Tag Archives: siren beat

Seven Scenes

1. I have a guest post up at Justine Larbalestier’s blog, talking about how reading has become a luxury rather than a necessity. I may be trying to do more about that shortly, but my priority right now should not be reading, it is EDITING.

2. The hardest thing about revising this manuscript (Book 2 of the Creature Court, Cabaret of Monsters, for those of you who have lost track) has been that although I knew generally that there was lots to be done, there was no real way of marking my progress for several months. This is no longer true. I am at the flat out working stage, I have 180 scenes in the book, and I have to revise 7 each day in order to meet my deadline. It’s a struggle, but it really helps to have a quota to hit each day instead of just stabbing in the dark.

3. I saw the first glimpse of my cover yesterday. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m very happy with the direction it’s going in. The most important frock in the book is being pictured!!!

4. We had a map drama today – do you have any idea how hard it is to proof a map? There is just so much information going on in it! Today I realised in horror that one of those details I’d been taking for granted (and thus not checked on recent versions) was now in the wrong place, and had a major panic attack until my honey fixed it with magical computer handwaviness. He is still juggling a new computer’s quirks (he’s had it less than 24 hours) and ended up having to redo the correction several times after the application kept closing down unexpectedly! Much deep breathing on my part.

5. I had to open my Nano doc for the first time since November and realised when I saw it that – HEY I have 50,000 words of my next novel already written. How awesome is that?

6. I’m still reading at the Republic Bar in North Hobart this Sunday from 3pm. Come, listen to me talking about tentacles, buy a copy of Siren Beat. You may even have a beer if you are very good. I am taking antibiotics for my re-occurring throat infection so let’s hope I don’t sound too much like Marlene Dietrich… oh, wait. That would be a good thing, right?

7. My honey is taking Raeli off on a grandparently visitation for TWO NIGHTS starting tomorrow. Yes that means I’m at home by myself with the baby, but more importantly it meants EDIT BOOT CAMP.

Watch this space. I’m going to be busy.

Locus Recommended Reading List

is here.

I am on it, under Novelette, for Siren Beat. This makes me happy. One of those major career goals ticked off the list, then.

Other people I like are on there too. I am happy for them. Especially for Alisa of Twelfth Planet Press (aka [info] girliejones who has worked so hard to bring Australian authors to an international audience.

I have been a tragic Locus Recommended Reading List fangirl for many years. Among other authors, it is responsible for me discovering the works of Kage Baker, Dan Simmons, Lucius Shepherd, Gwyneth Jones, Michael Chabon, Karen Joy Fowler, Ian R MacLeod, Cornelia Funke, Jeff VanderMeer, Charles Stross, Sean Stewart, Jennifer Stevenson, Leslie What, Holly Black and Kelly Link.

I am quite stupidly pleased with myself right now. That is all. Carry on.

Twelfth Planet Press Freebies

sirenbeat3In honour of it being awards season, Twelfth Planet Press is offering free e-copies of Horn, A Book of Endings and SIREN BEAT through the month of February.

If you’re eligible to nominate in the Hugos or the Ditmars, obviously we’d love it if you thought any of the above works were worthy of your nomination. (not sure when the Ditmars are opening for nominations but it’s sure to happen eventually)

Even better, if you enjoy reading your free e-copies, consider buying a hard copy of your favourite Twelfth Planet Press book. Indie press appreciates your support!

See Tansy Read

For those of you who live in and around Hobart, Tasmania, I’m going to be doing a public reading from “Siren Beat” at the Republic Bar on Sunday 7th February 2010. Republic Readings go from about 3-5pm, with the featured readers on in the first half, and an open mike in the second half.

[info] girliejones also left me with a plentiful pile of copies of the book to sell, so if you haven’t managed to get hold of a copy yet, this would be a good time to do so!

Presenting sirens and sea-ponies in front of the mostly literary/poetry crowd of the Republic Readings is always a bit nerve-wracking, but they are kind to include me. It would be lovely to have some spec fic readers in the audience too!

A Good Looking Book



Charles Tan at Bibliophile Stalker has put up a list of his ‘best ofs’ for 2009, and as well as showing some very good taste in novels (Slights for the YAY) he has declared Siren Beat/Roadkill as having Best Book Design.

Amanda ([info] vodkandlime) did a marvellous job of combining the nostalgia-friendly Ace Doubles style of the book construction with a modern, fun look, and her design showed off the two pieces of art by Dion Hamill to great effect. I currently have a couple of big stacks of the books in my spare room, awaiting a public reading that will be happening shortly, and they don’t get any less cute once you get used to them.

[info] girliejones comments on the book design here, with a new paypal button for anyone who wants to purchase their own copy of this exceptionally cute book.

holiday-hosting as a competitive sport

The best thing about having a visitor from interstate is that you get to play tourist. Yesterday we took [info] girliejones to the Salamanca Markets so she could get some pre-emptive present & souvenir shopping done, and today we went out to the Sorell Fruit Farm, one of those places we’ve been meaning to go but never got around to.

Not that we actually went and picked berries or anything, but we could have done if we’d wanted to! Instead, we reclined in a lovely garden, eating amazing food and chatting nineteen to the dozen. (yes, we could have talked at home, but it was PRETTY and there were WAFFLES)

For the record, strawberry, cucumber, mint & pepper salsa on a crepe stuffed with brie and smoked salmon is a very good thing indeed.

We have also managed to take our guest to many literary high points, notably several locations for Siren Beat. This afternoon, while I stayed in the car with the baby, [info] aifin took GJ for a walk around the docks and showed her the boats, and a particular set of Antarctic statues. “You mean where the bodies were found?” I said when they returned.

