1st September, 2017
I’m back from my London/Russia/France promotional tour! It was fabulous and if you’d like to see some pics from the trip, check out my Instagram account @alisongoodmanauthor.
I’m now working hard on the last sections of Lady Helen 3 so I won’t be posting here much until it is finished. However, I will be on the aforesaid Instagram, as well as Facebook and on occasion, Twitter, so join me on one of those platforms to keep up with all the Lady Helen and Eon news. And, to whet your appetite for Lady Helen Book 3, here is a sneaky-peek image board I made that let’s you into some of the workings of my writerly mind!
Unfortunately, I was quite ill earlier this year and it interrupted my writing schedule, so the publication of Lady Helen 3 has been delayed to late 2018 instead of early 2018. However, I promise the wait will be worth it!
Finally, for those who have been eagerly awaiting the French translation of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact (Book 2), I am thrilled to report that it is now out under the title Lady Helen Le Pact Des Mauvais Jours. And as you can see, the cover is truly gorgeous; a perfect companion to Book 1.
Cheers for now,
12th July, 2017
I’m currently on a promotional tour to Russia, France and England! If you would like to check out my adventures, you can tune in via my Instagram account @alisongoodmanauthor. For appearances in England, check out my events: coming up next is an in-conversation at Waterstones Guildford on Tuesday 25th July, and YALC on Friday 28th July. Hope to see you there.
Cheers for now,
11th June, 2017
Reading Matters, Continuum 13 and a New Bonnet!
It’s been a busy few weeks! I ran my Novel structure workshop at Writers Victoria, attended the fabulous Reading Matters conference as a guest, and tonight I am sashaying in to Continuum 13–the Spec Fic Con at the Jasper Hotel in Melbourne–to MC the Ditmar awards with Michael Pryor.
As you can see in the photo, I have bought a new bonnet at the Con auction (I couldn’t get to the auction so I actually phone bid on it – there was no way I was going to lose out on this beauty! It was hand made by the lovely Donna Maree Hanson and goes with just about everything in my Regency cos-play wardrobe. I’m sure Lady Helen would approve.
I am now starting to think about packing for my trip to Russia, Paris and London. Russia is about to publish Eon and Eona next month, and then the Lady Helen books closer to Christmas, so I am heading over to do any PR they might need and, of course, to check out the Hermitage museum. It has always been one of my goals to visit the Hermitage/Winter Palace…I can’t wait. I am then on to Paris to sit in a beautiful apartment window overlooking a pretty park to write, and then on to London as a guest of YALC and to check out my Lady Helen 3 locations in Bath! I’ve also got a top secret project that I am checking out that could, eventually, become a new novel.
I’ll be posting pics of my trip on my Insta account @alisongoodmanauthor so do follow if you would like to see what mischief I’ll be getting up to. I’ve also started a newsletter sign up (in the menu). The idea is to send out one or two newsletters per year when new books or short stories are released or I have Eon movie news updates. If you do sign up, be assured I won’t be bombarding you with stuff. I can’t stand that myself, so I won’t be doing it to you!
Cheers for now,
16th May, 2017
I’m going to London as a guest at YALC!
Finally, I can tell you what I have been sitting on for so long: I have been invited to YALC in London! Wheeeeeeee! YALC is the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention – a celebration of the very best young adult books and authors and is part of the London Film and Comic Con (28th – 30th July). I will be appearing on panels, signing books and talking all things Lady Helen, so if you are heading to YALC, do stop by and say hi! I’m so looking forward to meeting my UK readers!
I’m also booked in on the 25th to do an in conversation at Guildford Waterstones with Sophia Bennett and Catherine Clarke to chat about historical fiction.
There may be some more book signing and meet up opportunities, which I will post here and under my Upcoming Events.
London, here I come!
If you are in Melbourne and having trouble with the structure of your novel, you may want to come along to my one day workshop on Narrative Structure at Writers Victoria (June 1st). I go through a range of tools to help create a strong spine for your story. It is my favourite workshop to teach because so many participants have a “light-bulb” moment about their work.
I am also appearing at Reading Matters this year (June 3rd and 4th), a “sparkling array of guest YA authors, illustrators and publishers to discuss, debate and celebrate books for young adults.” Come along and see me sparkle!
Cheers for now,
15th April, 2017
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact has won an Aurealis Award!
Sorry for the ‘radio silence’ here for the past month — I have been hard at work writing Book 3 in the Lady Helen series and have also been dealing with a bit of ill health. However, I am back now with some great news. Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact (aka The Dark Days Pact), Book 2 in the Lady Helen series, has won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best YA Novel. I am beyond excited! A huge thank you to the Aurealis Award judges, HarperCollins Australia, and everyone who is enjoying the Lady Helen adventures. You can read the full list of 2016 Aurealis Award winners here.
I am also thrilled to report that The Dark Days Club, the first book in the Lady Helen series (aka Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club) has been listed as a 2017 Bank Street Library Best Book.
A reminder, too, that I will be at the Reading Matters conference in Melbourne in June, and will be running my workshop on Narrative Structures at Writers Victoria in June too. This is a one day workshop and tends to sell out rather quickly, so if you are interested in learning some tools for structuring your novel, book asap!
