Tuesday, July 31, 2007

slow progress....

although I'm writing a little faster now that I've finished shooting things in Half-Life 2. I've actually finished the entire game (guess what I spent all day Saturday doing?), so I have no choice but to sit down and write.

Although I could load another game. The muse is seriously considering playing Far Cry again. We did like that one :)

So I've crept my way up to eighty thousand words done, and only have another twenty thousand to go. Eighty more pages will do me, though I suspect this will go slightly longer. There's lots yet to happen (they haven't even found Liander yet, so there's lots of drama still to write.) We learn a bit more of Quinn's history in this one too--not something I actually intended, but he suddenly became all verbose in the scene I just finished. So, we ended up with a chunk of his past. I love the muse when she does things like that :)

Still no word from my editor about the latest Destiny edits, so I have no idea yet whether this round makes the grade or not. I'm afraid you'll have to keep your fingers crossed a bit longer!

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Reviews? Yes. Writing? No.

Went on a bit of a search today and found some reviews of Embraced by Darkness to share. Click on the link to view the whole review:

From The Good, the Bad, and the Unread:

Ms Arthur’s storytelling is getting better and better with each book. As with the other books, Embraced has suspense, interesting concepts, terrific main and secondary characters, well developed story arcs, and the world-building is highly entertaining. ~ B review. Reviewer Gwen

From The Romance Reader.
Without the usual multitudes of men floating about her and her twin, this book gave the reader an opportunity to know the Jensons better. A little more ingenuity (or maybe even just a little more strength to the sub-plot), and this would easily have been a five-heart review. As it is, the slightly cliff-hanger ending is sure to leave fans old and new waiting with baited breath for Riley’s next adventure - be it work - or relationship-related. 4 Hearts. Reviewer Sarrah Knight

From Romantic Times (not up on the website yet)
Since we last met her, Riley's life hasn't gotten any less complicated as this latest first person adventure clearly demonstrates. Arthur has made a name for herself by delving into dark tales filled with terrible voilence, dark passion and scorching sex. If you like your supernatural thrills dark, these are the book for you. 4 stars. Reviewer Jill.M.Smith.

From Darque Reviews (July 17 entry. There's also a review for Lifemate Connections; Eryn on July 22):
Embraced by Darkness is the fifth book in the Riley Jenson Guardian series, and there’s never a lull in the action and danger that surrounds Riley’s life. Though estranged from their pack, Riley and her twin brother Rhoan team up to meet the alpha’s demands and through the bullets and blood remain an amazing force. Ms. Arthur is positively one of the best urban fantasy authors in print today. The characters have been well-drawn from the start and the mysteries just keep getting better. A creative, sexy and adventure filled world that readers will just love escaping to. Reviewer Kimberly Swan

Writing wise, well, I spent all of Tuesday, then half of Wednesday reading Riley 6, because I couldn't actually remember everything I'd written (living in another characters head for a few weeks will do that to a gal.). Then I did manage to write my allotted 7 pages. I think the muse burned out doing it though, because all she wants to do today is shoot things. So, I've been playing Half-Life 2 for the better part of the day. But I'm sick of being killed right now, so we'll see what I can get done tonight :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

back to the grind...

not that writing is a chore compared to other jobs I've done, but some days things just seem to grind along. You know, the days when the words won't come and the muse just wants a holiday. Which is what I've spent the better part of the afternoon doing--looking at island holidays. I might actually treat the family to some time away together once I get all my books written. :)

This morning I was a little more industrious, though. I finally finished the Destiny Kills edits and sent them off, so now I just have to hope that Anne likes the changes, so it can move on to the line-editing stage. If she doesn't, I think the muse and I will both cry, because I'm just not sure where else I can go with the story. With that sent off, I then did my tax, which had to be up to tax guy this week.

So, now, I'm sitting here looking at Riley 6, feeling less than thrilled. Not sure why I feel this way, I just do. Maybe the muse is still feeling a little jetlagged. Whatever the reason, she'd better start moving her well-rounded butt--I need to get this finished within two weeks, so that means I have to write a minimum of 7 pages a day.

I think the muse just fainted...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

some pics...

from the Dallas conference:

note--the pics with a * were taken by Mel

after 6 hours of waiting in fog-bound Melbourne, we're finally on our way.

Aussie author Anna Campbell at the literacy signing

Kelley Armstrong and the queue to get out at the literacy signing

A pic to show just how large the literacy signing was

Mel and I all dolled up for the awards night

*Myself and Miriam standing beside a very sad looking John Wayne at Fort Worth

*Mel and her Golden Heart certificates

*Mel and me (with me looking like trouble waiting to happen)


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

now for the good stuff...

I've spent the last couple of blogs whining, so it's time for a chat about the good things.

