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

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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!

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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 Cloak of Challiver

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

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Another Easter, another Swancon!


If you've been reading this blog for more than a year or two, you will already know that I get all excited and flustered at Easter.  It's not due to chocolate overdose, but enthusiasm for Western Australia's annual Science Fiction convention, Swancon.

This year was no exception. I missed last year's event, which means I was doubly excited about this one! I sat on panels, listened to panels, looked at lovely artwork, bought a book or two and sold about the same number, and caught up with fellow writers and fans, spending a lot of time chatting with friends old and new. Writing buddy Keira McKenzie enjoyed deserved praise for her artwork. I bought a lovely card that I know I won't want to send to anyone because I like it too much!

The committee had invited a wide range of guest panellists. Jane Epsenson, an American television writer and producer, was the 'overseas' guest-of-honour. She has had a five-year stint as a writer and producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she shared a Hugo Award for her writing on the episode 'Conversations with Dead People'. In 2010 she wrote an episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, and joined the writing staff for the fourth season of the British television program Torchwood. I only heard a couple of her panels, but they were enough to get me interested in Espenson's work, even though I am a reader rather than a watcher. (Although I must confess to a Game of Thrones addiction - I have the books, books about the books, and DVDs as well...)


I fell into conversation with the national guest-of-honour, Lian Hearn (a.k.a. Gillian Rubenstein). I had read and enjoyed her earlier trilogy, Tales of the Otori, so I was delighted to find that there are now two more books: a prequel and sequel to the trilogy. Lian (pronounced like 'Ian' with an 'l' in front) loves all things Japanese. She has lived there and speaks the language fluently, so she has been able to draw convincingly on Japanese history and culture. I've started reading my lovely signed copy of  Emperor of the Eight Islands and if it continues as it starts I can promise that it's an exciting read with an excellent setting; interesting characters, and lots of action. You can find Gillian/Lian's website at http://www.gillianrubinstein.com/

I sat on seven panels and enjoyed them all:
    Do I need a Website? with Amanda Bridgeman, Alecia Hancock, Jon Hayward and Rebecca Laffar-Smith. (We found in the affirmative. Who can do without at least a blog these days?)
    Not Writing Yourself, with Claire Boston, Lian Hearn, Louise Helfgott and Pete Kempshall, turned into a fascinating discussion of how authors draw on their own characteristics and experience, often quite unconsciously.
    Let me read to you three minutes of something I wrote, with Evan Beasley, Louisa Loder and Dave Luckett was just what it said. We each read from our own work to a small but appreciative audience.
    Elegant Prose In Novels, with Claire Boston and Louise Helfgott.

   Defying Doomsday, a preview reading and discussion of the forthcoming anthology, with Sue Ackermann, Stephanie Gunn and Anna Hepworth, under the guidance of publisher Alisa Krasnostein.
    How Writing Changes for Adult, YA and Children's Writing, with PRK, Lian Hearn, Rebecca Laffar-Smith and Susanna Rogers.
    Editors: a New Hope with Sally Beasley and Michael O'Brien. A couple of other editors joined us, so we had a lively debate about the good, the bad and the ugly bits of editing.


Two disappointments marred the event for me. Firstly,  my second novel, The Cloak of Challiver, was to have been launched at Swancon, but, sadly, stock did not arrive in time. The current plan is a launch at  Conflux, the Melbourne SF convention, in September. Things may move earlier - I'll keep you posted! More positively, there was plenty of socialising, and I do hope that I'll see some of my new friends at future cons - or at least on our blogs and social media!

The second disappointment was that a lot of friends I'd normally see at Swancon had gone to a competing event in Brisbane, the national SF convention (Natcon for short). How the organisers could have made such a blunder is beyond me. I hope it future they will do as such eventualities have been dealt with in the past - give Easter to the Natcon and hold Swancon at another time.

Gripes aside, I'd like to thank the organising committee for another enjoyable convention in Perth! May there be many more.


7 comments:

Lyndon White said...

The answer to how Swancon and the Natcon clashed was fairly simple.
Swancon was already very deep in negotiations with the venue by the time the Natcon was announced -- the final contract may even have been signed by that point (I can't quiet recall, it was certainly close).
Both the Natcon, and Swancon did not receive bids until after the AGM/Business meet, which meant late starts for both committees.

But on the plus side, it did give us great opportunities for streaming, a lot of people really enjoyed that -- I was surprised how high the attendance was.

Satima Flavell said...

Yes, the streaming was certainly an idea whose time has come, Frames! However, it would not have increased subscriptions. What worries me is the reduced numbers, which must've cost $$$, not only for the con, but for the traders. I hope a contingency plan can be made for better - and earlier - liaison between the committees to avoid this situation happening again. I've been coming to SC for at least twelve years and the only other time this happened there must've been better communication, as SC was shifted to the previous weekend, IIRR. It meant that Swancon was shorter, but it also meant that keen fans could go to both cons, and many did.

Thanks to you and committee for all your hard work. Despite the low numbers, it was a happy and enjoyable event and I'm already looking forward to next year!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I've enjoyed all three Swancons I've attended. Mind you, Swancon is traditionally an Easter event, which everyone knows. Pity it didn't work out this time!

Have you read Gillian Rubinstein's earlier children's trilogy? I'm talking Space Demons. It's a bit dated, because the computer game in which the children find themselves is sort of Space Invaders type stuff, but still, very good. We've had kids read the first book in Literature Circles and really enjoy it.

Jo said...

Pity to have the two cons clash. Hope they will manage to avoid that next year. Never been to a book con although I used to go to conventions for work reasons. Always interesting and the socialising is always great and beneficial.

Satima Flavell said...

It's gratifying, Sue, to see young children being introduced to speculative fiction. After all, it's just a short step from fairy tales to fantasy and sci-fi! I know it was only a little hop for me to go from myths and legends to The Crystal Cave!

I'll see if I can find Lian's Space Demons. I love reading kids' books!

Satima Flavell said...

Jo, you are so right! Conventions are a painless route to learning and networking. Who would have thought PD could be so much fun?

Satima Flavell said...

Jo, I agree that conventions and conferences can be the lifeblood of a profession. I firmly believe that meeting, befriending and chatting with fellow practitioners is essential for professional growth.

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