GenreCon 2015 Wrap-Up

Last weekend I had the honour of attending and being one of the speaking authors at GenreCon 2015, which was seriously so cool. For anyone who might not know, GenreCon is a conference for writers. It’s where authors speak on panels and present workshops to an audience of other authors—aspiring, emerging and established. It’s a fabulous event to get to know others in the writing world and form friendships and do all that networking fun stuff, and I for one had a brilliant couple of days seeing old friends and meeting new ones!

It all started on Friday afternoon when I arrived in the city and jumped straight into it all by attending Alan Baxter’s ‘Write The Fight Right’ workshop. (For anyone who has been following this blog for a while, you might remember that I first met Alan a few months ago during my Supanova tours in Melbourne and on the Gold Coast earlier this year.) Can I just say here that his workshop was amazing. So good in fact that I’ll probably write an entire blog post about what I learned in it hopefully not too far in the future. It was just that awesome! But I have so much to talk about with the rest of the conference that I won’t be able give it the attention it deserves in this post, so that can be something to look forward to soon!

After Alan’s workshop there was this cocktail party meet and greet thing on that night where conference attendees began the insta-friends and networking process. It was loads of fun! And even more fun was after it, when a group of us trundled our way over the river to the CBD and ended up karaoke-ing the rest of the night away. Whoever said authors are shy humans sooooo got it wrong. I can’t tell you how hilarious the night was—nor can I stress how strained my vocal chords were afterwards (I blame Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer‘).

Thanks to belting out the tunes like the (try-hard) rockstar that I am, when I woke up the next morning, I can honestly say I sounded like a man. That was definitely not ideal, especially considering I had to speak on a panel later that day. I figured I’d be okay since I wasn’t speaking until after lunch, but nope, I still sounded like I had a messed up head cold when the time came to hit the mic. But hey, that’s the price you pay for singing up a storm with a bunch of crazy authors. And I have absolutely no regrets, since, well… what can I say? Disney’s ‘Under the Sea‘ was one of the songs. That’s really all the excuse I need to give here!

Before resigning myself to my man-flu-sounding panel on the Saturday, I hit up a few other panels as a spectator and it was really cool to sit in on them. They were on the topics of ‘Mining Myth and History’ (with Kate Forsyth, Sulari Gentill and Christine Wells) and ‘Five Ways to Avoid Screwing up your Novel’ (with Justin Woolley, Kim Wilkins—both also Supanova buddies from earlier this year—and Charlotte Nash). Then there was lunch (yum!) followed by my panel, ‘Why Do Writers Need To Read?’ (with Lisa L. Hannett, Diane Demetre and Alex Adsett—Alex being a literary agent who I also first met at Supanova).

I had a lot of fun on our panel, mostly because I’m obviously passionate about reading, and reading a lot, so it was definitely the easiest panel I’ve ever spoken on. Plus, the other women were fabulous and also extremely passionate about reading, so it was like we were just having a really cool conversation about books. Which was, naturally, awesome.

That night was the special ‘Glamour and Grunge’ banquet where we frocked up (or frocked down, depending) for a night of fun, food and laughter. I also got to have a good catch up with C.S. Pacat (also from Supanova, and who I’ll be seeing again in a fortnight for the Adelaide/Brisbane upcoming conferences as well—yay!).

Here’s some pics of the night, none of which were take by me, all of which were posted on various people’s social media so I can’t actually recall who took which photos… but hey, that’s the internet for you:


Above: Alex Adsett (left), Peter Ball (middle)—who is the manager of the Australian Writer’s Marketplace and the go-to guy for GenreCon—and me (right) at the banquet.


Above: Brooke (left), who I met in the foyer that night, me (centre), and Liss (right), who I met at the meet and greet the previous night. Just FYI, the banquet was at the Rydges Hotel on the top floor so that view you have a slight glimpse of out the window was absolutely spectacular in real life.


Above: Justin Woolley (left), me (centre), and C.S. Pacat (right) for a partial Supanova reunion photo! Just missing Kim, Alan, Marianne and Alex, who were off wandering elsewhere when this was taken—or in Alan’s case, he had to fly out that arvo.

