News

THE FALL OF THE DAGGER IS OUT!!


A review from a book review site:

Taken as a whole, the Forsaken Lands trilogy is very good. Easily the most fun and engaging series I’ve read in a handful of years. Larke delivers the goods on all fronts, and has written a series that deserves a widespread readership. There’s something here for fantasy fans of every ilk, while feeling fresh and new.

Highly recommended.

--From Ryan Frye at Civilian Reader

You can read the whole review at the link above.

This has got to be the best moment of my writing career…

I WON THE SARA DOUGLASS SERIES AWARD
for THE WATERGIVERS aka STORMLORD trilogy

I don't even know where to begin.
  • For a start, Sara was one of my author heroines.
  • Secondly, this is the inaugural award.
  • Thirdly, the award covers series written over a number of years, as long as they were completed between 2011 to 2014 -- so it covers an awful lot of years and an awful lot of books... (Pity the judges!!) You can read more about the award here.  
I am so honoured.
So chuffed. So breathtakingly amazed. Especially considering that the shortlist included Juliet Marillier, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Michael Pryor, Marlina Marchetta and Rowena Cory Daniells.

No, that's not me...but my name is on that trophy!!
Unfortunately, I couldn't be there, owing to the arrival of a brand-new member of the family in New York, but I was prevailed upon to write an acceptance speech just in case, which you will find at the end of this post. It was delivered for me by a fellow writer, Donna Hanson (above), at the Aussi Natcon 2016 in Brisbane. And I believe there were celebrations...see photo left.


There were a lot more things I could have said in the speech -- how much I owe to the then Voyager Australia editor, Stephanie Smith, for example. How much I owe my beta readers for making me a better writer and making those three books better works. How much I appreciate the work put into the awards by the Australian Spec Fic community and the judges.

But here's what I did say:

When I first read Sara Douglass’s Battleaxe back in the 1990s, I was blown away, not just by the story, but also by the idea that an Australian author could publish a fantasy novel worldwide and find acclaim on a world stage.
At the time I was looking for a publisher for my first book — and Sara’s success was an inspiration. And of course, Battleaxe was just the first of long line of Sara’s groundbreaking novels.

I was delighted to hear that a series award was being created in her name, to acknowledge her pre-eminent position in Australian speculative fiction history. The fact that judges had a massive job of reading the number of series up for the award is a tribute to the present health of Speculative Fiction writing in Australia, a wave of creativity of which Sara was the forefront.

To have been short-listed by the judges for the inaugural award was a breath-taking compliment. The other works on that list are so impressive that I certainly don’t believe, as I write these words, that any work of mine could win. I just love the validation of being on the shortlist though, and I thank everyone involved.

Most of all, I wish you were here, Sara, still with us and still writing.

Romantic Times has nice things to say about Book 3

Every author waits with trepidation for the very first review of a book about to be published.  And I am happy to say, that the first for THE FALL OF THE DAGGER is very positive!
THE ROMANTIC TIMES HAS THIS TO SAY: 

Larke seamlessly blends various storylines together to create a satisfying end to The Forsaken Lands trilogy. Her world building shines, as always...

This is a series for any reader who loves lush worlds, complex plots and characters to root for...

YAY!

SARA DOUGLASS SERIES & AUREALIS SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED TODAY


THE STORMLORD series (aka THE WATERGIVERS)
is on the Sara Douglass Award shortlist.

This is the inaugural award, in honour of one of Australia's great fantasy writers, who made it huge on the international stage, and died far too young. It is really an honour to be one of the first writers to be considered for the award, and -- win or not -- I am truly humbled.

My latest book 
THE DAGGER'S PATH
(second book in 
THE FORSAKEN LANDS trilogy), 
 is on the Aurealis shortlist for the Best Fantasy Novel (as well as on the Ditmar shortlist, as I mentioned on Monday). The difference between these two lists? The Ditmar is a reader voted award, and the Aurealis is a judged award.

This is my ninth shortlisting for the Aurealis for the Best Novel -- without ever winning -- which I suspect is some kind of record!

In short, this has been a terrific week for me. Will I win anything at all? I doubt it, as the books I'm up against are truly a wonderful selection by the best of Australia's many talented writers (and in fact, there were many others who missed out, who could so easily have been chosen). It doesn't matter. To know that judges and readers have loved my work enough to put them on a shortlist is the best compliment I could  have. 

 I would love to be there, to applaud the winners. Unhappily, a very important family commitment/celebration means that I will be unable to attend the awards ceremony, and I really do regret that the two occasions clash. 



THE DAGGER’S PATH… DITMAR FINALIST



 THE DITMAR are reader voted awards, open to Australian authors/artists and voted upon by the Australia National Science  Fiction Convention attendees. 


