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Bloodlines due out in October

Bloodlines will be out early October!!! Ticonderoga Publications will be launching the collection at the SpecFic convention, Conflux. I am so, so excited for this anthology to be released. It features 16 amazing stories written by 16 fantastic authors. If you're heading to the convention, I hope to see you at the launch!

To celebrate the upcoming release, I will be hosting a series of blogs from the talented authors themselves; they'll explain what inspired them to write their delicious tales.

So stay tuned!


I like rocks

My little homage to Sir Mixalot...except I like rocks.

I like rocks and I cannot lie
You other fossickers can't deny
When you walk by an itty bitty schist
And a diamond in your face
You have fun

And because it's not fair to tease you all without showing you any of the good stuff, here's some rocks:

(I took this pic of fossil-filled cemented sand/sandstone near the Gulf of Carpentaria).


Nefertiti's tomb

I have a massive soft spot for Egypt's18th dynasty. All of ancient Egypt's history is fascinating - animal-headed gods, animal gods, mummies, pyramids, and so much more (what's not to love?) - but the characters of the 18th dynasty were just phenomenally interesting to me. The fact I wrote a short story for the Cranky Ladies of History anthology about Hatshepsut’s rise to power may be rather indicative of this. After all, of all the women in history I wanted to talk about, it was one of the female kings of Egypt.

But my fascination doesn’t end there. When the Tutankhamun exhibition was in Melbourne, I was more excited about a single room of antiquities than all the other treasures brought in to showcase the boy king. This room was dedicated to his father, Akhenaten. I like Akhenaten so much that I wrote a number of university essays on him in my time. He was fascinating, and awfully clever in the way he changed Egypt's religion. Even though those alterations didn't last for long (in the scheme of things), he certainly left a lasting impact.

Then there was Nefertiti, rumoured to be the most beautiful woman in the world, from her bust which is kept in the Berlin museum. She was Akhenaten's Great Royal Wife. But she is also thought to have potentially taken the throne after Akhenaten’s death, as Neferneferuaten. And now, a researcher thinks he’s found her tomb - the entrances hidden by King Tut’s famous burial chamber. Whether or not these claims turn out to be true, it’s still terribly exciting.

Check out more on the new claims about Nefertiti’s tomb here.

Being bossy

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be ‘bossy’ and female. I’ve often said growing up that my brother and I are like chalk and cheese, but that we’re both a bit bossy. I’ve always meant it in a humorous way, not in the damming way it can be used to describe young girls who act assertive.

It’s so much a part of my nature that I sometimes get called on being too loud, speaking too much, etc. Which always makes me worry, because I really do try and be a good listener; I know I’m a talker, and so I try to make sure I take everyone else’s opinions on board. But I have an opinion, and don’t feel that I should keep it behind closed lips. Not when it’s warranted.

And then I realise how lucky I am.

I have the ability to speak my mind. I will take the risk and talk out of turn, I will voice my thoughts, I will speak when I want, because I can. I may receive some negativity about it, but my life isn’t in danger, I’m not at risk of being arrested, and certainly not at risk of losing my job, or even losing my friends (provided I’m not being a jerk).

I can be bossy. I can be assertive.

And I can get away with it; maybe with a few ruffled feathers, but they’re adults, they can deal.

Then it makes me think of the connotations of being bossy vs being assertive are quite different. One is something to be shunned, the other is something to be praised. As a little girl, being bossy is bad; but if you're a boy, it's showing leadership potential (depending on how 'bossy' they are). It’s all part of the language that is used to discourage young girls from voicing their opinions, no matter how innocent they may be. How many people actually like being called bossy?

Then I realised that I don’t care. Call me bossy, call me assertive, call me leadership material (hah!), call me whatever. It won’t actually change my nature, and I think that’s a good thing.


The International Space Station

Check out this video on life on the International Space Station!

Great resource for writers! (And interesting, too.)

Literary tattoos

Over at Smart Bitches Trashy Books they've popped up a link to some great book-inspired tattoos. It's worth checking out! Some fantastic ideas there.



Alan Baxter has a great post (with stats!) on rejectomancy and writing. It's well worth a read, so check it out! I've never really kept stats on my short stories, but I know there's a few that got rejected a number of times until they hit the right editor's desk.


Blog series: Paying for our Passion

So I've mentioned this blog series before, but I am going to mention it again, cos there's lots of interesting new posts by authors who describe what they go through to write the stories we all love. Lucy Sussex, Nicole Murphy, Jean Gilbert, George Ivanoff and so many more have contributed. Check it out here!

