Quintette of Questions: Dawn Meredith

Today I ask Dawn Meredith five questions about her new book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My book is called Rebel and is the first in the Flight trilogy. Titles are my nemesis really. It takes ages to find the right one and even then I am never reeeeeeally sure if it’s the best I can do. I tend to pester my family and friends for ideas. I favour one-word titles as I think they are easier to remember, but encapsulating a 100,000 word novel in one word? Almost impossible!

The book was originally called Flight, but my publisher asked me for a trilogy, so I had to come up with three new titles! They are: book 1 – Rebel; book 2 – Runaway; and book 3 – Renegade.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

To play Reeve: a really young Chris Hemsworth is what I imagined. To play Sye: a really young Catherine Zeta Jones. To play Zeth:  again, really young Zac Efron (but with brown eyes and long hair).

3. What five words best describe your story?

Power, betrayal, friendship, love, humour

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

Kevin Levin and Gwen Tennyson from Ben10 Alien Force. They argue but there’s also a lot of humour and they can’t help being attracted to each other. They save each other’s lives a lot.

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

I listened to a lot of Two Steps from Hell music while writing this book, especially for the battle scenes. Heart of Courage, Winterspell, Blackheart, After the Fall, Birth of a Hero, Secret Melody and many more. The music is written for screenplays, so its easy to imagine the scenes while listening!

About Rebel

A young rebel is called upon to lead… with a broken wing and absolutely no idea what he is doing.

A wounded flying hero struggling to accept his destiny, a shy girl of dark, mysterious secrets unaware of the power within her and a lonely youth out to prove himself worthy of his warrior father.

A race with dragon DNA suffer under malevolent overlords, dreaming of a hero to set them free. But what they get is a handsome young joker more interested in breaking the rules than breaking free his people.

Buy Rebel

About Dawn Meredith

Dawn grew up in England, Australia and Norway. She has always been a book worm, annoying her family while growing up and now as a mum, she has passed on that habit to her daughter. Dawn is the published author of 11 other books for children/young adults and one adult novel.

Her first books were published in 2000. She prefers adventure stories but has written non-fiction as well. Writing a high fantasy novel for teens has been a long term goal. She has written 5 other novels in the fantasy/science fiction genre.

Dawn moved with her family to a 100 acre farm in North West Tasmania in 2018. Here she has a gorgeous little studio facing valleys and mountains and where her cat Harry ‘helps’ her work. She is also an artist, singer and songwriter. Dawn adores gardening and enjoys creating colourful places to sit and admire the native birds and bees. She is keen to try archery and blacksmithing, has a Fine Arts degree & speaks fluent Norwegian.

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Lockdown Fiction: The Only Daughter of Time

Here we are again, with a story prompted by the Improbable Press blog. It seems my mind lately is rather fixated on metamorphis.

The Only Daughter of Time

The sun blazed hot outside but within the colonnade the air was cool and fresh. Outside smelled of hot dust; inside of earthy stone and antiquity. Ruins, partially reconstructed for the delight of the tourists, made them all feel small in the scheme of time, large in their self-estimation. They had lived to see these sights, and had the gumption to travel far to places where habits, beliefs, language, all different.

Excited travel chatter faded and the group stood in the cool stone cocoon and gazed up, up, up at the paint that clung, centuries later, to the ceiling. Ochre reds and pale greens, the hint of yellow and, in one large, stubborn patch, a blue ground from lapis lazuli made a faux sky on the stone that blocked the real sky.

Ameenah sneezed into the silence, mucus membranes agitated beyond endurance by the colour blue. The floral origin was neither here nor there. Ameenah was allergic to blueberries, blue skies, the blue moon, the Moody Blues. Blue got right in amongst her cells and niggled till she sneezed. Every. Goddamned. Time.

Dr Mason, back home in London, insisted the allergy was psychosomatic. Ameenah insisted that her imagination had never been that vivid, let alone powerful enough to actually manifest sinus pain, irritated nasal passages and actual snot.

Ameenah, sneezing, as remarked, into the silence, and the explosion of it bounced off the marble walls and around the pillars and from the stone floor to carved ceiling and all in all, there was nothing discreet about it.

A tiny flake of blue split away from the ceiling, and another, and a third: drifting down like falling ash.

Sl
  ow
      ly
          do
             wn

                 onto Ameenah’s red-eyed face. A flake into her left eye, a flake onto her lip (and licked unconsciously away) and a flake below her nose so that when the next sneeze began, she inhaled it sharply into her sinus cavity.

Blue. Right there. In the centre of all the trouble.

Ameenah, who was not a believer in crystals, was not aware that lapis lazuli was associated with self-knowledge, with intuition, and with past lives.

Well, not to begin with.

