Categories
appearances

Post panel ponder

Well, yesterday was the panel on ‘Future Writing’ at the Emerging Writers Festival, for which I was one of the panelists, and I think it went pretty well. All four people involved had very different ideas about what the panel topic meant and what they wanted to talk about, and we explored a variety of different angles and philosophies in the seven minutes we each had to speak.

For my part, I said that whatever form it took, future writing was likely to be writing without the backing of a major publisher. From my perspective as someone who works for a major publisher, I talked about the benefits that they provide (editing, marketing, production etc.) and how a single person or small group could hope to finance and gain those benefits. Which led to the concepts of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, and I talked for a while about those things – things I didn’t know a great deal about until recently, but I could share what I’d learned and found with the group. And all that talk about looking to an audience for support and making them part of the process finished up with the notion that future writing is / would be, by its nature, closely tied to collaboration and community, and about sharing your passion and enthusiasm with readers in a genuine way from start to finish.

I didn’t make any jokes. I was too nervous.

Feedback afterwards was pretty positive, and there were some very good reviews on Twitter, so I feel like I acquitted myself honourably. And I got to hang out with a bunch of writers in the bar afterwards and talk about the festival and writing in general, which was a lot of fun. So that was great. Now I’m really hoping they’ll have me back next year.

Next on the speaking agenda is Continuum in two weeks, where I’m sharing panels with cool people like Ben McKenzie, Richard Harland and Catherynne Valente. So that’s likely to be pretty damn fun. Once, you know, I work out what the hell I’m talking about.

Categories
ebooks short fiction

Godheads and Other Stories

It was something like six months ago when I published Hotel Flamingo as an e-novella, and at that time I said I’d have an anthology of short stories available soon.

Well, ‘soon’ turned out to be more than six months later, but I’ve finally gotten my arse into gear and produced something new – Godheads and Other Stories, a collection of six short stories about the intersection between high weirdness and low mundaneness, and how even the very strange can see normal once you get used to it. They are:

  • ‘On the Redeye Express’: It’s about an hour or two into the ride when Nick realises that people are vanishing from the bus. He’s too tired to question it, and too worried that his girlfriend might dump him at the end of this trip – but when it keeps happening, what’s he going to do about it?
  • ‘Metatext Otis’: One morning, Otis Blincher woke up to find he had turned into a Franz Kafka novel. What’s a man supposed to do when his day starts like that?
  • ‘Objects Seen in Hindsight May be Deader than They Appear’: Armed only with a plastic homebirthing kit and some paperclips, Simon confronts the ghost of a ghost as part of his initiation into an order of paranormal investigators. But when a creature exists only in your memories, how are you supposed to fight it – and how can you trust what you learn about it?
  • ‘The Salbine Incident’: Doctor Edward Sabine set out to prove the existence of the ghosts of fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes by creating his own. The results were… regrettable.
  • ‘Meanwhile, at the End of Days’: Two pensioners wait for the bus. Meanwhile, Jesus Christ returns to Earth for the Second Coming. Is there time to make it to the Rapture and still get to the RSL in time for the bingo specials?
  • ‘Godheads’: In an age where gods and spirits have been captured and rendered down into consumer drugs, Diane and Angela head out to their favourite club to get high and dance. But Diane’s too angry to have fun tonight – and convinced that something strange and dangerous threatens not just her relationship but reality itself.

Some of these are old (I wrote ‘Godheads’ in 1996), some are new (I finished writing ‘Objects Seen in Hindsight…’ last night); some of them are very long (‘Godheads’ is more than 6000 words), some are very short (‘Metatext Otis’ is exactly 500 words), but they’re all worth reading. Well, I would think that, but I’m biased.

Here’s a picture of the current cover, just for entertainment’s sake, but this is getting replaced with a sexier, better cover later in the week once the designer finishes it. But I couldn’t wait that long to get the book out the door!

So where can you buy this collection of literary dynamite and bizarro horror for no more than $2.99 American (or even less in Australian dollars)?

Well, two places. First, there’s the website Smashwords, which has it available in a variety of formats including EPUB, MOBI and PDF, which can be read by devices like Kindles, Kobos, Nooks and pretty much everything else.

Second, Kindle users can get it directly from the Amazon Kindle Store – except that Amazon have a slower approval process than Smashwords, so at the time of this writing they don’t have it up for sale yet. However, if you wait about 24 hours and go to my author page, you should be able to find it there. Or search for ‘Patrick O’Duffy’ on the Store via your Kindle and buy it directly that way. (If it’s not there yet, keep trying! Never give up!)

(EDIT TO ADD: Okay, it’s there now.)

(It’ll also show up on the iBookstore within a few weeks, but why would you wait that long?)

While you’re at it, feel free to check out Hotel Flamingo on Smashwords or Amazon if you haven’t already. Plus, of course, the free fiction in the Downloads section, if you missed the announcement about that a couple of days ago.