I had a blast at RWA. Not only did I get to chance to catch up with friends (waves to Rachel and Jenna), but I was able to chat to some of the lovely people I've met at previous RT conventions--I just wished I could remember everyone's names rather than just remembering their faces, but my brain doesn't seem capable of such of feat. It was also great to catch up with (super agent) Miriam. She took Mel and I out on a scenic tour of Fort Worth and the Star Wars exhibition on Sunday, which was just brilliant. (and it was nice to see more of Dallas than just the hotel and the train line below our hotel window.) I also finally met lots of Bantam people who'd I'd spoken to (or emailed) over the year, but had never met--like Shauna Summers (editor), her assistant Jessica, Shawn O'Gallager (publicity) and Sarah (Random House sales) as well as some fabulous Bantam authors like Kelley Armstrong, Madeline Hunter, Tara Janzen, Shana Abe, Lara Adrian, and Sherry Thomas. It was also lovely to meet the Levy sales people, and the many bookstore owners and representatives that were there.

There were a ton of great workshops, though I didn't get to many of them (a lot of the ones I wanted to do clashed with publisher commitments). I did get to two on creativity and how to keep writing when the muse leaves--though I can't tell you the actual names of the workshops, because the program is in my bag, which hasn't made it back into Australia yet. I also talked to Stoney Creek Media about redoing my website, so expect a new look towards the end of year. The Rita and Golden Heart Awards were fun, simply because everyone dressed up and looked absolutely smashing. Mel didn't win the two sections she was nominated in, but making the finals makes her (and everyone else who made the finals) a winner in my books anyway. Especially when you consider just how many people enter the Golden Heart. Bronwyn Clarke (another Aussie) did win her section, and we all cheered like mad as she was walking up to the stage looking rather shocked. And we also cheered like mad things when Barbara Hannay (yes, another aussie) won her Rita.

Another plus was the food--conference food tends to be pretty bland, simply because it's hard to feed that many people, but I thought the food was pretty darn good. The desserts after the awards were smashingly good (says she who sampled far too many things :)). The literacy signing was fun--and even bigger than the RT signing, which I thought was awesome enough. And the Bantam signing went well--though I ran out of books way too soon! Luckily, I'd bought along some bookmarks, so at least I could sign those for people.

All in all, I enjoyed RWA, and look forward to heading back there next year. (and it’s San Fran next year, and I love that city)

And just as an aside, I finally have a title for Riley 6. It’s going to be called The Darkest Kiss. Pretty cool, hey?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

so, the conference trip...

finished the way it started. Badly.

Air New Zealand sucked this trip. Seriously. I know the fog in Melbourne that started this whole mess off wasn't their fault, nor was it their fault that we missed every flight because of that fog. And it's certainly wasn't their fault LA Airport sucks great big donkey balls when it comes to clearing customs (an hour and a half? Seriously, why not employ more people to handle the overload?). However, given they combined three flights (two LA flights and one San Francisco flight) into the one later LA flight, they (Air NZ) must have had some inkling that maybe they would have a good three quarters of the plane needing assistance before they closed up shop for the night.

But getting stranded at LA and missing connecting flights we didn't know about wasn't the end of it.

Coming home, when we least needed it (hey, conferencing, and being wined and dined is hard work :) ), the Air NZ fun started all over again. We actually got to LA okay, and wandered around to the Air NZ terminal. Where we waited. And waited. Ten or fifteen minutes into the waiting, every AIR NZ staff serving at the counter got up and walked out. Just walked out, leaving over a hundred of us standing there wondering what the hell was going on. Twenty minutes later, with a line that snaked around the terminal and out the doors onto the footpath, the Air NZ folk calmly wandered back in. Apparently, they take their smokos (morning tea) very seriously over there. An hour and a half later, we finally got tickets (though Mel losing her baggage check from Dallas caused great concern to the woman at the counter--she was convinced that the baggage handlers wouldn't know what to do with the bag, even though it was completely checked in and tagged right through to Melbourne from Dallas.) An hour after that, we get through LA customs (again, what is with the three or four gates open? Seriously, when you get that many people hitting the airport at one time, employ some people to handle it.) So, we get to the plane with little time to spare...except that the plane ended up taking off late, though communication as to why it was late was none existant. We did make our Auckland-Melbourne flight, but again, it was late taking off.

And then, to top everthing off, they lost our cases. Apparently they're still over in NZ.

If my cowboy boots don't arrive in one piece, I will be annoyed. Or more annoyed than I am.

Tomorrow I'll blog about the brilliance of the conference, how wonderful my agent is, and how well Mel and some of the other Aussies did at her first conference :)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 12, 2007


the trip to dallas started off well--we got to the airport on time. But things went rapidly downhill from there.