Cheers for now,
1st March, 2017
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club
is a 2017 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers!
In some more wonderful news, I’ve just learned that Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (aka The Dark Days Club) has been listed as a 2017 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers. Yes, there was some happy author dancing in the kitchen when that news arrived! And I’ve still got that big smile in the photo on my face.
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club is Book 1 in the Lady Helen series. Book 2, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact (aka The Dark Days Pact) has just been released.
Alas, I still can’t tell you my other exciting news – it’s still embargoed. Hopefully, I will be able to announce it soon.
Cheers for now,
20th February, 2017
The Dark Days Pact shortlisted for an Aurealis Award!
I am thrilled to announce that Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact (aka The Dark Days Pact) has been shortlisted for a 2016 Aurealis Award in the Best YA Novel category! It is very strong field and I am so chuffed to be a finalist. You can find the full 2016 award listing here.
I also have some very exciting news brewing. It is embargoed at the moment, but as soon as I am allowed to tell everyone, I’ll post it far and wide (sorry to be so coy!).
At the moment I am busy writing the third Lady Helen book, but I will be heading up to the wonderful Somerset Festival of Literature on the Gold Coast in March, and appearing at Reading Matters in Melbourne in June, which has a fabulous line up of local and international guest authors talking all things YA.
Cheers for now,
9th February, 2017
Fantasy Cast and
The Dark Days Pact Blog Tour links!
I love a bit of fantasy casting, and I’ve been asked lately what my fantasy cast would be for The Dark Days Club and it’s sequel, The Dark Days Pact. So here it is, in all its glory:
Helen Ridley as Lady Helen, Aidan Turner as Carlston, a blond Benedict Cumberbatch as Selburn, and Nell Hudson as Darby. What do you think? Would you cast it differently?
The Dark Days Pact is now out in the USA and Canada as well as the UK and Australia, so to celebrate its release, PenguinTeen is currently running a blog tour full of fun posts about the Regency (by yours truly), interviews and other blogger delights. Follow the tour at the links below:
1/23 – A Page With a View – Like/Try/Why
1/24 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Interview with me
1/25 – Twinning for Books – Review + Mood Board
1/26 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post by me
1/27 – In Wonderland – Review
1/30 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
1/31 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Interview with me
2/1 – Xpresso Reads – Playlist
2/2 – The YA Book Traveler – They Did What?!
2/3 – Icey Books – Guest Post about Research by me
2/6 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
2/7 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post by me
2/8 – Forever Young Adult – Coming-Out Ball Mishaps
2/9 – Dark Faerie Tales – Interview with me
2/10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read
Cheers for now,
31st January 2017
The Dark Days Pact is out TODAY in the USA!
Seriously, I think this may be the best review I will ever receive in my life! It is from the HeroesandHeartbreakers.com blog and is for The Dark Days Pact, the second Lady Helen novel which is released in the USA today. Huzzah!
The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen Series #2)
Viking / January 31, 2017 / $18.99 print, $10.99 digital
If you thought you loved the Lady Helen novels after their premiere with The Dark Days Club last year, brace yourselves friends. Because love is about to become obsession.
The Dark Days Pact is everything that the increasing tension in The Dark Days Club promised us the sequel would be: an intense, terrifying, thrilling rush of romance and battle, blood and beating hearts, enemies and lovers. Darker, faster, at times absolutely hair-raising, this book is the critical moment at the height of a trilogy when the risks have never been greater and the rewards seem fewer and farther between.
In The Dark Days Pact we return to heroine and reluctant reclaimer Helen, who is living in seclusion in Brighton with Lady Margaret and Mr. Hammond after being discarded by her uncle at the end of the first book. (Following that amazing kiss on the floor of her bedroom with Carlston where she saved his life after the deceiver attack that killed the horrible Benchley.) Her potential betrothal to the Duke of Selburn (Looooove him) has imploded following the scandal, she is estranged from her family, surrounded by a frightening new reality—but, well, at least Brighton is quieter than London! Unfortunately, while life in Brighton may move at a more sedate pace, Helen’s life has not exactly quieted down.
The Dark Days Club began with a murder and a scandal, but still managed to feel somewhat light at the beginning, engaging readers in this story of discovery and becoming. A new world was unfolding before Helen and yes it was terrifying, but it was also attractive and fascinating. The Dark Days Pact, on the other hand, leaves you feeling hunted all the way through. As though time is constantly on the verge of running out, if it hasn’t already. And that tension permeates every aspect of the book, from Helen’s strained relationships with Carlston and Selburn, to her hunt for a mysterious, monstrous journal that might hold all the answers she has been seeking—and might just help save the life of the man she loves.
But even within this grim sequel we still see something flickering in the darkness – a source of hope and light. At the heart of The Dark Days Pact is a little seed of love that proves to be inextinguishable. Even as Helen is striding forth to face these magnificently crafted, unforgettable horrors she is also spinning a web of love around herself – gathering a small army of friends, allies and potential lovers to see her though.
