Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some more great feedback

Hi Tania,
Just thought I'd pass on some gorgeous feedback on Banquo's Son - the Penguin rep, Louise, has been in this afternoon and she told me that she was so deeply into the book on the plane from Chch to Queenstown that they had to tap her on the shoulder and tell her it was time to get off - when she looked around everyone else had gone -and when she stood up she felt ill - they told her there had been quite a bit of turbulence - her tummy had noticed but her head was completely with Fleance!
Regards, Bronwyn.

Bronwyn is the book buyer for The University Bookshop here in Dunedin, the place I spend most of my royalty money

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I can't resist popping in to say hi

Life is madness for me at the moment. (The babes understand where I'm coming from: reports, checking reports, re-printing reports, teaching non English specialists the difference between 'practice' and 'practise'.) Plus NCEA marking of internals. Plus the practicalities of two full time jobs: teaching teenagers and parenting teenagers! (Yes, feel sympathy, it will make me feel better!)

Anneeewayyy, Fleance and Rachel and Rosie and Duncan (and my new boy Henri - not to mention Dougal and Magness and Bree and Blair) are active and kicking and pulling me constantly into the turmoil of 11th Century Europe a few years before the biggest thing to happen since the crucifixion (When Great Britain begins to begin - aka William the conqueror wins the Battle of Hastings in 1066).

C'est excitement. (French courtesy of our French exchange student - and Henri (pronounced 'EnRee'))

Dare I say it but I think this book is going to be bigger (in terms of word count) than Banquo's Son. I never believed I could write so much in a book but then, when you write epic, epic happens.

Currently thinking and working through putting together a wonderful YouTube promo of the book. Need the babes for this and I am technology challenege (so PC).

K. Off to arrange domestic stuff including feeding dogs and humans an negotiating homework.

Oh, and dinner. A gal's gotta eat

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A treasure I found

This delightful book by Michael LoMonico is what is keeping me from using a weekend without teenagers to write some more of Bloodlines. If you or someone who know loves Shakespeare, this is a book to get them for their birthday or for Christmas. Thanks Micheal - you're going to be saving me hours scouring through my complete works. One of my favourite lists: the missing wives. *grin*

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter and the half blood prince

I saw it tonight and jumped out of my seat but, all the while, thought of who, of these actors, could be/play characters.

For instance: Snape is Old Preston. Come on. Is he good or bad? Yes, he's sleezy but is he for Scotland or agin?

The actor who plays Draco Malfoy: Callum people.OMG - so Callum. In a couple of years, this actor will be ready to play the part of a young son who ...... oh. Can't say anymore because it will give away the plot.

Then I look around my classes and see wonderful actors (female) who would fit the bill for any of the parts. Even Rosie. Rachel? Haven't found her yet. People ask: what about you, Tania. Do you want a part like Steph Meyer? I say: I'll be the extra in the tavern. I learned many years ago that, though I habour a desire to be an actress, I'm better being a director than an actor.

heh heh

[author slaps her hand: writing. Now. Stop procrastinating]

Tania waves as the weather decends.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

I think I can breath a bit better

or '100 more reasons why I adore my husband'.

He's worked out what's wrong and what he has to do. The computer is alive again and out of ICU but it is weak. We are now downloading all files to an extra hard drive (one we prepared earlier) but it's slow progress. The bottom line: I will not lose (I hope) any of my work. The upshot: time to get another memory card.

Now that the files are saved from a savaging, let me tell you the impact of our south Westland holiday:
After Greymouth (which we all wished we'd stayed another couple of days) we headed to Franz Joseph and then onto Fox Glacier. It occurred to us that there is real rivalry between the two glaciers.
Highlight for me (and my daughters) was a two hour trek around the Franz Joseph terrain with many metres of trotting and cantering along the way on the most beautiful appaloosa horses.
Most embarrassing moment: me sleeping through a major South Island earthquake.
The best bit: staying at Lake Roxburgh Lodge and enjoying the pampering I got from Kim and Phil. I’m coming back! Roxburgh is a place MOST like Scotland. I imbibed it all. Sigh.
We are back in Dunedin and it’s colder than our whole trip. Still, the fire roars, the border collies are submissive after a week with the dog whisperer and I’m calm knowing I’ve not lost a dot of my writing.

