The Last Few Months: An Overview

Oh, boy! It seems I’m a teeny bit behind on this post, since I’d planned to send this off at the end of October. So much for my monthly updates! OOPS! I promise to do better coming into the New Year!

A reason why this is so belated is simply because I’ve been so incredibly busy over the last couple of months that I’ve struggled to remember my own name at times! EEEK! So here’s a brief glance at all the seriously cool stuff that’s been happening:

First up, Akarnae was listed as one of the Top Ten YA Fiction Books for 2017 by Bookseller+Publisher, which completely blew my mind (and I still have trouble actually believing it). My publishers sent me the most GORGEOUS rainbow roses as congratulations and they stayed alive for ages, which was so nice! (The roses, not my publishers — though they’re still alive, too, haha.)

I also finished the final read-through of Graevale (coming February 1st) and the absolutely STUNNING cover was revealed across social media, as well as the blurb:

My US ARCs of Whisper arrived in the post, and it was so amazing to hold the international version of this book in my hands for the first time!

Since then, the Australian version of Whisper has also arrived, along with Graevale, so I’m surrounded by books — which is so cool!

In amidst all that, I finally took the holiday that my doctor told me to take a year ago (oops!), and I went to New Zealand for a couple of weeks. I honestly have no words for how incredible that trip was, and I got to do all kinds of fun things like kayaking (both sea kayaking along the Coromandel Peninsula and then again in a glacier-fed lake on the South Island), horse riding near Glenorchy (through Lord of the Rings scenery), a day trip out to Milford Sound, a helicopter ride up to Franz Josef Glacier and hiking over the ice for 3 hours, climbing all kinds of mountains and walking all kinds of trails, visiting Hobbiton, seeing glow worms — honestly, I just did so much and it was all AMAZING!! PLUS there was a freak snow storm that blew in and it was MAGICAL!!!

And don’t even get me started on the scenery itself! It was just like I’d stepped into a fantasy novel!! Photos do NOT do it justice!!

Once I was back from NZ, I did the final read-through of the US version of Whisper (coming May 1st) and then I flew to Sydney for “Holiday Part 2” which was seriously awesome as well:

Then, about a week after that, there was a surprise opportunity to fly to Melbourne to speak at the YA Showcase (which spotlights some of the books coming out next year), so I did a quick Q&A there:

If you want to watch the 4 (ish) minutes, you can do so here, because someone was kind enough to film an Instagram Live recording of it! (Boy, am I glad I didn’t trip and fall on my face! Just the day before flying in, I sprained both my ankle and my hand, so there was a very real possibility, haha):

While in Melbourne, I also snuck in a trip to see Aladdin the Musical with my amazing publisher, and omigosh it was soooooo awesome!!

And, also super unbelievably cool and fantastic, that same day I learned that Draekora has made it onto the longest for the Indie Book Awards, which is SO exciting!!

So that was all a crazy-crazy-crazy few weeks, and in amongst it all, I also did a Q&A at Avid Reader bookstore in Brisbane, as well as spoke on a panel at the Future Librarians Conference about the future of the book industry from an author’s perspective.

… AND THEN, on top of all that, just last week I finished writing a whole new book — in just 18 days! 

So, yeah, things have been a little busy of late, haha. (Understatement of the century!!) But I’m now sneaking in a few days of R&R for Christmas before jumping into everything again next week! And I have some SUPER exciting news coming up regarding launch events for Graevale, so stay tuned! It’s SO CLOSE now!!!!

Aaaaaand, because I’m a horrible person, I’ll leave you with a teaser quote for Graevale from the Rebel Prince we love to hate — or hate to love!

Zoo Adventures In Sydney

This is mostly a photo post because I’m writing from my hotel room in Sydney and I’m multitasking between a heap of things at the moment, but I still wanted to touch base and share some pics from my amazing day at Taronga Zoo yesterday with the incredibly talented fantasy author, Traci Harding, who I first met at Supanova earlier this year. She has a friend who is a senior zookeeper at Taronga (he’s worked there for over 20 years and knows, like, everything), and he was kind enough to sacrifice his day off to give us a guided tour. He even let us “backstage” to play with a few of the creatures, which was awesome! He was also incredibly patient with my million-and-one questions all day, to which he has my unending gratitude! Especially since the book I’ve just finished writing has the main character spending some time at the zoo, so it was surreal to be able to walk the same paths as her and almost feel as if I was in the book. I loved it!

