Last Day of 2006

It’s been another good year for me professionally and I will now skite about it: My second and third books, Magic Lessons and Daughters of Earth, were both published to some very nice reviews and reader responses. The whole Magic or Madness trilogy sold to Editora Record in Brazil, Magic or Madness and Magic Lessons sold to Mondadori in Italy, while Magic Lessons and Magic’s Chld sold to Amarin in Thailand. And then there was the recent sale of the trilogy to the Science Fiction Book Club for a 3-in-1. Not to mention Magic Lessons being on the shortlist for the Aurealis.

It was a great year for Scott who hit the New York Times bestseller list not once, not twice, but three times! Woo hoo! Twice for Specials and once for Pretties. Also my friends Yvette Christianse’s (Unconfessed), Kate Crawford (Adult Themes), Ellen Kushner (Privilege of the Sword), Julie Phillips (James Tiptree Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon) and Delia Sherman (Changeling) all published wonderful books that were well-received. If you haven’t already read them—do so immediately!

Other dear friends also published fabby books, but these are the ones that I saw through gestation. In the same way I’m very excited to see how Holly Black’s Ironside and Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones fare next year. Do yourself a favour and get hold of copies as soon as you can!

Next year I have three English-language publications on the horizon:

  • Magic Lessons will appear in paperback in February.
  • The final book of the trilogy, Magic’s Child, will be out in hardcover in March.
  • Also in March—the SFBC’s 3-in-1 edition of the trilogy.

As you can imagine I’m dead excited to find out what my readers think of the complete trilogy. Do not hold back! (Unless what you have to say might harm a writer’s delicate sensibilities. Always remember: praise is good!)

This year has also been a great one for me blog. Readers way more than doubled this year, which is just lovely. I’m particularly excited to have picked up so many more readers here in Australia. Especially the ones I don’t know and am not related to. (Not that there’s anything wrong with my friends and relatives, mind. Well, not that much wrong.) Thank you so much everyone for hanging out and commenting. Your comments are more than half the fun. Without you there wouldn’t be much point. Much appreciated.

Last year on this day I set out my goals for 2006:

I’m aiming to write two books (both of which I’ve already started) in 2006 and sell one (two would be nice, but I don’t want to jinx myself). I also plan to spend the majority of the year in Sydney, cause now that I’m home I just want to stay. And I really, really, really want to get tickets for the Sydney Ashes test. Ideally for every day of play.

How did that work out?

I finished one book: Magic’s Child, but it wasn’t one of the books I was talking about above. So I didn’t finish either of the books I aimed to. Though I got awfully close to finishing the first draft of the great Australian feminist monkey knife-fighting mangosteen cricket fairy young adult novel. (So close I can smell it! Oh the frustration!)

This year I have the same goal: to finish two novels. My odds are much better given that I’m mere days away from finishing the fairy book . . . And I’ve made good starts on six other novels. Dunno which one I’ll write next. What fun not to know!

I didn’t sell any books on account of not finishing any to give to my agent for said selling. I won’t be declaring my intent on sales again because it’s pointless. I have some control over how many books I write; but none over how many I sell.

The big change this year was my decision not to sell any books until I’ve finished them. (Another explanations for no sales this year.) It’s also why I’m finishing this year without any dread deadlines over me. Much less stressful!

I spent only five months in Sydney and even though that’s more time than I spent anywhere else I still did not see nearly as much of my family and friends here as I’d like. Sigh.

There was way too much travelling this year. And while I loved all the places I visited—Bologna and Kyoto especially—I haven’t stayed anywhere for more than three months since 2003. I’m sick of it. I’d love to travel less, but already 07 is shaping up to be very travelly. Come June though and I believe we’ll be applying the breaks. Aside from it being exhausting and conducive to the contracting of viruses, travelling that much in aeroplanes and staying in hotels is terrible for the environment and no amount of offsets makes up for that.

I did get tickets to the Sydney test. Fourth day. Can’t wait. And we Aussies reclaimed the ashes what should always be ours. Bliss. Now I have to figure out how to get coverage of the world cup while we’re in the US of A. We may even cough up for satellite coverage. Would be fabulous to get over to the West Indies, but see above on wanting to travel less.