I clutched this book—and I do mean clutched—in my hands and did not let it go until I was finished. I couldn’t have if I tried. I am so beyond impressed with this series. Every choice that Goodman makes just sells me on it more. She never forsakes her romance plots for the sake of her fantasy plots, nor vice versa. The Lady Helen novels are the perfect blend of regency romance and urban fantasy – truly the perfect marriage of two worlds. It’s two heroes competing for your hand in a public dance, and the feel of a knife hilt in your grip all at once.
So here’s your reader’s caveat:
Keep your “the monsters can’t get me under here” blanket close, your tissues closer, and get ready to fall in love all over again with Goodman’s magical Regency world. The Dark Days Pact is an epic, romantic, compelling read that you will not be able to put down. Just don’t forget to leave the light on.
Review by Jessica Avery
As you can imagine, I did the happy author dance when I read it.
The Dark Days Pact is now available in all good bookstores and online. If you do read and enjoy it, it would be great if you’d consider reviewing it on Goodreads, Amazon or B&N – it really helps spread the word and I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
Cheers for now,
29th January, 2017
The Dark Days Club ebook only $1.99 this week!
The Dark Days Club, the first Lady Helen adventure, is available as a Kindle ebook for only $1.99 instead of its normal price of $9.99 (USA only). Bargain! The deal is for this week only, so hurry to join Lady Helen in Regency London and discover the hidden, deadly world of the demonic Deceivers and the Dark Days Club.
27th January, 2017
The Dark Days Pact released in the U.K!
I’m thrilled to say that The Dark Days Pact, the sequel to The Dark Days Club, is now available in the U.K. from all good bookshops and online. In this second adventure, Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are at the Regency seaside resort of Brighton where, of course, dark happenings are afoot! As you can see from the pic, the U.K. edition is absolutely stunning and has the most beautiful spines to line up on your bookshelf.
The Australian edition – titled Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact – has also been released, and the U.S.A. edition will be available on 31st of January, so there is still time to preorder and make sure that you get you copy as soon as it is out.
8th January, 2016
The Dark Days Pact coming soon to the UK and the USA
Happy New Year!
It has been super hot here in Melbourne, so when the advance copy of the gorgeous USA hardback of The Dark Days Pact arrived in the mail, I hot-footed it (literally!) down to my local beach to take the obligatory proud author pic. It is a very fitting photo – The Dark Days Pact, the second book in the Lady Helen trilogy, is set in summer at the seaside resort of Brighton 1812, and here I am in 2017 at Brighton Beach in Melbourne! I am perhaps, a little less formally dressed than Lady Helen …
So, the exciting news is that the Aussie edition is already out as Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, and it will be released as The Dark Days Pact in the UK on January 26, and the USA and Canada on January 31 (or can be preordered now). It is already an EW Most Anticipated Book of 2017, and early indications are that this instalment in Lady Helen’s adventures may require a support group to cope with the ending (apparently there is one on Twitter for those who need to decompress in company).
By the way, did you know that if you preorder books or buy them in the first week they are published, you can really help out your favourite authors? Preordering can push a book on to a bestseller list, which is very prestigious, plus it creates a healthy first print run which puts the author in the good books (haha) with their publisher and makes it more likely that their next book or series will be picked up. Not to worry if you don’t have the resources to preorder or buy; a request to your local or school library to buy in your favourite authors’ books is just as valuable and sincerely appreciated.
In other news, I am looking for a new place to live so my future holds a lot of cardboard boxes and me wondering how I managed to collect so much stuff. Seriously, why do I still have a Sony Walkman…?
Cheers for now,
20th December, 2016
A Venn diagram that says it all…
(inspired by Amie Kaufman’s launch speech)
15th December, 2016
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact is launched (in Australia)!
Last night the wonderful and very funny Amie Kaufman, co-author of New York Times bestselling Illuminae and Gemina, launched Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, the second book in my Lady Helen trilogy. We had a great time sorting the Dark Days characters into Hogwart Houses (Lady Helen is Ravenclaw, Lord Carlston is Slytherin…well, he does have that dark side), played Marry-Kiss-Kill, and I tried to tie a regency cravat on Amie, proving that I would have been a terrible regency valet. I also read a tantalising smidge from the book and hinted that, yes, there may be a serious KISS!
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact will be on bookstore shelves in Australia on December 19 – just in time for Christmas – and will be available in the USA and UK as The Dark Days Pact in late January but you can pre-order now (here is the link to Amazon USA and Amazon UK or, of course, through the bookshop of your choice). If you live in Melbourne and are looking for a signed copy as a Christmas present, the Avenue Bookstore in Albert Park has six in stock with my scrawl upon them.
In other news, I have just renewed the movie option on EON, so fingers crossed that it continues to creep along on that long journey from book to screen!
Cheers for now,
3rd December, 2016
Invitation to the Australian launch of
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact
Book 2 in the Lady Helen series
Will you be in Melbourne on Wednesday 14th December? If you are, then I invite you to come along to the launch of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, Book 2 in the Lady Helen series (aka The Dark Days Pact in the USA and UK). I am thrilled to announce that the wonderful Amie Kaufman, co-author of New York Times bestselling Illuminae and Gemina, will be launching Lady Helen 2 into the world. Pre-release copies will be available to buy on the night, and I will, of course, be very happy to sign them. All details (including RSVP information) are on the invitation.