Anyway, on to the pictures. This first one is of Traci and me, with photo credit to Robert Dockerill (the zookeeper friend who showed us around all afternoon):


Here’s me holding a feather-tailed glider. This little ball of fluff weighs less than 15 grams – which equates to under 3 teaspoons of sugar.


Now on to the other cool animals…

Here’s the red panda, ‘Mahem’ (or ‘Chaos’?):

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This little meerkat was hilarious. All his friends had disappeared somewhere – probably back in the den where the heaters were – and he was like, “Where IS everyone!?!” It was beyond cute, with his tiny head swivelling back and forth in confusion. Adorable!

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The tigers really were magnificent. And it was wonderful being able to check out their enclosure and walk the paths near there since those places feature strongly in my new novel I mentioned earlier. I really did feel as if I was part of the book at times yesterday! It was awesome!

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The lions were a lot larger than I imagined them being. Their heads are huge!

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Hello, Baloo! (I loved that this guy was even sitting up like a cartoon bear, haha.)

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The giraffes have arguably some of the best real estate in the entire city. This pic doesn’t do the view justice since I was too focused on the “little” giraffe doing some kind of splits manoeuvre to eat off the ground (adorable!) but trust me when I say the view is STUNNING!

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As we were getting ready to go, I couldn’t resist the temptation of the zoo shop, and I ended up leaving with this little cutie. He’s definitely going to find himself into one of my books at some stage in the future, that’s for sure! I’m open for name suggestions, so if anyone has an original idea, let me know your thoughts!


Lastly, here’s a pic I took on the ferry from the zoo back to Circular Quay of the CBD at sunset – soooo pretty!

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And that’s it! I took a gazillion more pics of other animals, but my multitasking capacity has now reached it’s limit, I’m afraid. Plus, I have a big day tomorrow with a seriously cool fantasy discussion and Q&A author event at Dymocks Bookshop in the CBD (George Street) so if you’re in the city, feel free to swing by and say ‘hi’ between 11-12:30.

I have a stack of other stuff to update about, but it’s going to have to wait for another post. Until then, happy reading!

Radio Interview Fun!

This post is a little delayed, but when I was in Tasmania a couple of weeks ago to give a writing workshop for National Youth Week (in between the Melbourne and Gold Coast Supanova events), I was invited along for a last minute interview with Hobart’s ABC radio. We talked about all kinds of things from writing in general to my own publishing journey (including how AKARNAE came about) and everything in between. We touched on science fiction and technology, we chatted about Supanova, I gave some writing advice and shared some memories… All in all, it turned out to be a great interview and a lot of fun!

I know a number of people have followed this blog for a while, so I thought perhaps instead of reading my voice you might actually like to hear it for a change. The interview is just over 11 minutes long (let’s face it, some of my posts are novel-length and take that long to read, anyway) so if you have a few moments to spare, feel free to have a listen!

You can find the link on the Pantera Press page here:

Tassy, Tassy, Tasmania!

Okay, so, I’m planning on writing up a HUGE post about Supanova when the Gold Coast segment is finished after this coming weekend, but just believe me when I say the experience in Melbourne was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! What an incredible time I had! I can’t wait to share it all with you, but if you’re interested in seeing some of the pics before I have a chance to write up the post, feel free to jump along to my Facebook page (here) to see some of the coolness from the weekend.

