Last week I had an epic 36-hour whirlwind trip to Sydney where I was a speaker at Sydney Writers’ Festival and also had a night event at Dymocks devoted to a Medoran Chronicles Q&A. Words quite literally cannot describe just how manic that day-and-a-half was, but I’ll try to paint a picture of all the amazingness that went down. Continue reading
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’?):
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!
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!
The lions were a lot larger than I imagined them being. Their heads are huge!
Hello, Baloo! (I loved that this guy was even sitting up like a cartoon bear, haha.)
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!
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!
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!
ATTENTION SYDNEY READERS AND WRITERS
I’m visiting the beautiful Sydney at the moment and giving a couple of writing workshops and Q&As over the next couple of days – woohoo! I’m pretty sure Monday’s workshop is fully booked out, but they’ve opened up a second time slot for tomorrow because of the demand and there are still a handful of spots available (for tomorrow only). The workshops are a great idea for if you have kids on school holidays who love to read or write, since they’re targeted for youths aged between 11-18 years (ish).
I also have a Dymocks bookshop (CBD store) event on Tuesday that is for all ages and has no attendance restrictions or limits (as far as I know). Come one, come all!!
Everything is free, btw, plus the workshops also provide a free lunch for the kids!
Here’s what you need to know…
Workshops on Saturday and Monday:
Dymocks event on Tuesday:
Feel free to ask any questions or share these details with anyone you want! And if you end up coming along to anything, make sure you let me know you follow my blog because then I can be like, “HEY!!!” :-)
Sydney: Where My Publishing Dreams Become Reality
So, it looks like I’m off to Sydney in three days for my meet-and-greet with the publishers – how exciting! I feel like my ears are bleeding from all the legal advice I’ve received over the last month, but I’m now finally at a place where I’m comfortably knowledgeable about everything contract-wise… Which is awesome. Now I’m just ready for the next phase to begin – whatever that is!
Of course, I still have to pass the ‘jerk-test’ on Thursday because if we don’t get along, well, that would suck royally since it would mean no signing… But I’m ever hopeful!
Just a FYI for any Australian authors who are looking for a contract assessment, I contacted the ASA first and still had some lingering concerns afterwards so was recommended to try Alex Adsett. She’s a literary agent who does freelance contract consultations on the side, and she’s Amazing (worthy of the capital A). You can find out more about her here: http://alexadsett.com.au/
Road To Publishing: The Next Step
Good news, everyone! It looks like I’m almost ready for the next stage in my publishing journey! I’ve received the legal advice for my contract and I’ve been communicating back and forth (and back and forth… and back and forth… and back and–you get the point…) with the publisher. And honestly, I’m surprised they still want to sign me on, considering how much back-and-forthing I’ve been doing (and yes, for the sake of this blog, ‘forthing’ is now a real word). But they’ve been ridiculously amazing communication–and toleration–wise. So, yay for that!
Now we’ve just got to figure out which dates suit best for all of us, but it looks like I’ll be flying to Sydney within a fortnight for the meet-and-greet and (hopefully) signing the contract. Woohoo!