The next morning, Sunday, dawned bright and clear and I went off to sit in on a few more panels, which were also awesome. ‘The Importance of Empathy’ with fellow Pantera Press author, Graham Potts, along with Kylie Scott and Amanda Bridgeman; followed by ‘The Five Book Theory’ with Kim Wilkins, Angela Slatter and Keri Arthur. That panel was probably by favourite of the whole conference (The Five Book Theory one), but that said, there were some incredible panels, so it’s a hard call.

Here’s a mishmash of some panel pics, including the one with yours truly:


And here’s a group selfie of the wonderful women in my panel after we’d finished speaking:


After lunch I was scheduled to present the final workshop of the weekend—a two-hour session on ‘World Building and Character Development’. The workshop was booked out and had a waiting list, so that was somewhat daunting, but on the whole I think it went well, so yay for that! That said, it was a nerve-wracking experience to give a workshop to other legit authors. In fact, one of the first things I said to them as an opening was, “So, what qualifies me to be up here teaching you about world building and character development? Quite frankly, absolutely nothing. Have you seen the calibre of authors who are here? I might as well pack up and go home right now!” They had a laugh, but I really was being kind of serious, lol. But thankfully no one boo’d me out of the conference and they stuck with me for the two hours, so again, yay for that!

Here’s a pic of me during the workshop… I couldn’t stop talking with my hands, even though it became so ridiculous! I was like, “Hands: control yourselves!” and yet I kept using them for emphasis. It was so odd! At one stage I was like, “Sorry, guys. I don’t know what’s going on with my overzealous hand gestures here. I’m not even Italian.”


So, yes! That was GenreCon in a nutshell! Heaps more happened, and I really do want to blog about Alan’s awesome fighting workshop soon… but I’m thinking my next post will be all about how after the weekend I have confirmation of some ridiculously awesome news—that being that…

I’ve officially signed on with a literary agent from New York!!!

Annnnnnd on that cliffhanger that promises a super exciting post coming up, I’ll leave you there! As always, thanks for reading. And get ready for an over-the-moon debrief on my fabulous new agent later this week!

Writing Mode VS Reading Mode

I’m one of those people who can only be in one of two modes at any one time—writing mode or reading mode. Either I’m elbows-deep in writing a novel or something writing-related like editing/proofing etc., or I’m lost to the wonderful world of reading. I can’t do both at once… I can’t, like, write for half a day and then go and read a book. I also can’t swap between books like how some people change socks and then change back again (I’ve heard this is a real thing!). I have to stay in the one story, mine or someone else’s, until it’s done (or until I get bored of it, if it’s a book I’m not particularly enjoying).

I’ve always been like this, though. I think it’s part of the reason why I can churn out a novel so quickly. I recently finished writing the third book in The Medoran Chronicles within a space of 40 days—and it wasn’t a small book! I wrote 137,000 words in that time, while also keeping a part-time job and doing a pretty heavy first round of copy-editing for the second book in the series while that was happening. But I think the main reason I was able to do all that was because I was utterly consumed by the story. And that’s what happens to me—I literally lose myself into another world for a chunk of time and only come up for air when I’m done.

To be honest, I’m not one hundred percent certain whether it’s healthy, at least mentally. Mostly because it feels a little bit like my characters come to life after I’ve “been around them” for such a concentrated period of time. Case in point, when I finished writing my most recent book just a few weeks ago, I went out to lunch with a friend a few days later and I was like, “Oh, look! Real people to talk to!” Haha.

It’s a funny thing, writing. Just as it’s a funny thing to read. I mean, I maintain that a good book is the perfect escape from life. It’s nice to jump out of our own shoes for a little while and into someone else’s. But for me, as I mentioned before, I can’t multi-task my stories. That’d be like watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but turning it off halfway through and putting on Twilight all because of some weird Robert Pattinson character change-up urge. I just can’t do that! (For sooooo many reasons!)

