2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award – Best New Talent

Sir Julius Vogel Best New Talent 2017I was absolutely thrilled – and more than a little speechless – to receive a 2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent at Lexicon, the New Zealand Science Fiction and Fantasy National convention. The full 2017 SJV awards list is here.

SJV Taupo Lexicon (1)With the deep blue backdrop of Lake Taupo, and snow-tipped ranges across the water, the setting for Lexicon was magical. Ninety teenage writers attended workshops on Friday and boggled us with their talent. A weekend full of interesting panels, discussions, impromptu meetups with writers and fun social activities kept me on my toes. Not to mention the last-minute accommodation booking I made without realizing my bed was situated above a nightclub. It was actually above a nightclub AND three bars, the only nightlife in Taupo!! Yes, I was dancing all night – even in my asleep.Sir Julus Vogel Award Eileen Mueller Grace Bridges

Even though I was on the shortlist, it was still a nerve-wracking process waiting through the ballot and having that envelope opened on stage in front of my eyes. Then there was that long moment: sitting, stunned, while people nudged me to get to my feet!

Sir Julius Vogel Award Lee Murray Eileen MuellerThank you to my wonderful readers for nominating me. And thank you to everyone who has supported my writing – by beta reading, believing in me, critiquing my work and brainstorming plot fixes. Thanks to my publishers, The Fairytale Factory and Phantom Feather Press, they’re great! I’d also like to thank the New Zealand speculative fiction community, Romance Writers New Zealand and Holly Lisle’s online writing community.

My critique groups deserve a proper mention. I’m lucky, I have two. Monkey Lab: Alicia Ponder, Charlotte Kieft, Michelle Child and Peter Friend; & Clarke’s Critters: Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty and Alicia Ponder. Everyone needs a tribe, so thanks for being mine. You’re all more than critique partners, you’re wonderful friends.

Sir Julius Vogel 2017 Winners
2017 Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners

Mystic Portal

Dare to ride the Mystic Portal!

Mystic Portal You Say Which Way
No ordinary bike trail…

Mystic Portal is no ordinary bike trail. Weird things happen there. They say each new jump leads to another world. You and your friends can’t wait to try it!

The choices you make will determine your adventure. Will you ride  a camel? Fight bandits? Meet Bog the ogre? Or end up in an underwater city? What ever you choose, watch out for mad genies, suspicious merchants and one-eyed creatures with orange fur.

Cool adventures are waiting , so jump on your bike and ride the Mystic Portal.

The Fairytale Factory bring you Mystic Portal on Amazon, part of their You Say Which Way Series of interactive fiction for children aged 8-13 years.

Dragons Realm, a You Say Which Way adventure by Eileen Mueller, won the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel award for Best Youth Novel. In You Say Which Way adventures, your choices shape the outcome of your story.

Available in e-book and paperback.

Pick a Path style kids story

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Dragons Realm Sir Julius Vogel Award

Thank you for the Sir Julius Vogel Award

I was gobsmacked. Speechless. And in tears. Quietly (my friends can vouch that’s not usual for me), I thanked the many people who have shaped my writing – a long list – while tears tracked down my cheeks.

But, wait, roll back. What’s this show of emotion about?

On Sunday night, my book, Dragons’ Realm, received the 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Youth Novel.

ileen Mueller 2016 Sir Julius Vogel AwardInternationally acclaimed fantasy author, Juliet Marillier, and New Zealand fantasy author, Anna McKenzie, had both been teaching us over weekend. Juliet was presenting the writers’ awards. I was sitting at the back of the room, tucked out of sight,  when the results were announced.
A tear leaked from my eye. Then another…
Faced with such tough competition, it was such a shock to win.
Kevin Berry nudged me. “You have to walk up the front,” he whispered. “Off you go.”
Usually fast on my feet, I was so stunned that I hadn’t moved! Once I got to the front of the room, you could’ve heard a mouse squeak.

 

SJV-Eileen-Mueller-Juliet-Marillier
Juliet Marillier presented me with my award.

Then my ‘thank yous‘ started. And here they are again.

Dragons Realm Best Youth Novel 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Awards
Dragons Realm Best Youth Novel 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Awards

Thank you to every reader who nominated my book Dragons Realm for Best Youth Novel. Thanks to you, my novel got on the shortlist. And thank you to fans who voted for my shortlisted book in the secret ballot.

My amazing publishers, Deb Potter and Blair Polly of the Fairytale Factory, have been imaginative and worked hard to make Dragons Realm the best book it could be. Thank you to Monkey Lab and Clarke’s critique group – my fantastic peers who review my work: Alicia Ponder, Peter Friend, Lee Murray, Simon Fogarty, Charlotte Kieft and Michelle Child. You guys are my tribe and I love your insight, brainstorming sessions and sense of humor!

Thank you to Grace Bridges of Splashdown Press and Chila of Port Yonder Press for awarding me first place in the SpecFicNZ Going Global Award which opened many doors for me. Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray were my first editors on the Baby Teeth project which saw Marie Hodgkinson of Paper Road Press publish my first short story.

Thanks to Alicia Ponder who found me and introduced me to Phoenix Writers, who got Lost in The Museum with me. Geoff Popham deserves a big thank you for his award-winning art. Then there are all the Phantom Feather Press authors who helped make the Best of Twisty Christmas Tales a success. Paul Mannering’s crazy ideas always spark more of my own. Vicki Cunningham is always positive and cheerful. My family is very cool and support my books – Kurt and the kids love riding dragons and cracking jokes. My friends at home, and loyal readers, friends and writers around the world have been amazingly supportive – especially Holly Lisle’s online forum – all my Write a Book with Me buddies. (I can hear you cheering!)

And thanks to Kyle Mewburn, who mentored me and strengthened my voice!!! (Yes, they can hear me in Switzerland now when I sing!) To the many writers whose workshops I’ve attended (Juliet Marillier, Anna McKenzie, David Hill, Fleur Beale, Ruth Paul to name a few). To Joy Cowley, Dave Freer and David Hill for their contributions to The Best Twisty Christmas Tales.

It’s also great to be part of the SSFANZ, SpeciFicNZ, NZSA, Storylines and the Wellington Children’s Book Association.

Is there anyone I haven’t mentioned? If so, thank you too. We all need a tribe, a village, a city… a circle of supporters, friends and mentors.

The full list of 2016 Sir Julius Vogel Award recipients is here.

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Call of the Sea

At The Edge anthologyCall of the Sea – Living Through Loss

Thirteen years ago today, my son died. He was half of fraternal twins – the healthy half. His twin sister had been chronically ill for two years, and I had been housebound caring for her. Tough times for an extrovert.

After her recovery, we had a normal life for three months, out & about with the twins and their older brother. Having fun.

Then Tommy died, overnight of strep A.

Plunged into an abyss, I had to keep mothering, keep going for my kids. I’m so thankful I had them to wake up to. My husband and I clung to each other in an ocean of grief. Our family was our life raft. The community rallied around us, keeping us afloat. It was fourteen months before I laughed again. Two years before I felt anywhere near normal. Our family would never be the same again.

We now have four healthy kids and one somewhere ‘on the other side.’

My story, Call of the Sea, in the At the Edge anthology, explores how easily people lose their sense of identity when they lose a child. In order to survive, we need to be nurtured. Kendra, estranged from her cheating ex-husband, doesn’t get this support. As her life disintegrates, she journeys to the edge of insanity. Or is she sane? Maybe the rest of the world just can’t see what she does.

Tiny excerpts from Call of the Sea:

From the first scene…At the Edge_front cover

“Wind moans through the tunnel on the deserted playground. The ropes on the massive climbing frame jerk. Grey waves thrash the shore, flinging spray over the naked sand. The Pōhutukawa dance, the silver underskirts of their dark green leaves flashing, like shy debutantes ‒ as if to tempt an unsuspecting fool into loving them.
My hands itch for a brush and canvas.
Breathing deeply, I shove the swing harder than I need to.
“Higher, Mum,” Aihe calls, swinging her legs for momentum. But she doesn’t get far. The gale is against us.”

… and from the second scene…

“Is that Mr Lenton?” a woman’s gravelly voice asks. “Mr Terry Lenton?”
Mr? Definitely not work. “Speaking.”
“This is Inspector Turner of Wellington Central Police.”
Terry clears his throat. “Yes?”
“Sir, we have your children in custody.”
“What? My kids!” Terry’s pulse bounds, fork clanking onto his plate.
“Could you come down to the station right away, please?”
“What’s happened? Where’s Kendra?”
“We were hoping you could tell us.”


At the Edge
available from 1 June 2016 on Amazon

Step up, as close as you dare…

…to a place at the edge of sanity, where cicadas scritch across balmy summer nights,
at the edge of town, where the cell phone coverage is decidedly dodgy,
at the edge of space, where a Mimbinus argut bounds among snowy rocks,
at the edge of the page, where demon princes prance in the shadows,
at the edge of despair, where 10 darushas will get you a vodka lime and a ring-side seat,
at the edge of the universe, where time stops but space goes on…

From the brink of civilisation, the fringe of reason, and the border of reality, come 22 stories infused with the bloody-minded spirit of the Antipodes, tales told by the children of warriors and whalers, convicts and miners: people unafraid to strike out for new territories and find meaning in the expanses at the edge of the world.

Compiled by award-winning editing team Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, and including a story by Arthur C. Clarke finalist Phillip Mann and introduction by World Fantasy Award winner Angela Slatter, At the Edge is a dark and dystopic collection from some of Australia and New Zealand’s best speculative writers.

At the Edge will be launched next weekend at Au Contraire 2106, the National New Zealand Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Attack on Dragons Realm 99c now!

Attack on Dragons Realm on 99c pre-order

Phantom Feather Press have put my latest e-book on 99 cent pre-order – so family and friends can grab a copAttack on Dragons Realmy before the real price kicks in. But be quick, the offer ends soon.

Attack on Dragons Realm – Blurb

Drums pound the danger signal. Tharuks, monsters from another world, are attacking Dragons’ Realm. Three friends must separate – Jerrick must train as a dragon rider, Benno as a warrior and Reina as a wizard. War grows closer every day. To save their families, they must endure tough training and overcome their darkest fears. Only the upcoming battle will prove their worth.

An interactive book, where you choose how you read the story. One beginning, one end and three middles – you choose which order you read them in.

Other Dragons Realm novels

Attack on Dragons Realm is the prequel to Dragons Realm – A You Say Which Way Adventure. In Dragons Realm, you are running from the school bullies when you stumble through a world gate, into a world of dragons. monsters and magic. You make decisions as you read, changing the shape of your reading experience. With 22 possible endings, you can read and re-read,  experiencing a different stories.

Attack on Dragons Realm is also the prequel to Riders of Fire, my young adult series to be released late 2016.

I originally wrote Ezaara, the first book in Riders of Fire, seven years ago. Despite fifteen revisions, winning an award for the first three chapters, and an offer of publication in 2013, I wasn’t happy with version fifteen! Over the years, my beta readers for Ezaara have begged me to publish the book, wanting to know what happens in books 2 & 3!! (And yes, book two is already written, but no one has seen it! I wasn’t sure how to fix these books.)

After more years writing and honing my craft, I’m now in a position to revise these books. I’m excited. Dragons Realm is a fun, intriguing world I love to explore. It’s exhilarating – riding dragons, mind-melding and falling in love on dragon-back. I can’t wait to work on these books.

In the meantime, Attack on Dragons Realm, suitable for 10-13 year-olds, or Dragons Realm (8-12 yrs olds) are available on Amazon.

Attack on Dragons Realm is a fun adventure with exciting action and twists. Attack on Dragons Realm is available in paperback and e-book. Get your copy here now! 99c kindle offer ends soon.

Attack on Dragons Realm paperback cover. By Eileen Mueller
Attack on Dragons Realm paperback cover.

 

At The Edge

Story accepted for At the Edge

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ve had a story accepted for At The Edge, a dark speculative fiction anthology being released in the middle of 2016.

At The Edge anthologyMy story Call of the Sea explores some dark themes, indeed – abandonment, rejection, grief and insanity, but  be warned, I like happy endings.

There were a truckload of submissions. The award-winning editors, Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts, said they had enough quality stories to make two great collections, but are only making one at this stage. The anthology will be published by Paper Road Press and launched at Au Contraire, the NZ science fiction fantasy convention, in Wellington this June.

Here is the table of contents for At the Edge, alphabetically by author surname:

Joanne Anderton, “Street Furniture”At the Edge_front cover
Richard Barnes, “The Great and True Journey”
Carlington Black, “The Urge”
A.C. Buchanan, “And Still the Forests Grow though We are Gone”
Octavia Cade, “Responsibility”
Shell Child, “Narco”
Jodi Cleghorn , “The Leaves No Longer Fall”
Debbie Cowens, “Hood of Bone”
Tom Dullemond, “One Life, No Respawns”
A.J. Fitzwater, “Splintr”
Jan Goldie, “Little Thunder”
J.C. Hart, “Hope Lies North”
Martin Livings, “Boxing Day”
Phillip Mann, “The Architect”
Paul Mannering, “The Island at the End of the World”
Keira McKenzie, “In Sacrifice We Hope”
Eileen Mueller, “Call of the Sea”
Anthony Panegyres, “Crossing”
A.J. Ponder, “BlindSight”
David Stevens, “Crop Rotation”
David Versace, “Seven Excerpts from Season One”
Summer Wigmore, “Back when the River had No Name”
E.G. Wilson, “12-36”

The cover artist for At the Edge is Kapiti-based Emma Weakley. It should be a great volume. I’ll keep you posted.

Dragon Tales is live!

Dragon Tales is live on Amazon!

Dragon Tales by Eileen Mueller
Dragon Tales – short stories for kids

Happy New Year! Well, we finally got here. 2015 is fading and 2016 beckons on the horizon. This has been a hectic year, and the holiday season has been no exception!

My latest book, Dragon Tales, has just been released by Phantom Feather Press. Dragon Tales, a collection of dragon-themed stories for kids, will be at a special introductory price of $0.99 for the next few days, so family and friends can grab a bargain before the price goes up. Available on Amazon.

Whether you’re looking for a nip, a nibble, or a chomp-sized story, wing your way to an adventure with Dragon Tales.

Dragon, dragons and more dragons… modern dragons, medieval dragons and dragons in unexpected places! The full Dragon Tales blurb is here.

I wish you a happy start to the New Year and a great 2016. May many great books come your way! If you’d like to know when my new books are out, sign up for reader updates!

Dragons Realm Beat Rick Riordan

I know this is naughty, very naughty, but I just cant help the victory dance, the evil maniacal laughter or the sly grin breaking across my face!! I beat Rick Riordan! Dragons Realm shot past two of his books on the Amazon charts! Yes! Yes! Yes! I beat Rick Riordan! The giant of kid’s fiction.The hero of middle grade and young adult readers! The inventor of Percy Jackson!!!!

My kids worship him, and (ahem) so do I.

Wow! I was gobsmacked last week to get to #3 in kid’s interactive fiction, with his book sitting right above mine, but WOW, now Dragons Realm is above TWO of his books!

Okay, okay, Amazon rankings change hourly, so it may be short-lived glory, but let’s celebrate while we can… I’m not deluded, it won’t last long, but here is the moment immortalized by a screenshot! So when I’m an elderly granny in my rocker on a space shuttle bound for somewhere, (funny image that – a rocker floating around in zero gravity with granny’s knitting needles flying around in a tangle of wobbling wool) I can glance at the antique screenshot and smile and, by then, no one except me will remember who Rick or Eileen are! But I will! And cackle hysterically!

Dragons Realm beat Rick Riordan in Amazon interactive kid's fiction.
I beat Rick Riordan, just for a small moment in time.

Dragons Realm Latest Amazon Rankings

 Dragons Realm hit 3 & 5 in Amazon kids fiction

I’m gobsmacked!

Dragons Realm has done well on Amazon, thanks to all my cool readers. Here are the statistics for the three categories of kids books that Dragons Realm sits in.

#3 kids interactive adventure books

#5 kids detective books

#19 activities and games

Here’s proof:

DR-12K-3-4-19-all categoriesThe Fairytale factory has warned me that the 99c price will only last on pre-orders (with a days grace, so make sure you get your copy now, before the price goes up… http://bit.ly/1Mjcad1

Have fun flying your dragon, training dragonets and encountering unusual people and strange creatures in a world where you say which way the story goes.

Dragons Realm (You Say Which Way) by Eileen Mueller
You Say Which Way adventure

Dragons Realm launch

Dragons Realm

My first novel

A ‘You Say Which Way’ e-book – now available on Amazon!

Escape the school bullies and stumble into Dragons Realm – a world of dragons, magic  and adventure. Can you trust the strange people you meet? And will the bullies follow you? Luckily, you’re prepared with a  great picnic lunch.

Dragons Realm. Next generation storytelling, where YOU say which way the story goes.

Dragons Realm (You Say Which Way) by Eileen Mueller
A You Say Which Way adventure from the Fairy Tale Factory

Dragons Realm is suitable for kids over 10, or younger kids who read well – although children up to 110 will enjoy it too! You choose the outcome of your story! Have fun and beware of tharuks lurking in the forest.

fairytalefactory logo Great price! 99c but not for long!

I’d like to thank my publisher, The Fairy Tale Factory, who are offering Dragons Realm for 99c as an introductory offer on Amazon. The e-book is available for pre-order now, and will be sent to your device in time for the weekend. If you’d like to order the book, I’d love it if you order before Friday, as this will help boost Dragons Realm’s rankings on Amazon.

If you don’t have a kindle, you can download this book to your tablet, i-pad, phone or computer. Just open your browser in the device you want to install Kindle reader on, and click the appropriate link, below.

Kindle for PC [Download]

Kindle for Android

Enjoy riding dragons miles above Spanglewood Forest, and don’t forget to keep an eye out for those bullies!