Thursday, February 01, 2007

Aurealis Felicitas et Bonum

Well, first things: I have just returned from Brisbane where the 11th Annual Aurealis Awards were held. MBT had the great fortune to be nominated then short-listed in the ‘YA’ category for 2006. Thank you to the judges! So off we went, my wife and I, to Brisneyland (one of the many affectionate appellations we none Brisbane dwellers have for that – as it turns out – wonderful city) I have to confess that I had only passed through once before – a days work at an army barracks a long time ago – and had a southerners prejudice: well I was SOOOOOOO wrong. We loved it there! A salient lesson against mindlessness there.


Off we went with a posse of my close ones who have all moved up to Brisy very recently and came out in support of MBT and me. We had a great night. I finally met with the radiant Kim Wilkins, our host for the evening and the author of the Fantastica: Sunken Kingdom series , which I illustrated and was also nominated in the Awards in the ‘Children’s’ section. I talked with Will Elliot – author of The Pilo Family Circus, the winner of both the ‘Horror’ category and the Golden Aurealis! and Juliet Marillier (very briefly as she signed her novel for me) author of the ‘Fantasy’ category winner, Wildwood Dancing – which I am reading and enjoying at this very moment.

I also had a chance to chat with Dr Katherine Phelps who herself lectures on such things as world building to aspiring writers – amongst all her many other achievements and activities. I have to confess I was a little dazzled, but there you go – I suppose I can not expect too much in the good social skills department when I spend so much time closeted away making stuff up about a place that is only real inside my own head. Indeed, I am woefully ignorant of many of my fellow “genre” authors and contributors, and to them all I apologise.

Equally brilliant was the deep conversations with budding writers, and other newly arrived authors, the brief but deeply encouraging brush with the folks of Small Beer Press – so hello particularly to Kelly and Gavin … and to Melaina too, a fellow word-lover whose passion is contagious.

But most brilliant of all was the fact that MBT won the ‘YA’ category. Yep, that’s right – it took the trophy. It is a very strange thing to go from the profoundly personal process of writing, the privacy of editing with publisher (Dyan) and editor (Celia) then find myself squinting into bright stage lights and fumbling out a few awed words of gratitude. It is a strange thing, and as Dr Katherine said on the night, to be short-listed is to be a winner. I am very grateful either way, and pleased and amazed at the recognition to even be short listed.

So to Kate and Ron and all those who made the night and everything leading up to it happen – bleeding brilliant and thank you!

(How’s that for a whole bunch of name dropping…)

As for my ever-patient posters, I have not forgotten your questions - oh no! Not at all. I have gathered them over the long hiatus and printed them off and all… and shall get on to them in the next couple of days. Also, you might want to pop along to Inside A Dog for the next month or so, where I am to be the writer in residence and learn how to blog a darn sight more frequently than I do here. Only good things can result ... Lord willing.

My word! life is just getting busier… Here was me thinking it would become a little quieter after Book 2 was done.

Also: I have just started a dietary change around so be prepared for a thinner DM.

And now: Half-Continent synonyms for real-world terms #007
Thank you to two of my regular blog-buddies for yet more of a challege!

sweat = the dribbles, aquicrina or "the quicks" in its vernacular form, or schwess (if you are from Gottland).

biro = in terms of an equivalent it would be either stylus or quill, though if you handed a biro to a learned person from the Hc they might term it a plenatris (the vernacular being rendered perhaps to plint) or atrement. (And thank you, Mark, for being at Mawson Lakes and for the heads up re: the old illustrated herbals currently on display at the Museum of Economic Botany in the Botanic Gardens)

NOTE: MBT = Monster Blood Tattoo, Hc = Half-Continent


Femina said...

CONGRATULATIONS! How tremendously exciting - and well deserved.

Right now I'm simultaneously wading through Homer, Virgil and Euripides (in translation, thankfully). I love them but I'd much rather be curled up in a comfy chair with MBT and a mug of hot chocolate...

Anonymous said...

Wow that is amazing news! Well done!

I've been looking at your book for the past week - it's just been released in the UK and I've been searching for your website....I run the website - we sell unique doodled books to collectors by authors and illustrators....we'd like to interview you and if possible feature your book as doodled book of the month...we advertise in the Book and Magazine Collector every month and we have contacts from Random House publicity in the UK.

Please contact me at

Best Wishes

Claire Main

Kathryn said...

Thats so cool!!! Well done!
I love your book and can't wait for the other two to come out, and i can see why it won so congratulations! I'm going to go back to reading MBT