Perfections and Madigan Mine go digital (redux)

Perfections and Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott

It’s been a little while since ebooks of my novels Madigan Mine and Perfections have been available but the good folks at Twelfth Planet Press have now released them back into the wild. So if you haven’t yet snagged yourself a copy or if postage costs were putting you off the print book (I know, believe me, I know), then your time is now.

If you are one of the super-wonderful people who have read and enjoyed one or both of the novels already … first of all, THANK YOU, but second of all … can you do me a really big favour? Head on over to the relevant Amazon page from the links below and leave a quick review. It doesn’t have to be terribly long or terribly erudite and if you have already reviewed the book(s) somewhere else please feel free to copy that straight on over. On Amazon, books live and die by reviews and I’d love to see these two get their second wind. (And I hate asking for favours like this, which should tell you how very important it is.)

Digital versions can be purchased via the following links:

Buy Perfections at Twelfth Planet Press (epub and mobi)
Buy Perfections at Amazon (mobi)
Buy Perfections at Kobo (epub)

Buy Madigan Mine at Twelfth Planet Press (epub and mobi)
Buy Madigan Mine at Amazon (mobi)
Buy Madigan Mine at Kobo (epub)



PERFECTIONS GoodReads Giveaway for Australian Readers

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottThe lovely folks at Twelfth Planet Press have announced a Book Giveaway over at GoodReads. Two lucky Australians will each receive a copy of my latest novel, Perfections, in its glorious paperback edition.

The giveaway closes on 17 January 2015, so be quick and get your entry in!

Two sisters. One wish. Unimaginable consequences.

Not all fairytales are for children.


Fabulous New Review of Perfections

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottKyla Ward has reviewed the paperback edition of Perfections over at Tabula Rasa. I guess she kinda liked it:

With only a slight shift of perspective, this could be a razor-edged depiction of the worst month in the lives of two sisters. The month one ends a four-year relationship. The month their mother dies. It could be that story; only then readers like me wouldn’t touch it. Readers like me need the gloss, the promise of something beyond. And that is exactly where the horror of Perfections lies.

The full review lives here.

And, of course, it would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to remind you that copies of Perfections can be snagged over at Twelfth Planet Press in both print and digital formats. 🙂



(im)Perfections Launch and a Ditmar!

Well, if it was going to happen, it was going to happen with this book. We picked up the copies of Perfections for the launch late on the Friday afternoon before Continuum — the nick of time, thinks we — only to find that the second-to-last page was blank. BLANK. That’s right, my novel literally had no ending. Devious little book. Being too late to fix and reprint anything in time for the launch on Sunday morning, there was no small amount of panic and anxiety, let me tell you. But when life gives you lemons …*

(im)Perfections Launch

(photo by Cat Sparks)

After some truly motivated brainstorming and a couple of trips to a stationary store, a solution was determined: for the Continuum launch only, my novel would be known and sold as (im)Perfections. I amended the title on cover and spine with a pretty new silver Sharpie, folded over the actual last page — which contained half a dozen lines — and secured it with a “Spoilers” sticker, then hand-wrote a personalised vignette on the blank page for everyone who bought a copy. It may have been a slightly mad idea. Certainly, I don’t look entirely sane in the midst of it all. But it was lots of fun and lots of lovely people bought lots of imperfect books. There were also, as promised, lollipops!

Everyone who bought a copy on the day will receive a complimentary ebook once they are ready — very soon, I’m told — and will also have the option of a replacement paperback if they want one. Many people seemed happy to just get an ebook rather than have a second physical book crowding their shelves which makes perfect sense to me! (Ha. See what I did there?) I believe the wonderful Alisa at Twelfth Planet Press is in the process of emailing everyone about this now, as well as sending them the missing page so they can finish to book without needing to wait too long for a complete copy. 🙂 We’re fairly sure we have everyone’s details but if you did purchase a copy of (im)Perfections and don’t hear anything, please get in touch with with either Alisa or myself and we’ll sort you out.

A massive THANK YOU to everyone who came to the launch, offered congratulations and/or commiserations, bought a book, sucked on a lollipop and generally helped make what could have been a miserable situation into a glorious one-of-a-kind event!

If you couldn’t come along, you can of course still grab yourself a copy of Perfections in its perfect form from Twelfth Planet Press.

