Sneak Preview – Twisty Christmas Cards

Our The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales artist, Geoff Popham, has worked his magic again, creating cool Christmas cards from four of the illustrations in The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales. Kids will love receiving a card along with their copy of the book when you tuck their stockings full of goodies this Christmas!

The four illustrations featured on the cards come from these stories:

  • A Modern Kiwi Christmas by Kerrie Ann Spicer
  • Rumbled by Eileen Mueller
  • New Neighbours by Anne Wilkins
  • Jimmy’s Night In by Lyn McConchie

We can’t tell you which card matches which story, because we don’t want to give away any spoilers! Have some fun this Christmas! Surprise kids with matching cards and great NZ Christmas stories in The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales!

You can order these cards The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales on Pledge Me – a cool  fundraising system that helps kiwis get behind projects they love.Pop over here and order your copy now! E-books, cards, and many more exiting rewards await you.

As part of the team at Phantom Feather Press, I’d like to say a special thank you to all of our wonderful supporters so far, for providing some fairy dust to help our Christmas wishes come true this year. Please share our Pledge Me campaign with your friends, encourage more children to enjoy great kiwi literature this Christmas, and support the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales

It’s been an absolutely frantic year, and I seem to spend most of my time running from one project to another, while  juggling several others at the same time. This link will take you to a fun movie trailer for one of those projects, The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, with sneak previews of some of the book art and lots of cool info about the project.

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales - 31 stories by 27 authors including Joy Cowley, David Hill and Dave Freer
The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales – 31 stories by 27 authors including Joy Cowley, David Hill and Dave Freer

The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales is looking good! You can order your copy online now at the Twisty Christmas Pledge Me site or if you’re in Wellington on Thursday 13 November, you can come along to our book launch at 6p at The Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie. (I’ll post more launch details soon.)

Remember some of New Zealand’s most famous children’s authors feature in this anthology. For a full list go here  or here. Every book purchased supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand. So, join us for a fun ride on Santa’s sleigh, as our reindeer gallop full tilt into a frenetic fantasy world of kiwi Christmases.

Storylines Family Day – War Zone

Storylines Family Day Michael Fowler Centre Wellington

Sunday 24 August 10am-3pm

Philippa Werry is a fantastic author, short-listed for the NZ Post children’s book awards, and a prolific writer for the School Journal. Most kids will know Pippa’s stories, even if they don’t yet recognize her name. In the last few years she has become a World War 1 specialist with several books about the war – both novels, and picture books.

best-mates Anzac-Day-300dpi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To celebrate Philippa’s great books we have a War Zone at Storylines Family Day. Real soldiers will be there to give you camouflage paint, show off their tents and equipment and let you try on soldier’s gear. They’ll even teach you how to march like a soldier!

One of our team has been baking up a storm. We have hardtack to break your teeth on (the softer modern kind) and 900 real old-fashioned Anzac biscuits – that taste more like ginger-nuts than today’s Anzac biscuits!

There are displays of WW1 soldier’s food, oodles of photos of world war one, soldier stories and even Bob Kerr’s fantastic illustrations from Best Mates. A particularly special treat is Philippa’s personal Galipolli gallery. She volunteered there on Anzac Day this year and has a fantastic presentation to share about her trip!

PippaAtGallipoli
Philppa Werry, Anzac Day 2014 in Galipolli. Pippa is in the back row, on the right at the end with long dark hair.

Come along, march like a soldier, get dressed up and learn about the war! For a full programme, go here. For the Monster Fun Zone go here. General info go here.

Lost in the Museum Hits the Headlines!

Te Papa stories
Tim Jones and Eileen Mueller are Lost In The Museum, or outside it! Photo by Ross Giblin, used with permission of Fairfax Media NZ – 629542114.

Lost in The Museum was featured in the Dominion Post last weekend, on the Capital Day page. Both Tim Jones and I had fun in the glaring sun with the fresh Wellington wind creating new hairstyles and making our eyes water! What a photo! Brilliant!

The Cook Strait News also ran an article last Monday. I know that Dannevirke News mentioned Lost In The Museum with Lyn McConchie featured as their local author and that other newspapers are also keen on this quirky collection which is is set in our national iconic museum, Te Papa Tongarewa — NZ’s home of national treasures.

