New Signing: Last Year, When We Were Young by Andrew J McKiernan

IFWG Australia is very pleased to announce the acquisition of Andrew J McKiernan’s collection of dark short stories, Last Year, When We Were Young. This work was first published in 2014, and with this signing, we will be supplementing what is already very good with additional stories and rich illustrations by the author.

The collection will be published in late 2017 or early 2018 – over coming months we will narrow down the release period.

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Andrew J. McKiernan is a writer and illustrator from the Central Coast of New South Wales. First published in 2007, his stories have since been short-listed for multiple Aurealis, Ditmar, and Australian Shadows awards, as well as being reprinted internationally and in a number of Year’s Best anthologies. His short story collection, ‘Last Year, When We Were Young’, was awarded the 2014 AHWA Australian Shadows Award for Best Collected Work. “The Message” was recently optioned to be produced as a short film by award-winning Australian director Tom Spark. www.andrewmckiernan.com

Sneak Preview: Engaging Evil by Cary J Lenehan

We know fans have been waiting for a while, but we can now announce the release of Engaging Evil, book 2 of Warriors of Vhast, by Cary J Lenehan, on the 23rd of February 2017. Here’s the cover:

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Engaging Evil continues the unfolding series set on a distant and fabricated world where magic takes the place of technology and dragons and monsters dwell in unlikely places.

Following on from Book 1, Intimations of Evil, we follow the Cat, the priest, the princess, the ghazi, the tribesman and others, as they leave civilisation and enter the wilds and discover the hidden village of Mousehole, where lurks bandits and indescribable evil.

Engaging Evil is the second book of a series that sees worlds reshaped and myths confounded in a far-flung fantasy adventure.

Well done to Elizabeth Lang of EL Designs, and artist Catherine Archer-Wills for the spectacular cover.

The Grief Hole Illustrated: News and Pre-Orders

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The Grief Hole Illustrated: An Artist’s Sketchbook Companion to Kaaron Warren’s Supernatural Thriller, by Keely Van Order will be released next month. Those who ordered it as part of the Limited Edition offer for The Grief Hole are locked in for shipment as soon as the book is printed, but we are offering an excellent preorder price for Australian readers only right now: $36.95 including shipping and GST. This offer will cease in early February 2017.

Kaaron Warren’s novel, The Grief Hole, is fast becoming a dark literary classic, and it was enhanced by internal illustrations, and cover art/design by Canberra-based artist, Keely Van Order.

This art portfolio traces Keely’s passage to the final illustrations and designs, including variations on themes, mood sketches, and pieces of art that were worthy of publishing, but just didn’t quite make it the limited number required for the final product. Keely provides notes on her journey and includes excerpts from The Grief Hole that enables the viewer insight into the direct sources of inspiration for the art.

Keely Van Order’s art and design for The Grief Hole, compiled in this beautiful book, is an apt companion volume to the novel, and captures the spirit of Kaaron Warren’s masterpiece as a stand alone work.

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The Grief Hole Illustrated is 74 pages in length with premium colour printing and paper. It is hard cover with matte finish lamination. To showcase Keely’s work, the book is 280 x 216mm in size (11″ x 8.5″).

CLICK HERE to preorder Keely’s magnificent work for AU$36.95 (Australia only, GST and Shipping included)  It will retail in Australia for $39.95 (GST include, not shipping).

Nick Stathopoulos, the eminent Australian artist, has the following to say in the Introduction to this art portfolio:

NEVER SEEN THE SAME BY ANY TWO PEOPLE

Where teenagers would go to suicide

                         …this was the picture I started with and took the project from here.”

And so begins Keely Van Order’s harrowing journey illustrating Kaaron Warren’s disturbing and dark fantasy The Grief Hole.

This was no ordinary commission.

But then this was no ordinary story. In this portfolio we follow Keely’s creative journey; her conceptual explorations with styles, with techniques, with fonts. Here we have sketches, detailed notes, cover variants, final art, and work rejected due to printing concerns. We get a sense of what she was feeling as she worked through the book. We share her determination to reveal the face of the charismatic, shaman-like Sol Evictus, to unmask him, to deny him being reduced to a mythological archetype. To make him real. And this is where the value of an illustration can override a reader’s imagination.

