Huge thanks to Ellen Datlow, editor for Tor.com, and Angela Slatter, story doctor extraordinaire, for all they contributed, and to publisher and art director Irene Gallo who let me have Audrey Benjaminsen’sbeautiful art. I think it’s the first time a story of mine has been illustrated by someone else and I think it is remarkable. I keep staring at all the little details. Thanks also to Noa Wheeler, copyeditor, who gamely catalogued all the careless inventions and copy-edited with an ear for the weird structures, and to Jodi Cleghorn who kickstarted me into writing this particular project when I was focussed on drawing.
Also, a word to the wise: baroque stylings exponentially increase editing difficulty. Thanks here to C.S.E. Cooney who is the sort of person you want on your side to find replacement words that slot into a particular matrix of sense, feeling, alliteration and anachronism. And also to Amber Gwynne, who diagnosed me with semantic exhaustion.
In all Owl Abbas, before it burned (after the Falling but before the Cartographer’s War and the Recurrence of Owls), there were among its many windows only two that need concern us…
This is the illustration reveal for Audrey Benjaminsen‘s beautiful charred, byzantine illustration for my story “The Heart of Owl Abbas”, which is to be published by Tor.com in April. It’s the first time (as far as I recall!) that a story of mine has been illustrated for publication by someone else, and I am so happy with it. Look at all those tiny engraved details, and the little lace cuffs, and that muscular, visceral heart.
The Queensland Writers Centre has been running an 8WordStory project on GOA billboards around Brisbane. This is one of mine! There is still time to enter until 24 November 2017 on 8WordStory.com or on Twitter, tagged with #8WordStory.
“A Hedge of Yellow Roses” is the story of Vermeille, a vagabond knight (perhaps), who bears three messages out of a kingdom torn by revolution, and on the way stumbles across an old farmhouse and its enchanted, enchanting residents.
The Year’s Best also has all these other most excellent reasons for buying it:
Joanne Anderton, “2B”
Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep’s Clothing”
Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
Ticonderoga Publications is giving away a copy of its latest anthologyHear Me Roar through Goodreads. The giveaway is currently open and finishes on 1 August 2015.
Cherith Baldry, “Star Bright”
Jenny Blackford, “The Sorrow”
Kay Chronister, “Dustbowl”
Stephanie Gunn, “Broken Glass”
Kathryn Hore, “Generation Zero”
Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
T R Napper, “The Silica Key”
Rivqa Rafael, “Function A:save(target.Dawn)”
Alter S. Reiss, “Catalysis”
Jane Routley, “Barista”
Cat Sparks, “Veteran’s Day”
Kyla Ward, “Cursebreaker: The Mutalibeen and the Memphite Mummies”
Marlee Jane Ward, “Clara’s”
Susan Wardle, “A Truck Called Remembrance”
Janeen Webb, “A Wondrous Necessary Woman”
Eleanor R Wood, “The Fruits of Revolution”
My story, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”, is about what happens to fairytale curses which are given too late, and what becomes of enchanted girls when there are no princes left. It begins:
Vagabonds leave signs in the road for those who know how to read them. Royalists also have their secret language of warnings and betrayals. This story too, in its fashion, is a sign to mark the way I went.