Behind Lost In The Museum is a great team who has put in long hours, selecting stories, editing them, formatting, proof-reading and typesetting.  I’d personally like to thank Alicia Ponder and Lorraine Williams for accepting my stories and providing great editing feedback, to Mary MacCallum for her editorial input and keen eye, and to everyone who helped in the book production.

Our cover artist, Geoff Popham, did a brilliant cover. Everyone comments on it! We look forward to working with such a talented young artist again. William Carden-Horton added richness to the anthology with his offbeat illustrations.

Thanks to all the authors. It’s an honor to have my work in an anthology with yours!

Check out the articles! Or this review on Beattie’s Blog. Lost In The Museum can be purchased from NZ bookstores, or from Amazon.

Lost In The Museum DomPost
Lost In The Museum in the Dominion Post
Cook Strait News features Lost In The Museum
Cook Strait News features Lost In The Museum

 

 

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

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.

 

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!

More of My Stories to be Published In Disquiet Anthology

I have great news. 🙂Boy_Scared about Disquiet

Two of my short works – a poem and short story – have been accepted for the Disquiet anthology, a compilation of dark stories that will ‘make your toes curl.’ All of the works in this book are set in New Zealand and Australia and are by Antipodean authors.

The details are still under wraps, but rumour has it that this collection of disquieting stories will be roaming our streets in mid 2014. Keep your windows locked and a torch by your bed!

 

Eileen Mueller featured on Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways Blog

My story Dad’s Wisdom was mentioned in a review on in the Baby Teeth anthology recently on The Horror Fiction Review. About my story, the reviewer said, “Other very good stories include “Dad’s Wisdom” by Eileen Miller about a boy taking advice from his dad on what to feed a dragon under his bed;”  Short and sweet! Yeah, Miller/Mueller, I get all sorts of spellings! (They got Eileen right, which is  a bonus!)

HTTS-Boot-Camp-Header2-940x72I wrote to Holly Lisle recently, who has been an amazing writing mentor for me. She has published my letter on her How To Think Sideways blog, and you can read it here.

Holly Lisle runs a novel writing school called ‘How To Think Sideways’, which includes a number of free writing courses, as well as larger clinics, workshops and career courses. I’ve done many of them. Her courses are great, she’s a straight-shooter, right to the point, who provides great frameworks for writers, and goes into more depth than I ever thought possible. On her free marketing forum board, UGLY BABY (the name is a long story), Holly offered a free bonus clinic to anyone who got paid over $50 USD for their fiction work. I did. So I qualify for her really cool upcoming Create a World Clinic (my choice.) For the next $250 I earn above and beyond that, I qualify for a free workshop too. Holly gets such a kick out of seeing writers flourish. It’s one of her aims in life to leave a legacy of writers she has taught.

Click here to do her free flash fiction course.  Or sign up to Holly Lisle’s UGLY BABY fiction marketing group who brainstorm together about selling their fiction. Click on this link to the post about me and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.

Ahi Kā – Winning Entry in NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration

gold-3d-number-one-medal-vectorAlicia and I were thrilled to win first equal in the NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration contest with our short work Ahi Kā. (The contest was run by run by the Northland branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors.)

It was the first time that I had attempted collaborative writing and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This story started as a pair of teenagers running through the bush from something menacing, but grew until  it included Māori mythology, mental illness, some kiwi history, Shakespearean influences, paranormal creatures and a frenzied pace of action. The line between reality and fantasy is thin as Ahi and Manaaki desperately try to outrun demons.

To read our story online go to this ‘NorthWrite 2013 Collaboration – Judges Comments and Winning Entries post.’ You’ll need to scroll down past the judges comments about the entries, then ours is the top story.

To understand our references to New Zealand mythology, see the Māori legend about how Maui bought fire to the world. Political elements are also included via oblique references to Māori land wars (see below). The contest required a 2 short stories or a short story and a poem, so our piece includes a sonnet and some direct quotes from Shakespeare within that sonnet.  This work is completely different to anything I’ve written before and was a very intense collaborative writing process. My earlier post details that process.

Note: These translations may help when reading our work. Manaaki = hospitality, support; Ahi = fire; 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.  (Source Māori Dictionary online)

Have fun reading. We hope you enjoy the other entries as well.