So, so, SO thrilled to share the full cover for the AUS/NZ version of WHISPER, releasing internationally in May 2018!
How stunning is it!!!!
And, even cooler, for a side-by-side look at both covers, check this out:
I am honestly SO EXCITED for this book to be released next year! You have NO IDEA!!!
I’ve decided that I’m going to attempt a monthly “This is what’s been happening in my world” update (mostly sticking to writing stuff, but also anything else exciting, too). So to kick this off, here are some of the things I got up to in the month of September:
First off, and VERY exciting, was that I got to announce that I have not one, not two, but THREE books coming out next year. Graevale (the fourth book in The Medoran Chronicles) will be coming out in February, Whisper (the first book in my new YA series) will be coming out in May, and We Three Heroes will be coming out in September — kind of a #4.5 book for The Medoran Chronicles (three novellas told from the perspectives of the main character’s best friends, D.C., Jordan and Bear). If you missed it, you can watch the trailer here:
Soon after being able to share about We Three Heroes, I had another exciting announcement — the US cover reveal for Whisper (which you can find on Goodreads here)! I’ve been working with the incomparable Kate Egan on this one (the editor of The Hunger Games) and I’m SO EXCITED for May 1st when it will be releasing simultaneously in US/CAN (through KCP Loft) and AUS/NZ (through Pantera Press). The AUS/NZ cover reveal is coming soon, but for all my US/CAN readers, here’s what you can expect to see in bookstores:
Other than sharing exciting news, this month has been crazy-busy when it comes to actual writing work. Not only did I go through the first round of typeset proofreading on Graevale, but I also completed the structural edits for We Three Heroes. On top of that, I’m pretty sure it was early September when I did my final read-through of Whisper, too. So I’ve been juggling multiple projects and it’s been INSANE (but in the BEST way).
Also! Another seriously cool thing that happened this month (and admittedly, other times besides) is all the INCREDIBLE fan art that was sent my way. If you follow my social media (especially my Instagram account), you’ll see that I often re-post fan art in bundles once it’s started to build up a bit. But here are just a few that I want to show from an artist named Jodie in Western Australia who has been having some fun with my characters. *Please note that only some of these scenes have happened in the books, while others are more wishful thinking and at the artist’s discretion:
This is a scene from Raelia where Kaiden and Alex are dancing at D.C.’s birthday:
This is also a scene from Raelia (after Sir Oswald’s disastrous dinner party):
HOW AMAZING ARE THOSE PICS!!!!! If you want to see more from Jodie, then be sure to follow her Instagram account (@jmaz_art). She also has a Red Bubble page where you can purchase some of her pics (or request others) and/or have them put on mugs or pillows or phone cases or stickers, etc.
Truly, I’m so honoured and humbled whenever ANY artist takes the time to bring my characters to life (whether in wishful or actual scenes), so THANK YOUUUUUU to all the amazing people out there who do so!! (FYI, I can barely manage a stick figure, so my envy knows no bounds!!)
I think that’s about it when it comes to writerly updates. As for any actual reading, as you can see, I’ve been a tad busy with multi-book editing, so there hasn’t been that much time to enjoy any other books. BUT I also had my birthday earlier this month and took a few days off, which meant of COURSE I had to read a book (or three). My favourite would absolutely have to be Sarah J. Maas’s Tower of Dawn, for a lot of reasons, but partly because I’m a critique reader for Sarah so I actually read ToD about 6ish months before it was released, so it was just an absolute pleasure to re-read it and see how the final version came together. This book — I have no words. I loved the early draft (which is saying a lot since, going into it, I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character that ToD focuses on) and I can honestly say the published novel is beyond 11/10. If you haven’t tried any of Sarah’s books yet, I can’t recommend them highly enough!!
Other than reading, if I had the chance for any downtime, I found myself watching the last few episodes from season 5 of Chicago Fire (THAT ENDING = GASP!!), the second season of Killjoys, the oddly addictive (and oh-so-fascinating on a human behavioural perspective) Lucifer, and the seriously awesome second season of Shooter.
As for movies, I watched The Shack (omigosh the tearrrrrrsssss — Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer are BRILLIANT in it!!) as well as The Mummy (erm, no comment other than to say I MUCH prefer the original), Snatched (which was actually super entertaining, and I’m not usually a huge Amy Schumer fan), and Hidden Figures (which was just perfect). OH! I also watched A Dog’s Purpose, from which I’m still traumatised, and Baywatch, which also left me traumatised (but for different reasons).
Jeez, it looks like I did a LOT of watching this month — but, again, I took a few days off for my birthday, so most of all that was earlier in September. The latter weeks were basically spent in front of my laptop, buried in words, or walking up hills, mountains, and staircases in preparation for doing fun things like hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on my upcoming epic NZ holiday in 4 weeks! (EEEEE, so excited!!)