But as she stood on the flagstones, blue in her nose, in her eyes, on her tongue, a much older part of her self turned over. The blue that invaded her body woke up sleeping knowledge and woke up the blue in her blood and the blue of her skin.

The sleeping part of her blinked, took a deep, deep breath and …

Maat, Goddess of Truth, awoke.

Ameenah was not, it turned out, allergic to blue.

Truth had just been waiting for the right blue to rise up.


La verità fu sola figliola del tenpo.
Truth was the only daughter of Time.

~ Leonardo Da Vinci, from original manuscript “Moto, colpo

New Anthology: Oz Is Burning

B Cubed Press’s fundraising anthology Oz is Burning has been released, just a little behind its original timing to coincide with the NZ Worldcon!

B Cubed commissioned the stories as a response to the devastating bushfires of February 2020 (how long ago that seems now) and a portion of the proceeds will be going to WIRES.

Australian and New Zealand writers were asked to submit stories of a post-apocalyptic world. My own contribution, Harvest, has a little fire, a little water, a few seeds and a certain amount of mindful weeding. (My Patreon supporters got a sneak peek of the story earlier in the year).

If you read the ToC reveal in April, you’ll see that Oz is Burning contains stories by some of ANZ’s best writers of specfic and horror, including Gillian Polack, Kyla Ward, Lucy Sussex, Jack Dann and Jason Nahrung (who recently won an Aurealis Award for his PhD thesis!)

Oz is Burning – edited by Phyllis Radford – is already available for Kindle and is likely to be on other platforms soon.

Help to support the writers and WIRES by getting a copy!

Lockdown Fiction: Chrysalis

My mind is definitely taking a lot of apocalyptic turns when I write to the Improbable Press prompts – but then I try to make them less grim. I’m not too sure which one this story is.

Pop over to Improbable Press to read what others have done and to try out your own prompted fiction!

Chrysalis

Nobody survives Chrysalis. That is to say, no body does. Everyone who ingests the tricky little amoeba responsible for Chrysalis emerges from it different to what they were before.

It doesn’t affect the other animals, only the primates. Monkeys, apes, and us. Enough of a dose of the little single-celled animals, and our bodies alter. We grow sleepy and sluggish, we grow cold and stiff. We grow little crystals all over our skin.

We hibernate.

Some awful things happened at first, when loved ones and medical professionals tried to remove the crystals, to peel the sleepers within out of the shell. A lot of people bled and died, and the ones that didn’t were horribly scarred and never properly woke up.

When people first found out what was happening, they put all kinds of measures in place to identify where the amoeba was breeding, though maybe breeding isn’t the word. Fluoride in the water wasn’t touching it, so everyone boiled their water or drank it bottled. Then it turned out it was in the bottled stuff, and in soft drink and any manufactured beverage, so ubiquitous that the bottled drinks industry collapsed overnight.

Entamoeba histomorphia, they’re called. Single-celled agents of change.

Most mutagens are cancerous, but not these little creatures. They change everything, but if left to their lifecycle, they don’t’ kill everything. It’s human intervention that does that.

The people who emerge from Chrysalis have slower hearts and stronger muscles. They have tougher bones and softer skin. Their altruistic impulse is more highly developed and their sense of self is more robust. They speak more but shout less; they sing more, do more art, too.

The biologists and behaviourists are still discussing how histomorphosis acts on the brain. They don’t argue about it, except in a purely debate-team sense.

Oddly, aggression hasn’t disappeared entirely. But with our new soft skin and greater sense of community, it’s directed differently.  Righteous anger fights for the community, though not for conformity.

Post-Chrysalis people are sort of like the better angels of our nature.

A few conspiracy theorists try to sell the idea that Entamoeba histomorphia were developed in a leftist lab by snowflake hippies. E. histomorphosis resulting in the kind of thing snowflake hippies like, apparently. Others think it evolved from the cell-eating Entamoeba histolytica. Most scientists have concluded it was an accident of circumstance, because of how we’ve changed the climate on the planet, and all chemical soup we pumped into it.

Generally, climate change and poisoning the environment were meant to bring an end to humanity, so I guess it did that, though not in the ways we were expecting. Those little critters coat us and imbue us and change us, and we emerge from Chrysalis a new species.

I have crystals on my throat today, on my cheeks and eyelashes. They are coming in little pretty waves over my shoulders and inner elbow and the soles of my feet.

About time. I drank three litres of unboiled, unfiltered water yesterday, inviting them in. All the best monsters have to be invited in, and all the best monsters are just the heroes of their own stories too, and that’s what we’re truly becoming.

The term Human 2.0 was first bandied about on Twitter, but the Science Side of Tumblr stole a march on that with Pan narrans. They borrowed the name from Terry Pratchett. The story-telling ape.

And now, today, into the future, Pan narrans is telling a new story.

Words are like oxygen