One man's comedy is another man's tragedy.

One man's comedy is another man's tragedy.
Even our own misfortune can be a source of humour. Finding humour in misadventure is one of the great Australian pastimes. Who hasn’t sat around the campfire and laughed with friends about some disastrously calamitous incident in their past. I got out of bed one night because I heard one of my kids cry. Now I know my way around my own house, so why bother turning on a light? Unfortunately, the nickers I was wearing lost their elasticity and chose that dark moment to hit the floor. I staggered sideways, grasping for something to steady myself. My hand shot across the duchess, sending a cascade of ornaments and junk flying across the room, smashing onto the floor. I lurched back towards the dark doorway and smashed the middle of my forehead into the half open door. As a flurry of stars swirled around my head, I managed to reel out into the corridor where my foot landed smack on one of my kids’ toy cars. The car shot down the hallway and …

Fan Art, Ranger's Apprentice

No pictures in your book? Why not Google fan art. It never fails to amaze me how many people have created artwork about their favourite books and characters. As I am currently re-reading Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan, and I took a moment to look up fan art. Every artist has a different take on each character in the series. OK, the occasional one is awful but I like to think the artist is trying hard and will improve. As for the majority, some are cute, some are funny and some are just beautiful.  This one is particularly beautiful.

Brotherband - John Flanagan

I just read the middle-grade series Brotherband by Australian author John Flanagan.

Things I found about this series:
Brotherband has some connections to the Ranger’s Apprentice series, but not too many and you do not need to read Ranger’s Apprentice to enjoy these booksIt was highly enjoyable for any age – being an adult did not mean I enjoyed the series lessIt is re-readable. I will definitely re-read this seriesThe characters grabbed you and the plot was not repetitive. Each book in the series had it’s own plot and all were exciting and a lot of fun

I highly recommend these books for anyone from about 9 – 10 years upwards.

Where No Man Has Gone Before

One of the greatest things that happens when you write is that you learn. I recently wrote a scene where the characters needed to prepare a turkey for eating. I am now a couch expert on scalding the bird, plucking the feathers, evisceration and dissection. Needless to say, if I was to attempt this in real life, I imagine it would be a lot harder to do than it was to write, and there might be an added element of throwing up involved at the evisceration stage, but now I at least understand the process. 
It's never a good idea to launch headlong into a scene describing something you don't fully understand without researching the subject first. It's disappointing when an intense or interesting scene turns cold because the writer's explanation is incorrect. Like when you realise the character has had his dog for forty-five years. Hmmm. Or that no-body ever, ever needs to use the toilet. We can believe our hero can shoot the eyelash off a gnat at 150 paces, but surely he must…

The Fantasy Map

I love a good map attached to a Fantasy novel. There is nothing like being able to follow the trail of a great character's adventure. 
Here is the map of Roub-Talum for my soon-to-be-released series for Middle Grade. 
The first book in the series, The Shadow Village, accelerates dramatically as teenager Elora unexpectedly finds herself in Roub-Talum, where invaders from the adjacent land of Bioraliss have usurped the throne she never knew was hers. Readers can follow the trail of adventure and misadventure as Elora faces insurmountable peril.

The blurb...

THE RUBY KEY BOOK 1 THE SHADOW VILLAGE From a farmhouse to the forefront of war, the world will never be the same for Elora when she finds a strange diary and key. With its peculiar and mysterious powers, Elora finds herself able to travel through worlds, and her date with destiny, and her royal past, is set. Elora begins a dangerous journey to learn the secrets of her past and to reclaim her rightful place on the throne.
In The Shadow …
Just started reading The Ranger's Apprentice, by John Flanagan. The first chapters of Book 1 - The Ruins of Gorlan - show a significant amount of similarity to Raymond Feist's Magician. Having said this, I don't think it detracts from the book at all, because as we know, Magician was a masterpiece, so who wouldn't want to read something similar? Whilst only a short way into the book, I am really enjoying it and very much looking forward to reading the entire series. My son read these in his younger years and still gets them out to re-read them. That's a good sign! Gotta go... Book 1 is calling me!

The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien

The Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien. I read this in primary school and absolutely loved it. Ellen discovers a mysterious silver crown in her bedroom on her tenth birthday. By pure luck she is not in her house when a vandal attacks the building with a Molotov cocktail and the house burns down, but while she is out at the park and she witnesses a murder, which at the time appears to be unrelated. With the terrible loss of her family, and feeling she has nowhere to turn, she decides to hitchhike to her Aunt Sarah in Kentucky. On the way, she escapes from a disturbing kidnapper, is chased though the woods, and eventually finds an ally in 8-year-old Otto, a strange orphan boy living with an old lady he wrongly believes to be his mother. With Otto, she treks through the mountains, all the while being hunted by sinister men. After many mishaps, Ellen discovers a disquieting black castle in the forest where she encounters a medieval device called “the Hieronymus Machine” which is mind-contro…