Hidden

“Hidden” Surprise Book Trailer

Hi everyone

I had a lovely surprise today when I was updating and checking on my writing playlists on YouTube and a book trailer appeared in my side feed. All it said was this: “http://www.ravenswood.nsw.edu.au student-made book trailer.” This was accompanied by an image of a girl’s face in black and white. Over the years readers have surprised me with their sometimes extremely moving comments, and such things as dedicated art works, book covers, further chapters, and even complete sequels, as you may remember from one of my past featured blogs. Below is a cover for Old Magic that I love. It has a rich authentic Medieval look. It was designed by Jessica Castillo and the story behind it can be found at Jessica’s page here: Jessica Castillo’s Old Magic Cover

Old Magic Cover designed by Jessica Castillo

The Hidden book trailer caught my eye and when I viewed it, I couldn’t find the creator’s name other than “RavoLRC”. I would like to let the student who created this trailer know that I love her work and I sincerely hope she received a high mark for it. In case you’re wondering how I know the student was female, it’s because the project was from the school called Ravenswood in New South Wales, an all-girl high school.

If this book trailer of Hidden, Book I of The Avena Series, is your creation, please let me know. I would like to tell you that it was awesome. Click this link to see the Hidden Book Trailer:

Hidden Book Trailer

 

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Guardians of Time Book Four Release and Year of The Follow Up’s

It’s official, the Guardians of Time Book Four will be released in 2017. The month is yet to be determined, but it will be this year. The wait is shortening. Within six-eight months The Guardians of Time Book Four will be released.

It looks like 2017 is going to be the year of the follow ups. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere was originally published 21 years ago, and now he tells us he’s writing a follow up called The Seven Sisters. So what has inspired Neil Gaiman to write the follow up after such a long time? This is what he said last week in The Guardian:

“When Lenny Henry and I came up with the original idea for Neverwhere almost 25 years ago, what attracted us was the idea that we could talk about the homeless, talk about the dispossessed, talk about the people who fall through the cracks, and do it in a way that was exciting and fun and interesting and also relevant and might change people’s heads.

“Neverwhere for me was this glorious vehicle where I could talk about huge serious things and have a ridiculous amount of fun on the way. The giant wheel has turned over the last few years and looking around the work I have been doing for UNHCR for refugees, the kind of shape … London is in now, the kind of ways [it] is different to how it was 20 years ago, meant that I decided that it actually was time to do something.

“Now I had things I was angry about. I cared about things I wanted to put in and I’m now a solid three chapters in to a book called The Seven Sisters.”

And then there’s Philip Pullman. He’s following up His Dark Materials, remember The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass? Who could forget those amazing books. They sold multi millions in 40 languages between 1995 and 2000, and there was even the movie with Nicole Kidman. Philip Pulman’s follow up starts with a book called The Book of Dust and is set to be another trilogy.

From Philip Pulman’s website, this is what he says about why he wrote The Book of Dust:

“I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for The Book of Dust for a long time. I’ve been writing it for several years, and I’ve been very parsimonious with information about it. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book.    the-book-of-dust

 

“What can I tell you about it? The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story. Events involving her open the first chapter, and will close the last. I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College and, in thinking about it, I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her 20 years later.”

 

 

So what inspired me to write the follow up to The Named, The Dark and The Key? Like Philip Pulman, my readers have been requesting a sequel since The Key was published in 2005, twelve years ago. Where it’s different for me, I was planning a fourth book even before The Key’s release. I have notes I’d written from that time, an outline for Book Four, but my life turned upside down that year when I was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis (bone marrow cancer) after seeing my doctor because I was feeling very tired. I don’t think anyone knew it would be 8 years before I would be published again with The Avena Series – Hidden, Broken and Fearless.

