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In July 2020, my Gaslamp fantasy “The Golden Lion-Monkey” was published in short story anthology Leo (The Zodiac Series, #8) by Deadset Press. When not exploring myth and history, I am pursuing a PhD in human and primate evolution. When writing “The Golden Lion-Monkey”, I’ve combined my interests in history and fantasy fiction with my… Continue reading Writing for Leo (Zodiac Series, #8)
I am pleased to announce my Gaslamp Fantasy story “The Golden Lion-Monkey” will be published in the forthcoming speculative fiction anthology Leo (Zodiac Series, #8) inspired by the Zodiac and published by Deadset Press from Aussie Speculative Fiction. Leo (Zodiac Series, #8) is available now for preorder and will be released as an ebook from… Continue reading Speculative Fiction Anthology
In early September 2019, I visited southern Iceland for a week. As part of my research into Viking Age history, the legends and mythology, landscape has been important in shaping Icelandic legends. I was fortunate enough to see some of archaeological and cultural history of National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik, ride Icelandic horses, visit… Continue reading Iceland: Volcanoes and Glaciers
I have been interested by several different stories recently in the Alternate History subgenres of Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy. My latest short story draws on my academic knowledge of the Victorian era expansion in science and natural history. Gaslamp Fantasy is a subgenre I really enjoy and was inspired to write an alternate history exploring… Continue reading Gaslamp Fantasy & Victorian Science
In the coming months, I’ll be doing a significant edit on my historical fantasy Bone Arrow which was inspired by Amerindian prehistory and fables. All previous editions of Bone Arrow will no longer be available. I’ll be sharing my latest research and editing developments as the new edition of Bone Arrow progresses.
I was recently fascinated by the folklore of fairy beings like leprechauns which have a long and conflicting history in Irish folklore. Far from the jovial trickster at the end of a rainbow who if caught can be forced into providing a pot of gold, the less-popularised stories of leprechauns in Irish folklore cast them… Continue reading Dark Fantasy & Leprechaun Lore
I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Gljúfurárfoss Gljúfurárfoss is also known… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 2
I visited Iceland in September 2019 as part of my writing research for novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Part of my Icelandic experience was the National Museum of Iceland, riding tour outside Reykjavik on the iconic Icelandic horse, exploring glaciers, black sand beaches, glacial lakes which influenced the Viking and Icelandic culture. Írárfoss (Irish River Waterfalls) The… Continue reading Icelandic Waterfalls Part 1
I am very pleased to announce my fantasy story “Sands of Time” will be published by Black Hare Press in the forthcoming Lockdown Fantasy #6, a series of speculative fiction anthologies produced during COVID-19 lockdowns. I will also have a dark fantasy appearing in the forthcoming Lockdown Phantoms #3. More details will be available soon… Continue reading Forthcoming Fantasy Anthology
I am thrilled to announce that my dark fantasy story “Hunting Shadows” will be included in Lockdown Phantom #3, a series of speculative fiction Anthologies from Black Hare Press produced during the COVID-19 Lockdown. Stay tuned for more details on upcoming publication dates, where you can download ebook or purchase paperback copies!
It’s been over 12 months of writing but the first draft of Ragnarok Dreaming is finally finished. Inspired by Norse mythology, I read and studied the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, many retellings and interpretations of the Norse myths and sagas, studied the archaeological record of prehistoric Scandinavia and history of the Viking Age. In… Continue reading Ragnarok Dreaming: A First Draft!
