Issue 250 of AntipodeanSF is live! You’ll find one of my stories in it too…

AntipodeanSF, helmed by Ion (Nuke) Newcombe, is an Australian speculative fiction institution. Fueled by Ion’s commitment and devotion to showcase the many diverse voices of the antipodean speculative fiction community, AntiSF, Australia’s longest running speculative fiction magazine, has acted as a publishing platform for so many since 1998.

When Nuke put the call out for contributions for his landmark 250th Issue, I heeded it with enthusiasm. Having been published in AntiSF as far back as 2009, and again in 2014, I know I’m one of many who are grateful for Ion’s tireless efforts.

Created with GIMP

Issue 250 celebrates AntiSF’s massive milestone with a huge issue containing over fifty flash and short stories from previous contributors. You’ll find my fantasy piece, ‘Once Upon a Moonlit Clearing’ in there as well.

The issue will be live online for three months, and a print anthology is also forthcoming.

Take a bow, Nuke. And congratulations on this landmark achievement.

Your upside-down spec fic community salutes you!

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days.

Beck 🙂

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Trickster’s Treats 3 – Now Open For Submissions

At the rate this year is flying, it will soon be Halloween again, which means another great edition of Trickster’s Treats, the annual charity horror anthology of flash and short fiction brought to you by the most un-horrible person in horror, Steve Dillon of Things in the Well Publications.

Following the success of the first two volumes, Trickster’s Treats3 is now open for submissions. This year’s theme, the Seven Deadly Sins, is a veritable writer’s playground!

Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth – the Seven Deadly Sins. What’s your temptation? Trickster’s Treats 3 is seeking disturbingly delicious stories of darkness showcasing each of the sins. You’ll find full submission details here.

Like any great charitable cause, Trickster’s Treats 3 is going to be a collaborative effort, steered by like minded people. The edition will be in great hands with Co-editors Lee Murray, and  Marie O’Regan, and I’m thrilled to be filling a submissions editor role along with six other sub editors: Tracie McBride, Noel Osualdini, Claire Fitzpatrick, William Marchese, and Kev Harrison.7 sins cover

Greg Chapman has done a sterling job with the cover, and the Trickster’s house is looking creepier than ever!

The sin I’m reading for is Gluttony. I’m really excited about the different ways writers will choose to interpret and explore this theme.  All submissions are treated to the anonymity process, and will be read ‘blind’.

As always, Steve Dillon has chosen a very  worthwhile cause for proceeds of Trickster’s Treats 3. This year, charity: water is the deserving recipient. With one in ten people lacking access to clean water around the world, charity: water is on a mission to partner with local organisations globally to provide long-lasting water and sanitation services.

7 sins banner

Trickster’s Treats 3 is horror for a great cause, and I’m very proud to be part of it. Looking forward to reading your submissions…


Happy writing, happy reading, happy days …

Beck 😊

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What I Read In 2018 …

If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know every January I give a wrap of books I read in the previous year. Some years the list is extensive; other years embarrassingly short. 2018’s reading list of thirty-one books falls somewhere in the middle.  I wish I had more time to devote to reading these days, but you know … life!

On reflection, my reading list for 2018 is again quite eclectic. It appears I read more fiction for younger readers than usual. I’ve been working on a couple of manuscripts for children, as well as a grittier young adult sci fi, so perhaps that’s been the catalyst. I note fifty percent of the list is made up of female authors, and sixty per cent is made up of Australian and New Zealand authors. There is so much talent in the spheres of Australasian writing, across all genres.

As I mentioned last year, I read more forensically now than ever before, and some titles gripped me more than others. Enjoyment from reading will always be a matter of taste though (as it should be), so these aren’t reviews as such, more a few indulgent observations.

what i read in 2018 ...

