ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 7 December 2015

Sci-fi queen Isobelle Carmody closes the book on a much-loved series.

Hello there!

After you read my post, if you have time to check it out, I'm guesting over at Nilanjana Bose's excellent blog talking about the Gothic Novel and Italy.

IT'S ALL ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION!

WEP has a science fiction challenge coming up where we have to write a sci-fi story set in an alternate world. That turned my mind to the genre, not one I write in. BTW, if you're into sci-fi, I hope your story impressed the judges for the #IWSG Anthology.

Yolanda and I asked Alex J Cavanaugh to write a guest post on how to write sci-fi. I hope you'll pop over to the WEP site and check it out and leave Alex a comment.

Struggling to get that book/series finished? Well, you're in good hands. I read an article by Isobelle Carmody recently where she talks about her series that took 35 years to complete. I never actually knew Isobelle was now a Brisbane-based author, (once winging it between Victoria and Prague) so that explains why she did a book signing at my favourite book store/cafe, Avid Reader at West End to announce the arrival of The Red Queen, the seventh and final installment in her science-fiction series, Obernewtyn Chronicles. She started writing this  series when she was 14 years old (she's now 57!)

Brisbane-based writer Isobelle Carmody has published the final and seventh book of the Obernewtyn Chronicles.
I'm not a huge fan of science fiction but I do read some authors in the genre (Alex J Cavanaugh, of course!) and Isobelle is one sci-fi author I like, mainly because students I teach rave about her so I started reading her books.

At her book signing, Isobelle said it was an odd feeling to have finished the series. "It's strange and odd to hand it over, especially after all the pressure from fans begging for a new book over the years." She went on to say that now that it's ended she felt an outpouring of grief. Do you feel like that when you finish a book/series?

It's interesting to hear the motivation behind the Obernewtyn Chronicles, a long-running dystopian fantasy series.  Being the eldest of eight children, Isobelle found writing a way to deal with the grief of losing her father in a 'horrible car crash'. "What's more like a nuclear holocaust to a child than the death of a parent?" she says. "There's no doubt that I was drawing on that."

Now I can sit down with the complete series and read from beginning to end. I'm one of those readers who grab a book in a series in no particular order, and read it, then am piqued to read the earlier novels.

I wish Isobelle Carmody all the best as she takes a break from deadlines and fan's desperate letters.

Her website will be unwomaned until June...

Isobelle_Carmody_the_red_queen_site_poster_promotion


  • How about you? Have you read any of Isobelle's books?
  • Do you insist on reading series from the beginning and wish the author would hurry up and bring out the next one?
  • Do you write series? How long do you leave between releases
  • If you enjoyed this post, please hit my Share buttons!

Don't forget to join the WEP science fiction challenge. The sign up has been quieter than usual. Are people scared of science fiction, or just busy with Christmas looming?

And don't forget to click on over to say hi at Nilanjana Bose's excellent blog.







42 comments:

  1. Seven books? Impressive. Funny how it took her to write all of the books. That sounds familiar...
    Hope there will be some great entries this month!

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    1. So do I Alex. I hope we haven't scared them off! Thanks again for your input/judging.

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  2. The last lot of books you recommended I enjoyed, so I guess I should check these out too.

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    1. That's great Jo. I like so many! You'll enjoy Isobelle Carmody for sure!

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  3. You start book series in the middle? Wow. There's no way my compulsive tendencies would allow that.

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    1. Doesn't bother me. Just whets my appetitie to go back to the beginning.

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  4. I read books out of order sometimes, too, Denise. It works for me, but I usually do go back and read what came before. If it's good enough to snag my interest then I read the series. Interesting hearing about authors and the background behind the writing.

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    1. Yes, I thought so too D.G. I must admit she's nothing like I expected! Very happy go lucky! Glad someone else is like me and doesn't mind starting halfway through!

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  5. Seven books and thirty-five years. Wow! But she did it and that's what matters. Good luck Isobelle!

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    1. Well, her books are real doorstoppers, so just saying 7 books doesn't do her justice! Such tomes!

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  6. Hi Denise - amazing how people travel and move around ...and how they take their time writing ...but never give up. Also her books must be good if the 'kids' are reading them, and from your comment above obviously rather good ones. Interesting to read about her ...thanks -cheers Hilary

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  7. I'm not as interested in Sci-Fi as I used to be. I used to read a lot of it and write it on occasion. Time travel will probably always interest me though. This genre is usually sci-fi on the periphery with some other genre taking the lead.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

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  8. I think it is impressive that she started writing at the age of 14. It must be so wonderful to look back on her accomplishment. If I really love a book, I will often read other books by the same author. I am a big fan of mysteries and started reading Michael Connelly, Henning Mankell, and Louise Penny in different places in their series of books. With Mankell and Connelly I went all the way back to their first books and read forward after reading one of their books.

