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Born in Canberra, Katie J Taylor attended Radford College, where she wrote her first novel, THE LAND OF BAD FANTASY, which was published in 2006. She studied for a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, and graduated in 2007 before going on to do a Graduate Certificate in Editing in 2008. K.J.Taylor writes at midnight and likes to wear black. The second book in her dark fantasy Fallen Moon trilogy, The Griffin’s Flight, is released in February 2010.

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1. You must have been excited to see your novel, The Dark Griffin, make the Best Fantasy Novel shortlist of the Aurealis Awards. Tell us about the experience of being a novelist with a major publisher.

I certainly was!

Well, honestly the experience of working with a publisher depends a lot on which publisher you’re dealing with. In my case I’ve worked with Scholastic, HarperVoyager, and the Penguin Group in the USA. Honestly, even if I’m not as experienced as most other authors out there, Voyager is the best publisher I’ve ever come across – not just in how they handle their books, but in how they treat their authors. With my first publisher, I felt like a client. With Voyager, I feel like “one of the gang”, with Voyager executives and other authors even turning up to post on my blog. Of course, with any sort of work related relationship there’s there fun stuff and then there’s the work itself, and every publisher does it a bit differently. For example, with my very first book there was just one editor to help me get the manuscript ready. Now there’s a whole team of them, and three different phases of editing to do. It takes time, of course, but really all you have to do is just knuckle down and get it done. Getting motivated is often the hardest part.   

2. You have burst onto the Australian scene in a blaze of glory with your dark fantasy series – what were you up to before The Dark Griffin brought you to our attention? Any advice for aspiring authors?

As I hinted before, Dark Griffin was actually my second published novel. The first one was The Land of Bad Fantasy, published by Omnibus in 2006. I wrote and published it while I was in my final years of high school. After that I went to university, and while I was studying for my degree (Bachelor of Communications, in case you’re curious) I wrote Dark Griffin.


Yes, I do have advice, but I’m afraid it’s not going to be that different from what most other authors say. Don’t self-publish, don’t flaunt your vocabulary, and don’t rush into trying to get published. There’s no age limit, no time limit, no restrictions. To begin with, just work on the writing itself. Worry about finding a publisher later, when you’re good and ready. Don’t do what I did and send out your talking mice epic when you’re 16 and haven’t figured out how to not rip off Indiana Jones. Because trust me, you’ll never stop feeling silly. 

3. What’s next for KJ Taylor? What would you like to achieve in the next five years?

Well, with the last book of the trilogy set to come out in August this year, my next goal will be to try and sell the next trilogy (Voyager stipulated they want all their books in threes. It’s just how they roll). Provided sales numbers don’t let me down (they’re looking good at the moment), I plan to keep on expanding my series with more books, including prequels, until I run out of ideas and have to move on to something else. But that doesn’t look like happening anytime soon, so I hope you like griffins!

4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?

Anything from Voyager would be good – what can I say? I’m a regular Voyager groupie by now. 

5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September?  If so, what are you most looking forward to about it?

I definitely will be! I bought my membership yonks ago. I’m really excited to meet all the other authors who will be there (I’ve got an autograph collection going too), especially my hero and role model, G.R.R.Martin. 

 


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:

http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

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2010 Snapshot: Simon Petrie

Simon Petrie is a Canberra-based scientist and short story writer whose fiction has appeared in ASIM, Aurealis (upcoming), Ticon4, Sybil’s Garage, and possibly the Journal of Physical Chemistry. Sales from his upcoming short-fiction collection will be used to fight extradition to Edinburgh, where he faces charges over the uniquely Scottish crime of upkilting.

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1. Please tell us about what you’ve published recently, and what we can expect from your forthcoming collection.

