This is a story about the people who live
in an Edwardian (or Federation, as it's called in Oz) terrace in
Melbourne. I'll be posting 100-200 words a day. Bit
cartoon strip or a soap opera. Or Tales
of the City
(Armistead Maupin's wonderful series set in San Francisco).
of my city, Melbourne.
It was an exercise I
started to get my
writing going again. I endured some bad stuff in my life, and
somehow I found I was unable to write. I thought to myself
if I could make myself do 100 to 200 words a day, come what may, the
creative juices would start flowing again. The
Way, a book about how to unleash your inner
genius, strongly recommends that you write three foolscap page in
longhand about anything which comes into your head. By just
writing, not letting your inner Critic sabotage your inner Creator, you
allow Creation to burgeon. Majorca Flats
would be my
equivalent of three pages of scribbles.
So I started writing
words a day. At first, it was hard to do. I used to do
word counts to see if I was anywhere near the limit. Now
I really look forward to it every day. Now
I have to do
word counts because each post is too long, I'm enjoying myself so
much. And as always happens, the characters have come alive
me, and have taken control. Part of my pleasure in writing Majorca
Flats -- in fact in any of my fiction -- is that I don't know
what's going to happen. Oh, I have a vague idea.
just a changeable sketch. All the colouring, all the details
as yet undefined. When I'm in the grip of the Muse, even I
know what I'm going to write, how my characters are going to
behave. In an interview here in Melbourne, Armistead Maupin
pretty much the same thing about his own writing. So I'm on
right track ....
Almost every day I
post a new Majorca
Flats episode. Those in the blog
attached, more-or-less related image, and each blog post has a link to
the next post and the one before. So if you want pretty pics
(some of which, I warn you, are not safe for work) read the story via
the blog. Every ten episodes, I upload the latest chapter
to this site.
You can read older
and the latest episode at my blog.
first volume in the Tapestry
Series, and the first novel I wrote.
I began ElvenSword
in my head long before I started writing it. My lady and I,
our eldest son had been on a trip through South Africa to see it for
the last time, because we were emigrating to the UK. On the
back to Cape Town we passed through a town called Willowmore.
you would imagine that such a town had a river flowing through it,
lined with willows. Nope. A dry desolation, the
just dust and sand. A few miles on the other side of the
misnamed Willowmore, I noticed one or two wildflowers in the storm
water drains next to the road. A few miles further on, there
more. Then we passed a few stumpy bushes, and a couple of
and then within a few miles, we were in a magnificent rain forest.
The idea for a great trek came into my head, a story
man who comes to an inn in those great southern forests in the Southern
Cape, and takes the inn's boy with him.
The man is
heir to the throne of a great empire, and the story was to have been
how they would work out their love for each other while allowing the
soon-to-be emperor the chance to produce heirs. I even wrote
bit of it. But I was so dissatisfied with my writing I put is
Still, the idea of something like that haunted me, a
about men loving men and women, and having to do what honor and duty
demanded, and the price they paid.
A visit to Christchurch
Island, New Zealand) which has a splendid extinct volcano right on its
doorstep gave me the idea of Cappor. And I wanted to set the
story in the southern hemisphere, where it gets colder the further
south you go. The final catalyst was Lynn Flewelling's Luck in the Shadows.
I used this to see how to write a story. The first
few chapters were terrible.
But gradually I got the knack of it, and started to write
I rewrote those first few chapters nine or ten times -- and
still not happy with them! I found, also, as countless
have found since story-telling began, that my story evolved and changed
in unexpected ways, that the characters themselves shifted and grew.
And so ElvenSword
is very different to the story as I first conceived it, though you can
see the underlying themes are common.
I wanted to write about a world where love happened despite gender.
I was sick of stories dominated by heterosexuals.
also thought that in a world where the gender of your partner really didn't
matter, most people would be bisexual to some degree or another,
that they would have a ceremony and and institution for same-sex
marriage, and that they would have very different values to those we
have. So to complete the switch, I made it a
society, where the duchesses and queens and empresses outrank their
are hard. After all, the most interesting aspect of a novel
is the way in which its characters, or at least, the protagonist,
changes, in this case how Fluin assumes the mantle of his destiny ("It
is your destiny", said in a portentous Star Wars tone) . So
do you put in further changes?
Well, you can have a different protagonist or protagonists,
or you can make the hero from volume one undergo further dramas and
problems, while still developing his character. Or you can
how his friends change. I also was afraid that volume one had
been too rainbow coalition. I wanted more angst and loss and
danger. Like I said,
hard! As you read this volume of The
Tapestry of Life,
will see the solutions I have chosen to this dilemma. I hope
you agree they've worked.
