Category: Blog

January Update

January Update

My daughter came up from Sydney and spent much time at the beach. Her cat was extremely pleased to see her, and made sure to remind her exactly what her main role in life should be.
I hope everybody had a terrific break! I’m back at work, typing merrily away and my to-do list is a mile long. l’ve stuck a new 2019 calendar onto the wall, and I already have one booking as well as a trip to Hong Kong and Japan booked for April.
I’ll be in Melbourne for Whitehorse Manningham Libraries Chinese Reading and Writing Festival in March. I’ll be giving two talks:
7 March 4pm, Doncaster Library: ‘Writing Kung Fu’
8 March 11 am, Doncaster Library: ‘Researching China’ with Carole Wilkinson
If you live in Melbourne, you’re welcome to come along to the library and say hello! These events aren’t up on the library website yet, so no link, but I’ll update on my Facebook page with more details when they become available.
The April trip is booked! We’ll be heading to Hong Kong for three days, then Japan for ten days, in April of 2019. More details closer to the trip!

December Update

When services went underground, the Gold Coast City Council left this telephone pole standing because it had an osprey nest on it. That must have been more than twenty years ago, and there are nesting poles like this all over the Gold Coast. So wonderful to see!

Whew! ‘Guardian of Empire’ is complete and I’ve sent it in to Harper-Collins. Having a deadline like that hanging over your head can be extremely stressful, and it feels good to have it done, particularly now that summer’s here on the beautiful Gold Coast and the beach is calling.
My last appearance for the year was a workshop on self-publishing that I gave at the Queensland Writers Centre. It was a sell-out, and they’ve asked me to do another one next year! Excellent outcome, and I couldn’t have done it without Inari’s help.

The slide says: ‘Steps to Publication.1. Write it. (This is the hardest part and cannot be skipped).(Not even with clever leading-edge marketing.)’
I have signed up with a speakers agency, Greenleaf Speaking who will arrange school tours for me. Now that the dragon empire thing is published, it’s more PG than Dark Heavens, so I can go into schools without completely causing massive disruption. Maybe only a little bit. I’m updating the website to put the link to Greenleaf Speaking there.
I’m going back to Hong Kong! My daughter and I are making plans for a trip to Japan and Hong Kong for April of next year.  We’ll be able to do some serious research. I’ll send you lots of photos, I promise! This will ensure that the Simone Spinoff happens (I think I may just call it Spinoff!). I’ve already started posting the spinoff to my lovely patrons on the Patreon site, so they’re reading it way before anyone else.
Thanks for being the fans a writer could ask for, it’s been a terrific year and next year I’m hoping to get myself to all the major Australian capitals. 
Have a terrific holiday season.

November Newsletter

Just before the Gold Coast 600, thousands of these little blue jellyfish washed up onto the beach. It was absolutely covered in them – and they rotted most pungently. Sorry car people.   


November update
October has been a quieter month after the Oz Comic-Con insanity of September. I’ve concentrated on finishing ‘Guardian of Empire’ – and it’s done. Whew. I wanted to write shorter books in the sci-fi, so I could produce more books more quickly.  It didn’t happen – and to my chagrin, ‘Guardian’ has turned out to be almost exactly the same length as ‘Scales’ to within a couple of thousand words – when I thought it would be about 20,000 words shorter! Thanks, muse. (My muse is a small ugly thing that sits in the corner and demands offerings of lost sleep before it will present me with story. True.)
Here’s a snippet from later in the book that I sent to the publishers for the launch meeting:
I put my hand on Bartlett’s furry head to reassure him as we reached the edge of Sky City and Marque floated us down towards the surface of the planet below. The white sides of the floating city were carved in an enormous depiction of dragons going about their colonising ways, talking to many different species, in a frieze that was more than three hundred metres high. We dipped below the edge and the massive ancient anti-grav engines that held up the city came into view, glowing blue-white beneath it. Marque had often complained that they were severely out of date and asked the Empress to land the city so they could be replaced with ones that weren’t visible, and the Empress always said no because she liked the shinies.
Now that Guardian is finished, it’s time to sit down and work out the structure for the Simone spinoff, because that definitely needs to happen.

Oz Comic-Con September 2018

Here’s a selection of photos that I (and my awesome con buddies) took of Comic-Con Brisbane and Sydney. Click on an image to see a larger version.

