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.

 

Heart of tHeartMountainCoverRevealx250he Mountain

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

Glimpses of Light Blog Tour

Previous Blog Stop

In the last stop on the blog tour, Jo-Anne Berthelsen talks about how she came to write ‘Revelation’ for Glimpses of Light. It is a beautiful story, all the more special as it drawn from real events. Jo-Anne loves communicating through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: The story of a shared spiritual journey.

Glimpses of Light

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Glimpses of Light started with a flash of inspiration – why not write a collaborative charity anthology to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Light. It has been exciting watching that small kernel blossom into a book. Both Nola and I were thrilled at the number and quality of entries we received, the enthusiasm of our contributors and the willingness to work with us during the different stages of editing, proofing and publishing. I love each of the stories, poems and reflective pieces.

My fantasy story was fun to write – it follows the adventures of a young woman, Ruhanna, who is expecting her father’s visit for her name-day when things begin to go very wrong. Here’s an excerpt:

Ruhanna sighed and began to step backwards when the carving of an albatross on a box, half covered by a goatshair scarf, caught the honey-hued rays of sunlight. She picked it up and slid open the beautifully fitted lid. Inside, on soft fabric, was an intricately carved pen of whale bone, inking stone and fine metal nibs.

‘This is perfect. How much?’

The old woman’s eyes brightened ‘Twenty Royals.’

‘Oh, no, far too much.’

They spent the next few minutes haggling. Ruhanna shook her head, regretting her impulsive enthusiasm. Favula was hard to beat down.

‘As you wish, fifteen Royals, but you drive a hard bargain. That’s most of my savings.’ But it was for her father. It was worth it. Her feet felt like dancing. He was coming from the Big Island tomorrow.

‘That’s a good choice, gentle lass.’ The old woman brushed her dark hands against Ruhanna’s silvery-white skin. ‘They say a sacred albatross guided our people across the ocean wastes after the Sundering, back in the mists of time when the old world ended.’

Ruhanna curved her lips in a polite smile, as she ran her hands over the soft toromo wood of the box and the bright green gems for the bird’s eyes. Mariam told the same far-fetched tale. ‘Why would a speechless bird do that?’

Favula’s hands stilled in packing away her treasures. ‘Some say the Maker sent it, others that the first Flame King himself took the shape of the bird and led the way to the Lonely Isles. Of twenty ships that set out only seven arrived at the Big Island, three wrecking on the chancy Twin Heads.’ She waved in the direction of the narrow entrance to Safety Bay beyond which lay the harbour town of White Havens. It could be tricky sailing, which is one reason the lighthouse had been built. Favula caught Ruhanna’s wrist in a tight grip, her voice low. ‘Some say your mother had the blood of the old kings and queens. Though your hair be brown, with your sea-green eyes, I reckon it could be true.’

Ruhanna’s heart began to thump. She moistened her suddenly dry mouth. ‘I don’t know what you mean. Father is Royal Minister of Shipping and Mines and a loyal subject to the Sea Dragon Throne.’ She tried to pull her arm free, but the old woman’s grip was surprisingly strong.

‘The winds are changing. Best be careful, child.’ Favula laid a roughened finger beside her nose, her mouth stretched wide in a gap-toothed smile. She released Ruhanna’s arm and chuckled.

The old woman’s hulking grandson, Benin, appeared behind her. ‘Hush Gramma, the Royal Guards will hear. Take no heed, Gentle. We are loyal subjects of King Nebunar.’

Zobar strode from where he had been standing, talking to the chandler, his brows furrowed over his mist-grey eyes. He took her arm. ‘Come Miss Ruhanna, we best be going. It will be dark soon.’

The sun had already disappeared behind the hump in the middle of the island, bleeding the sky with oranges, reds and purples. Beyond the dock the waves of the strait stretched out in a bloody reflection of the sky. The guards were looking her way.

Ruhanna drew her cloak around her, thankful for its warmth against a sudden gust of the wind. She gripped the gift she had selected for Baba and followed Zobar, ignoring the intense gaze of the Royal Guards.

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Glimpses of Light is available through Amazon.com  ($12 US plus postage for print book or $3.50 US for kindle)

Giveaway

I’m offering a chance to win a print copy of Like a Girl anthology to the best answer on what’s your favourite genre and why.  And one extra chance to win your choice of either Another Time Another Place OR Let the Sea Roar if you sign up to my email Newsletter – to keep in touch with future publications and news.

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Anthologies on Amazon Central

Next Stop Blog Tour

Sci-fi author, Adam Colling’s is hosting the next stop on the blog tour. Adam has recently published his novella ‘Lynessa’s Curse’ – set in a futuristic medieval Mars. He draws inspiration from his over-active imagination, life experiences and faith and is currently writing a space opera series set in the same universe as his GOL story, ‘A Light To My Path’. Adam discusses books, movies and computer games on his YouTube show: Stories with Adam Collings.

