What is CliFi? (The Rise of Climate Fiction)

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Unless you have been living in complete media and social media blackout this past week, you will have heard about the massive climate strike action by school children taking place all over the world the past few days, as well as Greta Thunberg’s passionate speech in front of the United Nations. Climate change and climate crisis have become major talking points (with good reason).

But it is not only scientists and the next generation of children who are talking about climate change and its future effects on our world. A new genre of fiction has also arisen as a side affect of the climate crisis and it is starting to gain some traction. I am talking about CliFi.

What is CliFi?

CliFi, an abbreviation of ‘Climate Fiction’, first came into use around 2013 and was coined by journalist Dan Bloom. A niche subgenre of speculative fiction (and closely related to both sci-fi and dystopian fiction), it generally focuses on dystopian futures where the world has been severely impacted by climate change. It imagines a world that could more than likely become all too real in the near future and relies heavily on scientific predictions, such as rising sea waters and rising temperatures.

Why is CliFi Becoming More Popular?

Climate change and climate crisis are increasingly being talked about in the media and on social media. Climate activists, such as Greta Thunberg, are drawing our collective attention to these issues. As we progress closer to a time where climate change may be irreversible, climate fiction paints a picture of what a possible future might look like. It gets us to think about “what-if?” In some ways CliFi acts as a warning–a call to action: “If we don’t do something now, this is what our world will become. Let’s keep fiction as fiction and not let it become our reality.”

 

If you are interested in reading some CliFi for yourself, check out the Drowned Earth kickstarter campaign–a series of eight novellas set in a near-future world thrown into chaos by climate change. You can also subscribe to this blog or any of my social media channels so you can be one of the first to know when my own CliFi novella The Jindabyne Secret is released later this year.

Drowned Earth cover promo

For further reading on the topic of CliFi, check out the following articles:

Imagining both utopian and dystopian climate futures is crucial – which is why cli-fi is so important. 

CliFi – A new way to talk about climate change.

Read any great clifi lately? Drop some titles in the comments!

Earth image by TheDigitalArtist on Pixabay

How to be an Author on Instagram

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For a long time I put off the idea of joining Instagram as an author. As a social media platform that deals in images, I wasn’t sure how that would apply to someone who works with the written word. However, it seems more and more writers are taking on the world of Instagram, so I became curious. How do you present yourself as an author on a platform that deals in images?

I headed over to Instagram and looked up the profiles of my fellow authors to see how they did it.

1. Book covers

This was the obvious one. It is a great place to share your book cover when promoting a new release.

Drowned Earth cover promo

2. Writing Life

Many authors share snippets of their writing life in pictures. Laptops alongside coffee mugs. Notebooks open outside on the grass artistically surrounded by flowers. What I love about these pictures is that there is so much scope to get creative. And we writers love getting creative!

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3. Books You Are Reading

Most writers are also voracious readers. Not only that, it gives you an opportunity to tap into potential future readers of your books. Show a photo of your ‘to-read’ pile or an artistically placed picture of the book you are currently reading. Don’t forget those hashtags!

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4. Inspirational Writing Quotes

I saw this on a lot of author’s Instagram pages, and it was a big draw for me to want to follow them. Just a plain square or stock image with a quote in the middle. What inspires you as a writer might just inspire your fellow writers.

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5. Images to Link in with Your Book

Writing an epic space saga? Share some space inspired images. Writing a cosy mystery? Share pictures of real life places that inspire the locales in your book.

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A book about a frogs?

 

Feeling inspired, I finally took the leap into the world of Instagram. You can find me there as:

jo.hart.author

Feel free to follow along my Instagram journey.

And don’t forget I will still be using my regular social media platforms if Instagram is not for you:

Jo Hart – Author on Facebook

@gracefuldoe on Twitter

Already an Instagram user? Share your tips below in the comments.

Cover Reveal! Plus how to get a signed copy and other goodies!

