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Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's Good News....

A quiet one this week compared to the busy few weeks we've had.


Tracey O'Hara
Death's Sweet Embrace gets an audio cover, while Night's Cold Kiss gets a German cover. Very cool.

Congrats, Tracey.

Join us next week for some more good news.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Weekly Overview


Tues 29 Nov
Good News Day

Thur 1 Dec
Magic Thursday - Kitty Bucholtz with giveaway, Little Miss Lovesick.

Sat 3
Darklight On…Michelle de Rooy



  • two blog posts over at Nicole's blog (as above)

  • Paula will be the guest speaker at the ARRA's dinner in February. 2012.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!!

Have a great week!

Saturday 26 November 2011

Darklight On...Eleni Konstantine

Blogger's block

I am meant to talk about some aspect of me and my writing and I'd drawing a blank about what to say. Yes, it DOES happen. I know I talk a lot about writing on my blog and reading on my reading blog, but I'm coming up with a blank.

Is this writer's block? Or blogger's block, perhaps?

I realise this happens more with my actual writing. Not that I don't have ideas and want to explore them, but as long time readers of this or my blog would know, I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And that can be a daily challenge, or a weekly challenge, depending on how I'm feeling. I do quite a bit  in my life - volunteer for RWAus, blog mistress of this blog, a writing group 'secretary' for want of a better term, and off course there is the 'normal life' stuff as well. But I do it to my pace, with no 9-5 routine to hinder me.

Sometimes I have an invisible barrier between and my writing.  I can see it, I want to work on it, but there's this barrier, this brain fog that isn't conducive to words.  I try to get through it, try to ignore the pounding in my ears, but I smack against it and stagger back. As you can imagine, this can be frustrating.

What do I do about it?

Other than hit my head against the barrier? Sometimes this feeling is a tell - telling me I need to regroup, and reenergise my creative energy. The barrier may be stronger at times when the story is not ready, that it needs time to simmer. I go away and work on my bits and bobs, and hopefully when I come back to it again, I can break through the barrier.

I watch TV or read to help jump start the creativity and more recently, I've been working on designs. Being visual helps and can sometimes help me through.

But most of all I have to take stock of when I am trying to go through the barrier. I'm a night owl, but despite it being the time of my best work, at other times it just doesn't work. I have to take stock of what I've done for the day and this can make the barrier more pronounced.

For example, today I went to Curves (just joined to get my fitness up again), then went to an appointment, then did some 'volunteer' work at my desk and caught up with email, and was so exhausted I had to take a nap. After nap, I had tea, visited my nephews who ran rings around me, and so I'm now sitting here absolutely brain dead.

So the barrier is definitely up. There is no point of me trying to write. I can sometimes edit in this state, but it's a real battle, so I prefer not to. Writing this post has been a battle, and I had such a busy week, I didn't get to it until the night before it's due to go out. And I have another busy day tomorrow, so this is the only time I can write it.

I've also come to the realisation I'm a binge writer. That is I can have a week where I can go for gold, pumping words out every day, but then I have to stop. It's my process, and I've come to accept it instead of beating myself up for not being able to produce words every day.

I did this recently with a 7K word short story. I wrote about 2K and it was like pulling teeth. I had to give it a a month before I could go back to it. Then for a week I wrote 4K at different intervals. Then another little break before finally finishing it off. Yes, it took a while but I have to accept that unlike before CFS, I have to let things settle before going on. When I do push and rush through, instead of feeling good I have words written, I get frustrated, because it's not right for the story.

At the end of this post, I think I can offer this one bit of advice - respect your process. What works for you may not work for another writer, but it is YOUR process, so own it, and work with it, instead of against it.

As for me, I know I won't be able to do any work tonight, so I'm off to go sleep.


Eleni's short story Changes will appear on Antipodean SF in January's issue. 

For links to Eleni's other short stories, please go to her website.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Magic Thursday: "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal"

by Nicky Strickland

For those unaware (& I’ll forgive you), Joss Whedon is a tv and film creator. Some of his better known works are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, Dollhouse, the upcoming Avengers movie and a little down the track, the shot (and being edited) Much Ado About Nothing. He’s also known for working as a script doctor on many movie projects.