Adam will be posting on 12 January. In the meantime, you can check out his blog at www.adamdavidcollings.com

Jeanette

Less than three days before the Goodreads Giveaway of Glimpses of Light ends.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glimpses of Light by Jeanette O'Hagan

Glimpses of Light

by Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway ends January 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Highlights of 2015

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and fantastic New Year in 2016

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2015 has been a whirlwind of a year for me. Here are some of the highlights.

Writing:

In January I did the Month of Poetry (writing over 30 poems), in July I wrote 30,000 words on Mannok’s Betrayal in Camp NaNo and 50,000 words on Jared’s Choice in November. In addition, I wrote 4 or 5 short stories.

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Study:

I was thrilled to finish the Masters of Arts (Writing) through Swinburne University of Technology in July, attending the graduation ceremony last week. I have since enrolled in Year of the Edit.

Publication:

The publication of my story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ in Tied in Pink seems to have broken the drought on publication. Since then I’ve had poems and short stories published in six other anthologies.  (Five of the seven anthologies are listed on my Amazon Central page.)

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‘Thunderstorm’ and ‘Floating’ in Poetica Christi’s Inner Child anthology

‘The Real Thing’ (second prize) and ‘Tree Dreaming’ in FAWQ’s Brio anthology (SVS Concepts)

‘Broken Promises’ in Another Time, Another Place anthology (Swinburne Students)

‘Lighthouse’ (poem) and ‘Sandy – Perfect Plans’ in Let the Sea Roar (By the Light Books)

‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ in Glimpses of Light (By the Light Books)

‘A Long Time Ago’ and ‘Brisbane Summer ABCs’ (poems) and ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ in Like a Girl (Far Horizons)

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I’m working on publishing a longish short story Heart of the Mountain (11,000 words) in January 2016.  More on that soon :)

Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway:

For the chance to win one of two copies of Glimpses of Light – enter the Goodreads giveaway.

During 2015, the International Year of Light, twenty-one authors from Australia and the United States have come together to explore the theme of ‘glimpses of light’ through short stories, poems, flash fiction and creative non-fiction.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Glimpses of Light by Jeanette O'Hagan

Glimpses of Light

by Jeanette O’Hagan

Giveaway ends January 10, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

It’s all happening

Phew! I’ve hardily had time to catch my breath since July. So many exciting things happening. And best of all – six of my short stories and seven poems are either published or about to be published in seven different anthologies and one e-book(let) between December 2014 and December 2015.

So – here are some of the highlights:

Conference at Bacchus Marsh (October 2015)

Jenny book spotCWC2015x250Last weekend I had a fabulous time at the Christian Writers Conference at Bacchus Marsh – meeting up with old friends and discovering some new ones. It was a full program with inspirational messages, workshops and connecting in an idyllic location.

On the Saturday, I gave a workshop of Creating a Sense of Place in fiction and creative non-fiction.  I also had the opportunity to promote Tied in Pink anthology (particularly appropriate in Breast Cancer Awareness month) and two upcoming anthologies that my publishing business By the Light Books is launching in the next month or two.

I’m looking forward to next year’s conference in Sydney and an exciting year in 2016.

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 NaNoWriMo

CampNaNo2015winnerbannerJOHx500In July I completed 30,000 words & editing equivalents on Mannok’s Betrayal. This third book in the Akrad’s Legacy Series is proving the hardest to write. I’m am very close to finishing the first draft – though editing and typesetting the two anthologies has taken my attention in the last couple of months.

Tomorrow, on 1st November – I start NaNoWriMo again with an enthusiastic group of friends. While I could be a NaNo rebel and edit during this month – I’m pining to write something new so will be aiming to write the last 50,000 words on Jared’s Choice (book 5).

Short-listed

I was thrilled to learn that two of my poems (‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Tree Dreamings’) were short-listed for the Toowoomba Writers’ Festival Literary Prize and will be published in the associated anthology.

Graduation

In June I finished my last subject for Master of Arts (Writing) with Swinburne University of Technology – and will be graduating in the week before Christmas.

Up Coming New Releases

In DecembInnerchildx200er last year Tied in Pink Romance Anthology (profits for breast cancer research) was released with my story ‘The Herbalist’s Daughter’ which continues Anna’s adventures in the palace begun in Fever.

Since then, I’ve had a number of other poems and short stories accepted for publication. I was expecting a few of these to be published by now but unavoidable delays means that it’s all happening in the months of November and December – with the exception of the Inner Child anthology (launched in July). Here’s the schedule for 2015:

 

July 2015  Poems ‘Thunderstorm’ & ‘Floating’ in Poetica Christi’s Inner Child anthology (available from here).

14 November 2015  Poems The Real Thing & Tree Dreamings shortlisted in Toowoomba Writers’ Festival Literary Prize anthology (presentation at Toowoomba Writer’s Festival)

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15 November 2015  E-Launch of Like a Girl  anthology (editors Mirren Hogan and Christina Aitken)– promoting girls education through Plan Australia. My story ‘Lakwi’s Lament’ and poems ‘A Long Time Ago’ and ‘Brisbane Summer ABCs’ are in this anthology.