Drowned Earth cover promo

I’m so excited to reveal the cover and release date of my upcoming novella The Jindabyne Secret! How beautiful is the cover? I fell in love with it the moment my publisher showed it to me. I felt it captures The Jindabyne Secret and the main character Jax perfectly.

The Jindabyne Secret is part of the Drowned Earth series and follows 19-year-old Jax in a future dystopian Australian setting. With nothing but a map and a rickety solar truck, Jax journeys to the top secret fresh water facility at Lake Jindabyne – one of the few fresh water lakes left in Australia. What he discovers there could be the key to saving his whole community, as long as the government doesn’t kill him first.

The Jindabyne Secret will be released in DECEMBER 2019 in paperback and ebook format, but you can preorder your copy through Deadset Press’s kickstarter campaign. Not only can you preorder, but you can secure a signed copy or get some bonus Drowned Earth merchandise. This is a great way to support a small and fairly new Australian Press. They’ve been fantastic to work with and are passionate about promoting Australian speculative fiction and Australian authors.  While there check out the free-to-read Drowned Earth prequel short story, plus blurbs from the other stories in the series.

Author Interview with Aussie Speculative Fiction

Drowned Earth Novellas promo full Jo Hart

This week I was interviewed on the Aussie Speculative Fiction website. I got to talk about my upcoming Drowned Earth novella The Jindabyne Secret (I’ll be talking a bit more about it here in the coming weeks), I gave a sneak peek into my Google search history, and I give some of my best advice for aspiring writers.

You can find a link to the interview HERE.

How to Write a Picture Book Query

1195237_old_lettersIn my role as co-admin for the query critique forum on 12 x 12, I recently wrote a post on writing a picture book query. 12 x 12 is closed to new memberships for 2016 (they will reopen again in January 2017), but I wanted share the post here, too, because while there is a lot of information out there on writing regular query letters, information on writing a picture book query is much harder to come by.

At the end of the post you’ll find some tips from professionals and some helpful resources.

Remember, agents/editors can differ in what they expect/want from a query letter (or cover letter), so please always check submission guidelines.

How to Write a Picture Book Query – The Basics

The Layout of a Picture Book Query

When writing a query letter for a picture book you will basically have three main paragraphs, plus your sign-off.

  1. Intro
  • Make sure you specifically address the agent you are querying (use Mr. or Ms. [last name]). DOUBLE CHECK you have spelled their name correctly.
  • Personalise to the agent. Why are you querying this agent with this story? Show you have done your research.
  • You can also include here the TITLE of your story (in all-caps), the word count and the age-range. Age-range is super important, as it shows you know your target audience. Some people include word count and age-range after the pitch and that’s okay, too.
  1. The pitch.
  • This is where you pitch your story. Think of it like a book jacket blurb—you want to entice the agent to read your story.
  • Keep it short (this is a point universally agreed upon by agents—picture book queries should be short and simple). Try to aim for three sentences for the pitch. Five sentences at the very maximum!
  • In a picture book query you should aim to tell your story in a nutshell, including the ending. You don’t have to give everything away—you can still keep a bit of mystery. There’s no need to tell how your characters get to that point—you still want to leave the agent/editor intrigued.
  • Here’s a helpful template to help boil down your plot: “When [catalyst of your story happens], [main character] [takes this action], however [these things happen to prevent character reaching their goal]. In the end [this happens/main character discovers this].”
  • It’s important to convey the tone and voice of your story in the query (this DOES NOT mean telling it in your character’s POV). Eg: Is your story funny? Make sure you convey that humour in the query.
  • After the pitch, you might include any comparative texts or mention any relevant information/market research (eg: if it has crossover appeal or there’s a gap in the market or it has content/back matter appropriate for classroom use).