But hey, maybe it’s just me. I know plenty of people who can read a number of different books all at the one time. Well, not at the one time, since that would be quite the talent, but I mean they can swap between different stories and keep jumping between characters and worlds and still keep everything straight in their heads. I also know plenty of authors who can balance their time between both writing and reading. But as for me, when I’m stuck in a good story, I have to devour it from beginning to end. No exceptions.

What about you? I’m curious to hear who is of the same mind as me—just as I’m curious to hear how many competent multi-taskers and multi-story-readers there are out there! Let me know your thoughts!

National Young Writers Festival Australia (NYWF)

At the end of this week I’m heading to Newcastle, NSW, to attend the National Young Writers’ Festival and this is a fabulous write-up about it from the wonderful Paris Lee (who I’m thrilled to be meeting up with again there – I first met her in Melbourne at Supanova earlier this year, and then I saw her again in Sydney in July, so it’ll be fabulous to catch up with her in Newcastle as well! I think we’re actually aiming to film an author Q&A so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!).

If you happen to be in the Newcastle region later this week, please do stop by and say ‘hi’! This reblogged post lists the two panels I’m speaking on (‘Women Kicking Arse’ and “YA Genre: Ahead of the Curve’) as well as mentions the World Building Workshop I’ll be delivering.

It’ll be great to meet some of you if you manage to pop by! And check out the festival website to see more of the other incredible attending writers!


Hi all! Today I’m posting about the one and only, National Young Writers Festival for 2015. NYWF is an annual authors festive which occurs in my hometown, Newcastle in the month of October. Below I will give you some information on what NYWF is, which authors will be attending and a link to the official site.

“The National Young Writers’ Festival (NYWF) occurs annually in the city of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, over the New South Wales’ Labour Day Holiday Weekend in late September/early October. The 2015 festival will take place between October 1 and 4.

NYWF is the country’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms including zines, comics, blogging, screenwriting, poetry, spoken word, hip hop music, journalism, autobiography, comedy, songwriting and prose. The festival presents ‘writing’ in its broadest sense through panels, discussions, workshops, launches, performances, readings, installations, and more.” –…

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For anyone who was around reading my blog last year, you might remember that I have a teensy-tiny (*cough* crazy *cough*) love of birthdays… I mean, come on! We all only get one special day each year that’s ours! It’s a celebration of our birth! What’s not to get excited about?

Thankfully, I have some incredible publishers who just may have picked up on the fact that I’m a total birthday junkie. (Like, seriously – I have a legitimate problem. I should possibly look into speaking to someone about it. But maybe on a day when it’s not, you know, my birthday.)

For anyone who follows me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you will have already seen these posts, but I just wanted to share again here for everyone else. The fabulous team at Pantera Press are offering a birthday sale of 20% off the paperback version of AKARNAE until the end of the weekend – how fabulous is that!

If you want to cash in on this offer – with free international shipping, from what I’ve been told! – then all you have to do is go to and follow the ordering prompts etc. but make sure you type in the discount promo code NONIBDAY when you reach the checkout.

I also want to say a huge thank you to all you wonderful readers who have already wished me a happy birthday today! I’ve been so touched by some of your amazingly lovely messages, as well as your encouragement and well wishes. I have no words, so please just know how much it means to me – thank you.

Oooh, and speaking of lovely birthday mentions, I also received this incredible surprise delivery today from my (again, it bears repeating) fantastic publishers:



Yummy chocolates, helium balloon and absolutely gorgeous flowers! See what I mean? They totally get me. In fact, it’s almost like they’re enabling me and my OTT birthday addiction. But……. *Shrugs*…. You see me complaining? Nope! BEST PUBLISHERS EVER!!!

Oh, and in case anyone’s wondering about my birthday book haul (or at least the first part of it), check it out:

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No spoilers, but has anyone read any of these? I’m so excited for QoS since I LOVE the rest of the ToG series and HoF was amazing. I’ve heard fab things about Legacy of Kings and The Bone Season too…. So what to read first?? Such a hard choice!