Ditmar Award 2014The other delightful news to come out of the weekend was that “The Home for Broken Dolls” won a Ditmar Award for Best Novellette or Novella! I was a little shocked — it’s a horrible, horrible story — but very happy. As I said in my acceptance speech, I really have Alisa Krasnostein to thank for this. Without knowing in advance that the novella had a predetermined home in my Twelve Planets collection, I’m not sure I would have finished it. The research was difficult and, at times, the writing even more so, and it would have been near impossible to place a 20K piece like this on spec. So many thanks to Alisa, to Twelfth Planet Press, and to the small press community at large. Work like this deserves a home and it finds one because of publishers like you.

And that’s about it for now. Back to the word mines!

* But you know, to make lemonade palatable, quite a bit of sugar is needed. Somehow I doubt that a universe insistent upon the forced provision of sour citrus fruit would also happily furnish the requisite sweetener to make said fruit into a delicious beverage. Proverbs, hey?



A New Interview Concerning Perfections

One of the lovely things about having wonderful supportive writerly friends is that you can inflict your manuscripts upon them for beta reading and then, not only are they still your friend, but they are happy to interview you for their blog when said manuscript becomes an actual book.

So here is my dear friend and writing buddy, Ellen Gregory — whom, after all those sessions in the pub, I honestly thought would have had more than enough of me talking about Perfections asking me some very thoughtful questions. I try to answer in kind.

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott


Perfections Finally in Print … and a Launch!

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottMy second novel, Perfections, was originally published in the dying days of 2012 by a fledging digital publisher and was made available only as an ebook. Surprisingly for me — as books published in the dying days of years are easily overlooked for awards — it still managed to pick up a couple of significant honours: the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel and the Australian Shadows Award for Best Novel. It also received some wonderful reviews at the time, for which I remain exceedingly grateful. But for various reasons — catch me in a bar sometime and ply me with gin and tonics — it seemed to slide beneath the notice of most readers and earlier this year the rights quietly reverted to me and it was withdrawn from sale by the publisher. I was, also quietly, very sad.

Look, I’ll be honest: I hated this book for a long time. During the bulk of the writing process, which is not entirely unusual for me, but afterwards as well. I joke with friends that it’s the book that tried to kill me, but it’s only half a joke and, to be fair, I tried to kill it just as ruthlessly. For a long time, it felt like Perfections was refusing to be the book I wanted to write. Willfully refusing. I wanted to write a dark, nightmarish tale full of blood and murder and magical mayhem and Perfections wanted to be this girlie story about sisters and relationships and love and sacrifice. Which, of course, couldn’t be real horror. Because girlie stuff.

Want to experience a severe sense of self-dislocation? Try being a feminist and having all that crap running through your head on a daily basis. It makes you finally sit down and interrogate yourself about matters of gender and genre and skewed cultural values, about how you love and will defend to the death unapologetically female horror fiction, and about exactly why it is you seem unable to apply these same principles to your own work. It makes you grow the hell up. I’m a better feminist because of Perfections.

(Want to experience an even more severe sense of self-dislocation? Try writing the last 18,000 words of your novel in one nightmarish week, taking off only three nights to sleep during that time, and then have beta readers tell you that they cannot tell the difference between those words and the rest of the book. It makes you reconsider all the things you think about yourself as a writer and your stupid, slow, careful process. It makes you grow the hell up. I’m a better writer because of Perfections.)

In any case, Perfections IS a dark, nightmarish tale full of blood and murder and magical mayhem and it is ALSO an unashamedly female story, about sisters and mothers and the strange, powerful, twisted relationships that can sometimes be wrought within families. AND it is a damned good horror novel, if I do say so myself. 🙂

So we’ve come to terms at last, the novel and myself, and I can finally say that I truly am proud of it. Which is why I’m so excited that Twelfth Planet Press will be republishing Perfections and bringing it into print for the very first time. You don’t know how many people I’ve had over the past 18 months beg to know when a “real” version of the book was going to be available. Or maybe you do. Maybe you’re even one of them! If so, you’ll be delighted to hear that it is available for pre-order right now via the Twelfth Planet Press website — the new ebook will be available soon as well.

