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A new lease of life for my books

As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

About Me

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

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are not available as e-books at present, but I expect to get them back online shortly. However, I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. 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. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

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

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, 29 May 2011

Amazing Amazonian friends

No, I don't mean the kind that lop off one boob and go around shooting arrows off at all and sundry. I mean the kind who are brave enough to put their books up on the web for people to buy.

Lots of authors, including some pretty high profile ones, are e-publishing these days. Given the volatile nature of the print publishing industry and the ever-growing interest in e-books among the reading public, publishing online is beoming a viable option. Some new authors - notably Amanda Hocking - have done extraordinarily well via this route, and several authors already established in print, including Jo Konrath and Scott Sigler, are also doing very nicely, thank you.

What's more, e-publishing as an independent author already carries less of a stigma than it did even a year ago. The standard of e-books - until recently notorious for poor presentation and lack of editing - is rising all the time. The reading public is, by and large, reasonably selective. If your work really stinks people are not going to buy it, in e-copy or in print.

Three former critiquing partners of mine, Fiona Leonard, Patti Jansen, and Phillip Berrie have recently become "indie authors". I dips me lid to these enterprising people, nervously wondering whether and when I should follow in their footsteps. I know their work is good, because I've read it. (In fact, I had the privilege of editing Fiona's novel The Chicken Thief, a political thriller set in an African country that has become a dictatorship. Sound familiar?) Check it out. It's one of the best reads I've had this year.

If you don't believe my fulsome praise, hie thee over to Amazonian territory and seek out Fiona's and Patty's books. (Patty's work is scifi, and she has a good handful of stories waiting for you, the latest of which is His Name in Lights.)

And over at the magic land of Smashwords you will find Phill's book The Changeling Detective, an entertaining SF/crime crossover. If you like Jim Butcher you'll really dig Phill's work, too.

One of the great things about e-books is their affordability. You can buy a short story, novella or novel for prices ranging from 99 cents to 3.99. And you can get free samples, so there's nothing to lose. Compared to print books, there is no contest, is there?
Sunday, 22 May 2011

Common misuses: pronouns – subject and object

Pronouns. Little words. But they can give writers – or, more likely, editors! – nasty headaches.

Look at "I" and "me". They fill me with despair. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve shuddered at things like “The boss gave Damien and I a rise last week” or “Chantal invited Jenny and I to her birthday bash”. This has become increasingly common in both England and Australia and no doubt in other English-speaking countries as well, and I suspect that within a few years even the Oxford Dictionary will give in and list it as normal usage.

You would never say “The boss gave I a rise” or “Chantal invited I”, would you? When in doubt, try taking out the first name. If it still sounds OK (as in Queen Elizabeth’s classic “My husband and I are very happy to be here", then you can safely say “Damien and I”.

That’s because “I” is the nominative case. It is used when the speaker is the one performing the action, such as the Queen (as above) being pleased. So “I invited Damien and Chantal to the barbeque” is correct. But if I’m one of the people being invited, “me” is the correct pronoun – Damien invited Chantal and me to the barbeque”.

Another misused family of pronouns includes who/whom and whoever/whomever. Here again, the first-named is the nominative case, as in “Who stole my pen?” The second of each pair is the objective case, and the problem is that usage is in the process of changing. For example, If I said “Did you know Jack’s been charged with assault?”, you might reply, “Who did he assault?” and no one would blink an eye. In fact, if you were to use the correct form “Whom did he assault?” you might even sound a bit old-fashioned and pedantic.

But there are times when many of us still use “whom”. For instance “Did you know Jared was assaulted last night?” might well draw the reply, “Assaulted by whom?” We’re tending, more and more, to use “whom” when it’s preceded by a preposition, but “who” when it’s not, and many people don’t use “whom” at all, preposition or no preposition. Or they use it in the wrong places, thinking it makes them sound more refined. In other words, many people haven’t got a clue about who and whom, and I suspect that within a few decades, “whom” will disappear altogether.

Whoever and whomever are of the same ilk. Basically, "whoever" is nominative; and "whomever" is objective.

But in practice it gets complicated.

The reason is that these words often turn up as subjects of subordinate clauses, so they have to be in the nominative case even if the clause itself is the object of the sentence. The rule is that agreement is always within the subordinate clause itself, even when that clause appears as the object of the main clause.

For example “Give the prize to whoever/whomever arrives first”. Now, on first glance, it’s tempting to use “whomever” because it appears to be the indirect object of the first clause.

BUT it is also the subject of its very own clause “whoever arrives first”. So “whoever” is the correct form here.

I cheerfully pinched some examples from http://www.englishforums.com/English/WhoeverVsWhomever/cxcp/post.htm which is part of a worthwhile site for all matters pertaining to English grammar.
Give it to whoever pays the highest price.
Give it to whomever you like best.
Introduce whoever you think is the tallest to whoever you think is the shortest.
Introduce whomever you invited first to whomever you invited last.
Introduce whoever arrived first to whoever arrived last.

While we’re examining who and whom and their kin, what about “whomsoever”? It’s rather a quaint, old-fashioned sort of word, dating right back to Chaucer’s day and possibly earlier, but it refuses to die altogether. It is pretty much interchangeable with who and whom in expressions such as “To whom/whomever/whomsoever it may concern”. The nominative form “whosoever” is very rare. More often, we use “whoever” in the nominative.

So, another part of our language that is changing – but it’s still advisable to use who/whoever and whom/whomever correctly in writing, even in places where you might not do so in speech – unless, of course, you’re writing colloquial dialogue!
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