The official Australian bookshop release is 19th December…still in time for Christmas. Alas, USA and UK readers, you will have to wait until late January to find out what happens to Lady Helen and Lord Carlston. You can, however, now preorder to make sure you get your copy as soon as it is available. I can assure you it will be worth the wait!
To whet your appetite for Book 2, here is the back cover blurb:
After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen is banished from her family and has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton. There she is training as a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club and must learn to fight the dangerous energy-wielding Deceivers.
As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing, Helen realises that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle. Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.
When Mr Pike, the bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, no one is prepared for the ordinary evil he brings in his wake. He has a grudge against Lord Carlston and a secret mission for Helen. She has no choice but to do as he orders, knowing that the dangerous task will betray everyone around her – and possibly bring about Lord Carlston’s annihilation.
Book 2 is a corker – I can promise you sea-bathing, bawdy houses, deception and deadly Deceiver action!
Cheers for now,
18th November, 2016
FREE Lord Carlston e-novella
and Supanova Adelaide!
Did you miss reading the FREE Lord Carlston e-novella that I released a little while back? It recounts the first meeting between Lady Helen and Lord Carlston in the first book in the Lady Helen series, The Dark Days Club, from Carlston’s point of view and has loads of extra action. Now HarperCollins is offering you another chance to read it! It is a great introduction to the Lady Helen world.
As you can see in the photo, Lord Carlston has arrived and placed his calling card on the silver salver. Look carefully! Inscribed upon it is a bit.ly address that will take you to the e-novella.
In other news, I am heading to Adelaide today for the Supanova Pop Expo to sign books and meet readers. I also have loads of great Lady Helen swag to hand out, so if you are going to the Expo, do come to the signing booth to say hi and pick up some great give-aways. You can also bring along your books for me to sign, or you can buy Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon, and Eona from the bookshop next door. Alas, there are no pre-copies of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, the second book in the series, but it is due out on December 19 (just in time for Christmas pressies!).
Cheers for now,
15th November, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present
the U.K Cover of The Dark Days Pact!
As promised, here is the mind bogglingly beautiful UK cover for The Dark Days Pact, the second novel in The Lady Helen series, due for release in January 2017, but you can preorder now (both hard copy and e-copy). I’ve also been told that an animated trailer for the book is currently being produced and will be ready just before the January release so stay tuned for that too.
Also, as promised, below is a preview of the great Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact swag I will be giving away at Adelaide Supanova this coming weekend. Badges, postcards, bookmarks…and a very special calling card from Lord Carlston, himself, which is an invitation to read ‘Lusus Naturae’ the FREE Lady Helen e-novella that I have written from his point of view! If you can’t make it to Adelaide for Supanova, then Lord Carlston will also be posting his calling card on my Instagram and Twitter accounts later this week and over the Supanova weekend, so follow me to make sure you get your invitation.
If you can make it to the expo, then I look forward to meeting you and having a chat. Remember to bring along your books to be signed, or you can also buy copies of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon and Eona from the Supanova bookshop.
See you soon!
Cheers for now,
3rd November, 2016
Ta Da! Here is the Australian cover of
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact
The team at HarperCollins, my Australian publisher, have created an absolutely magnificent cover for the second Lady Helen book: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact. Isn’t it gorgeous? The colours are perfect for the setting in Brighton, I love the look on Lady Helen’s face, and of course there is that hint of Lord Carlston. Mmmmm. It is due out January 2017 and available for preorder now (it will also be sneaking out into Aussie bookshops on December 19 just in time for Christmas pressies so keep your eyes open!).
I will be heading to Adelaide Supanova in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to meet readers and sign Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon and Eona. If you already own them, you can bring along those copies to be signed, or you can buy from the bookshop on the day. I’ve got some great Lady Helen swag ready, so if you are going to the Expo, do drop by and pick some up. I’ll be posting pics of the goodies soon.
In other appearance news, I am also thrilled to announce that I will be a guest at Reading Matters 2017 in Melbourne, and also at the 2017 Somerset Celebration of Literature in Queensland!
Finally, the parade of beautiful covers will continue in the next few days–Walker Books UK have just released their cover for The Dark Days Pact and it is a doozy too. I am so lucky! So stay tuned. I’ll post it soon.
30th September, 2016
The Dark Days Pact USA cover revealed!
As promised, I can now reveal the stunning new USA hardback cover for the second Lady Helen adventure, The Dark Days Pact. If you are an admirer of the beautiful hardback cover of the first novel, The Dark Days Club, then you will have noticed that this one is quite a bit different! Yes, the series has been repackaged. Apparently book shoppers were missing the dark fantasy aspect of the Lady Helen series, so now the covers are like “HEY YOU, DARK HISTORICAL FANTASY WITHIN!”