This is volume 3 of The
Tapestry of Life. I've
only just started this, so what you see here is all I've
It's how in the end Fluin fulfills his destiny, how he tries
do what is right at great personal cost, and how in the end the Goddess
rewards him. Now you know the story, but hey, we all knew
Sam and Frodo would make it to Mt Doom! We just didn't know
first 'contemporary' novel.
Like so many of my stories, the
inspiration for it came in from somewhere odd. I read a
story that David Beckham (the metrosexual soccer player, in
you didn't know) likes to wear his wife's thong undies. This
sexy, straight man wears lace? So I
wrote a short story about an ex Aussie (or Ozzie) rules footy
player (Oz plays Ozzie rules football, soccer, and both rugby league
and rugby union) who is straight (and wears his wife's lacy
thongs). He finds he has no friends when he's no longer a
football player. Except one. Who hates footy, and
makes the mistake of falling in love with him.
kept on growing. I grew to like all the characters so much I
simply had to explore their lives It's become
a novel. This novel has ended up exploring the issues of
how we can have two loves, how people manage that, and how
of your most profound self can be lead to sorrow and pain and loss, not
just for you but all those round you. And of course,
love, the kind that seeketh
not itself to please, is marvelous and healing
and helps make all this work.
I also wanted to explore how
sometimes love, physical -- no sexual
-- can come from friendship, and how friendship can come from sex.
Tom, the footy star, connects with Adam because they are
first. Will connects with Sean because he picks him up in a
Only afterwards does their love expand and grow into
precious. Yet they both end up in the same place.
novel has a sad history. I'd written 20,000 words, a fifth or
sixth of the complete story, when my laptop was stolen. The
backup disks were with the laptop -- I'd never thought of theft, just
of hard disk failure. Bleagh. For a long time I
even face the story, but recently I've had a re-look at it. I
it a lot. The whole story is blocked out and ready to go.
Somebody said that the story is reminiscent of Tanya Huff's The Fire Stone,
and if it is, I am honored, because she is one of my favorite authors
and that is one of my favorite books. The story is set in the
same world as the Tapestry
trilogy, but with different characters. But I've
got back to it, and have started posting new chapters.
||I Get no Kick from Champagne
was my third novel (though I hadn't finished DemonThrong
when I wrote it) It was my most confident novel to date.
knew more or less exactly how I was going to write it, I was
confident about character and story development and dialogue, and it
just flowed from my 'pen' taking only three months to write.
grew so fond of all the characters that when I'd finished it I felt a
real sense of loss. Champagne was
my 'crossover' novel. It is an urban fantasy, a story set in
Melbourne, but also in a fantasy kingdom. It
issues that fascinate me -- how men grow up, how love varies with the
person you love, yet is still love, how you can deeply wrong people and
yet still turn away from the dark side. I got a blast writing
this. I hope you get as much fun reading it.
the Strings of my Heart
another novel I haven't finished. But it's not forgotten!
It's a sort-of-sequel to Champagne.
It's about the outsiders in Melbourne -- the were creatures,
wizards, the aliens, the vampires. But it's also about the
lonely, all those who don't fit in. And naturally, it's about
first SF novel. I wrote this for Melissa Scott's novel
program. Wow! It was such a pleasure to work with
For those who don't know, she's a major alternate-sexuality
and fantasy author. This story is about 1/3 written, but
it's definitely not forgotten, and I'm girding my loins to finish it.
It's a first contact novel, a tale about how humans 50 years
now find their first extra-terrestrial civilization. And what
lessons it holds for Earth, and for our own culture.
A het romance with a gay character, partly written, set in a country
town in Victoria
Four guys share a house. One of them is gay, the other
straight. Well, straight-ish.
A story about a café in a small country town, its owner and the people
who come to visit.
A man goes back to the country town he grew up in and the boy,
now man, he was in love with.
is a Pair of Wooden Wings
A stranger turns up at Jake Fribourg's
farm, a stranger with a deadly secret. And Jake
loses his heart and finds out too late he shouldn't have.
|| Black and
This is a thriller written by my lady.
story is set in a village we lived in for a few years in
My lady attempted to get it published with twenty different publishers,
and not one took it, despite it being at least as good as P.D.
James. Yeah, I know, perhaps I'm biassed, but I will tell you
that I read the typescript in one go, staying up till four am, and the
next day was a work day!
She got so discouraged by these
rejections that she more or less gave up writing. She and I
cooperating on a hetero romance (The
Music of Love) targeted at the Mills & Boon
(Harlequin) market, and also on a couple of gay-shaded stories
including Parringo Road,
about a man who goes back to his home town and the love of his
life. She is an invaluable editor of my work, and what style
have is due to her influence and teaching. I wish she would
writing in earnest again, though.
fell. It was always darker in the maze. The high hedges held in the
shadows, kept out sunlight and sound. Time stood still in the silent
corridors that led into each other, led to nowhere. The blindfolded
child, dumb with terror, felt his way along the prickly walls with soft
white starfish hands.