Until next time!
This is an appreciation post to highlight the wonderful work of my Australian proofreader, Desanka Vukelich, who I’ve worked with on three of my four Medoran Chronicles books. I’m currently going through her edits of Graevale, the fourth book in the series, and gah, she’s just so amazing!
The thing is, when you write a novel, there are a LOT of words involved. Sentences, paragraphs, sooooo many places where mistakes can slip by unnoticed. And truthfully, there’s probably not a book in existence that doesn’t have some kind of mistake (the trick is to have it be so engrossing that readers don’t notice those mistakes, or if they do, they don’t care). But while errors in printed books are almost always inevitable, you still want to have as few as possible. That’s why authors really need to be able to trust their proofreaders, since those proofreaders are, essentially, the final line of defence.
To be perfectly honest, it actually scares me a little every time I receive a proofread manuscript and see just how many mistakes Desanka has managed to uncover. I mean, she only ever sees the manuscript AFTER all the editing stages (structural edits, copy edits, line edits, ALL THE EDITS), so in most cases, many eyes have already checked (and re-checked) for problems. So when there are STILL problems, it just really brings home how integral it is to have a professional (and experienced!!!) proofreader checking things right until the very end. (She even looks over my ‘Acknowledgements’ section!)
Will there still be errors in the printed version? Probably. I mean, hopefully not, but when we’re playing with around 130,000 words (give or take), the chances are pretty high that something might still slip through the cracks. But just think of how many more mistakes there would be WITHOUT an amazing proofreader?
All I can say is that I’m so incredibly grateful to Desanka and her meticulous eye when it comes to my books, and I hope I get to work with her on many more projects in the future!!
I wish I could give multiple examples of the (sometimes hilarious) mistakes she’s found, but for fear of revealing Graevale spoilers, I’ll just share this one. It’s only a simple typo, but I actually laughed out loud when I realised how it would have read if she hadn’t flagged it:
… Because everyone wants their clothes to be insulted, right? LOL! (And oops!!)
As far as I’m aware, Desanka actually works freelance, so for any writers who might be on the hunt for an amazing proofreader, be sure to check out her website here.
Oh, wow! I just saw that I have 10,034 followers on my website/blog!!!!! That is absolutely INSANE!!! You guys are the absolute BEST and I’m so ridiculously honoured (and humbled) to have so many people interested in the words I share! HUGS FOR EVERYONE!!! xoxo
It likely comes as no surprise that I’m not wonderful when it comes to making decisions. I mean, there are just so many options to consider, even with things that should be simple, like being asked my favourite colour. (Am I wearing it? Looking at it? Is it for a car or a house or for something artistic? What mood am I in, or what mood do I want to be in? Etc., etc., etc.)
Due to my inability to give a straight answer, the following video clip with me responding to a “This or That” game (filmed while I was at Sydney Writers’ Festival last month), is somewhat hilarious. You’ve been warned!
While I was at Sydney Writers’ Festival just over a week ago, the lovely Kaysia (@bookskay) interviewed me, asking all kinds of questions about The Medoran Chronicles, Whisper, future projects, and random author-y stuff. There’s also a bloopers section at the end, which is hilaaaarious. Honestly, this interview was so much fun — enjoy! xx
Phew! What an insane week!
To start with, the Sunshine Coast book launch for DRAEKORA (the third book in The Medoran Chronicles) was last Tuesday night. It was held at Collins Booksellers in Caloundra and turned out to be such a magical night! I posted photos on my Facebook page, but here’s just a few of the highlights:
^^^ So many people that they were spilling out the doors!
^^^ Chatting up a storm.
^^^ Signing, signing, signing.
^^^ Multitasking (signing and chatting) is a skill I’ve come to appreciate!
Overall, it was such a wonderful night! Here’s a quick rundown of how I felt straight afterwards:
Following on from my Sunshine Coast book launch, I was supposed to have a Brisbane launch on last Thursday, but thanks to Cyclone Debbie deciding to shut down the whole of Queensland (*sigh*), schools and workplaces and everything else were closed and/or cancelled for the day. So due to the miserable (and dangerous) weather, we had to postpone the event. Such a shame, since soooo many people put soooo much planning into making this event fantabulous (not to mention, soooo many disappointed readers who were planning on coming along), but it was better to be safe than sorry, and we’ll hopefully be able to choose another date soon and have a belated launch party (because there’s still cake to be had!!!). More news on the rescheduled time coming soon!
Friday morning had me freaking out and checking in with the airlines every thirty seconds (not really) because my early morning flight to Sydney was cancelled (thanks, Debbie *sigh again*), but the amazing Maddy from Pantera Press managed to get me on a later flight and, after chilling at the airport for an hour delay where I may have broken out in hives at the fear that it would be cancelled, too (not really — to the hives, but I was a tad concerned), I was finally in the air on my way to Sydney!