I love, love, love this new cover direction, and what is even more exciting is that the cover for the paperback release of Book 1, The Dark Days Club, is just as gorgeous (see below). The paperback of The Dark Days Club will be released in early January 2017, and the hardback of The Dark Days Pact, Lady Helen’s new adventure, will be released late January 2017. You can preorder both from your favourite online or trad bookshop.
In other news, I will have some Australian festival appearances to announce very soon, and of course, I will be appearing at Adelaide Supanova in November. For those of you who will be coming to Adelaide, I’ve got some great swag to give away! Pics of that to come soon.
15th September, 2016
Adelaide Supanova and The Dark Days Pact cover reveals are coming!
It’s official – I am heading to Adelaide Supanova in November. Huzzah! I’ve never been to Adelaide in my “official” capacity as author so I’m looking forward to meeting those who have enjoyed Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon and Eona, and may even have a wonderful surprise that will be exclusive to Adelaide Supanova. More on that soon.
Next week, the USA will be officially revealing the cover of The Dark Days Pact, the second Lady Helen book which is due out in January! It is a stunner, so stay tuned. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Cheers for now,
30th August, 2016
French edition of Lady Helen released!
I’m rather thrilled to announce that the French edition of The Dark Days Club, titled Lady Helen Le Club Des Mauvais Jours has been released in France. It was actually released on my birthday – 18th August – so I call that a fabulous birthday present! Isn’t the cover gorgeous? My friend, Aylwen Hamilton, author of the fab Rebel of the Sands, took this picture of it in Paris in the wild. Thanks Aylwen! I’m particularly thrilled because the bookshop has put a “Coup de coeur” sticker on it.
In other news, I have now finished the copy edit of the second Lady Helen book, The Dark Days Pact (or if you live in Australia, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact) so ARC’s will be heading out to reviewers very soon. Huzzah! Wait to you see the various covers. OMG! They are all brilliant. Each country will be doing their own reveal, so stay tuned.
For those who are still interested in getting their hands on the Lord Carlston novella (the meeting between Helen and Carlston from his point of view), I’m afraid the free download period is now over through Walker Books UK. Don’t fret, though! Other opportunities to download it or buy it will be coming up in the future. Keep an eye on this page, or follow my Twitter account (link above) and I will let you know.
Cheers for now,
1st July 2016
FREE Lord Carlston Novella – be quick!
For a short time only, Walker Books UK are offering the Lord Carlston novella for FREE at YALC or as a download via the Dark Days Club tumblr account. The novella is from Lord Carlston’s perspective and starts at the point in The Dark Days Club (aka Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club in Australia) when he and Lady Helen meet for the first time! Be quick– it won’t be available for long!
UPDATE: There have been a few issues with it not downloading on phones, so it is probably best to read it on a laptop or desktop computer if you can.
25th July, 2016
Review in Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine
Just wanted to share a wonderful review of The Dark Days Club (aka Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club) that is in the current issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, the go-to magazine for all Jane Austen and Regency fans. Dear Reader, I believe the Reviewer loved it!
13th July, 2016
Like most writers, I am often asked for writing tips. So, below I’ve collected my top writing tips for beginners. For those who are further down the track in terms of writing knowledge, you can find some more advanced information in my On Writing section above.
My number one tip is to read as much as you can. Good stuff, bad stuff, books and stories of all kinds and all genres. But don’t read them just as entertainment – think about why something works as a story for you, and why it doesn’t. That is the beginning of becoming a good writer.
My second tip is to read some books about the craft of writing, or if you have the resources, take some writing classes. Learn about the craft of constructing stories. John Marsden’s book “Everything I Know About Writing” is a good basics how-to book.
And, of course, my third tip is to write. Get in front of the computer or the page and write, write, write. Practice is essential. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the first draft, just let the words and ideas flow. Then, when it comes to rewriting (and all serious writers rewrite their work) bring in the craft that you have learned from books or classes or your own ideas about writing.
In terms of actually putting words on the page, my top tips are:
- Use the five senses in your writing. Most beginner writers only use sight when they are describing things, but we have five senses and if you use them in your descriptions, your work will be more vivid. Of course, you don’t want to use them all at once in the same sentence!
- Show Don’t Tell. This idea is best explained by example.
Here is an example of telling: John was angry because he lost the tennis match.
Here is an example of showing that same piece of information:
“Out” the umpire called.
John pivoted on his heel and glared at the man. “Are you kidding me?”
The umpire crossed his arms. “It was out.”
John slapped his hand against the strings of his racquet. “It was in. I can see the mark from here.”
The umpire shook his head.
“You just want me to lose,” John yelled.
So, as you can see, while the “telling “ example gives the same information, it has no “life” or drama in it. The “show” example, on the other hand, is dramatic (in the sense that we can visualise the action and things are happening between two characters), engages you as a reader, and creates emotion through conflict. As a writer, you want your reader to feel something as they read your work. By using dialogue, action and descriptions you can create emotions like suspense, excitement, and laughter.
- Be specific. For example, instead of writing:
A dog ran into the room.
A black poodle ran into the room.
Your reader will be able to visualise the world you create more easily.
- Find Unique Detail. Often a beginner writer will use a cliché or an overused way of describing something. Try and push past those banal ways of describing things and write your own unique way of seeing the world.