In the meantime, for this post I want to talk about what I’ve been doing for the last two days in my ‘surprise’ visit to Tasmania in between the two Supanova conferences. I say ‘surprise’ because I haven’t mentioned much about why I’m here at the moment, and that’s because my parents are travelling around this beautiful state at present and when I found out that I was going to be in Melbourne, I had a chat with my publishers to see if there might be any events they might want to send me to down this way for the week in between conferences, and lo and behold, the State Library of Hobart jumped on board to have me come and give a two hour writing workshop for National Youth Week. The workshop is scheduled for tomorrow and it’s meant to be limited to 15 young writers, but as of today all of those places were booked, along with 6 people on the waiting list… So I think they’re allowing all 21 to come along tomorrow – how cool!

But what was I saying? Right – the surprise! So I organised it with my dad that he would pick me up from the airport and my arrival would be a surprise to my mum – and, boy, was she shocked when I walked in the door at about 10pm on Sunday night, since she thought I was still in Melbourne! It was so awesome (though, I think she would probably use a different word, haha. She’s not exactly a fan of surprises!).

I’ve pretty much had all of yesterday and today to sightsee around this beautiful part of the world. I have to head back into Hobart at 9:30pm tonight for an ABC radio interview, and tomorrow I have the writing workshop, and then I’m on a plane back to Queensland tomorrow arvo because I have another library workshop in Helensvale (Gold Coast) on Thursday morning and then Supanova starts again on Friday… so it was really nice to take the last two days to recharge and see some beautiful sights! We took heaps and heaps of photos, so brace yourselves for the overload of pics in the rest of this post!

First up is yesterday where my parents drove me out to the stunning Russell Falls and we did some of the walks out there. Jeez, there were lots of steps! Great cardio workout though, and still not enough for me to shed the gazillions of layers of clothing that I was wearing (including the tea cosy hat that makes me look Russian. Hey, don’t knock it – that hat saved my life! It’s freeeeezing in Tasmania!!). Here’s some pics from that part of the day:

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We also spotted a young platypus swimming in a creek, which was pretty cool!


After the falls (including Horseshoe Falls) we took off up to the top of Mount Wellington where the word “cold” was redefined for me. But the beauty and splendour of the place made it waaaaay worth the shivers and shakes and it didn’t even matter that I couldn’t feel my fingers or my nose. I literally felt as if I was on top of the world – another fantasy world, since the scenery at the summit was like something straight from another planet. And we couldn’t have picked a better day weather-wise. It was, quite simply, stunning.



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That was all yesterday. As for today, we took off out to the Tahune Airwalk and it was beyond beautiful. All day I felt as if I was in my book, Akarnae, since the forests were so enchantingly magical. But it was soooooo cold too! At 11 o’clock in the morning it was only 6 degrees! A couple of days ago I was at home with 30 degrees! That’s HUGE difference for someone like me, since I feel the cold like crazy! So that kinda explains the Eskimo-look I’m not quite managing to pull off in some of the following pics:




This is on the actual airwalk which was high up in the “tall trees”:

IMG_8049Here’s an idea of the view from up there:



And here’s where we found the awesome suspended swinging bridges:



Then it was back down to earth for more of the beautiful forest walks:




I also jumped on a hang glider and took off across the river – which was soooooo much fun!! Even if while I was being hooked up to it all I was like, “Ummm… exactly how safe is this thing?” But it was a seriously awesome experience! And such a beautiful view!


To finish this photo-overkill post, here’s a pic of the view I’ve been waking up to for the last couple of days. We’re about 20 mins out of Hobart city here and it’s gorgeous. This is from tonight’s sunset taken from the balcony. Absolute bliss. (Freezing bliss, but still picturesque bliss!)


Right! That’s all from my Tasmanian sightseeing adventure! Stay tuned over the next few days on my Instagram (here) and Twitter (here) etc. for all the comings and goings of the Hobart and Helensvale library workshops, and of course Supanova Gold Coast! Woohoo!

Supanova Bound!

I’m flying off to Melbourne today for the first phase of my 2015 Supanova adventure – woohoo! I’ll be updating my Instagram (, Twitter ( and Facebook ( accounts with all the happenings over the next few days, so stay tuned to hear all about the awesomeness! And if you happen to be in Melbourne (especially for the event), pop by to see me because I would love to meet you!