authors, books, Guest post, January, New Zealand, writing

Introducing: KD Forsman

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As some of you will know, I love it when I have the opportunity to give a shout out to a fellow NZ author, so today, here is a little bit about KD Forsman.

KD Forsman released her debut novel Fraud & Fabrication in early 2015. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format. Fraud & Fabrication is the first of the Leighton Park series, about the wealthy and eccentric Leighton family, their successful horse racing empire and their closely guarded family secrets.

Blogging and freelance copywriting has provided a creative outlet for KD since 2008. When asked why she decided to write a book, she replied…:

“I knew I had to get serious about my writing when I realised the characters in my head were not going to leave me in peace. They’re a bunch of crazies, but they’re my crazies.

A couple of story ideas had been percolating in my imagination for a number of years. In the end I thought it would be interesting to mush them all together and see what I could cook up. The result is Fraud & Fabrication. Seeing this book through to fruition was amazing and even I was surprised at how the ending turned out.

There’s definitely room for a sequel – the problem I have now is deciding which character to focus on, as they are all jostling for the lead! I’d be very interested in hearing from my readers about which character should star in the next instalment.”

KD Forsman was born in the UK and immigrated to middle earth (New Zealand) when she was four, where she still lives today. She has lived in rural locations for most of her life and describes herself as a recovering horse addict, having ridden horses competitively and for recreation for many years. These days, she has swapped her four legged antics for the two legged variety, after completing her first ever half marathon in 2014 with plans to repeat the experience again this year.

KD Forsman had the privilege of being mentored by other published authors and hopes to entertain her readers through the stories she shares.

Fraud & Fabrication:

kdforsman-72dpi-1500x2000Genre; Contemporary drama with a bit of passion & crime thrown in for good measure!

Cassandra has finally landed on her feet when she escapes to a new job after a relationship gone wrong. Leighton Park Stud, located in remote rural Canterbury New Zealand, seems a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of city living, and that’s exactly what Cass needs to make a new start.

Despite the sometimes confronting experiences of life at the top thoroughbred horse stud and training facility, it’s a job Cass loves and she quickly settles into her new role as Secretary of the Stud.

When the mysterious Geoffrey Leighton, absentee eldest son of her boss John, comes to the rescue of a badly injured filly, Cass realises she’s found her soul mate. It’s not long before she’s engaged to be married into racing’s elite; and she’s happy to overlook some of the wackier sides of life with the wealthy family.

Her loyalty to the Leighton family are put to the test when nasty rumours circulate around the sale of a horse and the investigation that ensues. Add into the mix a closely guarded family scandal, an alcoholic step mum, a terribly accident prone husband and soon Cass is left wondering what normal even looks like anymore.

Cass tries to ignore the warning signs that all is not well in paradise. But heavily pregnant with their first child, her house of cards is starting to crumble. Suddenly she is confronted with a very real and dangerous situation.

Cass has the most difficult decision of her life to make. Will she stay and deal with it? Or walk away and blow the whole ugly truth wide open?

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It was a good week

I had so much fun during NZ Speculative Fiction blogging week, it’s a bit sad to see it end though I know that some of the connections I have made, and that feeling of connectivity and pride aren’t going to go away in a hurry. Just want to say a huge thanks to Anna for organizing it and compiling the list of links – very much looking forward to next year!

Anyways, the weekend was overtaken by house renovations. I had to set other things aside and just get on with it. I have to say that I’m feeling rather less tense and annoyed with everything now that there is paint on the walls and no more plaster dust floating around the house. That stuff gets everywhere and it felt like I couldn’t get it off my skin. We still have to pick the colour and get the topcoat on, but it’s much closer to being a real kitchen!

As a reminder, this is what it looked like before the weekend:

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And this is what it looks like now:

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Hah, I just realized I never took a photo of it when it was all plastered. Oh well! We’re getting there. There are lots of little jobs which need to be attacked before it begins to have that ‘finished’ look, but the fact that the walls have paint on them really lightens my mood.

Anyways… because of this detour into renovations, I didn’t get a chance to rewrite the very ending of Lifelines. My initial plan had been to have that ticked off the list by the end of the weekend but the painting was more important at the time (my sanity was more important). So now we have less than two weeks until the end of the month – which was when I wanted to begin querying agents with Lifelines.

Not sure I’m going to make that self imposed deadline. But I won’t be far off it. It’s better to have a good product to offer than one finished in a hurry and a few extra days to ensure that, is a good thing.

I feel like I haven’t really written in a long time now, though I know that’s not exactly the case. I’ve been doing so much reading, editing and critiquing that I am really looking forward to having Lifelines finished so that I can knock out another couple of short stories next month. I have two that are in the middle of being written, so I’m going to try and make those my focus during October while I plan for Riana (or that might be three… hmm, enough to pick and choose from in any event!).

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As Promised

The beginnings of the short story I started writing this week, inspired by speculative fiction blogging week and all the wonderful post being written. I’ve had such an amazing week, and am so thrilled to have taken part in it. Well done to everyone who wrote posts and contributed, and a massive thank you to everyone who read and enjoyed what was on offer. I hope you’ve had fun too.

Unfortunately, I have simply had no time to complete the story or even work on it in the last few days, so it’s unfinished and unedited! I’ll get there eventually though, and if it turns out okay I’ll post the whole thing when it gets finished 🙂 Now, I best  not read it, or I may never hit ‘publish’ lol.

Untitled:

‘Tahi, rua, toru, wha,’ Rawiri counted slowly, ‘rima, ono, whitu, waru, iwa, tekau – coming, ready or not!’ He peeled his face away from the thick trunk of the pohutokawa tree and glanced around, though he had no need of his eyes to discover the hiding places of his cousins. He could feel the thrum of their life force in his chest alongside his own heartbeat, could hear where their bare feet had touched the ground as if it still reverberated from the abuse.

