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Rocket Sheep
July 18th, 2005, 08:10 AM
I can't wait for Kate to come and do her own introduction. Let's get Kate's ball rolling and show her how much we appreciate her visiting our board. :D

Kate is a talented and prolific fantasy writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, and I'm sure needs no introduction to most of you. She also writes short story, poetry, YA and for children. Her website is HERE (http://members.ozemail.com.au/~kforsyth/index.html)

These are her books:

The Witches of Eileanan
1 Dragonclaw 1997
2 The Pool of Two Moons 1998
3 The Cursed Towers 1999
4 The Forbidden Land 2000
5 The Skull of the World 2001
6 The Fathomless Caves 2002

Rhiannon's Ride - a new trilogy set in Eileanan
1 The Tower of Ravens 2004
2 The Shining City 2005
3 The Heart of Stars, coming soon

The Starthorn Tree (YA)

Full Fathom Five (magic realism under the name Kate Humphrey)

Dragon's Gold, (for children) coming soon

Welcome, Kate! :D

July 18th, 2005, 02:29 PM
Welcome, Kate (newest member of the League of SFFWorld Australian Writers...) :) Our good Rocket is adept and finding you all and bringing you to our collective attention!

Once all the introductions are done, you must comment for me about The Forbidden Land and The Skull of the World, which you noted on your website as being split into two for size reasons. Did you re-do portions of the two books to make them each standalones? Or is there still a story arc covering the two books together, with one simply flowing into the next?

Both of my current books were also split into two, but each was left as one 'book' and the portions divided physically into a 'Part 1' and a 'Part 2'. So I'm curious how other authors have approached this, and what role the editor and/or publisher has played in the eventual outcome.

Once again, welcome, and do enjoy your time among us! We try not to be too rowdy (except when Rocket's tipped the fuel again...) ;)

Kate Forsyth
July 19th, 2005, 06:09 AM
Dear Rocket

Thanks so much for taking my hand and leading me through the terrifying dark forest of the net, hanging with invisible threads that seek to entangle me, and inhabited by strange, mysterious creatures with odd names and hidden faces. I am but a babe in the wood, and you are my first guide, my wise old man. I thank you.

This is a strange new journey for me in a perilous land filled with pitfalls for the unwary. I have been so busy stories writing in recent years that most of this century's technological revolution has whirred on past me. I'm practically writing with a quill. So I'm feeling very brave jumping on board, and I hope I don't make too many obvious mistakes that will have all you more advanced species laughing at me.

I am, as Rocket, said an Australian fantasy author. My books have been sold in the US and Canada, the UK, Russia and Germany, but not all my books everywhere. Only those who live in Australia can be sure of getting hold of every one of my works.

I live by the sea, and have a study that looks out at the (rather distant) ocean. I'm married and have three small children, so it's a miracle I ever get to write at all, and I have a small black mute cat called Shadow. I am at my happiest when writing, reading, gardening, dancing or playing imaginary games with my children. I am at my unhappiest when having to pick up dirty clothes, or any other kind of housework.

I am brown-haired, green-eyed, fair-skinned, and have an excessively large vocabulary. My favourite colour is blue.

Having given you all the sort of information that you are unlikely to hear anywhere else - a secret map to the land of Kate Forsyth - I bid you all welcome and hope to hear from you soon....

July 19th, 2005, 06:19 AM
Hi Kate,

I'm the shallow one at the party... the loveable rogue, and whilst I haven't read any of your books, I just wanted to say that you are B.E.A -UTIFUL!!!! Or at least, you are in the photo at your Website!

Welcome to SFFW and thank you for taking the time to engage with your readers... and admirers! ;)

Kate Forsyth
July 19th, 2005, 06:24 AM
Dear Radthorne

How lovely to hear from you! I'm most interested in your question, as its about writing, and talking about writing is almost as good as actually doing it.

