Monday, February 25, 2013

FREE COPY OF THE WOODLANDS

I am closing the offer of a FREE copy of THE WOODLANDS at 5PM TODAY. So if you want to read it for FREE please, 'LIKE' my author page and PM me before 5PM TODAY. Thanks to everyone who has requested it so far xxx

https://www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandSeries

Sunday, February 24, 2013

FREE COPY OF THE WOODLANDS



I'm offering my book for FREE for a short time. If you're interested 'LIKE' my FACEBOOK page and PM me your email address. I can send it in ibook, kindle or any ereader format. :)

https://www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandSeries
BLURB: 

Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen.

In the Woodlands where everyone must abide the law or is punished harshly, Rosa’s unruly behaviour brands her a leper. No one wants to know her except Joseph, the laid back, ever-grinning opposite.

A bitter race war has decimated most of the planet, leaving the Russian wilderness as the only scrap of land habitable. Two hundred years later, the Superiors who ruthlessly control the concrete compounds of the Woodlands are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race, convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Collecting troublemakers for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they should have lifted the claw when it passed over Rosa’s head.

WHY SET MY BOOK IN RUSSIA?

I have been asked 'why Russia?' quite a few times. I wish I had a very cleverly researched answer for you that backs up Russia/Siberia as the most obvious choice to set up my post-apocalyptic world but I don't. But maybe that's one of the cool things about writing. I could just make up the back story because I really wanted to set The Woodlands in Russia.

Reason One: Wolves. Anybody who knows me well knows I am slightly obsessed with wolves. I knew I wanted to include them in my book so I had to set it in an area where wolves lived.

Reason Two: Animal attacks. In The Woodlands the survivors of the war have holed themselves up in concrete compounds for hundreds of years. They have left the wilderness to, well, completely run wild and take over. I wanted to write about animals and plant life taking the world back and the danger us pitifully prepared humans would face if we had to brave real 'wilds'. Russia and Siberia has wolves, bears, polar bears, tigers, lynxes to name but a few creatures that would love to sink their claws and teeth into the soft-fleshed citizens of The Woodlands.

Reason Three: Extreme weather and beautiful scenery. Who wouldn't want to write about snow settling on evergreens and the bright blast of colour an autumn in Russia presents?

Reason Four: Almost every Young Adult Dystopian I've read in the last year, which is quite a few, has America as the sole survivor of the apocalypse. In the Woodlands the survivors are moved to Russia from the six countries that had the largest populations. These included the US, China, South America, Africa, India and Russia. It made sense to me that if there was a race war that the countries with the greatest numbers to start with would survive.

Reason Five, and probably the most important reason: COZ I WANTED TO! ;)

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Woodlands Free!!!

I'm offering my book for free for a short time. If you're interested 'like' my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheWoodlandSeries and PM me your email address. I can send it in ibook, kindle or any ereader format. :)


BLURB:

Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen.

In the Woodlands where everyone must abide the law or is punished harshly, Rosa’s unruly behaviour brands her a leper. No one wants to know her except Joseph, the laid back, ever-grinning opposite.

A bitter race war has decimated most of the planet, leaving the Russian wilderness as the only scrap of land habitable. Two hundred years later, the Superiors who ruthlessly control the concrete compounds of the Woodlands are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race, convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Collecting troublemakers for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they should have lifted the claw when it passed over Rosa’s head.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

THE CONCEPT OF A 'RACELESS' RACE

When people ask me what the Woodlands is about I have struggled to answer. Because for me it's oh-so-complicated. But I should be able to answer that question. And the answer ends up being a series of questions I asked myself when I was writing the book.

I am of mixed race. And when I say mixed race I mean I represent that melting pot, where you chuck about 12 different ethnic backgrounds in, stir it up and out comes me (and my siblings). The result is a look that has no discernible origin. You can't look at me and say, yep she's Asian or, yep she's anglo-saxon.

