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Read, Write, Dance

Read, Write, Dance . Those three words could almost be my epitaph. Certainly (bearing and rearing children aside) they are the three activi...

About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

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.

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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

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
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Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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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
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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Universal Woman

Many women today are Superwomen. They do so many things I become giddy just watching them and have to go and lie down in case it's catching. One such is Sarah Parker: writer, fan, mother and feminist (among other things) active on the Perth Speculative Fiction scene. She and her husband John organise the annual October convention and Sarah joins with a crew of likeminded women to present Femcon each winter. In fact, wherever there's a SpecFic event in Perth, you're likely to find Sarah busy behind the scenes somewhere!

Sarah has recently admitted to a secret predeliction for writing, and a jolly fine writer she's turned out to be, too. So my first question was: Sarah, you've been involved in fandom for a long time now, and only recently did you come out of the closet as a writer. Which came first and how long have you been a writer/a fan?

A1. I used to write novels in high school. My first novel was a collaborative effort with a friend. She supplied the idea/plot, and I wrote it. I've still got it in a cupboard. I used to write a lot before that too, since I had a typewriter before we decided to write the book. It was an SF book, and was all about when the nukes fell and we all lived in domes. Well, the first book was about getting into the domes and having them built first... :-) I stopped writing creatively during uni. (And finding some of my old essays and stuff, I am not at all surprised that I stopped.)

I became a fan around about a year or two after my writing stopped. The two didn't seem linked to me, but now that I'm paying attention to my writing and putting in some work, I realise that fandom has been a tremendous resource for me, with access to wonderfully supportive, creative people. I think I stopped writing for about twelve years, maybe fourteen all up.

Q2. Which do you best like to read and/or write - Hard SF, Fantasy or Horror?

A2. I like fantasy and some science fiction. I think the dividing line for me is space opera vs SF. I find that SF is very concept driven; a lot of the stories are "hey, look at this awesome idea!" whereas I prefer space opera and fantasy like the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, which are character driven. I have written six novels at this point, of which five are fantasy with hints of SF and one is paranormal erotica. I think I am exploring the way women are handled within the standard fantasy tropes. We get to be whores or virgins, cardboard cut outs and prizes, and I think each fantasy novel I write explores that a little bit further.

Q3. Can you name a writer or two you'd like to emulate in some way, and tell us why?

Q4. Lois McMaster Bujold. Terry Pratchett. Neil Gaiman. Gaiman and Pratchett are master story tellers. Pratchett can make me cry for a hunk of rock; and Gaiman writes stories which sing to the soul. McMaster writes characters and mixes between the two; her Paladin of Souls is an awesome awesome book which I think explores themes of power, responsibility, and femininity. I loved a lot of her Vor series, and most of the Curse of Chalion series too. Every book Pratchett writes is a monument to his ability to play with words and themes. I love the Tiffiny Aching series (once again about femininity, power, and responsibility) and his character development is pretty awesome too. I am considering, once the Last Short Story Project is over (ie, next year) immersing myself only in McMaster Bujold, Gaiman and Pratchett books for a whole year and see what I learn out of that.

Q4. You're a person of many talents and many interests: as well as being a fan, a writer and a mum you're also a feminist, a prolific blogger and a fantastic cook. How do you balance all those interests and commitments?

A4. I type really fast, LOL. No no, I don't watch TV at all. I spend far too much time reading blogs (and now short stories.) Being a feminist is like breathing; I don't get how people can not want to understand how the pieces of our society fit together with a view to fixing the broken bits. I love blogging, and have recently updated my userinfo with most of my blogs. I use blogs like journals, notes, ideas, scraps, and also to show parts of myself. You're all an audience, my dears! I have only recently started to admit to my real name on my LJ blog, largely because part of my plan to become a writer means I need to be accountable for what I say, and to make use of the clicks I already get. (Also, you don't have to read my books, just buy them for me, OK??) I've found that people want to know stuff: we've lost a lot of skills in the past few generations and the more details we can give for people, the more people are willing to venture out of their comfort zones. I love doing stuff. I love showing other people how to do stuff. A lot of this stuff has been on the back burner while the kids are small, but I am starting to come out a bit more. This is an exciting time for me! :-)

Q5. Have you got a favourite recipe to share with us?

A5. Hmmm... actually, my favourite recipe is online...It's called Turkish Style Kebabs, otherwise known as Yoghurtlu Kofte kebabi

Sarah Parker, AKA Callisto Shampoo, blogs regularly over at Live Journal.

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