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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

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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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: High View, WV

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Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

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Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Sunday, 19 January 2014

A bit of encouragement


Part two of my path to publication:
 
For those who have been waiting with bated breath (yes, all five of you!) here's a bit more of the story of how I came to write The Dagger of Dresnia, due out shortly from Satalyte Press, starting with my experiences at Swancon 2003. 

After writing the little scene (link at top of page) about Ruthvard's journey, I followed Lee Battersby's instructions and carted it along to another writing exercise panel that was really more of a discussion involving anyone who wanted to speak up. Those of us who had been to Lee's workshop dutifully read our pieces out loud.


Several established writers were there. One was American novellist Lynn Flewelling, who was the overseas guest-of-honour (Swancon always tries to to invite at least one overseas luminary to share their experience and wisdom) and another was the very popular Adelaide author Fiona Mcintosh. Both ladies commended my little scene and said it sounded like part of a novel. You can imagine how utterly chuffed I felt! 

But that wasn't the end of it. These wonderful women approached me twice more, once as they were leaving the conference room ('You absolutely must write that story!') and again when I was having lunch in a cafe across the road ('Now, you are going to write that story, aren't you?')

I felt not only proud and happy, but a bit intimidated. What if I couldn't write the story? What if it was terrible and everyone hated it? I would be letting everyone who had encouraged me down, wouldn't I? Nevertheless, I psyched myself up and started writing.

I spent the next few weeks trying to work out the rest of the story. It came to me that the princess had eloped with her cousin, but he had died in a shipwreck shortly after the wedding and she was going to have to deal with all the chaos pretty much on her own. I played with writing odd scenes, but there was as yet no real cohesion, so the work stalled.

A few weeks later, I went on a meditation retreat, where I listened to a talk about the three personality types as classified by Buddhism. Now, I've always been intrigued by what makes people tick. In fact, I did an undergraduate dissertation on the connection between personality type (as measured by a Myers-Briggs type test) and religious preference, so this was right up my alley.

Buddhism suggests that we are all governed by three 'unwholesome roots' - greed, hatred (or aversion) and delusion, and in each person, one of these will be the dominant characteristic. (We have positive roots, too: they are characterised by the absence of the three unwholesome roots, leaving room for the development of such qualities as compassion, morality, and clear thinking. However, we only have to watch the nightly news to see that unwholesome roots are seen more often than the wholesome kind!)

As I was getting ready for bed, a thought came to me: of a man who has three women as partners, one for each of these negative personality types. He would have to be a powerful man; a king, perhaps, and he would be used to having his own way. He would have been an only child, but he would have an off-sider who was utterly devoted to him and would often have to save his powerful friend's face.

So the retreat was not particularly fruitful on the spiritual level, but the quiet space and the clarity of mind that comes with meditation practice had given me a start on a whole new adventure!

I was gathering characters and ideas but had no real story yet. All I could do was to sit down and start writing, so that's what I did. But it was fits and starts writing, with many false starts and wrong turnings. I began to despair.

But soon I got two more wonderful opportunities, and I'll tell you about those next time!



2 comments:

Jo said...

This adventure of your writing is almost like a novel in itself.

Satima Flavell said...

Well, you know the saying: 'To travel hopefully is better than to arrive'. Other authors tell me that once you arive at the gates of publication you get a whole new set of difficulties to deal with!

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