Angels, Mothers, Vampires, and Others.


This morning I finished my final read-through of The Everywhen Angels, my forthcoming novel, and gave a small list of unresolved typographical issues to my publisher. I think that’s the job done. I’m still awaiting the cover artwork, but that’s for the ‘house’ artist.

Having done that, I turned my attention to The Milk of Female Kindness, an anthology of prose, artwork, and poetry on the subject of motherhood. Contributors are drawn from as far afield as Australia, North America, and Britain. The Australian editor is Kasia James, and I am privileged to be doing a little editorial consultancy for her. The contents are marvelous – poetry ranges from Alison Bartlett’s ‘Reasons to Breastfeed’ to my own ‘The Maclaren’, about someone who can’t breastfeed – and I would especially recommend Maureen Bowden’s short story ‘Hiding the Knives’. I don’t have any information as to when the book will appear, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

I have also heard that the international anthology of modern sonnets The Phoenix Rising from its Ashes, for which I am Deputy Editor, is now ready to go to print. Publication is a little behind schedule, but it has a bit of a struggle to get this far. Being a deputy means you don’t get final say. I have often thought that it would have looked a lot different had I been at the helm, but it wasn’t my baby, and so all the recognizable facial features will be those of its very loving father, Editor-in-Chief Richard Vallance. Richard has sunk considerable energy and personal resources into this collection, and deserves to see it thrive. Again, more news as I get it.

Having work edited – the most chastening part of publication for an author – is damn good schooling for doing editorial work oneself. It sharpens up one’s initial presentation, for a start. Shortly, I hope, I shall be in a position to hand over the first draft of my teen-vampire novel. I’m winging it. I didn’t want to write a romance, where another Bella falls for another Edward*, so I launched straight into an action scene without even pausing to dream up a plot. I figured that my protagonist would suggest to me how the story would go and so she did! Imagine a tomboyish, even ‘boi-ish’, version of Buffy in a New York setting, a generation into the future, when energy resources are running thin and vampires are finding their way into positions of influence in the world. Imagine her reading a book about a nineteenth-century vampire hunter and finding connections. Imagine that despite her heroism she makes fatal mistakes. Imagine vampires with whom any person-to-person understanding is next-to-impossible (hence no cheesy romance). Imagine, most of all, the feeling that as a teenager one is marginalized and kept in the dark. That’s the way the novel is shaping up at present. The question of teenage alienation and lack of understanding is not a new theme for me. I deal with it a lot in The Everywhen Angels, for example. In my teen-vampire novel it is going to be dealt with a little more simply and superficially, amongst the episodic, crash-bang plot. I have to say it feels a little as though I’m writing a pot-boiler, but we’ll see how it comes out…

It’s a while until the next Showcase at the zen space is due out. Nevertheless I’m currently thinking about it. My aim this time will be to feature, strictly, writers whose work has not yet been seen in a Showcase. This means I will have to start sending out invitations and calling for contributions soon. I’m taking a little rest from writing poetry myself, but will be back at it shortly, I’m sure.

Finally, have you picked up your free ebook copy of my novel Lupa? If not, go here to do so – and also think about writing a review for me.

*That’s a Twilight reference, for those of you who don’t instantly get it.