Launched from last weekend

Hi folks,

I promised new flash fiction and I will deliver, but not tonight – too busy this week with things like a day job, returning to the gym after a long absence and wishing I was dead because everything hurts after returning to the gym after a long absence.

Instead, tonight, I’d like to explode with links in a follow-up from last weekend’s Continuum convention. I had the chance to meet a lot of interesting writers, bloggers and podcasters over that weekend, whether as co-panelists or just from talking in the bar, and it’d be nice to tell all y’all about them and spread some of the love.

  • Deborah Biancotti chaired the ‘I Don’t Get It’ panel and was both charming and very skilled at getting people back on track when they’d gone off on tangents. She’s a Sydney-based writer; I haven’t read her anthology A Book of Endings but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I’ve liked the excerpts of other work I’ve read. She’s jumped into my to-read list right away.
  • Peter Ball was on the aforementioned panel and another panel on creating RPG worlds. He’s also a Brisbanite, a friend of a friend, a gamer and a comics reader, so frankly I’m kind of shocked it took us this long to meet. He likes Power Man and Iron Fist, tweets about terrible movies, blogs about writing and has two novellas on Smashwords. He’s good fucking value.
  • Ian Mond is a writer and podcaster, one of those overactive podcasters who knows all the other podcasters and they have like special podcastparties that I never get invited to and I should probably stop this sentence now. Anyway, he puts out two podcasts, The Writer and the Critic with Kirstyn McDermott (which won both a Chronos and a Ditmar award on the weekend) and the irreverent Shooting the Poo with some other people. We talked about comics and the problems with the DC reboot. I liked him.
  • Grant Watson was also on that same panel and agreed with me that Suicide Squad is basically God’s punishment on this fallen world, so he gets props. I listened to his comics podcast Panel2Panel this week and dug it; he has another podcast called Bad Film Diaries which I haven’t heard but I can guess what it’s about. Anyway, cool stuff.
  • Louise Cusack has been a guest of mine on the blog in the past, but I got a chance to actually meet with her and have a chat over the weekend, and she’s just lovely. We only touched base officially in the session where we were doing readings, along with Jo Spurrier and Danny Fahey, where we all bonded over the fact that pretty much nobody came to hear us. Oh well!
  • Jack Dann doesn’t need an introduction; he’s one of the giants of Australian speculative fiction. He was kind enough to moderate the panel on independent publishing. And he was really pleasant too.
  • Steven O’Connor is a YA writer who had his first novel lauded and launched by a major publisher who pulled the plug on the series before the sequel came out. Now he’s trying to get the rights back  while learning the ins and outs of independent e-publishing. He was a really nice chap who’s been thrown in at the deep end and he’s blogging about his learning process, which is a valuable thing and worth reading about.
  • Russell Farr is the founding editor of Ticonderoga Publications, who have really gained market in the last few years to become one of Australia’s biggest independent spec-fic publishers. He was on the indie publishing panel to give insight into the non-ebook, non-going-it-alone approach, and he was gracious, open to discussion and a real class act. I want to be in his books now.
  • Tor Roxburgh is a really interesting lady who decided to publish her fantasy novels herself and managed the entire process like a professional publisher, from hiring designers to picking paper stock and booking an international printer. I saw her book, The Light Heart of Stone, at the EWF’s Pages Parlour and it is indistinguishable from a big publisher’s product. I hope to lure Tor onto here to talk about this in the next month or two.
  • Sean Wright is a book blogger and reviewer from South Australia who’s been saying some very positive things about The Obituarist online. We hung out in a hallway after the independent publishing panel to chat about that and the differences in structure, narrative and audience engagement between crime and speculative fiction. Hopefully that’s a conversation we can continue online later.

These are cool people. You should check them out.

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