Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ 

SpecFic Spotlight: Rainer Süss

I loved creative writing in school and always tried to push the boundary with violence, horror and particularly plot twists at the end. I loved to try and cram as much as I could into the 200-300 words we were allotted during exams. The word limits were a challenge then; now I’m just too happy to be able to write something much, much longer.

Although I read plenty Stephen King and Dean Koontz in my high school days, I was mostly into action/spy thrillers then. In terms of plotting and action, Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy probably influenced me the most, right up to today. I think some of the content in PAWNS OF HEAVEN proves it, and it’s quite remarkable, considering I’ve only recently taken up writing again after almost 20 years. My reading tastes have, however, changed significantly over the years. Raymond E. Feist got me into fantasy when I was in university mid-to-late 90’s, and I think it’s just fantastic how his RIFTWAR CYCLE has evolved and expanded over two decades. Currently, however, I’m probably inspired most by the galactic sprawl of Peter F. Hamilton’s writing. His NIGHT’S DAWN trilogy is just so epic in scope, and such a fine example of speculative fiction. Ultimately, my reading experiences resulted in me writing PAWNS OF HEAVEN (now available as an omnibus of a trilogy I self-published in 2013), which is a thriller at heart, but set in a speculative universe with secret agents, mutants, Dyson Spheres, distant worlds, mental constructs – all in one story! | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ Spotlight 

SpecFic Spotlight: Mike Reeves-McMillan

I recently released Beastheads, a prequel novel in my Gryphon Clerks series of lightly steampunked secondary-world fantasy (with an SF feel).

I’m taking a break from that series now to write a contemporary urban fantasy (more Jim Butcher than Charles de Lint) set in present-day Auckland. It’s called Blokes in Black, and features some underpowered magical practitioners who find themselves targeted by mysterious goons. I’ve lived in Auckland all my life, and know a bit about it, having worked for a travel guide and for the Council, so it seems like a good fit. It’s great fun setting action scenes in places that I walk past every day. | Read More...

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Interviews Kiwi Writers SpecFicNZ Spotlight 

SpecFic Spotlight: Jan Goldie

Jan Goldie is the author of two YA speculative fiction books, A Mer-Tale (2014) and Brave’s Journey (to be published July 2015, IFWG Publishing).

She’s a communications and content writer by day, living in Papamoa by the sea with two children, two budgies and one ferocious little dog.
Tell us about your most recent release or current writing project.
A Mer-Tale is a story about a teenage mermaid. But before you screw up your nose and slam the door, it’s also a tale about an ancient alien race and their attempt to live beneath earth’s seas.
I wrote the novella for inclusion in the ‘Conclave’ collection of science fiction and Jan Goldie bookfantasy stories by Lee Murray, Piper Mejia and Celine Murray and myself.
Two of the stories, A Mer-Tale and Peach and Araxi, are nominated for best novella in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards this year.
I also decided to give the indie publishing route a go. My fellow writers kindly gave me permission to make A Mer-Tale into a separate book and so my huge self-publishing learning curve began! A Mer-Tale is now on Amazon, Smashwords and iBooks and I’ve held the glossy paperback in my hand! | Read More...

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European Tax Changes – and how they affect Kiwi writers

Please be aware that I am not an accountant and the below information reflects my understanding of the situation. I highly recommend reading the links I’ve given at the end.

On 1 January 2015, European VAT law is changing. Instead of the old method of applying VAT at the seller’s location, it will now apply to the buyer. This means that if you sell directly to anyone in Europe, you will be liable to pay VAT to their country’s government – with all the administration that entails, including detailed record-keeping and quarterly returns to each of the 28 countries if you’ve sold even one item in each. Not fun! | Read More...

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Submission Opportunity: Eastern Iowa Review

This is a new literary journal seeking fiction and non-fiction (and art if anyone is so inclined). I am helping select the fiction – all genres are welcome and I would love to see some speculative work! BUT it *has* to be literary, i.e. a focus on beautiful language (we love description!); AND for this particular journal, we are looking for “good spaces”. This doesn’t mean nothing bad can happen, but please do leave us satisfied at the end and try to avoid dwelling on anything pessimistic, religious, or sexual. We want it to be kid-friendly. The ideal submission is brief, lushly written, with immersive description. Vignettes are cool when they pack a punch of positive energy. And does anyone have some black and white speculative art? | Read More...

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New Release: Lost in the Museum


A new Te Papa anthology of wacky fun from Phoenix Writers, a group that includes many SpecFicNZ members…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.

Stories are set in Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum. | Read More...

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SpecFic Folks Win with Collaborations at NorthWrite 2013


SpecFicNZ authors Alicia Ponder, Eileen Mueller, Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts have all enjoyed success in the ‘NorthWrite 2013: Collaboration’ contest. Alicia and Eileen’s short work Ahi Kā was placed first equal with ...for a coffee? / Cups  by Alistair Tulett and Jac Jenkins. This Other Door by Dan and Lee was awarded an honorable mention.  The results of the competition are at NorthWrite’s site.The winning entries and judges comments are also at the link below. NorthWrite is the northern branch of NZSA. | Read More...

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Auckland Meetup This Sunday!

Our  September meet up will be on again this Sunday, 15th September. We’re going out West again, to the Origins Bar at Westgate shopping centre. Despite being not that great for public transport, it seems to be the most popular venue – easy to get to both from the west and from the North Shore via the Upper Harbour Highway. So details as follows: Time: Sunday, from 1pm onwards Place: Origins Bar and Restaurant, Unit 1 – Westgate Shopping Complex, Massey. It’s not far from the cinema complex at Westgate. Directions: From town,  take the northwest motorway  and exit at 19A, Hobsonville Rd, then turn left onto Fred Taylor Drive.                 From the west, turn right, (3rd exit) at the roundabout onto Fred Taylor Dve before you get on to the new motorway extension.                 From the shore, take the Upper Harbour road and exit toward Hobsonville road. Public transport: From Britomart, catch bus route 080 from lower Albert St. For other options, check out the maxx Auckland transport site.
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Going Global contest winners!

Earlier this year you may remember the call went out for novels to be submitted to a pair of intrepid publishers for judging, with the chance that they might offer publication if they saw something they really liked. Now the judging process is complete and the winners have chosen their prizes, so we can let you all in on the news! This contest was held in association with Splashdown Books of New Zealand and Port Yonder Press of the Midwest USA.

Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges (existing second edition)

First place goes to Eileen Mueller for her fantasy, Ezaara. Eileen chose Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges as her prize, but has elected to wait for the new improved edition coming soon from a new publisher and under a new title. Eileen also won a critique and a cash prize of $100. | Read More...

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