June 2009

Moeraki Boulders08 11 21 Fleurs 2I can’t believe it’s  been a whole year since I wrote the entry on Larnach Castle, which was my 7th anniversary trip.  This year it was DH’s turn to plan the surprise, and he did a fantastic job.  We drove to the sleepy fishing village of Moeraki, about an hour north of Dunedin.  Moeraki is most famous for its very unworldly-looking collection of boulders, which I have visited a couple of times before.  But I had no idea that the town had so many other interesting things to see.


Like the Katiki Point lighthouse and wildlife refuge, where we saw four of the sweetest little baby furs seals.  FleursAnd Fleur’s Place, the world renowned seafood restaurant, where we had a fantastic dinner upstairs in the loft.  We also rode our bikes around the town, but it was too cold to stay out for long!

The next day we drove into Oamaru, and visited the historical district.  After a nice lunch at the Star and Garter, accompanied by live piano music, we strolled around the magnificently restored stone buildings and visited an artist’s cooperative.  We finished the day by walking a bit of Graves Track, which hugs the cliffs (sometimes scarily so) on the ocean side of Oamaru.

It’s finally here. The third volume of Song of the Arkafina, Dawnmaid, is now for sale on Amazon and other book retailers.Dawnmaid

While I am doing research for Operation Darkspar, I am going ahead with another project I have had in the back of my mind for some time.  It is a series of four long stories (can’t call them “short” when each one will be about 25,000 words) which will form a sort of prequel to the events in Song of the Arkafina.  Well, oddly enough, the story falls both before and after SOTA, but since the Amaranthine are able to travel through time, that makes sense.  Sort of.  To me, anyway.

I’ve called the collection Red Feather Fables, because the leader of the Firaithi wears a red feather in his braid.  The first story, Quondam, is named after the Firaithi word for past.  For those of you who haven’t read Dawnmaid, I’ll explain.  The Firaithi, who are a travelling people, consider time to be a helical country, winding through the Gyre.  Each kind of time is a location in that land.  Quondam is the past, Prox the present, Sequent the future and Nowhen, an indeterminate place beyond or outside of time.  So I plan to write four stories, each with a fable attached, dealing with some of the history of the Amaranthine, who are descended from the Firaithi.

While I am between books I am working on a new website for suzannefrancis.com. Because that URL presently points to this site some of you might find that your bookmarks are broken for a few days. Eventually I hope to have a link from my new website back here, but in the mean time you can always access my blog by navigating to:


EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Connection, of which I am a proud member, has made an important announcement with regards to the categories for this year’s writing honors. Rather than having a separate award for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) writings, they have decided to place them in whatever genre category they belong–whether youth, romance, fantasy or whatever. This is important because it allows books to shine on their own merits, rather than lumping all books with GLBT characters into a single amorphous category.

Some people have a problem with this, and while I am not denying anyone’s right to believe what they want, I congratulate EPIC on doing the right thing.

I just put the last touches on the chapter headings.  So I am done with the new words, and can start thinking about revising…

I’ll give it a month or so, then begin at the first chapter again.  I need that time to put some distance between me and my words.  I’ll also be going through it with my writing buddy.  He always finds things that I overlook.

I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out, although the ending was not the one I had planned!

Now I am free to dream about the next book.  I’ve started my research, and have chosen a tentative project title:  Operation Darkspar.  This will be a stand alone book, part of the Gyre Cosmos to be sure, but with all new characters.  Probably at least one of my old favorites might make a cameo, but I’m aiming to write something that anyone could understand, even if they haven’t read anything else by me.

But I’m a long way from a story outline.

I had to push the word count upwards, since I passed 90,000 words with quite a bit of story left to tell! I’m adding an extra chapter, #19, and that will be the end. I hope…
I’ve thought of an idea for a new book, which I’m not quite ready to talk about. But I will say it is a historical fantasy subject. I have a bit of research to do before I make up my mind, and of course I have to be able to think of a title. For some reason that part is pretty important to me. I always make up the title before I start writing!

Jakob FaircrowAndy found this cool site called Hero Machine, where you can “design” your own characters.  There are thousands of different templates.  I made one for Jakob, the protagonist of Wintermoon Ice. It was fun!

Just heard from my publisher, Mushroom, that they want to pick up the Sons of the Mariner series for publication.  So it is a great day to put Jakob’s lovely mugshot up on my blog.


Just finished my interview with Kim, and I had a blast.  I was worried that we might not find things to talk about for 30 minutes, but the time flew by!  She is a wonderful host and kept things moving very smoothly, even though we were live.  We discussed Heart of Hythea, my writing style, how I structure my writing time,  and lots of other things.

Made me feel like I was talking to an old friend.

Check out my interview here.