Retreats, Anthologies and Covers

Is anyone else wondering where May went? It’s been an exciting month, though also with it’s tragedies as our thoughts go out to the people of Manchester.

Retreat, Refresh, Return

Writing While Soaking up the View

On the first weekend in May, I headed up to Toowoomba for the Omega Writers Retreat. Beautiful weather and surroundings, great speakers, delicious food, great company. Some of the highlights:

  • Deb Porter’s presentations on publishing and good style
  • Delicious Gluten Free food and plenty of it.
  • Time to write, to soak up the beauty, to chat
  • A time of reflection and worship and prayer for each other
  • Chatting with emerging writer, filmmaker, actor – Charis Joy Jackson on the way up
  • Seeing new publications and talking to other writers
  • Attending Ruth Bonetti’s second launch of From Midnight Sun to Southern Cross

I’m looking forward to next year.

Charis and Jeanette

Anthologies

Some of my stories will be published in different anthologies this year.

  • Stasia’s Stand (YA fantasy) in Crossroad Anthology (Birdcatcher Books) – 1st July 2017
  • Rendezvous at Alexgaia (Sci-Fi Space Opera) in Futurevision (1231 Publishing) – 1 pm, 9th September 2017 (Northlakes Library, Northlakes, Qld, Australia)

Exciting development (for me at least 🙂 ) – I have another 10,000 word Sci-Fi story accepted for another anthology. So watch this space!

Events

  • I had fun participating in the Page Turners Book Launch – with the launch of Cindy Tomamichel’s Druid’s Portal
  • Next week the SF/Fantasy Faire is on again next week – don’t miss out on a great line-up of Science-Fiction and Fantasy authors
  • Wombat Books is celebrating 8 years of Publishing – 2-5 pm 17 June, Redlands College, Anson Road, Wellington Point
  • Launch of Blood Crystal – end of June
  • Launch of Crossroads Anthology – 1st July
  • Launch of Futurevision Anthology – 9th September
  • Oz Comic Con, Brisbane – 23-24 September

Reduced price – short time only

Until the end of the week, Heart of the Mountain is on sale at 99c USD.

Fantasy adventure under the mountain – as the twins Retza and Delvina join with the abovegrounder, Zadeki, to save the underground realm from disaster.

If you haven’t read it yet, why not grab a copy from the following outlets:

Amazon US

Amazon Oz

Other outlets (Nook, Kobo etc)

Final Edits and New Stories

So, what else have I’ve been working on?

  • Edits for Blood Crystal (Book 2 Under the Mountain) and Akrad’s Children (Book 1 Akrad’s Legacy).
  • New short stories – both a couple of sci-fi shorts and some fantasy pieces.
  • A cyborg trilogy – finished a rough first draft of book 1 & halfway first draft on book 2
  • Filling out the plot for Stone of the Sea (Working Title) of Book 3 in the Under the Mountain novella series
  • Covers for Blood Crystal and Akrad’s Children

Cover Reveal

This Friday, I’ll be releasing the book cover of Blood Crystal … watch this space.

Looking forward to an exciting year.  Wishing you the best in your reading (and writing) adventures.

Jeanette

January Update 2017

Hi – a quick update of happenings in January.

Lakwi’s Lament Launch

I’m thrilled to be hosting a e-launch of Lakwi’s Lament on Facebook , Saturday 4th February at 2-4 pm (Queensland time, UTC +10).

There will be competitions, giveaways and glitter (well, maybe not the glitter). We had a hoot at the Heart of the Mountain launch last August. This time I will be joined by other fantastic authors. I would be chuffed you and your friends can join us – to accept the invitation follow this link.

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Lakwi’s Lament: a short story (By the Light Books, Jan 2017) follows the adventures of Princess Lakwi. Suitable for ages 12+ it is set in the world of The Herbalist’s Daughter & the Akrad Legacy Series. It is aimed at a younger audience than my other stories, though entertaining for older readers too.

Lakwi would love to read the books in the Royal library, but girls aren’t allowed inside. Her passion for books attracts the attention of her dashing older brother, Prince Rokkan, and her suave cousin, Lord Haka. Will her drive for knowledge lead her into more trouble than she can handle?

Lakwi’s Lament is available as an e-story on Amazon, Draft2Digital, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and other distributors.

Lakwi’s Lament originally appeared in Like a Girl Plan Anthology (Far Horizons, 2015). Like a Girl celebrates and supports education and opportunities for girls and women. Like a Girl anthology is also available on Amazon, with stories from a range of Australian and International authors.