For a given value of ‘recently’… my most recent publication would be ‘The Day of the Carrot’, which as I type this appeared only yesterday on the Ticon4 website, and which I urge people to check out, because I think it’s one of my best. Moving further back in time, last year saw ‘Downdraft’ in Sybil’s Garage, a story with a 52-word title (which I’ll abbreviate here to ‘Postosuchus kirkpatricki’) in Murky Depths, ‘Single Handed’ in Kaleidotrope, ‘The Fall Guy’ in the CSFG Masques anthology, ‘Talking with Taniwha’ in Borderlands, ‘Sixes, Sevens’ in Escape Velocity, and a few others. These are a mix of comic pieces and more serious efforts, which in some respects surprised me a bit. By which I mean that I’d cottoned on fairly quickly to the idea that I could successfully write comic speculative fiction – I had a rush of early acceptances, from ASIM and a few other places – which encouraged me no end; but I was unsure whether I’d be able to cut it in the field of serious SF. Now I’m starting to think that maybe I can: there are the Rousseau stories (‘Downdraft’ and ‘Taniwha’) which seem to have been received quite well, and a couple of stories in upcoming Aurealis issues, and another which will be in the Destination: Future anthology (in a table of contents which also includes Elizabeth Bear, Mike Resnick, Sara Genge and several other notables – I’m still finding that a bit giddying).

The collection (which I should mention is called Rare Unsigned Copy: tales of Rocketry, Ineptitude, and Giant Mutant Vegetables, published by Peggy Bright Books, and due out in March) is a mixture of light and shade, or at least I hope so. People who are pun-averse should possibly steer clear of the three Gordon Mamon murder mysteries (‘Murder on the Zenith Express’, ‘Single Handed’, and ‘The Fall Guy’), but there’s also quite a bit of situational black comedy in stories like ‘Three-Horned Dilemma’, ‘To Arms’, and ‘Haystacks, Needles, Large Extinct Marine Reptiles’, a previously-unpublished tale of plesiosaurs, time travel, and a disastrously misplaced ham sandwich. And there are more serious, sometimes sombre stories such as ‘Downdraft’, ‘Surrogacy’, and ‘Trajectory’. All of these are interspersed with some of my flash fiction (about which I’m unapologetic: I like flash, and there are ideas for which it’s the natural word-length. Plus I still think ‘Tsiligup’, ‘Working Girl’, and ‘Highway Patroller’ are among the best things I’ve written). One of the things that really excites me about the collection is that it presents not only a fair proportion of previously-unpublished material, but also a group of stories which have previously appeared only in offshore small-press magazines and which are therefore likely to be new to most Australian spec-fic readers.  All up, it’s been a lot of fun assembling it, and I hope people enjoy it. (And, as a small-press short story collection, I reckon ‘Rare Unsigned Copy’ is the ideal name for it…)

2. Tell us a little about your experience working with the Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-operative – what have you learned about the Aussie scene from your time with ASIM?

The Aussie scene? It’s tight-knit, energetic, diverse, and very talented. I’ve been a member of the ASIM co-op for about three years now, and it’s been an excellent apprenticeship in the sense of offering experience across the gamut of small-press publishing tasks. There’s a lot of satisfaction in seeing the way that people work together to produce something they believe in, something which doesn’t offer any direct material reward but which does involve a very definite sense of accomplishment. ASIM is, I think, something which is bigger than the sum of its constituents: the founding members from 2001 are now in the minority, there’s a healthy number of talented newcomers, but the Andromeda Spaceways ethos, whatever it might be, is largely unchanged.

It’s been very rewarding to have had the opportunity to edit two issues myself, but in a sense the rewards of seeing newer co-op members pick up new and useful skills are even greater.  Because ASIM isn’t just about providing an outlet for excellent spec-fic, it’s also about maintaining a resource. Writers, publishers, and readers coexist in a symbiotic relationship: I’d say that most of the ASIM co-op members got into writing because they’re passionate about reading, and then got into publishing because they’re passionate about writing. ASIM is, of course, not the only Aussie fish in the small-press sea, but it is I think a fairly important one. People need to be able to see that local genre magazines, like ASIM and like Aurealis, can persist for 40+ issues, and can continue to play their part in uncovering new talent.

It hasn’t been just the co-op which has got me to this point: I’ve also learnt a lot from my involvement with the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (and lately from the fledgling SpecFicNZ group), from the minor organisational role I’ve played in Conflux for the past three years, and from my experience on Aurealis Award judging panels. But I think it’s reasonable to say that I still identify most strongly with ASIM, and it’s the organisation (if such a body can ever be described as ‘organised’) which has influenced my perspective the most.


