About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

My first novel, The Dagger of Dresnia (Book 1 of The Talismans) is published by Satalyte - it's available from their website as well as from Amazon.com and other online outlets. Book 2, The Cloak of Challiver, is in preparation. I also have a short story, La Belle Dame, in print - see Mythic Resonance below.

The Dagger of Dresnia

Buy The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia, Book 1 of The Talismans Trilogy, is available in paperback and e-book from the publisher, Satalyte Publications - click on the cover to visit their online shop. You can also purchase it from Amazon.com and other online retailers. The paperback can also be found in selected bookstores in Australia.

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Prefer hard copy?

There are still a few paperback copies of Mythic Resonance available, too. Contact me (there's a contact form on my website) if you'd like a copy - $20 including postage within Australia.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Teaching and Chocolate!


I spent a lovely morning today in the company of members of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre's Speculative Fiction Group, chatting about one of my pet topics: the six inevitable mistakes of beginning writers. It went over well, I think, and they presented me with a box of excellent chocolates at the end, so all's well in my world! 

As I've given this talk so often, I think it's about time I gave the information its own web page. If this material might be useful to you, go to the page by clicking here or on the link above to Write it Right: notes for apprentice authors. 


 
Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Continuum 11



Another really busy and enjoyable weekend left me exhausted and behind in everything, so only now am I sitting down to write a blog post before I forget the events I want to tell you about!

I refer, of course, to the eleventh Continuum Convention in Melbourne. It wasn’t quite as well-attended as I’d hoped: Sunday was the only day that attracted a decent-sized crowd. The enjoyment, however, was just as high as in other years and there were some really excellent panels and other activities. There was a strong emphasis on YA (Young Adult) publications and their writers.

The overseas Guest-of-Honour was RJ (Rebecca Joan) Anderson from Canada, author of many fantasy and SF novels for children and young
RJ Anderson
adults. The local guest was Tansy Rayner Roberts.  Her novel Musketeer Space is serialised on her website. Both these ladies are excellent speakers and their presentations were a joy to hear, as were many of the panels. In fact, one panel really sticks in my mind. Its topic was Young Adult genre novels, and its title was ‘The Hunger Games was great, and YA is amazing. Where do you go from here?’ The panel was made up of Amie Kaufman, Ellie MarneySue Bursztynski  and Justin Woolley.  They each spoke knowledgeably and well about genre works of the new generation. The Hunger Games series is hard to top, but there are many other good YA works rising to the top of the pile, including several written by this convention's panellists.

On the Saturday, I gave a presentation on the common mistakes of new writers. This is getting to be my ‘party piece’, as I’ve now delivered it several times to different audiences, and I’m pleased to say that it’s always been well received. I shared the podium with Amanda Pillar,  whose first novel, Graced, was brought out by Momentum in February. She is already known in the SF community for her editing of anthologies.

I was on another quasi-workshop presentation on Monday, alongside another Amanda – this time Amanda Bridgeman,  author of the Aurora series of ‘space opera’ stories. It’s already well underway - book 5 will be out in September. This panel centred on ‘the intricacies of creating plots and characters’, and I think we found plenty to say about those facets of the writer’s trade!

The panels were the usual mixture. Some speakers were better prepared than others, and some, as usual, tried to push their own cart to the fore with some kind of political angle. Overall, though, every panel had good points. I just wish it were feasible to hear them all, but sadly, with four streams running at once, it was impossible.


That’s the last convention until Canberra in October. That is, if you don’t count the World Buddhist Conference, which is to be held in Perth in August. I will be purely audience for that one, and I hope I shall learn more about the Buddha Dhamma as I listen to what looks like an excellent line-up of speakers. It will make a welcome change from the sometimes small-minded pettiness of daily life, inside and outside the convention hall.
Monday, 1 June 2015

What a Weekend!




I'm just coming down from one of the high points of my year – WAMED, Western Australia's annual Middle Eastern Dance Festival. Dancers and instructors came from as far away as Wales and Canada to participate, and they were well-supported by excellent local presenters.

Belly dancing might sound like a strange interest for a septuagenarian, but it holds a longstanding position in my life's journey. I've been belly dancing, on and off, since I was about twenty years old. In those days, I was in the 'ballet' at a King's Cross nightclub. We opened the show wearing the classic showgirl outfit of upstanding tail feathers and diamanté bras, and closed it with the can-can, complete with high kicks and frilly undergarments. Between shows, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, I would sneak out to double as a belly dancer at various pubs and clubs around the suburbs. It paid about twenty pounds a time, which doesn't sound much by today's standards, but it was well over a week's wages for a tradesman and was about as much as I earned weekly from my regular 'tits'n'feathers' gig at the nightclub. Of course, a lot of it went on taxi fares and costumes, but I was still ahead at the end of the night.

There were some excellent evening performances at WAMED, and they were only part of the festival. For three days, we were spoilt for choice as the four-stream timetable offered us goodies as varied as How to Decorate Costumes and Dancing to Quanoon. (There was a lovely little bonus from Laziza and Hassan in the form of a booklet delineating the various rhythms of belly dance music and the styles they typify.) Some of my favourite moments were found in the teaching and performances of Phynia, who dances in a style very like the one I learnt as a young woman. Even her choice of music was similar.

Oh, and quanoon? Yes, all right, I’ll enlighten you! Wikipedia tells us that the kanun (Arabic:
قانون, qānūn, pl. qawānīn; Greek: κανονάκι, kanonaki; Armenian: քանոն, k’anon; Persian: قانون‎, qānūn; Azerbaijani: qanun; Turkish: kanun) is a string instrument played in much of the Middle East, Central Asia, and southeastern Europe. And here’s the pic to prove it:



This is ‘the first 79-tone Turkish kanun designed by Ozan Yarman - based on the 79 Moment of Symmetry out of 159-tone equal divisions of the octave tuning by the said author. Implementation of Wittner brand type 901 String Adjusters to the right is the author's’- courtesy of Wikipedia


As well as quanoon player Mohamed Lelo, we also had the services of an excellent drummer, Jamal Zraika, together with Emad Nasir on violin. These three gentlemen helped to lend the event a truly professional air.


The weekend was arranged by the founder of the WAMED festival, Keti Sharif, and it featured several mature dancers, including Belyssa Radzivanas, the doyenne of the WA belly-dance scene. We are very fortunate to have such enthusiastic and knowledgeable people here in Perth. Long may WAMED continue to flourish!



Friday, 15 May 2015

Guest Post on Kim Cleary's blog




Kim Cleary, author of Path Unchosen – Daughter of Ravenswood Book One, kindly invited me to guest post on her blog today. I write about the meaning and purpose behind the speculative genres in general and high fantasy in particular. 

Check it out at 
http://kimcleary.com/high-fantasy-and-satima-flavell/
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