I have just finished writing a new story concept I have been exploring. The story is inspired from my museum research in Europe in 2019. I was very interested by the prehistoric sections of museums. Before societies became larger civilisations, the bonds between communities were used to forge alliances. As these societies expanded under Chieftains… Continue reading Prehistory, Battle and Sacrifices
A little while ago I finished writing an paranormal/dark fantasy short story set in contemporary Melbourne, Australia. I was inspired by the changeable weather in Melbourne and fascinated by the strong winter storms that are drawn inland from the southern ocean. These storms can be very unpredictable and wild as the storm front meets the… Continue reading Chasing Storms of Sorrow
Very recently I finished writing a story inspired by the Zodiac sign Sagittarius. I was intrigued when learning the the astrological sign, of Sagittarius is representative of prophecy and fate, among other things. The story is a historical fantasy but set in a hypothetical Renaissance-style Italian city similar to Venice. In this world which is… Continue reading Historical Fantasy & Sagittarius
In September 2019, I visited the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik. While in Iceland, I visited many of the wonderful major natural landmarks in the National Parks in the southern Iceland. You can read about my experiences riding Icelandic horses, exploring waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers, an iceberg lake and black sand beaches. The National… Continue reading Iceland: National History Museum
I am excited to have a work in the upcoming Taurus instalment in the Zodiac Series by Aussie Speculative Fiction. There are a great collection of Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction authors who have contributed works to the fifth instalment in this 12 Zodiac themed Anthologies. My story “The Bull of Heaven” is modern… Continue reading Taurus: A Zodiac-themed Anthology
I am very pleased to announce my current work-in-progress fantasy novel, Ragnarok Dreaming is very nearing the finishing line. I have just finished writing the third Part of the novel, the draft has already expanded beyond my anticipated length with the new word count expected to be around 130,000 words. Of course, there’s a lot… Continue reading Latest: Ragnarok Dreaming
A few weeks ago, I finished writing a series of scenes for my work-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming inspired by events described in the Norse Prose Edda and Poetic Edda. These involve the mysterious character of Angrboda, the “Hag of the Ironwood” who dwells in jotunheim, is alluded to as a witch and mother of many werewolves… Continue reading Loki and Angrboda
I’ve been investigating new ways to develop my world-building for my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming, inspired by Norse mythology. I am a highly visual person and my imagination (and writing) has become increasingly taxed by trying to remember my mental images and plans for complex landscapes, cities and worlds in my latest work-in-progress. I was keen… Continue reading Virtual Plotting & Planning
In early September 2019, I travelled to Iceland and visited Eldhestar Icelandic horse trekking company located less than 30 minutes drive southeast from the capital Reykjavik. The Icelandic horse was brought to the island by the Viking settlers. You can read about about Icelandic Viking history and the history of Reykjavik here. There are also… Continue reading Iceland: The Icelandic Horse
I visited the Gotland Museum in Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden in early September 2019. You can read more about my research visit to the Uppsala Viking Age burial mounds, the History Museum in Stockholm and the medieval city of Visby on Gotland Island. Gotland Museum contains an amazing variety of prehistoric Swedish and Viking Age… Continue reading Sweden: Gotland Museum
I just discovered the 150th Anniversary edition of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol published by Princeton University Press is an illustrated version by artist Salvador Dali. Absolutely stunning illustrations that are pure magic! You can buy hardback and paperback copies of this gorgeous edition through most bookstores and online stores at affordable prices.
The tawny frogmouth is a species of nocturnal bird native to much of Australia. It is well known in Australian landscapes for the staring red-gold eyes, the camouflage resembling a branch or broken tree stump and it’s seemingly unworried response to human presence. I was walking in the early morning at a pine forest near… Continue reading Australian Tawny Frogmouth Folklore
I’m currently reading the second volume in a 12 part series, a Zodiac themed anthology produced by Aussie Speculative Fiction. Each month, a new anthology featuring that month’s zodiac sign will be released. This January-February, I’m reading Aquarius and because it’s also my own star sign. The Aquarius anthology features many unique interpretations of the… Continue reading Zodiac Themed Anthology Series
In Icelandic tradition, the Yule lads are thirteen trolls who arrive one at a time on each of the 13 days before Christmas and depart in the order they arrived, on the days after Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, the troll witch Gryla leaves the mountains to seek any children who had been ill-behaved or… Continue reading Iceland’s Yule Trolls
In early September 2019, I traveled to Uppsala in Sweden to one of the most accessible archaeological sites from the early Viking Age, a series of impressive burial mounds. You can read more about Viking Age history and archaeology from my visit to Stockholm’s Historiska Museum here and Gotland Museum here. The site of Gamla… Continue reading Sweden: Viking Burial Mounds