And not to mention the great work by David McDonald to make it all happen!


So long and thanks for all the crocs

Well, I spent the last week in the Northern Territory (the people naming the states and territories in Australia really didn't put a lot of thought into the job, did they?), specifically, near Darwin. It was a great week, where I walked around, experienced 32 C degree (90 degrees F) heat - in comparison to the 5 degrees of Melbourne - dug some holes and caught up with friends.

Before heading up to the NT, everyone warned me about the crocodiles, as they're meant to be big, mean and ubiquitous. I hate to say it, but I didn't see a SINGLE croc in the wild, which I found pretty disappointing.

But there were other dangers...(life as an archaeologist isn't ever entirely safe, there's a daily risk of paper cuts, for example):

Who says archaeology is boring? There's all kinds of hazards and signs to tell us of them! (That's where they went wrong with the Indiana Jones movies - there should have been a sign more like the following, then Indie could have been better prepared):

While on site, I also got to walk up to the top of a lighthouse, which had five flights of tiny winding stairs, but the view was worth it.

And because I didn't get to see a croc in the wild, I went to a croc and reptile sanctuary in town and got to hold a baby crocodile!! It was called Fluffy. Don't think he was too impressed with the name or being held.


Bloodlines Table of Contents Announced!!

It is super exciting to be able to finally spill the beans about the amazing line up for the Bloodlines anthology!!

  • Alan Baxter ‘Old Promise New Blood’

  • Anthony Panegyres (Anthony Phillips) ‘Lady Killer’

  • Dirk Flinthart ‘In The Blood’

  • Jane Percival ‘The Mysterious Mr Montague’

  • Joanne Anderton ‘Unnamed Children’

  • Kathleen Jennings ‘The Tangled Streets’

  • Kelly Hoolihan ‘The Stone and the Sheath’

  • Lyn Thorne-Adder ‘Lifeblood of the City’

  • Martin Livings, Author ‘A Red Mist’

  • Nathan Burrage ‘The Ties of Blood, Hair and Bone’

  • Paul Starkey ‘The Tenderness of Monsters’

  • Pete Kempshall ‘Azimuth’

  • Rebecca Fung ‘In the Heart of the City’

  • S. Zanne ‘Seeing Red’

  • Seanan McGuire ‘Into the Green’

  • Stephanie Gunn ‘The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth’

The sequel anthology to Bloodstones is an urban fantasy short story collection that features stories about blood: 'blood will tell', 'blood is thicker than water', etc. I can't wait for everyone to be able to see the wonders of this collection!!




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Book News


In a world where being different is dangerous, Elle Brown is just trying to keep her kid sister out of trouble. But can she manage to keep herself safe?

Graced is Amanda Pillar's first novel. Out now!


Bloodlines will be out in 2015! Blood will tell... blood holds memory... blood is sacrifice... blood is thicker than water... blood is life. These are the stories that will make up Bloodlines!


Bloodstones, edited by Amanda Pillar, features 17 stunning tales of urban fantasy set in the contemporary world. BUY HERE


Damnation and Dames, edited by Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar, features 16 tales of paranormal noir. Put on your coat and step into a world of noir...with bite. BUY HERE


Ishtar. Powerful, sexy, and very, very deadly. This outstanding novella collection contains gems from Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren and Cat Sparks! Edited by Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor. BUY HERE


Each story in this collection has been inspired by a track from the album, Scenes from the Second Storey. Quirky, dark, insightful and sometimes downright disturbing, these tales are written by an all-Australian cast and are set to enchant. Edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall.


Are you looking for a dark chocolate anthology full of tales about the Morrigan goddess? Then go no further than the The Phantom Queen Awakes. Edited by Amanda Pillar and Mark S. Deniz. BUY HERE.


The award-winning Grants Pass is a post apocalyptic anthology, edited by Amanda Pillar and Jennifer Brozek. BUY HERE.

"Grants Pass is a remarkable, disturbing, and worthwhile read, and one that is likely to stay with the reader for some time to come."

- HorrorScope


Voices' is set in a hotel of horrors. Have you ever wondered what's happened in your hotel room before you arrived? Edited by Amanda Pillar and Mark S. Deniz. BUY HERE.

"Every story in Voices is of high quality, and the editors should be commended for their high standards. This is one of the best anthologies of dark fiction to have been released recently, and is highly recommended."

- HorrorScope

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