  1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey.  Reading about a couple of prankster fourth graders with my Grade 4 son was a lot of fun. Thomas enjoyed the interactive parts of the book and I found Principal Krupp hilarious.
  2. The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan. This is my second reading of The Hawkline Monster, and I will never lose this book again! It grabs genre by the collar, gives it a good shake, then throws it down a winding staircase. Gothic western with a crazy plot successfully carried by two extremely likeable rogues. I found this cult classic in a second hand bookstore years ago, read it, loved it, and then lost it … probably lent to a friend at some stage, or sold in a garage sale. Either way, I mourned its loss. I found it again this year … but the story of how I did is almost as incredible as the book, and best saved for another time.
  3. How to Bee by Bren MacDibble. There’s a reason this book has picked up a swag of awards. It’s middle grade fiction done right – clever, thought provoking, a highly original premise carried by a protagonist you can really cheer for. Your heart will explode. Bren’s got a new book out this year, The Dog Runner, which sounds ace. I’ll be getting my mitts on it when it’s released via Allen & Unwin.
  4. The Clonestone by Ali Smith. This is the second book in The Ginomees Trilogy – a delightfully whimsical series about adventuring garden gnomes. This one picks up where the first left off, and you can’t help but feel for Noname as he faces some very difficult challenges, both internally and externally. Kiwi scribe, Ali Smith, has created a world younger readers will want to turn and return to.
  5. Engine of Lies by Barbara Howe Another talented Kiwi author. This is the second book in the Reforging Series, and picks up where The Locksmith finished. If you love strong female protagonists, intelligent writing, and epic fantasy, this one’s for you. You will need to read The Locksmith first in order to get acquainted with the complex worldbuilding, and political history.
  6. Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr Gorgeous and enduring fantasy adventure starring a plucky and resourceful eleven-year-old girl in an “I wish that was me” setting. Who wouldn’t want a marine iguana as a best friend after meeting Fred?
  7. Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward This punchy dystopian novella is a short, gritty read that makes you want to flip tables and start your own rebellion. I would have liked to have known more about the ‘hows and whys’ of Orphancorp’s inception, so will seek out the next instalment to learn more in due course.
  8. The Hidden City by David Bowles The Garza Twins are back in the next instalment of the highly popular series from Mexican-American author, David Bowles. This was my introduction to Bowles’ writing, and it’s awesome to read about diverse young characters immersed in adventures set within their own culture and mythology. Educational and entertaining.
  9. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney  Have I mentioned I love an unreliable narrator before? Have I also mentioned I love a good psychological thriller? If you love both of these too, then add Sometimes I Lie to your ‘to be read’ pile. (And then please contact me and let me know exactly what happened at the end)?!
  10. Captain Underpants and The Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space by Dav Pilkey Another fun-filled read with the boy. The title says it all, really. What’s not to like? Thomas particularly enjoyed the ‘flip-o-rama’ pages.
  11. The Book Club by Alan Baxter A read-in-one-sitting offering – starts out with an intriguing mystery that hints at marital problems, then takes a sharp turn into the unknown. Deftly executed nod to cosmic horror.
  12. The Twits by Roald Dahl A Dahl classic. Thomas and I were hysterical over Mr and Mrs Twit’s pranks on each other.
  13. Faerie Apocalypse by Jason Franks A refreshingly different, uniquely-delivered, multi-faceted romp of a read. It’s quite unlike anything you’ve read before with a scope that – to be executed successfully – takes a writer of considerable talent. Special mention goes to the character of the magus: he is utterly, nastily, fabulous!
  14. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime by Mark Haddon A good read but, for me, quite an emotional one. Told through the POV of an autistic boy, Christopher, the challenging part for me revolved around the breakdown and confusion surrounding the parental relationship. I did find myself skipping the mathematical equations and illustrations that accompanied the narrative. I have very little understanding of numbers, so subsequently little enjoyment. (I do realise they were not there for my enjoyment).
