Kotahi Bay, Uncategorized

Beneath Broken Waves cover reveal

Hey 🙂

So, with the launch of this book in just a few weeks, I thought it was time to show you the cover! It’s so PRETTY!

What do you think? I love Moana, and I hope you’ll love her too.

I’ll post the blurb as soon as I’m done agonising over it (and agonise, I will). This book follows on directly from The Way the Sky Curves – but this time following Jake (Melody’s younger brother), and Moana (daughter of the sea), it also includes In the Spirit, which is an important read to introduce you to Alyssa, the main character of book 3.

If you haven’t read The Way the Sky Curves, go here! It’s available at a range of stores right now for only 99c.

Beneath Broken Waves_ECover

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Kotahi Bay, Uncategorized, writing

Tūrangaewawae

A few weeks ago I read through my draft for the second Kotahi Bay book, Beneath Broken Waves, and it felt like coming home. There are really no other words to describe it. I couldn’t stop grinning. I knew these characters intimately, I knew the town so well, it was like kicking around a familiar neighbourhood and seeing a bunch of familiar faces.

Not long after that we went to a homeschooling camp and got to hang out with a huge portion of our crew from back home and it was fabulous, but then I had to come back here, to my new home, without them. And that sucked.

I’m homesick in a pretty big way. And I’ve really struggled to make myself work on Beneath Broken Waves. In fact, it was only a couple days ago that I actually started to make progress, and that was only due to finally making the extremely obvious connection – Kotahi Bay is like home, and any thoughts of home induce massive waves of sadness for me right now. No wonder I don’t want to work on the bloody book!

At the launch of Serafina’s Flame last weekend a friend told me he was surprised about the move because he’s always thought of Taranaki as my tūrangaewawae. If you’re not familiar with this concept here’s a handy link, but basically it translates to ‘a place to stand’. And he’s right, Taranaki is my tūrangaewawae. It’s where my family is, where I have lived the longest, but those aren’t the things that make it my place to stand, it’s hard to put that into words.

backbeach

I didn’t appreciate it like that when I was a teen – desperate to get out and experience the world – but I did when I came home again in my mid twenties. My maunga was always there, a steady figure that dominates the landscape even when obscured by clouds. The beaches with their black sand and their wild coastal winds. The forest, the birdlife, the raw power you can feel in the area. My tribe of family, both blood and those I’ve chosen.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized how important the concept of tūrangaewawae is to the Kotahi Bay books, but I do now. And even though it might hurt to do the work I’m going to pour my feelings into these books and hope that it pays off. And maybe I’ll find a way to ease the pain in my heart and a new way of standing.

Best Novella, books, Burn, change, Fantasy, friends, Kotahi Bay, Maiden mother crone, short story, Sir Julius Vogel Award, Sun-Touched, The Way the Sky Curves

Long time no blog

Hey there! I know, I know, it’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. Not because I’ve been doing nothing, but because life has been so busy lately. I mean, really busy. We’ve been away several weekends, a wedding, a homeschool camp, we’ve been down with colds for almost two weeks now, and there has been SO much going on. I can’t talk about some of it right now, so you will just have to take my word for it.

Basically, the past month or so has seen a massive shift in where my wee family is headed, and that’s been scary, sad, and exciting all at once. We’ve got what feels like a gazillion balls in the air right now, and I’m as okay with that as I can be 🙂 Doing a lot better than I had expected anyway.

Sadly, this has meant not as much writing as I’d have liked. Stress does that to me. I can anxious and can’t think creatively. It’s coming back to me now, though. I’m a bundle of ideas and am looking forward to putting some of them on paper in the next few weeks.

But first, I have to make it through the weekend! Au Contraire is coming up fast, and I am both nervous and excited about it. I am really looking forward to seeing people I don’t see nearly enough, hanging out amongst other like-minded people, talking geeky writerly stuff, and enjoying a great selection of panels and discussions. And I am nervous as fuck about convening a panel myself! On mythology, with some AMAZING authors, one of whom I’ve been a fan of for a very long time now – Juliet Marillier. I’m going to get to meet her! And then ask her questions! And omg!! How am I going to be able to speak? I just have to try not to stutter through the whole thing somehow…

I’ll also be at the At the Edge book launch directly before the mythology panel – my short story ‘Hope Lies North’ appears in it, and I am super excited to get my hands on a copy – and at the SJV’s on Sunday night as well, where all my books are finalists. I have zero expectations of winning an award myself, but I’m thrilled to be able to be there and cheer on some friends who I am sure will be picking up trophies! Fun times ahead. I am very much looking forward to heading to Wellington for a weekend that should include most of my favourite things (that aren’t my husband and kids, but I guess you can’t have everything right?).

