My Year of Writing and Other Writing-Related Activities- 2018 Edition

My Year of Writing and Other Writing-Related Activities- 2018 Edition


The Shining Wall:

Now available for pre-order!

(TL;DR- I signed a publishing contract with Transit Lounge!)


I started the year with a big decision to make. My Australian agent hadn’t been able to sell my manuscript Barely Human (AKA Day of the Neandertals) and thought that my new (and I think much better) manuscript The Shining Wall, which was set in the same world, would receive a similar reception from Australian publishers. Their advice was to put the manuscripts in the drawer and write something new.


But I still believed in this world I’d created and wanted to keep trying. If not in Australia then in the US or the UK or with a small press. I was sure there was a publisher out there for my dystopian, futuristic, cloned Neandertal stories. So I went off on my own and started querying The Shining Wall.


One of the first places I queried was Transit Lounge. Barry Scott from Transit had shown interest in Day of The Neandertals when I’d met him at the HARDCOPY Program at the ACT Writers Centre in 2016. Transit ultimately decided Day of the Neandertals wasn’t for them, but I had come away from my meeting with Barry with the impression that he really understood what I was trying to do with the manuscript.


So I queried Barry and he immediately requested a full manuscript. Within a couple of weeks Barry got back to me concerned about the ending of the story. I had tried to write a stand-alone novel, but the ending I’d initially written had intersected with the ending of Day of the Neandertals. I then spent a month writing another 10K words onto the end of The Shining Wall. Not long after submitting this revised manuscript I was signing a publishing contract for my debut novel to be released in April 2019 with Transit Lounge Publishing in Australia.


Throughout 2018 I was occupied with other The Shining Wall related pre-publication activities such as:

  • An edit with Penelope Goodes. Turned out to be nothing more terrifying or arduous than a line edit, thankfully!
  • A proof read. My mum has informed me that one (easy to miss) typo has made it through the process- see if you can spot it- where’s Wally style.
  • Got blurbs from two of my favourite writers Meg Elison and Marlee Jane Ward (I can’t tell you how terrifying and exhilarating that was!)
  • Discussed back cover copy and cover options with Transit


Other Writing in 2018:

  • I wrote and polished a 30K novella, The Unnaturals, set in the same world as The Shining Wall (currently out on submission).
  • I wrote another 30K novella to second draft stage. Set in a completely new world. Still scifi with apocalyptic themes. The working title is ‘The Vine’ or ‘The Vine of Death’ if I’m feeling dramatic. This may yet become a novel.
  • Wrote a couple of short stories that nobody wants to publish.


Writing related activities that required me to be sociable in the real world:

  • Gave a 20 minute presentation on ‘Bringing Back Extinct Species Through Cloning’ at Continuum 2018 in Melbourne.
  • Recorded a podcast episode about one of my favourite books, ‘The Book of the Unnamed Midwife’ by Meg Elison, with Marlee Jane Ward for her Catastropod podcast (due to be released early 2019).
  • Volunteered at the inaugural Speculate Literary Festival in Melbourne (mostly I showed people to their seats and handed around a microphone).


Goals for 2019:

  • Launch The Shining Wall (around April).
  • Figure out how to promote The Shining Wall.
  • Hopefully attend some festivals and conventions.
  • Finish my novella that may become a novel.
  • Give up on writing short stories because they’re obviously not my strength.
  • Start on something new and exciting (TBA).

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