28 November 2015  Probable E-Launch of Glimpses of Light anthology (editors Jeanette O’Hagan and Nola Passmore) – stories and poems of hope. With 21 authors (including several award winning novelists and poets) and 27 stories and poems, this anthology explores light in the midst of dark situations and supports the Christian Blind Mission. My story ‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ is part of the anthology.

5 December 2015 – E-Launch of Another Time, Another Place – an anthology of stories by Swinburne University of Technology Post-graduate writing students and a foreword by Professor Josie Arnold. My story ‘Broken Promises’ has been included in the anthology. You can view the book trailer here.

14 December 2015 – E-Launch of Let the Sea Roar (editor Madeleine Calcutt)– inspirational stories of women facing different challenges in life. My story ‘Sandy: Perfect Plans’ and poem ‘Lighthouse’ are included. This story is the only contemporary one – all my other short stories are fantasy set in the world of Nardva.

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26 December 2015 – probable E-launch of the Kindle version of my short story (11,000 words) Heart of the Mountain.

I’ll be posting more information over the next few weeks :)

So, it looks like it’s going to be a busy few months – and I’m working towards publishing the first few books in the Akrad’s Legacy series in 2016.

I do hope you can join me in some, if not all, these launches of fabulous mix of anthologies. Maybe, you’ll find something to add to your Christmas list and/or an enjoyable way to support some great causes. Certainly there is many hours of great reading in these different collections of short stories and poems.

Now where is that to-do list …

Jeanette

Blog Award Tour

 HeartSunrisex300 c Jeanette O'Hagan July 2012 All rights reserved.

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

Catching Up

JennyJuly15bx200A big apology for taking so long to write an update. Okay, so I have no real excuse other than being rather busy. What have I been doing since February?

Finished

Last month I complete the final unit of the Master of Arts (Writing) at Swinburne University of Technology. Hard to believe it gone so fast. I started the Masters in 2012. The very first unit inspired me to dust off the novel I’d written decades ago, and start again after a long break from writing fiction. Now, three and a half years later, I have four books close to or beyond first draft, a few others plotted or started, and countless poems and short stories written. I’ve made a bunch of new friends, discovered a whole community of writers and learned so much about the craft. It has been, as they say, a blast – and is only just the beginning of my writing journey.

Launch

I was thrilled to learn that two of my poems Thunderstorm and Floating will be published in Poetica Christi’s 2015 Inner Child anthology. The launch of the anthology will be on Saturday July 25th at the Lutheran Hall, 711 Station St, Box Hill. It’s a bit far for me to travel but I can’t wait to get a copy of the anthology in my hands. Copies will be available at the launch or directly through Poetica Christi.

Accepted

I’ve currently got three short stories accepted for publication – one contemporary and two secondary world fantasy:

‘Sandy: Perfect Plans’ in Let the Sea Roar anthology (to be published by By the Light Books in August)

‘Broken Promises’ – part of the Barrakan Tales set in the Northern Hemisphere of Nardva – is to be published in a historical themed anthology by past and current Swinburne students called Another Time, Another Place to be published this year.

and

‘Ruhanna’s Flight’ – connected to the Tamrin Sagas – in Glimpses of Light anthology to be published in November this year by By the Light Books in conjunction with Christian Writers Downunder.

I’ve been involved in the editing and publishing Glimpses of Light and Let the Sea Roar.

I’m also hoping to release on Kindle my short story / short novella Heart of the Mountain later this year.

I am following up professional edits on Akrad’s Children.

I’ll post publication details once they become available.

July Camp NaNoWriMo

This July I’ve teamed up with some friends to form 2 cabins in the July Camp NaNoWriMo. This is a cut-down version of the NaNoWriMo challenge. For one thing, you can set your own goals. And NaNo rebels are not frowned upon. I decided it was time to finish Mannok’s Betrayal (the third in the Akrad’s Children‘s trilogy). I’ve been working through gaps that need filling in, and editing. Following the rubric – one hour of active editing equal 1000 words, I’ve done 21700 words in the last 12 days – and have had to increase my goal from 20,000 to 25,000 to 30,000 words. I’m thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in the story and loving it. I had to tear myself away from the Five Lands to write this post.

Well that’s enough about me for now.

Three Rivers Road

THREE RIVERS ROADI would however also like to give a shout out to my friend ‘Jane Batholomew’ – who has written an Australian contemporary drama Three Rivers Road. This is not a Young Adult book. It follows the adventures of a nurse in the remote communities in the Kimberley, Western Australia – and gives insight into the people, the challenges and the landscape. It includes romance and drama but doesn’t sugar coat the realities. ‘Jane’ draws from her own experiences of nursing in remote communities across Australia. You can purchase a copy here.

As you can see, quite a lot has been happening. I’ll won’t wait so long next time to give you the news. And once I get the chance to catch my breath, I’m planning to put another short story in from the Tamrin Tales on this website – this time following Haka or Rokkan’s perspective – as requested by our Scavenger Hunt winner.

Watch this space!

Jeanette O’Hagan