3. Bio

  • Include any publishing credits or awards if you have any. (If you don’t, that’s okay!)
  • You can also include any relevant tertiary degrees or professions (eg: you’re writing a book on dinosaurs and you’re a palaeontologist).
  • Include if you are a member of SCBWI or 12 x 12 or any other significant/relevant associations.
  1. Sign off.
  • Let them know if you have other titles available to view upon their request. (No need to include specific titles, just a generic “I have several other completed titles available upon request” is all you need.)
  • Thank them for their time and consideration.
  • Don’t forget to include your contact details under your sign off. (In emails, contact details go after your signature, rather than at the top as is usual in snail mail.)

TIP: Be sure to read your query aloud! Not only will this help you catch any spelling/grammar mistakes, but it allows you to hear how it sounds.

Tips from Professionals

From agent Mary Kole of kidlit.com

  • Create an image in the agent’s mind.
  • “Even if you’re only writing the text, give me at least one concrete image to walk away from the query with… Describe a scene for me in a sentence that’ll give me a mental picture.”
  • Channel the voice of your book.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • “Present the main characters, the main problem, and the resolution, then work in a hook.”

From picture book authors, and hosts of PB Lit Chat, Kathryn Apel and Karen Collum

  • Capture the heart and tone of your story.
  • Use a small section of text from your book. (eg: a line or phrase) This doesn’t mean quote a section of your story, but rather work the wording into your story description. Use the same fun words or slip in some of the imagery.
  • Keep it short.
  • Give the whole story in a nutshell, including the ending.

From agent Janet Reid of Query Shark

  • “You should not describe how you want the book laid out or offer illustrations (generally).” This means, don’t include page breaks in your manuscript or send a dummy or tell them you already have an illustrator lined up or include illustrations (unless, of course, YOU are an author/illustrator).
  • “Who is your audience? Who will buy this book?” ie: what age range is the book aimed at. Would this appeal to the parent of a child of this age range.
  • “Give me confidence that you’ve done research on how the industry works.”

From Emma Walton Hamilton (aka The Query Whisperer)

  • Make the agent feel as though you’ve done your homework.
  • Focus on the theme (this refers to the essence of your story).
  • Make it intriguing without giving away the whole
  • Be succinct. Two to three sentences for your pitch paragraph.
  • “Craft your sentences artfully—so that the query conveys both the strength of your writing skills and the spirit of your manuscript.”
  • Conclude with what your character learns in the end.

From agent Danielle Smith of Foreword Literary

  • Be concise—tell me what I need to know.

From agent Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary

  • Keep it short—you should be able to tell the plot in three to five sentences.
  • Know where your picture book belongs in the market.

As you can see there’s some recurring themes here:

**KEEP IT SHORT!**

**Know your audience/do your research.**

**Bring the tone/voice/theme/imagery/heart of your story into the query.**

 

Helpful Links/Sources:

Picture Book Queries on kidlit.com

Query Shark

How to Query a Picture Book on mariavicente.com

Picture Book Query Letters by Emma Walton Hamilton (from Write on Con 2011)

Writing a Picture Book Query on johartauthor.com

You might also like to check out Julie Hedlund (12 x 12 founder) and Emma Walton Hamilton’s course: The Complete Picture Book Submissions System (though it costs to do the course, even when it’s closed you can pick up a FREE 7-Step Submissions Checklist, which has some helpful hints on crafting your query).

If you become a member of 12 x 12 you not only get access to the query critique forum, but you also get access to webinars from agents, editors and other professionals that sometimes focus specifically on writing picture book queries (there’s one coming up this month for members ‘Cracking the Picture Book Query’). Registration opens to new members in January and February.

 

Please feel free to share below any useful resources/links you have come across in relation to PB query writing. Or perhaps you’ve received or heard advice from agents/editors at conferences, etc. you can share.

Valentine’s Day – Love Bites

In honour of Valentine’s Day I’m sharing a Valentine’s Day excerpt from my story ‘Love Bites’. Enjoy!

