It was a big one! Headed off to the Joanna Fowler Network fundraiser and was thoroughly entertained by the zumba dancers and a lovely fashion parade. The hall was filled with stalls selling candles, gift-ware, stationary and all sorts of lovely things. I talked for a while about writing and then we drew some amazing raffle prizes, including a $900 gift basket from Harbourside Day Spa. Mrs Fowler spoke at the end and was very emotional about the support. Katie and Sarah Brewster were amazing and I hope are having a well deserved rest today. Huge effort ladies!
I then headed home to get the news that Transformation Space won Best Science Fiction Novel at the Aurealis Awards. Trans Space is the final book in the Sentients of Orion series and probably the hardest book I’ve ever written. It was a complex and sweeping series that required intricate plot mechanics to get it to pull together. Not only that but I wrote most of it when I was suffering badly from my heart symptoms. Just goes to show what you can do when you have the passion!
Below is my acceptance speech which was read by Sean Williams:
Be assured that if Sean is reading this, that I’m keeled over in a corner somewhere from shock. Having been a finalist a number of times, I never really expected to take the next step.
I’ve asked Sean to accept on my behalf because, aside from being my friend, he knows more than anyone else how difficult it is to survive as a Science Fiction novelist in Australia, and this award is as much about him and his legacy, as it is about me wining tonight. Congratulations to Sarah Creasy as well for her nomination. I’m thrilled to be on an all girls shortlist with her.
I couldn’t be with you this evening as I’m speaking at a fundraiser at my son’s school. His chemistry teacher had a bad fall and was left severely and permanently injured. This night is to raise money for the equipment that she needs to move home. So, much as I’d love to be with you all on our annual night of genre celebration, it was very important that I was a part of their efforts.
Now, to some thank you’s. Firstly, to my agent to Tara Wynne, who I love and without who life wouldn’t be the same. To my publisher, Orbit Books who took a risk with a Australian writing cyberpunk nearly ten years ago, and who have been nothing but a pleasure to work with. Extra special thanks go to Darren Nash who edited all the Sentients of Orion novels and made me believe I could do it. His confidence helped me grow as a person, not just as a writer. Also, to my writing buddies, Writers on the Rise, who are never far from my side. And lastly, my family, who are curiously proud of their slightly-odd-but-never-boring, mother, sister, aunt, and wife.
And of course to you all tonight, many of who are my dear friends. You should know that this award means a whole universe to me. Thank you.
To this, I would like to add a few more thanks. Firstly, to Amy Parker who proofread and nitpicked over the raw manusrcipt and helped me make it a better story. If you look in the sidebar you can see her business contact. I highly recommend her services.
Secondly, I want to thank all the readers who stayed with a series that was different from the space opera norm, and trusted me to deliver a story worth reading.
Finally, I’d like to thank the MDPWebber’s: Bec Stafford, Kylie Fox, Mandy Wrangles, Bel Hamilton, Amy Parker, Cels Jansink, Jamie Marriage, Janette Dalgliesh and (more recently) Phil Coss. Your support and cheering from the side feels like my family.