Tag Archives: marianne de pierres

My Female Heroes: Guest Post by Marianne De Pierres

Marianne is one of my longest serving friends and mentors in the publishing industry – I have learned so much from her over the years, and she is still one of the first people I go to when I have a career dilemma.

It’s been so exciting to see her own career rise over the last decade and a half, through cyberpunk, space opera and vampire YA to her current western-inspired science fiction novel Peacemaker, with a protagonist who first saw the light of day in the Australian small presses.

When Marianne asked to contribute something to my blog as part of her tour for Peacemaker, the topic I asked for seemed obvious, as it’s one close to both of our hearts.

Peacemaker-CR_webMy Female Heroes
by Marianne De Pierres

It’s hard to know where to start on this, but I guess the beginning is a good a place as any. Some of you may know that I grew up on a diet of boys own adventure stories – Tom Swift and the like. At the same time, I was devouring Westerns and inhaling James Bond. So it would be right to say, that my desire to create female heroes, stemmed simply from me wanting to do all the good stuff that the boy heroes got to do. It never, ever occurred to me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t. My first novel attempt at age ten was modelled on the Famous Five but featured a resourceful girl who caught a bunch of sheep stealers. Danger, action, intrigue, and female heroes existed in my stories right away.

Life happened. I grew up, had my share of encounters being marginalised because of my gender and had my eyes opened to the world. By the time I began write with true purpose, in my thirties, the desire to present female heroes through the novel form had grown even stronger. Now, however, the desire was tempered with the knowledge that I did not want to simply swap genitalia i.e. write an ostensibly male hero and just give him a female name and appearance, but that I truly was in love with the idea that women could be as competent, heroic, charismatic and flawed as their male hero counterparts.

Continue reading →

Friday Links is Doing Something Right

Apparently the secret to being successful at social media is about promoting other people rather than yourself. Finally, something I’m doing right!

Joss Whedon talks about Much Ado (it’s coming!) and why taking a creative shift can be as good as a holiday!

The AWW Challenge blog has been posting a great series of genre/theme-specific wrap ups of the year’s reviews, including speculative fiction, diversity, romance and erotica, young adult and many more.

Tobias Buckell on Things I Told my Intern (about being a writer)

Tasmanian romance writer Sarah Brabazon talks about life onboard a yacht with her family.

Marianne De Pierres’ space opera series Sentients of Orion is finally being published in the US! She talks about her inspiration for the books here.

Continue reading →

Best Reading of the Year 2011 (so far)

This one’s for Jonathan, Gary & Mondy, who have been speculating a lot lately about what are the best books published in 2011 so far, that they should be paying attention to.

These are mine. It’s entirely personal, of course, and based what I’ve actually read (as opposed to the towering To Read pile that will one day cause me major injury) but given that I haven’t done nearly enough this year of reviewing the books I love, I think it’s worth doing.


Jo Walton
Among Others

A wonderful, wonderful book about the reading habits of young girls, with subtle magic and a fabulous theme of iconic SF books. At some point I hope I will write that essay I want to, about my lifelong relationship with Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin and how that book trained me to get the most out of this one despite the fact that I’ve never read Delaney, Zelazny or more than two novels by Heinlein.

Continue reading →

Friday Cup of Linkage

For those looking for a World Cup update from me, all I can say is it is no shame at all for the Matildas to have lost to Brazil, because come on, it’s freaking Brazil, they were up against Cristiane and Marta, so I’m really not being an Australian apologist to say that it’s impressive the gap between scores wasn’t much wider. (here’s a summary of the match from the Boston Globe)

Meanwhile, thanks to a combination of the ‘women’s football’ RSS feed from the Guardian and the presence of at least 4 Arsenal players, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to the England team, which is amusing to me because when the England men’s team plays anything I normally spend most of my time muttering at them with very narrowed eyes. I kind of love the video diaries the team have been releasing, if only to listen to their cute accents, though sadly they didn’t win their match either. (1-1)

Moving aside from sport now, here’s an extra plug for Marianne de Pierres’ new project, cowpunk webcomic Peacemaker. Check out the first issue now for a measly 99¢ – much though I disapprove of people pricing whole novels at 99¢, I think it’s exciting for shorter pieces, and as an Australian it’s rather nice to actually get the 99¢ price for once (yes, iTunes with your $1.19, I’m looking at you, you know what the Australian dollar is actually worth, right?). I believe later issues will be priced higher, so now’s your chance to find out if you like Peacemaker!