Then there’s the matter of timing. The timing just feels right now. All going well, Book Four won’t be just the conclusion, but also the beginning of a new journey.

guardiansoftime

The Guardians of Time Original Covers

The Avena Series is Now Complete

Hi everyone

The Avena Series is now complete. Today, the third and final book in the series is released. The title is FEARLESS, and it’s a paranormal fantasy about angels, specifically an angel meant to be with her soul-mate prince forever but who is kidnapped at birth, hidden in a valley surrounded by mountains and raised by a childless couple mourning the loss of their newborn baby. This couple are in such deep grief that one look at the infant and they accept the unusual and strict terms of her adoption. They keep these conditions secret until Ebony, at the age of sixteen, finds herself changing and turns to her parents with questions as she seeks to find out who, or what, she really is.

For those of you looking for the e-book edition, it will be available tomorrow, the same day the UK paperback edition is released.

To celebrate the release of FEARLESS, my seventh published book, I will be appearing at Dymocks, in Sydney’s CBD, at 11 am on Saturday, 18th of July. Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate with me. My thanks to Dymocks and Bloomsbury Publishing for hosting what will be a wonderful event. Also appearing will be Sonia Palmisano, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Marketing & Publicity Manager for Children’s Books, who will be giving a not-to-be-missed presentation of Bloomsbury’s up and coming young adult titles.

Invitation to FEARLESS Launch

Invitation to FEARLESS Launch

ANNOUNCEMENT – FEARLESS BLOG TOUR

Fearless Blog Tour Banner Au and UK

Hi everyone

My Australian and UK Blog Tour for FEARLESS begins on July 13 and runs through until July 17. Some wonderful bloggers are hosting this for me and I’m looking forward to dropping by at each of their sites.

So what can you expect? Well, my first stop is on July 13 at the wonderful blog site of www.speconspecfic.com/ where I will be revealing the Fearless Book Trailer. I’m excited about this as the trailer was run as an exercise in a class of brave university students at the University of Technology, Sydney. There were so many amazing submissions and the choice of the winning trailer was extremely hard to select. Just so you know, I didn’t have the final say, but I love what the winner has done and I hope you do too. Thank you to all those students who devoted their time and expertise to participate.

My next stop on July 14 is going to be interesting in a completely different way. This is where I will reveal a chapter from The Avena Series that was never published. Originally it was to be a Prologue at the beginning of HIDDEN. But now it’s called “The Birth of Ebrielle”, and you will be able to read it at the UK blog site of: http://escapismfromreality.blogspot.co.uk.

On July 15 I have a Guest Blog Post on two sites: http://paranormal-angel.blogspot.com.au/ and http://paranormalangel.wordpress.com/ where I will have a lovely chat about . . . hmm . . . something close to just about everyone’s hearts.

On July 16 I will be a guest at the UK blog site of  http://fictionfascinationco.ipage.com/ where I will be answering Top 10 Random Facts about Fearless, and well, some of these random facts relate to the entire series of HIDDEN and BROKEN too, as well as a few about me.

And on my last stop on July 17, I will have another exclusive story for you. This one is called: “A Twist of Fate”, and you will find it at: www.behind-the-pages.com

So please drop by. And as always I’d love to hear your comments. You can contact me right here on my website or send me an email at:  marianne.curley7@gmail.com.

The Avena Series, Hidden, Broken, Fearless

Three Weeks to FEARLESS

The Avena Series, Hidden, Broken, Fearless

The Avena Series, Hidden, Broken, Fearless

Hi everyone

It’s three weeks until FEARLESS is released and I’m very excited to be at this point. To celebrate and put everyone in the mood, in the next few weeks I will be releasing two chapters that you will not find in any of the three books. One will be from Nathaneal’s viewpoint when he was a child on Avena, while the other is from Ebony’s father’s point of view on the day their house burned to the ground. I will have more information on these chapters in the lead up to the FEARLESS release, so please stay tuned.

To catch everyone up, here is a brief summary of what the Avena Series is about.

The Avena Series is the story of an angel named Ebrielle who was abducted at birth, stripped of her name, hidden in a secluded valley on Earth, and raised to believe she is an average girl. But in her heart she knows she is different. How different puts her on a course of discovery, catapulted into action when she meets a troubled boy named Jordan. Their bond alerts the heavens, specifically her eternal soul-mate Nathaneal, a prince in the world of angels who has never given up searching for her, and unfortunately also the dark angel Lucien, whose obsession for Ebrielle brings the young loves and all the worlds of Earth to the brink of devastation.