What is the appeal for me about his work? I’ve had to think long and hard about this (ever since Eleni asked me to write this post). Many around me would say it is Joss the man who I admire. I do. Absolutely. Going to the Opera House in Sydney last year to hear him in a Q&A session was part fangirl experience and part masterclass. The session was, like his commentaries, interviews and other Q&A’s about the how, where, why of his various shows. Interspersed with it is how he views writing and storytelling.

Many moons ago, I became hooked on Buffy (aired in Australia at 10.30pm on a Monday night, matching my then library shiftwork) to the point I ventured to the message boards. I was completely sucked into the character development and arcs, the way stories were told. And that is where the appeal is. The storytelling.
He is a master weaver of woe (and every other strong emotion). He is renowned for his ability to build up the emotion (pick one) and then rip the carpet right from under you. It is a well known fact rarely do his couples survive a happy ever after scenario (and yes, the irony of writing this for a romance-centric blog is not lost on me). Whatever he does (mostly) primarily serves the story. Doesn’t matter how much a scene is loved by the creator, if it doesn’t work. Kill it. Joss reveals this happened with the episode “Waiting in the Wings” in Angel (season 3).

Not only is it Joss himself who tells stories well. He has repeatedly assembled cast and crews, in particular writers (Jane Espenson, Doug Petrie, Drew Goddard, Ben Edlund to name a few) who understood the story was key. The beginnings of my own learning about writing came from these shows. Sure the actors, set designers and composers did great jobs but it was the writers who kept the boat on course, with Joss at the helm.

Confession time - I’m a late starter to toddling along this writing path. I didn’t think I was creative. A dear friend I met via the Buffy boards dared me to write a story challenge. I said nuh, wouldn’t last 6 sentences, she said, uh-huh and, well, 16,000 words later with original characters interspersed within the Buffyverse….

Grr. Argh. 

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Magic Thursday winner - Cathleen Ross

Thank you to everyone who commented on Cathleen's post.

The winner of one of her ebooks is:

Keziah Hill

Congratulations, Keziah!

Please contact Cathleen at contact@ cathleenross.com (no spaces).

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's Good News...


Annie Seaton
Winter Of The Passion Flower has a cover. It's Annie's first one and it's stunning. Congrats!
It's due for release March 2012 from Lyrical Press.


Jess Anastasi
Severance was reviewed by Heather K at ARRA. Here's a snippet:

"As a reader, I did wonder where the threads would take me but they were nicely tied together and solved many of the questions brought up between the couples. There isn’t much world building, but there is enough detail to know that it is a different world and these characters react to the situations as only they can in the circumstances. This is a relatively short story for an afternoon’s pleasure."

Mel Teshco
Identity Shift got a 5 star review from our own Jenny Schwartz.

"I love shifters and paranormal romance. This great little novella was at the hot end of the spectrum when it came to sexy books I'm comfortable reading...which is not a bad thing ;)
Most of all I enjoyed the intriguing use of the black big cat sightings in Australia. Cryptozoology is fascinating and this twist used it well."


Eleni Konstantine
The fantasy short story, Stormy Divide, has been sold to Musa Publishing's Urania Line.


Mel Teshco
The Something Wicked This Way Comes anthology has a tentative release date of 23 December. Dragon Heat which is part of the anthology now has a blurb:

A highly skilled operative, Grace has been trained to track, fight and kill paranormal creatures. Only after she’s in the clutches of her latest target, a devastatingly sexy dragon-shifter, does she discover betrayal in her ranks. Suddenly the hunter is the hunted. Grace will soon learn of her ex-agency’s horrific agenda—but not before seeking solace in all the pleasures of the flesh her new dragon ally has to offer.


Angela Castle
Resisting Rachel has been nominated for The Romance Reviews Best Erotic PNR (Alien/Other World). Members of TRR can vote here.


Kitty Bucholtz
Little Miss Lovesick will be coming out in paperback before Christmas.