Speaking of awesome Australian women (and fictional heroes) here’s a great interview with Anna Torv from Fringe.

I have been so impressed with Torv’s performance throughout the third season of Fringe, playing two versions of the same character, and managing to make both utterly compelling rather than falling into the Spock’s beard style of parallel world characterisation. Speaking of Spock’s beard, the episode which required Torv to channel Leonard Nimoy for a whole episode was amazing. Kudos to the show for the subtle and powerful writing, too. Having loved Fringe in spite of itself in season one, and gone through such excitement when season two was so very good from beginning to end, I’m somewhat beside myself that Fringe is now some of the most exciting and interesting SF TV in years, and mark it as a coup that my honey now watches it with me. It’s gone from a show I considered a guilty pleasure to one that so many of my friends respect, like and get excited by. So hooray for the excellent cast, whoa for the spectacular final episode, and woohoo for season 4 on the horizon. I’m glad to hear that Torv’s performance is being heralded (finally!) but I really really hope John Noble gets the Emmy or the GG – his Walter Bishop has always been exceptional to watch, and it feels like every time the rest of the cast rise to his challenge, he just gets better.

Some shorter links now, I promise!

Forbidden Planet asks, Are you a misogynist?

Kate Beaton makes a very good (and hilarious) point about ‘strong female characters‘ through comic art.

Ben Peek writes about the small world view of speculative fiction in the 21st century.

From Meanland, the death of the book and other utopian fantasies (via @vodkanlime)

The Women of Solaris.

Two from Tor.com re-reading Joanna Russ (in order) starting with The Adventures of Alyx and Greg van Eekhout & Carrie Vaughn talk about YA, middle grade fiction and how The Kids Are All Right.

And in closing, Pixar finally have a female protagonist. The film looks awesome and I love the title so very much.


Marianne de Pierres is one of the most inspiring writers in my life. She’s not only a great mentor and friend, but she is a writer who constantly challenges herself to try something new, and different, never confining herself to a single career track.

Marianne writes crime, science fiction, fantasy, YA, and has now come up with something completely different and exciting – a webcomic called Peacemaker, which combines westerns and science fiction with an Aussie twist, and a hint of sexy paranormal romance. Urban cowpunk, maybe? Marianne is working with award-winning Brigitte Sutherland, who has produced some beautiful art for the project. You can buy the first issue for 99 (Aussie!) cents at Marianne’s website, and sales from this first issue will go towards funding Issue 2 and beyond. So if a comic like this, produced by two super talented women, is something you think you might be interested in, grab it now!

Marianne’s press release:

Acclaimed Australian author, Marianne de Pierres, and award-winning comic artist,
Brigitte Sutherland, have teamed up to produce a new and exciting online comic.
Entitled Peacemaker, the web-comic combines the supernatural, the futuristic, the
Wild West and the Australian landscape in an exotic blend of storytelling.

Peacemaker introduces readers to park ranger, Virgin Jackson, and US cowboy, Nate Sixkiller. Dead bodies, missing spiritualists, an imaginary eagle and a wholly psychotic businessman, Joachim Spears, are just some of the things that force the two into an uneasy alliance to save Park Western from being closed. Trapped in the heart of a sprawling Australian super city, Park Western is the only piece of natural landscape left in the entire country, and Virgin will do anything to preserve it.

Marianne de Pierres has won awards for her science fiction and crime novels and had her work adapted for RPG and animation. Peacemaker is the result of Marianne’s long term romance with Westerns, which started many years ago when her father gave her a copy of Light of the Western Stars by Zane Grey. It was only a matter of time before she wrote one herself.

Brigitte Sutherland’s award-winning comic art has featured in numerous anthologies across the world. Brigitte recently released her first creator-owned graphic novel, The Adventures of a Homunculus. Peacemaker allows UK–based Sutherland to share the beauty of the land she grew up in while indulging in high adventures starring a sassy heroine!

Peacemaker is available for download from de Pierres’ website. There are plans for a limited edition soft-cover to follow. It is published under de Pierres’ own branded creative co-op, MDPWeb.

Galactic Chat Update

Our lovely producer has just put up the fourth interview in the Galactic Chat series – we have one more pre-recorded from Swancon to go, and then we’ll have to start burning up those Skypewaves again! I’ve been vaguely teeing up some future interviews for later this year.

So far we have:

Marianne De Pierres
Tansy Rayner Roberts
Glenda Larke
and now…
Kirstyn McDermott!