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The pedestal fan in my lounge room pushed around the muggy heat without offering much relief. I cracked a window and sighed in relief as the cool air flowed in. Finally the cool change had arrived. I pushed the window open as wide as it would go, then opened the window in the kitchen, too, so I could heat up a frozen pizza in the oven. Flicking through TV channels, I settled on an old black and white movie. I’d barely snuggled under blanket on the couch with my pizza when there was a knock at the door. I lay my pizza down with a sigh and answered it. A floral delivery lady stood outside with a bunch of yellow gerberas and a heart-shaped box.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” she said, smiling as she handed the flowers and box to me.

I thanked her and went to the kitchen to fill a vase with water. I put the flowers in the vase and pulled out the card to see who had sent them.

To my favourite gal pal. Love Stu.

I smiled to myself as I peeked inside the heart-shaped box to find it full of my favourite chocolates (the ones with the cherry centres). Stu and I had been good mates since high school. He always knew just how to cheer me up.

I placed the box of chocolates beside the couch for later while I finished off my pizza. I’d barely sat down when another knock at the door interrupted me. I trudged back over to answer it.

It was Todd. Muscles bulged beneath his skin tight white t-shirt and his shaved head gleamed under the porch light. He held a single white rose and a box of chocolates with a hopeful look on his face.

I didn’t take them.

“What’s this about?” I asked, indicating the flower and chocolates.

“I knew you’d be alone for Valentine’s Day and I wondered if you would be my Valentine?”

“Oh, so this is a pity Valentine, is it?”

Anger boiled inside me. Todd and I had not parted on good terms. He’d taken up with his ex-girlfriend while we were still together. I found out about it the day he dumped me. It was a hard blow to get dumped and to find out he’d been cheating on me all at the same time. I was still feeling hurt from being treated so badly by him. I was nowhere near ready to forgive him. And now, to rub salt into the wound, here he was offering me a Valentine because I was obviously too pathetic to find a date for Valentine’s Day. I wondered why he wasn’t spending Valentine’s Day with her.

“Of course it’s not a pity Valentine,” he said smoothly. “Michelle, I still have feelings for you and I was hoping there was a chance we could get back together, now you’ve had time to cool down about everything that happened.”

In other words, his ex had tossed him to the kerb again. I could have spit chips. Did he think all I needed to do was cool down, maybe have a little affair of my own to get everything out of my system, and I would take him back? “So you came over here, presuming I would have no plans on Valentine’s Day? You thought I would be drowning in self-pity and you would have a chance at worming your way back into my life?”

He ran an eye over my grey sweatpants and stretched Mickey Mouse t-shirt.

Do you have plans?” he asked, a hint of a knowing smile played on his lips.

“As a matter of fact I do have plans,” I lied. “I was just about to get ready when you knocked on the door. Now I’m going to be late for my date because I’ve been held up talking to you.”

I slammed the door in his face and stomped off to my bedroom. I peeked out of the curtains and saw him leaning against the side of the house, grinning. He was going to call my bluff. Now I would have to pretend I really did have a date or else have to face Todd’s smug smile when he found out I was lying.

I jumped in the shower and washed my hair. A perfectly good night in front of the TV with my favourite chocolates had been ruined. After I had blow-dried my hair, I peeked out of the curtains again. He was still there. I gritted my teeth and went to my closet. I found the sexiest dress I owned, just to spite him. A cherry red colour, the dress had a heart-cut bodice with shoestring straps and flared out from the waist. It showed just enough cleavage and leg to be sexy, without being too trampy. I left my hair out, popped in some hoop earrings and slipped into my favourite red high heels.