Last year's award for Best Novel was the plaque (see pix to the right), which was awarded to  
THE LASCAR'S DAGGER
the first book of the Forsaken Lands trilogy.*







This year, Book 2 is up --  
THE DAGGER'S PATH, 
and it has been voted on to the short list of five books. The other four are:
  • Day Boy, Trent Jamieson 
  • Graced, Amanda Pillar
  • Lament for the Afterlife, Lisa L. Hannett
  • Zeroes, Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, and Deborah Biancotti

 My guess for a winner? I reckon it will be Trent's year this year, but we will see.

 If you are attending the National Convention, or attended last year, be sure to vote.



And don't forget:
Book 3 will be long in just 8 weeks...

















*it tied with with Trudi Canavan's novel "Thief's Magic."

Looking for some reading matter over Xmas/NY?

Before I get on to some suggestions of non-Australian fantasy writers below, here's the cover of my next book, which will be published mid-April, worldwide. 
This is the final book in The Forsaken Lands trilogy.

While you are waiting for it  ...
Here are some writers with new books to try 
(I will talk about some Australian writers in another post):

Ian Tregellis:
 

War looms over New France and the Brasswork Throne in THE RISING, Ian's newest novel, which is book 2 in the Alchemy Wars trilogy. 
See more here: http://iantregillis.com/

Kate Elliott: 

Kate has a new book out. Yay! She is one of my favourite authors.
BLACK WOLVES is the first book in a new epic fantasy series. 

Carol Berg:

The second and final of her Sanctuary novels is out. ASH AND SILVER -- War Magic: A secret military Order that can erase memory. What could go wrong? See more here: http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg/
 
Alex Dellamonica:

A DAUGHTER OF NO NATION, second novel in the Stormwrack fantasy series is out.

Steven Harper:

BLOOD STORM, a new fantasy novel from Roc. The power of the shape returns, but will it bring peace or war? 
See more here: http://stevenpizikscom.netfirms.com/?page_id=16

Juliet E. McKenna:


Juliet has been putting her backlist up on Wizard's Tower Press. Take a look!
Juliet's webpage:  http://www.julietemckenna.com/?p=1827
Wizard Tower: http://wizardstowerpress.com/
 


On reading one’s own reviews…

I really don't get this whole thing about not reading reviews of one's own books. To me, that's like writing into a vacuum. 

Most of us novel authors write because we love to create a story* -- few would do it, then never ever let anyone read those stories.

Yes, we sometimes get scathing reviews. You can't please everyone. But you also might get called "This decade's best fantasy writer" as one recent Amazon reviewer said about me. I don't actually believe that, mind you, but boy, does that boost the ego, and inspire me to write!

*Few do it  for the money -- most of us don't make sufficient income from books to live on!

NEWS…

TWO THINGS:

The Fall of the Dagger, the third and last book of The Forsaken Lands trilogy, now has a set publication date: 19th April 2016 (USA) and 21st April 2016 (UK). 

And the MIRAGE MAKERS trilogy is now available in ebook form in the USA, all three books. Start with the first: THE HEART OF THE MIRAGE.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas From?

Over the past two weeks I have been asked by three different people:
                                  Where do you get your ideas from?"
If you are not a novelist, you probably have no idea how common that question is!

Answers vary from the tongue in the cheek ("At this quaint little curiosity shop in the lane behind the markets..."), to the more mundane ("From inside my head"). Only one of those is near true.

Even more truthfully, I can illustrate the answer to the question by the photo above, taken this week while with a group of naturalists from the West Australian Naturalists Club exploring the Mount Lesuer National Park near Jurien Bay, some 270 km north of Perth. If you look very carefully, you will get an idea of scale -- there is someone actually standing at the middle of the foot of that dark...thing.

Most people, coming across something like that, would look at it -- and after dismissing the possibility of an elephant rampaging around in the West Australia woodlands -- would decide that it is actually some kind of dead plant. In fact, a closer look would reveal a dead tree covered with a tangle of dodder, a kind of creeper (Cuscuda sp).


 But to  a writer?
Our brains work differently. We look at something ordinary, and think something extraordinary. In effect, we ask ourselves, "What if...?"

In this case:
"What if that was really an alien life form?" (A science fiction writer)
"What if there was a skeleton hidden in there?" (A crime writer)
"What if that dodder was a magic twine keeping an evil sorcerer imprisoned in its coils?" (A fantasy writer)
"What if that plant was about to take over the earth?" (A horror writer)
"What if it was the disguised entrance to an underground laboratory?" (A thriller writer.)

So the truth is that writers see exactly landscape as non-writers, but our brains use the mundane as the spring board for our imaginations. And that is where we get our ideas.