3. So what’s next for Simon Petrie? Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Next? I’ve got a cluster of stalled half-written short stories, from which I’ll try to rescue the redeemable from the still-born. And sometime within the coming year I think I really need to decide whether I have a novel or two in me. It’s been three and a half years since I started writing seriously (this time around; I won’t count the false starts in decades past), and I’ve yet to write any stories that have topped the 10,000 word mark. I very much enjoy the freedom of the short-story form, and I don’t intend to stop writing short fiction as long as the ideas continue, but there’s a feeling that I should try my hand at a novel. Which is where I’ve perhaps made a rod for my own back: most of my published work so far has been comic, but the novel ideas I have (or at least, the ideas that feel as though they might possibly turn into something novel-length) tend to be more serious, and so might constitute a betrayal of expectations. But I’d like to do a novel set on Titan; I’d also like to explore the world of Rousseau in more detail, and both of those would be fairly straight-up serious stories, in each case following on from short stories I’ve already written in those settings. When I look at which of my comic stories might lend themselves to providing a novelistic starting-point, it’s more difficult. I don’t think Gordon Mamon has enough depth of character to carry a novel, though he could just possibly sustain a novella. But a Jelika Karlyle novel (and here I’ll need to direct you to the story ‘To Arms’, in Rare Unsigned Copy) would, I think, be a lot of fun.

Five years’ time? I’d like to be able to walk into a bookstore and have a fighting chance of finding something of mine on the shelf, whether it be a serious SF novel, a comic SF novel, or my second short-story collection (which, at this point, is likely to be called These Aren’t the Telephone Sanitisers You’re Looking For). I’d hope to be putting the finishing editorial touches to ASIM issue 70-odd, and maybe trying to find a publisher interested in bringing out a themed anthology I’d like to assemble. And I hope I’ll still be enjoying this writing lark as much as I am now.


4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?

Gosh. I’m not keen on picking favourites, because there’s more worthwhile stuff than would ever fit on the list. But, if you insist (and I can sense that you do):

For novella, I think Paul Haines’ ‘Wives’ certainly deserves to be there. In the short-story field, Ian McHugh’s ‘Once a Month, on a Sunday’ is a wonderful story (and, as ASIM 40’s editor, I was over the moon that it tied for the Fantasy Short Story category in the Aurealis Awards); I’d also thoroughly recommend Kathleen Jennings’ ‘The Splendour Falls’, from ASIM 41, and Cat Sparks’ ‘Seventeen’ from Masques. Sean Williams’ The Grand Conjunction should be at least an outside chance in the novel category. For anthology, I’d spruik Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse 3 as well as Krasnostein & Wessely’s New Ceres Nights. And I also think Edwina Harvey’s ‘SF Bullsheet’ deserves a guernsey in the fan-publication category.

There are other names I think should be up there, too. Margo Lanagan. Jason Fischer. Felicity Dowker. Peter M. Ball. Jo Anderton. Stephen Dedman. Geoff Maloney. Lee Battersby. Thoraiya Dyer. Et cetera.


5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September?  If so, what are you most looking forward to about it?

Yes, I will be at Aussiecon 4. It’ll be my first con outside of Canberra (I’ve been to Conflux 4, 5, and 6), so I really don’t know what to expect. But I’m hoping for the chance to meet a few overseas writers, publishers, and editors who’ve impressed me, as well as some locals that I haven’t encountered yet. Hoping, also, to introduce ASIM and Rare Unsigned Copy to a few new faces…

 

 


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:

http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

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2010 Snapshot: Alison Goodman

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Alison’s most recent novel is The Two Pearls of Wisdom which was published as EON: Dragoneye Reborn in the USA, and as EON: Rise of the Dragoneye in the UK. In January 2009, the novel won the 2008 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and recently it was listed as a James Tiptree Jr. Award Honour Book and a C.B.C.A Notable Book. To date, The Two Pearls of Wisdom/EON has sold into 13 countries.

1. The Two Pearls of Wisdom (published as EON: Dragoneye Reborn in the USA, and as EON: Rise of the Dragoneye in the UK) has received international acclaim since it was released. What has been the most exciting part of that journey for you?


There has been a lot of exciting parts of the journey, including a couple of international rights auctions, a twelve day US bookseller tour, and winning the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel. However, what really blew my mind was the EON advertisement that played on a huge electronic billboard in Times Square during the 2008/2009 Christmas and New Year period. My name was literally up in lights in Times Square!

