When Inspiration Calls… You Answer!

I’ve started writing a new book – eek!

Normally this would be exciting (and, okay, it is), but I don’t have time for a new project right now! I have so many other writing things going on that it’s not even funny! And I’m about to start working with my publisher-appointed editor to make my contracted manuscript squeaky-clean and ready for release. I need more hours in the day!


Imagine the whiniest voice in the world and add it to big, puppy-dog eyes when I say, “I had to start it! It was calling me!”

Has anyone else ever experienced that? The ‘call’? It happens to me frequently. And when it does, I have no choice but to answer.

Whether it’s a character begging to be written or a world demanding to be created, my mind will continue to metaphorically poke me until I actively begin transferring my ideas onto paper. And it’s not like a gentle, whispered coaxing, either; it’s more an insistant, foghorn bellow. Completely unignorable (and yes, I know that’s not technically a real word).

But it’s also very exciting. New stories always are. You get to meet all new people (*cough* ‘fictional characters’ *cough*) and discover amazing, fantastical places. And if you’re anything like me, you completely lose yourself in ways non-writers and non-readers will probably never understand. It’s beautiful. It’s scary. It just is.

I’m keeping this post short since, you guessed it, I’m heading back into my writing cave. This new idea which I’m (very) loosely calling ‘Fondue & Fireflies’ (yeah, I know it’s weird, but it’s the only thing that has stuck with me and I can’t get it out of my head) is a New Adult Contemporary – a genre that I’ve never written before, and frankly, one I never thought I would write. But, like the title of this post says… When inspiration calls, you answer!



Happy, Happy, Happy!

In all the excitement of the last few weeks, I forgot to mention something else that happened when I met with my new publishers in Sydney. When they asked me about any other projects I’ve been working on, I told them about another (unrelated) YA manuscript I completed at the end of last year. Actually, when I say, ‘I told them about’, what I really mean is, ‘I began to tell them about’, because we all got so side-tracked with the concept behind the story that I never had the chance to expand on what the plot was actually about. But anyway, they were so excited that they asked to see that manuscript too (without really having any idea what it was about) and so when I arrived home that night I sent it straight off.

The moment I hit ‘send’ it was like my brain caught up to what was actually happening and I began having a mini-nervous breakdown. No kidding! All I kept thinking was:

What if they don’t like it?

Which spiralled into:

What if they hate it so much that they wonder why they ever offered me a contract on my first manuscript?

Which further dramatised into:

What if it sucks so bad that they re-evaluate their entire decision?

And then:

What if they decide I can’t actually write?

Before, finally:

What if they think that my stories are junk, my characters are hideous, and that there are so many more competent, capable, and gifted writers out there?

What if…? What if…? What if…?

Needless to say, it was pretty nerve-wracking! Especially when I came to the realisation that I will probably have the exact same thought processes every time I send them off a new manuscript in the future. (And considering the first manuscript I signed with them is part of a five-book series, that is a lot of nervous-thought-time ahead of me! Yikes!).

But… Well… As the title of this post suggests, I have some seriously awesome news: I heard back from the submissions editor today and …

…*drum roll please*…

He loved it!

I’m so stoked – for so many reasons. I mean, the others still have to read it and love it (again with the scary-ness!), but the initial positive feedback is just so encouraging, you know? So, yeah, I’m on top of the world right now. (Actually, I think I’ve been on top of the world ever since this amazing publishing journey began just over a fortnight ago).

So, yes, I’m doing a happy dance right now!

It’s Official: I’m Going To Be Published!!


Oh, wow. Yesterday was beyond a doubt one of the best days of my entire life! I honestly could not have imagined a more perfect day – in every way, from beginning to end, and everything in between! I don’t even know where to start, but I’ll do my best to not leave anything out. So, here goes!

The day started with a morning flight from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney… and even just arriving at the airport was fantastic. Airports have such a ‘feel’ about them, you know? It’s almost like there’s a sense of anticipation in the air; the knowledge that you’re about to embark on a fabulous adventure. But airports also mean waiting time, so I found my way to my happy place while I waited for my boarding call:


Then it was up, up, and away, before arriving in Sydney to miserable, rainy weather (but really, even a little rain couldn’t dampen my mood!). The moment I turned my phone back on I had a text message from the driver service that had been hired to collect me, and in all my dorkishness I managed to sneak a photo without looking like too much of a weirdo (and, hey, at least I managed to hold back from asking him if I could keep the sign with my name on it! Total restraint on my part!).


My driver, Geoff, was fabulous and very chatty in the best possible way. He also used his hands a lot to talk, which would have been concerning what with them not being on the steering wheel, but he seemed to know how to drive perfectly well without hands, so I who was I to argue with his methods? (Exhibit A:)


Anyway, let me skip ahead to the amazing parts!

So, Geoff dropped me off in Neutral Bay (I still have no idea where I was, but I did get a glimpse of the Harbour Bridge at one stage, so I know I was definitely in Sydney somewhere)…


… And once I was alone outside the office building, the nerves hit me like a freight train carrying a load of drunk elephants. I’m pretty sure I was actually shaking! The good news was, I was so determined not to forget a moment of the trip that I was taking photos left, right, and centre, so I managed to take a photo of the sign that gave the suite numbers for which offices were where, so when I reached the second floor and my brain totally froze, I just pulled out my phone and looked at the photo to see the suite number. Score one for my OCD-photo-taking. (That said, it turned out that the office was really well signed so I didn’t need the photo-suite-number-help in the end anyway).

