Wow! Fast work by my French and German publishers. The translations of Song of the Slums have been finished in double quick time - by Valérie le Plouhinec and Nicola Stuart respectively. The French edition comes out mid-October, the German edition may be in the bookshops already, I'm not sure. The two covers follow the model of the French and German Worldshaker and Liberator - very different styles!
The French title zooms in on the name of the main character, and means something like "Astor: the Rhythm of the Streets" (snappy bit of alliteration in French - and harking back to the main girl character in Worldshaker and Liberator). The German title is in English, which I guess you can do because so many Germans speak English. The back cover of the German edition is attractive too -
Supanova in Brisbane and Adelaide
Yay! I've been invited as a guest author to the Brisbane and Adelaide Supanovas - and rubbling shoulders with the likes of George R.R. Martin at the Authors table, and a whole lot of Game of Thrones stars in the Green Room and elsewhere (e.g. Tyrion Lannister, Robert Baratheon, Bron) - not to mention a heap of other stars too!
The Brisbane Supanova is 8th to 10th of November, the Adelaide Supanova is 16th-17th November. Hope to see plenty of old friends - make new friends - and goggle at more and more amazing steampunk costumes! (Me, I'll be bringing my steampunk guitar along).
I'll put up more of the guest list closer to the time. Many great Aus authors, many overseas stars from TV and movies.
News & Blog - transfer
I've been saying I'll do it for so long, and I've finally done it. This home page has been getting ridiculous, filling up with masses and masses of news items going back for months and years - it was just such a daunting job to move it to the News & Blog page, and get everything in the right order. But I've done it. I'll just put a box on this page naming some highlight items now in News & Blog, plus the latest important stuff, which will only stay up for a few weeks before it moves across. (Like the Supanova guest appearances). I've also given up trying to keep News and Blog separate on the News & Blog page - instead I've made 'News' into just 'Coming Events News'.
The Steampunk Guitar - after!
My steampunked guitar! I bought a secondhand guitar and took it to Lewis Morley, who's worked on models for movies like The Hobbit, the Matrix movies and two of the Star Wars movies. With laser cutter and sheer imagination, he created this beauty. All sorts of bits and pieces, cogs and guages, handles and doodahs.
Above: a close up of the Instructions Plate -
(I now have amp/speaker, so I can really play it too!)
Since I'm showing off my guitar, maybe I ought to show off my new steampunk hat too (though not quite as new as the guitar)
Song of the Slums cover
Here's the cover of Song of the Slums! I love it! Here are Astor (with the copper-coloured hair) and Verrol (with his steampunk guitar) hurrying down an alleyway. Might be in Brummingham or might be in London - both cities feature in the novel. So Victorian-looking! Plus an airship hovering in front of the moon …
There's a whole story behind the making of this cover
Here's the blurb:
What if they'd invented rock 'n roll way back in the 19th century?
What if it could take over the world and change the course of history?
In the slums of Brummingham, the outcast gangs are making a new kind of music, with pounding rhythms and wild guitars.
Astor Vance has been trained in refined classical music. But when her life plummets from riches to rags, the only way she can survive is to play the music the slum gangs want.
Charismatic Verrol, once her servant, is now her partner in crime … and he could be so much more if only he'd come clean about his mysterious past …
And underneath, a quote from Kate Forsyth: 'I loved the music, the syncopated rhythm, the dark, smoky atmosphere, the call to arms, the love story …this is gaslight fantasy at its best.'
THE WRITING TIPS SITE goes American, British and Australian
The writing tips website - all 145 pages of it - is now in 3 different version: Australian, US and UK. Click on the bar at the top of any page for Australian version; for the US and UK versions, you need to go to
I produced the website as my community service to Australian fantasy/SF writers, but it's had such great feedback, that I thought it ought to go overseas too. My overseas editors have helped me adapt parts of the last "Getting Published" section for overseas conditions - though actually there weren't as many differences as I expected.
So check it out if you're interested in writing, or even if you're just curious about what goes on behind the scenes in producing a book. Each version can be read on the web or downloaded for free and printed out like a small book. No strings attached - it really was a community service.
Lots of little illustrations too … in fact I'll copy a few of them now.