Visby is a medieval city on the Swedish Island of Gotland. I visited Visby in early September 2019 to see the famous medieval charm of the harbour city and the many prehistoric and early Viking Age artefacts in the Gotland Museum. You can read more about my visits to Stockholm Historiska Museum here, the Viking… Continue reading Sweden: Visby
In Iceland, the Yule Cat, Jólakötturin, is a traditional monstrous figure that purportedly prowls the countryside on Christmas Eve devouring those who did not receive new clothing items for Christmas. There are many debates over the origins of the Yule Cat in Icelandic tradition which does not appear to be mentioned in written form before… Continue reading Iceland’s Monstrous Yule Cat
In late September 2019, I visited the Historika Museet (National History Museum) in Stockholm, Sweden. I only had a few days in Stockholm but I the Historiksa Museet is located in the central part of Stockholm city and is easily accessible by tram, bicycle or on foot. I visited the museum for the detailed exhibitions… Continue reading Sweden: History Museum
In late August 2019, I visited Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Although Spain still has a royal family, the Royal Palace of Madrid is no longer occupied by the Spanish royal family and is open to the public on most days. You can read more here about my visit to the Spanish capital and… Continue reading Spain: Royal Palace of Madrid
I am participating in this year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). After completing my first NaNoWriMo last year, I found it was a great motivational tool. This year, my goal is to write 30 thousand words and, from October to December, I plan to finish my novel-in-progress Ragnarok Dreaming. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook or… Continue reading NaNoWriMo 2019
In late August 2019, I traveled to the city of Granada in the region of Andalusia, southern Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, where the sprawling national park is a natural barrier between Granada and the Mediterranean Sea. The steep woodland hills surrounding the Sierra Nevada Mountains are… Continue reading Spain: Granada & the Alhambra
In late August 2019, I visited the western Alpujarras, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, where I traveled from the city of Granada to the small town of Lanjarón, about 50km southwest of Granada. Lanjarón is famous throughout Spain for the local spring that is historically purported to have healing properties and which provides… Continue reading Spain: Las Alpujarras
My European writing holiday and research gathering adventure began in Madrid in mid-August 2019. Madrid is the capital city of modern Spain but has also been the historical capital of Spanish kingdom and it is where the Royal Palace is still located today. You can read more about my visit to the Real Palacio de… Continue reading Spain: Madrid
Human survival has always been dependent on the natural environment and many mythologies show links between folklore and human fear of environmental instability. I was curious to explore folklore dealing with how past and present cultures attempt to explain and avoid disastrous environmental fluctuations. As human survival is so clearly linked to a stable environment,… Continue reading Folklore & Nature
I have been working hard writing a large scene over several chapters in my novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. The scene is based on a significant section in Norse mythology recorded in The Prose Edda, called the Skaldskaparmal, where Loki is portrayed for the first time as a more malicious being. The Skaldskaparmal describes Loki’s deliberate deception… Continue reading Loki & Idunn
Ancient history and mythology have always been favorite topics for me. Recently, I found an interesting article on newly discovered sections of ancient Mesopotamian poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, detailing the legendary feats of a historical king. The Epic of Gilgamesh was inscribed on cuneiform tablets which continue to baffle scholars as to the purpose… Continue reading Taurus, the Zodiac & Mesopotamian Myth
I have always been inspired and drawn to the very dark Gothic-style horror of the Victorian era, where classic works like Frankenstein, Dracula and The Turn of the Screw combine with the dark tales by Edgar Allan Poe and H.P Lovecraft influencing generations of horror writers. To those classic works, I often include the eerie… Continue reading Haunting, Horror & Shadows
During the writing my latest Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming, I created character collages for the central characters. These are useful visual aids representing important character aspects and themes. Ragnarok Dreaming is inspired by Norse myths and incorporates aspects of Australian legends. Loki: The shape-shifting trickster from Norse mythology, Loki is a giant from Muspelheim but… Continue reading Ragnarok Dreaming: Characters
I will be at Melbourne’s annual speculative fiction event, the Continuum Convention from June 7-10. I’ll be speaking on two panels during the convention. You can read about these and more events here
In re-working of my Amerindian inspired Fantasy novel, Bone Arrow, I’ve created character collages that visually represent aspects of the central characters and surrounding themes. Sunktokeca: Protagonist and warrior-shaman, sent to defeat Ska-Sicanagi, destructive spirit released by the antagonist, Khangithanka. Khangithanka: The raven god and bestower of power to shamans. Antagonist to Sunktokeca based on… Continue reading Bone Arrow: Character Collages
A very brief post to share my news and excitement that Fantasy novel-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming is now beyond the 45,000 words boundary. Stay tuned for future updates!
