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Thread: The Books
January 14th, 2005, 07:26 PM #1
I thought I'd post some general info on my books. I've been writing for many years, full-time for the past decade (yes, I am a rare magical beast, a full-time poet). But I'm a bit of a newbie at fantasy. I like the peculiar torment of writing long novels; I'll be doing more of them.
At the moment I am working on the Pellinor series. There will be four of these, and I am currently supposed to be finishing No. 3, The Crow.
The Gift, Part One, came out in Australia in 2002 with Penguin Books and in the UK (Walker Books) last year. It will appear as a hardback in the US next May, with Candlewick, but we had to change the title to The Naming as Ursula Le Guin recently brought out Gifts. The Gift was shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards. And here are some reviews-
In The Gift, Alison Croggon has crafted an elaborate and beguiling world of legend. Densely and vividly patterned, the book leads us across the varied and menacing landscapes of the seven kingdoms of Annar. The terrain is peopled by Bards and slaves, by the monstrous Kulag and the treacherous Hulls, by packs of wers whose howls are "the very sound of un-life ... neither dead nor alive, but caught in a tormenting void between".
This is prose that shows not only how well Croggon writes, but how effectively she holds her nerve. In such fantastical imaginings as hers, the risk is always of the risible.
In fact, Croggon passes her work off as history, replete with bold and detailed appendices on pronunciation, on history - especially the tragic millennium of the Great Silence - on the composition of the seven kingdoms and on the Speech - 'defining attribute of a Bard and the central mystery of the Knowing'. ...
While The Gift is resolutely Croggon's own invention, it is full of echoes and glimpses of other fantasies of lost, past and future worlds. Thus we have the Dark (side) and the (chosen) One, magical powers and medieval settings.
This is a quest narrative, one of the most durable and enchanting kinds of story, as old as Odysseus and Arthur. Croggon tells it fluently and confidently. She mixes the unavoidably sombre and formal - "you bear black news" - with the bracingly colloquial. The novel is the latest, unpredictable move in a career that has seen Croggon as a poet, controversial theatre reviewer and librettist."
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 2002
"... a magical story that is reminiscent of Tolkien. This is a tale with passionate, inspiring characters, an enchanting protagonist and vividly described landscapes. The Gift is a powerful story and marks the beginning of a series of a great series of fantasy novels that will delight fans of Garth Nix and G P Taylor."
- The Bookseller, February 2004, UK
The Riddle came out in Oz late last year, and is due out in the UK in May and in the US the following year. Blurbs are, well, blurbs, but here's the Penguin one for it:
Maerad is a girl with a tragic and bitter past, but her powers grow stronger by the day. Now she and her mentor Cadvan, pursued by both the Light and the Dark, are seeking the Riddle of the Treesong. This mysterious Riddle holds the key to restoring peace to her ravaged kingdom and defeating the enemies she is fated to battle.* But what is the true nature of those enemies, and of the Riddle?* Or is Maerad herself the greatest riddle of all?
From terrifying seas to vast stretches of glacial wilderness, The Riddle moves through a legendary world steeped in the rich and complex cultures of Edil-Amarandh. Maerad’s journey, which began in the highly acclaimed novel The Gift, continues towards a mysterious end.* For surely now she will meet the Winterking, the author of her sorrows - and ally of the Nameless One, who is the greatest tyrant of them all . . .
The Crow is well on its way, and hopefully will be in shops later this year. I'm almost really excited by it (I'll be properly excited when I finish, I hope). The final book will be called The Singing. I think. I'm not quite up to imagining it yet.
There's more info, including a couple of sample chapters and appendices, at my website.
In the UK and the US, the Pellinor books are published as YA fantasy, in Australia as adult fantasy. I guess that means they're "crossover". Either that, or people can't decide what they are.
January 30th, 2005, 05:56 PM #2
Update: The Crow is finished to first draft! Yess!!!
I'll let you know when there is a publication date, no word yet from Penguin. I'm hoping it will be released in Australia later this year.
February 1st, 2005, 05:31 PM #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
Maybe this is in the wrong string, but here goes.