 


2. Your novel releases to date are quite varied in genre – do you have a preferred genre to write in, or are you equally comfortable in any? Please explain!


I go where the story goes, so if the story I want to tell has elements of the fantasy genre or crime genre then I will explore the structures and conventions of that genre. I like to challenge myself when I write and so I’m probably a bit suspicious of ever getting comfortable within a genre – it would mean that the challenge had gone.

 


3. I’m very excited about the sequel to Two Pearls, due January 2011: have you any other projects in the works you can tell us about?


I have the next three books in mind – a new series in a new genre – but that’s all I’ll say (cue wicked laugh).

 


4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?


I have been so nose-down-rump-up writing EONA (the sequel to EON) that I’m completely out of the loop.  However, I am all for Aussie’s being shortlisted! Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy!

 


5. Will you be at Aussiecon 4 in September?  If so, what are you most looking forward to about it?


Yes, I’m paid up and can’t wait. I’m looking forward to chatting to other avid readers, meeting my favourite writers, catching up with friends, and of course PARTYING!


 


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:

http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

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2010 Snapshot: Lee Battersby

Lee Battersby is the Aurealis, Australian Shadows & Ditmar award-winning author of over 70 stories, with appearances in markets such as Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror Vol. 20, Year’s Best Australian SF & Fantasy Vol 3, Dreaming Again and Writers Of The Future Vol. 18. A collection of his work, entitled Through Soft Air is available at US publisher Prime Books. A prolific short story author, poet and teacher of writing, he lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby. He blogs at The Battersblog

1. You’ve recently been working on editing issue four of Midnight Echo. What can you tell us about the forthcoming project? Is this your first foray into editing? What do you enjoy most about it?
 

No, not my first foray.  When my wife Lyn edited an issue of ASIM I sub-edited for her after the person who was supposed to be subbing simply decided not to turn up for duty. Lyn’s issue (#11) was the first ASIM issue to win any sort of award. I think she did a brilliant job of it, and I enjoyed assisting her. When discussions between myself and Russell Farr led to the resurrection of Ticonderoga Online I became one of 4 editors along with Russell, Lyn and Liz Gryzb, and spent a long time organising the submissions procedures for the magazine, as well as editing an issue or two. I also briefly spent time as a submissions editor for Ideomancer a few years ago.
 
This is the first time since Tic-On that I’ve had sole responsibility for shaping an issue, and it’s something I wanted to do once more before I stepped away from the Australian SF small press for a while. What’s easily the most enjoyable aspect of the job is being able to unearth a new gem and give them some light—I’ve got a couple of new writers within ME4, and I love the fearlessness of what they’ve written. There’s a wide range of dark stories within this issue—from subtle, humanist horror through to weird and creepy wrongness— and I’m hoping that readers will get to experience some distinct and disturbing voices when it comes out in April.
 
 

2. What would we have seen published by Lee Battersby since the last Snapshot? What achievements are you most proud of since then?
 

I’ve not published a huge amount, to be honest. A lot of my time has been taken up with working on the new novel, and writing a screenplay for a film adaptation of Lyn’s short story The Memory of Breathing, which is under development with a Sydney-based production company. I’ve had a few small-press pieces published, as well as a story in the Jack Dann-edited anthology Dreaming Again. My favourite piece, however, would be Claws of Native Ghosts, an 11 000 word horror story set in the early days of the Western Australian colony, which combined lycanthropy, ancient megafauna, and Aboriginal spirituality. It won the Australian Shadows Award and should be seeing print again in the upcoming Year’s Best Horror & Dark Fantasy anthology from Brimstone Press. A lot of reviews commented positively on the way I managed to portray the Aboriginal elements, and given it’s something I hear authors say they deliberately avoid, I’m pleased that I seemed to have done, if not a brilliant job, then at least not an insulting one.
 
These days I’m usually most interested in how a project’s going to challenge me: writing in an unusual milieu, or for an exciting project—I participated in the Remix My Lit project, for example, where I wrote a story under a Creative Commons license and participants were then encouraged to remix it as they saw fit. It was a very rewarding experience, and with such small pay rates available in the small press, a sense of reward is the least a writer should expect.
 
