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Continuum Con – See You Next Year

Con wrap-up blogs can be vapid diary vomit, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Continuum Con 13 in Melbourne over the long weekend was awesomesauce. I’m always ridiculously nervous even if I’ve been to the con before and on the Friday night I was wondering why the fuck I had even come since I’m no one important and all that malarky. But of course I proved myself wrong. I went out to dinner with complete strangers, made great new friends and all in all had an amazing time. (Although perhaps that was as much to do with not having to deal with my kids for THREE WHOLE DAYS!)

I attended the Ditmar Award Ceremony.

Sold books

And attended the launch of Seanan McGuire’s ‘Down Among the Sticks and Bones’ … WITH BRAIN CAKE AND BLOOD TEA!

I have to say that apart from making new friends, which is always the best part of any event, the highlight of this con was getting to hear Seanan McGuire speak on panels (of which she did many). She was the star and dominant force of every one of them, not seeking attention but gaining it anyway because everything she had to say was worth hearing. Well-read and vastly intelligent, she was confident, interesting and brightly coloured, and I can think of no one else that could make so many people laugh until they cried time and time again. And even more importantly, because, as Tim Minchin says: “I don’t care if youre the most powerful cat in the room, I will judge you on how you treat the least powerful” – she wasn’t above introducing herself to nobodies (like me) and standing chatting to complete strangers (like me) as though they were long time friends.

While it’s not the Natcon next year it is still going to be all sorts of awesome fun and I can’t wait for it to roll around again and bring joy to the chill of an Australian winter.

Bring it on Continuum Con 14!

The Heavy Sadness

I have this sadness. I’m not going to call it depression because I feel that would belittle the experience of those who are diagnosed with depression and suffer under its weight every day. But this sadness of mine is heavy and when it comes it presses me down into the ground like the worm I realise I am. I question everything I have said. Everything I have done. Every moment when I considered, for just a heartbeat, that I was worth paying attention to. Under the weight of the sadness I am invisible, and in seeking reassurance this is not so I look in all the wrong places. I refresh Facebook hoping for some perfectly timed assurance of my existence and my worth. I refresh Goodreads or my email or trawl through twitter, and in the vast sea of humanity I confirm my own invisibility and complete lack of importance.

Perhaps the problem is social media, but social media is part of my job and it is also how I connect with some of the most important people in my life. It allows me to broaden my horizons and meet new people, but it also crushes my self-esteem – not because anyone ever criticises me or is unpleasant, but because I second guess everything I do and say, and I know, with iron-clad assurance, that it is a drag having me around, that I’m an embarrassment, that I am saying the wrong thing and that in this space that ought to be safe for my introvert self, I am a failure who ought to give up.

There is no uplifting message here, just a moment of honesty, of vulnerability, that the author in me needed to set to words. And perhaps there is someone else out there who feels as I do and might find in my honesty, a lessening of their own heavy sadness.


2016 In Review

So 2016 eh? Not exactly the year many people are going to remember fondly. On the world stage there were a lot of shit moments, a lot of anger and hate and fear that led to war and violent attacks and devastation. But sometimes it is easy to let that overwhelm us, to lead us to despair and forget all the times we proved how wonderful humanity can be, how intelligent, adaptable and resourceful. How kind. It is exactly the same in life, I find. It is so easy to dwell upon the negative and forget good happened.

In 2016 I brought out a book. The Grave at Storm’s End, the end of the Vengeance Trilogy I have been working on all these years finally completed. After three years spent struggling with life’s challenges and with bouts of depression that made sitting down at the keyboard the hardest thing I had ever done, and three years waiting for cover art I thought would never come, it was finally there in my hand. Wow. Done. Finished. Over. The last anchor to an old self, an old pain, set adrift.


In 2016 I also watched my beautiful baby boy grow into a toddler with all sorts of personality. He said Mama for the first time and just recently has taken his first steps.

I shared The Force Awakens and Back to the Future with my girls and spent many long hours playing Lego Indiana Jones with them which they find absolutely hilarious.

I wrote my first short story.

I broke out of my comfort zone to make the Storywork videos on youtube.

I sat on my first panels at a con and sold books to strangers.

I got to hear my characters come to life as the audiobook production started for Blood of Whisperers.

I even learned how to build a fire (no, I really didn’t know how before. I grew up with ducted heating. Getting warm meant pushing a button.)

These things are all amazing. But once again I have reached the end of a year and feel as though I have failed. I have not achieved what I wished to achieve, nor done what I wished to do. I have not blogged as much as I wished and have completely fallen off much of social media. I have not put myself forward, not trusted myself or my skills, because I am afraid that I have no worth as a writer. That until I am someone I am no one. That I am not even worthy of a voice.

But today while the memorial posts to Carrie Fisher were swirling around (I cried, I really did, she was an amazing woman) I came across one of her quotes that I hadn’t seen before.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

My mantra for next year.