Despite this, he took his time. There was no need to rush, and besides, no-one liked to be found too soon. Ruku would wait until they were beginning to get bored, though he would peer into bushes and climb up trees in the meantime, in case anyone was watching. And he knew that they would be.

He was used to the weight of eyes upon him. In this full blooded community he was the only half-caste. His mother was looked down on as the woman who had succumbed to a pakeha boy, but Rawiri knew the truth of it, and his mother had nothing to be ashamed of. Let the Aunties shake their heads at her – his father may have been fair of skin, but he was no pakeha.

Rawiri began to climb another tree, making a show of peering down into the bush as he moved up through the branches. He could feel Aroha nearby, the beat of her life force strong and centred – she was a calm girl at the best of times, unlike Marama whose flighty personality was usually echoed in his chest. He scanned around for the younger girl, his heart lurching when he realized that her force was far weaker than it should be. There was something wrong.

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PJ Ballantine – NZ writer and podcaster

Philippa is a Wellington writer, possibly best known for her novel/podcast serial Chasing the Bard, and podcast Erotica a la Carte If you haven’t read/heard any of her stories yet, you should definitely head over to her site and check it out. Her latest novel, Geist, is coming out in 2010 (so keep an eye out for it!)

She’s been kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so I hope you enjoy 🙂

Have you always had a passion for speculative fiction; and what do you think attracts you to those kinds of stories?

I have always loved the genre. My Dad read me the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as a kid, and that was the beginning of it all for me. What I love about the speculative fiction market is the shear possibility. There are no restrictions about where you go or what you write about. You not only create characters but the entire world they live in. There isn’t a genre that can match it and I think that is why I, and thousands of other people are drawn to it.

I know you’ve collaborated with other creators of speculative fiction, what has been the most exciting part of that for you?

Finding the right collaborator is a wonderful experience. Writing is such a lonely exercise usually, it is amazing when you find someone you can write with. You can have the most fabulous brainstorming sessions, and your editing is just so much better with an experienced eye that is as invested in the world as you are. I have found in the collaborations I have been in that my partners fire me up. They provide inspiration, motivation and a real enjoyment. That being said I have had one collaboration fall through the floor- so I would say chose your collaborators carefully.

What advice would you give others interested in collaboration?

Pick someone that you can argue with and still remain friends. Also find someone whose style is not that different for yours–if you have to stretch your style too far to match theirs it will show

I think that New Zealand is an exciting place to be in: sometimes because of the small scale of the country it means we have to be a little more creative in the way we approach things – what do you think has been the most positive thing about being a writer in New Zealand, and what would be the biggest challenge you’ve had to face so far?

I think being a kiwi has actually garnered me more attention than if I had been just an American- at least in the podcasting novelist world. Also having a different culture, heritage and history to pull from is a real asset. We’re seen as exotic and anything that can make you stand out from the crowd is a great thing.

You’ve done quite a bit of podcasting, when did you first think to try that out; and how have you found the experience?

I first dipped my toe in podcasting in early 2006- the fault of my fellow DragonMoon Press author Tee Morris. I have found the whole experience wonderful- there is a real community vibe to the podcast world and through it I have made a lot of friends- some of which have gone on to be collaborators, beta readers and fans.

It also is a great way to hear mistakes, inconsistencies, and anything not quite right with your writing.

Are there any other forms of media that you think you might explore in the future?

I am tempted to try out video- but I know it is a heck of a lot of work- even more than full cast podcasting!

Finally, something just for the fun of it: If you had to choose a friend solely on their taste in movies, which five movies would best represent the kind of friend you would want?

District 9
Lord of the Rings
Jane Austen Book Club
Master and Commander
The Matrix (just the 1st one please!)

Once again, thank you Philippa for your time, it’s always a pleasure 🙂

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NZ Speculative Fiction Blogging week begins!

And boy, there are some really great posts already being written to kick the week off. You can find the links to those here, where Anna is keeping track of things.

So, I guess I should post something too right?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term ‘Speculative Fiction’ it’s a blanket term for the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror – but more importantly, all the things in between, anything that blurs the lines of reality and explores worlds that aren’t like ours.

For me, learning this has been a huge relief – no longer am I a genre slut, I’m a writer of speculative fiction! I love to write all kinds of stories, the genre means less to me than the telling, though predominantly these stories have aspects of fantasy, science fiction and horror.

Anyways, part of the reason for this week is to get people talking and connecting about speculative fiction in New Zealand. We’re a small country and typically, we do really well with supporting local acts. The music scene is a realyl good example of this – I know a lot of people who download overseas music, but they always make a point of going out and buying NZ made stuff, attending gigs and in general really getting behind acts (hell we even have a whole month dedicated to NZ music).

We love our movie industry, and we support that really well too. A lot of amazing films with speculative slants are made here both by NZers and people from other countries around the world too (Lord of the Rings, King Kong, the Narnia movies etc).

Unfortunately this is not the case when it comes to the written word. There are limited markets within NZ for our work, and the big publishers here are pretty convinced that there simply isn’t a big enough market for it.

Yeah right, as the Tui billboard would say.  We Kiwi’s are an inventive bunch, and there are a lot of us creating works of speculative fiction out there, most of whom devour stories and novels of the same when we get can our hands on it.

Hopefully, together we can strengthen our speculative fiction community 🙂

I’ve run out of words for now, and time, but head on over to Anna’s blog and check out some of the other posts. It should be a great week!