Lovely first review for Magical Tales from French Camelot

There’s a lovely first review of Magical Tales from French Camelot, by the fantastic book blogger Ashleigh Meikle, on The Book Muse.

Here’s a couple of bits from the review:

Sophie’s retellings are lyrical and emotive, and as she explains in her rationale at the end of each tale, she chose the most powerful moments in each tale to retell, leaving off where she needed to, and at times, explaining the rest of the story and its context within the French canon as well as its relationship to the British stories. Doing this gave an extra layer to the book, and it is the same process Kate Forsyth uses for her Long Lost Fairytales collections as well. In giving readers a history of the tale and letting us know what they have done, Sophie, like Kate, invites us into her world and writing process….

These stories bring part of the Arthurian legends and myth cycle to life for adult and young adult readers, and I loved reading them, loved feeling like I was part of the world that they came from, and loved the beautiful illustrations by Lorena, created with many different aspects digitally to tell the stories just as much as the words did. I find it hard to put her illustrations into words because I think they are the kind of illustrations you have to experience for yourself – they’re just that magical!

You can read the whole review here.

Online launch of Magical Tales from French Camelot

Delighted to be celebrating the launch of Magical Tales from French Camelot, online (livestreamed via FB) this Sunday, the 21st August, at 5.30 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, 3.30 pm West Australian time. Lorena and I will be talking about the book with our publisher Karen McDermott of Serenity Press. Do consider joining us, we’d love to see you there! You can find all the details on the Serenity Press Facebook page, here.

Crowdfunding campaign to launch Pardalote Press

Exciting news! The wonderful illustrator Lorena Carrington and I have established Pardalote Press, a tiny Press making small surprising things. We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign this morning to support our first two projects, Bird’s Eye View and Wayfarer. Bird’s Eye View is a chapbook of words—poetry and prose—and black and white images, which together form glimpses into the world of birds, and the world as seen by birds. Wayfarer is a unique set of sixteen beautiful full colour cards which in words and pictures take you on a journey of mystery, magic and meaning.

The campaign is to raise funds towards production and printing of the projects. We hope you might be interested in having a look! Here’s the direct link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pardalote-press-launch#/

You can learn more about the Press and our first two projects on our website, and social media: Facebook and Instagram. There’s also a great little news item about it at Books+Publishing. And here below are a few words from Lorena and I, extracted from that article, as to why we started Pardalote Press:

It was in fact a mock medieval bestiary—published as an appendix to our joint book Magical Tales from French Camelotwhich first made us think of the idea of working on unusual little projects. We started with the idea of Bird’s Eye View, and then, later, came the idea for Wayfarer.

We knew these were a bit too left-field to fit into mainstream publishing lists, so decided to create our own tiny press to produce them and other things we might come up with.

So–do check us out, have a look, and if you are interested, we would be very grateful for your support in the launch of this tiny press making small surprising things to help the imagination take flight!

A Hundred Words for Butterfly in bookshops now

The print edition of A Hundred Words for Butterfly is now available through any bookshop, across Australia! Returning from my big five-week trip to Europe–including to the Basque country–I was delighted to receive copies from my lovely publisher, Bronwyn Mehan of Spineless Wonders, and to meet in person with her and SW team members Camilla Cripps and Bettina Kaiser, on a beautiful sunny day in Sydney!

A Hundred Words for Butterfly to be published in print!

I’m very pleased to announce that A Hundred Words for Butterfly, my adult audio-first novella published by Spineless Wonders Audio in September 2021, will now also be published in print! It will be released in the ES-Press imprint of Spineless Wonders in April, and distributed nationwide by NewSouth Books. Available in all good bookshops across the country, it has the same gorgeous cover as the audiobook, and the back cover also has lovely endorsements from the wonderful writers Wendy James, Nick Earls, and Carmel Bird. An ebook edition of the novella will also be available. So happy with Butterfly having new ways to reach readers!

Proof copy of Magical Tales from French Camelot

Just before New Year, what a lovely surprise in the mail: a proof copy of Magical Tales from French Camelot, my forthcoming book with the fantastic Lorena Carrington! To be published by Serenity Press in March 2022, it features my original translations and retellings of some great French Arthurian classic tales from the Middle Ages, principally stories by the great twelfth-century French writers Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, illustrated by absolutely superb pictures by Lorena. It’s so good to be able to leaf through this first copy–looking wonderful!

By the way, the book is for adults and teenagers–certainly not for ‘7 plus’ as some websites have it.

Illustration by Lorena Carrington for ‘The Boy in the Forest, the Girl in the Wasteland, and the Fisher King’, from Magical Tales from French Camelot.

The Buyers: a short story to enjoy

Well, here we are now in the festive season: Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, New Year, all the lovely celebrations that happen at this time of the year. It’s not been the easiest of years for anyone, that’s for sure, but still we reach towards hope and joy as we approach the end of 2021. It’s a time when people like to relax and read, watch and listen to light, happy, warm stories full of love and magic and the unexpected. And it’s also a giving time. So I’d like to combine those things today and offer all my readers a short story I’ve written recently. It’s called The Buyers, it’s for adults, it’s set not long before Christmas, and I hope it will bring a smile to your face. You can download it from the link below.

(Do feel free to link to the story from this post but please note it is fully copyright-protected and cannot be used commercially. My authorship should also be acknowledged, if you share the story).

May you all have a peaceful and happy festive season, whatever you celebrate, and a relaxing and fun holiday break. And see you next year!

A Hundred Words for Butterfly now available on Audible

For anyone who uses Audible, some good news: A Hundred Words for Butterfly, narrated by the wonderful Sarah Kennedy and published by Spineless Wonders Audio, is now available for purchase there, just in time for the holiday season! You can get it free with an Audible trial if you’re not yet a member, buy it within a subscription, or buy it separately, as a non-member. If you do decide to obtain it via Audible, I’d be delighted if you could put up a review of it there. Many thanks!

And remember, you can of course also get the book on many other platforms, see the full list here. Reviews on any site very welcome!

Great little promotional videos from Spineless Wonders Audio

Spineless Wonders Audio have just produced a couple of fabulous little promotional videos, written, edited and filmed by the talented Ben Vella, for the books and authors featured in their growing audio book list. And of course I’m part of that, with A Hundred Words for Butterfly!

Check them out below: the first one features a quick grab of me talking about Authors Direct.

And below is the second video:

My reading from The Silver Apples of the Moon

In this short video, I read an extract from my short story, The Silver Apples of the Moon, which was published in the superb illustrated anthology, South of the Sun: Australian Fairy Tales for the 21st Century, released earlier this year by the Australian Fairy Tale Society and Serenity Press.

The story is a mix of fairytale, crime thriller, and the supernatural. Hope you enjoy the reading and that it stimulates you to want to read it all and seek out the anthology, which is packed full of extraordinary stories, poems, lyrics and illustrations from both established and emerging Australian writers and illustrators. (By the way, this is very much an adult book, not one for kids.)