Monday, March 22, 2010

Things You All Need To Know

1. I do actually love you all. Really. Every one of you.
2. I haven't forgotten my login details for this blog.
3. I do intend to do a real blog post again sometime soon.
4. I'm going to Hong Kong next week.
5. I was on the Radio this morning. (Link in case you accidentally missed it. 'PM's awards extended' is the story. If you deliberately missed it then, well, fair enough.)
6. Somerset Writer's Festival was really good fun last week.
7. Work hasn't gone away, even though I did.
8. I have a lecture to write by wednesday.
9. I also have to move into a new office this week.
10. It's time for me to pick up Toby from Daycare.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Margo Lanagan, plus some more Random Bits of News

Hello Bloggies -

Yet another week with only one post here. And on a friday, none the less. Talk about leaving things until the last minute.

But, in my defence, it's been a busy week. Also a really fun one. If exhausting. On Wednesday, I was lucky enough to spend the day with the wonderful author (and all round nice person) Margo Lanagan, who generously agreed to come down here to Canberra for a day to do a couple of lectures for my classes here at UC.

Margo, for the uninitiated, is the author of numerous novels and short story anthologies, most of which have won bucketloads of awards including (but not only) Hugos, Nebulas, Ditmars, Aurealis, Prinz Honours, CBCA awards, and many many others. Last year, her novel Tender Morsels was the winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel. (Also probably my favourite book of 2009, and which, as you can see, now has a spanky new cover by all round clever bugger Shaun Tan).

But most of you know that stuff already, so I won't bang on about it now.

Margo delivered two fantastic lectures for us. The first was a general talk about her creative process and the realities of life as a published, award winning author. One of the things I really love about Margo's approach to these things, and which I always find incredibly refreshing, is how completely grounded and down-to-earth she is in her treatment of these issues. As she took us through the writing process for Tender Morsels it became very clear to all present that here was a writer who took writing seriously - very seriously - but who at the same time was able to maintain a positive and sensible perspective on the balance between the writing life and 'real' life.

Her second lecture, which was to the literature studies class in which we're currently looking at Tender Morsels addressed all sorts of issues related to the novel, including its classification as 'YA', the tabloid media beat up in the UK which followed the book's release there, the use of violence and the inclusion of 'taboos' in writing, and about a dozen other equally interesting topics. It's always fun getting an insight into another author's ideas and creative process, not least because it enables me to flagrantly steal ideas and techniques for my own writing. (Which is fine to do, because Margo said so...)

All in all, Margo Lanagan Day was a really enjoyable one for all concerned at this end.

(For those interested, Margo is a prolfic twitterer, and can be found @margolanagan)

In other news, earlier in the week I got a package from Queensland, and inside it were two shiny new copies of the first print run of Daywards. After ten years, I'd expected to be all excited upon recieving these particualar books in the mail, but for the most part I have to say the predominant feeling was a profound sense of relief that it was all - finally - over.

The book looks very nice. Bright and, uhm... rather gold and shiny. (Dat Book gots bling, fo shizzle!) It also looks very, very nice parked beside Nightpeople and Skyfall. It'll hit the shelves on the 29th of March, but before then anyone lucky enough to be at the Somerset Celebration of Literature, between the 17th and 20th of March, can get an early copy from the bookshop there. On the first day of the festival the book will also be officially 'launched' by the very generous James Roy.

Anyway, that's it from me for the moment. Long weekend this week for all us ACT residents, and me and my little brood are off down the coast to Tathra.

Cheers
Tony

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