I grabbed my purse and opened the door, expecting Todd to be still standing on the porch. He wasn’t. Doing a quick scan of the front yard, I spotted his elbow jutting out from behind the tree line. He was spying on me, probably testing to see if I’d give up my ruse if I didn’t think he was there. I almost trod on the box of chocolates and rose he’d left by the door. I couldn’t just leave them there—the chocolates would attract wildlife and I didn’t want some possum to get sick because it had devoured a whole box. I put the rose in the vase with the gerberas from Stu because I couldn’t stand to see it wilt and die. The white did look kind of pretty amongst all the yellow. I opened the box to see what kind of chocolates were inside. Lemon creams. Yuck. I knew Todd was a health nut and didn’t take a lot of notice of junk food (he always hated it when I ate junk food in front of him), but surely after dating all those months he would have some idea of what kind of chocolate I liked. I guess he really didn’t know me that well at all. There was a little note stuck inside the lid, ‘You squeeze my lemon, baby.’ Why did I ever date this guy? I dumped the chocolates unceremoniously into the bin.

As a last minute thought I grabbed the heart-shaped box of chocolates from Stu and tucked them under my arm to take with me. Hopefully Todd would think they were a gift for my mystery date and realise I wasn’t faking it—even though I was.

I got in the car, put the chocolates on the passenger seat and started driving with no idea where I was going or whether Todd would follow me. I reached over and plucked a chocolate from the box to suck on.

Driving on autopilot, I ended up in the city and before long I neared the neon lights of the new nightclub that had opened up a few months ago. I guess it must have subconsciously stuck in my mind from my earlier conversation with Cherie.

I wasn’t really one for going out in the city, usually, though I’d been out to a couple of the nightclubs with the girls when they’d dragged me. The rumours of it being frequented by aliens or monsters or vampires had intrigued me. I guess now I could find out for myself. I’d tried to convince Todd to take me nightclubbing a couple of times when we’d still been dating, but he’d always resisted the idea. He said the music in those places gave him a headache.

Good, I thought. If Todd had decided to follow me this would really rile him up.

I pulled into the car park out front and replaced the lid on the chocolates (had I really eaten half a box?)

As I climbed out of the car I felt a little woozy, as though I’d had too much to drink. I leaned over and checked the label on the chocolates. Liqueur. No wonder I felt a bit drunk. I’d been so angry at Todd I hadn’t even noticed they tasted different to normal. I looked around for Todd, but couldn’t see him. For all I knew he was sulking back at his house, or back in the arms of what’s-her-face. I must have really thought a lot of myself to have thought he’d follow me all the way to the city out of jealousy.

I’d wasted petrol getting to the city and I wasn’t about to turn around and drive back home again, I figured I might as well ease my curiosity. Actually, considering my slightly drunk condition, driving wasn’t really an option anyway.

I shouldered my spaghetti-string purse and walked to the door. The bright blue neon sign above the door read, ‘Love Bites’. It suited my Valentine’s Day mood perfectly. A neon clad employee checked my I.D. and took my cover charge. Nerves hopped around my body as I walked through the doorway. It felt strange walking in alone. No date. No gaggle of girlfriends.

Like the pub back in Min Min, ‘Love Bites’ had not bothered with any Valentine’s Day decorations. That’s where the similarities to my hometown bar ended. The interior walls were painted black and nearly the entire expanse of the large room was taken up by a dance floor. Bodies writhed in rhythm to music pumped out by a D.J. in a booth. Coloured lights flashed, reflected by a giant disco ball hanging directly above the centre of the dance floor. The bar was off to one side and that’s where I headed, squeezing through throngs of dancers dressed in skimpy fluorescent clothing. My short skirted, low cut dress felt more like a nun’s habit next to all the bronzed, sweaty flesh.

I tried to gain the attention of the androgynous bartender. While I waited to be served, I studied the interesting specimen. I couldn’t decide if the bartender was a masculine female or a feminine male. The lurid glittery eye shadow and pink short shorts made me think maybe a woman, but I swore those shorts bulged a little too much in the front. Besides, there were lots of men in the nightclub wearing make-up and pink items of clothing, so it was no real indicator. This place was a far cry from my small town bar where everyone wore flannel shirts and dirty jeans and occasionally the women might wear a nice cotton dress if she felt like dressing up a bit. It was like another world in here. Maybe the bartender was one of the ‘aliens’ from the rumours. Certainly he/she would appear as alien in the Min Min pub.