So one of the questions I asked when I started writing was: What if the world nearly ended on the edge of a bitter race war? And what if the survivors believed the only way to prevent another war was to systematically wipe out racial characteristics? As in, everyone looks the same and you can't tell where their ancestors may have come from. To put it simply, could you erase racism by erasing the lines between races?

This idea bloomed into the totalitarian regime of the Woodlands, where acknowledging your ethnic background is an offence, people who don't fit the ideal are treated poorly and people who have the right 'look' are favoured. The leaders of this world are obsessed with creating a 'raceless' race. Which is impossible right?


Thursday, February 14, 2013

So, what do you do?

The dreaded question, well for me anyway, is what do you do? It conjures loads of smart arse answers like:

'I'm doing it right now' wink, wink,
'I'm a food taster for an elite band of fussy redheads' or
'I'm a zoo keeper at the Taylor Zoo, have you heard of it? It's the one with smudgy kids faces pressed against sliding doors. It doesn't get a lot visitors.'

Answering with 'I'm an unpublished writer,' sounds like crap. So if I do brave telling the nosy person what I 'do', I usually qualify it by telling them the manuscript requests I've had and the publishing company I've had dealings with, all making it sound much more impressive than it really is. I'm sure a lot of stay at home mothers feel this way. The question 'what do you do?' implies employment and even though it may seem like a fairly innocuous, innocent question, it also implies that if you don't 'do' some sort of paid wok then you're not doing anything important.

So next time you want to start up a conversation and that's the only icebreaker you can think of, can I suggest you insert the word 'like' into the phrase? You'll get more answers. Most people like to do lot's of things.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Cartoon Daisy

So I'm waiting for an agency who has requested my manuscript, to read and respond. They said it will take three months, which I expected but how to not freak out during those three months is the bit I'm struggling with.

Honestly, I feel like one of those Warner Brothers cartoon flowers. You know the ones? The daisy gets sucked into the ground, then it gets pushed back up again by bugs bunny or one of the other burrowing type animals. Up, down, up, down.

To clarify, I feel like my hopes go up and down like that as I start to dream:
Maybe, just maybe, they'll offer me a contract and then I'll get published and then I'll sell heaps of books and then they'll make a movie of it starring Liam Hemsworth as Joseph (my pick!) and and and....

That's the daisy, in full sun, smiling and full of hope. And then, YANK, I get sucked under ground because I have to be realistic, right? I have to keep my hope tamped down because in all likelihood  they will pass on my book and I'll be right back where I started.

Fun to dream though....

Don't you think?

Friday, February 8, 2013

What is the Woodlands about?




Rosa never thought she’d make it to sixteen.

In the Woodlands where everyone must abide the law or is punished harshly, Rosa’s unruly behaviour brands her a leper. No one wants to know her except Joseph, the laid back, ever-grinning opposite she has the idiocy to fall in love with.

A bitter race war has decimated most of the planet, leaving the Russian wilderness as the only scrap of land habitable. Two hundred years later, the Superiors who ruthlessly control the concrete compounds of the Woodlands are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race, convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Collecting troublemakers for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they should have lifted the claw when it passed over Rosa’s head.

When Rosa wakes pregnant, her memory lost in a fog of drugs, her situation seems hopeless. But she doesn’t know Joseph has found her and he’s been planning day and night for her escape.

Joseph and Rosa’s reunion should be joyful but it’s not that simple. Her swollen belly holds the reason: The baby she despises, Joseph wants her to keep.

Any misgivings Rosa has are beaten into the ground with every desperate footstep. They have to run and they have to rely on each other. The Superiors want their property back and Rosa’s only hope is to make it to the Mongolian border before the jagged ice teeth of a Russian winter devours them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weighty Things, Books




If you're trying to get published and your book is polished and ready to go I highly recommend getting a couple of these. A very generous friend made them up for me. So, no, not published yet. :)

Picking the novel up and feeling the weight of it in my hands made it real. Made it actually seem possible. As an unpublished writer you struggle daily with 'it's never going to happen' anxiety. Now, even if it never gets off the ground I can hold these and say, I wrote this.

It's an accomplishment in itself and a very solid reminder of what I'm trying to achieve.