I'm a novelist, poet, critic and sometimes writer for and about the theatre. Each of these things keeps interrupting the others. My poetry and criticism have won prizes. I'm the author of the popular and critically acclaimed fantasy quartet The Books of Pellinor, the Gothic fantasy Black Spring and The River and the Book, a forthcoming speculative fiction novel. In English, my novels are published with Walker Books (UK and Australia), Candlewick (US) and Penguin Books Australia. I have self-published two novels as Kindle ebooks: the literary memoir Navigatio and Jimmy Wonderspoon, a story that I wrote for my 10-year-old daughter. Presently I'm writing The Bone Queen, a prequel to the Books of Pellinor. You can find out more at alisoncroggon.com. And you can follow me on twitter at @alisoncroggon.

Why "Reimkennar"? It's an old word for sorceress that stems from old Germanic: literally "rhyme knower". Seems like a good title for a fantasy novelist slash poet slash whatever.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

And a rave review!

Sonia Nair at the arts website Artshub has given Black Spring the kind of review that makes an author's head swell in an unseemly fashion. Needless to say, I am hugely pleased. This is how it begins:

Every so often one chances upon a novel so uplifting, enthralling and immersive that it becomes a struggle to put it down. Alison Croggon’s latest fantasy tale is just such a book. 

You can read the rest at ArtsHub.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How I wrote Black Spring

I have a guest post at the website for Readings, Melbourne's iconic independent bookshop, part of a regular and interesting series in which Readings asks writers about how their books were written. I really enjoyed writing this one, and it ended up rather longer than planned, with bonus photographs. The story of the story of Black Spring begins:

It’s hard to know when a book begins. Perhaps Black Spring began when I was six years old and running over the bone-strewn turf of the Cornish moors with my sisters. I remember the boundless feeling of freedom: I loved the wind rushing over the bare hills, the granite tors that thrust out of the ground. The moors were my favourite place in the world then. Or maybe it began when I first read Wuthering Heights in my early 20s, and thought idly: I’d like to write a book like that one day. Or maybe it was in my early teens, when I first read Emily Brontë’s poetry.

Maybe a novel begins when you write the first words. I am good at starting novels: I have around five unfinished works on my computer, some quite substantial. Some of them end up being written, some of them don’t. They always begin with an image, or a feeling, or a voice or a thought. I follow this along for as long as it seems to last, and then I usually run out of ideas. I put it aside and wait to see if it is actually alive.
Black Spring began like that. 

Read the rest at Readings. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Black Spring: Sneak preview, twitter chat

So Black Spring is now out in Australia with my lovely publisher, Walker Books Australia. Which is an enormous relief: in a weird way, I can now stop thinking about it. The rest is up to you.

First things first: if you go to Walker's Facebook page - which presently is topped with groovy Black Spring graphics - you can download a sneak preview of the first chapter. As you'll see, Black Spring concerns a rather different world from that of the Pellinor books, but this is a different kind of book.

For those of you on twitter, Walker is running a twitter chat on October 15, 8pm Australian Eastern Standard Time. I haven't done one of these before, but I rather think that will be like me on twitter as usual - you can find me at @alisoncroggon, chatting about whatever in between all the Serious Work I'm supposed to be doing - except with the hashtag #blackspring. Hope to see some of you then!