“What’ll it be, honey?” the bartender trilled. Even the voice gave away no indication of gender.

I ordered a pink fruity cocktail in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Even though I was already tipsy from the chocolates, I figured one drink wouldn’t be so bad. I was single on Valentine’s Day, why not treat myself? While I sipped, I scrutinised the dancers for tell-tale signs of aliens or monsters. Despite the blue lipstick, gold hotpants and glittery green body powder sported by some of the dancers, beneath the glitz they all seemed to be human. I guessed I wouldn’t be meeting strange creatures after all.

An upbeat dance song came on and, feeling a little freer of my inhibitions, I decided to get up and have a dance. The lights flickered over the dance floor to the pounding beat of the music. I threw my hands up in the air and shook my booty for all it was worth. A woman with a purple afro came up to bump and grind beside me. Her orange body suit cut away in strategic places to reveal smooth brown flesh.

“You’re cute,” she said.

“Thanks.” At least I thought it was a compliment.

“This ain’t a place for cute. You’re out of your league, sweetheart.” She shimmied around me. “If I were you I’d go back to Kansas, Dorothy.”

“But I like it here in Oz,” I quipped back.

She grinned. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

She spun around and grabbed hold of the closest male so she could grind against him.

I shrugged her off. I could handle myself well enough. I’d been to the pub enough times to know a thing or two about fending off unwanted advances.

A cute gay couple wearing nothing more than spangled hotpants pulled me in between them to dance. It was easy to forget the words of warning as I giggled and joined in the over-the-top dance moves of my new companions.

“Thanks for the dance, doll,” the taller of the two said as the song ended. “Gotta go. You were a blast.” They both blew kisses at me before dancing off through the crowded dance floor. They sure knew how to move those hotpants-clad hineys.

I downed another cocktail and returned to the dance floor. A new song started and I lost myself in the high tempo rhythm. I was actually having a really good time until a pair of fangs scraped lightly at my neck.

***

You can read the whole story in Beautiful & Deadly: A Fantasy Collection.

New FREE Writing Newsletter

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This year I am starting up a monthly writing newsletter. It is completely FREE and sent to your email once a month.

Each month the newsletter will include:

  • Writing tips.
  • Helpful writing links.
  • Book recommendations (good writers are also voracious readers!)
  • A writing challenge.
  • And bonus bits, eg: sneak peeks for my stories or special giveaways.

How to subscribe:

Simply look the the right hand side of your screen and right underneath the search box you will see ‘FREE NEWSLETTER’. All you have to do is click ‘I want to subscribe!’ and enter your email. You can also sign up through my Facebook page HERE.

The very first issue will be sent out later today!

Why Picture Book Writers Should Join 12 x 12

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In 2012 I joined the first ever 12 x 12 challenge. The premise was simple: write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months. Since then 12 x 12 has grown and developed into more than just a challenge. It has become an important community and opportunity for picture book writers. I would HIGHLY recommend any aspiring picture book writer to join.

Why? These are my top reasons for recommending picture book writers join 12 x 12:

  1. You will learn so much about writing picture books and the kidlit industry. Seriously. As well as being involved in a community of other kidlit writers, some of whom are already published or who are extremely knowledgeable about picture books, you will also have the opportunity to learn from industry professionals.
  2. Community. If you ask any member of 12 x 12 what they love most about 12 x 12 they will most likely tell you ‘the community’. As I said above, there is a plethora of knowledge about picture book writing that fellow 12 x 12ers are willing to share. There is a genuine desire to help each other succeed. Between the Facebook group (where you can ask for advice, share resources and celebrate successes) and the forum (where you can get your picture book MS or query letter critiqued, learn more about the kidlit industry or connect with fellow writers) you will find a generous, kind-spirited community to share your writing journey and help you grow as a PB writer.
  3. It’s like a PB writing conference that lasts all year!  There are monthly webinars that are available exclusively to members. These webinars involve industry professionals, such as editors, agents, published authors and more. There are opportunities for professional critiques, as well as a plethora of other opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
  4. Opportunity to submit to agents. For those who join at Gold level, you have the opportunity every month to submit to a literary agent who might otherwise be closed to unsolicited queries. Sometimes these agents even reply with feedback.

