Book two first draft – complete!

So excited I’m bouncing around the room right now. I’ve finally reached the last word of the full draft of book two. My super awesome beta readers are going through it now with a fine toothed comb. May still be a couple of months before the book is released (depending on the scale of the rewrites required), but it’s significantly closer than it was yesterday.

So happy!

Happy.

=D

– B

“Here’s SpecFicNZ-Christchurch” – a blog interview by Helen Lowe

Helen Lowe, the author of the “Wall of Night” series, Gemmell Morningstar and Sir Julius Vogel Award winner, is currently running a blog series featuring Christchurch based speculative fiction writers.

This week it’s my turn!

It’s such a privilege to be a part of this series that includes such awesome Christchurch authors as Liz Gatens, Cat Langford, Kevin Berry and AJ Fitzwater. Make sure you check Helen’s blog out on coming Wednesdays to discover more local talent =D

Thank you Helen for the exposure!

Teenagers are an Alien Species – Free Writing Competition

Do you know any young writers (year 9 to 13 / between the ages of 12 and 18 years old) who would like to win personalized feedback from published authors on their work? Perhaps young artists or designers who would like to win design coaching and have their artwork featured as the cover for the upcoming Write Offline 2013 Anthology?

I’m really excited to have been invited by Lee Murray to judge the cover design part of Tauranga Writers’ 2013 NZ Secondary School annual writing competition and coach the winner toward perfecting the final cover.

The rules are as follows:

* Create an original piece of writing (short story, essay or poem) using the following sentence as the theme, title or as a line anywhere in the piece of writing: ‘Teenagers are an Alien Species’. Your piece of writing must be no more than 1500 words for prose and 300 words for poetry.

* Create an original piece of cover art using the following sentence as its theme: ‘Teenagers are an Alien Species’.

* Entry is Free and you may enter as many times as you like but all entries must be received by 12am (midnight) on Friday 28th June 2013.

If you want to find out more, check out the official website here and download the entry requirements. Make sure you submit it in the exact font, size etc that they’ve requested!

Good luck.

Helen Lowe and SpecFicNZ

I’m excited and feel incredibly privileged to be part of Helen Lowe’s upcoming “Here’s SpecFicNZ – Christchurch” mini blog series. All things going ahead as planned, it will start next Wednesday (24th of April) and feature Christchurch Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors.

There is some fantastic talent here in Christchurch, so make sure to check this out and discover just how many local authors we have!

Meaning of life

Those of you who know me fairly well will be aware my Grandfather died recently. To me, he was calm, wiry humor, tight hugs and unquestioning support. Although I didn’t get to know him as well as I might have liked, I always admired him and wanted to make him proud.

I’ve always been a very driven person and losing someone close to me made me so much more aware, as I’m sure it does for most people, that you never know how much time you have. I get scared sometimes, thinking what if I die tomorrow? What if I’m just suddenly gone and I haven’t achieved anything worth remembering…

Lol. What if everyone hates me for never finishing my book series?

It’s taken me a while to process everything, but I realized that wanting to be remembered is silly. I mean, practically speaking, perhaps my friends and children might remember me, even my grandchildren, but given enough time and enough generations, everyone is forgotten… or turned into legends that bear no resemblance to the real people anyway (I doubt I’m legend material).

My grandfather’s life meant different things to the different people who’s lives he touched, but for my part, I’m proud to say he was my grandfather. He lived with integrity and courage. He loved my grandmother and all his children and grandchildren, and we loved him in return. I have no question that his life was full and complete and you know what? I think that’s enough.

So whether I live to twenty five or ninety five, if I’ve lived with integrity and love, the rest is just a bonus.

Thank you for being awesome Grandpa ❤

My first assignment

Dear Papa,

I’m not sure if you’re out there or if this message will ever reach you, but you said once that all I had to do was whisper to the stars and wherever you were, you’d hear me. It seems a bit fanciful for a Narian my age to believe children’s stories like that, but the truth is, I miss you. I can’t talk to Mikael about it. He still blames you for everything that happened.

We’re Junior Field Researchers on our first assignment now. The planet is called V107-G. It was claimed as an experimental world a few years after you… left. Mother set up the program here, her last job as a Field Lead before setting off to the uncharted territories with the exploratory research team.

The experimental conditions are fairly standard. We’re looking at social development in a human society with a gender-power imbalance. The techs provided us with a genetically altered sample which will block male humans ability to manipulate the ‘magic’ bubble around this planet. Within a couple of generations, there will be genetic mutations allowing males to use magic of course, but it will be interesting to track their progress.

I hacked the deity set-up protocol after mother left and changed the standard names to Mikael and mine. I know it’s silly, but I like hearing them pray to me and talk about me as if I’m watching. I swear it makes me more productive. I’d get so bored otherwise.

Did you ever study magic Papa? Even though it’s an official part of our experiment, I don’t really understand it. Why does physics break down in these bubbles, but nowhere else? When I heard we were going to work on this assignment, I tried to study up on magic, but the database is pretty sketchy on the subject. Don’t you think that’s strange? Why, after tens of thousands of cycles, has the Narian Collective not made a more complete study of the most mysterious phenomena in the Universe?

Ah well, I have a hundred cycles (at least) to ponder the matter. Wherever you are, I hope you’re well.

If you do get this message, please send something back. Even if it’s just small, it would mean so much to know you’re out there listening.

Love always,

Maat

*Maat’s journals are not official canon and are subject to change without notice (as I work out the finer details of my timeline). They will also turn up out of order. At some point, I hope to put them together in a collection as an eBook / physical book.

Hope you enjoy!

New Cover for Book Two

After a very productive photoshoot this weekend, I have a first draft of the cover for book two, and I’m excited. Having a cover makes the whole book feel much more tangible! Huge thank you to Kath Doig, my beautiful model on the front, and Alex Robinson, who provided a very manly silhouette!

WH_Cover1_small

My first 100%

The progress bars seem to be helping! I got my first 100% today after going through all my major characters and working out what their story lines were all about. Each character was described in a single word (e.g. Tasya – Courage) and then a single sentence (A handmaid, suddenly crowned queen, finds the courage to lead her people). Then I wrote down where that character is at the beginning of the book, what the major turning points in their story are, what their ultimate challenge (or climax) is and how their story is resolved.

I’m hoping this road map will help me look at the overall plot of books two (and three) and have a much clearer idea of where I’m going.

Wish me luck!

– B