About Me

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I am a writer, editor and reviewer 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.

Your books and theses!

As both writer and editor, I specialise in historical and high or epic fantasy. If you have a fantasy manuscript in preparation, don't waste money on editing too early. Instead, let me help with a mini-assessment of your work, based on careful reading of your synopsis and first 20 pages. Then, when you've worked on the manuscript in line with our discussions, I will be happy to do a full edit before you send it off into the big wide world. I am also an experienced academic editor, and am available to edit theses, journal submissions and other academic papers. For more about my editing work, CLICK HERE

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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 April 2012

Joanna Fay's debut novel

My good friend Joanna Fay, a fellow member of Egoboo (our crit group) is going through an exciting time. Her first novel, Daughter of Hope, is about to be published by a Real Live Publishing House, Musa, in America.


Daughter of Hope is the first book in a quartet, a huge story that Jo has been working on, on and off, for several decades. It's a wonderfuly imginative story about winged beings who inhabit a world where they live on the inside of the planet's crust instead of the outside - but of course, they are just like us in that they make love and war, and they display the properties of good and evil just as we do. Joanna Fay's baddies are very, very bad. You would not want to meet them on a dark night or even a clear one!


We of the Egoboo group are very proud of Jo - she is, after all, the first of us to sell a long work to a publishing house! I'll let you know when Daughter of Hope is ready for you to buy online!


Monday, 9 April 2012

Another Swancon comes and goes

Easter is over and I’m feeling sad. That’s because Swancon, the annual Western Australian Science Fiction Convention, is over for another year. Every year, as summer draws to a close, I start to look forward to four days of socialising with fellow fans and sitting in on panels — usually in the audience but sometimes on the podium — about books, writing and other topics of interest to aficionados of genre fiction in all its forms. This is the eighth one I have attended and Swancon has never yet disappointed me. There are always interesting, knowledgeable guests from Australia and overseas, as well as plenty of good company.

This year was no exception. We had two excellent Guests of Honour: American author Brandon Sanderson, successor to the late Robert Jordan and author of well over a dozen excellent books and the very versatile and gifted Marianne de Pierres, author of the Sentients of Orion trilogy, the Parrish Plessis series and, writing as Marianne Delacourt, the Tara Sharp books, as well as several novels for teenagers.

Local authors, including Bevan McGuiness, Stephen Dedman and Sue Isles, also lent their presence to various panel discussions on books, comics, games, reading, writing, authors, film, TV programs – two or three panels or talks in an average of eight time slots on each of four days. There is no way any one person could be at all of them!

There were a couple of book launches, several author talks, classes on subjects as diverse as poi twirling, how to run a convention and how to play the game ‘Magic the Gathering’, a favourite pastime of our overseas guest, Brandon Sanderson.

I always enjoy the panels on the techniques of writing. Our guests offered many hints on finishing a manuscript, breaking through writers’ block, inventing new worlds and other aspects of the craft, among other salient subjects.

I was involved in three panels: one on how to rewrite or revise a manuscript, one on how fairy tales are used in modern films and books and one on what happens — or should happen! — after you’ve finished your manuscript. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them as I had excellent team mates including my fellow Egobooers Helen Venn and Carol Ryles and fellow editors Alisa Krasnostein and Jonathan Strahan.

But sadly, it’s all over now until next year.Hopefully, I'll be able to attend at least a couple more cons before then.
Monday, 2 April 2012

Do you know about Writer Beware?

A client recently wrote to me asking if it was OK for an agent who was interested in his MS to offer an assessment – at a price. My ‘Writer Beware’ antennae went up at once.

By and large, it's considered unprofessional for an agent to try to sell services to potential clients. There are many, many agents around - some with the best of intentions but with very little professionalism - who add extra services to their practice because the agency itself isn't making enough to live on. That being the case, can that person be the best possible agent for you? I suspect not. Personally I think full MS assessments are a waste of money in any case. I only offer 'mini-assessments' because you can usually see a writer's main problems within the first twenty pages or so. After that, the process turns into mentoring while the writer improves his or her skills prior to a full edit.

Remember, too, that you can go on altering a book in line with conflicting advice until you've actually wrecked the story. No two critiquers will ever agree completely on what's needed to 'fix' a book, and quite often their views will be diametrically opposed. Ultimately, you have to rely on your own judgement. So take all advice – whether you’ve paid for it or not – with a pinch of salt.

If in doubt as to an agent’s credentials, check out Writer Beware. This highly respected website tells you just what you should and shouldn't get from an agent. Every writer should be aware of Writer Beware - it's one of the best sites for learning some of the ins and outs of the publishing game.

It's also not a bad idea to Google for an agent's name before submitting to see if anyone complains of bad experiences with the agency in question. The whole publishing game, including agents, is fraught with traps for the unwary.

Getting a foot in the door with a reputable agent has always been hard and at present seems to be almost impossible. But perhaps you don’t really need an agent. In Australia, Penguin, Allen & Unwin, Hachette and Momentum (a new e-book arm of PanMacmillan) are all currently open to unagented subs, as are several small presses. Good luck!
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