Like my interview with Glenda, Alisa recorded this one with Kirstyn at Swancon, but luckily Kirstyn went and won an Aurealis Award this weekend so the interview is extra topical. Hooray!

Night of Necklaces, Day of Ferries

I felt like such a jet-setter, getting on a plane yesterday morning for a single night in Sydney for the Aurealis Awards. I arrived in the early afternoon and met up with Tehani, Helen and baby Max at the airport so we could taxi in to the hotel together. It felt so decadent to hang out and chat with friends I normally don’t get to see more than once every few years – twice within a month!

We went down to the hotel restaurant for a (very) early dinner, correctly guessing it would be our last chance to eat for the night. Some familiar faces were already down there, with the same idea, and we added a table on the end of theirs – and as more and more people arrived, kept doing so, until we had at least 20 people there, and the table had turned into a long L-shape!

Then of course we all had to disappear to frock up, as the new arrivals were looking increasingly glamorous.

The Aurealis Awards were held at the Independent Theatre, a lovely venue only a few minute’s stagger (a bit longer in high heels, but I was wearing flats, hehehe) from the hotel. We met and mingled at the cocktail party (sponsored by HarperCollins), many of us marvelling at how utterly weird it was to be together again so soon after Swancon – when we’re used to an 18 month separation! Of course there were people there who hadn’t been at Swancon, too, so it was a general crowd of happy reunions, gossip and hugging. With champagne. I had lots of lovely conversations with lots of adorable people, though the highlight for me was getting to meet IN PERSON the amazing Nicola, who has edited all three of the Creature Court books with me, one way or another. To get to talk to her in person about the choices we made and how much we love each other’s work was very, very cool.

And oh, the fashions! We are a gorgeously dressed bunch. Tehani referred to it as the ‘night of necklaces,’ and there was certainly some spectacular jewellery on display. Kirstyn wins the prize, of course, for her bird skull necklace that made people go ooh, and then, erkhhhh when they looked more closely…

The theatre itself was the perfect size for an event like this – grand but cozy at the same time, if that makes sense? Tehani and I decided to start a trend by sitting in the front row, since we knew I had to go on stage at some point to present (and we knew Helen would be going up too, but more on that later!). Spec Faction deserve a huge amount of kudos for the event – it ran smoothly, with any dramas rendered pretty much invisible to the rest of us. Cat had put together a hilarious and touching montage of Aurealis Awards photographs (the overall theme was people we knew looking overheated, a bit drunk and terribly happy) which broke the ice marvellously, and there was a really good vibe in the theatre, all that community spirit stuff.

Continue reading →

New Links For Old

Way behind on linking to the cool stuff that has come my way over the last week or two.

For a start, we have a new podcast! The Galactic Suburbia crew have launched a sister podcast, Galactic Chat, which will feature author interviews. You can head over there straight away to hear me interviewing powerhouse Australian SF writer Marianne de Pierres about her new gothy YA novel Burn Bright (as advertised on the Dolly Magazine website! Yes really!). I’ve known Marianne a long time now, and she was a great first interview subject.

A future episode we’ve already recorded has Alisa interviewing me (it’s not ego, honestly, she just wanted to practice on someone who wouldn’t be mean to her!) and we’re planning to get lots recorded at Swancon.

Speaking of interviewing me, Rowena Cory Daniells did so as part of her ‘yes, women in fantasy, we have them, they are right here, THEY OUTNUMBER YOU, DUDES’ series of blog posts. It’s a great, in depth interview and as good a way as any for me to launch my ‘ooh it’s time to start promoting my work again what with those books about to hit the shops’ season.

In reading the internet news, I recently enjoyed reading John Richards’ account of how he quite legitimately visited the now former Channel Nine centre in order to unscrew video machines and take stuff away, it being the end of an era.

Kelley Eskridge is interviewed about her recently rereleased classic SF novel Solitaire, putting that book straight to the top of my To Buy list. What a fascinating writer! I have been reading her partner Nicola Griffith’s blog for a while, but knew little about Kelley. Apparently, she’s awesome.

I also found this post on the changing face of the publishing industry by Kristine Kathryn Rusch really interesting. Not sure I agree with all of it, but it’s certainly worth the time to read it through as you drink your morning cup of coffee. I do think she has a very good point in her description of how powerless writers have been in the old publishing-distribution model. And I say this as someone waiting with bated breath for the royalty statement due this month which should give me a vague idea how my book sold between July and December last year…