Blog Archives

The Art of the Matter

Another weekend has ended, another week has started, and another event is done and dusted.


The signing at Dymocks Southland turned out to be a lot of fun. I had a table set up at the front of the store and got the chance to chat with people as they came in. Quite a few people who’d never heard of Vanguard Prime before walked away with a copy of the book (signed, of course!), and even better than that was all the support that was expressed for Aussie authors and the publishing industry in general. Thanks so much to store owner Jerome for the opportunity! If you guys get the chance, make sure to drop by the store and check it out.


Vanguard Prime: Goldrush has had three more reviews this week, the first (and worst) of which was written by…well, me. Let me explain. You see, in addition to being an awesome writer, Jack Heath is also really supportive of new authors. After I mentioned how influential Third Transmission was in the writing of Goldrush, Jack got in touch with me and we ended up hanging out. What a nice guy!


Cut to last week, where (or should that be ‘when’?) I got an email from Jack saying how he was asking various authors if they’d be interested in reviewing their own books, much as he did for his latest book, Dead Man Running. It was a daunting challenge to say the least, but one that I couldn’t possibly turn down. It proved to be a struggle, trying to walk the line between honest self-analysis, neurotic self-flagellation, and blatant self-promotion. Hopefully you’ll agree that I struck a decent balance.


A far more glowing review came from Vic and her blog, Mummy Ate Me. Any review that starts off with “I LOVED this book!” always heads straight to the top of the pile of favourite reviews. But! Vic may have been beaten out by the third and final review I received this week. This one came from 9-year-old Ethan, who actually took the time to do a review of Vanguard Prime: Goldrush…in diorama form! Thankfully, Ethan sent through some pictures and has given me permission to share them here.

For those who can’t make out what the text says, Ethan also generously provided a typed-out version. It says; “The Vanguard Prime team lives in a aircraft carrier with a prison on board and lots of aircraft. The characters of Vanguard Prime are super heroes. My favorite character is Ethan or the Knight of Wands. My other two favourites are Goldrush and Machina. The last of them is Agent Alpha, Gaia and Major Blackthorne. My favourite power is Machina’s. She can control technology. The bad guy is really hard to beat because stuff with his mind. His name is the Overman. Another is called Cronus and he is strong. He has a helmet with a horn.”


I honestly don’t think I could have summarised the book better myself.


If that wasn’t cool enough, Ethan also sent through the very first piece of fan art I’ve received! You may notice that the diorama contains an illustration of the Knight of Wands, but in addition to that Ethan provided this drawing of Goldrush;


Cool, right?

Very big thanks to Ethan; it’s reader mail like this that keeps authors writing! And if anyone else out there has some Vanguard Prime art they’d like to share, make sure to send it through (along with what name you’d like it credited to) and I’ll post it here on the blog.

‘Til next time.

The Adventures of Links

I’m currently working on two new blog posts, both of them part of The Ideas Shoppe. They’re also both on the wordy side, so they’re taking a bit more time to complete than I’d like, especially as I’m aiming to have a new blog post up every week. So in the meantime, I thought I’d provide some updates of what’s been going on Vanguard Prime-wise.


The September issue of DMAG has a review of Vanguard Prime: Goldrush, while the September issue of K-ZONE has an interview with me in it. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide some scans soon. Vanguard Prime: Goldrush is also reviewed in the latest issue of Magpies magazine, a publication for librarians and teachers, where they have a lot of positive things to say about it. Check the Books page for quotes!


Penguin’s Off the Shelf magazine has a double-page spread on the Vanguard Prime team, which you can see right here. The best part is that it separates out the characters so you get to see Chad McCown’s awesome illustrations unobscured. Adelaide’s Sunday Mail also ran an interview with me that featured the members of the team, which you can read here. And the Goodreads entry for the book is sprouting more readers every week, with a couple of really insightful reviews up as well.


I handed in the manuscript for Book 3 a couple of weeks ago now and have started work on Book 4, though I may be getting ahead of myself as Book 4 isn’t currently contracted. If you’ve read Goldrush and want to see the series continue, make sure to tell all your friends and family about it! Nothing sells books like good word of mouth!


And finally, I think it’s worth mentioning again that I’ll be at Dymocks Southland on Saturday 22nd September from 1-3pm. Come and say hi!


‘Til next time.

The Dark Knight, Reviews, and Interviews

I finally got the chance to see The Dark Knight Rises on the weekend, and as much as I enjoyed the movie it’s impossible to watch it now without thinking of Aurora, the terrible events that took place there, and the victims who are either no longer with us or will never be the same.

One of those victims is Caleb Medley. Caleb, left in critical condition after the shooting, is facing a $2 million dollar hospital bill as he’s one of the estimated 50 million Americans without health insurance. His friends and family have set up a website where you can read more about Caleb and make a donation towards his medical costs, or simply send him some words of support.


On a lighter note, Vanguard Prime: Goldrush is in bookshops now and has already received its first review, and 4 out of 5 at that!

I had a brief “career” as a movie reviewer years ago and always found it perplexing when filmmakers would react with hostility towards negative reviews. I have a slightly better understanding of it now. Not that I plan on ever reacting with hostility, but now I know how exposed you feel in sending a piece of yourself out into the world and having it indifferently dissected. Hopefully it’ll get easier with time…or maybe I’ll just stop Googling myself.

One thing that makes it easier is the beautifully-crafted armour that Penguin’s dressed the book in. Illustrator Chad McCown has posted the full, wraparound cover image, sans text. I think you’ll agree, it’s impressive to say the least. As much as I love how all the characters are depicted, I especially love the Knight of Wands and Gaia on the left, and the moody silhouette of Major Blackthorne in the middle.

And while I’m updating you on all things Vanguard Prime, I feel I should point you in the direction of the very first interview I’ve done for the book, with Megan Burke of Literary Life. There are more interviews to come, and I’ll make sure to link to them as they go up.

One piece of media that took me completely by surprise was the listing of the Vanguard Prime book launch at the Sun Theatre in Jason Steger’s column. Surely this is only in the online version, I thought to myself. Not so! I picked up this weekend’s edition of The Age and sure enough, there it was! I’m still recovering from that one.

 ‘Til next time…