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    1. I too enjoy Michael Connolly and others of his ilk. It doesn't matter which order you read Bosch or Lee Childs Jack Reacher.

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  9. Wow, 14-57, that's beyond inspirational! I do feel gutted when a beloved series ends :) waiting for Hilary Mantel and Amitabh Ghosh right now. If I like an author, then I do tend to grab every book s/he has ever written and read as much of them as I can.

    Sci-fi is a virtually untouched genre so far for me, the good thing about that is - lots and lots to explore.

    Thanks much for the post, Denise, and for the label of 'excellent' :)

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    1. You are 'excellent' Nila! There certainly is a lot to explore in the genre.

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  10. What an accomplishment. What a legacy. Both of which inspire. Wow! It's also impressive that Isobelle didn't fall prey to technology's push to have a new release just to please. An author has to breathe between publications to maintain standards. I also follow a series, usually in the order published but have been known to go back to earlier issues.

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    1. I think Isobelle works to her own drumbeat. Often, yes, following books in a series are rubbish. She manages to maintain the standard by taking her time.

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  11. I do read a lot of posts about people who are having difficulty finishing a book series. It sounds like a fairly common dilemma.

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    1. I'm sure it is. I'm currently struggling to find the momentum in this Christmas period.

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  12. Hi Denise,

    Isobelle Carmody's 35 year dedication. That shows total determination and a lot of resilience. I shall make further investigations of this lady's accomplishments. Most inspiring and I shall take the liberty of sharing your post.

    Thanks for this.

    Gary

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    1. Thanks for sharing Gary! I hope you find/enjoy at least one of her books!

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  13. 35 years to write 7 books? Now that's dedication! I'm sure the time was well spent honing each one to perfection, will have to check this series out.

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    1. Yes, she's a perfectionist all right!

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  14. Hi Deniise
    I haven't read Isobelle yet and it sounds like I should. I start at the beginning and if I'm able to I finish the series before moving onto another author. I did that recently with George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Usually the book is better than the TV shows, but in this case, I think the shows are better. Martin tends to go off in wild directions.

    As for my own writing it is taking longer than I would like. I'm still in first edit mode for the sequel to Treasures and the next two books keep interrupting with ideas. Plus I plan to put out a Faerie in Love series for Valentines Day which I haven't started yet. That may have to wait.

    Thanks for stopping by twice. I am so naughty to only make it once.
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy, I'm so looking forward to the sequel to Treasures.

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  15. Late to the party this week, sorry. I used to borrow my brothers science fiction books all the time. He didn't like to share, but I always put the back. Loved the genre. And I love learning of a writer that took 35 years to write her series. Give me hope that my slow progress isn't to far out of the norm, well, maybe it still is, but it's where I'm comfortable. :)
    Enjoy your holiday preparations, Denise, and visits with family!
    Thinking of you, always.

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    1. Good on her I say. She did sound pleased to have wrapped it up.

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  16. Her dedication and resilience is so inspiring.

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  17. Wow, Denise. Such enthusiasm and motivation. I mean her muse must have kept her going. Instead of like mine that threatens to jump ship daily. I admire her so much.

    I think folks are afraid of SF. I am, but I'm always up for a great challenge.

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    1. I'm glad you're up for the challenge Robyn! Will be exciting to see what comes up.

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  18. Started writing at 14 and wrote all this series? That is something for sure. I am not into Sci-Fi right now – have been reading too many non-fiction books and have more to read – I mean I am trying to read the books I have at home before giving them away.

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    1. Yes there's always so much to read Vagabonde.

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  19. Great reading this post, Denise. She sounds a very determined person. Inspiring.

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  20. I haven't read her books, but I'm making note of them. I love a good Sci-Fi story.

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  21. I haven't read any of her books, yet. It sounds like she must be a great writer. Students always seem to know who should be read. :)

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    1. Yes Sharon students are pretty savvy when it comes to a good series.

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  22. I like reading scifi but have never written it. Hope you get some solid entries again this time, Denise!

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    1. I'm sure it will be interesting Damyanti!

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