My stories and books can be accessed at Amazon Central page .

January Doings

Apart from getting ready for the launch of Lakwi’s Lament – I’ve been participating once again in the Month of Poetry (see here) – writing a poem each day in the month of January. I’ve also deep in edits of Akrad’s Children (Book 1 of the Akrad Legacy Series) with view of publication later this year.

This coming Saturday I’m attending a workshop by award winning Karen Tyrrell – author of Me and Her: A Memoir of Madness, Bailey Beats the Blah, Songbird Superhero and other books.

On February 11-14 – I’ll be joining with over a 100 authors will be showcasing their books on Facebook at the Our Books Are Not Free.  You can participate here

The sequel to Heart of the MountainBlood Crystal is also in progress, as well as a couple of other short story ideas. Watch this space!
Looking forward to seeing you all at the launch 🙂

Jeanette O’Hagan

December update

These a meme I saw recently that goes something like this:

January

February

March …

blink

December.

I’ve got to say, it does seem like I blinked and the year is almost finished.

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 Since September

  • I’ve released The Herbalist’s Daughter as a e-story on Amazon and other digital outlets.
  • I had a fantastic time a few days in Katomba with the quirky quills & then at the Omega Writers Conference in Mulogoa. Meet old friends, made some new ones, was encouraged and inspired in my writing journey and had the opportunity to inspire others through a Bootcamp session.
  • Had fun at the Be Creative Camp especially in the watercolours workshop – letting my imagination roam.
  • Wrote 50,000 words as part of NaNoWriMo in November
  • Had a short story – Stasia’s Stand – accepted by Birdcatcher books for an anthology in 2017
  • Received some good feedback on Rasel’s Song though the Caleb Competition
  • And also some feedback on Heart of the Mountain’s cover ‘a simple, clean design that makes its point well’ Joel Friedlander, e-Book Cover Design Awards, November 2016

 Anniversaries

This December is the second year anniversary of Tied in Pink: romance anthology (December 2014) and the first year anniversary of Let the Sea Roar, Another Time Another Place, and Like a Girl (December 2015).

The Herbalist’s Daughter (in Tied in Pink) was my first published story. I now have seven short stories and over eight poems published. It’s been an exciting two years 🙂

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 Future Plans

I’m planning on publishing Lakwi’s Lament (a short story originally published in Like a Girl anthology Dec 2015) in January and hoping to have the sequel to Heart of the Mountain edited and published early next year.

I’m also working towards publication of Akrad’s Children, Rasel’s Song and Mannok’s Betrayal.

So far all my stories (with the exception of Sandy:Perfect Plans in Let the Sea Roar and, possibly, Space Junk in Genre-lly Speaking) are set in the world of Nardva – though often in different places, times and/or cultures.

Reviews

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I’ve also been chuffed with some fantastic reviews of Heart of the Mountain: a short novella both on Amazon, Goodreads and different blogs.

“She (Jeanette O’Hagan) skillfully weaves plot and developing relationships into a gripping, high stakes tale and wraps it up lickity-spit with a satisfying conclusion that leaves you keen to read more.” M. Adams, Goodreads

“This is an intriguing novella with a richly detailed storyworld.” R. Rodda, Goodreads

“Jeannette O’Hagan takes readers on a fast paced adventure of intrigue, mystery and action. She leaves us wanting more. The fantasy world that O’Hagan has created has depth and originality with a rich history and fascinating characters.” L. Painter, Goodreads

and many more on Goodreads

 “Jeanette O’Hagan creates a world rich in lore and mystery.” K. Beaumont on Hunters of Reloria

 

If you have read and enjoyed Heart of the Mountain, I’d love you to leave a review (it doesn’t have to be long). And if you haven’t read it yet, copies are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other outlets.

I’ve also read some fantastic books (more on this next post) including craft books and fiction – YA, Sci-Fi and fantasy. (See upcoming post – Jeanette’s 2016 Spec Fic Picks).

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2017

While there has been a lot of sadness and tragedy during 2016, and some challenges for myself and my family – it has also been a year with lots to celebrate and appreciate. I treasure the support and encouragement of my readers and fellow writers.

Wishing you and your families a Christmas time and New Year – full of joy, peace and love.