And please, if you like either book, tell a friend, leave a review, or just shout my name really loudly in the street until the police show up. I’d appreciate it.
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Categories
appearances

Emergence

What am I excited about right now? The Emerging Writers Festival, which opened last night and is powering into two weeks of panels, seminars, twitterfests, workshops and other activities. I went to last year’s EWF and thought it was a fantastic, useful project that really aimed at getting writers to network and help each other.

Part of my excitement this year is that I’m on a panel this year – I’ll be speaking about ‘Future Writing’ at 3pm this Sunday at the Town Hall Writer’s Conference, alongside Dale Campisi, Rebecca Fitzgibbon and Jacinda Woodhead. I’ll be mostly talking about the things traditional publishers have provided to writers, and how independent writers and groups can try to provide those services for themselves. It should be a fun panel, and more to the point should be a useful one.

But that’s hardly the most exciting thing on this festival, he said self-depricatingly. I’m also really interested in the panels on transmedia and character voice, the discussion of publishing trends, the mid-week talks on genre, the Melbourne by Dusk flash-media project and the fact that you can make Lego Poetry. And, of course, getting to talk (and drink) with other writers.

My only real problem is that I’m not going to be able to afford to go to everything I want to go to, having blown all my salary on responsible financial things this month. But I’ll make it to enough things, somehow.

Anyway, if you’re in Melbourne, if you write, if you want to learn and to meet other writers and get something useful out of it, the EWF is a must. Get excited and make stuff.

Categories
short fiction

Look! Stuff!

Right, time to add some actual content to this site!

Said content takes the form of two short stories to download, absolutely free – ‘The Descent’ and ‘Watching the Fireworks’. They’re available on the Downloads page as PDFs with charmingly crap cover art, which I made myself with my limited Photoshop skills.

More will probably follow. But not before the link to buy and download Godheads and Other Stories, which should be up by Saturday afternoon, the good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Also, don’t get too used to the appearance of this site. I may end up changing the entire theme to something that works a bit better for things like author pics and sidebars and the like. Or I may not. I’m mercurial!

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Categories
blogging

Incremental as anything

This site is coming along slowly – more slowly than it probably should, I dare say, but I’m getting there.

The main addition at this point is the information on Hotel Flamingo on the Books page. If you don’t know about my mosaic e-novella, go there and find out about it. And come on, buy a copy, baby needs a new pair of shoes. Cheap shoes.

I’m hoping that by the end of the week I’ll be able to add the anthology Godheads and Other Stories to that page. All that remains is to finish the last story, which I’m working on, and to receive the cover from the designer, who I need to check in with tomorrow. If the final cover is still a way off, well, I might put together some sort of underwhelming placeholder for the time being, just so I can get the book up by Saturday morning. We shall see.

I’m currently debating whether to add info about my old RPG credits to that page. I don’t get any royalties from them, so listing them with links won’t make me any cash, but it might help demonstrate that I’m a real writer, honest. Or it might not. Still contemplating that.

I might also try to get a stand-alone story or two up on the Downloads page, which is currently empty. I’ve got some flash fiction that could be fun.

But all that has to wait for a little while. Tonight I’m donning my freelancer cap and writing about beer. Which is a subject close to my heart.

If you’ve got suggestions about things I could add, feel free to leave a comment. Preferably not one of those spam ones I’ve been deleting for the last couple of days. Such industrious little things they are.
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Categories
blogging

Day Zero

So. Here we are.

I’ve been keeping a LiveJournal for about 9 years, and I used to think that was enough. And there was a time when that was enough. But times change, and if I want to be taken seriously as a writer – and on reflection, yeah, I think I do – then that means my own site, my own domain name, my own platform.

It’s something I’ve been considering for a while, and given my laziness I would have probably continued contemplating it for another year, but I got the domain name and hosting/design services as a present for my birthday, and that was enough to finally get me off my arse.

(Huge thanks to Josh and Peter from Soupgiant for putting all this together for me. You guys rock.)

Now that I have it, what do I do with it? Well, I’m working that out. At first I thought I’d move all my online activity to this spot, but on reflection that seems too extreme. There’s nothing wrong with diversifying, and we tend to use different tools for different jobs. (Unless it’s an iPhone, which is apparently meant to do everything.) So I’m probably going to keep my LJ going for more personal/social stuff. Then there’s Twitter for fast communication, Facebook for… okay, I’m not really sure what I use Facebook for at the moment, and other outlets for other stuff.

But this here? This is for being the professional (or at least semi-professional) writer dude. It might take me a while to work out what to put here, where to put it, and how to tweak the layout, but bear with me. It’ll shake out soon enough. I hope.

If you have suggestions as to what to do here, where to put things, better colours to use for the page… whatever, I’m all ears.

(Incidentally, I figure most everyone reading this knows me or at least knows of me. If you have no idea who I am and just discovered this blog by accident or through curiousity, you can find out more about me in the Biography page.)
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