Alan is an author living on the south coast of NSW, Australia. He writes dark fantasy, sci fi and horror, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. Read his short stories, novella and novel extracts at his website – www.alanbaxteronline.com – and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.
1. You’ve published two novels through Blade Red Press – could you tell us a little about your publishing journey and the press itself?
My first book, RealmShift, scored me an agent and all the good stuff and was then shopped around the publishing houses. It almost got picked up by one, then turned down at the eleventh hour. By that time I decided I’d had enough of that side of things and just got on with writing MageSign. Then I discovered the virtually free option of self-publishing with Print On Demand technology.
So, to test the waters, I put RealmShift out that way. It got great reviews and sold modestly well. So then I set up Blade Red Press using a cheaper and more professional model, cutting out the author service middle-man and going direct to the POD printer to get better cover prices. I used a more stringent editing process and re-released RealmShift along with MageSign. Both books have done pretty well. (Interestingly, I’m currently in negotiation with someone regarding both books, but I can’t say more at the moment. Ooh, mysterious!)
Blade Red is also currently working on its first anthology of dark spec-fic. We’ve got 14 great stories from 14 quality authors (including three Aussies) and are editing those right now. The book should be out around April or May, so watch my blog or the Blade Red website for news on that as it happens.
To be honest I think it’s got to be actually finishing two novels. And I’m under way with a third. Especially as I learn more about the writing world and the struggle some people have to complete a novel length work, I’m more and more pleased that I’ve managed to write two novels that people really enjoy reading. I know I’m small time and would love to grow, but getting emails or Tweets from people that have enjoyed the books is just awesome.
3. What’s your long-term goal for Alan Baxter? What would you like to achieve in the next two-five years in your writing?
Long term goal? Be bigger than Neil Gaiman! Actually, I’m not sure I would really like that, although I’d love the paycheque. Short term, I’ve been working hard at the short fiction thing lately. It doesn’t come easy to me. I’ve had some measure of publishing success there, but I’d love to make some good semi-pro and pro sales with short fiction. And I plan to finish my third novel and test the traditional publishing waters again. Frankly, I just want to keep writing and get published as much as possible!
4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?
Paul Haines. His novella ‘Wives’ in the X6 Anthology blew me away. It was far and away the best thing I read last year and it really deserved the Aurealis. Shame he had to share that gong with that self-centered hack, Paul Haines, but there you go. I’d love to see him score a Hugo – it would be well deserved.
5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to about it?
I will be there, yes. I’m going to be a few panels too, it turns out. To be honest, I’m looking forward to the size of it. I know they say that size isn’t everything, but I’ve never been to a Worldcon before, so I’m really keen to get a feel for the big deal in con going.
This interview was conducted as part of the 2010 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from Monday 15 February to Sunday 22 February and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:
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