- Most good stories are about a character with a goal who has to solve problems and get over obstacles to achieve that goal. There should be some kind of conflict in every story. There are three kinds of conflict:
- between your main character and other people (external).
- Within your character e.g. his or her morals, beliefs etc. (internal)
- Between your main character and society or the environment e.g. a character battling to survive in a huge storm.
The best stories always have some kind of inner conflict within the main character, as well as one or more of the external conflicts.
I hope some of that is useful in your writing!
Cheers for now,
9th July, 2016
Pics from Supanova Perth
Supanova Perth was just as brilliant as Supanova Sydney: lots of signing and chatting to fans, plus I got to go to the James Marsters concert and hang out with the other authors including Tamora Pierce and Glenda Larke. Here are some pics, including a little montage of ‘Terrier’ that Tamora signed for me – yes, I am totally fan-girling!
James Marsters in concert; with the lovely Glenda Larke; my favourite tree, Groot.
23rd June, 2016
Off to Supanova Perth this weekend & pics from Supanova Sydney
WOW, Supanova Sydney was fabulous. So much fun! I signed many copies of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon and Eona, met some lovely fans and welcomed loads of new readers into The Dark Days Club.
As you can see in the pics, I also met the very wonderful James Marsters from Buffy, and John Noble, Sherlock’s Dad in Elementary.
I’m off to Perth Supanova this weekend, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. If it is anything like the Sydney weekend, it is going to be a blast!
Hope to see you there.
Cheers for now,
15th June, 2016
I’m off to Sydney this weekend for Supanova Expo (Friday 17th June to Sunday 19th June). I’ll be signing books at the official Expo bookshop, so if you are heading in, do drop by and say hello. I would love to meet you.
Today, I got the roughs for the Australian cover of Lady Helen and The Dark Days Pact, the second Lady Helen adventure (it will be called The Dark Days Pact in the USA, UK and Canada). I can’t give you a sneaky peek yet–it has to be finalised–but I can tell you that it is gorgeous and features the same lovely gal who is on the cover of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (and who is featured on this Supanova pic)! Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact is set in Brighton during the summer season, so that might give you a hint about the colour palette.
Cheers for now,
3rd June, 2016
The Little Free Library and
Lady Helen Book 2 News
It was my pleasure and honour to be asked by my fellow author Juliet Sampson to launch The Little Free Library at the wonderful French cafe Le Petit Lapin in Caulfield, Melbourne recently. The cafe will be the home of the library and I couldn’t think of a better place for it. Le Petit Lapin has great coffee, a delicious French menu including freshly baked croissants and cakes and, now, free books. . .that is surely heaven!
Juliet and her mother Jillian organised the library and asked local authors, including myself, to donate signed copies of their books. Readers can take one of the books and either return it when they have finished or replace it with another book. It is such a lovely idea that has really gained a lot of support across the world and Juliet and Jillian have done a brilliant job creating this lovely addition to the Little Free Library collective.
In other news, I have returned the completed edit of The Dark Days Pact, the second Lady Helen adventure, to my publishers! Now we go into copy edit – where the nitty-gritty stuff is checked – so all is on track for a January 2017 release. Huzzah! There has been a slight hold up regarding the Lord Carlston novelette, but stay tuned. As soon as I know when and how it will be available, I will post the details here, on Twitter and Facebook. You can link into all my social media above via the usual buttons. I’d love to hear from you!
Finally, I will be signing books at Sydney Supanova and Perth Supanova this month. At each expo, I’ll be at the official Supanova bookshop with quill* in hand ready to sign Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (the Aussie title of The Dark Days club), EON, EONA and of course good old Singing the Dogstar Blues, my first novel which, would you believe it, has been out and about in the world for nearly 18 years!
*actually a Sharpie (quills are a bit messy)
25th May, 2016
More Lord Carlston goodness on its way and Japanese Eon/Eona covers!
For those lovely readers who have been asking me for more Lady Helen and Lord Carlston, your pleas have been answered! I’m currently editing a novelette that is from Lord Carlston’s point of view. It slots in to Chapter 5 of the first book, The Dark Days Club, when Lady Helen and Lord Carlston meet for the first time and has a whole lot of extra Lord Carlston, Beau Brummell and Deceiver action. It will be available soon, so stay tuned.
In others news, I will be heading to the Sydney and Perth Supanova’s as a guest at the official Expo bookshop. If you would like to say hi or get your Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon, Eona or even good old Singing the Dogstar Blues signed, do come along. I would love to meet you.
Speaking of Eon and Eona, they have just been published in Japan in the most exquisite little two volume sets. As you can see from the pics at right, when you put each set together, side by side, the dragons becomes visible. The two Eon volumes are across the top, Eona is across the bottom. Gorgeous.
Finally, all is on track for The Dark Days Pact, the second Lady Helen book, to be released as promised at Christmas/New Year. I’ll be getting some cover designs soon too, so when they are finalised, I’ll be able to give you a sneaky peek.
