A Facelift for Spindle

Soooo….

You guys remember I was going to get Spindle’s cover redone to match the rest of the Two Monarchies books?

Well, it’s done.

And it is BEAUTIFUL!

I mean, there was nothing wrong with the old cover (I loved it), but I wanted the series to look the same. So here we are!

I’ll do a proper post in a day or two, to update everyone on what’s going on (heaps! the answer is heaps!), but for the meantime, feast your eyes!

Released Into the Wild

Well, that’s it!

BLACKFOOT has been released into the wild! You can get your ecopy of the 2nd TWO MONARCHIES book at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, B&N, or Smashwords.

Happy reading! I’ll now go back into my little writers cave to put the finishing touches on the edits I got back for LADY OF DREAMS…

No recreation reading for me…sigh…

PREORDER: Shards of a Broken Sword: The Complete Trilogy

Hooray! I have a finalised cover for the complete SHARDS OF A BROKEN SWORD Trilogy! (Ain’t it purty??)

…which means I’ve been busily putting it up for a January 31st Preorder!

I’ll update the following links as the preorders go live:

Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

Smashwords

Also, I’m going to be running a sale on the Preorder sometime soon, which means that (with Amazon at least), regardless of when you press that preorder button, you’ll get the best price.

99c Sale!

Hey guys! just a quick shout-out for a 99c sale that’s happening right now. I’m in it (of course) with Wolfskin, so if you haven’t yet purchased Wolfskin, now is a great time.

All of the books on this page have a little blurbity thing, so you won’t need to do too much clicking. They also have ratings, which I LOVE.

Fly, my pretties, fly! (aka, click on the pic below to get to the sale…)

W.R. on the Air-Waves, Redux: The Interview

Arguably my favourite part of the studio: the monitor that was perched on a dictionary of composers…

So, as I may have mentioned, I had my first in-person Author Interview on the radio just a few days ago. I was terrified–a wild author in captivity, so to speak–and for the ten minutes that I had to wait before my interview, I greatly regretted that I’d ever agreed to do it.

Fortunately for me, I was interviewed by the amazing Rod Gray, who not only has one of the classic Radio Voices, but was incredibly easy to chat with. He was a great host, too, and he made the whole process easy. Not only that, he made it a lot of fun.

Rod hard at work prior to the interview.

We discussed quite a few things in the 14 minute interview: from the perennial question of ‘where do your ideas come from?’ to POD and self-publishing; then from upturning tropes to Stephen Sondeim’s ‘Into the Woods’…

For those of you who couldn’t listen on the day, here’s an audio clip of the interview. ‘Scuse my broad Aussie accent–and just be grateful that I seem to have grown out of the phase where I sound like a little boy over the radio… (I certainly am grateful!)

Rod Gray and me in studio, as taken by the lovely Gill, who arranged the interview in the first place. Thanks Gill!

 

Musings: Writing in the Negative Space

I’m baaaa-aaaaack!

G’day!

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine, recently. This friend is insanely talented (he writes and draws), and we were talking over a collaborative idea I’d had for both of us to work on (said collaborative idea involving a graphic novel/comic style book).

This led us into a discussion of the sort of illustration style I had in mind–which, to be honest, mostly served to illustrate (ha! see what I did there?) how little idea I had of the style I wanted, and how little I knew about drawing and graphics as a whole. One of the art styles I brought up as something I liked was the art of Hellboy, which led off into another discussion–this one about the use of negative space.

Negative space.

Mike Mignola's Hellboy

Mike Mignola’s Hellboy

It’s a concept that I’d heard of before, but not in a while. The concept, like the style, is deceptively simple: negative space is the space that surrounds an object (the positive space) in an image. In the concept of negative space, this space is just as important–and in some cases, more important–than the positive space. It defines the positive space. It gives the positive space its meaning and boundaries. As a method of illustration, it brings a certain starkness and boldness of style that I love.

After discussing this with my friend, it occurred to me that I’m fond of negative space in more than just illustrations. I’m also a huge fan of negative space when it comes to reading–and writing.