Again, thank you so much for the birthday happiness, everyone! And don’t forget to hit up that sale if you’re interested in a physical copy of AKARNAE!

As always, feel free to drop me a line on any of my social media thingamabobbits too. I absolutely love chatting with you all!

Until next time! :-)

Appreciation Post For Copy Editors

I received the copy edited version of RAELIA back from my publishers a couple of days ago and, wow, I just have to say, copy editors are AMAZING!!! The incredible team at Pantera Press completely outdid themselves with my manuscript! There’s no way in a gazillion years that I could have picked up on even a fraction of the suggestions they pointed out to me – suggestions that have have made the story and characters waaaaaay stronger than I could have ever made them on my own!

It’s actually really incredible how much tighter my manuscript is now. I mean, for anyone who has ever received a copy edited version of anything back, you’ll know that it pretty much arrives hacked to pieces. Sentence by sentence, word by word, paragraph by paragraph – anything that doesn’t have to be there is cut, and anything that doesn’t need to be cut is shuffled around to sound better. Everything is analysed in order for it to become the best version of what it can be.

If you’re anything like me, when you receive a copy edited manuscript back, you kind of have a minor freak out where you’re convinced that you totally suck as a writer.

But after you take a few deep breaths and realise that while it looks like you should just throw it all out and write an entirely new book (or perhaps never write anything ever again), it’s actually a good thing that it’s so hacked to pieces. Because it means that once it’s clean again, it’s going to be a whole lot better than you could ever dream.

That’s what’s happened with RAELIA.

And despite how scary the manuscript looked when it arrived on Thursday, the fact is that it only took me three days to go through it and fix it up again. That’s, like, a ridiculously short amount of time. Because you see, unlike a structural edit (which came before the copy edit), the corrections made this time around were many, but minor. I was actually finished with most of the small things within a day – a day! – of receiving it back. There were just a handful of larger plot/character changes that I wanted to give more consideration to, which is why I took the weekend to mull over the possibilities.

Long story short, I’m absolutely over the moon with the (current) end result of my manuscript. (I say ‘current’ because it still has to go through the proofreading stage, but hey, for now I’m stoked with what it is!) So I want to say a HUGE ‘thank you’ to the entire copy editing team at Pantera Press because you guys seriously rock!!


Zoo Adventures In Sydney

This is mostly a photo post because I’m writing from my hotel room in Sydney and I’m multitasking between a heap of things at the moment, but I still wanted to touch base and share some pics from my amazing day at Taronga Zoo yesterday with the incredibly talented fantasy author, Traci Harding, who I first met at Supanova earlier this year. She has a friend who is a senior zookeeper at Taronga (he’s worked there for over 20 years and knows, like, everything), and he was kind enough to sacrifice his day off to give us a guided tour. He even let us “backstage” to play with a few of the creatures, which was awesome! He was also incredibly patient with my million-and-one questions all day, to which he has my unending gratitude! Especially since the book I’ve just finished writing has the main character spending some time at the zoo, so it was surreal to be able to walk the same paths as her and almost feel as if I was in the book. I loved it!

Anyway, on to the pictures. This first one is of Traci and me, with photo credit to Robert Dockerill (the zookeeper friend who showed us around all afternoon):


Here’s me holding a feather-tailed glider. This little ball of fluff weighs less than 15 grams – which equates to under 3 teaspoons of sugar.


Now on to the other cool animals…

Here’s the red panda, ‘Mahem’ (or ‘Chaos’?):

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This little meerkat was hilarious. All his friends had disappeared somewhere – probably back in the den where the heaters were – and he was like, “Where IS everyone!?!” It was beyond cute, with his tiny head swivelling back and forth in confusion. Adorable!

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The tigers really were magnificent. And it was wonderful being able to check out their enclosure and walk the paths near there since those places feature strongly in my new novel I mentioned earlier. I really did feel as if I was part of the book at times yesterday! It was awesome!

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The lions were a lot larger than I imagined them being. Their heads are huge!