Cheers for now,
24th April, 2016
Thanks to all the Melbournian Lady Helen and Eona fans who dropped by to say hi and get their books signed at Supanova, and a big welcome to the Dark Days Club for those who bought it at the Expo. I hope you enjoy Lady Helen’s adventures. Here’s a few pics of the two days.
The great news is that I have been invited to be a ‘Supa-Star’ author at the Sydney and Perth Supanova’s in June too. Huzzah!
I’m also going to be a guest at the Clunes Booktown Festival on Sunday May 1st. I’ll be taking part in a panel about writing teen fiction with Fiona Wood, Emily Gale and Glenda Millard. We’ll be in “The Warehouse” at 1pm. Hope to see you there!
In other wonderful news, the French edition of Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club will be released by Gallimard on my birthday, August 18th! What a great pressie. The title in French will be LADY HELEN Le Club Des Mauvais Jours. Sexy, hey? But then everything sounds sexy in French. A cover reveal will be coming soon.
On Twitter, I have started a Writing Tip of the Day (WTOTD) with an emphasis on nuts and bolts writing craft, so if you are would like to follow, my Twitter name is @AlisonGoodman.
I am currently working on the edits for the second book in the Lady Helen trilogy –The Dark Days Pact – and working on Book 3. I’m also close to finishing a longish short story from Lord Carlston’s point of view, which will soon be available for purchase from this website! It’s all happening here, folks!
Cheers for now,
14th April, 2016
I’m off to Supanova in Melbourne
It’s Melbourne Supanova Pop Expo this weekend at the Melbourne Showgrounds and I will be at the official bookshop both days to sign Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, Eon and Eona!
To help you find me, my husband has designed this ginormous standing banner using the wonderful cover of the Australian edition of Lady Helen. I kind of think no one is going to miss me!
It has also just been confirmed that I will be appearing at Supanova Pop Expo in Sydney and Perth too, in June. Huzzah! The banner will be getting a good workout.
In other exciting news, the publishing rights to Eon and Eona and The Dark Days Club (the overseas title for Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club) have been bought by Russian publisher, Ripol Classic, who are also Russia’s publisher of John Green and Cassandra Clare among others. I am thrilled to be in such company!
Cheers for now,
13th April, 2016
Pics from PenguinTeen on Tour!
I’m back from my USA signing tour and it was such a blast. I was lucky enough to tour with five other wonderful authors: Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands), Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle series), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes series), April Genevieve Tucholke (Wink Poppy Midnight), with a special pop-in appearance by Karen Bao (The Dove Chronicles series). We clicked immediately and had such a hoot travelling across the USA together. Here are a few pics from the tour. If you would like more, check out my instagram account at @alisongoodmanauthor.
12th March, 2016
I will be signing books in New York City on Sunday 20th March!
I am very pleased to announce that I will be taking part in the Mega YA author signing day on Sunday 20th March. The signing is part of the NYC Teen Author Festival, (officially called the “No-Foolin’ Mega-Signing”) and will take place at Books of Wonder , 18 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011. The signing event lasts from 1-4pm, and I will be signing from 3:30 – 4pm. Here is the link to the details of the event. A ticket to all the signing sessions is issued with the purchase of any YA title. I hope to see you there!
In other news, the big USA tour for The Dark Days Club is coming up fast and I will be jumping on a plane on Monday! Check out the tour cities and times in my events section or the tour post below. There will be 6 authors on tour and we will be visiting Miami, Cincinnati, Nashville, St. Charles, St. Paul, Toronto, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco.
7th March, 2016
I’m going to Supanova!
I’ve been invited to appear at Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Melbourne. Huzzah! Come along to the Dymocks stand, have a chat and get your Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club signed! April 16-17 at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
And for my US readers who are looking to have their copies of The Dark Days Club signed, I’m heading over to the States for the PenguinTeen on Tour very soon. Six authors, 10 cities and a lot of fun! The Tour starts on March 22nd to April 1st and we are criss-crossing the country. For more information, check out the Tour post below to see the dates and events. Some are ticketed, so best to get in early. Hope to see you soon!
Cheers for now,
21st February, 2016
Lady Helen shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards!
I am absolutely thrilled to report that Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (aka The Dark Days Club) has been shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards: Best Fantasy Novel, and Best YA Novel. Wheeeee!
You can check out the full list of finalists here.
In other news, I am getting ready for the PenguinTeen USA tour alongside Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands), Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle series), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes series), April Genevieve Tucholke (Wink Poppy Midnight), and special guest Karen Bao (The Dove Chronicles series)! The tour starts on March 22nd and goes right through to April 1st. Check out the city schedule below – I hope to see you at one of the events!
11th February, 2016
USA Tour Schedule!
As promised, here is the schedule for my upcoming USA tour next month! I’m so excited to get the chance to meet my US readers, and I will be travelling with a wonderful group of fellow Penguin authors: Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands), Rachel Hawkins (Rebel Belle series), Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes series), April Genevieve Tucholke (Wink Poppy Midnight), and special guest Karen Bao (The Dove Chronicles series)!