Jeanette O’Hagan

Space Junk and more

Another story, another anthology, book events, reviews and a free offer – this month’s update 🙂

Space Junk

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Thrilled to receive my copies of Mixed Blessing Genre-lly Speaking anthology. This anthology with 65 authors and has flash fiction pieces in a range of genres: Romance, Mystery, Humour, Historical, Inspirational, Science-Fiction, Poetry, Adventure, Children, Young Adult.

My Sci-Fi piece ‘Space Junk’ is part of the anthology – and it’s wonderful to see pieces from fellow Aussie authors – Christina Aitken, Anusha Atukorala, Deb Porter, Nola Passmore and Simon Kennedy.

 

Omega Writers Book Fair

The Omega Writers Book Fair was a great day – I enjoyed reading the poem ‘A Long Time Ago’ from Like a Girl Plan anthology and an exciting excerpt from ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ in Glimpses of Light. For more on the Book Fair check out this post or the event page.

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Books in Our Backyard 2015 (BOBY)

Three contributors to Glimpses of Light – Lynne Stringer, Charis Joy Jackson and myself attended the launch of the Books in Our Backyard 2015 catalogue in which Glimpses of Light is listed.  It was an enjoyable night – especially running into to Avril Sabine (prolific fantasy author) and fellow Margie Lawson Immersion grads Raelene Purtill (fantasy) and Tania Joyce (Romantica).

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Instagram

While I do spend most of my social media time on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads – I’ve been having some fun with Instagram.  If you frequent any of these, l’d love to connect with you there.

 

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It’s been great to see some good reviews of Heart of the Mountain.

It was featured by Adam Collings on You-tube (about the middle), as well as on the Vince Review and a number of Goodreads reviews. I also had a chance to talk about writing Heart of the Mountain on the Write Flourish.

I’m revising the sequel Blood Crystal, hoping to release it before the end of the year.

 

 

The Herbalist’s Daughter

The Herbalist’s Daughter was originally released in the Tied in Pink Romance anthology (Far Horizons, 2014).

I’m currently offering a FREE COPY The Herbalist’s Daughter to anyone who signs up to the Jeanette O’Hagan writes Newsletter by the end of this month (30 September 2016).

It’s been a busy few months.  Thank you for  your interest and support. Wishing you many hours of happy reading.

 

Jeanette O’Hagan September 2016

Launches, Retreats, Book Fairs and More

When I finished the Masters in (August) last year, I imagined I’d be a little less busy –  hmmmm

It’s been busier.

Heart of the Mountain

At the end of July, I was excited to release Release of Heart of the Mountain: a short novella as a e-book (available at Amazon but also Kobo, Barnes and Noble etc).

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Heart of the Mountain: a short novella

YA Fantasy Adventure in the lost realm deep under the mountain.

Twins Delvina and Retza’s greatest desire is to be accepted as prentices by their parents’ old crew when they stumble across a stranger. Trapped under the mountain, young Zadeki’s only thought is to escape home to his kin. Peril awaits all three youngsters. Will they pull apart or work together to save the underground realm?

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The launch was a lot of fun with over 20 people actively involved in the competitions and many receiving prizes. Reviews of Heart of the Mountain have been favourable – on the Vince Review, on Goodreads. and on Adam Collings (youtube).

I’m currently working on the sequel in the Under the Mountain series – Blood Crystal – so watch this space.

Retreats, Courses and Intensives

The year has been busy with retreats, courses, intensives and crit groups.

Nola Passmore and I joined up in the QWC’s Year of the Edit with Dr Kim Wilkins in August last year. This online course finished up in July and was full of practical tips, practice and critiquing with a bunch of other great writers. We had fun looking at different aspects of our novels (Rasel’s Song for me).

Omega Writers TmeOmegaRetreat16ax400oowoomba Retreat in May was a great time to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, learn some more craft and get some editing done.

 

 

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Intricate Worlds (science fiction and fantasy) critique group (which meets monthly), the Omega Science Fiction and Fantasy group (on Skype monthly) and the Between the Lines Book Club (again meets monthly)

By far the biggest highlight has been a 5 day immersion class with Margie Lawson. This was intensive course, mostly 12 hours days as Margie shared powerful deep editing insights and gave valuable one-on-one time.

Fantastic, empowering, inspirational.

I am excited about putting all I’ve learned into practice with my novels and stories.

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Omega Writers Book Fair

Raelene Purtill and I are organising Omega Writers Book Fair of local authors – just 2 days away now on Saturday, 3rd September.

