Tag Archives: dystopian

Margaret Morgan: #Robinpedia

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Author image found on Google Image Search, Imgflip has watermarked over the photographer’s watermark http://www.virginiaszaraz.com.au

Lawyer, scientist, scriptwriter and now author, Margaret Morgan is conquering the world one profession at a time. When she isn’t writing, and even when she is, Margaret resides in sunny Sydney with her trusted companion, Shadrak. Shadrak is an international scribe of mystery. He enjoys fingering parchment, sitting in comfy chairs, staring into the abyss, and refusing to eat his dinner.

Oh that Shadrak, he really boils my potato.

But enough about that charismatic bag of bones, let’s talk about Margaret’s debut novel, The Second Cure, published through Penguin Random House. Famed literary critic, Kerryn Goldsworthy, says that The Second Cure bleeds across at least five different genres; dystopian, political thriller, satire, domestic realism, and literary fiction. It has cats, a pandemic, some sex, political extremists, cats, a few laughs, lots of science and, most importantly, cats. It uses the idea that toxoplasma gondii has mutated to prefer human hosts and to become deadly to all species of cats. This means not only the end of cute cat videos, but also no lions or tigers or bears (oh my… okay, the bears are fine). At first people don’t seem too bothered by the feline death business, but once the effects on humans become more apparent, people losing their inhibitions and becoming way more into casual sexing up and wot not, political conservatives start clutching at their pearls.

It has been touted to get nods at next year’s Stella Prize, Miles Franklin Award, Aurealis, along with the various Premier’s Literary Awards. Although, Margaret is already no stranger to accolades having received acclaim for her librettos and television scripts, along with winning the 2010 3 Quark’s Daily Charm Quark Prize in Science.

Margaret came to be published after a chance meeting with Lex Hirst at Write NSW‘s Spec Fic Fest. Lex was an editor at Random Penguin House and Margaret took the opportunity to approach her and pitch. The rest, as you say, is history. Margaret went on to be published through Penguin Random House and Lex has recently taken up the role of Publisher at Pantera Press. So next time you see that the Spec Fic Fest is on, book your tickets and get on in there!

Find Margaret Morgan’s website here.

Find Margaret Morgan on Twitter here.

Find Margaret Morgan on Facebook here.

Find The Second Cure here or anywhere.

Find me twinning with Margaret Morgan in this pic taken by Pamela Freeman at the launch of The Second Cure held at Leadbelly through Better Read Than Dead below:

Read more about Robinpedia here.

Read about my experience of being a dyslexic writer here.

Read about my opinion on author brandinghere.

Buy my shit here.

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Speculative Fiction Festival at #NSWWC

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Be Careful What You Wish For

As you all know I can’t resist a good festival so I of course went to the Speculative Fiction Festival at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre run by Cat Sparks. A good time was had by all. My main take-aways from the day are listed below. Enjoy.

Garth Nix

  • Garth Nix is so brilliant and so talented that he sold his first short story at the age of 19 to a magazine he didn’t even submit to. No I don’t feel like elaborating on that story because the specialness might decrease and I prefer to keep him godlike in my mind.
  • Garth Nix states that there are no dead manuscripts. A manuscript might not sell simply because it does not fit with the appeal of the time, in another five years it might suddenly be in. Don’t ever throw away manuscripts, resubmit, recycle, repurpose them.
  • Garth Nix said that I could sit in the same sunny spot as him. I died and the ran away. Totes kept my cool…

James Bradley

  • Initially thought that he would live out his days as a poet in poetry excellence of the most poety kind. Turns out he unfortunately needed to have written more than six poems to do this.
  • If you win a cheque, don’t lose it, the organisers of whatever competition or award you won it for will be pissed off that they have┬áto rewrite it.
  • Authors get rejected all of the time. Don’t let rejection deter you because even if you have one success that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a nasty rejection lurking around the corner.

Kate Forsyth

  • Submit your manuscripts typed. Publishing houses don’t generally accept ones hand written in an exercise book that you have illustrated yourself.
  • Always be brave and keep on persevering. Never let your own fear or ego hold you back.
  • Kate Forsyth signed a copy of Impossible Quest 3 for my niece. I am now the favouritist aunt ever.

Marianne de Pierres

  • Internal logic is key to ensuring that your work is believable and accepted by the reader.
  • Marianne de Pierres says she doesn’t know how she feels about a lot of issues hence her characters have different views and she allows them to sort through bigger picture issues. Her works are explorations not morality messages.
  • Write to you personality style. That being style, genre/subgenre, length, strength of message etc. You have to write your novel not somebody else’s.

Stephanie Lai

  • Stephanie Lai starts with a human/scientific problem and then develops the story around that.
  • Stephanie Lai leans towards short stories because she loves quick immediate communication and gratification.
  • Stephanie Lai says to keep the science real but the world fun and fantastical.

Isobelle Carmody

  • Isobelle Carmody crowd funded her book before crowd funding was a thing. That’s how cool she is. She sold shares in her first book for $30 each and agreed to give the money back should she ever be published.
  • Isobelle Carmody has never been rejected. She humbly claims that it is because she takes so long to write her books that publishers are too scared to say no lest she never write another one or takes even longer next time.

Bruce McCabe

  • Bruce McCabe starts with real life problems being explored in scientific labs today, then moves out twenty years and explores what will be happening with those issues and advances.
  • Bruce McCabe feels that trying to box Science Fiction into a narrow definition isn’t productive. That there is a whole spectrum of sci fi ranging from hard to soft and they’re all equally valid.

Pamela Freeman

  • Okay, I am so spun out by what she said to me personally that I cannot even remember what she said on her panels. It would have been insightful too because she always says really good stuff. Pamela Freeman told me that she had read my ebook What Happens in Book Club… and had laughed so hard that she had to read bits to her husband. I nearly died in fangirling overload. I’m not confident that I am actually awake and this isn’t some extended dream. If I truly am awake… GO ME!

Now the bit that you really want, WHAT DID THE PUBLISHERS SAY THEY WANTED?!?

FableCroft Publishing

They are looking for sci fi. Middle Grade and YA. Make sure you read their submission guidelines or Tehani Wessley will cry. You don’t want to make her cry do you?

Ticonderoga Publications

They like anthologies. Love them! So write an awesome short story. Just don’t be sexist, and violent for the sake of shocking rather than for the sake of the story, otherwise Liz Gryzb will cry. You don’t want to make her cry either, do you?

Just quietly, I did pitch to one of the owners the idea of making a The Voice / Literary Pitching crossover show. They weren’t down with it, so if you have any great ideas like that, don’t pitch those to them. Russell Far rather kindly pointed out that although spinning chairs would be fun, they don’t actually see the person pitching as it is, only their words. Good point Russell, good point. However, if there are any TV execs out there who like my idea I am prepared to except my millions of dollars now.

Pantera Press

Their rep was so warm and wonderful that I think everyone wants to now submit every manuscript to them. Seriously, he was lovely and so caring. He was the Rick Martin of the Panel because he had such passion. The rep in attendance likes Romance so I think we’re all switching just to work with him.

Momentum

Genre fiction with a very clear audience in mind. So none of that boundary hopping, all over the place, wishy washy stuff. Keep it tight, keep it focused, keep it commercially appealing.

Harper Voyager

Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of Epic Fantasy. But please don’t use humour in your submissions, or guilt trips over the fact that your family will starve if they don’t pick up your manuscript. They don’t like that.

Bloomsbury

Submit through the UK website

Hope to see you at the next festival.

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