Saturday, September 25, 2010

Young Over-Achievers...

A rare saturday blog post from me, owing to Toby having a sleepover at his grandmother's house last night!

I mentioned in my last blog that I was off to launch a book on Wednesday night.

The book in question was The Griffin's War by Katie J Taylor, one of my former Uni of Canberra students, and a very impressive young woman.

I've mentioned Katie here before, but thought I'd talk about her in a little more detail here. Hopefully she won't mind.

Firstly, here's the book I launched for her this week ---->

If you look closely at the fine print at the top of the cover, you'll notice that this is book 3 of her trilogy The Fallen Moon.

And if you look at the date of my last post, about Katie's first book in the series, you'll notice that it's dated almost exactly a year ago.

That's right. In the last 12 months, Katie has put out not one, or two, but an entire trilogy of very readable, *very* hefty fantasy books. And she's already finished the drafts of the next three in this world she's created. The 'Fallen Moon' books are also just about to hit the shelves in the USA.

Speaking as someone who took the better part of an entire decade to put out my own spec-fic trilogy, I can only take my hat off in admiration. In fact, I think it's safe to say that Katie is one of the most prolific writers I've ever met.

But that's Katie for you. If you ever get a chance to meet her, and to listen to her speak, then you should take it - she's a fascinating writer to talk to. After just a few minutes, it quickly becomes clear that Katie is a writer whose characters are utterly alive in her head. The minutiae of her worlds are similarly alive to her. As someone who works in a very different way, and who has a very different approach to narrative, it's quite amazing to be privvy to such a dedicated young writer.

At the launch the other night, she made a fantastic speech - she talked about her recent experiences at World Con in Melbourne (which, sadly, I didn't manage to extricate myself from the rest of my life in time to attend) and the realisation she came to one night there, having met so many of the world's top spec fic writers (She has a copy of her book with some incredible signatures in it, including - and I'm very jealous of this - George R.R. Martin!) that really the writing game isn't about yourself as a writer, or about the success or otherwise of your books, (that way lies madness), but it's about other people - your readers. It was an incredible thing for someone still starting out in this industry to talk about: I'd been at this game a lot longer than Katie before I came to a similar realisation, and when I did, I think that in many ways it was a moment that really released me from constraints in my writing - It was fantastic to hear Katie talk about it in such a thoughtful and reflective fashion.

So congratulations to Katie on The Fallen Moon (I'm not going to spoiler it here, but have reviewed all the books on Goodreads for anyone interested), and also to Harper Voyager for taking on such a talented young writer and giving her such a supportive start to what will, I suspect, be a very long and productive writing career.

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