Tuesday, March 22nd —MIAMI, FL
7:00 PM @ Books & Books
265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Wednesday, March 23rd —CINCINNATI, OH
7:00 PM @ Joseph-Beth Booksellers
5030 Oaklawn Drive, Suite B, Cincinnati, OH 45227
Thursday, March 24th — NASHVILLE, TN
6:30 PM @ Parnassus Books
3900 Hillsboro Pike Ste 14, Nashville, TN 37215
Friday, March 25th —ST. LOUIS, MO
7:00 PM w/ Karen Bao @ The Charles City-County Library – Spencer Road Branch
427 Spencer Rd., St. Peters, MO 63376
Saturday, March 26th—ST. PAUL, MN
6:30 PM w/ Karen Bao @ Red Balloon Bookshop
91 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
Monday, March 28th—TORONTO, ON
2:00 PM @ Chapters Brampton
Market Hall, 52 Quarry Edge Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Tuesday, March 29th—DALLAS, TX
7:00 PM @ Half Price Books
5803 E Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231
Wednesday, March 30th—SAN DIEGO, CA
7:30 PM @ Mysterious Galaxy
5943 Balboa Avenue #100, San Diego, CA 92111
Thursday, March 31st—SAN JOSE, CA
7:00 PM @ Hicklebee’s
1378 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125
Friday, April 1st—SAN FRANCISCO, CA
7:00 PM @ Books, Inc. Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102
I hope to see you at one of the above events!
Cheers for now,
1st February, 2016
MaxPop Twitter Q&A and Upcoming Appearances
Lady Helen has now made her curtsy to Australia, the USA, Canada and the UK. Huzzah! It has been such an exciting few weeks and in the post below you can see some of the media that The Dark Days Club has received. A big thank you to those who have loved Lady Helen’s first adventure and posted about it – spreading the word about a book you have enjoyed is the best way of supporting an author!
I have some online and in-person appearances coming up, so if you’d like to have a chat about Lady Helen or my other books, here are the times and “places”:
Twitter Q&A session with Maximum Pop! Books: Monday 8.30pm UK time (which is 7.30am on Tuesday morning where I will be in Melbourne Australia). Check out the pic below for information on how to pre-send a question for me.
Book Signing at Dymocks Brisbane: I will be at Dymocks Bookshop in Brisbane to chat and sign books on Friday 5th February from 12 noon to about 1.00pm.
Radio Interview and Facebook Q&A: I will be interviewed on ABC Rhi on Sunday 7th February on the OZYA program and then at 8.00pm (EST), I’ll be answering questions on the ABCRhi Facebook page.
USA Tour: Yes, I am coming to the USA and I can’t wait! The tour dates are 22nd March to 1st April and the cities we will be visiting are yet to be confirmed, but as soon as they are, I’ll post here and in my other social media. Stay tuned for details: Twitter @AlisonGoodman, Instagram: alisongoodmanauthor, Facebook (where you can also contact me): AlisonGoodmanAuthorPage
Hope to see you soon.
Cheers for now,
19th January, 2016
Some Dark Days Club Media!
Below is a review of The Dark Days Club from SFX. I particularly love the line “The prose is as witty as Elizabeth Bennet herself and the whole book is a joy from start to finish”. Now, that certainly warms an author’s heart!
The Dark Days Club also received a starred review in the SLJ (School Library Journal).
And another starred review in Publishers Weekly.
It was one of the books voted as two hot reads for the New Year in The Bucks County Courier Times, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times (the review ran in all three!).
It was one of three Hot Buzz books in the Booktopia Young Adult Buzz newsletter.
It was also one of the 13 books selected as Bustle’s Best January YA reads.
Leila Ann Roy writes about its themes for Kirkus Reviews.
And that is just a few of the lovely reviews, lists and articles!
The release dates of The Dark Days Club in the UK and the USA are rapidly approaching– UK is 21st January and USA is 26th January– and it is already out in Australia under the title Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club.
Also, for those who might be in London on the weekends of the 23rd and 30th January, you can pick up a free two chapter sampler on Oxford Street outside TopShop, Primark and New Look. Keep an eye out for the team in The Dark Days Club branded jackets. There is also a chance to win some shopping vouchers too.
Cheers for now,
12th January, 2016
Steampunk Quill and U.K. Release of The Dark Days Club
Happy New Year! 2016 is going to be a busy one for me: The Dark Days Club will be launching in the U.K. on the 21st January, and on the 26th January in the USA. Plus, I’ll be touring the USA from March 22nd to April 1st. The tour schedule is not confirmed yet, but as soon as it is, I’ll post it here and in my events section.
If you are in London, remember that you can get your free sampler chapters of The Dark Days Club on Oxford Street on the weekends of the 23rd January and 30th January. There will also be chances to win copies of the book and fashion vouchers to the tune of 150 pounds. The teams will be outside TopShop, Primark and New Look and will be wearing The Dark Days Club branded jackets so keep an eye out for them.
In other news, on the left you’ll see a pic of the magnificent Steampunk quill pen that Brisbane artist, Luke Barker, made for me. I am one lucky gal! It is a beautiful piece of art, and it can actually be used to write. Thank you, Luke. You can check out his wonderful paintings and artworks via the link above.
Cheers for now,