We are also launching Perfections this weekend at Continuum X in Melbourne, along with the latest installment in the Twelve Planets series, The Secret Lives of Books by Rosaleen Love. If you’ll be at the convention, we’d love you to come along:

Date: Sunday, 9 June 2014

Time: 11.00am – 11.30am

Venue: Continuum X : Carnival of Lost Souls
InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto
495 Collins St, Melbourne

Finally, I’d like to thank Alisa Krasnostein and all the team at Twelfth Planet from the bottom of my heart for their genuinely amazing efforts in getting Perfections to print so quickly. Seriously, I approached Alisa on 19 April about the possibility of publishing Perfections and here we are, less than two months later, the book all set to go out into the world with a gorgeous new cover by Amanda Rainey. Astonishing speed — Alisa has some dark magical abilities of her own when it comes to squeezing every last drop of time out of the day.

And now for some requisite blurbage:


Two sisters. One wish. Unimaginable consequences.

Not all fairy tales are for children.

Antoinette and Jacqueline have little in common beyond a mutual antipathy for their paranoid, domineering mother, a bond which has united them since childhood. In the aftermath of a savage betrayal, Antoinette lands on her sister’s doorstep bearing a suitcase and a broken heart.

But Jacqueline, the ambitious would-be manager of a trendy Melbourne art gallery, has her own problems – chasing down a delinquent painter in the sweltering heat of a Brisbane summer. Abandoned, armed with a bottle of vodka and her own grief-spun desires, Antoinette weaves a dark and desperate magic that can never, ever be undone.

Their lives swiftly unravelling, the two sisters find themselves drawn into a tangle of lies, manipulations and the most terrible of family secrets.

Perfections sings from the page.
It is dark, compelling and monstrously beautiful.’.
Alison Goodman, New York Times bestselling author of Eon and Eona

‘Kirstyn McDermott’s prose is darkly magical, insidious and insistent. Once her words get under your skin, they are there to stay.’.
Angela Slatter, British Fantasy Award-winning author of Sourdough and Other Stories

‘Perfections is a sharp, creepy and deeply discomfiting novel full of awkward truths and raw emotions.’
Tansy Rayner Roberts, author of the Creature Court Trilogy and Love and Romanpunk.


Aurealis Awards: Farewell Sydney, Hello Canberra!

Aurealis Award 2012News travels at light speed around the interwebs these days, so this post is most definitely old hat by now. But as I keep this blog as much for my own memory banks as for anything else these days, I’m very pleased to report that Perfections won the 2012 Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel over the weekend. (Edgar’s not part of the trophy — he just likes getting his photo taken.) It was a wonderful night, filled with good friends, good wine and good cheer, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to everyone who played a part in bringing Perfections to publication. Not least of all my beloved, Jason Nahrung, who fed me chocolate by the family-size block and put up with almost never seeing me for the last month of writing. (You want to feel ambivalence in its purest form? Try winning an award for which your husband was also nominated and thus didn’t win. A most curious emotional state indeed.) The novel and I are still not really talking to each other — she tried to kill me, I tried to kill her; it’s a thing — but we can probably stand to be in the same room as one another now. With our backs pressed firmly to the wall, of course.

SpecFaction did a brilliant job of organising and hosting the Aurealis Awards in Sydney over the past three years and I’m sure it’s with a mixture of both sadness and relief that they pass the baton — the Conflux convention team will be bringing the Awards to Canberra from next year, with the ceremony tipped to be held in March. Cat Sparks was buzzing about with camera in hand and captured some wonderful images of the night, while Sean Wright has storyfied the Twitter feed.

The full list of winners are below. Congratulations to everyone, but especially to the indomitable and debonair Margo Lanagan who carried away no less than FOUR Aurealis Awards on the night — two for Sea Hearts and two for stories from Cracklescape, her Twelve Planets collection. An extraordinary achievement indeed and not one that will be easily — if ever — matched!

Aurealis Awards Winners 2012

Brotherband: The Hunters by John Flanagan(Random House)

Little Elephants by Graeme Base (Penguin)

‘The Wisdom of the Ants’ by Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld)

(Joint winners)
Dead, Actually by Kaz Delaney (Allen and Unwin)
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen and Unwin)

Blue by Pat Grant (Giramondo)

That Book Your Mad Ancestor Wrote by KJ Bishop (self-published)

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Six edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)

‘Sky’ by Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press)

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermott (Xoum)

‘Bajazzle’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (Allen and Unwin)

‘Significant Dust’ by Margo Lanagan (Cracklescape, Twelfth Planet Press)

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (HarperCollins)

Kate Eltham

Laura Goodin