It is honestly the best writing community I have ever been involved in. You will learn so much, develop connections and be presented with opportunities unavailable elsewhere. I really can’t recommend it enough to fellow picture book writers.

You can find more information HERE.

If the membership fee is a bit off-putting, apparently you can do a 6-month payment plan through Paypal. Honestly, it is completely worth it. I promise.

12 x 12 is currently open to join for this year. You have until 29th February 2016 before registration closes for the year. Feel free to say I referred you 🙂

More Christmas presents for my readers!

Earlier this month I posted a present for all my readers: a free-to-read, fun, family-friendly Christmas story ‘Jungle Bell Rock’.

Today I have some more Christmas presents:

 

  1. 35% off ‘Annabeth and the Wolf’.

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If you enjoy fairytales with a twist, supernatural creatures, or LGBT fiction, you can now pick up a copy of ‘Annabeth and the Wolf’ at 35% off the regular price. Just use the coupon code

Santa2015

when you buy a copy from Torquere Press.

*offer valid until 1st January 2016

2. Christmas special for ‘Beautiful & Deadly’.

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For the month of December I’ve reduced the price of my recently released collection of fantasy-themed short stories ‘Beautiful & Deadly’. Now available for only $2.99 on Amazon!

*offer valid until 1st January 2016

3. A handy-dandy list of links to all my free-to-read Christmas stories.

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Feel free to share and enjoy 🙂

  • Jungle Bell Rock. Inspired by the Christmas Carols ‘Rocking Around the Christmas Tree’ and ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, the animals at the zoo have a rocking Christmas party.
  • A Farmer’s Night Before Christmas. An Aussie farmer’s version of the traditional Christmas tale.
  • Dashing Through the School. Inspired by the song ‘Jingle Bells’, a child is due to perform in the annual school Christmas play, but nerves take over.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays everyone!

Jungle Bell Rock – A Christmas Present for my Readers

Christmas is my favourite time of year. As a Christmas present to all my blog readers I’ve written a Christmas story inspired by the Christmas carols ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ and ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. I’m entering into Susannah Hill’s annual Holiday Contest. Be sure to check out some of the other entries, as there is always a lot of great stories entered by some fantastic kidlit authors.

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Jungle Bell Rock

Rocking around the Christmas tree,

At the City Central Zoo,

A monkey hanging joyfully,

Ev’ry lion is there, too.

 

Rocking around the Christmas tree,

Where the seal plays with his ring,

Later he’ll have some fishy pie,

And do some carolling.

 

You will get an animal-ish feeling,

When you hear, reindeer singing,

“Let’s be jolly; Deck the stalls with boughs of holly.”

 

Rocking around the Christmas tree,

Have a happy holiday,

Animals dancing merrily,

And putting on a Christmas play!

 

Jungle bell, jungle bell, jungle bell rock,

Orangutan swing and lyrebird sing,

Stomping and tromping and flinging some dung,

Now the jungle hop has begun.

 

Jungle bell, jungle bell, jungle bell twist,

Goannas climb in jungle bell time.

Dancing and prancing with okapi flair,

And a polar bear!

 

When it’s night time, it’s the kite’s time,

To rock with the nightingale.

Jungle bell time is a swell time,

To go riding on an old Clydesdale.

 

Giddy up zebra herd, pick up your feet,

Gallop around the tree.

Dance with a dingo to a jungle drum beat,

That’s the jungle bell rock!

 

 

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