I'm trying not to panic but

my laptop has crashed. It may be as a result of travelling around the country at very very low temps. It did start up when we got home and then died. I have not saved to another place the last 8,000 words I did on Bloodlines. I know! I know! I usually do it daily but this time I didn't. Am trying not to panic. Hubby is stumped (he of the computer whiz brigade) so I guess it will be going to a puter doctor to be saved.

When I'm not so pretending not to be anxious about the laptop, I'll post about a last couple of days of holiday (including the earthquake).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

a picture from Anna

Anna is one of my ex-students and sadly for all of us at Columba College, returned with her wonderful family back to Scotland. Anna was in my class last year when I began Banquo's Son and her dad lent me a great book about Scottish history. It's very useful when you are writing a book set in Scotland (a place I've yet to visit) and you have Scottish students and friends to fill in the gaps (and translate bits).

The castle behind Anna is called Dunnottar Castle and was the set for 'Hamlet' with Mel Gibson.

Thanks, Anna. Nice to see that weather in Scotland is not always wet.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hanmer Springs, New Zealand

What a wonderful three days we’ve spent in this alpine paradise: the youngest and her best friend riding every day (and dragging me along for one of them). Riding Arabs no less and cantering and galloping are a horse rider’s dream. We met Haggis, the Scottish Highland Bull – all shaggy and horned and heavy with drippy nose and attitude. Not sure if his type was around in the 11th Century. Will have to check that out because he deserves a story. There was a Willow the horse as well but she was much better tempered than our dear Banquo’s steed. As I rode through the hills, the weather came in and it was interesting that a Scottish couple were with us. The man declared the weather was ‘jast loike hoom.’

The eldest and our French exchange student just chillaxing (gotta love that word) and enjoying NZ fudge. 'Ve doo not haf thees on France' says our dear Ninon. Shot! (I've always detested Belgum chocolate anyway!). She tells us she's going to do a NZ bungi. I say: as your mother, I would say no! She says, my mother would say: ef I vas en yer place I vould.' What's a host mother to do but say yes. As well, I tell her: you are MAD but hey, Bungi is a New Zealand thing so she must!

It’s been cold here in Hanmer Springs which is not surprising considering it’s the middle of winter. There is snow on the hills and around the grounds but thankfully we’ve enjoyed the hot springs.

Going on holiday is made or marred by the place you stay and the quality of your sleep. In Christchurch, we stayed at a lovely motel which, unfortunately, was on the corner of a major intersection and Christchurch has a problem with ‘boy racers’. I had to use ear plugs it was so bad. I hate ear plugs.

But, here in Hanmer, we got to stay at the lovely Bella Vista Hanmer Springs Why this place was great: the proprietors are great people (and they .have the most gorgeous chocolate lab pup); they do extra stuff like fold our washing (the teens were a bit embarrassed by this but I was thankful). Great showers (omg so powerful) and great place. Highly recommended for stressed travellers and families and writers trying to write another 5,000 words!

I have been delighting in Alison Wong’s As the Earth Turns Silver. Love it. Love it and grieve. In Year 9 Social Studies, students learn about ‘Tau Iwi’ – Later Immigrants. They learn about why people came to NZ but also about our appalling treatment of the Chinese. Alison's book is a great book. Buy it. I shall be recommending it to high schools because it’s up there with The Handmaids Tale.

Greymouth and Denniston is next on the itinerary (I love Jenny Pattrick’s The Denniston Rose).

Back soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

all done

So, I have sent the dogs to bed; the washing for our holiday is done and dusted. I'm, frankly, exhausted. We are off on holiday around the south island. Hopefully there will not be issues. I'm taking the lap top in case the muse moves me.

Night night

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My first official newspaper interview for Banquo's Son

This afternoon, I spent a lovely hour with a reporter from the Otago Daily Times talking about Banquo's Son. She had been sent a bound copy of the book (uncorrected page proofs) and it was quite exciting because it is looking more and more like a real book.