To sum up: Life is good. I hope yours is too.

I have a very good feeling about 2007, not just for me, but for the wider world.

Happy new year!


  1. Penni on #

    Happy new year to you too Justine. 2006 has been good to you and you’ve been good to it. And Scott too. I love hearing about people doing well, it’s such a great business to be in, because the more people read, the more they read (if you know what I mean). I share your optimism for 2007.

    I am totally with you on never signing a contract for a book I haven’t written again (though I’ve still got two more to do before I can live by that rule).

  2. Rebecca on #

    in 2007, i want to finish a book (for real finish b/c, as i long ago discovered, completing the story does not finish the book). and then, i would like to get my second rejection letter from an agent. 😉 (and my third, and my fourth, and my fifth….)

    i would also like to play soccer again. and play laser quest more. and meet a dateable person. and move into a real house (i.e. efficiency apartment) with a kitchen!

    and…. april april april, you’ll be in texas, yayayayayayayayayay!! and mc will be out so i can maybe maybe get them all signed if tla lets me in! 😀

    yay, cricket fairy mangosteens, almost done! there is much to look forward to!!

  3. Justine on #

    Penni: Sounds like it’s been a good year for you also. Excellent. I think the last few years have been pretty amazing for YA books in Australia. So many brilliant ones. I enjoyed Undine a great deal. And look forward to reading more of yours.

    Rebecca: Ah, yes there’s finished and then there’s really and truly finished. My fairy novel is only very close to first-draft finished. Good luck with proper finishing yours and collecting letters from agents!

    You do know that we’ll be in Texas in February as well, don’t you? At the Humble school district book festival? It’s in Houston and I’m pretty sure it’s open to the public. I shall now go add it to the appearances list since I seem to have forgotten to do so . . .

  4. Rebecca on #


    i’m there. aahhhh!! i’m so there! road trip! excitement!!

  5. Rebecca on #

    and it’s a weekend!! hurray! ‘course i woulda skipped class anyways. 😀 😀 wow. wowowowowowow. i had no idea. thank you!! that sounds really neat. i wish my high school had a teen lit week. that is bloody cool. that’s less than two months away!

  6. Rebecca on #

    you’ve written for buffy the vampire slayer? which ones?!?!

  7. robin on #

    Happy new year! I’m sure Sydney’s enjoying you, but we’re certainly missing you on this side of the globe, so hurry back!

  8. Justine on #

    Rebecca: Settle! 🙂 We’re really looking forward to it. Scott’s uncle is headmaster at one of the Humble district high schools.

    I’ve written about Buffy the Vampire Slayer which is entirely different. I’ve never written for television.

    Robin: Actually Sydney’s not seeing much of us. We’re writing our arses off. The Sydney we glimpse out the window is lovely. And the weather is divine.

    We’ll be back in NYC before you know it. Hope you and all the other YA writer types are having fun without us. (Just not too much fun!)

  9. Rebecca on #

    sorry. too much sugar. holidays, you know. 😉

  10. Justine on #

    You too, huh? I’m overdosing on turkish delight and white chocolate . . .

  11. Ez on #

    Is it too late to vote for the “baby killing ghost” story?

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  12. Diana on #

    Good luck with 2007, Justine!

    You inspired me to actually post to my blog. I’d been enjoying my vacation so much I’d about given up on the whole experiment!

  13. Delia on #

    I KNEW you’d been busy this year, but seeing it all lined out like that—impressive. I’m so glad it’s all coming together for you.

    Yes, travelling a lot is annoying, but it’s clearly working for you on some level. Given the amount of travelling Ellen and I are doing this coming year, I hope it works as well for me. Spain, California, France, Japan. I’m really looking forward to it, but am wondering how my New Year’s resolution is going to hold up under the strain.

    Love to you both. Can’t wait to see you in Feb.!

  14. Rebecca on #

    happy new year!! hehe, i’m still in 2006, but for half the world, it’s already next year.

  15. Karen on #

    Hey what’s with the capital letters?

  16. Justine on #

    Karen: Hey what’s with the capital letters?

    Sometimes they call to me.

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