The visit so far has been lovely, but [info] flinthart is stealing GJ from me for five whole days which seems completely unreasonable since he apparently wishes to spend most of that time teaching her to hunt and fish, which doesn’t seem like a productive use of anyone’s time. Having mostly provided her with coffee, desserts and gluten-free dinners, I feel I have already won this particular contest.

Tomorrow there will be fabric shops. Because I play dirty.

Meanwhile GJ has had a remarkably good influence on Raeli, who listened seriously to descriptions of what an engineer was, and how important they are to building things, and reported gravely that she thought she was going to be a builder when she grew up. Score!

Aurealis Awards

The Aurealis Awards shortlists are out today (the site hasn’t been updated yet but I expect it will soon) and I am delighted to announce that I was shortlisted twice this year – for “Siren Beat” in the fantasy short story category, and for “Like Us” (Shiny #5) in the YA category.

Both stories, of course, were published by Twelfth Planet Press, which also scored a shortlisting spot (I want to say nomination, damn it, but the AA language has changed so that every eligible piece is ‘nominated’) for New Ceres Nights and A Book of Endings, by Deborah Biancotti.

You know what I’m going to say next, don’t you? You can purchase all of these fine publications at the publisher’s website, and some of them in ebook form at Smashwords. Support indie press!

Ah, Metropolis

40121 / 50000

First, take a moment to admire the shiny word counter above. Is it not bee-yootiful? I am so relieved that I took this NaNovember to write the beginning of Book 3 – I already know a lot of things that will change about Book 2 because of it (and my fingers are itching to rewrite Book 1 – sadly TOO LATE, TANSY)

This morning was surprisingly lovely. I had a doctor’s appointment (my long-delayed post-baby check up) and decided to meander through town for the rest of the morning so I could meet my honey for lunch.

Oh yes, I was in TOWN. Town being the centre of Hobart, now a place so distant, rare and exotic to me that it instilled the excitement of a shopping weekend to Melbourne. (I have never done this) I trip-trapped through Pumpkin Patch, resisting the gorgeous $50 dresses (really SO beautiful, I was very restrained) but managing to stock up on lovely baby things on the grounds that Jem isn’t old enough to appreciate her first Christmas, so all her presents should be indulgences for meeeee… (cough, and Raeli-sized shoes and hats were on special)

Continue reading →

Pretty Clothes, Prettier Men

28372 / 50000

The irrepressible Dirk Flinthart (he always needs a descriptor when I mention him, don’t ask me why) has reviewed Siren Beat/Roadkill up at CoolShite on the Tube, one of my favourite podcasting sites which also has lots of print reviews.

It’s a great review – Dirk has been reading my work for a long time and vice versa, and he really gets me:

Anyone familiar with Roberts will recognize some of her favourite tropes: pretty clothes, prettier men, and the Right Shoes For The Occasion. And why not? It’s a story set in and around nightclubs, drawing on a classical myth of lethal sexuality and fatal attraction. Roberts’ enjoyment of the material serves only to strengthen the characterisation and give an all-important human dimension to the otherwise inexplicable and unhuman Guardians and their ilk. As for the rest of the tale — the bad guys are more than sufficiently bad. The good guys are bad enough to be interesting and sympathetic, but good enough for us to cheer for them. There’s plenty of action, a dose or two of hot, sweaty sex, a fillip of something like romance, and a good time to be had by all.

He also has some great things to say about the publisher who brought Siren Beat/Roadkill into being:

Twelfth Planet Press is taking risks here — risks which big, well-heeled publishers have long since stopped taking. With stories of this quality as a result, we need to move fast to show that big goddam fat-assed fantasy trilogies about princes on horseback, or brainless tales about pretty glittery vegan vampires are not the mainstay of modern fantastic fiction.

Oh and speaking of my publisher, Girlie Jones AKA Alisa Krasnostein has put up an essay over at Last Short Story discussing Sara Genge, and the intriguing question of whether it’s still science fiction if a character gets her period…

I’m also excited to see a reviewer giving some attention to Roadkill! Any story that can fill Mr Flinthart with “a bleak, shuddersome dread” is worth taking a look at, believe me. It’s worth going over there to read the whole review, and check out what else CoolShite is loving this week.

In other news I bit the bullet and went to the optometrist today – first time in five years (gulp) and first time EVER with someone who is not my childhood optometrist. I do think that the suckiest thing about getting older is how all your reliable heath professionals go and retire on you, leaving you to find new ones. This one was very nice and female, and I picked out a new pair of frames with the minimum of trauma, which is awesome – my past experiences with choosing glasses frames have been about as hideous as my experiences buying shoes. I’ve decided I will wait to pick them up before doing my author photos for La Voyager, thereby bestowing my new face upon the world. Sadly I think my new haircut will have worn off by next week, but you can’t have everything.

Cheesiness and Awesomeness

There’s a lovely review of Siren Beat/Roadkill over at Bibliophile Stalker, which is rapidly becoming one of my favourite blogs to stalk because of its interesting links round-ups.

If Roadkill is the deviant of the urban fantasy label, Siren Beat feels right at home with the paranormal romance genre it’s usually mistaken for. Roberts follows the tropes of the sub-genre: the angsty heroine, seemingly unbeatable odds, and tantalizing sex. Siren Beat is all about kicking ass and teasing you with sensuality, make no mistake about that. What makes this piece unique is its length–other writers might need a novel to draw out their entire story but Roberts accomplish everything and much more in the span of a novelette. Is this a groundbreaking piece? Hell no. But it accomplishes what it sets out to do, without milking readers for all their time and money.

I like that 😀 He also discusses the effect of the cover and the presentation of the double-novelette format with great humour and energy.

As always, remember that you can purchase Siren Beat/Roadkill from Twelfth Planet Press for a mere AUS$12/$15 depending on which part of the world you live in.