Posts tagged ‘Satalyte Publishing’

Guest Post – Deb Sheldon – Devil Dragon

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BOOK TITLE:           DEVIL DRAGON

GENRE:      MONSTER-HORROR NOVEL

PUBLISHER:             SEVERED PRESS

RELEASE DATE:     LATE NOVEMBER

Today on Tales From The Scribe, I have author Deb Sheldon as a guest. Deb is dark fiction writer from Melbourne. Her latest book is called Devil Dragon and it looks fantastic! If you are interested in horror, monsters, and of course Australia – then this is the book for you. Give me a message if you would like to review or host an interview with Deb on your blog.

 

From to inspiration to completion: how I wrote Devil Dragon

devil-dragonBack in late 2014, I was making headway into the horror genre after a few years of publishing crime fiction. I had just learned that Kaaron Warren, guest editor of Midnight Echo magazine, had accepted my short story, Perfect Little Stitches, for publication. That sale boosted my confidence tremendously. Perfect Little Stitches had supernatural elements; for my next story, I wanted to feature a real, flesh-and-blood monster set in Australia. But what kind? The obvious subjects – sharks and crocodiles – didn’t interest me.

So I delved into our natural history and explored the Megafauna age. Prehistoric Australia was occupied by huge beasts like something out of a nightmare. Ducks the size of emus, the precursor of the emu three metres tall and weighing over half a tonne. And then the apex predators, chief among them Varanus priscus: a huge Komodo dragon.

Hooked, I decided to write a short story set in modern-day Australia starring a living Varanus priscus.

Except that the more I researched, the more plot possibilities I found. This was by far the most research-intensive tale I’ve ever written. I jumped from one fascinating piece of information to another. The learning curve was so steep as to be almost vertical: I spent weeks learning the ins and outs of hunting, firearms, Komodo dragon biology and behaviour. I discovered that the Australian bush teems with dangerous, feral animals. How could I resist including wild boars in my story, when they can grow to over 200kg and would kill you as soon as look at you? By December 2014, Devil Dragon had asserted itself as a novel.

The plot centres around Dr Erin Harris, a scientist who has an unscientific obsession: to find a living Varanus priscus. Cryptozoologists call it the Devil dragon. This giant Australian reptile became extinct some 12,000 years ago but like Bigfoot or Nessie, there are occasional sightings. Spurred by a credible witness, Erin cobbles together an expedition party consisting of herself, the witness, and his deer-hunting neighbours. They travel into the unexplored heart of a national park. Erin, believing the Devil dragon to be a larger version of the Komodo, is confident she can outwit a specimen. However, the monster that lumbers out of the bush is a savage and unpredictable predator the size of a campervan. Erin must transform herself from genteel university lecturer to die-hard survivalist.

Though I loved every minute of the writing process, creating the Devil dragon itself was the most fun of all. There is scant information on the actual Varanus priscus, so I created my own monstrous version. However, I wanted it to be as realistic as possible within the novel’s fantasy framework. I turned to various experts, including herpetologists, who checked my manuscript for technical accuracy and offered valuable suggestions.

The novel has suspense, action and gore, but it is Erin’s character arc and her relationships with the three members of her expedition that tie the story together. Thematically, Devil Dragon is about intellect versus physicality, ambition versus humiliation, rationality versus fear, and humanity versus the brute force of nature.

Erin will do anything – risk everything – to find a living specimen of the reptile that has been her enduring fixation. She knows that finding the Devil dragon would be more important than the discovery of Archaeopteryx (a dinosaur with feathers), the missing link that bolstered Darwin’s theory of evolution. New species are found all the time – insects and fish, in particular – and no one but experts gives a damn. But the entire planet would go crazy at the discovery of a living, breathing 10-metre killing machine with a mouthful of teeth like butcher knives. Erin wants fame, immortality, to rewrite a chapter of reptile palaeontology – and to put to rest, finally, the ghost of her dead father, a mean drunk who begrudged her any success and gloated at her failures.

But things don’t turn out the way Erin wants or expects…

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Deborah Sheldon is a professional writer from Melbourne, Australia. Her short fiction has appeared in well-respected magazines such as Quadrant, Island, Aurealis, Midnight Echo, SQ Mag, and Tincture Journal. Her work is also found in various anthologies. Upcoming titles include the crime-noir novellas, Dark Waters and Ronnie and Rita, the horror collection, Perfect Little Stitches and other stories, and the contemporary crime novel, Garland Cove Heist. Other writing credits include television scripts such as Neighbours, stage plays, magazine articles, award-winning medical writing, and non-fiction books for Reed Books and Random House Australia.

Visit Deb at http://deborahsheldon.wordpress.com Sign up for her monthly newsletter and receive a free ebook of literary short fiction, 300 Degree Days and other stories.