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Hello, Baloo! (I loved that this guy was even sitting up like a cartoon bear, haha.)

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The giraffes have arguably some of the best real estate in the entire city. This pic doesn’t do the view justice since I was too focused on the “little” giraffe doing some kind of splits manoeuvre to eat off the ground (adorable!) but trust me when I say the view is STUNNING!

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As we were getting ready to go, I couldn’t resist the temptation of the zoo shop, and I ended up leaving with this little cutie. He’s definitely going to find himself into one of my books at some stage in the future, that’s for sure! I’m open for name suggestions, so if anyone has an original idea, let me know your thoughts!


Lastly, here’s a pic I took on the ferry from the zoo back to Circular Quay of the CBD at sunset – soooo pretty!

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And that’s it! I took a gazillion more pics of other animals, but my multitasking capacity has now reached it’s limit, I’m afraid. Plus, I have a big day tomorrow with a seriously cool fantasy discussion and Q&A author event at Dymocks Bookshop in the CBD (George Street) so if you’re in the city, feel free to swing by and say ‘hi’ between 11-12:30.

I have a stack of other stuff to update about, but it’s going to have to wait for another post. Until then, happy reading!


This excites me probably way more than it should, but I just found out that because my publishers have recently joined with Bloomsbury (the awesome people who published Harry Potter, among other fantastic reads), all of the books previously released by Pantera Press have now been re-released through their new marketing scheme – including my book, Akarnae.

What that means is, until the end of the month, there’s an exclusive sale on Amazon where you can buy Akarnae as an e-book for just AUD$0.99 (or USD$0.77 depending on where you live). Seriously – 99c – how awesome is that!!

If anyone is interested in grabbing a copy, now is definitely the time to do so while it’s so dirt cheap! And if you do, I would sooooo love it if you’d take a second to rate it on Amazon when you’re done – because the more ratings it has there, the more it bumps up the ranking, which then magically makes Amazon promote it more (or something like that).

If you live in Australia, you can find it by clicking: here.

If you live in America, you can find it by clicking: here.

If you live in the UK, you can find it by clicking: here.

And if you live anywhere else, you can also take advantage of this awesome sale from other international Amazon stores by clicking on the following countries: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Thanks heaps, guys. And happy reading!!


Tassy, Tassy, Tasmania!

Okay, so, I’m planning on writing up a HUGE post about Supanova when the Gold Coast segment is finished after this coming weekend, but just believe me when I say the experience in Melbourne was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! What an incredible time I had! I can’t wait to share it all with you, but if you’re interested in seeing some of the pics before I have a chance to write up the post, feel free to jump along to my Facebook page (here) to see some of the coolness from the weekend.

In the meantime, for this post I want to talk about what I’ve been doing for the last two days in my ‘surprise’ visit to Tasmania in between the two Supanova conferences. I say ‘surprise’ because I haven’t mentioned much about why I’m here at the moment, and that’s because my parents are travelling around this beautiful state at present and when I found out that I was going to be in Melbourne, I had a chat with my publishers to see if there might be any events they might want to send me to down this way for the week in between conferences, and lo and behold, the State Library of Hobart jumped on board to have me come and give a two hour writing workshop for National Youth Week. The workshop is scheduled for tomorrow and it’s meant to be limited to 15 young writers, but as of today all of those places were booked, along with 6 people on the waiting list… So I think they’re allowing all 21 to come along tomorrow – how cool!

But what was I saying? Right – the surprise! So I organised it with my dad that he would pick me up from the airport and my arrival would be a surprise to my mum – and, boy, was she shocked when I walked in the door at about 10pm on Sunday night, since she thought I was still in Melbourne! It was so awesome (though, I think she would probably use a different word, haha. She’s not exactly a fan of surprises!).

I’ve pretty much had all of yesterday and today to sightsee around this beautiful part of the world. I have to head back into Hobart at 9:30pm tonight for an ABC radio interview, and tomorrow I have the writing workshop, and then I’m on a plane back to Queensland tomorrow arvo because I have another library workshop in Helensvale (Gold Coast) on Thursday morning and then Supanova starts again on Friday… so it was really nice to take the last two days to recharge and see some beautiful sights! We took heaps and heaps of photos, so brace yourselves for the overload of pics in the rest of this post!

