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Shadows and Light

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appearances

Big Sky writers festival

Since having children getting to any festival has been a massive challenge but this year I’m starting to come back. Cue excitement!

Thanks to the fabulous folk at my local library in Geraldton I will be appearing at the Big Sky writers and readers festival this May. It’s been a long while between festival coffees for me but I couldn’t be looking forward to it more.

More details about what I’ll be doing will be coming when I have them.  In the meantime, check out the website….HERE

 

 

Supanova Perth Visit: come meet me!

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I’m getting excited because I’m going to be in Perth next weekend, June 21 -22 for the Supanova Expo!

Supanova is big on the scifi fantasy calendar with big name stars coming from all over the world to talk about our favourite genre in TV, Books, Comics, Anime, Graphic Novels – you name it, it’s there. I’m going to be doing a panel called Blood on Your Hands on Sunday June 22 from 3.10pm with other stellar authors; Robin Hobb, Jo Spurrier, Colin Taber and Scott Baker and we’re talking about how we deal with maiming and torturing our characters. Fun times!

I’ll also be hanging around the Booktopia shop to sign books and I’ll have some freebies to give away on my fantasy series The Twins of Saranthium.

So come down and have a chat, dress up for Cosplay or just soak up the vibes and catch some of the fantastic panels, Here’s where you can get the Perth Program

Fiction, food and friends at the AFCC Singapore

CAM00151 The AFCC in Singapore has been an absolute blast with so much to listen to and discuss and all about writing for children and teens.

I’ve been listening to talks on digital publishing, pitching, writing from history and non fiction for children, writing a series, creating quirky characters and my own panel with Payal Dhar, and Sally Gardner about why we love writing fantasy and sci fi for young adults and the future trends in YA – which by the way we all agreed is impossible to predict!

CAM00153And take a look at the fabulous book store set up by the Wood in the Books! Just a taste of the imagination that’s gone into this fabulous international festival.

CAM00154???????????????????????????????In between the sessions I’ve been trying out all the delicious food in Singapore that I can. Here I am with fellow Australian authors Raewyn Caisley (left) and Deb Fitzpatrick (right) with me in the striped shirt, eating buttered battered squid, stir fried greens and the best green mango salad in Singapore I swear! And that was just one night.

I’ve also been to the amazing SEA Aquarium at Sentosa Island and strolled along the river in the evening light and it’s been thanks to the fantastic people at the AFCC and Writing WA.

CAM00156

Soon I’ll post in more detail about some of the panels but until then happy reading and writing

xxx Lara

Three sleeps ’til the AFCC Singapore

I’m almost all packed with shoes counted, dresses rolled to minimise creasing and the all important book to read on the plane chosen as I get ready to head to Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. And I can’t wait.

While there I’m doing a panel about the trends in and writing speculative fiction for young adults with two other fabulous writers, Payal Dhar and Sally Gardner. And I’m going to be heading to as many of the other sessions as I can.

I’ll be taking pics and blogging about when I can (wifi permitting!)  so look out for that. Ready to go!

xx L

 

 

 

Supanova Perth in June

I’m really excited to finally be able to tell you that I will be appearing at Supanova in Perth this June 21 and 22.
I’ve been a fan of the Expo for a while so it’s great to be invited as one of the authors.

Plenty of great authors are going to be there including Robin Hobb, Glenda Larke, Keri Arthur and Jo Spurrier to name just a few. Oh and some other vaguely famous people such as Jon Heder who was in that little known movie Napoleon Dynamite, John Barrowman from Torchwood and Doctor Who and Laurie Holden who did that barely recognised little tv show The Walking Dead. So, you know, just a few small timers (!! excited yet??)

It’s going to be a blast. So if you’re in Perth, come down and see me at a panel or have a chat at the book booth.
It’s going to be great!

Go here to find out all about it.

The Future of Fantastic YA- is dystopia dead???

Well that’s what I’m going to be discussing when I go to Singapore later this year.
Yes I’m excited to have been invited to be part of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in June and I’ll be hopping on a (not Qantas) plane to see the beautiful garden city.

I’m doing a panel on June 2 with fellow authors Payal Dhal and Sally Gardner talking about the ins and outs of writing science fiction for young adults. We will probably also discuss the future of YA and trends over the past decades.

It’s  a topic that’s close to my heart because I’ve been hearing around the traps that dystopia is dead and ‘sick lit’ is the new big thing ; as in ill teens and broken hearted love, think John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars which has (and quite rightly) been a massive best seller. Well done John on your beautiful book

But…… much of the talk of the death of dystopia is coming from publishers and agents – and some book sellers – and I’m wondering what readers think.

Are you over the dystopia? Have the likes of the Hunger Games and Divergent and the movie franchises sucked the life out of the genre and you hunger now for different world?

