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:

Hi Everyone,

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.

MDP x

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.

I’ve just finished the first of a three week tour and am having a weekend breather before Brisbane and Melbourne events, which include two Supanovas. I’m also still trying to find all my passwords and urls that I lost with my computer crash. So forgive me if my posts are a little sparse the next week or so.

To keep you entertained though I have posts coming soon from LA Gilman and Ilona Andrews. So stay tuned.

I would also like to say how delighted I am that BOTH Mirror Space and Transformation Space have shortlisted for an Aurealis Award in the Science Fiction Novel category. The winners will be announced in May. Many friends and colleagues are also on the lists, notably my ROR-ette writer’s group buds, Trent, Margo, Tansy, Richard and Dirk.

Haven’t blogged any reviews for a while but these two both gave me such huge pleasure, so I wanted to share them with you.

The first is Alex Pierce’s review of Transformation Space for Asif, and her reflection of the series overall. There were two things I really liked about this review.

The first is that it’s most intelligently written (and believe me it’s often NOT the way of reviews!).

The second, is that Alex highlighted a couple of things I strived so hard to achieve. I took a bunch of characters who weren’t necessarily likeable, and were all terribly flawed, because I wanted to push myself to consider the nature of being human i.e. what are we really like on the inside when we have those dark, selfish, greedy, self aggrandising thoughts? And how do we respond under pressure, given those inherent weaknesses? I wanted to give my characters room to improve but also to fail, in the way we do every day. Yet, I still wanted the reader to keep reading, which required a gripping plot line.

The Sentients of Orion series is not for readers who don’t want to think. It is not a comfort read. It is meant to prickle and prod, and at the same time rob you of your breath. If Alex is the only reader in the world who I was able to do that to, then I have achieved what I wished. Hopefully there are more like her, and if that is so, then I’d love to hear from you.

The second review is only brief but it’s my first for Burn Bright and comes from Goodreads. The reason I liked this (apart from being my first for this book) is that it compares Burn Bright to books I love.

If Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles had a baby with Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series – then this novel would be the result! And trust me, that’s a compliment. What a funky, consuming, atmospheric, intriuging read. I eagerly await the next two installments.

I’m a huge fan of Isobelle Carmody as both a writer and a person, and was thrilled to bits when she agreed (against her normal policy) to give me a cover quote. Isobelle and I were guests at a convention a few years ago in New Zealand and I felt a strong connection with her after our very first conversation. Some things you don’t let go of in life.

Melissa Marr I have not met, but Wicked Lovely was one of the most enjoyable YA books I’ve read in a long time. So, there it is. The universe sent me some love and now I’m passing it on to you.

Hold on tight to those dreams.

Awards

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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