Spring has sprung and I have too

Holla folks,

It’s going to be one of those annoying broundup-of-stuff-I’ve done-or-am-going-to-do posts, because I’ve been busy being AMAZING WRITER GUY  lately, in that way that you can be AMAZING WRITER GUY without doing much in the way of actual writing.

You know, like this guy.

What have I been doing?

  • I was a guest on the Romance Writers of Australia email list for a few days, answering questions about ebooks because people keep asking me such things. That was great fun! The email format gave me room to explore answers in more depth, and the questions pushed me to do some reading and research so I could get things right. Romance writers are great to work with; they’re really focused on the business of writing while still loving their genre and their stories. If only my heart wasn’t a lump of coal.
  • On the subject of ebooks, I had a bit of a chinwag with the guys at The Crime Factory about Kindle formatting and file conversion. They paid me with beer. I heartily endorse the alcohol-based economy that is at the heart of the small press publishing industry.
  • There was the Melbourne Writers Festival! But I didn’t really attend, because writers’ festivals of this kind don’t do a lot for me. I made an exception for Twelfth Planet Press’ launch of their Twelve Planets range of anthologies, which was great. It’s a terrific series, with work by an amazing variety of Australian writers including Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti, Cat Sparks, Kirstyn McDermott and many others. Plus the launch included a reading by Jason Nahrung from his novella Salvage, which I’m very keen to read. Plus plus I got to say hello to people I’d met at Continuum and then drink Sam Adams in the downstairs bar.
  • I got royalty payments from both Amazon and Smashwords, plus a nice big tax refund, all of which makes me feel a bit better about writing. Well, the tax refund was because I didn’t do much writing this year, but let’s not quibble.
  • I made pulled pork in the slow cooker. It was pretty boss.
  • And I’m still trying to work out why someone stole our front gate.

Have I been talking about myself?

  • Fuck yeah I have.
  • I mentioned last week that I was on the Read@UTS site talking about crime stories with Sean Riley and Pam Newton. And now I’m mentioning it again, because it was a really fun interview.
  • But not as much fun as the massive interview that I’ve been working on with Hugh Grimwade for the last few months. We’ve been trading emails and bon mots for ages, and now that we’ve finally finished he’s put the first instalment up on his blog, where we talk about when you decide you’re a writer and what the hell that means in the times you’re not writing. This was a hoot and a half, and there’s something like 5000 words in the three instalments – so if you read this blog but think that it just doesn’t have quite enough talk about me, well, get you hither to Mister Grimwade’s pad.

Read anything good?

  •  I read Volumes 4 and 5 of Locke and Key and the fact that I now have to wait for Volume 6 makes me want to scream and drink bleach in frustration. Jesus fuck, this series is so amazingly good.
  • I’ve just started Hari Kunzru’s Gods Without Men, and I mean that literally; I’m like four pages in. But so far they’re good pages.
  • There’s a very good review of The Obituarist over at Crime Fiction Lover. I read that a few times.

What next?

  • The big thing on my to-do list is this year’s Freeplay festival! I’ve attended this independent video games festival a couple of times, but this year I’ll be on a panel, talking about Sex and Death. Granted, I am not a writer or creator of video games, but I play them and have opinions about them and occasionally blog about when they say fucked-up things about gender and sexuality, so they asked me to come on the panel. I think I’m going to talk about Assassin’s Creed. Sort of.
  • Tomorrow night I’m going to the launch of Jay Kristoff’s new book Stormdancer, which is shaping up as the MONSTER hit of 2012. If you like your fantasy YA, Japanese-inspired, steampunk and really fucking well written, you need to read this book. And if you’re in the Melbourne CBD tomorrow night, the launch is at Dymocks. Come along! I’ll be the second-tallest guy in the room for once.
  • To fend off the tide of requests for an Obituarist sequel – it’s coming, I swear – I’ve started work on a stand-alone short story about Kendall Barber. No idea what to call it; I was toying with ‘Person of Pinterest’ but that doesn’t really work. Anyway, hoping to have that finished in the next couple of weeks, after which I’ll be giving it away COMPLETELY FREE on this blog and via Smashwords.
  • Also, playtesting the upcoming Atomic Robo RPG hells yeah this is going to be awesome DINOSAUR TO THE FACE

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