During my research into indigenous North American customs and cultures, I came across reference to the markings painted on the war horses. There are many Amerindian cultures and tribes which exist today and many more that have been lost. I acknowledge with respect, that these symbols are not exhaustive nor do they belong to a… Continue reading Native American War Horse
From April 10 2019, paperback copies of Bone Arrow will no longer be available for purchase while I prepare a new release. I have learned much about the writing craft since Bone Arrow was released in October 2018. You can follow my writing journey over the next few months while I develop Bone Arrow further,… Continue reading Bone Arrow Update
I’m participating another month-long writing event by the nonprofit organisation National Novel Writing Month. I began writing the draft of Ragnarok Dreaming during the November NaNoWriMo event. This April, I’m participating in CampNaNoWriMo, an virtual international writing retreat. I aim to write 10,000 words during April. You can follow my updates on Twitter, Facebook and… Continue reading Camp NaNoWriMo 2019
I am delighted to announce I’ve just finished writing Part 2 of my work-in-progress novel, Ragnarok Dreaming ! Now that the halfway point has been reached, I’m ready to continue the story of Norse Trickster Loki, enjoying the interacting themes between ancient Norse mythologies and Australian legends and folktales. Onwards to Part 3 !
Thrilled to provide an update on my current work-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. The first draft for Part 1 is complete and now Part 2 underway! Weaving aspects of indigenous ancient Australian legends with Viking Age Norse myths has definitely been a challenge but with the first 1/4 of Ragnarok Dreaming now on paper, I am more… Continue reading Ragnarok Dreaming: Latest News
Much of the information about Norse mythology is gleaned from the historical texts called the Eddas. As recounted in the Eddas, two separate hosts of deities initially existed, the Vanir and Aesir . These two hosts waged several unsuccessful wars against each other until they united as a single host, combining their strength against the… Continue reading Norse Gods: The Vanir
Much of the information about Norse mythology is gleaned from the historical texts called the Eddas. As recounted in the Eddas, two separate hosts of deities initially existed, the Vanir and Aesir. These two hosts waged several unsuccessful wars against each other until they united as a single host, combining their strength against the giants.… Continue reading Norse Gods: The Aesir
Bone Arrow does not attempt to retell indigenous North American folktales or legends, but many names for individual characters were carefully chosen to reflect the personality or motivations. These names in Bone Arrow are adapted from the Lakota languages, part of the Siouan language family. The Sioux form a group of indigenous Native American tribes… Continue reading Bone Arrow & Lakota Language
I am often asked what motivated me to write Bone Arrow, a Fantasy novel inspired by indigenous North American folktales and legends. My inspiration behind Bone Arrow is discussed in a first post, a second post explains the cultural inspiration and this final post details folklore inspiration. Bone Arrow includes many folklore references to several… Continue reading Behind Bone Arrow: Folktales
The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of activity and excitement for me. This inaugural but semi-regular post serves as part-reflection on recent events and part-update on current, unfolding projects. Curious to know more? Storytelling & More: The launch of this website coincided with the publication of my debut Fantasy novel Bone Arrow and… Continue reading 2018: Year In Review
I am often asked what motivated me to write Bone Arrow, a Fantasy novel inspired by indigenous North American folktales and legends. My inspiration behind Bone Arrow is discussed in a first post, this second post explains the cultural inspiration and a final post details folklore inspiration. Bone Arrow includes many historic cultural elements from… Continue reading Behind Bone Arrow: Cultural History
I am often asked what motivated me to write Bone Arrow, a Fantasy novel inspired by indigenous North American folktales and legends. My inspiration behind Bone Arrow is discussed in this first post, a second post explains the historic cultural inspiration and a final post details folklore inspiration. Bone Arrow draws on what I have always… Continue reading Behind Bone Arrow: Influences
In Norse mythology, the giantess Angrboda is mentioned only fleetingly in connection with her affair with Loki and the three monstrous offspring she bore. The “Hag of the Iron Wood” is one title she is referred to but the other is her name, Angrboda meaning “the bringer of sorrows”. Norse myth is full of tales… Continue reading Angrboda: Mother of Monsters
I’m taking part in the International NaNoWriMo 2018 challenge to write a “novel” of 50 thousand words during November. Perfect timing to begin my work-in-progress, Ragnarok Dreaming. Follow me on Twitter for updates throughout November as Ragnarok Dreaming takes shape!
