From the Back of a Cow Paddock

Life without a reliable Internet connection sucks. There’s no other way to put it. I’m currently living on Information Superhighway rations; tiny little nuggets of wuh-wuh-wuhdotcom. The reason for this, and forgive me if I’m repeating myself because I can’t go and check what I have and haven’t already written about, is that we’ve recently moved house.

We were originally told that we’d be Internet ready from the moment we unpacked. Then we were told that we’d have to wait for the National Broadband Network to be rolled out in our area which, up until recently, was nothing more than a cow paddock (our area, that is, not the NBN). The thing is, “our area” technically already has the NBN. In fact, if we were leaving on the corner of our street, we’d already have it.

But because we live in the middle of our street, we’re a different stage of estate development. This meant that the NBN wouldn’t be supplied to us until February. Then it became March. At this stage, God only knows when it’s going to happen.

All of this is to say I’ve been a bad blogger (and Tweeter) and I’m sorry, but it may be like this for a while.

Which is a shame, because there’s been lots going on – like, for example, the fact that my wife and I went and saw Neil Gaiman at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne last week. It’s always great getting the chance to hear him speak, as he’s an incredibly inspiring figure, but I have to say I still preferred the first time I saw him, which was at the Children’s Book Council of Australia conference in 2008.

His key note speech there would be a hard one to top, admittedly. He spoke of the link between innovation and imagination; the fact that everything that is or was or will be had to be dreamed of first, and that it’s in stories that dreams are seeded. Powerful words to tell people who’ve spent more of their lives being told to get their heads out of the clouds, I’m sure you’ll agree!

My fondness for his CBCA appearance has also probably been augmented by the fact that, this week, I ran across a review of Vanguard Prime: Goldrush that appeared in the November edition of  their official magazine, Reading Time. My publicist at Penguin supplied me with a scan of the review, but given that it’s in PDF format, is relatively large, and I don’t have the best connection for uploading at the moment, I may have to point you instead to the text version that’s available online here.

I have no way of expressing just how exciting it is to get such a great review from the CBCA. When I was a kid, I would always use their gold and silver cover stamps as a guide to what books I should read; to have popped up on their radar is such a thrill. To have them write such kind words about my book is a personal milestone.

The warm-and-fuzzies don’t stop there, though. I wrote previously about the event I had at Brunswick North Primary school and the fact that their teacher, Travis Berketa, had set up a reading library full of comics. Well, during the course of moving house I packed up a few of my old comics and sent them through to Travis’s class, and lo and behold if they didn’t send through the sweetest ‘Thank you’ card!

I’d hoped to be able to provide a photo of it, but once again the crummy Internet connection keeps me from doing that, so instead I’ll simply say thanks to the kids of Brunswick North Primary, and point you in the direction of Travis’s book Jack Majors: Superhero. If you enjoyed Vanguard Prime, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this too! Thanks, Travis!

So that’s just about everything I had to catch you all up on, other than to say that Vanguard Prime: Wild Card will be getting released at the end of February. I can’t wait until you all get the chance to read it. When you do, let me know what you think of it!

In the meantime, I’ll be here…in the cow paddock…waiting for the Internet to be switched on…

Published by Steven Lochran

Steven Lochran is the author of the upcoming Middle Grade Fantasy series PALADERO, as well as the teen superhero series VANGUARD PRIME. He lives in Melbourne with his wife, two cats, and an unreasonably large toy collection.

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