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We are more than half way through November and I have not written a blog post. Life goes on as usual: Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance. W...

About Me

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

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

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, 25 August 2013

Time for another reality check?


Some of my old posts get a fair number of hits. One of them is a meme that originated with British author Charles Stross - Reality check: So you want to be a writer , which I wrote in December 2008. I just reread it and realised that I've progressed very little since I wrote that post.

In fact, it's now five years later, and I still haven't sold a novel. A couple of short pieces, yes, and lots of reviews and feature articles. But although I've had a lot of praise from various quarters for my novels - still no sale.

I read a book a year or two back that listed all the things that might prevent one from being published. I was able to tick the right boxes for all except the last, which said (and I paraphrase) - One last thing: if you're doing everything else right, and you're over fifty, it may well be your age. Publishers want to get at least twenty years out of an author, and once you're over fifty that is less likely to happen.

Well, I'm certainly over fifty, and have been for quite a while. What's more, I've never made any secret of the fact.

It's starting to look more and more as if self-publishing is the way to go. I know I have written a perfectly good, if conventional, epic fantasy, and I know a lot of people would enjoy reading it. What's holding me back is the knowledge that most self-published books (and, incidentally, most books from small presses) sell less than a hundred copies, and that wouldn't cover the expenses of self-publishing, even just e-publishing. So I'm in a bit of a quandary.

The inner discusssion continues. Will I or won't I? I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Book Review: Prickle Moon by Juliet Marillier

Prickle MoonPrickle Moon by Juliet Marillier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Juliet Marillier is that rara avis - a writer who can move from novels to short stories and back again with ease, producing reliable work on both fronts. Her work is never less than excellent, and Prickle Moon, a collection of short stories, is just another example of her thoroughgoing professionalism and craftmanship.

Some of the stories have been published before. One favourite in this category is 'Twixt Firelight and Water', which gives us an insight into the later years of a couple of characters in the early Sevenwaters books. In contrast, the title story. 'Prickle Moon', is a brand-new tale but an equally lovely one, about hedgehogs and passive resistance: you'll have to read it to find out how they fit together!

Another favourite, for me, was 'Angel of Death', also a newly-written tale, this one about a man and a dog. It would have been very easy for this story to be overly sentimental, but the character of Dan, the conflicted, war-torn protagonist, is so well-drawn that no hint of melodramatic mush could find its way into the story. It's one of those rare yarns I have added to my mental list of unforgettable short stories.

There are sixteen stories in the book, each one with something to offer. One of the beauties of the collection is that it gives the author a chance to show her versatility. Dare I say that there is more variety in this slim volume than in the rest of Marillier's oeuvre in its entirety? She is not constrained here by the almost obligatory trilogy format of the professional fantasy writer. She has let her imagination run free not only twixt firelight and water but through wind and rocks; through forest groves and city streets and suburban homes; through settings Celtic and modern and many times between. Some stories do not even contain a speculative element - but all are eminently readable.

I fully expect to see Prickle Moon shortlisted for awards, and to be a nice little earner for the clever folk at Ticonderoga Publications as well.

Disclosure: I had a small hand in editing some of the stories in this collection, pre-submission, and I am known to be a Marillier devotee. But if you are also a Marillier fan, or have been intending to check out her work, do take a look at Prickle Moon. I'll be very surprised if you don't agree with me that this is a top collection! If we were allowed to give half stars this one would have four and a half from me.


View all my Goodreads reviews

Book Review: Reunion by Joanna Fay

Reunion (The Siaris Quartet, #2)Reunion by Joanna Fay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This is Fay's second book set in her richly imagined world peopled by three races, including winged beings with all the hopes, joys and failings of our own kind. We have travelled forward in time since Daughter of  Hope, but as some characters are immortal the territory seems familiar.

Joanna Fay is, in fact, an award-winning poet as well a novelist. Once again, we see this poetic bent and wonderful descriptive gift, as well as one of most fertile imaginatons in the business, put to good use.

Reunion leaves us on a cliff hanger: readers will be waiting impatiently for the other two!


View all my Goodreads reviews
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