The last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy, but I’m thrilled with how things are shaping up – 16 stalls, 2 workshops with a range of books from children’s to adult, fiction and non-fiction including YA spec fic authors Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones. Raelene Purtill and Lisbeth Klein.

Both Lynne Stringer and Adele Jones have new books ready to be released.  Lynne has written a contemporary novel Once Confronted and Adele has her final book in her YA medical-science trilogy – Activate.

*** Registrations for the two workshops

– The Power of Story by Paul Clark and The Writing Life by Raelene Purtill

are still open. ***

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Coming Up

My flash fiction ‘Space Junk’ is soon to be published in Mixed Blessings Genre-lly Speaking (Breath of Fresh Air Press)

Glimpses of Light will be in the Books in Our Backyard (BOBY) catalogue – launching 9 September, 2016 at the Queensland State Library

Omega Writers Conference is coming up fast – this year in Sydney at the end of October.

I’m writing Heart of the Mountain sequels and editing Akrad’s Children and Rasel’s Song

Special Offer Extended

As part of The Heart of the Mountain launch – I offered an epub or mobi of ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (originally published in Tied in Pink Romance Anthology) for anyone who signed up to Jeanette O’Hagan Writes newsletter – I’m extending the offer to the end of September 2016.

Why not sign up now – either on the side bar or by following this link.

It’s been a full and busy year and looking forward to new releases in the near future.   I’ll keep you posted.

Jeanette O’Hagan

Blog Award Tour

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My co-editor in Glimpses of Light anthology, editor at The Write Flourish, poet and writer, Nola Passmore tagged me for the Blog Award Tour. Nola has over 150 short pieces (short stories, flash fiction, poems, and devotions) published and is currently writing her first novel, with parallel modern and historical narratives which intersect on Nova Scotia, Canada. It all sounds intriguing and I’m looking forward to reading it. You can read more about her current writing projects here.

Nola has asked me to answer the following four questions as part of the blog tour.

1. WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I’m got a few things going at the moment. I’ve in the middle of co-editing an anthology Glimpses of Light, I am doing final edits of my story that has been accepted for another anthology (Like a Girl) and I am in the middle of Camp NaNo racing to complete Mannok’s Betrayal – editing and filling in the gaps. This is the third manuscript of my Akrad Children’s trilogy – a secondary world YA fantasy with romantic elements, adventure and courtly intrigue.  My short story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ (published in Tied in Pink anthology in December last year) is set in the same story world.

2. HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN YOUR GENRE?

My novels are not typical Young Adult (YA) in that they are multi-protagonist and generally cover more than a year though the point of view characters are teens to early twenties with themes of loss, relationships, identity, belonging, and coming of age. Because it is secondary world fantasy courtly intrigue with multiple points of view, it does have some co-incidental correspondences with Game of Thrones (though without the level of violence and graphic sex).  It differs from a lot of other fantasy is that it is not set in a obviously European medieval society but uses the Southern Hemisphere for inspiration and has, I believe, strong female characters who aren’t necessarily ‘kick-ass’ warriors.

3. WHY DO YOU WRITE OR CREATE WHAT YOU DO?

I write because it is exhilarating and my stories entertain me. I write because the stories are there, inside of me, and they want to get out. I have had the idea of the Akrad cycle or series (which may end up about 14 books) since the 1980s and the fictional world of Nardva since I began imagining it at the age of nine. The stories have grown and flourished over time. I want to see these stories to take shape beyond my imagination. I also hope, that my stories can inspire a sense of hope and meaning, the value of human life, the beauty and complexity of our world as well as its challenges and horrors, and also as sense of the One who spoke it into being and seeks to renew and restore all things.

4. HOW DOES YOUR WRITING/CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

Once I have an idea for a story, I think through a rough outline or work out major plot points, usually including the beginning and the end. I might write this outline done (in bullet points).  I spend a lot of time allowing the story to incubate, and spend time daydreaming, allowing the characters to inhabit the scenes, to speak and act and to do surprising things. These days – as I am at this stage with three or four novels ahead of those I am currently working on, I write these ideas down in notebooks to refer to later. I also draw maps, model buildings, draw out family trees etc. Then I sit down and write, often adapting the imagined scenes so they fit into chapters and the (rather rigid) structure of a novel. I might have to leave things out or change things as I go, solving plot problems or issues of pacing or characterisation. I will research issues as they arise in writing the narrative (to ensure verisimilitude) and also make sure that the novel fits in with the others in terms of timeline, family and political relationships and the realities of my fictional world. Once the first draft is finished,  the editing process begins. Though often, I prefer to move on to the next book as the ideas and stories continue to percolate.

