I can hardly believe it myself but True Path, the second book in the Timesplash series, has been shortlisted for an Aurealis Award in the Best Science Fiction Novel category. For those who don’t know (probably everyone outside Australian speculative fiction fandom) the Aurealis Awards are the premier spec fic awards in this country. For an Aussie writer, it’s like being shortlisted for a BAFTA or an Oscar, except, you know, without all the eight-page spreads in women’s magazines and the scandalous clips of me twerking at the awards ceremony.
“I’d like to thank all the little people…”
Since the chances are slim that I’ll actually get the award (Lexicon by Max Barry gets my vote, on the premise alone, and, in fact, it’s a very strong field), I’d like to mention a couple of people who deserve a bit of the credit for this book actually existing.
My agent, Ineke Prochazka, started it all by sending the manuscript of Timesplash to a new digital-first imprint of Pan Macmillan’s called Momentum. It wasn’t part of my career plan to approach digital-first publishers and I had already self-published Timesplash quite successfully. Yet the guys at Momentum were so enthusiastic, and were getting great publicity at the time, so I thought, What the hell? There was a condition though, Joel Naum at Momentum wanted me to do a sequel and let them publish that, too. In fact, many readers of Timesplash had also asked for a sequel so I was pretty well softened up to the idea. So I wrote it. Then my editor at Momentum, Tara Goedjen, took a hammer to my manuscript and, flexing her mighty muscles, knocked off all the roughest edges. I’ve said before how great it is to work with Tara , but it’s nice to have the chance to say it again. Finally, some kind soul at Momentum (probably Mark Harding) nominated the book for an Aurealis Award. And the rest, as they say…
I must admit, it’s nice to get some recognition for my work. I’ve got some great readers who are extremely flattering about my novels but a national award is just so much more official. We writers all like to feel that we don’t need the validation of publication or awards but, when stuff like that happens, it really does feel good. Of course, even without these things, we keep on writing and we keep looking for ways to get our work out there. It’s like trudging through an endless desert sometimes. It is hard and it’s lonely and the desert stretches out ahead, bleak and barren, and you know you will be crossing it your whole life long. And these little moments of appreciation are like finding water holes along the way.
So, while my cup is running over, I’d like to raise a glass of cool water to the people at Conflux, Inc. and the Aurealis Awards team.