Throughout publishing history we have great collaborations between writers and artists. Can you imagine A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh without the fragile delicacy of E. H. Shepard, or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland without the slightly psychotic John Tenniel, or John Marsden’s The Rabbits without the politically savvy Shaun Tan? And now we have Keely Van Order’s dark, brooding, melancholia. Kaaron Warren is a fortunate author indeed.

I’m one of those people who watches all the extras on a blu-ray disc. Partly because I enjoy that insight into how visual effects are created, and what they decided to leave on the (now digital) cutting room floor; and partly because I always harbored ambitions to work in the film industry myself.

Despite knowing the magician’s tricks, I can still draw a distinction between the behind-the-scenes details, suspend my disbelief, and enjoy the movie—not as some technical exercise—but as a piece of pure story-telling. Although I did work peripherally in the film industry, most of my career was directed towards graphic design and illustration. Which means this portfolio is like one of those blu-ray extras for illustrators.

Very few people realize or appreciate how much effort an artist puts into creating work for a book. What makes this a particularly unusual and challenging project is that this story involves an artist sent to capture the faces of dying teenagers—who in doing so dies in a ‘grief hole’. And in taking this project on, Keely has in many ways become that artist, taken on that persona. This is not a happy head-space.

When illustrating a manuscript, an artist doesn’t casually read it. They diligently scour every word to find those key pivotal moments that have the highest emotional and visual impact. As you turn every page of this portfolio, you can see Keely immersing herself in Kaaron’s bleak world, where each word takes on a deeper meaning, evoking a mood, stimulating the possibility of a visual interpretation. This level of engagement makes for great art.

On a purely artistic level, despite Keely’s distinctive, idiosyncratic style, do I detect echoes of an Eastern European aesthetic—perhaps Czech? I’m now thinking of those bizarre Polish and Czech movie posters that have nothing whatsoever to do with the films they are meant to be spruiking, yet remain intriguing works of art on their own terms. Do I sense the influence of cover artists I grew up with – Richard Powers, or Bruce Pennington—hovering around Keely like the ghosts Theresa sees? Perhaps. Or perhaps that’s just me making connections with the artists who served as my inspirations. But then again, like the grief holes themselves, these things are “never seen the same by any two people”.

So look carefully. I’m trusting that after dutifully examining each sketch, each note-to-self, each final illustration, you might glean just what an extraordinary collective work of art Keely Van Order has created. In this case, knowing the magician’s tricks enhances Kaaron’s world.

And a personal thank you to Gerry Huntman for having the foresight and wisdom to connect Keely with Kaaron—a true symbiotic relationship—and for publishing this portfolio. It’s not often we are granted the opportunity to take a peek into an artist’s process, especially in such a handsome format.

 

Two-eBook Bundle: Zeke Hailey series by Ian C Douglas

Kindle book buyers will now see Ian C Douglas‘ Zeke Hailey series bundle on their sites at a special price for the first two books. IFWG Publishing Australia will release the third, much-anticipated instalment in Q1 2017. For young teenagers, or those who are young at heart, you will not be disappointed in this science fiction adventure series!

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The Infinity Trap

How far would you go to find your missing father? For Zeke Hailey, a teenager living in the 23rd century, even Mars is not too far. Zeke’s dad is one of the Mariners, a mysterious elite of psychics who have conquered Outer Space. Now he’s vanished on a secret mission.

But Zeke is an ordinary schoolboy without a shred of his father’s psychic powers. Armed with nothing but his wits, he bluffs his way into the prestigious Mariner’s school on Mars in search of answers. Mind-reading teachers and psychokinetic bullies are the least of his worries. A ruthless archaeologist is seeking the Infinity Trap, an ancient machine of unimaginable power and lair to an evil as old as the Universe. An alien artefact downloads the language of the long dead Martians into Zeke’s brain. Thanks to this newfound skill, Zeke alone understands the apocalyptic danger about to be unleashed.

