1) When was Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child released?
Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child was released by Penguin Random House Australia in July 2015, and is available from all good bookstores, as they say. Maybe some bad bookstores too. Wait. Are there any such places?
2) Will there be a sequel?
That’s the plan! In fact, I’ve already begun writing the further adventures of Anni Tidechild and Duck Knifetooth. I actually started writing Book Two back in 2006, whilst lounging around the cafes of Barcelona. This series has been years in the making…
And what can readers expect from The Empire of the Waves (Strikes Back)? Just kidding, not actually the title. Well, you can expect a whole lot more excitement and terror for your favourite characters, plus the introduction of many new heroes and villains. Although, in the world of Salila, it’s not always easy to tell the difference…
At this stage, the title of Book Two is Empire of the Waves: Sea of Fire. Unless I change my mind. Which I might. Expect lots more pirates, lots more monsters, lots more secrets, and even a few answers to the mysteries of Salila… But I warn you, nothing is exactly what it seems.
3) How long did it take to write Empire of the Waves: Voyage of the Moon Child?
Let’s do some maths. Not something you’ll hear me say very often. I started work on Empire of the Waves in 2003 – on a bus trip from Thredbo, since you asked – which means I’ve spent more than a third of my life thinking and writing about Anni, Duck and Theodore. All up, it took approximately 12 years from my first inkling of an idea about the world of Salila until mid-2015, with the launch of the tale into the big wide world. Exhausting! Somehow in all that time I went from being 20 to being thirty-something. But rest assured, it won’t take 12 years to write the sequel. Promise.
4) What else are you writing at the moment?
So many irons in the fire! First up, of course, a third and final volume in the Empire of the Waves Trilogy, entitled Empire of the Waves: Shadow Realm. Unlike other series I could name, Empire of the Waves has a very distinct beginning, middle and end. And this is where it all ends.
Meanwhile, I have recently completed the first draft of a new YA political thriller. Titled Occupation Zone this novel tackles the political, scientific and social questions that have vexed me of late.
I’m also developing a sci-fi adventure comedy called, well, I’d better keep that under wraps for now… but the plot is mad! Think of this as my love letter to Doctor Who, Star Wars and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with a contemporary Australian twist.
Also in the works, a collection of poetry for children. Like Empire of the Waves, this is a decade in the making. My poems are very much in the tradition of Roald Dahl, Hilaire Belloc, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll. Lots of nonsense, music, food and horrifying violence!
Finally, I have three other novel ideas in various stages of early development, a spooky fable set in a fishing village on the north coast of New South Wales, a spy thriller, and a story set in North Korea.
5) Can I write to you?
Please do! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
6) Can you visit my school or library?
“Thank you very much for such a warm and enthusiastic talk to our students. The Year 8 students are already asking when can you speak to them! I loved the pirate clan workshop too…” Helen Lee, Teacher-Librarian, St George Girls High
For information, see Author Talks & Visits on my website.
7) Can I have your autograph?
Yes! E-mail me your contact details and I will send you a signed limited edition Empire of the Waves postcard with a personal note.
Send to: email@example.com
If you want a book signed, come along to meet me at an event!
8) Who are your favourite writers?
So many! In no particular order: Marilynne Robinson, Shusaku Endo, Graham Greene, Ryszard Kapuściński, William Dalrymple, Christopher Isherwood, John Kennedy Toole, Rudyard Kipling, Ursula Le Guin, Nikos Kazantzakis, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Kenneth Grahame, Stephen Crane, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Susan Cooper, William Blake, John Donne, John Milton, William Shakespeare, George Orwell, John LeCarre, Robert Conquest, Patricia Highsmith, Ian Fleming, Herman Melville, Soren Kierkegaard, Emily Dickinson.
If had to pick a favourite novel, I would pick four: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Silence by Shusaku Endo, Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis and The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
9) What are your favourite films?
So many! In no particular order: Fanny and Alexander, Spirit of the Beehive, Alien, Aliens, Solaris, Stalker, Amadeus, Kill Bill, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Blade Runner, Tree of Life, Brazil, Lady Snowblood, Pan’s Labyrinth, Jackie Brown, Le Samourai, From Russia With Love, The Silence of the Lambs, Rear Window, Vertigo, Waiting For Guffman, Once Upon A Time In The West, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Spirited Away, The Last Temptation of Christ, Laputa: Castle In the Sky, 2001: A Space Odyssey.