This is also a good time to remind anyone who would like to attend the fabulous Book Launch that Dymocks in Sydney’s CBD is hosting for the FEARLESS release next month. The launch will be held on the 18th of July at 11 am. I couldn’t be happier to be back in my home state for this, and I would love to see you there.

Invitation to FEARLESS Launch

Invitation to FEARLESS Launch

GIVEAWAY

Win a Signed Copy of Broken

Win a Signed Copy of Broken

What Inspired The Avena Series

Q. What inspired you to write your new series about angels?

The Avena Series, with the titles Hidden, Broken and Fearless, began as a thought in my head many years ago and developed over a series of events that happened to me during 2004 and 2005.

In 2004 I had just finished writing The Key, the third book of The Guardians of Time Trilogy. The Key was at the copy edit stage and almost ready to send to the printer for publishing. I had started to think ahead to what I would write next and one thing I knew was that it would be about an angel. Then I became ill. I was feeling run down and becoming short of breath. But I was a mother of three teenagers and didn’t think much of this until I found it difficult to climb the stairs at the front of my house.

It wasn’t long after seeing my doctor that I was diagnosed with aggressive Myeliofibrosis (bone marrow cancer). My body was not making blood anymore and what blood I had in my system was turning into scar tissue and enlarging my liver and spleen. I found out later that I had only a few weeks to live, but a stem-cell bone marrow transplant using my sister’s cells saved my life.

I spent twenty weeks in hospital in an isolation ward where I endured some very dark and seemingly endless days and nights. A few weeks into my recovery from the transplant I suffered a setback in the form of a fall, and because the chemotherapy had weakened my bone structure, I fractured five vertebrae in my low back and over the course of the next few months, my spine (and my height) crushed down by seven inches. I had a lot to deal with and my pain medication had the side effect of making me drowsy.

But when I returned home I felt that I had been given a second chance at life, and my experience in the hospital had me thinking about the wonderful people, the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pain specialists, and all my family and friends, my fans who wrote to me, and people I had never met wishing me well, and everyone who had been praying for me. They seemed like angels, and indeed to me they were.

My illness was the catalyst for writing The Avena Series. I took my thought of a story about an angel, gave it the theme of second chances, and developed my plan for three books. It took time to write due to the adjustments I had to make, the follow-up treatments, and my determination to build up my concentration levels again.

I am proud of my new series, and grateful to Bloomsbury Publishing for their wonderful support and belief in me. The Avena Series tells the story of an angel named Ebrielle who was abducted at birth, stripped of her name, hidden in a secluded valley on Earth, and raised to believe she is an average girl. But in her heart she knows she is different. How different puts her on a course of discovery, catapulted into action when she meets a troubled boy named Jordan. Their bond alerts the heavens, specifically her eternal soul-mate Nathaneal, a prince in the world of angels who has never given up searching for her, and unfortunately also the dark angel Lucien, whose obsession for Ebrielle brings the young loves and all the worlds of Earth to the brink of devastation.

Fearless Book 3 of The Avena Series

Fearless Book 3 of The Avena Series

Hidden, Book 1 of The Avena Series   Broken, Book 2 of The Avena Series

Questions and Answers – The Perfect Title

Arina asked me the following question in a tweet this morning – 21st of June, 2014.

How do you come up with a title?

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A title is important. After all, along with the cover, it’s the first image a reader is going to have of your book. So you want that title to grasp the main content of your story, reflect your writing style and the novel’s genre. And you want to do this in as few words as possible.

So how did I come up with my titles? My first, Old Magic, had a literal sense to the essence of the story. Kate uses the words ‘old magic’ in dialogue. It was the vehicle used to solve Jarrod’s ancient family curse. Old Magic was essentially perfect and my editor agreed.

My second book was The Named. This was a nightmare and in the end I didn’t pick it. I had a working title that was, according to my editor in an email exchange I wasn’t supposed to read, absolutely hideous and needed changing immediately.  On reflection I can see now how bad my original title was. It didn’t say anything about what the book was about. It didn’t tell the reader it was a young adult paranormal fantasy with time travel. It didn’t say it was about a special group of people with paranormal powers who were chosen to keep the world safe.

