Archive for December, 2012

Photoshooting the cover of SONG OF THE SLUMS

December 10, 2012

The Song of the Slums cover is created – and it’s fabulissimo! I’ll put it up as soon as everyone’s signed off on it. In the meanwhile, here are two pics of the photoshoot that created the two figues of Astor and Verrol:
Here’s super-talented cover designer Cathy Larsen arranges Katie’s hair before the shoot (‘Victorian ringlets, but tangled and dishevelled’). Katie’s hair is a natural copper-red, just right for Astor in the novel.

And here below are the two models, Tibby who plays the part of Verrol, and Katie adjusting costume. Whereas Katie’s hair was already perfect, Tibby had to perfect his look – by shaving off his beard. That’s devoltion to duty! Meanwhile, Cathy and herphotographer check camera angles.

Katie and Tibby – or Astor and Verrol – are about to do their dash down the alleyway – but since the alley way has already been shot separately,so they’re going to dash towards a blue screen. So many separate bits of photo-work went into the final creation!

There’s a story about the alley, but it can wait till I put the final cover up.

the Next Big Thing

December 4, 2012

Here are my answers to the questions that are going around. Luckily,my next novel comes out soon, so I can talk about that

1) What is the [working] title of your next book?
And here’s the new version of the cover replacing the one I put up a few hours ago. This is almost certainly the final look!
SoS COVER.128k jpg

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
After writing my two ‘juggernaut’ books, Worldshaker and Liberator! I started thinking about the earlier history of that world—after the end of the unbelievably destructive Fifty Years War, but before the construction of the juggernauts. The story itself comes from my own experience as a folk-rock musician (somewhat exaggerated and infinitely more successful).

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Steampunk tending to gaslight romance.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I think Franca Potente would make a great Astor Vance—and not only because of the hair colour!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
‘Genteel girl sinks to the level of governess, slumps even further to survival in the slums, then discovers gang music with the Rowdies and claws her way to the heights of success.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It’s published by Allen & Unwin in Australia (early 2013): Hélium in France; Jacoby & Stuart in Germany

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft, six months. Then, after feedback, a total rewrite that took another two months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I could name any of the steampunk classics, or my own two previous steampunk fantasies, Worldshaker and Liberator. But this is different again, a Victorian success story with a unique angle. As a success story, it has some similarities to The Hunger Games.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My publisher wanted another steampunk novel that wasn’t a direct sequel to Liberator. I didn’t have to be asked twice!

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has two other dimensions, romance and revolution. The romance between Astor and Verrol gets very hot and intense; the background of war and revolution emerges with lashings of heart-stopping action!

Since I live in the Illawarra south of Sydney, I thought I’d like to showcase some great Illawarra authors. Here are my five tagged authors – check out what they’ve already published, as well as their ‘next big thing’!

Keith Stevenson at –

Di Bates at –

Chris MsTrustry at –

Sandy Fussell at –

Ann Whitehead (writing as Ann Charlton) at –
—– Ann has passed the baton straight on to Isolde Martyn. go via Ann’s facebook page, or jump straight to Isolde at