Thursday, February 20, 2014

First issue

February's issue of Flash Frontier just went live, it's my first issue as Features Editor, and I couldn't be happier.

Massive thanks to Nuala Ní Chonchúir and Ethel Rohan for their brilliant conversational piece, from their respective positions of judges of the form as well as writers. And huge thanks, too, to Dan Powell, his thoughtful and thought provoking answers really took this month's interview to a new level. 

Please check out the fiction page for stories by Susan Tepper, Neil Campbell, Helen Moat and so many others - terrific work!

Finally, thanks to Michelle Elvy and Elizabeth Welsh for inviting me to step into editorial shoes. I have to say, for this first issue, they feel very comfortable and I'm looking forward to April's issue already.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The ring of morgana

In a brand new series, Donna Hosie revisits Logres with THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT.

Sixteen-year-old Mila Roth wants to be normal. It’s a phrase that has been drilled into her by her mother since she was born.

But Mila Roth is anything but normal. For sixteen years her parents have hidden a secret from her. For Mila was born one thousand years ago in the land of Logres, and far from being a math teacher and a housewife, Mila’s parents are the awakened King Arthur and Gorian druid queen, Morgana.

Two worlds, one thousand years apart. And those worlds are about to collide.

The spirit of the malevolent Lady of the Lake has been contained for sixteen years in the fabled Ring of Morgana. When the ring curses Mila’s younger sister, Lilly, the Roth family has no choice but to return Mila to the land of her birth as they face a battle against time itself.
Accompanied by her best friend, Rustin, Mila will have to decide whether to defy those she loves in order to save her sister. Should she trust the Gorian druids and the mysterious Melehan? What is the true cost to Mila’s heart as she strives to master the purple flame? And why have her mother and father denied the truth of her origins for so long?
For she alone has the combined power of royalty and druid magic within her.

And now only Mila can save Lilly and Logres.

THE RING OF MORGANA will be released in ebook and paperback on the 15th June 2014.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blog her award

Thanks very much, Teresa Stenson, for presenting me with this blog award and giving me something to post in February! 

- Where do you usually write/create?

In writing terms, the creating and the writing often occur at different times, though not always. Often an idea will present itself to me when I’m out and about, or when reading or listening to other people’s conversations – I am a dreadful earwigger! In that sense, the creating part happens anywhere. But the writing gets done during school hours, and evenings after the kids are in bed, and at weekends, usually at a table I bagged at a charity shop for this very purpose, though I used to have to write on my bed (which is far more uncomfortable that one would imagine if one hadn’t spent all day there). I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go, too, so I do take notes and jot lines to add to story drafts-in-progress as I potter around Auckland and its environs. Comic creating gets done, predominantly in my car, outside the house of my daughter’s guitar tutor or on the settee of an evening, and the painting part I do at the aforementioned desk. I should have just written “Anywhere,” ay?

- Describe your ideal writing/making day.

I wake naturally, it’s still very early, I have clarity of thought, my eyes aren't sore and the kids are out with their dad for the day and miraculously my neighbours are not felling trees or using petrol mowers or leaf blowers. I open my laptop and the next thing I notice is the kids opening the door, they’ve had a great day and are asking why I haven’t put the lights on. 

- What are you really enjoying working on at the moment?

A short story about food and cross-cultural social etiquette, and a comic/graphic interview with a writer whose work I am in awe of.

- What, if anything, stops you from writing?

Insects. And biscuits. Insects in my biscuits would be a definite game ender, unless they were dead fly biscuits, which would only cause a temporary hiatus. 

- If you could choose a writer to be your mentor (share work with, chat about the process) who would it be? 

I have to choose just one? I was lucky when I won the AUT Graphic Fiction Competition that part of my prize was mentoring from Dylan Horrocks, who is revered as something of a comics Buddha, though I doubt he would be keen on followers rubbing his tummy for luck. Writing wise, I love everything I’ve read of Nuala Ní Chonchúir, David Constantine and Adnan Mahmutovic, they can do no wrong in my eyes, and I’d love to natter with Alison Moore, Toni Morrison, Michael Ondaatje and Audrey Niffenegger, ask them about structure. 

- Do you believe in writer's block? If you get it, how do you overcome it?

I think it’s very real for a lot of writers, I don’t doubt it when they say they have it, but I haven’t experienced it. The nearest to it I can imagine is when I spend too much time on my opening paragraph and I find I put a disproportionate amount of pressure on myself to have the following sentences perfect in a first draft. I think something like writer’s block can also happen, conversely, when the opening is all wrong and I haven’t thought something out as well as I should have before writing, in which case the writing bumps me out and I find it difficult to press on until I’ve resolved the issue. 

- Tell us a good thing that happened to you today.

I got this blog award!

- What's the first thing you do in the morning?

Pretend to be asleep.

- What's your most listened to song?

Today it’s “Birds” by The Veils (Finn Andrews and his younger brother were at a recent literary gathering I attended, apparently I wasn’t the first person to mistake the latter for the former and my mention of the younger being the spit of my kid brother did little to redeem me). Previous obsessive plays include “Animal Life” by Shearwater; Rokia Traoré’s “Laidu”; Christine McVie’s “Songbird”; “Have You Got It In You?” by Imogen Heap; Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut”; “Yes” by McAlmont and Butler; “Tonight Will Be Fine” by Leonard Cohen (I was lucky enough that Mr Cohen gave me permission to use his lyrics in my fiction, and my fave cover of this track is Teddy Thompson’s); “The Witch of Pittenweem” by Emily Barker; and of course, Jamez Chang’s “Fifteen Years” which features a sample of my voice (who doesn’t like the sound of it?)!

- Who would play you in the movie of your life? 

Vickie Bak Laursen, better known as Pernille Lindegaard from The Bridge – Danish is a lot like Barnsley dialect: en kop te, tak – sorted. But if I wanted a blockbuster, Rachel Weisz, because a) then people would flock to watch it, and b) I think Rachel doing a northern English accent is a feather she cannot omit from her acting cap and can only improve relations with him indoors, from whom she can take lessons, and c) she’s already called Rachel – bonus. Kate Winslet might be good, too, for the upside-down smile ability. Ideally, if you get all three of them in the Brundle-pod and splice them, without accidentally including a fly in the mix, I think a good me-alike would be the result.

- What would the title of your autobiography be?

I’m slowly cobbling together a comic memoir currently and that’s called New Shoes, but a written autobiography could be called Alter Thy Face – you read it here first, folks.

Apparently I have to pass this on, and the nominees are:

Helen Caldwell 

Nominees - if you choose to accept the award, here's what you need to do:

    Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
    Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
    Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
    Provide 11 random facts about yourself. (I've omitted this part as I feel it's beyond the call of duty)
    Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
    Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
    List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
    Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

The new questions are (I couldn't think of eleven and wanted to get this posted today!):

~Who or what motivates you?
~If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?
~You’re on a desert island, what have you taken with you?
~Describe in one sentence your work area.
~What are the barriers to your creativity?
~What’s your definition of success?