 

Thanks, Nola, for giving me the opportunity to share some thoughts about my current projects and writing process.

I’d now like to tag three friends and fellow authors Lynne Stringer, Adele Jones and Alison Stegert:

Lynne Stringer is an editor and author. She has published her popular Verindon trilogy (The Heir, The Crown, The Reign) and has another contemporary novel ready to publish. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 27th July. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://www.lynnestringer.com/

Adele Jones has published a fast paced, YA thriller Integrate. The sequel Replicate will be published later this year and she also has a historical romance on the cusp of publication. She’ll be answering the same questions on her blog on Monday 3rd August. You can check out her writing at her website http://www.adelejonesauthor.com/blog/

Alison Stegert has a blog looking at internet safety (e-Quipped) and writes fantastic middle grade adventures. She’ll be answering these four questions on her blog on Monday 10th August. In the meantime, you can check out her writing at her website http://ali-stegert.com/

Thanks for taking the time to follow my current writing adventures 🙂

Jeanette

My Writing Process – Blog Tour #mywritingprocess

I was asked to join in with this blog tour on My Writing Process by Melissa Gijsbers Khalinsky. You can read her post here.

And here are my answers to the questions given.

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a few of projects at the moment. My main passion is for my YA/NA fantasy fiction Akrad series. I’ve written three of the books (Book 1, 2 & 4) and am correctly close to finishing Book 3 Mannok’s Betrayal. Pulling all the threads together has been a challenge but one I enjoy. I have started sending out Book 1 Akrad’s Children to publishers and will be soon sending Book 2 Rasel’s Song to my faithful beta-readers.

I am also doing a Masters of Arts (Writing) – two units this term – which involve major writing tasks. Fortunately, I can use what I’m doing with Mannok’s Betrayal as part of my assessment for one of the units.

I participated in Month of Poetry (MoP) in January (the challenge of writing one poem a day) and have continued writing poems as the whim takes me. And I blog both for my own blogs and for a couple of group blogs.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My Akrad series is secondary world fantasy aimed at Young Adult to New Adult (ages 15-24) audiences. The books are set in an imaginary world of Nardva with complex societies, history, geography, literature, mythologies – but they are not high or epic fantasy (i.e. hero saves the universe from total destruction plot). Nevertheless, they are still full of suspense, danger, adventure, intrigue, romance and mystery. The stories are from the point of view of the younger characters (teens to early twenties) but they continue to interact with other generations. Each book can be read on its own but is also part of an overarching plot. There is also a slow reveal of magical elements with ongoing mystery throughout the series.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love fantasy and I love writing. Fantasy was my favourite genre as a child (and still is). At about 9 I began daydreaming my own fantasy world with lots of characters and stories. This became the world of Nardva. The Five Lands (where the Akrad Series is set) is a part of this world. Writing my own books fires my imagination and keeps me entertained.

4) How does your writing process work?

Well, it starts with day dreaming. Sometimes I compose the whole story  in my head before beginning to write (often a few times with changes and usually with far more than I can use in the book). However, these days I do start the writing process earlier. I usually have a basic structure – the beginning, the climax and turning points and a good idea of the end as well as the main characters in mind before I start writing. Then I fill in the gaps – and I am often surprised at what comes out in the process. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

Here are two of my friends who will be posting the “My Writing Process” blog tour posts on Monday March 17th. Please check out their blogs next week.  

Lynne Stringer –  Lynne has been passionate about writing all her life. She was the editor of a small newspaper (later magazine) for seven years, and currently works as a professional editor and proof reader. Lynne wrote her YA sci-fi romance novel, The Heir, in 2010. The Heir is the first book in the Verindon trilogy. This book was followed by The Crown. The final book, The Reign, will be released in May 2014. You can find Lynne online at  www.lynnestringer.com

Alison Stegert – Ali Stegert is a daytime school counsellor, night time word wrangler. Her first novel, Summer of the Silk Dragon, is making the rounds of publishers, looking for the right home. Ali blogs about books and writing on Spilling Ink, her personal blog, and about cyber-parenting on e-Quipped. (www.e-quipped.com.au) The link to Ali’s personal blog is www.ali-stegert.com

Enjoy!

Jeanette O’Hagan

You can read a hyptertext teaser for Akrad’s Children – called My Sister – here.

Or join me on Facebook here.