I’m not convinced, but perhaps I’m grasping at straws because Rosie Black is dystopian and I don’t want to see a genre I love so much die. There are so many wonderful stories that are dystopian.

Perhaps it is the too familiar setting of a totalitarian futuristic world where a group of teens must overturn the status quo that has become too common place that it no longer holds interest. Maybe we need fewer female warriors with the token boy love interest to be replaced by a more complicated relationship where girl and boy are equal in their struggle. I’m sure there are books out there with that. Julianna Baggott’s books for example.

I think a big part of it could be that agents, and editors, are just sick to death of reading pile after pile of dystopian YA and can no longer see the wood for the trees, and possible don’t want to. I mean if you’re forced to eat nothing but chocolate cake day in and out for eons, then even if you love it you’re going to get very, very sick of it after a while. I’m not surprised many of them have dystopian fatigue – but does that mean readers do as well?

I still think that what readers want is a good story and characters they can love, people they want to know and cheer for. What we need is just to work harder on that and wring out our hearts and blood and tears creating stories that resonate and connect regardless of which world they are in.

 

This writer’s life…..

well in my day dreams my writing life consists of me actually getting to write for hours a day surrounded by endless cups of tea, fresh sliced mango and mini Mars bars served by the person who is busy doing all my housework – in reality it’s nothing like that.  The pile of washing is bearing a remarkable resemblance to the leaning tower of Pisa, I’m almost out of tea and the only chocolates in the house are mint flavoured which I hate. Although I believe there is a mango somewhere in the fridge buried behind half empty jars of curry paste.

So, it’s not all sunglasses and autographs , but I can work in my pyjamas which seems a pretty fair trade.

So what have I been doing? Lately, since sending off the ready-for-the-editor draft of Rosie 3 (yay!), I’ve had to attend to all those things that pile up when you’re pretending the real world isn’t, well, real. Sorting paperwork, paying bills (argh!) and getting the dishwasher fixed – you know THAT sort of stuff. Boring.

I’m also having to devote some time to getting ready for the Perth Writers Festival at the end of the month. Not so boring.  I’m running a 3 hour workshop so that means I need to come up with some creative and worthwhile discussions and exercise for that as well as preparing for the talks I’m doing.

You might not have thought about it, but writers who talk at Festivals aren’t all just natural stand up comedians with a line in wit to entertain the crowds. I know, shocking isn’t it? And you thought we were all as smart and funny as Stephen Fry.  Generally we tend to be more of the deer caught in the head lights startled staring types when put in front of vast groups of people – well I can be anyway – so I need to come up with things to say that won’t  result in a tent full of blank silent people wondering what I’m talking about. Seriously, I’ve said things on a stage and the resounding vacuum of sound has me sure I can see tumbleweeds rolling down the aisles.

This is not the preferred reaction.

So, amusing anecdotes and things that will convey that I have some idea about this writing thing are what’s filling part of my brain at the moment and occasionally spilling out onto the keyboard.

I’m also working on the third and last book in my fantasy series The Twins of  Saranthium for the German market which is involving a lot of re-reading the 100,000 or more words I’ve written already and then taking copious amounts of notes done in long hand in notebooks, on what’s happening next. This, by the way, is going to be a large book. And I write the notes in longhand because, for me, literally putting pen to paper has always been the best way for me to plot the story and figure out who is doing what and going where.

Then the next step in the process is typing up all those notes, which takes me hours to decipher because my handwriting can look like it was written by a drunk monkey  – and I’m not talking about the kind trained by NASA . But you know, that’s just how it is.

So here I am this afternoon, about to apply fingers to keyboard again to knock the notes into shape so I can, in the very near future, actually get down to the nitty-gritty of really writing and finishing the book so I have a hope of making the deadline. Which is May. I’m pretty sure. (scratches head and looks worried). So I should probably go and do that, shouldn’t I? I mean I can’t just hang around here procrastinating can I?

……….ooh look, is that a funny You Tube link……

 

What I did on the weekend…

I had a HUGE weekend just gone because I was appearing at my town’s annual writers festival, Big Sky. It was so much fun and I got to chat for long periods with friend, and fellow fantastical author, Juliet Marillier as well as lots of others. I’ve done a report of it on my other website for any one interested.. go to http://www.lara-morgan.com

 

Sydney visit success & YA Reads interview

I’m sitting at the airport waiting (im)patiently for my plane home so though I would drop a short line to say a big THANKS to all those enthusiastic people I talked to in Sydney last week. Especially a big hello to the students at Kariong Mountains High School and Berkeley Valley Campus who asked so many fantastic questions and were so welcoming. Hopefully, one day, I will be back.

Also – check out this fantastic interview with the charming Christina of YA Reads that I did at www.yareads.com

So now it’s back home to work like mad on the edit of Equinox so it will be ready to come out in November!

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