  15. Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean by Rebecca Fraser  This might seem a weird inclusion to my 2018 reading list … a book that I authored. However, with dyslexia and dysgraphia, reading for the boy is challenging, frustrating, and devoid of joy. Thomas loves being read to though, so I wanted him to hear Curtis for the first time. He is particularly tickled that the book is dedicated to him 🙂
  16. Wimmera by Mark Brandi  There’s been a spurt of ‘small town’ crime novels featuring rural Australian settings, and Wimmera has been my favourite so far. Two troubled protags over two different time zones, exploring the dynamics of friendship … and fallout.
  17. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill Judas Coyne is a cool protag. I did enjoy reading him. Heart-Shaped Box didn’t exactly set my world on fire … and I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. It was an enjoyable holiday read though, and an easy one – which is exactly what you want from a holiday read. It was my first Joe hill. I will be back for others, as I like his characterisation and voice.
  18. Cicada by Shaun Tan  This one made me cry. Bleak but beautiful. An important read, albeit a quick one. A real heart-squeezer.
  19. Angels of Pattaya by G T Gray I picked this up from the communal library at the resort we were staying at while holidaying in Khao Lak. Promising a look ‘inside the secret world of Thai prostitution’, I wasn’t expecting too much, but it was more insightful than I expected. The author has interviewed twenty-seven girls, however the questions he asks are the same throughout, so you end up with a lot of repetitious answers. I popped it back in the library – I hope it is oft-borrowed by other holiday makers … especially those who may have a judgemental view of prostitution, or an ignorance of global economic disparity.
  20. In The Dark Spaces by Cally Black The worthy winner of the 2015 Ampersand Prize, I freaking loved this book. Original premise, original voice. This is a sci-fi tale of how young space-freighter stowaway, Tamara, is kidnapped by a tribe-like alien species, and the lengths she’ll go to to be reunited with her cousin. It’s a thought-provoking foray into human-alien interactions with a ton of heart. (If you recognise something stylistically familiar, check out Bren MacDibble’s How to Bee – another of my fave reads from this year – the same talented person).
  21. The Nowhere Child by Christian White Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, The Nowhere Child has been carving it up all over the place. From book clubs to reviewers, everyone has had their nose buried in White’s debut suspense thriller. Asking the question, Who Took Sammy Went? Readers are taken on an international whodunnit trail from Melbourne to the Pentecostal-fundamentalist US backwaters. It might not be perfect, but it’s damn compelling. I hear the movie will be made soon as well – bravo!
  22. The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland I became a fan of Rosie’s during her hilarious recaps of the television series, The Bachelor, that were posted through the Mamamia website. She has a real gift for humorous writing, and I was curious to read more of her work. I had been following Rosie on Facebook for a while, so knew her life had moments that were anything but ‘rosie’. She tackles her issues and demons with surprising openness, and raw honesty. The Anti-Cool Girl is described as “a full-frontal memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you,” and explores Rosie’s upbringing and background. Rosie doesn’t hold back – I laughed, shed a tear, and cringed for her. I have her next book Every Lie I’ve Ever Told in my tbr pile, and have a feeling it will be another deep dive. It’s described as, “A raw, beautiful, sad, shocking – and very, very funny – memoir of all the lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves.”
  23. Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks The very first novel set in the world of Minecraft by none other than Max Brooks (he of World War Z fame). Another read with the boy, who is an avid Minecrafter. Tells the story of a human protag who becomes stranded in the world of Minecraft and what he must do to survive. Every chapter is a kind of ‘how to / intro’ to navigating and understanding Minecraft. I learned so much! The story itself is boring as bat shit, and paint by numbers, but young fans of MC will love it, and parents who don’t quite know what the heck MC is all about will have many “aha” moments 😊
