My apologies for this post coming to you late… But the holiday weekend was crazy, between work, concerts, and the Alaska State Fair.
So without further delay, I present Carolyn Denman, who is another of the amazing writers who have been published by Odyssey Books. She joins the ranks fellow Odyssey writers Felicity Banks, Belinda Crawford and Tracy M. Joyce in appearing here, and it’s time for you to meet her.
Introducing Carolyn Denman
Carolyn lives on a small hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne. She has a science degree, far too many pets and a fear of the ocean that makes her Mauritian mother roll her eyes. Somehow between her mortgage-broking job, driving her kids crazy (mostly by asking their friends’ opinions about the Singularity) and feeding 63 baby axolotls, she has managed to write short stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazines. She is currently working to complete the fourth and final book in The Sentinels of Eden and after that she has promised that she will finally vacuum the bedrooms.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
Okay, how about a ‘get to know you list’? Apparently they help at awkward parties. I live with my husband and two teenage daughters in a dual occupancy house with my parents.
Favourite food: anything with the word ‘pastry’ in it.
Favourite movie/TV show: anything by Joss Whedon.
Favourite musician: Matt Corby – his voice does wiggly things to my insides (you should all check him out right now. Start streaming ‘Soul’s A’fire’, and then come back and read the rest of this while it’s playing.
Favourite stories: usually include an inn with a hearty stew, terrible ale and a minstrel. And, of course, dragons.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
Songlines is the first novel in a series of four, which has just been released by Odyssey Books. Strangely enough it doesn’t have an inn or a minstrel, but there is always the possibility of dragons in the Garden of Eden (but the things in there are a secret, so we can’t talk about them).
It’s about a girl who lives on a sheep farm in a fictional town in north-western Victoria, Australia (no inn, but there is a local pub that sells VB beer and a hearty chicken parmigiana). Lainie is about to finish Year 12 when she starts to piece together clues regarding her mother’s death. She soon discovers that she comes from a long line of Cherubim, charged to protect the secret of the location of the Garden of Eden. When the hidden gateway comes under threat from a Coal Seam Gas exploration project, she discovers powers she never knew existed outside of Hogwarts.
Who is your intended readership?
As with most YA novels, this story will appeal to pretty much anyone over the age of about twelve who doesn’t insist on ‘adult content’ just to make themselves feel better about loving spec fiction. Okay, so if I’m honest, I happen to adore a bit of ‘adult content’ from time to time myself (shh…)
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
A few weeks ago, when I first saw the mock-ups for my book cover. They had my name on them in pretty letters.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
Any author who writes a book that I can’t help but finish within 24 hours has my vote. I don’t care how well/badly written it is, if it grips me, it works. But for sheer writing talent, I can’t go past Janny Wurtz. What a genius.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Write the bits you daydream about. The rest will come together, and if it doesn’t, then just keep writing the fun bits and enjoy yourself. That’s the whole point, after all.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
Hmm, hobbies include Dressage, Jumping, Netflix, anything involving free fall, playing Settlers of Catan with my kids, and, apparently, writing lists.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
Well, there’s a cute post-Singularity story I’ve written. I can’t wait to see where it goes, but first I have to tidy up the other 3 books in the Sentinels of Eden series, learn from all the mistakes I’ve been making, and refresh all that physics I studied at university all those years ago. Probably best to avoid the breath-holding for now.
The Sentinels of Eden:
We belong to the earth, Lainie-Bug. We were sent here in human form for a reason. If you don’t know what to do, then just be human.
Right. Like that was ever a simple thing to do.
In the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria, an ancient gateway is kept hidden and safe by a creature so powerful that even the moon would obey her commands – at least it would if she had any idea that she wasn’t just a normal girl about to finish high school.
When a mining company begins some exploratory sampling near Lainie’s sheep farm, a family secret is revealed that makes her regret not having learnt more about her Indigenous heritage.
What she’s told by their farm hand, Harry – an Aboriginal Elder – can’t possibly be true, but then the most irritating guy in class, Bane, begins to act even more insane than ever, until she can no longer deny that something very unusual is going on.
When Harry doesn’t return from his quest to seek help to protect the area from the miners, Lainie sets out to discover the truth of her heritage, and of the secret she’s been born to protect.
Where to find Felicity Banks:
Carolyn has invited comments and views from her readers, and may be reached by email