Conflux 2012

It’s Conflux time again. I love going to Conflux, as it always has a great vibe. Always a very friendly con. (Next year, Conflux is NatCon, so that should be extra exciting!) But in the meantime, we’ll all be in Canberra again this coming weekend, so join us. Jooiiiinnn uuuuuusssssss!

I’ll be conducting a seminar on Friday afternoon, with the very talented Ian McHugh. We’ll be talking about getting the details right in your fiction, from fighting to scene-setting to character description and more. Then I’ll be on a few panels over the weekend:

Saturday 10am – 11am: What makes a good fantasy / sf / horror story? with Sue Isle, Ian McHugh and myself.

Saturday 11am – noon: Story and Plot Structure in Superhero Comics with Rob Hood, Conor Bendle, Lewis Morley and myself.

Saturday 2pm – 3pm: The art of scene and mood setting in dark speculative fictionwith Tracey O’Hara,
Lily Mulholland and myself.

Sunday 9am – 10am: Writing dialogue workshop with myself and Rik Lagarto.

Sunday 3.15pm – 4.15pm: Readings : Alan Baxter and Ian McHugh. I’ll read from my novella, The Darkest Shade Of Grey, I think.

Also, on Saturday Night from 7 pm onwards at Smiths Alternative Bookshop there are no less than Five books launches! Launched by Conflux MC, Jack Dann, we have:

Jodi Cleghorn (editor) – From Stage Door Shadows;

Gillian Polack – Ms Celllophane (e-book);

Craig Cormick – Time Vandals;

Tor Roxburgh – The Light Heart of Stone;

Greg Mellor – Wild Chrome.

I have a story in the From Stage Door Shadows anthology, and will probably read a bit of it at the launch.

So it looks like a busy and fun time will be had. Obviously, as usual with cons, at any times not listed above you’ll find me in the bar, drinking and carousing. Come and say hello!


Stories like buses

I’m very pleased to say that I’ve just sold my short story, Crossroads & Carousels, to The Red Penny Papers. It’ll be out in October in their fall issue, and available online from here: If they sound familiar, they should. Apart from the fact that they’re awesome, they also published my supernatural noir novella, The Darkest Shade Of Grey, which is still available online or in all ebook formats. Click the cover in the sidebar for more details on that.

It’s been a funny old year for me with publications. I’ve had two gluts of releases with an arid desert of nothing in between. Between February and April this year I had five original stories published and one reprint. Obviously, those things were written and sold across a wide spread of time. The wait from sale to publication can vary massively. For example, I’ve sold a story that has taken more than a year to see publication, and sold another story months later that hit print within weeks. Publishers and editors all work to a wide variety of schedules. It usually means that things come out spread neatly across the year, but not in 2012. After one rush of publications in February, March and April, nothing of mine has seen print (or pixel) since.

Until now, where I’ve got three things coming out within a few weeks of each other. My depression-era story based on the Tiny Dancer lyric, “Jesus freaks, out in the street”, which is part of the Shadows At The Stage Door anthology, is being launched at Conflux this weekend (be there – a post about that is forthcoming).

Then my story, Cephalopoda Obsessia, is coming out in the Bloodstones anthology in time for Halloween. It’s a great line-up in that book, so I’m excited to read it.

And now Crossroads & Carousels is coming out in The Red Penny Papers Fall edition, due around the end of October. I’m really pleased this story has a home. I’ve always wanted to write a Devil-at-the-crossroads tale, and this is it. I’ve also combined that idea with an homage to one of my favourite songs, so I think I’m pretty clever and you can’t tell me otherwise, so shut up.

Publications like buses, nothing for ages, then three come along at once.


Industry IQ seminar: Going Indie: inside self-publishing – Saturday 22 September

If you’re going to be around Brisbane this weekend and you have an interest in self-publishing, you should try to get along to this event. I’m very pleased to be presenting alongside Sally Collings and Graham Nunn, where we’ll be talking all about the ins and outs of self-publishing and chatting about our own publication journeys. Regular readers here will know that I’ve dabbled in a variety of forms of self-publishing, as well as being traditionally published. Some of my self-published work is now traditionally published, and other stuff I’m happy to keep publishing on my own. Hopefully I can give a decent overview of my experience and be useful to anyone who comes along.

As far as I can tell, we should have a good mix of fiction, poetry and non-fiction experience between us. As the blurb says:

Demystify the world of self-publishing with this seminar that examines the issues and process of self-publishing. Explore the process of making and selling books, editing and manuscript development, marketing and author platforms with these industry professionals who have taken the leap into self-publishing.

Here are all the details:

Going Indie: Inside Self-Publishing

Presented by Alan Baxter, Sally Collings, Graham Nunn

Date: Saturday September 22

Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 1.B, Ground Floor, State Library of Queensland, Cultural Centre, Stanley Place, South Brisbane


Full Price $50

Concession $45

QWC Members $30

QWC Member Concessions $27

Further details about the event and the presenters, and booking forms, can be found by clicking here.

I hope to see you there. I’ll be around a little bit before the event and sticking around for a little while afterwards, so do come and say hello.

EDIT: Venue corrected.


Ellen Datlow – gatekeeper

Ellen Datlow is one of the best editors in the business. I’ve got enormous respect for her, and the books she puts out are always excellent. I was also honoured that she gave one of my stories (Punishment Of The Sun from the Dead Red Heart anthology (Ticonderoga Publications)) an Honourable Mention in her latest Year’s Best. Someone pointed out this YouTube video to me, and I had to share it. It’s a fascinating one minute of film. Look at all those stacks of books! Look at all those Hugos! With science fiction “you can sneak in and corrupt them.” Brilliant. Enjoy.