Namarrgon is an indigenous Australian creation ancestor, a powerful spirit of the Arnhem Land plateau in the Kakadu region responsible for violent monsoon storms of Northern Australia. In the indigenous stories of Namarrgon, violent lightning and thunder storms each tropical summer are associated with the axes he throws, splitting the clouds to cause thunder and… Continue reading Namarrgon: Lightning Spirit
Excitement has been growing and finally, the announcement that debut Fantasy novel Bone Arrow is now available in eBook and paperback formats. I have enjoyed exploring Amerindian folktales and traditions which inspired me to re-imagine a Fantasy landscape where global fables and legends resonant in the constant shifting dominance of light and darkness.
The platypus is an iconic Australian native semi-aquatic, burrowing, egg-laying mammal (monotreme) with an unusual soft-bill, webbed feet and a thick “beaver-like” tail covered in a soft fur pelt. An indigenous Australian legend details the origins of these eclectic physical features according to indigenous cultural heritage. The indigenous Australian legend retold in Aboriginal Stories by… Continue reading Legend of the Platypus
Idunn is a Norse goddess, the guardian of a sacred fruit that provides immortality to the Aesir. There are several accounts of Idunn in the Prose Edda where she is often described as possessing child-like trust, giving her a sense of naivety. The first account of Idunn is in the Gylfaginning of the Prose Edda,… Continue reading Idunn: Guardian of Youth
The texts in the Poetic Edda are considered older than those recorded in the Prose Edda. The Poetic Edda consists of ancient Norse poems, the mythologies and legends recounted in a specific style of stanzas found only in the Icelandic texts, a written version of ancient Nordic oral traditions. As such, the poems recorded in… Continue reading Yggdrasil & the Eddas
Yggdrasil, also known as the World Tree or The Great Ash, upholds the Nine Realms and is a prominent part of Norse Cosmology. Yggdrasil has three main roots which each connect to one of the three planes that support the Nine Realms. One of Yggdrasil’s roots is located in Nifelheim, the realm of the dead.… Continue reading Yggdrasil
Bangarra Dance is a premier Australian Dance company bringing the powerful, but often unfamiliar, indigenous Australian legends from the Dreaming to international audiences. Bangarra have developed a unique and celebrated style of contemporary dance, combining powerful and evocative movements in indigenous Australian dance with the continuing traditions of indigenous Australia for storytelling through dance. In 2018, Bangarra… Continue reading Bangarra: Storytelling & Dance
While the Northern Hemisphere celebrated MidSummer, the Southern Hemisphere filled with the sudden arrival of icy winter storms. I ventured to Melbourne, Victoria for a brief research trip and an amazing experience of Vikings in Australia. Not to mislead, it is not thought Vikings ventured into the Southern Ocean but an unmissable museum exhibition from… Continue reading Vikings in Australia
In Norse mythology, the cosmos or universe was divided into nine realms on three planes held apart by a giant tree, Yggdrasil. The highest plane held the realm of Asgard, inhabited by the warrior gods, the Aesir. Located nearby were warriors slain honorably in battle who inhabited Valhalla, feasting while awaiting the final battle of Ragnarok.… Continue reading Norse Cosmology
Amerindian cultures in the Arctic regions including the Inuit, mention in folktales, the “shadow people” or the Tariaksuq and Ijiraq, elusive, shape-shifting and malevolent spirits known for kidnapping children. These spirits, often mentioned in close association, can take the form of a humanoid-caribou like the Tariaksuq, or can lack consistent physical forms like the Ijiraq.… Continue reading Tariaksuq & Ijiraq
A clear and easily understood collection of retellings, The Penguin Book of Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland provides good foundations for later exploration into texts exploring the translations and topics from the Norse Poetic Eddas. The Introduction discusses some of the important elements of Norse cosmology and culture before detailing the different roles gods and… Continue reading The Norse Myths
Wakinyan or the Thunderbird is an important and mythological figure in many North American folktales, stories and cultural traditions.Wakinyan is described as a giant bird, much like a raven in coloring but often with some aspects resembling an eagle. The Thunderbird of the Plains and mid-western Amerindian cultures is often associated with the months of… Continue reading Wakinyan
The wendigo legend forms a central part of tales and lore from Amerindian tradition in the forested areas of the Great Lakes in Canada and the northern United States. Despite numerous indigenous cultures inhabiting this region, the legend of the wendigo remains consistent with only two main variations. The majority of tales describe the wendigo… Continue reading Wendigo