Tag Archives: GenreCon

Random Images from Brisbane GenreCon 2017

Amanda Pillar

It might not be blood, but at least it is sparkling. Amanda Pillar as a non-sparkling vampire.

Alex Adsett

Alex as Godzilla – Tokyo would be happy to be attacked by this ‘monster’.


My beloved Megasaurus as Umbridge from Harry Potter.


Aiki Flintheart as a Mod. Gorgeous, as always.


A rare sighting of Sean Williams with hair.



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Filed under Community, Genre, GenreCon, Uncategorized

Exciting times

What a week! The high point was being picked from 10,000 entries to have my fifteen minutes of fame on a QWC billboard. I stalked those billboards until I saw my story … and then stalked them some more to get pictures.
Night time!.PNG
I had a epiphany for a motivation for my antagonist in the train book. I haven’t been getting too many words down, just plotting how I am moving forward and getting my ducks in a row for the next big push.
I sent off several submissions and query letters this week, mainly for short stories and my nonfiction bug book.
Because of GenreCon, I have been working on a career plan, and now have a vague outline for a one year plan, two year plan, and five year plan. I was to work at diversifying my income. So, I am working towards making a submission for running a workshop next year (second half). I am looking at setting up a professional author website and starting a newsletter. I will be looking overseas for an agent (or two).
So, I have four books I want to be doing the rounds by the end of next year. I still want to aim for 100 rejections (and I am well on track to make that this year). I may self-publish a short story collection. And I want to be more helpful with the next anthology – which will help me with my own dabbling in self publishing.
On a social note, I spent a wonderful four hours with my fellow writer and a member of the Springfield Writers Group, Megan, going over our GenreCon notes and sharing titbits of knowledge. Even if we had attended all the same sessions  – which we didn’t – we had different perspectives on what the panellists were saying.

Megan and me, getting photos taken for our marketing package for our anthology.

So, life is exciting right now. In the next two weeks, the writers group has the official launch of our anthology.

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Filed under 8 Word Story, Anthology, Personal experience, Queensland Writers Centre, The Writing Life, Uncategorized, Writing Career

Speaking in Code: a closer look at dialogue from a Steampunk writer’s pespective

This blog post has been inspired by a conversation I had at GenreCon with Diane Demetre, the Gold Coast Romance author of Dancing Queen.

There are lots of different ways of understanding dialogue, because there are as many types of dialogue as there are types of people. Understanding how a conversation might change in different circumstances is an important part of understanding how to write dialogue.The conversation between new acquaintances is going to be very different to an exchange between old friends, because old friends develop a ‘code’ without realising it.

For Example:


“Isn’t it hot today? The heat is making me quite thirsty.”

“I’m thirsty too. Do you want to stop and share a pot of tea?”

“Yes, please. That would be lovely.”

Old Friends:

“I’m parched today.”

“Cuppa tea?”


In this exchange, exactly the same information is being imparted, but the friends are comfortable enough with each other that they no longer need to be socially polite and formal. The bonds of trust and affection are already in place, and familiarity with each other means they have a good idea of what the other means even with one word sentences.

This holds true even in a more formal era like the Victorian era. This is because friends and families develop their own coded languages. This isn’t a conscious effort to hide secret meanings in their conversations, but something that flows naturally from things like shared jokes and experiences. People are called by nicknames; common exchanges (like requests for a cuppa) end up shortened; certain words will have private meanings.  Even with the best will in the world and severely formal social rituals, people develop these conversational codes.

Artists are...

At the panel on Banter at GenreCon, one of the points discussed was what isn’t said is often just as important as what is said in a conversation. This can be an important indicator of what concerns are central to a character. But what isn’t said can also be due to this conversational shorthand used between friends and family. You have to take care to indicate these differences of intent when writing dialogue. This is why writing dialogue is both a challenge and exciting.

In a Steampunk narrative, it can’t be assumed the reader will understand the ‘code’ if you make it too technical or complicated. Don’t be tempted to write gobble-de-gook scientific terms when describing some gadget or process, because that may bore or confuse your audience. Keep jargon to a minimum, and make sure that clarity doesn’t suffer on behalf of characterisation.


Filed under Characterization, Dialogue, Steampunk, writing, Writing Style

The Australian GenreCon 2015

All hail to the organisers, guests, participants, and the volunteers who made GenreCon such a brilliant learning experience for me and all the other attendees. This was my first GenreCon, but it certainly won’t be my last. Rooms full of genre writers? This is most certainly my tribe.

As a few highlights as to what gems were shared:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlC_gMnduoU
  • We make ‘monsters’ by denying them a reflection (another way of explaining ‘The Other’.
  • Point of Sale reviews are vital for both ebooks and traditional books.
  • Editors read manuscripts outside of work hours and are unpaid for this reading!
  • Online interactions should be 80% Personality and 20% Promotion.
  • A lot of lawyers become genre writers – but not necessarily in the crime fiction genre.
  • Always be your best self online and know when to step away from the keyboard.
  • Finish the damn book (apparently I am not the only one who gets separation anxiety).
  • No one has ever hurt their ‘brand’ by keeping quiet.
  • With banter, what isn’t said can be just as important as what is said.
  • Invitation is better than obligation when part of a community.
  • Find the online media you are most comfortable with – don’t aim to follow everything.
  • Be passionate (Am I passionate enough?)
  • 60% of sales on Amazon are romance books of some sort or another.
  • As a writer, you have to have many income streams to make a proper living.
  • In the USA, writers are expected to produce Two books a year, in Australia it just one.(Smaller Market)
  • If you are going the Indie publishing route, have three books ready for three close launches to build up your readership.
  • A good book always beats good marketing in the long run.
  • Google uses 57 indicators to know what you are going on your computer.http://www.rene-pickhardt.de/google-uses-57-signals-to-filter/
  • If all your characters are speaking in the same voice, they are speaking like you.
  • Even though statistically most publishers have a 50/50 gender breakup in their stable of science fiction authors – on bookshop shelves there is usually less than 40% women represented. True story.

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Filed under Community, GenreCon, Personal experience, writing