Keri Arthur
Keri will be a guest of honor at Conflux 8 in 2012. Great stuff.

Congratulations to everyone!

See you again for the Good News next week....

Monday 21 November 2011

Magic Monday - Are you a paranormal groupie?

(a special Magic Monday this week, from Kylie Griffin)

You know you're a paranormal groupie when....

  • ...you can reel off the meanings of an acronyms such as DUF, F&F, UF, SF/F/P, HF, EF, PR, BPS, FU and varying combinations with alacrity
  • …you hear a strange sound and immediately reach for your backpack (which, incidentally, contains a wooden stake, holy water, a hand gun with silver bullets, a communicator, a phaser, a spell book for all occasions, a variety of amulets and lucky charms, an almanac of alternate realities, a handy pocket sized dictionary of demonic languages, a crystal ball with matching tarot cards and a ring of magic keys) and you head straight for the location you last heard it shouting, "Go ahead, make my day, hell-spawn!"
  • ...you think it's normal to open conversations about demons/vampires/shape-shifters/psi-powers/alien races in mixed company
  • ...you understand that “succubus/incubus” have plurals and that they’re “succubi/incubi”
  • ..."Live long and prosper" (accompanied by the traditional hand sign) is your standard farewell
  • …all the clothes you own are variations in the color black
  • ...you've made weapons out of your garden implements...just in case, because the next door neighbour's kid gives new meaning to the word holy terror
  • …when you hear the words “Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica, in nomine et virtute Domini Nostri Jesu + Christi…” and realize you aren’t at a baptism or partaking in Holy Communion
  • ...you realize the danger of shouting the expletive phrase “Suck me!” in a nightclub with people with pallid skin and who claim pointed canine teeth are the latest “vamp” trend
  • ...you can reel off every known class of starship from Earth to the Delta Quadrant without drawing breath
  • …the newest release of Keri Arthur/Mel Teshco/Sherrilyn Kenyon/(insert other fav.author) excites you more than sex does
  • ...you wear steel-capped boots, a long leather jacket, and an array of hidden weapons on your person when you step outside your house
  • ...the saying “his/her eyes turned red” can hold so many different meanings (not all of them good)
  • …your significant other plays the opening tunes to Star Trek/The Twilight Zone/Blood Ties/(insert other favourite program here) just to get your attention
  • ...you believe it makes perfect sense to decorate you house with necklaces of garlic, hang mirrors in every room, install fonts of holy water at every entrance, and burn twists of sacred herbs 24/7
  • ...the phrase “TRUST NO ONE” isn’t just an X-Files quote
  • …the word “World Con” has you salivating in 3 seconds flat
  • …an earthquake shakes your house and you dive for cover shouting, "Take cover! The Hellmouth is opening, the Hordes of Baccus begin the Reclamation!" and everyone else looks at you as if you’ve gone mad
  • …you understand exactly what the phrase ‘seduced by an succubus’ means and that it may be less alluring than it sounds
  • ...you find yourself translating magazine articles in waiting rooms (out loud) in fluently Elvish, Pernese or Klingon just to pass the time
  • …you think it’s normal to name your child Buffy, Angel, T'Pol, Tiberius, Acheron, Wrath, Sookie or after various pantheon deities
You know you're a paranormal groupie when...you immediately send this list to other paranormal groupies, here and overseas, realizing that only they will understand!

Can you think of any other signs or symptoms I might have missed? :-)

Sunday 20 November 2011

Weekly Overview


Mon 21 Nov
Magic Monday - Kylie Griffin with Are You A Paranormal Groupie?

Tues 22 Nov
Good News Day

Wed 23
Winner of Cathleen's ebook 

Thur 24
Magic Thursday - Nicky Strickland talks Joss.

Sat 26
Darklight On…Eleni Konstantine




  • REMEMBER Christina and Jenny are two of the authors participating in the YES Party! 

  • We wish Kitty well in her return to the US. Australia and we will miss you, but thank goodness for cyberspace. Bon voyage!

Have a great week!

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DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)