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Guest Post – Gillian Polack – Truth and Lies

I am hosting Gillian Polack on my blog in the lead up to her new book ‘The Wizardry of  Jewish Women’  Please give her a warm welcome *clap clap clap clap*

 

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Truth and lies

Readers have been playing guessing games with my novels for a while. I began by inventing everything. Right from the beginning, the readers of Illuminations assumed that the novel was about me and that events were real. Except they weren’t. The whole novel was invented.

Alas for humanity, for I’m an unredeemed stirrer. The moment I realised that most readers think that I write about reality, I started sneaking bits in. With Ms Cellophane and with The Art of Effective Dreaming, there are real incidents. Sometimes they’re things I experienced and sometimes they’re borrowed from friends. I challenged readers to guess which bits of the novel they were. No-one has so far got it right unless they were part of the event, in which case they laugh at me and say “I was there.”

My personal favourite error was when someone said “I know what’s real. The incident at the Murrumbidgee. That’s real.” This would be the moment when one of my characters swam naked in the Murrumbidgee (a local river) and was arrested. Me, I’m very self-conscious and seldom wear anything that could be called revealing even with a very stretchy imagination, so even paddling naked is unlikely. Swimming at all is impossible, for I can’t. So that’s an invention, complete and wholly fake.

Since it’s such a fun thing to do (at least for as long as it takes for readers to work out what’s what) I’ve done it again in my new novel, The Wizardry of Jewish Women.

In the interest of fair play, I’ll give you a head start. Two episodes, two hints.

There is a particularly splendid garden in the novel. One to make poets weep and artists dream. This garden is based on a friend’s. She is an amazing gardener and her garden in Canberra was the inspiration for Belinda’s garden in Canberra. I can’t tell you which of the various aspects of its story are real (for that would spoil things), but one most certainly is. This one is possible to deduce from the events, however. And that’s your hint.

The incident where Rhonda goes to Parliament House actually happened. It was an amalgam of three different events from my mad past. The senior politician who sat on the stone table was based Carmen Lawrence sitting on that same cold table. I can’t say who the other politicians were, because they’re amalgams of several who I met very briefly on different occasions. Some of that sequence actually happened, therefore and some most definitely did not.

None of the characters in my novel are real. I took the stone table incident from that occasion with Lawrence (where I was wearing a top that had holes in – ask me what really happened sometime) but I didn’t even try to give her personality to the politician in the novel.

This novel may have events inspired by real life incidents, but the people are all invented. This is how I manage to make events that look real and yet have them fit in the story. The Wizardry of Jewish Women has more borrowed events than most, but every single one of them has been reshaped to fit the characters in the story. No matter how much truth there is in them, they’re all lies.

Gillian will be launching ‘The Wizardry of Jewish Women’ at Readings, Hawthorn on the 5th of September at 6:30pm. We would love to see you there! If you can’t make it but would have liked to get a personally signed copy then please email Tarran on obiwankenobi31[at] hotmail {dot} com or you can pre-order a copy from Satalyte Publishing here

Book Launch – Gillian Polack – The Wizardry of Jewish Women

The fantastic Gillian Polack is releasing her new book ‘The Wizardry of Jewish Women’ at Readings, Hawthorn on the 5th of September at 6:30pm. A delightful, poignant novel that details the lives of Jewish women in Canberra. Mystical, memorial, and cheeky – come and experience the launch of one the next talked about spec-fiction books to be released this year. There may even be pink tutu’s involved.

Gillian Polack Launch Picture

Interview with Kathryn White (Writers on Wednesday)

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I’ve just been interviewed by writer and blogger Kathryn White for her Writers on Wednesday segment:

It was so much fun 😀 I hope you all enjoy it!

Here is the link to the interview! WRITERS ON WEDNESDAY – TARRAN JONES

Official news – Stones of Power has a home!

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I would like to announce that my manuscript ‘Demon Wars #1 Stones of Power’ has been picked up by the wonderful people at Satalyte Publishing. This is such an exciting moment for me as I have been working very hard to make my dream a reality,

Look out in 2016 for book 1 of my fantasy series.

Demons, they were a myth; aren’t they? That is what Taliesin always thought, until the day one killed her parents. In the country of Kalitha, a Magi sparks off a chain of events that frees the First Lord of the Demons, held in captivity from the Demon War, 1000 years ago.

Oein, in Armanion is celebrating the end of the Trade War and whilst waiting for her father and brothers to come home, deserters from the Armanion army who have become bandits attack her village and violate her. She then starts to find her own destiny; one that combines with Taliesin.

Two women on the run, both in separate countries – yet bound to find each other. Oein trains to become Sword Master and The First Lord hunts Taliesin because she is one of most powerful Summoners there is and she can bring through the destruction of her world – for she can not only Summon Elementals but Demons as well.  

Felior, Taliesin’s uncle takes her undercover in Kalitha, only one step ahead of the First Lord. They are searching for another myth, the Stones of Power, as the means to destroy the First Lord has been lost. It is a race to restore the Magi’s lost knowledge, which leads to the question – how can so many memories and histories be forgotten in so little time?

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