On the face of it, you’d say that it’s not possible to used negative space for anything that isn’t visual. I would then say that you’re dead wrong. (If, on the other hand, you’d say that you agree completely, I’d stutter around a bit because the conversation was not going the way it went in my head and I was now flailing while my brain re-routed it.)

Because of course it’s possible. The execution may be slightly different, but the idea of presenting a concept, world, or character by using factors and indicators outside of the actual concept, world, or character, is a totally legitimate form of writing. It’s also a very effective one.

So there you have it, guys.

Basically, if you ever read one of my books that doesn’t make sense to you, or where the world-building, characters, or concept is never fully explained, it’s just me writing in the negative space and you obviously haven’t been clever enough to understand my genius *snark, snark* (IT’S ALL THERE IN THE SUBTEXT, GUYS.)

Seriously, though.

Negative space is one of my favourite styles of writing–was even before I thought of it as an actual style–and I typically try to explain as little as possible, leaving the reader to figure things out on their own by the way the book is written and the way the characters act and react. (“Never apologise, never explain”, as Antonia Forest says through her Navy-trained characters).

Because I trust you guys to be clever enough to get it. Sometimes, of course, that backfires on me, because sometimes I forget how much I know about the story as a whole, and don’t give my readers enough to work with.

In other words, negative space can be a double-edged sword, which means it needs to be handled very carefully (especially if you’re inclined to clumsiness, like me). But when done well, it’s delightful to read.

My favourite users of negative space: Antonia Forest, Ronald Kidd, Diana Wynne Jones, and Nicholas Fisk.

Antonia Forest uses her negative space in the form of conversation: aka, what is often not written in the form of narrative is given to the reader just as clearly by effective dialogue. It shapes the narrative rather than the narrative shaping it.

In a similar fashion, Ronald Kidd (especially in the fabulous Sizzle and Splat) writes whole passages of dialogue only, and it is amazingly effective. Seriously, go and read Sizzle and Splat right now.

Diana Wynne Jones uses her negative space more in the way of spare, no-nonsense narrative that in its simplicity says a lot more than another writer would say in twice as many words. She uses simple words and easy sentences, and they’re superbly  effective.

Nicholas Fisk, now: he’s the the really interesting one. His negative space is more of an idea than an actual thing. It’s the adult perspective. See, he writes children’s books. I could read them easily as a child and understood and loved them. Now that I read them as an adult, its as though there’s a second layer there: a layer just for me as an adult, that shapes the story into different–and yet they’re just the same–lines than it had when I was a child.

I don’t always do it well, and I don’t always do it effectively, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop using negative space.

Mind the Gap…

To those of you who were waiting for my blog to be updated (all two of you)

Please accept my most abject apologies. Currently, I’m madly racing to finish the last four chapters of BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU (and somehow managing to write the last chapter instead of the one I’m actually up to) so service of this blog will be temporarily suspended until late next week.

I’m on a deadline to finish this puppy and do first round edits before I send it off to *gasp* an actual editor, so I’m ignoring Mr.G as well, if that makes you all feel any better…

In the meantime, well…read BatEoY. 

Yours feverishly,

W.R.

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ICYMI: Bright as the Eyes of You is on Wattpad!

imageJust a quick note for those of you who may not have seen that my new WiP, BRIGHT AS THE EYES OF YOU, is now up on Wattpad! I have news for you: it is! Only the first 6 chapters so far, but it’s being updated every week on Monday (Australian Monday, FYI) as each new chapter is finished.

It’s a Korean-based fantasy romance, in which I’m having fun with tropes, random Korean words, and crazy characters.

Come along and check it out, and let me know what you think!

If you’ve already been reading BatEoY but aren’t current on chapters, here are the links to each chapter:

ONE: I See All Kinds of Sorrow

TWO: Chase the Moon and Sun

THREE: Staring Down Through Faces

FOUR: Her Feet Don’t Touch the Ground

FIVE: All of Your Playthings

SIX: A Book that Tells About Everybody’s Past

SEVEN: ***Coming next Monday!!**