After a brief drop-in at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School, I had the chance to have a quick catch up with one of my amazing critique readers, Jenna, who flew in from Adelaide that day for the launch events (awwww), and here’s a perfect example of how hilarious (*cough* crazy *cough*) the two of us are (and also note that this is only the second time I’ve actually met her in person, and I may not actually remember the first time *awkward guilty shuffle*):
As you can imagine, we had a fabulous time catching up, and then after parting ways, I met up with another amazing friend of mine, Ineke, who also happens to be the literary manager of Supanova Pop Culture Expo. (She got more than she bargained for when she first invited me as a stranger to come along as a guest in 2015 — I’m now like a fungus she can’t get rid of, haha.) The two of us had a delicious dinner in China Town and then we went to see the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie — and IT WAS AMMMAAAZZZINNNNG!!!!
I think I got back to my hotel just before midnight, and then suddenly it was Saturday and all the real crazy-crazy began. Three events were planned for the day: an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ for competition winners to come along and spend an hour with me (and drink Dillyberry Juice!!), followed by a Q&A at Galaxy Bookshop, and then lastly a YA Bookmeet at Dymocks Books.
Honestly, I had no idea how the day was going to play out, I was just excited to be a part of it. But nothing — nothing — could have prepared me for how insanely massive the events ended up being!! The meet and greet was a really nice, cool, casual start to the day — a warm up, really, for what was to come. Since numbers were capped to keep it exclusive, it was close and cosy. But then, by the time we got to the Q&A… well, my mind was blown by how many people were there. And wow! The questions!! Some of them were so awesome and creative!! (For example: if my main characters each had one Disney song to depict their lives, what would those songs be? THAT was fun!)
The signing after the Q&A was hectic — as in, hectic — but I loved every second, and then I was whisked away to have a quick moment to breathe before the Dymocks event. Our plan was to arrive at Dymocks and disappear upstairs to the cafe for that quiet moment, and we had to do that sneakily since when we arrived in the store (about 45 mins before the event was due to start), we were told it was already packed out! (Cue my massive freak out!)
Time whizzed by and suddenly I was headed downstairs to the area where the Bookmeet was taking place (running into Ali Green, the amazing CEO of Pantera Press, along the way — YAY!), and then it was allllllll happening. The wonderful Emily from Dymocks (founder of the “YA Bookmeet”) had to part the crowd for us to get through the aisles (!!), and then she and I were seated up the front of the masses where she began her interview (*cough* interrogation *cough*).
Honestly, we had the absolute BEST time. Five days later and my cheeks are still hurting from laughing so much. Emily has a memory like an elephant and recalls me saying things from the last two years that I have zero recollection of, which made everything even more hilarious. The whole thing was such a blast! And it was made even better by some surprises, like my author friend, Maria Lewis, being there to support me (AND SHE GAVE ME DISNEY SHOES AND TIGHTS!!); a stack of bookstagramers and book bloggers who I’ve become friends with over the last two years being there (including the lovely Kaysia from @Bookskay, the wonderful Catriona from @LittleBookOwl, and a whole host of others all of whom I adore); an unexpected visit from an old friend who I hadn’t seen in over ten years (I legit did a double-take when I saw him up that back and I’m pretty sure I stuttered whatever question I was answering, so shocked as I was, haha); and Supanova Live TV coming to “crash the book launch” (which you can watch here). There were soooo many other amazing things that happened, too (including being allowed to announce that Pantera Press has bought the AUS/NZ rights to WHISPER so that it will release over here at the same time as the US/CAN release next year — YAAAAAAY!!), as well as some crazy things (like, I heard afterwards that girl fainted at one stage — whoever you are, I hope you’re okay!!!).
All in all, it was such a FANTASTIC DAY!!! And truly, words cannot describe just how surreal it all was! I had to rush off to my plane straight from Dymocks, and it was only when I was in the air and halfway home that the “overwhelmed feels” really hit me. I just… I still can’t quite believe how big the day was. Nor can I believe how many people are loving this series. So, from the bottom of my heart, and every other part of it, to everyone who made the day so incredibly special and completely unforgettable: thank you.
To end, here are some pics of the Saturday’s events. And for anyone interested in giving this series a go, the first book, AKARNAE, has a huge e-book sale on from now until the end of the week. This is especially convenient for any new international readers, since it’s a total bargain no matter what country you’re in (AUD$0.99, USD$0.76, GPB£0.99, etc., etc., etc.), so grab it while it’s hot!
PICS FROM THE EXCLUSIVE MEET AND GREET:
^^^ Possibly the best draekon I’ve yet drawn! He only half looks like a cow! YAY!