I have written three books starting August first...tentatively I am calling it the Earth Stone Trilogy.
When I write I have a basic idea, a beginning, middle and fundamental end. However, I don't know what I am going to write until I do. I never seem to hit any stumbling blocks though. Book One and two came out to 165,000 words each and book three (I feel like you did getting near the end and DYING to finish) is 185,000. It just all seems to come to me while I am writing and not before.
Tell me, do you plot it out first before you write or do you let it flow?
By the way, I LOVE writing and I HATE editing........got any pointers for overcoming my hatred of the editing process? I find it to be horrible drudgery.
February 2nd, 2005, 08:24 PM #4
Congratulations on three books! I'm impressed!
I do a bit of both plotting and flowing. The first book was just writing: I had no idea what was going to happen next, and let the world grow with the narrative. But for the following books, I had to take into account what was already written, and so I plotted so I wouldn't get lost. I've just reread my synopsis for The Crow, and it's fair to say that although the basic outline remains basically the same, practically everything else changes in the writing.
As for how to edit: I confess, it took me years to learn. I started off as a wholly intuitive writer. So there's no easy path, I don't think: it's just a skill, like everything else. I find a real pleasure in finding the flaws and making the writing work better. These days, it's the part that makes me rub my hands, I really like it.
February 25th, 2005, 06:38 PM #5
I started the Riddle last night. I know I said I had it earlier but the magazine editor gave me two books to review in three weeks and expressed a desire to have me review the other one first... well that took three weeks... I'm no speed reader, then another mag gave my kids a Playstation game to review so I had to help them do that....
... back to The Riddle, and the Note on the Text, when I skimmed thru it earlier, I thought it was just a fictional translation of something fictional but when I read it, it seems like you are creating a story from a real translation of real historical documents.
So can you tell me more about these historical documents and the Annaren?
February 25th, 2005, 06:55 PM #6
I'm jealous you get to review games. How did you get onto that?
I have a feeling that the Note on the Text is the best bit of fiction I've ever written. I wanted it to be just like those slightly fussy, slightly pompous notes you get at the beginning of translated books, where they quibble about decisions they've made and thank just about everyone in existence (my private joke is thanking my husband for reading the proofs - it's always wives reading the proofs in those introductions. And though he's actually been a great help, and I pick his dramatist brains constantly, I read the proofs). Actually, all the thanks are real, but many of them are private jokes. The French academic Alphonse Calorge whom I thank in The Gift is a pseudonym of a French friend, a translator, who always wanted to use that name, and who did help me. Professor Insole - who designed the Treesong Runes - is actually the designer at Walker Books. Doing these bits has been the most enormous fun.
But I've had so many queries from people doing searches to find out about the Annaren texts that I had to put a note up on my website explaining that really, I made it all up. If you take a quick gander at the footnotes in the appendices, you'll see most of the putative authors have my initials (AJC) - where they don't, they are actual books.
It's backfired once or twice, where reviewers have assumed that I have no originality at all! So I'm glad you asked! It's sometimes made me feel a little guilty, especially when people have been elated to find out that something like that existed. It didn't occur to me that people might think it was real, but I did want to create that slight vertigo feeling, where you're not quite sure - Borges did that to me when I was young, and I've never forgotten how it felt. (And don't worry, even my agent asked the same question, and she's no fool.)
Originally Posted by Rocket Sheep
March 31st, 2005, 09:14 AM #7
HEY, it's APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!!!!!!!!! ahh the hilarity that will ensue. ohh someone likes my avatar..... *Gemini glows with happiness* i do, do try http://www.sffworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10087.... ahh there is a guest viewing the forum right this second.... i'm sure we are scaring them, what with the plots to take over the world and all, they came here completely innocent and were perverted by our completely off topic............ah whatever, so what was the thread about again?
Last edited by Gemini; March 31st, 2005 at 09:23 AM.
March 31st, 2005, 09:20 AM #8
if i wern't a poor student i'd come to aus and help with the evil plan (darn i'll just have to be a distant evil advisor)
April 1st, 2005, 06:01 AM #9
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
Finally... after spending the hour last readin the last 13 pages of messages i'm ready to reply wooohoooo!!!!!