  24. Force of Nature by Jane Harper Having not yet read The Dry, I didn’t know if I’d be able to get completely immersed in Force of Nature, but they are two standalone novels, featuring the same protag, AFP Investigator, Aaron Falk. Once I had worked my way through quite a sizeable cast in the first two chapters, I found myself turning pages very quickly. Betrayal, suspicion, corporate skulduggery, family secrets, hostile terrain, survival … I enjoyed this Aussie crime with a dramatic bush setting. Will read The Dry this year, and look forward to the next Falk instalment.
  25. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier I love the child psychopath trope, so had been looking forward to this tale told from 17-year-old Che’s POV as he struggles to keep a lid on his little sister Rosa’s dark and dangerous activities. I’m fascinated by creepy kids, and Rosa had promise. Ultimately though, I felt her character fell down towards the end. Or rather, was outplayed by the rest of her family who (and I’m still not sure if this was intentional – apart from one obvious member, but no spoilers here) display many of their own oddities. But what we do have is a pretty interesting unreliable narrator (remember how much I like them?), who in my opinion, outshines his nasty little sister in the character study department.
  26. The Fast Diet by Michael Mosely and Mimi Spencer offers a guide to intermittent fasting in an easy-to-read book. I’ve been interested in IF as a way of life for some time, having watched my father’s success over the past twelve months. An informative mix of science and lifestyle that strikes me as a sensible and sustainable approach to losing weight and staying healthy on the inside and out. I’m going to try it for myself in 2019, so I’ll let you know how I go.
  27. Singing My Sister Down and Other Stories by Margo Lanagan The second collection I’ve read by Lanagan, but the first time I’ve been exposed to the title story, Singing My Sister Down. Oh my gawd, it’s good! It sledgehammered me with its quiet horror, and I was reminded of the first time I read The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.  I thought about Singing My Sister Down for days, it was so beautifully devastating. I wish I’d written it! Interestingly, I couldn’t quite capture the same magic with the rest of the stories in this collection.
  28. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan A stunning fantasy set on remote Rollrock Island, where the menfolk can buy themselves a bride … but at what price? One of my fave reads of 2018 – so well written, so well crafted, so imaginative. I found it utterly captivating and deeply emotive. Highly recommended.
  29. The Chalk Man by C J Tudor At the start I couldn’t shake the feeling I was reading  fan fiction of Stephen King’s It and The Body (diehard King fans, you’ll know what I mean). Once I replaced small town America with small town England, and the story unfolded properly it was a lot easier to engage without being pulled out of the story every five minutes to think how much a certain character reminded me of Richie Tozier or <insert other youngster from Derry or Castle Rock here>. Overall though, an enjoyable read that keeps you guessing (until it doesn’t with a somewhat predictable non-twist at the three quarter mark). I did like the last para though – well played!
  30. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is an important read, and clearly the author has found a wonderful vehicle in 16-year-old Starr Carter to voice her decision against silence about racism – especially the injustice and maltreatment of black Americans by the police force. (Can you believe The Hate U Give was banned by a school district in Texas?!) While I found the writing style not entirely to my taste in some parts, the content itself is powerful, with well-drawn, refreshingly authentic characters. I’ve heard it has been optioned for movie adaptation, and I believe it may translate to film even better than it speaks from the page.  (The afterword by the author is well worth sticking around for too).
  31. A Headful of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay such a great book to end the year! I loved this one. Here I go fangirling about unreliable narrators again … this one’s a doozy. What you think is a fairly routine possession/exorcism story, on closer inspection has shades of Jackson’s, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, one of my favourite books. A real treat for horror fans – stick around for the afterword on this one too, and you’ll see where Tremblay has woven in several decade’s worth of genre mixed media.