PICS FROM THE GALAXY BOOKSHOP Q&A:
^^^ The fantastic display I arrived to find.
^^^ Group photo! (Mostly — we lost a few people before we remembered to take the shot!)
ON THE WAY TO THE NEXT EVENT, I HAD A SPECIAL “FRIEND” TAG ALONG (SIR CAMDEN):
PICS FROM THE DYMOCKS YA BOOKMEET:
(And SO MUCH FUN!!! Can’t WAIT for the next time!!)
Aaaaand, just to end, here’s me with the super amazing Disney shoes I already mentioned from my super amazing author friend Maria Lewis. And yes, I do look like I’m about to cry — IT WAS SERIOUSLY THE NICEST GIFT EVER!!! I *didn’t* cry, though, just FYI. And I also received some other ridiculously lovely pressies too! (Including a massive Haigh’s assorted chocolates box from my publishers which will last me until the end of time and beyond!)
So… Much… Happiness…
I’ve been so swamped with book release craziness this week that I haven’t had the chance to share about DRAEKORA WEEK!! (And yeah, I know — silly, right? BUT in my defence, I didn’t know about it until this week!!)
Thanks to ex-tropical cyclone Debbie making an appearance along the southeast coast of QLD today, my Brisbane book launch scheduled for tonight has been postponed since Brisbane itself is literally underwater right now (and yes, I mean ‘literally’) — so I find myself with some free time before my flight tomorrow morning for my Sydney launch events this weekend. (Fingers crossed the weather clears overnight!!)
SO! Without further ado:
Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed by the amazingness of this, but I’ll try and explain it as best as I can. Two of my seriously WONDERFUL readers, Jenna from Adelaide and Kaysia from Sydney, bonded over social media thanks to their mutual love of The Medoran Chronicles, and they’ve teamed up and secretly planned an epic “Draekora Week” in the lead up to this coming Saturday’s official release date.
Every day this week, both Jenna and Kaysia have been posting all kinds of things to do with the series, including hilarious video clips on their YouTube channels. (And when I say ‘hilarious’, I mean laugh-out-loud funny! ESPECIALLY day two when they each went off and endured their own Stealth and Subterfuge adventure thanks to a riddle from Hunter himself!)
They’re also hosting a readathon (and/or re-readathon) of the first two books in the series in the lead up to Saturday, and inviting anyone and everyone to jump in at any stage.
If you want to know more about Draekora Week, they definitely explain it better than me, so check out their videos below. (And seriously — you do not want to miss the Stealth and Subterfuge ones, haha.) You can also find them on Twitter (Jenna = here … and Kaysia = here) and on Instagram (Jenna = here … and Kaysia = here) .
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY ONE: The Medoran Chronicles Book Tag:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY TWO: Stealth and Subterfuge Class:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY THREE: Book Mash:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FOUR: Why You Should Read The Medoran Chronicles:
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FIVE: Pronunciation Guide (Jenna):
DRAEKORA WEEK — DAY FIVE: Draekora Predictions (Kaysia):
Days Six and Seven still to come! Stay tuned for more — and keep an eye on their channels/social media! Also feel free to jump in with them at any stage!!
MASSIVE thank you to these two amazing girls, both of whom I ADORE and can’t wait to see when I’m in Sydney this weekend! Jenna is actually one of my critique readers, and Kaysia won ‘The Chosen One’ competition last year (and so perfectly released the cover of Draekora to the world), so I am so ridiculously excited for us all to be together at the one time! Two days to go!
If you’re in Sydney and free on Saturday, my Draekora launch events include a Q&A at Galaxy Bookshop in the CBD from 12noon-1:00pm and a YA Bookmeet at Dymocks (George Street) from 2:30-3:30pm. Hope to see you there!
For those already following my social media, you would have seen the announcements about the multi-state book launch events coming up for the release of DRAEKORA next week. For anyone else, the details are as follows:
As you can see, there are events in Brisbane, Sydney, and on the Sunshine Coast. I will be at all these places to sign books and chat with readers. For more details about each separate event, please visit my events page.
There is also an additional “secret” Sydney event — a meet and greet — that is open to only a select few “Chosen Ones”. If you want a chance to win a place at this event, here are the competition details for the one double pass that I’m allowed to give out. Entries close at midnight this coming Friday 24th March and the winner will be notified on Saturday:
Lastly, in the week following the launches I will be running four separate “Youth Week Library Workshops” with Brisbane City Libraries. The details are as follows:
If you can’t make it to any of these events, don’t worry! DRAEKORA will be officially released on April 1st. The paperback will be available in all good bookstores (Australia/NZ) and the e-book available worldwide.
NOT LONG NOW!!!