The problem, you see, is that I came straight from Scotland, 1055 (aka writing Bloodlines) and when she began asking questions which will be answered in the next two books, I found I couldn't keep mum. I kept saying: of course, you can't say that in the story about this book but.... and she would nod understandably. Her main questions? Does Fleance marry Rachel? Will he end up with Rosie? Does he produce an heir? Will the witches appear in the next two books? What happens to Magness?

Such is the burden, I am coming to see, of producing a series. I am in no way suggesting I am in the same league as JK (that's Rowling not Kennedy) but, like her, I have the WHOLE story mapped out and it's tricky to ensure I do not give too much away.

One day, when I'm old (or much older than I am now which is nearly 44 ie very, very old according to my children) I may be asked for my advice on doing what I am doing now. And, I just may have something to say. Right now, it's a crash course.

Personally, I don't know how Philippa Gregory does it. Or Diana Gabaldon. Though, in saying that, the history they are writing in has a heap more information than I have for 11th Century Scotland.

Done my words for the day but wanna keep going. (could be something to do with the fact I'm trying to avoid the housework)

Monday, July 6, 2009

I had forgotten how cool Rosie is

Just written this really nice bit with Rosie. Now, I do love Rachel to bits. I want to be Rachel because she is beautiful, calm, wise, doesn't take crap, is unfazed by bad stuff but still feels. I guess you could say she's warrior queen. But man, Rosie. She's got guts! She's faithful. She's who you want to be on your side when a whole lots of things turn to custard. BTW really loving what I'm writing at the moment *grin*

On a roll

One of the wonderful things about school holidays is that I am under no rush in the mornings. Mornings are my time - I'm up early and it's glorious to know that hours are stretching out in front of me and I can stay in my pjs (yes, I have a THING about staying in my pjs!) and wallow like a pig in mud in my created world. Yesterday I wrote over 2000 words (the day before I wrote a 1000 but edited out a 1000 so not sure if that counted).

My only 'appointment' today is to take the youngest to an appointment at 1pm. Said child is out of the house for the day doing busy things with busy younger things so no one is going to utter the 'M' word to me (that's Muuummm!).

Very pleased to be getting to know Bree better and am starting to see more of her qualities and the complexity of her personality - especially what she has been through the past 18 months! Fleance is going to have his hands full!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

No Excuses

It's officially the school holidays. It's raining. I'm in my pjs still. The dogs are napping. The 13 year old is still in bed. The eldest is in Chch being famous singer person with the national secondary students choir. Hubby is bringing me cups of tea. The fire is roaring. No one else wants to use the lap top. I've read all the blogs I usually read. Scotland is waiting....waiting. Fleance is tapping his foot impatiently. So (she takes a deep breath and puts an imaginery hand to the heart) I, T.K. Roxborogh do hereby promise to write at least 1000 words a day for the next week with the aim of writing at least a total of 15,000 words before school goes back on the 20th of July. This takes into account a family road trip around parts of the Southland in the second week. There - it's out there.

Friday, July 3, 2009


I have a twitter account called Banquotrilogy. You may choose to 'follow' me. Though, beware, I sometimes go to strange and interesting places like: my eldest's bedroom or the dining hall at school or into the pile of Year 12 marking sitting smugly on my desk or Scotland, 11th Century, middle of winter (this means cold, wet, dark). Man, that so sounds like now in Dunedin 21st Century.

I think I've managed to connect a feed from my new posts to the twitter but I have no idea if and how it might work.

Suffice to say there is a long line of keen girls wanting to read Banquo's Son and are frustrated that they need to wait till the end of September.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You impatient beings...

I know! I know! You want the most up to date happenings BUT girls - despite the technology publishing is ssssslllloooowwwww. In other words, it's another 10 weeks before we can get our mitts on the book.
Hang in there.
It's worth it.
I'm just happy for the upcoming holidays so that I can devote 10 days to Bloodlines.

The wave is mounting people; it is moving across continents and after many weeks will hit our shores but we will be ready!
Note to all of Mrs Roxborogh's students: note down the extended metaphor and be ready to discuss in term three.
Mrs R smiling.