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The Horse has Landed

Home at last after a month on the road, to unwrap this beautiful creature:

The Rest is Weight is Here!

and now I understand why everyone keeps telling me how much they love the cover. I’ve stolen today’s post title from the note attached by my wonderful editor at UQP, Rebecca Roberts, who wrapped this book so carefully it was like playing a very precious game of solo pass-the-parcel. These 28 stories are bound together in excellent style (thanks Design by Committee) and make quite a family. I’m very proud of them.

Three books in four years! I should be exhausted, but I’m not, or at least, only with the temporary exhaustion wrought by Sydney’s wet winter (am working from bed today, like MJ Hyland claims to do – my internal OHS officer is telling me not to make a habit of it). The last few weeks have been very stimulating. Between the nourishment of going back to the NT for Wordstorm, the accolade of being named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists (along with Rohan Wilson and Melanie Joosten) at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, the luxury of two uninterrupted weeks at Bundanon to write, and the excitement of taking on a new challenge, I should probably be asleep now, but I’m too happy about all the possibilities that are unfolding.

This is the new challenge: I’ll be taking on the role of Fiction Editor at Overland with the year’s final edition. It’s a job which Jane Gleeson-White has been doing wonderfully well and to which I look forward to bringing my own editorial interests (that includes a strong interest in learning some new skills). Overland was the first proper literary journal to accept my work and it’s a project with a particular political agenda which I think sets it apart. I’ll continue to be a regular fiction reviewer too, so this is a new chapter in an ongoing relationship.

Bundanon was surprisingly productive, given all of these excitements and several logistical challenges to finding quiet work space. I managed to wrench the beginnings of a second draft from the wreckage of the first, and while I have plenty of work ahead of me it was wonderful to finally leap that awful abyss. I’m giving myself as long as it takes on this one, and I think it’s going to come good. I was media fasting while there, hence no blogging, but a few photos are up here to give you a taste of the gorgeous environment. What a gift.

The Rest is Weight will be in shops by 2 July, and I’m having a Sydney launch at Gleebooks on lucky Friday 13th July, with the wonderful Paddy O’Reilly doing the honours. Please come.