Wednesday, June 28, 2006


A venerable saying, weighted by usage, and completely appropriate - Situation Normal All Fouled Up - or something similar in sound.
Our packing is complete, our house sitter briefed and ready, only one more fairwell party to go and our twenty-year-old wall oven cooks its contolling circuit board rather than the evening meal. Spares are no longer available and repair is impossible.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Countdown to Departure

All the tickets are in our hands, we have drawn up a detailed itinerary, have selected the clothes we're taking and even had a trial packing of our suitcases to ensure everything fits. The communication channels are set so we can be contacted in an emergency and we've familiarized ourselves with the tourist information available, all with six days to go before we board the first plane.

It's time to relax a little, enjoy the farewell parties and other celebrations and go back to a little light writing on the 3rd book of the Blood trilogy, tying in the 11,000 words I cut from the second book to the 9,000 words already written.
I'm still not decided about this story. It is a further shift in genre from the first with the two main characters separated for most of the story, each fighting to survive, each using the other as a goal to focus their efforts and the villain is oddly likeable. I'll make up my mind when I return.

SNOW DRIFTER is due for release in April 2007, assuming my Australian publisher's foray into the US market continues. It's set in Sydney (Australia), the New South Wales snow fields and Aspen and we had great fun researching it, walking, skiing and driving the same paths as its characters.

Bye for now

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Pause that Refreshes

"New World" has been submitted and I can now turn to the preparations for our trip with a clear conscience. I transferred the two chapters to the third book, even though it makes this one seem a little truncated to my eyes. We'll see what NCP think of it.
On the family front, our son is off to Iraq with the security detatchment for the Australian Embassy. He's keen to put his training into practice and we can do little more than provide support to him and his family until he returns.
My posts will be a bit more sporadic over the next ten weeks, but I'll log in when I can and keep you updated.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Writer's Dilemma

I have reached the final stages of "New World" Re-reading, polishing, correcting typos and the simple mistakes caused the length of time I've worked on it and faulty memory. Generally speaking, I'm satisfied with it, except...

That's a dreadful word, isn't it.

Midway though the story there's a two chapter diversion which explains something of the past and sets up the third book of the series and I've realized this is its only function. It provides no psychological or emotional development of either the heroine or the hero and I probably wrote it with the 60,000 word target in the back of my mind. It's survived two major rewrites, but this last one has marginalized it even more by shifting events to where they belonged rather than as asides to link the diversion to the main story.

There's one more shift I would have to make to complete the process and I am sitting in front of the computer steeling myself to make it and cut the diversion entirely.

It wouldn't be lost, just shifted to the third book - where it really belongs.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Four Roses for Mitchell's Valley

Romance Reader at Heart reviewed Mitchell's Valley and gave it four roses. This is what they said.

If you’re in the mood for a modern romance, look no further! Amy Gallow’s MITCHELL’S VALLEY is just the book for you. With its interesting characters and beautiful settings, you’re sure to enjoy this book.
Cynthia Sheldon has just been rescued from near death by the handsome Andrew Mitchell. After a passionate kiss goodbye, he gives her a trinket and asks that she never forget him. Once Cynthia is finally recovered, she realizes that the trinket Andrew gave her was a golden nugget! Intrigued by this man and the memory of his kiss, Cynthia goes on a quest to find him to thank him again for his generosity, and perhaps reenact their parting kiss. But what she finds instead is a mystery that she is committed to solve, no matter what.
Drew Mitchell is a descendent from the legendary Andrew Mitchell, for whom his ranch is named. Drew is one hunky cowboy! When Cynthia finds Drew, she swears that he was the one who rescued her. But Drew denies it, and claims instead that it was his namesake, the deceased Andrew Mitchell who saved her instead. Could it be? A ghost who saved her and kissed her? Although Cynthia is willing to play along with Drew’s story for a little bit, she can’t help but think that maybe he’s telling the truth. A ghost did save her.
MITCHELL’S VALLEY sizzles with the romance between Cynthia and Drew! I loved that Ms. Gallow added the mystery of Andrew Mitchell as the driving force to bring together Cynthia and Drew. She keeps you guessing as to whether it was really Andrew Mitchell’s ghost who rescued Cynthia.
I am pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading MITCHELL’S VALLEY. I breezed through the book and I was satisfied with how it ended. All in all, a very good read!
Julie Kornhausl

My smile makes house heating redundant on a cold winter's day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Beauty and the eye of the Beholder

I received an odd email this morning, purportedly from an American living in the Philippines, asking what was the most beautiful Australian city in a cliche sense. My first reaction was to delete it as spam, but I attempted to answer it in spite of my reservations because I found it difficult and difficult things attract me.

Sydney makes the loudest claims to beauty, but Sydney is the loudest in everything. The Gold Coast runs it a close second. Melbourne shares with Vancouver (BC) the tag of being the world's most livable city (or did.) and the environs of Hobart are spectacular. Albany (in WA) has King George's Sound and Perth (also in WA) has the Swan River and Fremantle (named for one of Nelson's Band of Brothers). Their diversity creates confusion when considering them in terms of beauty. It's much easier to name personal favorites, which I won't, or the most uniquely Australian (Darwin).

I hope my answer made sense to the American, if the inquiry was genuine, or my spam and virus filters work well enough if it wasn't.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Home Stretch

The days are counting down to our departure for the UK/Europe and I think the two days we'll spend in Dubai are going to be very welcome because every day before we leave is now accounted for - glitches will not be welcomed.

Our son didn't go to East Timor and it appears a thankless job because years of guerrilla fighting is no preparation for governing a country. It's understandable, but a great pity. The Timorese deserve better. My family's connection to the place goes back to WWII when an uncle, left behind in the retreat, lived in the hills and fought the Japanese until his group cobbled together a radio from stolen parts and made contact with the Army again. He still speaks warmly of the Timorese and we owe them a debt.

No time to waste. Shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone etc.

Friday, June 02, 2006

A little touch of Magic

Every successful story has a little touch of magic, a moment that gells all the elements and makes them real. I discovered the one for "New World" just before five am and lay there while my mind raced through the story, making adjustments, adding scenes and deleting others. It took nearly an hour and then I had to get up and work.

It's now seven thirty am and I am temporarily sated, having spent ninety minutes at the keyboard typing as fast as my fingers would go. I still have much to do, but the moment of magic now has a physical reality and the coffee in my mug tastes great. I will be tired later, but the exhileration deserved to be enjoyed and shared.

These moments make writing great.