Bring on 2019 – first cab off the reading rank: Fellside by M R Carey (whose novel The girl With all the gifts I greatly enjoyed, and was a stand out of 2017’s reading list).

I am also on the judging panel for the Collected Works category for this year’s Australian Shadows Awards – the annual prize for the best horror and dark fiction literature by Australasian writers, so that will occupy much of my reading time for the first few months of 2019.

Happy writing, happy reading, happy days … and a very happy 2019!

Rebecca 😊

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Give the Gift of Adventure This Christmas with ‘Curtis Creed & the Lore of the Ocean’

Books make the ideal Christmas gift. From picture books to biographies, crime thrillers to  cook books, there’s a book to appeal to every reader of every age of every taste. Books are economical, educational, and entertaining, and, as Stephen King once said, books are a uniquely portable magic.

If you’re looking for a great Christmas gift or stocking filler for friends or family, you simply can’t go past a good read…

It’s been approximately six months since Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean was launched through IFWG Publishing Australia. Since then, Curtis Creed has been surfing into the hearts and minds of readers of all ages, everywhere around the world, garnering consistent five star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.

Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean is a fast paced fantasy adventure story for the whole family. It would particularly appeal to 10+ year readers who enjoy thrills and suspense, and characters they can really cheer for, not to mention a cool cover that screams “what’s that behind you?!”  With a surfing/coastal backdrop, it’s the perfect beach read for summer.

If you want to give the gift of adventure this Christmas, Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean is available from all good bookstores, or with the click of a mouse at Amazon, delivered direct to your door.

So what’s Curtis Creed all about?
I’m glad you asked …

In the coastal Queensland town of Midnight Cove, thirteen-year-old Curtis Creed’s world is falling apart.  Once a talented upcoming surfer, he cannot bring himself to return to the ocean.  His inability to overcome his fear earns him the ridicule of his older brother, Dylan. Worse, his family is struggling to cope with the loss of their father in a rock fishing accident.

The summer holiday looks long and lonely for Curtis until he meets Navaya, a mysterious sea dweller he rescues from fishing line in a rock pool.

When Curtis agrees to help Navaya find the Moami, the key to an undersea cavern hiding her people’s most precious secrets, he embarks on a dangerous quest that sees him join forces with awkward but brilliant new girl in town, Morgan.

Will Curtis be able to overcome his fears to return the Moami to its rightful owners before Navaya’s enemies succeed in their deadly mission? Was his father’s death really an accident? And what exactly is the lore of the ocean?

And where can I buy Curtis Creed again?  
Check with your local independent bookstore, or you can  purchase in paperback or eBook direct from Amazon direct to your door or digital device.

With less than four weeks ’til Christmas, there’s never been a better time to start making a list, and checking it twice…

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days
Rebecca 🙂

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Breach – Issue #9 is live and kicking (hard)!

Issue #9 of Breach is out now. The online magazine that showcases New Zealand and Australian authors and artists, features sci fi, horror and dark fantasy in all its short and twisted forms.

Issue #9 features my poem ‘The Middle of the Night’ – an ode to that disturbing halfway house between sleep and wakefulness, where the frayed seams between reality and dark fantasy start to overlap.Breach cover

If you like the sound of cyberpunk dystopias, nightmare arborists and a dark take on a classic fairy tale, you’ll be sure to enjoy the other contributions to this issue of Breach, edited by Peter Kirk.  I’m sharing the table of contents with Lazarus Gray, Piper Mejia, Melanie Harding-Shaw, Tony Wi, Hari Navarro, and Ronnie Smart. That cool cover art is by Oliver Hayes.

You can get your claws on a copy via Amazon here Smashwords here, or iTunes here.

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days 🙂
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I’m heading down the NaNoWriMo rabbit hole this November. Want to join me?

You can’t edit what isn’t written. That’s why, this November I’m going down the NaNoWriMo rabbit hole to make some much-needed head way on my latest work in progress.

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, the annual, internet-based creative writing project that takes place during the month of November. nanoParticipants attempt to write a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 and November 30.

Sounds crazy, right? It is! This is fast and furious first draft territory. Your ugly vomit draft where your only objective is to get the words down and tell yourself the story.

Writing at this pace can be challenging if, like me, you’re the type who finds allowing yourself the freedom to write ugly words hard. My writing style is a kind of edit-as-I-go, followed by major structural edit once the first draft manuscript is printed (and has sufficiently marinated for a period of at least six weeks).