I got better at picking titles with The Dark and The Key and I believe that was because these two were the second and third books that followed The Named and I knew the titles were perfect when they came into my head while I was writing them.

My fifth book Hidden wasn’t so easy and my editor picked the title. It was on my short list anyway, so I was happy to give my approval. I had three different working titles for Broken, but by the time I finished the manuscript I had selected Broken and knew it was right.

Coming up with a title is a different experience with every novel. Some titles just pop into your head as you write them. These are the easy ones. It’s as if your sub-conscious is selecting them, and you know right away that they’re going to work. While other titles you have to think a lot about, brainstorm possibilities, seek advice from colleagues, family and friends. After your readers have read your manuscript, ask them to come up with three titles for you. I’ve done this, and it can prove to be a great help because sometimes you’re just too close to the story to see the perfect title.  

I want to say that in the end it’s your choice, but that’s not necessarily so, unless you self-publish. I trust my publisher because they have the marketing skills and they know what’s selling out there in the big world.

I hope this helps. Good luck with your novel, and good luck in coming up with the perfect title.

Marianne

 

A Little About Myself

I have been fortunate to live in beautiful areas almost all of my life. Born in the Hawkesbury Valley of New South Wales in May, 1959, my family home was a timber house on a hundred-acre farm growing potatoes, pumpkins and corn right on the banks of the Hawkesbury River. My mother and father worked the farm while raising four children. The eldest were two boys, a year apart, then my sister a year later, and finally me, the youngest by almost four years. I have fond memories of the house on the farm, the outside laundry at the end of a veranda with timber slats, my big brothers catching wildlife in buckets to scare ‘the girls’ half to death. I remember frosty mornings in winter, swimming in summer, and catching a minibus to school at St Monica’s Catholic Primary School in Richmond.

But half-way through Kindergarten a massive flood washed our house away and all of our belongings. It was the first major move in my life. My parents found a small property they liked at Plumpton, on the outskirts of Sydney where there were still open green spaces at the time. On a dirt road called Glendening they had a brick house built where I shared a room with my sister. I attended Marayong Primary and Infants School, and then Rooty Hill High School. I remember both schools quite vividly – the layout of the buildings and classrooms, the assemblies, standing on the asphalt for ages while the sun burned down on our heads (before hats were compulsory). I remember my friends, especially my best friend Denise Chemmello. I was sad and lonely for years after she moved to Freemantle, WA. And I remember the teachers, some more so than others.

My next major move occurred after I had married John Curley at 21, and had three children. We decided to raise our young family in Coffs Harbour, a tourist area on the mid north coast of New South Wales. It was the perfect place to venture into writing. Well known for its stunning beauty and diverse landscape, Coffs Harbour is where the Blue Mountains almost meet the Pacific Ocean, creating a unique environment of beaches, mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, creeks, rivers, lush green valleys and even its own mild and breezy weather.

Today I live on Mount Tamborine in Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland. It wasn’t easy finding another area as conducive to writing my paranormal books as Coffs Harbour, where I had written my first four. But there came a time when I felt that I had to move. In 2004 I became seriously ill with bone marrow cancer and a back crush fracture of several vertebra of my low back during a fall immediately after my stem-cell transplant. The memories of being so close to death and in significant pain seemed to close in around me. Coffs Harbour now held memories I found difficult to deal with on a daily basis. I yearned for a fresh new start. And my daughter Amanda and son-in-law Chris were married by now and had moved to Brisbane. They were expecting their first child and I didn’t want to be living in a different state, seven hundred kilometres away, when I became a grandmother for the first time. I now have two amazing grandchildren.

Here, on this beautiful mountain there are still rainforests, crystal clear creeks, waterfalls and views across the Border Ranges or Surfer’s Paradise and Brisbane. And on top of that, artists of all different kinds live here. This is where I write now. With my rainforest backyard to look at for inspiration. It’s where I wrote my new trilogy, The Avena Series – Hidden, Broken and Fearless. And it’s where my next writing adventure is about to begin.