For a start, Melbourne was fog bound. Wallan wasn't, but the rest of Melbourne was in a pea souper. Which meant, of course, that no planes were getting in or out of the airport. So we got our tickets, and waited. And waited. Three and a half hours after the plane was supposed to leave, we finally left. But of course, that meant we missed all our connecting flights. The worst was in LA. Air NZ apparently decided they couldn't be bothered dealing with customers who needed flights re-booked and went home before we'd cleared customs--leaving us to wander around, getting wrong directions and generally trying to figure out if anyone in LA airport actually knew what they were talking about. We ended up getting into Dallas around midnight on Tues, and then had trouble finding a taxi driver who'd heard of the place we were staying at (not the sort of news that you need to hear at that hour--we were having visions of having to come here to the Hyatt and parking on their couches for the night). We finally found an airport bus guy who knew it and arrived at the hotel at the grand hour of two in the morning. (I would have taken a pic of the two of us, but it would have been far too scary)

So, we're here at the conference and it's huge (I keep getting told it's one of the smaller ones, but compared to the Aussie conference, this is massive.) The literacy signing has just been completed, and that was awesome--bigger even than RT, and I thought that was huge. I've met up with Rachel (Vincent)and Jenna (Black) and we're doing the cocktail thing soon. (I so need a drink)

Tomorrow the conference starts for real, so hopefully I'll have some goss then :)

(hey, peanut--aka Vicki Pettersson--we're missing you!)

Monday, July 09, 2007

leaving on a jet plane...

well, not right now, but it's close enough. My bags are packed (almost), the chocolate and Tim Tams are in, and I have books and edits to take onto the plane with me. I'm just about together--woohoo. I think my case is going to go close to the limit, though, so here's hoping they don't charge extra.

I'm also hoping to get onto a computer and do some blogging over there, but it just depends on whether the prices are as outrageous as Houston was. If not, you can check out RWAmerica's website--they have a blogging page with regular updates, and are covering the Golden Heart and Rita awards. Fingers crossed for Mel, Marion and the other Aussies nominated!

In the mean time, have fun while I'm away, and I'll talk to you all in a week!


Sunday, July 08, 2007


I should have been writing Riley 6 over the weekend...but I didn't. I wrote a brand new one instead. I got this invitation to submit a short story for an upcoming anthology (can't say who or what, because nothing is definite. I don't even know if the story will be accepted) and this idea hit, and away the muse galloped. It was actually a nice change, writing brand new characters in a brand new world. The muse and I are totally enjoying it--a fact proven by the 30 pages I ended up writing. That sort of page count hasn’t happened for the longest of times.

I’ve only got another ten pages or so to write on it, and then it’s done. I’d love to finish it before I head off to RWA Nationals, but given I’ve still got bucket loads to pack and get ready, I can’t see it happening.

Tomorrow I’m off to the hairdressers to do something about all the grays multiplying in my hair, and then I’ve got to do a bit of final shopping. After that, it’s packing, and triple checking I have everything--like passport, tickets, plane book (most important), my editing, clothes….chocolate! Can’t forget that ;)

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 05, 2007

it's done....

after a marathon effort (and several side trips into panic over the fact that it was going to end up too short), Destiny Kills is finally finished--for the third time. And the panic amounted to nothing, because this version actually ended up being slightly longer (by two pages, but hey, that's better than being two pages shorter). I ended up writing two new scenes near the end, one a rescue scene that ties up changes made earlier in the book, and the second an epilogue scene that ties up the remaining plot threads. I just couldn't see any way around doing this, so I hope my editor likes it. I know epilogues annoy some people, but I think in this case, leaving it as it was would have annoyed people more.

So, now I have to do a quick read through to see if there's any obvious problems (I already know of one I have to fix, because I changed the motivations of one character about half way through), then I'll print it out and take it on the plane with me to do a more thorough editing. Hopefully, by the time I get back, all I'll have to do is fix some minor problems, then send it off.

As far as Riley goes...I did manage to squeeze in three pages. Not much, but better than nothing. Riley and Rhoan are no longer at each others throat, and are now working to save Liander, who's in a spot of bother (to put it mildly). Quinn is assisting them, so there's all sorts of dymanics happening. And they're about to visit a young vampire who lives off emotion. She's going to get quite a lot more than she bargained for with this lot :D

Labels: ,

Monday, July 02, 2007

writing continues....

at a somewhat rapid pace. I actually decided last Friday that I needed to get Destiny finished by the time I leave for Dallas, because I could use the long and boring hours of flight time to correct the thing. So, I spent the whole of the weekend working on it. We did go see my dad on Sunday (it was his birthday--happy birthday old man!), but I wrote before and after the trip, so that made up for it.

I'm now 310 pages into the third rewrite, and hoping to finish it by Friday. Well, it'll be finish as far as the old sections go. I'll have to write an epilogue over the weekend, as the ending I currently have just doesn't fit with all the changes I've made. But once I've done that, I can then print the whole thing out ready to be packed in with my hand luggage. Hopefully, I won't find too many mistakes, and I can ship it off once I get back.

As far as Riley goes, I did my allotted 5 pages today. Rhoan has just punched Riley, and Riley has just broken Rhoan's leg. There's nothing like a little sibling rough and tumble :). So, now they've got to get their act together, go find some missing people, and beat up on the bad guy instead of each other. I love writing this sort of stuff!

Labels: ,