Bye bye 2016.

Of Babies and Moving Vans

Life has finally settled down again. It has been a very strange two years – ok, two and a half. It has been two and a half years since The Blood of Whisperers was released, and in that time I have moved country twice, moved house an additional three times, got a new partner, bought a house with him, and had a baby, all the while being mum, taxi and cook to my two girls.

In – san – ity


This is Dominic. He’s the new addition to the family. Like my other two children, he looks like his dad. I’m not sure why it is, but even with a new partner I STILL can’t get a look in genetically. But regardless there will be NO MORE BABIES. We are done. Population maintenance has taken place – one child each to replace me, my partner and my ex-husband.

Mission accomplished.

Another thing that isn’t going to happen EVER again is moving house. My eldest daughter has lived in more houses than years she has been on this earth, and considering how AWFUL the last move was it’s never happening again. We have settled. Irrevocably. In the middle of bloody nowhere…


This is the view from the deck. Twenty acres of untouched bushland, neighbours on one side – too far away to hear or even remember they are there – and state forest on the other side. It suits my introverted soul perfectly.

*Happy sigh*

And now that life has settled down everything is coming together. There is so much excitement for this year I can’t wait to get it all going and share it with you.



Stay tuned!



Happy Birthday to me!

So today is my birthday. Normally I’m not one to even bother acknowledging this, but for some reason this year feels a little more special. I’m 29. Not quite the big 30, but certainly the last year I can claim to be in my twenties. The last year to get things in order before another stage of life. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and yet last night I found myself stressing. I’m only 29 and already struggling to feel as though I have achieved anything – how am I going to feel at 30. At 40. At 50?

Yes I have two beautiful children and a third on the way.

Yes I have sorted my life out after a difficult move to another country and the subsequent divorce.

These are big things, but I find I don’t define myself by my ‘real’ life. The fact that I can cook awesome meals, that I educate my children, that I sing to them every night, that I am the glue in this new family of mine means only so much when your dreams have stagnated. I released The Blood of Whisperers two years ago this month. I had a completely different life then with a different partner and a different future, but I believed I had set myself on a path that all I needed to do was keep walking. The Gods of Vice came later the same year and the third book seemed poised to follow soon after, until we moved to Canada and my whole life fell apart. I have rebuilt it now, but what I grudge most is the time I lost, not the pain. In two years I ought to have done so much. Written so much. Grown my career. Connected with many more readers and fans of the genre I love. Spread my wings and tested the waters and worked toward being the author I want to be. Instead I have to start over.

2013.09.28 - Launch of Blood of Whisperers 021


So at 29, I find myself staring down my own expectations and starting the plan all over again. One year to get myself back on track. One year in which to release The Grave at Storm’s End, to write, to engage, to throw everything I have at this career of mine in the hope that the big 30 will not send me into a real panic.

So for all of those friends and fans who have stuck with me through this difficult time I cannot thank you enough. You keep me believing in myself and allow the dream to live on.

And an extra special thank you to the two men who have been such anchors in my life. My ex-husband Devin (yes I stole his name) for making everything possible, and my current partner Chris (I didn’t steal his name) for encouraging me and helping me to work through the dark times.

Loves to you all on this day.

As Google was kind enough to surprise me with a spread of cakes, I leave it to their eloquent imagery to see the post out.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 1.07.39 PM

Ink Me!

I went to visit my lovely editor in Sydney recently, a once a year mini vacation because it turns out that she lives in the wrong city (ie not Melbourne). I get a few days away from my kids and the chance to talk shop without having to type in a little window and get distracted by Facebook. But this time, there was another reason for going.

In late 2013, Amanda (yes, my editor totally has a name, isn’t that amazing?) got the Eye of Vice tattooed on the inside of her forearm. Her love for Darius was just that strong.

This time it was my turn.



So, I’d been told it didn’t hurt too much. I’d been told that having given birth to two children, this would barely rate a mention on the pain scale. Quick. Painless….

Yeah right. It HURT! Like, it really hurt. Like a dozen tiny chipmunks gnawing at my arm with tiny sharp little teeth, tearing each bit of my skin away cell by cell. But I digress. The purpose was worth the pain. A symbol to remind me always where I started from, to remind me to work hard and not lose sight of my goals… I would have gone through more for that. As it happened it took about seven minutes, although I had to lie there for quite some time afterwards due to my tendency to feel faint, even when horizontal. So I ended the seven minutes pale and sweaty and in need of cold water. But after about half an hour I was able to walk out with a smile on my face and a bandage on my wrist.



It’s been nearly two weeks now and it is healing beautifully, so here it is at last, alongside my editor’s Eye of Vice. This. This is how committed we are to these characters, these books, and to the world I am creating. Or perhaps spewing forth… whichever image you prefer…

Without further ado, I give you …. The Empath Mark.