I shall endeavour to update on a more regular basis, and hopefully soon I will have something fun to announce.

Take care!

becoming, books, Burn, editing, etherhart press, Fantasy, January, Kotahi Bay, Maiden mother crone, Uncategorized, year ahead

2016 Begins

The new year is here! While I was feeling incredibly excited about it toward the end of last year, now that it’s here, I am tired. I worked my butt off in the last days of 2015 and the first days of 2016, and now have a cold.

This is NOT going to be a ‘start the year how you mean to continue it’ year. But it does give me opportunities to practice one of this year’s goals, which is to be kinder to myself. I spent most of yesterday lying in bed, resting, and hopefully, soon I will be back to 100%.

20160104_090019Following on from last years goals, I thought I’d do something similar – nothing too specific, but goals that will get me moving in the right direction. I DO have some definites I want to tick off, but for now, I just want to paint them in broad strokes, which is another act of kindness for myself – much harder to be self-critical that way.

So, kindness. I am giving myself a heart sticker for the days when I am kind to me, whether those are small or large kindnesses. I’m also going to keep track of the days I write with stars. I fell badly out of the habit of actually writing last year, and I’m going to work on reinstating that habit in 2016 using this monthly planner thingamie. Yay!

20160104_090104I’m also going to work through my current bookshelves – both print and digital. Now that I have a bookshelf I’ve realized there are a bunch of books on there I haven’t read. Things I’ve picked up from the withdrawn section of the library, things passed along from others, things I purchased super cheap years ago and never got around to reading. I imagine there are a bunch of books I don’t even like on my shelves, so it’s time for a clear out.

PhotoGrid_1451853786930Speaking of books I’ve been given, my mother-in-law gave me Wonderbook for my birthday last year and I intend to work my way through it over the year.

In terms of publishing goals, my main focus right now is finishing the Maiden, Mother, Crone series. I’ve decided not to publish the second and third books individually, and am going to release a very pretty print omnibus once it’s all edited and ready to go. Aside from that, I’m looking to publish another two Kotahi Bay books – and anything else is icing on the cake 😉

Kotahi Bay, publishing

The Way the Sky Curves is now LIVE!

The Way The Sky Curves_ECover_8-5-15Well, I’ve done it again… Published a book that is. The Way the Sky Curves is now available on Amazon. I’ll be working on getting it up at other distributors in the near future, but this feels like enough for one day 🙂

I’m so thrilled that it’s finally out there! And now I can move onto the next project.

As I mentioned in April, now that it’s out there, I’ll be doing a draw for one lucky person to win a guest role in one of the K’Bay books. There are only three entries at the moment, so head on over and comment on THIS POST if you want to go into the draw.

And finally, this happened on twitter the other night:

It was the last scene I worked on for the book, but was NOT the last scene in the book. If you read the book and want to take a guess, drop me an email. If you get it right, I will gift you a copy of the next book in the series.

A-Z challenge, Kotahi Bay

Z is for Zilch

I forgot to hit post on this last night! lol

Z is for zilch, as in, I have nothing left in me!!! This month of blogging has been awesome, but I couldn’t think of anything relevant to post for Z. I contemplated naming a character in a later book Z…., but being that I’ve mostly stayed away from spoilers or potential spoilers beyond the first book, I didn’t want to lock anything down that far ahead, and it felt like cheating in a way.

So there we have it. All the letters of the alphabet. I feel like I’ve really learned a lot about myself, and my series from this. About the ways we’re connected. It’s been helpful for getting myself more in touch with my heritage, and I hope that it’s been enjoyable in some way for you too!! Did you learn anything?

A-Z challenge, Kotahi Bay, writing

W is for Wahine

There are many wonderful words that start with W, and I’ve had so much trouble deciding which one to go with that this post is now several days late – but, better late than never right?

Initially, I was going to go with Whānau, which is a really important concept of family and the ways in which we interact, the interweaving of generations – and these days, for me at least, the flexibility of the family unit. This lead me to think about Whanaungatanga, which is also about family, but those connections you make through experience and commonalities, the bonds which strengthen us as individuals and as a community. Which led on to thinking about Whakapapa, our histories, and another way to express connections and claim identity.

