May. How would you introduce the novel to a new reader? Is it part of a series?
Peacemaker is a genre blend Urban Fantasy, SF, Western set in Australia. The intimate story is about a woman (Virgin Jackson) who will do anything to save the last natural habitat in the world. The deeper level story is about the power of mythology in human social architecture. At the moment, I’m working on the sequel, but I’m hoping there might be more books after that.
What inspired you to write the novel? And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?
I grew up on a diet of pulp Westerns, and I have an enduring love of the Australian landscape. Those two concepts collided and a novel was born. I also created an online comic version of the story which you can preview here. So far, only one issue is out, but the second issue is written, ready to be illustrated. I love this world and had to see it drawn. Brigitte Sutherland, the artist, did a wonderful job of capturing my vision.
How were you introduced to reading and genre fiction?
I didn’t start consciously reading genre fiction until I was in my early twenties when I discovered science fiction by way of Arthur C. Clarke. However, I was a Doctor Who and Avengers fan from the age of ten (I wasn’t allowed to watch the latter, but I managed to sneak peeks by pretending to be asleep in front of the TV – and, yes, it used to give me nightmares!).
How do you enjoy being a writer and working within the publishing industry?
I love being a writer, but the truth is that the publishing industry is such a state of change at the moment that it’s hard to get my head around it. I try not to dwell too much on the future. Keep creating; keep trying to get better. That’s my mantra.
What's it like, being a published author? Is it what you expected? Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?
This is my sixteenth novel – so I’m not totally new to the experience. I’m fairly disciplined in my approach and write daily, preferring mornings to evenings. I’m also not a quick writer, so I find that consistency is the key. Research tends to be on an as needs basis because I work in other jobs and am always budgeting time. I love the research side of writing, but I always feel guilty when I do it. It feels like stolen time.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author, and what was your first foray into writing? Do you still look back on it fondly?
I wanted to be a writer from a very young age (ten), but, of course, the reality of that was something else. It took me until I was in my early thirties to learn the self-discipline required to finish a novel. Since then, I’ve been committed and … well … obsessed …
What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?
I work across genres, and often write genre blend fiction, so I don’t know where I fit it in. My regular readers know to expect the unexpected from me! I particularly love where genre TV is going, and how so many more people are being wooed by it.
What other projects are you working on, and what do you have currently in the pipeline?
SO many things in the pipeline. Have a glance over this – two crime series, a YA series and a stand-alone, SF novel. Not. Enough. Hours.
What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?
I coach junior basketball and I love hip hop.