 

3. I know you’ve been working on a novel or two – what can you tell us about your novel projects? What do you find most interesting about the differences between writing short and long fiction?
 

I have 2 novels that have reached the editing stage. Napoleone’s Land grew from learning that Napoleon Bonaparte, as a teenager, applied to be junior astronomer on a scientific expedition that landed in Botany Bay six weeks after the colony was established. He failed by one mark. I’ve taken that as a jumping-off point and written an alternative history in which he comes to the colony, jumps ship, and exercises his revolutionary zeal amongst the local inhabitants. I took a complete draft to several agents and received a lot of encouraging comments, and am about to sit down and work their advice into a further draft.
 
And I’ve just finished the first draft of Corpse-Rat King, an ‘anti-phantasy’ fantasy novel in which the hero gets killed before he gets sent out on his quest, and everyone says ‘fuck’ a lot more than they do in your standard Phat Phantasy tome 🙂  I could perhaps best describe it as a bitter romp with consequences. If all goes to plan, I should have both of them out into the wide world by the end of the year and have finished the first draft of something Lyn’s been nagging me to get underway for a long time—a Father Muerte novel. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas sorted out, and I just need to match them up to the narrative I’m beginning to filter out of my subconscious.
 
The most interesting difference, I’m finding, is the time needed to complete the project. I’ve become used to finishing several projects a year and seeing my name in print regularly. But I’ve barely done anything else in the last 18 months and I miss seeing my name attached to a magazine. I have to keep reminding myself that I began to write much more quickly as I learned the art of short story writing, and that the same thing will happen with novels. But I’m a black-hearted little egotist—I miss the shiny little buzz of regular magazine sales 🙂 
 
 

4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?
 

I’ll be honest: I’ve read very little Australian SF in the last couple of years and don’t have much of an idea what’s come out this year that might be eligible. My own reading and writing tastes are moving away from straight spec-fic, so I’m losing touch with the zeitgeist a little bit—I only touch base if I’ve written something that fits, and my reading is largely tangential to the genre: Chuck Palahniuk and Jonathan Lethem rather than Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman.
 
I think we have a select few writers who comfortably belong in any mention of writers operating at the top of our genre, but I don’t think that list is as long as most people think. Perhaps we’ll see a new face break out from being a purely local phenomenon to something larger. I know several who’d like to think they were ready for that breakout, but I can’t really say who will come to prominence. My own interests and projects aren’t heading in that direction at the moment.
 
 

5. I don’t think you’re heading to Aussiecon 4 in September, but I’m interested in your thoughts about Worldcon – what do you think it might do for the local spec fic scene?
 
I’m not going to Worldcon, no. I have a mortgage and 3 kids under my roof, and the prices are simply too exorbitant to justify the expense. Even if I had a spare 2 or 3 grand to spend on a 5 day trip, I’d have a hard time explaining why I didn’t spend it on silly little things like my mortgage or school fees…
 
I wasn’t around when the last Worldcon came to Melbourne in 1999, but I’m told that there was a real explosion in the number of magazines that came into being in the Con’s wake—from 2 or 3 in 1998 to 13 in 2003 when I started to get published regularly. A lot of writers got a good grounding in that period, and I expect the same thing will happen again, as a lot of locals become enthused by what they see and want to be a part of it. If it results in a new Paul Haines or Deb Biancotti coming to light, then that’s no bad thing. It should be noted, however, that of all those magazines that came into being, very few are still alive—Fables & Reflections is gone, as is Borderlands. Agog has shut down, Potato Monkey is gone…. Off the top of my head, only ASIM has lasted the distance, and it’s fair to say that it has a quite unusual business structure and has cycled through a fair few members in the meantime. To last as long as it has, in a marketplace as small as ours, is a heck of an achievement.
 
But anyone who’s been around long enough will say that SF is cyclic, and I’m sure that the event will kick off a new cycle. Birth and rebirth is necessary for the health of the industry.


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:

http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

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2010 Snapshot: Alan Baxter

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.

2. In your eyes, what’s your biggest writing-related accomplishment to date? Why was this so important to you?

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:

http://random-alex.livejournal.com/
http://girliejones.livejournal.com/
http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/
http://www.mechanicalcat.net/rachel
http://tansyrr.com/
http://editormum.livejournal.com/

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

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