Tuesday, April 29, 2008


The quote and question posed in the previous post just shows how puzzle-headed I can be! What is the point of me asking you thoughts about Book 2 when many as yet have not had the chance to read it? Apologies about that...

*rolls eyes at self*

Anyway, Elizabeth (Betsy) Bird's review of Lamplighter was also featured over at School Library Journal with Fuse #8 Production. Check it, but mind the spoilerage.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

On the eve of the next...

I have been aware of this review of Monster-Blood Tattoo: Foundling by Elizabeth Bird for a little while now and, happy to find it as the Review of the Day over at Fuse 8 on the School Library Journal site, thought some might like to head on over and see. She has also posted a review of Lamplighter for those who are interested. They are both astounding in its breadth and the level to which Ms Bird understands and appreciates the whole Half-Continent thing, and also very helpful to encourage me as I wrestle with some tough bits in Book 3. Thank you, EB!

Speaking of Book 3, I received this email from Conner Ernst:

"A few people at my school have read book two and they like Numps and I am trying to convince you to have Numps in the third book and make Europe have more hatred."

Hmmm, very pertinent notions, Conner, and things I am tackling with even as I blog to procrastinate. What do other people think? What to do with Numps? Should Europe be meaner? more of an invidist or less?

Less than a week till official Lamplighter release - counting down the days!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Land of Wine & Vines

Just had a very brief break with my lovely bestest friend up in the Barossa Valley - (arguably) Australia's premium wine making district, and she and I agree that we would very much like to live out there. Good for the writing soul; rolling stramineous hills, row upon row of vines, with good friends and tasty drinks and readings of Aidan Coleman and Shel Silverstein to add lyrical beauty to the pulchritudinous surrounds. Came up with a stack of bizarre new foods for the H-c, plus some scenes that will - Lord willing - make their way into Book 3.

Wonderful, wonderful.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Breaking News

Fellow writer, Damien Brand, of Brisbane has let it been known that he has already been able to purchase a copy of Lamplighter from a local, independent bookseller in his home town. So it might be worth a squizz (as we say in Oz) at your own favourite book store to see if it is already in stock.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A sennight pair to go!

This is high-falutin' Half-Continent speak for two weeks to go! - well a little over two weeks, but close enough for the call!

"To go till what?" I hear you not actually ask, because this is a blog and I am in my wife's study typing it, all on my own, just me and the terror of the blank page. But I shall answer anyway, because conducting pretend conversations is professional risk; it is just a little over TWO WEEKS until Lamplighter officially hits the shelves in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US.

Very excited, though it must be said that it is a rather small deal in light of Tibet and China and that blasted torch-thingy - where I do not believe sport can some how be mysteriously separated from politics as if one part of human existence could be hermetically seal away from another, or the infuriating egomania of Mugabe and all the misery he inflicts - watching such transparent deception and manipulation is so infuriating it makes me want to roar.

Anyway, welcome to a new week.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Romanian Edition of Foundling

Shauki from Romania has sent me this add for the up-coming Romanian edition and I could not help but have a little show off of it. Very pleased too that Corint Junior (my Romanina publisher) have gone with the original cover. Not a big deal in the scheme of things, but I am very excited. Thank you Shauki!

Speaking of gratitude, Drew has handed in his review and interview to SFRevu so they are now officially "up" - for those of you who do not want to have even a brief outline of the plot of Lamplighter told to you, I would recommend you restricting yourself to the interview only. Cheers very muchly Drew and the SFRevu!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MBT Professions-gluttony Query

Well MooseGuy was wanting to be a scourge-leer-pistoleer-strivener and I said I would come up with a name for such a person/profession. Well... I came up with everything but:
  • scourge-pistoleer = flagrant, orspirator/orspiratine
  • scourge-wit = severine
  • scourge-leer = staide, austerine
  • skold-leer = scryer, saltscry, saltstrait
  • skold-pistoleer = locksalt (though really, such a person is really a skold with a penchant for delivering potives from a firelock)
  • leer-pistoleer = scrylock, lockstrait, straitlock
  • wit-leer = looksooth, straitsooth

...and I could go on. Now, it must be said at any such combinations are not as common as you might think, especially as true pistoleers - like sagaars - see themselves as a set apart, with secret knowledge and dedication to a singular expertise in a single skill. Indeed, sagaars are even more rigourous about this; for them it is all about the purity of the Dance with out taints, cheats or augmentations . A person might gain some fundamental moves of the dance (akin to basic and more intermediate martial arts), but if you call yourself a sagaar it is because you have committed to a way off living, to a higher plan of existence. (sorry, giantfan)

As for Mr Guy-of-Moose's combination, well I was thinking, sir, you might want to have a go at coming up with your own name, for such a combination would be most probably unique to you and therefore have no common name in the Half-Continent. FYI - messing about with highly unstable and dangerous potives whilst wrestling with the instability of you mimeotes (foreign organs) you could expect to have a rather short life span, even without the ubiquitous threat of a terrible gashing end.

It is worth noting that these names might change over time and with further thinking and revision; just like most other things H-c, I am constantly reworking and adding and subtracting to ideas - especially as I get deeper and deeper into the world with each novel. It can be a tad disconcerting to discover in writing a story that something I thought pretty well thought out over many years of natural accretion plus solid hours of think-time proves to be just barely enough to start with, that I need to go much further into notions and inventions than I had ever anticipated.

It is a good problem to have, I reckon.

(Oh! I have realised it is April Fools today, but I cannot think of anything funny - though plenty that is foolish)