My first series was planned as a trilogy and ended up being six books. It is, basically, one very large book cut into six parts. There is a continuous narrative arc over the course of the six books, with the first three in particular ending on cliffhangers. However, in each book there is also a part of the story which is completed, and finished - a journey completed, a throne won, a war fought. I do find closure immensely important!

Dragonclaw and Pool of Two Moons were originally planned, at synopsis stage, as one book, but I soon realised it would have to be two, so I found a natural break in the narrative to end Book 1 on. The Cursed Towers then followed. Then I began to write what was to be the last book in the then quartet. I soon realised it too would have to be split, so I took out a subplot that I was particularly enjoying writing, and focused on the big picture, making it into two books, 'The Skull of the World' and 'The Fathomless Caves'. I then wrote the subplot as a separate book which was then published as 'The Forbidden land'. It had to come out first as it happened first in the overall story's chronological order. So, really, in answer to your question, 'The Forbidden land' is more of a stand-alone novel within the framework of the series, filling in the stories of some minor but very enjoyable characters, while the others tend to flow on one from the other, without much of a break. I do advise reading them in order though - as I said above, it is really like one very large book cut into 6.

I was very lucky in that my publishers were happy to let me write such a big story - and to let me structure it the way I wanted to ie include the subplot novel.

It is interesting knowing how different writers write, isn't it?


Kate Forsyth
July 19th, 2005, 06:27 AM
Thank you! Most kind. Hopefully your admiration for my photo will lead you to read the books and develop a deeper and more profound admiration for my mind .....


July 19th, 2005, 06:34 AM

Although, your posts in here just might!

Can you tell us a little bit about how you secured your first publishing deal... did you get short stories published first and then write your novel, or did you shop a novel ms around until you were accepted... tell us your tale... thanks.

July 19th, 2005, 06:34 AM
Welcome, Kate!

Haven't read any of your books yet - not seen them in the UK, so you'll have to fill in the gaps for me! :)

Following on from Kevin's point, particularly in the US where (I think) TOR have done this a bit, one of the more recent trends we've discussed here at sffworld is where books, because of their length (and the resulting costs) have been chopped into two parts and sold with six months between them when they are clearly meant to be one book.

Not a habit we're particularly happy with, but it has happened. It's nice to see that your book/s were an example where this hasn't happened - more of a case of providing room to breathe, I think.

Whilst I'm here - any thoughts on the trilogy format? (Or even six books! - Double trilogy?) Is it essential or just passe these days?

The usual thing people want to know round here too (and it follows on from juzzza's usual understated point ;) ) is did you find any differences in writing or even marketing between styles - childrens, Young Adult or just plain grown-up?


July 19th, 2005, 07:53 PM
It is interesting knowing how different writers write, isn't it?
It is indeed. And, as Hobbit said, it is nice that your publishers recognized the nature of your book(s) and, as he put it, allowed them the space to breath. Mine were literally split for size reasons, as the publisher (initially) could not handle binding books of that size. Fortunately I also found at least a cliff hanger to end Part 1 on; Part 2 actually starts with the next chapter in line, Chapter 13. With my second book they wanted to split it again, just so that it would match what was done with the first book, but knowing that in advance I could write a more even "break" into the story (and another cliff hanger, of course...).

I too am interested in your view on the youth market versus the adult market, and what you see that differentiates the two (I've yet to see much consensus on the question, so the more opinions the better!)

Rocket Sheep
July 19th, 2005, 10:13 PM
Hi babe in the woods, little wise old man here. :D

Actually, I can't say "babe in the woods" anymore. I got a bit freaked out by the poem in one of Greg Bear's books about the babe in the woods crying out into the darkness and drawing down the wolves. What freaked me out was that the poem was about the SETI program. :eek:

I see you're off to the Children's Festival soon. It was sad you couldn't make it down to Melbourne for Continuum 3 but I suppose with three small children you don't get to many cons each year. After you've sorted out the above questions, perhaps you could elaborate on how you manage to be so prolific with small children? At Continuum, Robin Hobb gave a great talk about the subject of not being taken seriously because she had kids. I wish there was a transcript. We parents were nodding furiously.