CONFLUX 8: In For a Penny, In For a Pound

In for a penny, in for a pound, or how not to lose your head?

I’m typing this from my mother-in-law’s dining room table late Thursday evening, in the hope there will be a spare minute some time after we check in to our hotel Friday to connect and load this up.

We’re in transit from Brisbane to Canberra at the moment, in the middle of no-man’s land when it comes to an Internet connection and telephone reception for me.

If anything is going pear shaped at the moment, it is going that way without me. I can cross my fingers the books have arrived with Lily, the bookstore got my email and Jack Dann isn’t mad at me for leaving it to the last minute to send him through information about FROM STAGE DOOR SHADOWS.

What awaits me this weekend at Conflux is slowly sinking in (unlike last year where I was so bloody excited I couldn’t wait to leave Brisbane). I’ve been so busy finishing books, stressing about books making it to Canberra in time form the printer, doing a rewrite on my novella on a shoe string deadline and preparing for a holiday that I really haven’t had a chance until today to consider just how far I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone.

I often say I live under a rock and am pretty happy there, working, writing, living etc. And it is absolutely true. Like most writers I’m content not to have to ‘put myself out there.’ So to have agreed to sit on three panels, to read from my work, to be an author-in-resident AND do a physical book launch basically catapults me into the great unknown. It is to come out from under my rock and stand blinking in the bright sunlight hoping what happens next is full of juicy goodness.

But this must be done. Not just to move myself forward as a writer, but as an editor and a publisher. Part of me owes this to myself for the years of hard work I’ve put in. The other part of me owes this to the authors who work with me to get eMergent Publishing and it’s imprint out there.

And there is more of this awaiting me in the next six months. Conflux is the perfect place to be warming into this next part of my journey.

If Emma Newman can do, I tell myself, I can too. This is why you need awesome friends and role models to follow. And amazing convenors such as Jane Virgo who invite you to step up and tell you you’ll be fine. You’ll be great!

I just hope when I open my mouth something (semi-intelligent) comes out.

For those floating around Conflux who would like to if something semi-intelligent does issue forth you will find me in these places at these times:


Romance Writers of the Apocalypse (with Nicole Murphy and Tracy O’Hara)

Trends in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic writing (with Cat Sparks, Claire McKenna and Gillian Pollack)

Smith’s Alternative Bookstore to launch FROM STAGE DOOR SHADOWS – you’ll hopefully get to hear myself and Alan Baxter read.


Author-in-residence (this could easily be editor and or publisher in residence!)

Independent publishing and speculative fiction (with Keri Arthur, Keith Stevenson, Bill Congreve and Simon Petrie)

Reading (I’m lucky enough to be paired up with Janeen Webb)

Kaffeeklatsch (with Adam Browne)

Just listing it all makes me feel kind of exhausted and terrified.

And then, for good measure, I’m speaking and reading at A Reader’s Heaven in Lithgow compliments of the hospitality and support of Paul Phillips on Tuesday morning starting at 9:45am. I hope someone pops in to say hello. It will be a nice trial run for being part of the Ironfest Book Festival in April next year.

The trip rounds off with dropping in on Adam – who I haven’t seen since April (and or since Piper’s Reach launched on the web). Will lunch-time be too early to crack open the chocolate port? Or is it ever too early to crack open chocolate port? Or more importantly, will Ella-Louise shut up long enough for me to collect my thoughts on any of the topics I’ll be speaking on tomorrow driving through to Canberra?