Graced by Amanda Pillar – Guest Post

A big thank you to the Warrior Scribe, Alan Baxter, for posting this blog entry on my debut novel, Graced! [Aw, shucks! You’re welcome. – Alan]

Graced by Amanda Pillar
Graced by Amanda Pillar

Graced is an urban fantasy story that follows the journey of four diverse characters; it features vampires, weres, humans and a race called the Graced.

But, rather than another synopsis, I thought I’d share some of the background research that helped me develop the Graced universe!

  • It could take only 10,000 years for evidence of a society of our technological level to disappear and become nothing more than archaeological ruins
  • Blue eyes do not have blue pigmentation to make them blue
  • Speciation is occurring all the time in nature; there are animals even now in our world that are evolving new adaptations (the Australian yellow-bellied three-toed skink is changing from laying eggs to having live young)
  • Gun powder was originally developed in China and used for fireworks
  • The general ranking of the English peerage was King/Queen, Duke/Duchess,  Marquis/Marchioness, Earl/Countess, Viscount/Viscountess, Baron/Baroness
  • The colour of mourning varies from culture to culture in today’s world (red, white and black among other colours are worn)
  • Marriage was often once a political alliance, rather than an exclamation of love
  • Eye colour inheritance isn’t the simple four step process we were taught in school eg a brown (B) eyed parent, and a blue (b) eyed parent equals BB, Bb, Bb, bb. It actually does not.
  • Aside from dire wolves having a dramatic name, it was the largest canis species although it has been extinct for at least 10,000 years. Grey wolf males on average weigh up to 45 kgs.

So while the above points may have had a hand in the development of the Graced world, not all of them are apparent in the book. But that’s the beauty of world-building. All of these things helped shape Dante, Elle, Clay and Anton’s world.


Amanda_small-1Amanda Pillar is an award-winning editor and author who lives in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two cats, Saxon and Lilith.

Amanda has had numerous short stories published and has co-edited the fiction anthologies Voices (2008), Grants Pass (2009), The Phantom Queen Awakes (2010), Scenes from the Second Storey (2010), Ishtar (2011) and Damnation and Dames (2012). Her first solo anthology, Bloodstones (2012), was published by Ticonderoga Publications. Amanda is currently working on the sequel, Bloodlines, due for publication in 2015.

Amanda’s first novel, Graced, was published by Momentum in 2015.

In her day job, she works as an archaeologist.


US Amazon search still being a dick

So Amazon US are still being weird about showing the Alex Caine books in searches. All the other stores are fine, just the biggest one being a dick. We have no idea why and my publisher is trying to fix it (and it’s not only my books, so there’s that at least.) Meanwhile, here are the direct links for all three, and BOUND is still currently FREE:

BOUND: Alex Caine #1

OBSIDIAN: Alex Caine #2

ABDUCTION: Alex Caine #3

Please feel free to spread this post far and wide. Thanks!


The year that was and the year to come.

I posted this on my Facebook page and then decided to copy it here too. Mainly it’s for my own reference – a reminder of successes to buoy me up in those times of doubt and rejection. Because those doubt and rejection times are the norm, while successes are infrequent beacons that flare now and then. That’s normal and with any luck the successes will continue to occur and only get bigger and better. Meanwhile, it’s important to celebrate not only those successes you’ve had, but also the work you’ve put in. So here’s my writing year in review:

My writing and publishing stats are pretty good for this year. In 2014 I had three novels published (The Alex Caine Series – Bound, Obsidian and Abduction), one novelette (The Darkness in Clara, SQ Mag 14), and six short stories. Four new short stories are sold and due for publication during 2015, so I’ve already got a jump on the year to come!

I have five short stories currently out on submission, two of which are shortlisted, and I’ve got a novella out on submission with my agent.

For 2015 I have one novel “finished” that I will redraft when I hear back from a beta reader and then send that to my agent. I have another novel started that I will finish in the first half of the coming year. And I’ll certainly write and submit some more short stories. I also have plans for another novel that’ll get started at some point and hopefully finished in first draft before the end of the year. I intend to write at least one new novel every year along with as many shorts/novelettes/novellas as I have time and inspiration for.

Goals for 2015 include seeing Obsidian and Abduction in print in Australia, all three Alex Caine novels in print globally and at least six published short stories. I’d also love to see the latest novel, after a final polish, sold in 2015. Even published by year’s end if I’m lucky. The same goes for the novella currently with my agent.

So I’m staying busy and will continue to work my butt off.

Thanks to everyone who’s bought and read my work in 2014. I plan to do even better in 2015. Happy new year to you all, and may you exceed all your goals and achieve your wildest dreams.


Kiama Library Q&A on Tuesday 18th November

The ongoing Bound train continues to roll and next week I’ve got a hometown appearance. I’ll be at Kiama Library talking about writing, the Alex Caine Series and answering questions and all that stuff. Here are the relevant details:

6pm Tuesday 18th November

Bookings essential – call (02) 4233 1133

7 Railway Parade,
Kiama NSW 2533


Copies of Bound will be available for purchase and signing, or if you already have a copy, bring it along if you’d like it signed.

So if you’re a local like me, or near enough to get to the lovely harbour town of Kiama, do come along. Might I suggest you arrive early and have some fantastic fish and chips for dinner down at the harbour, before walking around the library for 6pm. You know, I might even do it that way myself. Look forward to seeing you there.

Click the image below for a bigger version:



Not the Worst of Sins podcast at Tales to Terrify

My Ditmar Award-nominated story, Not the Worst of Sins, from Beneath Ceaseless Skies Magazine, is up at one of my favourite podcasts, Tales To Terrify. I’m so pleased to have a story there.

Lawrence Santoro, the original host of Tales To Terrify, read the story in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and wrote to me asking if he could have it narrated for his podcast. Of course, I said yes!

It’s so very sad that Larry died so unexpectedly. It makes this appearance of my story a bittersweet thing. But Stephen Kilpatrick has done a great narration for it, which makes me happy. It starts at 57.30, after the Lights Out documentary piece. Go listen! And subscribe to Tales to Terrify while you’re there. It really is one of the best fiction podcasts on the web.

Here it is: