Baby Teeth – hear my story Dad’s Wisdom

Baby Teeth-Bite-sized Tales of Terror is now available as an audio book. My story Dad’s Wisdom has been uploaded as the sample. Pop over to Sound Cloud to listen!
Narrated by the amazing Chris Barnes of Dynamic Ram. Enjoy his cool accent!

Don’t get too scared by this bite-sized tale of terror! It’s an adventure of a wee child, terrorized by the thing hiding under the bed. Hopefully it will have you laughing before you’re done!

 

Lost In The Museum – Review

Copies of Lost in The Museum are zipping off the shelves.

Lost In The Musuem
Lost In The Museum by Phoenix Writers, quirky YA fantasy stories in Te Papa, NZ’s national museum.

Beattie’s Blog, the cornerstone blog of the New Zealand literary world, has just posted a great review of Lost In The Museum by Lee Murray! Pop over and see it!

Lost In The Museum is available from all good bookstores. Retrospace in Auckland and The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie, Wellington are two of my favourite stores that stock Lost In The Musuem!

Join in the fun and read some great work from Wellington authors, new and famous! Enjoy these mad capers, zipping around Te Papa!

Ebook

Just in case you’re not one to lug around paper books, the ebook will be out next Monday, 9 June 2014!

A huge thank you to Phoenix Science Fiction Society and Wellington Creative Communities for their support.

Back Cover Blurb

Get lost in the museum where past, present and future collide.

What does Weta’s giant mechanical baby do after hours? Who is altering the time space continuum? Where or when has James gone? And what secrets is Tui Merriweather hiding?

Dive into mayhem at a well-known Wellington waterfront destination. Going to the museum will never be the same again.

Authors:  Tim Jones, Tracie McBride, Lyn McConchie, Glynne MacLean, Phillip Mann, Rob Campbell, Lillian Hetet, Jenny Hammond, John Homes, Eileen Mueller, Jeena Murphy, A.J. Ponder, Vic Scott, Jean Stevens, Lorraine Williams

Short Story Submissions Open: Twisty Christmas Tales

Phantom Feather Press are opening their doors to short story submissions for a print edition of The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales.

Courtesy of www.netanimations.net
Click the picture to see Santa gallop – courtesy of www.netanimations.net. Submissions open now!

Well-written, offbeat, zany Christmas tales with a kiwi flavour or a fantastical twist will capture their editors’ hearts and earn you a spot in this festive book for kids and their families. So rein in those mischievous elves, decorate the pohutakawa and sprinkle your enchanted pavlova with fairy dust. Get in the spirit of tinsel and magic as you weave Christmas wonder for eager children!

Stories must be suitable for 8-12-year olds. Limit 1,500 words.

More details and submission guidelines are here. Have fun creating crazy Christmas capers! Deadline is 22 June 2014!

Free Writing Course, Newsletter & Discounts on writing courses!

Sign up to Write On!, my writing newsletter, before 10 May and you’ll get

Free writing course
Free Writing Course
  • a FREE 3-week FLASH FICTION COURSE by an author who has published over 30 novels and developed a novel writing school.
  • A discount coupon for any of the short courses on her writing site
  • Regular newsletters containing writing tips, techniques and recommendations.
  • You’ll get the Flash Fiction course link, and access to a flash fiction writers’ forum in your first issue of Write On!

Sign up before May 10 to get your discount coupon!!!

Since doing the flash fiction course, my fiction is tighter, shorter, and packs more punch! And this is a free writing course! Yes – free! This course is for novelists too – you’ll create more compelling scenes using these techniques.

Using this free writing course, I created my first humorous story, Dad’s Wisdom, published in Baby Teeth— the winner of the 2014 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Collected Work and currently top of the Goodreads horror list. I created three stories during this 3-week course, and all of them were accepted for publication within a week of finishing the course. More of my stories have since been published! This course works!

Write On! is my newsletter sent a few times a month. I’ll share writing resources, recommend courses to improve your writing, and provide links to interesting articles, useful downloads and writing forums. I’ll also share my experiences, grammar tips, quotes, and what I’m learning on the job.

Sign up using the form on the sidebar to your right. Select “Write On!’ from the drop down menu. When you subscribe to Write On! you’ll also receive updates about my books and stories and your DISCOUNT COUPON for tonnes of great writing courses – world building, creating compelling characters, plotting, creating riveting scenes, motivational training, writing techniques and many more!

Have fun and happy writing!

Lost In The Museum – Launch at Conclave II

The Lost in the Museum book launch

2pm, Saturday, 26 April at Surrey Hotel, Auckland

at Conclave II, the New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention


Join Conclave II Guest of Honour, Lynn McConchie, & authors Alicia Ponder & Eileen Mueller


Get lost in the museum where past, present and future collide.

What does Weta’s giant mechanical baby do after hours? Who is altering the time space continuum? Where or when has James gone? And what secrets is Tui Merriweather hiding?

Dive into mayhem at a well-known Wellington waterfront destination. Going to the museum will never be the same again.

Authors:  Tim Jones, Tracie McBride, Lyn McConchie, Glynne MacLean, Phillip Mann, Rob Campbell, Lillian Hetet, Jenny Hammond, John Homes, Eileen Mueller, Jeena Murphy, A.J. Ponder, Vic Scott, Jean Stevens, Lorraine Williams

Lost In The Museum
Lost in The Museum – cover art by Geoff Popham, stories by Phoenix Writers.

Copies of Lost In The Museum in all good bookstores soon.

 

SpecFicNZ web post – Sir Julius Vogel Award Finalists

The Sir Julius Vogel Award finalists are listed at this link from SpecFicNZ.

It’s a fantastic honour that my two of my works are on this list. Thank you to all of my wonderful readers that nominated Ahi Ka and Twisty Christmas Tales for Sir Julius Vogel Awards. It’s great to know that you enjoyed my stories. Without readers, there would be no point in writing! Thanks also to Alicia Ponder, the co-author of Ahi Ka. She’s amazing to work with.

Voting takes place next weekend at Conclave II, the national Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. Wish us luck!

Floral-thank-you
Thanks for nominating me for Sir Julius Vogel Awards

 

Lost in the Museum – Cover Art.

Lost in the Museum is coming soon!

Lost in the Museum concept art
Lost in the Museum concept art

Last year I joined Phoenix Writers (the Wellington-based arm of Phoenix Science Fiction Society) just as they were closing submissions for this collection of crazy capers in Te Papa – NZ’s national museum. My stories squeaked in before the deadline and were accepted. Over the past two months, I’ve spent some time helping this book come to life.

Geoff Popham has created beautiful artwork for the cover (this is not the final version, but close.)  He is one talented graphic designer and illustrator. We’re lucky to have him for Lost in The Museum.

Stay tuned for launch details and a sneak preview of the final cover art!

Join Us for Storylines Family Day!

StorylinesI have a new exciting role – Wellington Regional Coordinator for Storylines NZ.

Are you passionate about helping kids read?

Would you like to make a difference to children’s literacy?

Do you enjoy having fun?

Help kids unlock the meaning in books and bring their reading experiences to life — join us in planning the Wellington Storylines Family Day.

 Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators

Wellington Free Family Day 24 August 2014

Crafts, live performances, face-painting, art & writing competitions, music, and other fun activities are part of our festival highlighting New Zealand authors, illustrators and books. If you’re interested in joining the Family Day Committee, or helping as a volunteer on the day, please contact me at this link.

Around two thousand children attend Family Day at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Let’s make it a great experience for them.

Please share this post with your social and Wellington community networks. I look forward to hearing from you and having fun planning Family Day together!

Eileen Mueller receives New Zealand Society of Authors’ Mentorship with Kyle Mewburn.

I’m shouting from the rooftops, grinning!

I’ve been accepted for The New Zealand Society of Authors’ mentorship program. Each year the Society mentors twenty writers, but only two of those twenty can be mentored for children’s works. I’m lucky to be one of those two.  🙂

Kyle with a fan at Te Papa's launch of The Curioseum
Kyle with a fan at Te Papa’s launch of The Curioseum

Kyle Mewburn will be mentoring me. 

Together we’ll work on my junior novel, and whip it into shape. I’m so excited! Without giving any spoilers, this novel has a martial arts theme!

Kyle is  a great author. I first came across his work at kindy when my little girl asked me to read, and re-read, and re-read, and … you get the picture … Kiss Kiss! Yuck Yuck! It was such a fun book that I wished I’d written it myself. Then I started asking her if we could read it! Needless to say, we now have an autographed copy.

I’ve met Kyle a few times and enjoyed his kiss kiss yuck yuckdown-to-earth nature and great sense of humour. He’s written over twenty picture books, numerous junior novels – Dinosaur Rescue series, Pop Hooper series and others –  and many school readers. It’s an honour to be mentored by Kyle.  I look forward to working with him and having fun along the way.

I’m a little nervous to hear what he’ll think of my work! Wouldn’t you be?

My daughter loved Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! What were some of your favourite children’s books? Leave a comment and let me know!

Sir Julius Vogel Award voting – distance votes close 10 April.

Read our nominated story, Ahi Ka, below.
Read our nominated story, Ahi Ka, below.

10 April 2014, is the deadline for Sir Julius Vogel Award voting from afar. If you are not attending Conclave II, the NZ National Science Fiction and Fantasy convention, held over Anzac weekend in Auckland, then you’ll need to vote by tomorrow. (Main voting takes place at national convention.) I have two works that have been shortlisted as finalists for the SJV awards:

  • Best Short Work: Ahi Kā. 
  • Best Collected Work: Twisty Christmas Tales.

Please read Ahi Kā below.
To vote, you need to be a member of SFFANZ, Science Fiction Fantasy Association of NZ. Details are here. If you are a member already, the voting details are here.

 Ahi Kā.

  • (Prose and interwoven sonnet, Truth Lies in Fire and Dies in Flame)
  • Winning entry (first equal) in NZSA NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration Contest
  • By Eileen Mueller and Alicia Ponder

Howls pierced the fog of my dreams. I clutched Ahi, shaking her awake. “Are they real?” Yowling wound through my ear canals, ricocheting inside my head. “The dogs, Ahi, can you hear them?”

She woke, startled. “Hurry, Manaaki. They’re coming.”

We scrambled out of our bush-clad hideout, dashing up the hillside, sliding in the damp earth, ponga fronds whipping our faces.

Frenzied yelps closed in on us. The creatures’ vicious snarling drowned our laboured breathing.

Blue eyes pursued us, hot gas flames in the dark.

Were they real?

I yanked my meds from my pocket. Pills scattered in the dirt. I scrabbled for them. One stuck in my throat before sliding down.

#

Cry havoc and let us unloose the dogs

the dogs, let slip those hellish brutes of war

for tonight Manaaki will have to choose

to run—

#

“Hellhounds,” Ahi yelled, bounding up the mud and crumbling rock.

Menacing growls raced through the underbrush. Ahi yanked a nail from her fingertip. It flared to light, illuminating the black-hackled beast leaping towards us.

“Ahi?” In all our time together, her fingernails had never exploded into fireballs. I stared at her and swallowed another pill, tasting dirt.

The hound, with pain-stricken yelps, was devoured by flame. Wild baying echoed in the valley below. More hellhounds.

Ahi stood, fingertip bleeding. Her hand, with only four nails, reached out. Warm blood sticky in my palm, she yanked me uphill.

Had my medication stopped working?

To be sure, I gulped another down.

#

Laugh in the shade of the slavering beast

let fire light his eyes and make death tame

the boy is mad—

#

 The hellhounds thundered behind us. Racing through the darkness, we tripped, smashing our knees on jutting rocks.

I gagged on the stench of the hounds’ hot breath. They snapped at our heels—and bit deep. I screamed.

Ahi ripped off another nail, flinging it over her shoulder. The beast yelped and fled, trailing flames.

Fingers spraying glistening blood in the flame-light, Ahi aimed nail after nail at the perilous beasts, until only two nails remained.

#

The boy is mad to thwart this hunter’s feast

the dirt he tastes will never bear his name

and yet he stops and turns—

#

Ahi flung her penultimate nail through snarling fangs.

The beast combusted. Singed fur and burning flesh. A pale demon loomed behind the hellhound’s flaming carcass. Worse than hellhounds. Worse than my lover-turned-stranger beside me, oozing blood from her torn fingertips. Worse than hallucinations.

I screamed.

Ahi smiled through her blood and tears. She tore the final fingernail from her hand and pressed it into mine. “Swallow this,” she whispered.

#

Truth Lies in Fire and Dies in Flame   

Cry havoc and let us unloose the dogs

the dogs, let slip those hellish brutes of war

for tonight Manaaki will have to choose

to run through fire and flame or face the maw

 

Laugh in the shade of the slavering beast

Let fire light his eyes and make death tame

The boy is mad to thwart this hunter’s feast

The dirt he tastes will never bear his name

 

And yet he stops and turns, his wild fear tame

Ahi Kā, Manaaki keep the home fires burning

In blood and fire—with life he stakes his claim

Ahi Kā, let us stand where he is standing

 

Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds;

But burn those who chase Manaaki out of bounds

END.

Notes:

Ahi Kā was placed first equal in the NZ Society of Authors’ NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration contest, which required two authors to write a short story and a poem, or two short stories. Instead of penning  a short story and a poem individually, Alicia and Eileen chose to collaborate closely, interweaving their work and honing it until it was seamless.

Ahi Kā includes:

  • A sonnet containing direct quotes from Shakespeare.
  • References to the Māori legend of how Maui bought fire to the world via a goddess with flaming fingernails.
  • Political elements—oblique references to Māori land wars through Māori language:
    • Ahi Kā = to keep the home fires burning; burning fires of occupation; gain a title to land through long-term occupation; hold influence over land and defend successfully against challenges, thereby keeping their fires burning.
    • Manaaki = hospitality, support;
    • Ahi = fire;
    • (Source Māori Dictionary online)

Alicia and I hope you enjoyed our work. We’d love it if you’d vote for Ahi Kā and Twisty Christmas Tales (available on Amazon.)