Perfections: what a nice way to end the year!

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottAs the last day of 2012 rolls over and plays dead — or maybe is dead; I hope, I wish; I hate you 2012, don’t let the door hit you on the arse on the way out — Sean Wright of the prolific Adventures of a Bookonaut blog (and fledgling podcast) has posted an excellent review of my new novel, Perfections. It’s excellent not because it’s positive — but it is positive, so sparkles and ponies for everyone! — but because he is so very careful not to give anything away. And this is a book that could too easily be slayed by a careless spoiler.  Of all the lovely things the review has to say, my favourite line is this one:

The writing is smooth flowing prose that seems effortless but that I suspect was agonising to refine.

If only you knew, Sean. If only you knew. There’s actual blood on the manuscript — okay, that’s from a paper cut, but the symbolism speaks volumes. I think I might compose a handful of blog posts about the writing of Perfections in the new year. It was the most difficult piece of fiction I’ve ever worked on, for a variety of complex, stubborn and sometimes stupid reasons, and I still have, shall we say, an interesting relationship with this this particular novel. We’ll see. One of my resolutions for 2013 is not to beat myself up over all the blog posts that I want to write but never find time to finish.

Anyway. Seeing Perfections out in the world at last is a great way to finish off 2012 for me. I hope your 2013 is all you wish it to be, with some fabulous surprises lurking along the way.

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 26

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

This last episode of The Writer and the Critic for 2012 sees your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, sink their teeth into non-fiction. But first they give a friendly shout-out to the brand spanking new podcast from Sean Wright, Adventures of a Bookonaut — to which you should all go and listen right now — as well as the entertainingly erudite Ambling Along the Acqueduct blog. (Kirstyn’s brand spanking new novel, Perfections, might also garner a wee mention.) The duo then become embroiled in a debate about critics and authors and whether one person can or even should wear both hats, as well as whether or not critics need to take the feelings of authors into consideration — regardless of what kind of spiffy headwear either of them might be donning at the time.

The books up for discussion this month are Evaporating Genres, a collection of essays by Gary K. Wolfe (beginning 35:20), and James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, a biography by Julie Phillips (1:03:50). This thoughtful essay by Jonathan McCalmont is mentioned and, in the spirit of Alice Sheldon, Ian promises to begin writing Letters of Appreciation to authors whose work he has enjoyed. We will follow him up on this next year!

Evaporating Genres and James Tiptree Jr

There are no real spoilers here but if you have skipped ahead, then please tune back in at 1:39:50 for some closing remarks and (belated) holiday well-wishes.

And now for the sad news … The Writer and the Critic is on hiatus for a couple of months and won’t be back until March 2013. The good news is that will give you plenty of time to read Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. Hopefully it will give Kirstyn and Ian plenty of time as well!

Thanks to everyone who listened to The Writer and the Critic during 2012. Ian and Kirstyn love you all to bits and look forward to talking at you a whole lot more in 2013!

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Perfections, or So It Appears I Have a New Book Out

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottThis is what’s called being late to your own party. And it’s not the kind of fashionable tardiness where you saunter down a curving staircase all coiffed and primped and wearing a trailing ball gown while your friends and loved ones graciously applaud and start singing Happy Birthday. It’s more the embarrassing oh-my-goodness-I-forgot-about-my-own-damn-party-where-the-hell-are-my-shoes sort of lateness. Not that I forgot, precisely, more that I was still picking myself up off the ground after being repeatedly run over by the Freight Train of the Gods that has been 2012.

Ahem.

So thank you to Sean Wright and Tansy Rayner Roberts and Jason Nahrung and all the other people who have already blogged, tweeted and facebooked the news that, yes indeed, I have a brand spanking new novel hot off the digital press and available right this minute. Her name is Perfections and I’m very proud and pleased with how she’s scrubbed up, but I honestly wouldn’t turn my my back on her in a dark alley. Or even a brightly lit room. Seriously, she has teeth.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the wonderfully patient Rowena Cory Daniells who is featuring an interview with me on her blog. She’s also very kindly hosting a give-away to celebrate, so skedaddle on over there and tell me your own scary story for a chance to win a free digital copy of Perfections.

And of course you can buy your own copy right now direct from my publisher Xoum, and from Amazon or iBooks or Kobo, and hopefully from wherever else you stock your nifty digital library these days. Send me links to your favourite online bookseller and I’ll be happy to add them to the Perfections page on my site. Best of all, the book is being published by Xoum DRM-free and is available worldwide. (Whether or not Amazon adds their own DRM to the Kindle version is unfortunately out of their hands.)

So there you have it. Happy Bookday to me!

Blood and Dust by Jason NahrungSorry, just one last thing. It would be totally, utterly remiss of me to forget to mention that my beloved, Jason Nahrung, has had his new novel — Blood and Dust — just published by Xoum as well and you can read the first chapter here.

Australian vampires in outback Queensland.

Blood, dust and motorbikes with nary a sparkle in sight.

Need I say more?