I love the books and am in scotland so should be feelin the terrible torment of not being able to read the riddle yet but instead am perfectly happy as i ordered it over the internet for the very resonable price of £14 includin p & p and got it for xmas
Anyhooo must concragulate u guyz on ur amazin ability to go off subject as i've read sooo much diff stuff not about the books (shakespeare,school,teachers,history,DUCKS just to mention a few)
Since readin this i've also discovered my elven name (Merenwen Falassion) and my hobbit name (Ruby Bleecker-Baggins of Fair Downs (bit of a mouth full))
Anyhooo (already said that once but find myself goin off subject) u've not scared me away and i also get to have long discussions about the books with two of my friends who i borrowed my copy too (i'm v.proud of gettin them into the book) these discussion usually take place durrin v. borrin art lessons were i cant be bothered workin.
Anyhooo (again with the anyhoo) lookin forward to talkin to u guyz.
April 1st, 2005, 06:16 AM #10
You're a brave woman, Merenwen, to dive in among these nuts. I mean, they're talking about duck foot massages, for godsake. (Though I still like the idea of a foot massage, Rad, feeling a bit less pathetic today - had rotten flu recently. Might account for the madness, maybe, on my side anyway...)
Glad to hear that you're spreading the word in Scotland...should I feel guilty that you're talking about Pellinor in class instead of doing what you're supposed to? I'm not very good at feeling guilty.
April 1st, 2005, 06:35 AM #11
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
NO need to feel guilty only took art as a skiv if we werent talkin bout pellinor we'd find summit else to talk about. (not sure if my friends who tale art seriously see it that way but hay i dont force them to disscuss the books (well i did force them to read them in the first place but they thanked me for that))
April 3rd, 2005, 07:10 AM #12
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
- In my house
Hey pplz, sorry for my long abscence i had a pile of homework . . . . . actually thats an underestimate i'd say it was closer tot he size of a small hill. anywayz, it seems i've missed alot and now i've finally caught up, i'd like to say to anyone who will read Alison!!! it was not the flu!!! u lye!! oh u lye!!!!
hi to Merenwen. who i'm glad we hae not scared off. **shakes hand** where u from? out of curiousity.
i let my demon side out no Friday in Drama and passed!!! just says something about my personality. i mean i was an excellent daughter of saetan!! **innocent grin** and my congrads go out to emma who is my awes devil sister. our play was awes. twas called Myschief and was about these two realms who were at war and made an arranged marriage to seal an alliance and Saetan didn't like it so Risika (me) and my older sis Jaysa (em) had to go and stuff it up and get rid of the couple.
anyhoo . . . . . . Merenwen!!!! that was ur influence!!! **points da finger at her**
soz i've just spent the whole day doin homework and have now just printed of da sample chapters to read tomorrow during RE. so have uncontainable excitement runnign with in my viens!!!!
p.s. soz i forgot. Gemini i am shall reach the eastern states in several days . . . . . literally . . . . . . so i shall be able to help you with the kidnapping of alison!! that is if it is stilll on? anywayz if not i'll still be on da gold Coast in 5 days!!!! **yay**
Last edited by Tari; April 3rd, 2005 at 07:13 AM.
April 3rd, 2005, 07:26 AM #13Originally Posted by Tari
April 11th, 2005, 09:18 PM #14
An advance copy of The Naming (known elsewhere as The Gift) arrived this morning - and I'm excited! In fact, everyone in the family was excited! This is the first time I've EVER been in hard covers. And I must say that it's a really beautiful book, both inside and outside. It has nice little details, like the title in copper foil, and the cover illustration with a gloss finish. All very smart.
So its release date is May 10, when hopefully it will hit the shops in the US. I hope some people over there sight it...
Candlewick's author/book page has details here
April 11th, 2005, 11:03 PM #15
Congtulations, Alison! I agree that the cover is very nice. If I saw that book on a shelf at the bookstore I would pick it up to take a closer look!
Do you know if and when your book is being released in Canada? I looked on Amazon.ca and it wasn't listed.