Category: Discussion

As the PEACEMAKER blog tour winds down, I’ve been most fortunate to have been invited to speak on a number of podcasts, and just last night, a Google Hangout.

I’m sure you’re all sick to death of my opinion, but on the slim chance that you aren’t … you can catch up on my thoughts on these topics:   WORLDBUILDING with Sean Williams, Meg Mundell and John Birmingham along with Nalini from Dark Matter.

Genre blending and bending with Mike Underwood, Rod Duncan, and Emma Newman from Angry Robot.


The Queensland Writer’s Centre asked me to talk about Author Branding

And why authors should be online

And a long chat with Alex Pierce on the award winning Galactic Chat podcast about my body or work. Followed by an upcoming Peacemaker special with Dave Kearney from Scenes and Sequels.  

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, probably since I became fascinated by social media and communication. The more I reseached and browsed, the more I realised that women are running with the communication revolution and making it their own.

Much is made of how SM has revolutionised politics – and through instant communication we’ve seen the face of elections and demonstations alter. Twitter and Facebook can bring the demise of dictatorships – we’ve seen that too. Sure, there is plenty of rumour and disinformation out there, but somehow the essential message still gets through. As Mr Universe said, Can’t stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere.” Serenity-Joss Whedon.

(I don’t know about you but Twitter is my main source of breaking news. It also makes me laugh a lot, a reminds me that there are some very clever, funny people in this world.)

But what’s not being talked about so much, is how SM has liberated the entrepreneur – especially female entrpreneurs. There is a burgeoning industry of women building careers as Lifestyle Mentors, Life Coaches, Social Media Coaches, Media Mavens, Publicity and Marketing Experts, Inventors and Presenters.

Most of them began with a simple blog or website, and by the skill of their ability to communicate, have turned their passion into financially viable businesses.

I’m excited for them!

No longer do women (of all ages) have to plead to banks, goverments and partners to help them start-up a business. If they have a product and a means to communicate, they can do it themselves. Not only that but they are displaying a remarkable talent for it.

The aspect I’m really loving on though, is the nature of many of these enterprises. Mentorship, friendship, social conscience are high on the agendas.

It makes me think that maybe society is heading for better times!

Below is a list to whet your appetite:

Girls Above Society

Chelsea Krost

The Style and Go

Sarah Newton

Type A Parent

And for those who aren’t convinced there even is an industry …

NMX World – the future of content, community and commerce

That’s a stupid title for this discussion, but it’s all I could come up with for the moment.

I watched two recent TED talks last night, one from Amanda Palmer and one from Bono. In a sense both were asking for help. Bono was touting stats to show the difference we’re making towards global poverty and essentially begged us not to flake on the final hurdle. Amanda talked about forgetting the sell, and asking people for help, and how it had worked for her career.

So what troubled me?

Well, why is it that I couldn’t engage with Bono’s talk at all, whereas Amanda’s captured me? Bono’s is indeed a noble cause, and he’s a person who I’ve followed for years and respected, musically. Amanda Palmer, on the other hand, is not someone I’ve followed. My understanding of her is limited to a few data points: singer, married to Neil Gaiman.

I took this unease to friends on FB and Carl Lenehan made a salient remark:

“IMO What he [Bono] is talking about is more uncomfortable for us, as we can only relate to a limited number of people at once (120-150) and Bono asks us to care for the whole world and most of them we naturally feel to be ‘the other’. Amanda Palmer asks us to care for one person at once and communicate with that person. That is natural for us. 

In addition, we also have a degree of cynicism and overload with his subject matter and he is an icon using established communication channels. She is iconoclastic and is asking us to create a new paradigm of contact.”

I absolutely agree with Cary’s viewpoint, but still there is more. And it goes way past this present example. What I’m saying is, that these two talks are really a glimpse into where we are failing as a species – and where we are succeeding. Amanda is talking about a paradigm shift, don’t SELL – try ASKING. But her shift is based on the most basic and most essential of human needs – to engage, to genuinely communicate.

Although my upbringing probably wouldn’t have allowed me to take my host’s beds (see Amanda Palmer TED talk), I can see her point. Barter at the most basic level. You give to my family, you value my family – I give to yours, I value yours.

So simple and yet so overlooked by commerce, politics and religion.

What troubled me was that Bono wasn’t operating at that level. Jokes about his own God complex and flipant remarks about Brazilian models, though witty, were not real. They were rehearsed and delivered that way

It makes me want to shout … while we continue to paractise not speaking from the heart, we will continue to struggle as a race. It’s only when we genuiniely engage that there is room for change and growth.

You can see Bono’s TED talk here:

You can see Amanda’s TED talk here:

I would welcome your thoughts …


davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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