All of this, in some respect, ties in with what I hope I’m building with the Kotahi Bay series. It’s what I am also working at building in my every day life – a tribe, a sense of belonging, surrounding myself with people who help me to be more ‘me’, who give me strength and challenge me and whose support I feel even when they aren’t right next to me.

I was lying in bed last night thinking about my series. Thinking about how the majority of the demi-gods in the books are female. Which is interesting, because the large majority of Maori gods are actually male – all of the children of Rangi and Papa were sons. I was thinking about how so much knowledge of the gods and Maori religion is lost and that all the research I do leaves me wanting more.

IMG_20150426_144851087 (2)Which made me think of when I took my two youngest to the park by the sea the other day and it was SO very windy, and my littlest said to me ‘I can control the wind, mama!’ and the smile on their faces were just beautiful, and the way that they yearned for the wildness of the weather, the way our faces were plastered with smiles as we stood on the rocks and felt the kiss of the ocean against our skin reminded me of myself. I very clearly remember thinking that I could control the wind as a child. I remember the way I felt connected to the living world all around me, and it really hit me that THIS is what inspired my series. I’m reaching for my roots. I’m finding connections with the gods of my people. I am a female, and so it’s natural for me to want to explore what it would mean to be part of the gods, as a wahine – as a woman.

It’s funny that when I started off writing this series I didn’t think it was very personal. Gosh, I had no idea just how personal it was! Then again, maybe that was what I needed to believe in order to begin. Now I know better.

A-Z challenge, competition, Kotahi Bay

Y is for YOU!!!

We’re so close to the end of the month now, and also SO close to releasing The Way the Sky Curves. And I want to give you the opportunity to have a guest role in one of the Kotahi Bay books. Yes, you!!!

We can use your real name or a pseudonym, or some combination. The character can have some of your characteristics, or be purely of your own invention (within reason, of course!). I will discuss the details of it with you, and you’ll get credit in the acknowledgements as well.

And what do you need to do to be in for the chance to win this guest role? I could say that you need to buy a copy of one of my books, but I’m not going to. What I would love is to hear which post this month has been your favourite. It’s that simple.

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favourite post from the A-Z challenge was, and you’re in the draw! I’ll announce the winner the day after The Way the Sky Curves releases. Good luck! I can’t wait to see who I get to write into a book 😉

A-Z challenge, Kotahi Bay, publishing, writing

X is for eXpectations

X is a funny letter, isn’t it? I was thinking about doing X-rated, but we’ve covered edgy and intimacy already this month, so I thought I would go for something a little different.

Expectations…

I feel a little bit of weight on my shoulders with The Way the Sky Curves. It’s the first proper book in the Kotahi Bay series, but it’s not the first book published that is set in this world. I worry that readers who liked In The Spirit won’t enjoy Sky, because one had zero romance, and the other does. I fear that I’ve made the tone too different, and then try to reassure myself that every book is meant to be a little different because the main characters are not the same. They shift and change with the natures of the leading characters.

I’m so pleased that this book was written before I published In The Spirit, as I think it would have been harder doing it the other way around. But I’m still nervous about publishing it because what if I’ve forgotten to include something? lol What if it doesn’t live up to peoples expectations?

Well. What if, indeed. I can’t please everyone, right? And while I am responsible for crafting as good of a book as I can, I have no control over what other people think or feel about it. So I need to shake off the weight of expectations – which, let’s be honest, are mostly in my head and have certainly NOT been placed on me by anyone else – and focus on finishing up the final bits and pieces and getting this thing out to you ASAP.

A-Z challenge, Characters, gods, Kotahi Bay

U for Under the waves

Continuing on the theme of gods, another is Tangaroa – god of the sea.

I’ve already covered how much I love the beach, and so it was a given that one of my characters would be the child of Tangaroa. She is changeable, like the ocean, dangerous when you don’t know her, but calm and beautiful under the right conditions. She loves the sea more than anything and will do whatever it takes to protect it. I guess you could say that she’s a bit of an eco-warrior in her own way, though you might not agree with her methods 😉

A chunk of Shell and Bone is set under water, which was really cool to write. I can’t wait to begin editing this book! It’s out with an editor at the moment, and I’m hoping to have it available for purchase in August.