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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And my, how I've got behind...

It's been a busy few weeks in the Croggon household. As a result, I've let this blog lapse a bit, and find I have lots of Black Spring news to catch up on. I decided to close Theatre Notes, the blog that has occupied a great deal of my time and energy over the past eight years. I expected a bit of dolour and dudgeon, but the reaction completely blindsided me: I was swamped by comments on the blog and emails and tweets and Facebook messages. And then there has been lots of ancillary discussion about the state of theatre criticism in Australia, which has mostly been very interesting, and even the odd obituary.

The idea is that I have more time to write my own work, although I'm not sure, given various conversations I'm having, that it will work out in practice! I guess we'll see. I'm trying to be careful, but I have to say that Melbourne theatre is a very seductive mistress.

But back to business: recent reviews and upcoming events. Bear with me as I do the bullet point thing: there are quite a few links to share.

* Jeff Sparrow, editor of Overland Journal (for which I am a columnist and poetry reviewer) named Black Spring as one of his top books for 2012, which surprised me and pleased me enormously: mainly because I know that he wouldn't have said it if he didn't mean it. "Her book’s marketed as young adult," he says, "but Croggon’s authorial intelligence and elegant prose produces a very adult novel, a mash-up of Wuthering Heights and magic that makes you rethink both Emily Bronte and the fantasy genre."

* The UK reviews are beginning to roll in, as the release in Britain approaches. On her Book Review Blog, Katy Moran writes an excellent review which discusses the relationships between Black Spring and Wuthering Heights. Of course it pleased me, as she says, after confessing her trepidation on reading a fantasy reworking of one of her favourite books: "It's beautiful".

* Over at the Centre for Youth Literature, at the State Library of Victoria, there's another great review: "this subtly-challenging and much-needed feminist perspective ... makes me want to staple Black Springs onto every copy of Wuthering Heights currently sitting in a bookshop." And over on their blog, Inside a Dog, they have 5 Reasons to Read Black Spring, which are all very good ones, although the final reason - the brilliant Australian cover - doesn't quite count for UK readers, who have an equally brilliant, but very different, version.

* Another early UK review from Lyndsey Rushby on Page After Page. "Black Spring was a wonderful, refreshing take on Wuthering Heights with unique and exciting additions to such a well-known story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one and considering I hated Wuthering Heights, I wasn’t expecting to like it quite as much." 

* Over at Novels on the Run, an interview where I confess my major literary crush and a nice review

* The Centre for Youth Literature yesterday announced Reading Matters 2013, where I will be appearing with fellow YA authors Andrew McGahan, Libby Bray, Gayle Forman and Myke Bartlett in May. On twitter they labelled me "Walker's Renaissance woman", which makes me laugh.

* In January, in the run up to the UK release of Black Spring, I'm doing a blog tour.  The banner in the side column gives all the details: I'll be writing five, hopefully interesting posts about various aspects of fantasy and YA writing. Look out for the dates, although of course I'll remind you!

I've a nagging feeling I've forgotten something, but if I have I can always update later. Meanwhile, I'm taking a bit of time out for Christmas, before plunging into a very busy January. Which includes *cough* finishing that Cadvan book, which is still languishing at the half-way mark. Seasonal greetings to you all, and I'll probably see you - more frequently, I hope - in the New Year!

PS I did forget something - the German translation, the ominously titled Land des Todes! That is out now, and you can see the cover in the side bar.


Jeni said...

I am hoping there is a kindle version of Black Spring soon!

Alison Croggon said...

I do believe that one is on the way. Will let you know as soon as I do!

Sam said...

I'm in the UK, and I really can't wait for Black Spring. These blog reviews are getting me even more excited!

I'm a huge fan of Pellinor too and I'm eagerly awaiting a new book about Cadvan!

Thanks for keeping us updated. :)

Alison Croggon said...

Hi Sam - that's great! Cadvan is in trouble at the moment, but I'm sure he'll find a way through. :) In other words, it's happening.