First up is yesterday where my parents drove me out to the stunning Russell Falls and we did some of the walks out there. Jeez, there were lots of steps! Great cardio workout though, and still not enough for me to shed the gazillions of layers of clothing that I was wearing (including the tea cosy hat that makes me look Russian. Hey, don’t knock it – that hat saved my life! It’s freeeeezing in Tasmania!!). Here’s some pics from that part of the day:

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We also spotted a young platypus swimming in a creek, which was pretty cool!


After the falls (including Horseshoe Falls) we took off up to the top of Mount Wellington where the word “cold” was redefined for me. But the beauty and splendour of the place made it waaaaay worth the shivers and shakes and it didn’t even matter that I couldn’t feel my fingers or my nose. I literally felt as if I was on top of the world – another fantasy world, since the scenery at the summit was like something straight from another planet. And we couldn’t have picked a better day weather-wise. It was, quite simply, stunning.



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That was all yesterday. As for today, we took off out to the Tahune Airwalk and it was beyond beautiful. All day I felt as if I was in my book, Akarnae, since the forests were so enchantingly magical. But it was soooooo cold too! At 11 o’clock in the morning it was only 6 degrees! A couple of days ago I was at home with 30 degrees! That’s HUGE difference for someone like me, since I feel the cold like crazy! So that kinda explains the Eskimo-look I’m not quite managing to pull off in some of the following pics:




This is on the actual airwalk which was high up in the “tall trees”:

IMG_8049Here’s an idea of the view from up there:



And here’s where we found the awesome suspended swinging bridges:



Then it was back down to earth for more of the beautiful forest walks:




I also jumped on a hang glider and took off across the river – which was soooooo much fun!! Even if while I was being hooked up to it all I was like, “Ummm… exactly how safe is this thing?” But it was a seriously awesome experience! And such a beautiful view!


To finish this photo-overkill post, here’s a pic of the view I’ve been waking up to for the last couple of days. We’re about 20 mins out of Hobart city here and it’s gorgeous. This is from tonight’s sunset taken from the balcony. Absolute bliss. (Freezing bliss, but still picturesque bliss!)


Right! That’s all from my Tasmanian sightseeing adventure! Stay tuned over the next few days on my Instagram (here) and Twitter (here) etc. for all the comings and goings of the Hobart and Helensvale library workshops, and of course Supanova Gold Coast! Woohoo!

Step Into My Life

Phew! *Wipes hand across forehead* Things have been insano lately—thus the ‘whoopsie’ lack of blog updating. My bad. But let me bring you all up to speed on the last week (or so) and then you can give me mental hugs and compassionate nods of understanding.

First up, things with AKARNAE are going ammmmmazingly. The feedback I’ve been receiving every single day has been blowing my mind. Like, seriously. I have no words. (Let alone the words to describe my uncontainable wonder and gratitude!) The reviews have been absolutely incredible and I’m honestly overwhelmed by the number of people who have contacted me directly to share their love of Alex and her friends. So, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! (For anyone curious, I’ve now added a ‘Reviews’ page here to my website and pulled out snippets of some of the seriously cool things people have been saying. You can check out the reason for all my happy-dancing by clicking here.)

Just as a reminder, if you want to grab yourself a copy of my book, it’s available as an e-book at all the normal places online. You can also buy the paperback with FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING from

Another thing worth mentioning is that AKARNAE is a featured LitPick giveaway title this month. From what I can tell, this is open to international entries, so if you want to try and win a free copy, check out how to enter here.

Moving on now…

As part of the NOTED Festival that kicks off in Canberra at the end of this week, I’m a Buzzwords Blogger charged with giving quirky yet legit advice on a number of Q&A styled questions. The tagline is, “You provide the questions, they’ll dish the dirt”. (So feel free to hit them up if there’s anything writing-related that you want to know!) They’ve already started posting some of the questions and the first one has me giving my thoughts on writers block and how to stay motivated as a writer. You can check out my answer by clicking here (and see the awesome Frozen meme I included, haha).