Anyway, I buzzed on the door and almost immediately it was opened and I was in the room being bombarded by smiles and handshakes and welcomes-galore. I’m not kidding when I say that within seconds I was completely enamoured. Everyone was just so out-of-this-world nice! No, ‘nice’ doesn’t even do them justice. Because they were definitely nicer than nice! I could continue on about their awesomeness forever (seriously!), but I won’t because, well, that’s slightly weird. So, moving on…

I’m skipping heaps here because obviously we chatted for hours about them, about the company, about me, about my books, about the future, about all kinds of random other things like psychopaths and dreaming in black-and-white (don’t ask!)… We went off on tangents all over the place but always circled back around to the whole point of the meeting. (And, omigosh, did I mention how beyond-nice they all were?! I’d been previously told that working alongside them would be “like a warm hug”, and I can officially say I was definitely feeling that! Toasty warm hugs all-round!).

Umm… I just totally got off track…

So, yeah, there was food and drinks and talking and laughter mixed in with seriousness and all the other really important things… And we talked about cover design and editing and marketing and publicity and… wow… just all the amazingly exciting things. I’m sure I probably looked like an idiot because I was smiling so much, but I couldn’t help it! It was all just so perfect! Everything they said was exactly what I needed to hear! And at the end when they offered for me to go and think about it, I already knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was more than happy (ecstatic, even) with everything in every way, shape and form.

… So, I signed the contract!!

And now I’m officially part of the Pantera Press family! And I could not be happier! They broke out the champagne and we rushed through the signing and the toasting and the photos because I needed to hurry to get back to the airport, so we were swept up in this crazy whirlwind of ‘sign here’, ‘drink this’, ‘photo now’… and it was insane… but because it was so insane, it was also perfect! I was given a goody bag (I LOVE goody bags!) and hugs (I LOVE hugs even more than goody bags!) and a non-promise-promise was fulfilled in regards to a certain person (who will probably murder me if I mention names) singing a Disney song which totally was the icing on the top of an already beyond-amazing day.

I’m not kidding – I could not have dreamed of a more perfect day. And I have a pretty creative imagination! I’m still on Cloud Nine – and I’m sure I will be for a looooong time yet!!

So, I want to say a huge, huge, HUGE thank you to everyone at Pantera Press for making my dreams come true – and also for simply being so indescribably lovable. I cannot wait for the next step in our journey together!

I also want to say thank you so much to all you loyal bloggers who have been bombarding me with encouragement, support and congratulations. I’m so excited that you’re sharing this adventure with me – and I look forward to updating you on the next instalment! In the meantime, feel free to go and check out my AMAZING NEW PUBLISHERS! You can find their website here: http://www.panterapress.com.au/ and their Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/PanteraPress


Sydney: Where My Publishing Dreams Become Reality

So, it looks like I’m off to Sydney in three days for my meet-and-greet with the publishers – how exciting! I feel like my ears are bleeding from all the legal advice I’ve received over the last month, but I’m now finally at a place where I’m comfortably knowledgeable about everything contract-wise… Which is awesome. Now I’m just ready for the next phase to begin – whatever that is!

Of course, I still have to pass the ‘jerk-test’ on Thursday because if we don’t get along, well, that would suck royally since it would mean no signing… But I’m ever hopeful!

Just a FYI for any Australian authors who are looking for a contract assessment, I contacted the ASA first and still had some lingering concerns afterwards so was recommended to try Alex Adsett. She’s a literary agent who does freelance contract consultations on the side, and she’s Amazing (worthy of the capital A). You can find out more about her here: http://alexadsett.com.au/

Starting A New Manuscript

There are two settings that my life seems tuned to: reading-mode and writing-mode. For me, there’s no in-between. I’m either reading, or I’m writing. I can’t do both – just like I can’t read two different books at once; I have to finish one before I start another.

I’ve been holding tight to my reading-mode for a while now, especially since I know that as soon as I sign this book publishing contract I’ll have to dive straight into the writing-mode again with all the editing/revising etc. But there’s a change in the air today and it’s like I can’t sit still – I need to be writing.

… I’m just not sure what to write.

I have so many potential story ideas – which is kinda annoying since it makes more sense to start working on the third book in the series for which I’m getting the contract… But I think I want to try something new. Usually I’m a stickler for YA (specifically fantasy/sci-fi), but I’m leaning towards dabbing into the New Adult realm for a change.

Hmm. What are your thoughts, awesome blog-readers? Do you have any ideas for me?

I guess all I can do is start at Chapter One and see where the characters take me. How exciting! I love new beginnings!

Road To Publishing: The Next Step

Good news, everyone! It looks like I’m almost ready for the next stage in my publishing journey! I’ve received the legal advice for my contract and I’ve been communicating back and forth (and back and forth… and back and forth… and back and–you get the point…) with the publisher.  And honestly, I’m surprised they still want to sign me on, considering how much back-and-forthing I’ve been doing (and yes, for the sake of this blog, ‘forthing’ is now a real word). But they’ve been ridiculously amazing communication–and toleration–wise. So, yay for that!

Now we’ve just got to figure out which dates suit best for all of us, but it looks like I’ll be flying to Sydney within a fortnight for the meet-and-greet and (hopefully) signing the contract. Woohoo!

New books!! Woohoo!!


There’s just something incredibly special about holding a paper-and-ink book in your hands. Don’t get me wrong – I love my Kindle. It’s so accessible and so convenient to have a new book at the click of a button. But there’s nothing in the world quite like the beauty of a paperback novel. And look! Now I have a heap of them to go through! How exciting! I’m going to enjoy it while I can since the moment my publishing contract is signed I’ll probably be elbows-deep in editing, editing, and more editing (YAY!!).