Brisbane Partners in Con

Here’s Queenie and Traci, on the Friday night before the con started, heading back to the Platinum party from the Convention Centre.

Giant Funkos!

As I approached the hall on the first day, I was greeted by these GIANT Funko-pops – at least as tall as me.

Debby and Loki!

My friend Debby came to help me on the Saturday. She made that T-shirt herself!


Me: Debby, please take lots of photos of cosplay for me while I’m busy

Debby: I already did


Debby: … and lego.


Debby: I don’t know what this is but it was AWESOME
Me: Warhammer 40k Space Marine

All Might


Sailor Moon

She knows she’s gorgeous


Mr Squiggle


Gohan and Videl

Me: And you put your hands like this, and you put your hands like that
Them: … all right…

Tracey Harding and T2000

Tracey was next to me and we had a blast being con buddies!


I love their glowing magic balls.

Cap and Groot



(Yuri on Ice is my go-to happy place)

… And that’s a wrap!

All guests of the con received these AMAZING beer packs with art by our own Wayne Nichols.

Sunday’s Con Buddy

Tracey O’Hara came to help me on Sunday – here she is, too cool for school.


Tracey brought her nephew Michael, and I sent them off to take ALL THE PHOTOS

Arrow Tracey and Arsenal!

Michael and Black Panther!

Loving the details

She knows she’s gorgeous as well!

Quick Sword Lessons

Michael bought a couple of prop swords and I got so frustrated with him waving them around that I gave him a quick how-to lesson.

Fangirling it up!

Here’s the con-art crew, with Gates McFadden of Star Trek TNG. I’m a happy fangirl!

And that’s a wrap Brisbane!

Kate the volunteer is destroyed… so the con was a success. On to Sydney!

Cat and Diana

Cat Sparks was my con buddy in Sydney – check out her sci-fi ‘Lotus Blue’

General Okoye


This is a real magazine. With articles for cats. So of course I bought it.

The Emperor’s New Groove


Found him..them!


The Prettiest Disney Princesses

In the show!


Cruella De Ville…

I have that song stuck in my head now

Serious competition!

I met Thor on my way to the Green Room


My pick for best cosplay. Tom Holland’s costume for the lip-synch battle where he danced to Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’. Uh… google it?

September Update

(Click on the image to see a video)
I’ve been here more than a year now, and the beach still surprises. The sky was an intense shade of pink that the camera really doesn’t do justice.

August is finished, and September is here. I’m making good progress on ‘Guardian of Empire’ (the working title for book 2 of the dragon thing) and I did some fun appearances during the month.

Oz Comic-Con Brisbane and Sydney

The big upcoming news is that I will be at Oz Comic-Con Brisbane and Sydney at the end of September. Many thanks to my patrons at Patreon who are helping me to get there – and here’s hoping that I’ll be able to visit more cities next year (including Perth and Adelaide!)
Brisbane is 22-23 September
Sydney is 29-30 September
I’ll have copies of ‘Scales of Empire’ in print and audio to sign, so come along and say hello!
Byron Bay Writers Festival
I didn’t take any photos at this event, but the weather was beautiful and the setting was fabulous. Highly recommended. I was the guest of the guys from Ingram Spark, who I have an excellent relationship with – they’re the ones who print my novellas that are so popular at the conventions. I sincerely hope I’ll get a return invite!
QWC Workshop on Fantasy
I presented a workshop on fantasy world building at the Queensland Writers Centre in August, and I think I broke everybody’s brains. They came in wanting inspiration and I gave them perspiration! It was a terrific bunch of people and I’m looking forward to giving this workshop again – the Alternative James Bond character they created (without input from me) was a married asexual black woman. Every time I do this exercise, Alternative James Bond comes out as someone different.
Golden Arcade, Sham Shui Po

Click on the image to read the full article
The ‘out-take’ going up for $2+ Patrons on my Patreon is an early extract that’s set in Golden Arcade in Sham Shui Po. I’ve made a public post about it that you can check out by clicking on the image: This is one of Hong Kong’s unique places to visit. When I was working as a computer consultant in HK, I spent a great deal of time there, and built relationships with some of the shopkeepers there. Read more about it on the Patreon page.
That’s all for August: I hope to see you in Sydney and Brisbane soon!