Okay… What’s next?

I’ve been doing a number of blogging interviews over the past couple of weeks which has been so much fun. If you’re interested in reading some of my answers, here are a few interviews that have already been posted:

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books

The Book Muse

The Breathing Ghosts

Last up (for the moment), I’m headed to the Gold Coast the weekend after next to be an attending author at Readers & Writers Down Under along with some seriously notable writers like Abbi Glines and Kristen Ashley (among others), both of whom are travelling over from the States for the event (which is so flipping cool). I’m really excited for RWDU because not only will it be my first ‘official’ signing event, but I’m also on two different speaking panels (one to talk about fantasy, one to discuss blogging) which should be awesome! And another exciting thing about the event is that AKARNAE has been nominated for two different ‘Readers Choice’ awards—HOW COOL!!!!!! I would sooo love it if you would take two seconds to jump over to the voting page (here) and click on it at number 16 (RWDU Favourite Young Adult Read) and number 18 (RWDU Favourite Fantasy/Sci Fi Read). You don’t have to fill in every award option in order to submit your vote either, which is handy! And thanks so much in advance! I have no idea what the winner of each category actually wins, but it’d be SO awesome to win regardless of whether there’s any kind of prize or not. Plus, there’s a fancy-schmancy red carpet awards night which the inner princess in me is totally looking forward to in the girliest way possible, haha. HOW EXCITING!!!

Righto, it’s now after midnight and I haven’t even begun to tell you why my last few weeks have been so insanely busy. I need to sleep, so in a nutshell, I’ve just finished my second week in my new job being employed full-time as a content writer for an inspirational personal-development company (basically, I get to write stories, blogs and articles about things that motivate people to love themselves for who they are (just as they are) – and from that, help them become inspired to work towards being the best version of themselves that they can be).

On top of that, my brother is getting married in June, and I’m really good friends with my soon to be sister-in-law (plus, I’m a part of the bridal party – but more as a groomsman-bridesmaid, which is a long story and I’m too sleepy to go into it right now)… So, wedding planning is in full swing (which includes things like me and the bride-to-be going to a wedding expo last weekend and then also taking a trip into the city for the day yesterday to hunt down ‘the perfect dress’ – which I’m happy to report, we absolutely did!). I’ve never had much to do with weddings in the past, so I had no idea how exhausting everything to do with them is! Like, I’m feeling a total mental train-wreck of exhaustion. But it’ll be worth it, I’m sure. And while the bride-to-be is… uhh… somewhat reluctant about the pomp and circumstance related to the big day, I’m BEYOND excited. I seriously LOVE weddings.

Another reason things have been so insanely busy is because I was invited to give a two hour writing workshop to around fifty year 11 and 12 school students last Monday (ages 16-18). Let me tell you, two hours is a long time to be talking almost non-stop. Fortunately, I’m super passionate about everything even remotely related to storytelling, so I loved sharing all about world building, character development, and the general writing process with them. But it was still crazy. I’d never taught any kind of workshop before (honesty moment: I’ve never even attended a writing workshop before) so I spent the entirety of the days leading up to it coming up with my presentation (since I knew I was going to be in a lecture theatre with a projector, which really helped with visual aids). I was working on it up until 5:00am the morning of the workshop, and my alarm was set for 6:30am – which meant I literally got 1.5 hours sleep that day. I think I’m still recovering, haha. But from what I can tell, it went really well, so I guess that’s the main thing!

Okay, seriously, I need to go to sleep (because 1.5 hours does not cut it for me!). But I wanted to update you all and give you a bit of a look into my life at the moment. Regardless of the fact that I feel somewhat mentally and physically shredded, things are soooooo exciting. Every day brings something new and amazing—and I’m totally loving every single minute. As always, thanks for sharing this incredible journey with me! Hugs for everyone!