Others will rejoice in the liberation of letting their fingers fly across the keyboard in a race against their normal schedule. So, schedule … how’s that going to work? I’m a morning writer. I’m just not productive after dark. So, I’ll be getting up early and smashing out an hour and a half before breakfast. That’s the plan anyway. I’ve purchased a kettle for the home office so I don’t wake the rest of the house, and am stocked with quality coffee. NaNo success is all about finding a routine and schedule that works for you, and carving out your writing time around it.

I’ll be working towards completion of my sci fi novel, Tawn – a genre-blending offering that falls under the ‘space western’ banner … a fun and creatively-awesome sub-genre of science fiction. Tawn is Book 1 of The Hypatia Chronicles, a trilogy that follows the 37241353_10156190004911501_8753641204677083136_nstory arc of seventeen-year-old rancher Cambrey Hartmann on the colonised planet of Tawn. I’ve done a fair bit of plotting for this book, so hopefully that will pay off come November 1st!

If you’ve been trying to find the ‘right time’ to make a start on your novel, or short story collection, or educational resource … or whatever, I invite you all to join me on the NaNoWriMo ride. I’ve already linked up with the fabulous Lou Greene as a writing buddy, so look me up under ‘Rebecca Fraser’ and add me as your writing buddy too. We’ll all cheer each other along.


Good luck, everyone, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off the wagon. I’m a three time NaNoWriMo dropout – balancing work, family, life, and your creative projects can be difficult at the best of times, and you’re about to jump feet first into a pressure cooker! And try not to worry about the roughness of your words as you belt them out. That’s what second (and third and fourth) drafts are for!

And remember:  You can’t edit what isn’t written

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days…
Rebecca 🙂


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Horror for a great cause. Grab a copy of ‘Trickster’s Treats #2’ to read my latest story and help Women’s Community Shelters …

Halloween is just around the corner, which means it’s time for another great edition of Trickster’s Treats, the annual charity horror anthology of flash fiction brought to you by Steve Dillon of Things in the Well Publications.

I love horror. I love flash fiction. And I love donating to a worthy cause. Trickster’s Treats ticks all those boxes, and after contributing to last year’s inaugural edition, Trickster’s Treats #1,  it’s great to have a new dark little tale included in Trickster’s Treat’s #2.

TT2 Cover

Trickster’s Treats #2 is jam packed with 34 bite-sized tales (and a poem) direct from the pumpkin patch, covering six different themes:  Halloween House / Pumpkin Head / Trick or Treat / Haunted Trees and Forests / Bob Apple / Fancy Dress.

I chose to write to the theme of  ‘Apple Bobbing’, and the result is a dark little offering titled Never Falls Far set amid the apple orchards of Tasmania’s Huon Valley.

I’m really happy to be sharing the Table of Contents with a fabulous bunch of writers, many of whom it’s a pleasure to call friends. Check it out:TT2 TOC


Proceeds from Trickster’s Treats #2 are going to a very worthy cause. This year’s charity is Women’s Community Shelters who work to provide direct relief of suffering of disadvantaged and homeless Australian women by establishing new shelters in partnership with communities. We only need to pick up a newspaper or turn on the television to see the very real horrors faced by women across the country, so it’s wonderful to support a cause that is focused on women in crisis.

You can order Trickster’s Treats #2 in paperback of eBook edition here:
TT2 cover 1



Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days …
Rebecca 🙂

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Writing Retreat Rambles From a Cabin in the Woods

Last weekend I, along with five other horror / dark fantasy writer buddies, brought the ultimate horror trope to life when our three day writing retreat took us to … a cabin in the woods!

Ok, so perhaps it wasn’t quite a cabin (we were spoiled in deluxe spa lodge accommodation), but it was definitely in the woods. The towering Mountain Ash and lush tree ferns of Mount Dandenong made for a very dramatic setting, and added the perfect misty veil of atmosphere to our winter write-in.