Not only must Zeke rescue his friends, but humanity itself. If he can first survive a planet filled with demons, outlaws, and androids, not to mention quicksand and dust storms. And, as the odds stack against him, will Zeke make the ultimate sacrifice—his father?

Gravity’s Eye
On Mars, your best friend sometimes turns out to be your worst enemy.

Zeke Hailey is struggling with life at the Chasm, the 23rd century school for psychics. His extrasensory skills have dried up and there’s a prehistoric robot out to kill him. At least he has a new mate, in the shape of late comer Fitch Crawley.

Only there’s more to Fitch than Zeke realises. The boy has a genius for hypnosis, making fools of the teachers. Fitch has an invisible pet too, a creature armed with deadly venom. Zeke and Fitch team up with an old foe, setting off on a Martian road trip. But this search for answers will bring them face to face with monsters and, most dangerous of all, a demon from beyond time. Zeke will have to do more than survive his mind-bending friend and the ancient killer robot.

As the universe starts to collapse, Zeke must choose between saving his friends or the human race. For nobody but Zeke can stop the apocalypse of Gravity’s Eye.

AMAZON BUNDLE LINK

Preview: Dark Waters / Ronnie & Rita by Deborah Sheldon

Leading up to the 2017 release of Deborah Sheldon’s collection of short stories, ‘Perfect Little Stitches and Other Stories’, IFWG Publishing Australia will be releasing in coming weeks her two crime-noir novellas in a single volume, ‘Dark Waters’ and ‘Ronnie and Rita’.

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Each story a mirror-image of the other…

A bad man trying to become good.

A good man turning bad.

Both men motivated by love.

DARK WATERS

Brendan Reilly, a.k.a. Danny Boy, is a veteran of the Overlords, an outlaw motorcycle club. A near-fatal accident leads him to an epiphany: he is determined to quit the life and reconnect with his ex-wife and son. At the same time, the Overlords are preparing for war against a rival gang, the Golden Jackals, and with Brendan’s loyalty in question, he is pushed further into the war when all he wants is a way out.

Dark Waters is a triumph through tragedy; a dark and uncompromising noir-like tale that is as much about the violence as it is about one man trying to escape it’
– Just a Guy That Likes to Read

RONNIE AND RITA

Ron Spooner is middle-aged, alone and lonely, a nobody who has mowed lawns for a living ever since he was a boy. When he meets a young drifter, Rita, they fall in love, and want nothing more than a family of their own. Too bad it isn’t possible. Or is it? What Rita asks him to do is wrong. Terribly wrong. But Ron is willing to sacrifice everything for this twisted love affair.

Ronnie and Rita punches far above its weight. A poignant and clever combination of sadness and tension, manipulation and desire, right from the beginning there’s no way of avoiding the sense of impending disaster’
Austcrime Fiction

New Release: In the Heat of the Day by Peter Rondel

IFWG Publishing is very pleased to announce the release of Peter Rondel‘s climate change science fiction novel, In the Heat of the Day. “We are particularly proud of this title,” Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG Publishing Australia said, “as it is our first adult science fiction novel for our Australian imprint, as well as covering an underrepresented subgenre – climate change. Two firsts.”

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Peter Rondel is not new to IFWG Publishing, as he has a wonderful children’s illustrated novel published with us, A Magpie Called Will, in collaboration with New Zealand artist, Frances Hutt.

For decades, the subject of climate change and global warming were regarded as nonsense by many. When the threat becomes a reality, one young technician seeks solutions to the world’s biggest problems when oil becomes unavailable.

The need for electric power and new means of transport become his dedication. Unable to afford patents, his inventions become the target for a criminal group. His girlfriend is kidnapped to force him to cooperate.

Technically, he deceives the group with false information and is forced to relocate to a cave in Australia’s far north. He is faced with the consequences of his deceptions when global tragedies become the result.

In the Heat of the Day is currently available in Kindle and Kobo format, and will be soon available in print and other ebook formats. EPUB and Kindle compatible formats can now be purchased direct from the publisher.