We kick started the retreat with a Friday night ‘Christmas in July’ dinner at the Pig and Whistle Tavern at Olinda, complete with Santa hats. Terrifying looking bunch, aren’t we? 🙂  xmas in july

On Saturday morning, the ever-fabulous Deb Sheldon joined us for coffee and cake (and wine) and added value to our group with her fabulous industry insights and writerly advice. It’s easy to see why Deb’s award-winning career has enjoyed such longevity and acclaim: she’s a total professional.

The rest of the weekend was a wonderful fusion of personal writing time, work shopping, wining, dining, woodland wandering, and reflecting on our writing goals and objectives. I made plotting progress on ‘Tawn’, the first book in my sci fi trilogy, The Hypatia Chronicles, and got some healthy words down on the first draft.


For me, there is no greater inspiration and motivation than spending time with like minded people who share my passion for writing and celebrate and support each others work and ambitions. A huge thank you to Isabelle, who presented everyone with a gorgeous horror-themed retreat gift bag (below), Dominique, Kate, Noel, and a special high five to Louise, who single-handedly oversaw every aspect of the retreat – from go to whoa – like a boss.

gift bag

Oh, and we also had two retreat cats! This is ‘Citroen’, who alternated between judgemental glares, demands for cuddles, and aloof disdain.


If you’re a writer who needs time away from life to get some words down or to reconnect with your community, I heartily recommend a writing retreat to inspire, invigorate, and refresh your creative spirit.

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days x


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Book Launch Photos and Frivolity – Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean

On Saturday 16th June, my junior teen fantasy adventure ‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ was officially launched to a full house at Mornington Library.

It was wonderful to have so many family, friends, StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshop folk, and the general public turn up in droves to celebrate #curtiscreed   including two of my Gold Coast besties.   I was completely overwhelmed with the appearance of some surprise guests (I’m looking at you, Karl, Kerry and Bridget), who had travelled Secret Squirrel style from Queensland to share the day. #myheart

Here’s some pics of the Launch. How about that cake?!

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Special thanks to Rosebud Book Barn who facilitated sales on the day, and completely sold out of stock. Thank you to Andrea Rowe for being such a stellar MC. Thank you to my beloved minions: Mum, Dad, Steve, Thomas, Karl and Jo for your help and support, and for keeping me from turning into Bookzilla pre-launch 🙂

And, thanks again to Gerry from IFWG Publishing Australia, it was lovely to have you and Erin there on the day.

‘Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean’ is available through all good bookstores, or via Amazon in paperback or eBook.

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days 🙂



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‘Hermit 2.0’ Highly Commended in the Somers Paper Nautilus 2018 Short Story Competition

Today I was pleased to learn that my story, Hermit 2.0, received a ‘Highly Commended’ in the fiction category of the Somers Paper Nautilus 2018 short story competition.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Shell’. I love using themes as a springboard to really think outside the square, so Hermit 2.0 evolved into a dark little slice of dystopian disturbia highlighting a shell of a very different kind.


The judge for the fiction category this year was best-selling crime writer, Garry Disher (eeeep!) and more than anything I’m rapt he really liked my writing.  I was also pleased to see several friends included among the winners and honourable mentions (I’m looking at you Louise Zedda-Sampson, Liz Hicklin, and Clementine Rowe)!

Garry Disher made the following comments, “Good stories evoke a sense of place and character, hint at meanings below the surface (Ernest Hemingway’s iceberg analogy), and trace a shift, however subtle, in how the main characters live or understand their lives. That the winning and commended stories achieved this in only 500 words is a considerable achievement.”

The winning stories and highly commended stories will be published in coming editions of Somers Paper Nautilus, so I’ll share the link when it’s available.

You can check all the Winners, Highly Commended and Runners-Up here.

Big congratulations to everyone, and well done to all who entered. Big thanks to the judges, and of course Somers Paper Nautilus for running the competition. I’m looking forward to next year already!

Happy writing, happy reading, and happy days.



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