I’ve seen the final art for Ice Breaker

April 20th, 2013

What an exciting week! The best part was receiving the final cover art for Ice Breaker, and let me tell you, it is astonishingly wonderful. For the first ten minutes or so after I got the file, I sat at my desk with my mouth hanging open. Every now and again I whispered, ‘Wow!’ Then I sent an email to Sebastian Ciaffaglione, the artist, saying, ‘Thank you thank you thank you!’

He emailed me back saying, ‘As a rule I try not to read a book right up to the end if I’m doing a cover, just to retain a bit of mystery and hope it comes
across in the art. This time I had to read it all though, I had to find out what happens!’

That was good to hear – I like it when someone just HAS to keep reading. And I promise you that the end result of Seb’s work is full of mystery!

Of course it’s probably very annoying to have me tell you this when you aren’t allowed to see it yet. But it can’t be helped. The very first moment I’m allowed to show it to you, I will. I promise.

So what else has been happening? Well, a week ago I went up to Launceston in northern Tasmania to run a couple of workshops, and while I was there I was very pleased to meet up with Lily (who is a frequent visitor to this blog) for a cup of hot chocolate and a chat. When I came back, Lilli, who is a different person altogether, sent me a picture of a very fierce claw for my writing notebook. She also sent me a couple of rather nice quotes, one of which I will pop in here. 

Lilli also reminded me of an excellent book called ‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Wilkinson. She has just read it as part of the Premier’s Reading Challenge – I read it years ago and loved it. We both highly recommend it. Most books about dragons are pretty exciting, but this one is also beautiful and sad and magical and enchanting.

Meanwhile the cat wars continue, but at a slightly lesser level. Harry was very pleased when I lit the wood heater yesterday – he came inside and lay flat on his back with his furry limbs sprawled in all directions, and purred loudly. (I should have taken a photo. I will next time.) Miss Mouse glared at him from her favourite corner for a while, then curled up in a ball and ignored him. There has been no blood drawn for several days, which is a good sign.

And of course in the middle of all these things I was exploring the story of ‘Children of the Claw’, asking myself questions about the characters and what they want, and what they don’t want, and thinking about the world they live in, and reading about submarines, and trying to find out if a boy could be a good spearfisherman if he only had one eye.The story feels as if it is growing fat and exciting. Soon I will begin to write …



14 thoughts on “I’ve seen the final art for Ice Breaker

  1. Io says:

    Dragon Kepeer…..Sounds interesting.
    I’ll read it!

  2. Lenichi says:

    Ah, I’ve read Dragonkeeper. A sweet story, but I never got my hands on the rest of the books in the series. They’re not at my library.

    I wish that I popped in on this blog more often myself. You’re a great writer and reading your blogs make you feel much more real to me. Makes me feel like I could also be a writer someday soon.

    I love C.S. Lewis. So encouraging~

    1. Lian says:

      Maybe if you asked the library to get the rest of the books in for you, Lenichi? Librarians are usually very happy to do such things. And you’re very welcome to visit more often. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll soon be able to put up the cover for Ice Breaker, which is not to be missed.

      Here’s another quote for you. I love this one and have it stuck to the bottom of my computer for reading in moments of despair. It’s by an author called Nelson Algren. ‘Any writer who knows what he’s doing isn’t doing much.’ So when I think I’m going in circles, I tell myself that it is probably a good thing!

      There’s a lot to learn in becoming a writer, but it’s a tremendously exciting journey, and well worth doing. The main thing is to start writing, and to write every day, even if it is only for ten minutes. That’s how you learn and that’s how you improve.

  3. Erin says:

    Hi Lian, I have just finished reading Path of Beasts, it was amazing! I really love the way you draw the readers in to the story.The plot was amazing, I struggled to put the book down. I’d like to know how you got the idea for the Keepers and how you develop the characters personalities throughout the story?

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Erin, thanks so much for your nice comments about Path of Beasts. That’s exactly what an author wants to hear, that someone struggled to put the book down! 🙂 The original idea for the Keepers came from a boy who used to live in my street, who was very overprotected and not allowed to do anything. I used to watch him sometimes and noticed that, on the few occasions when he was allowed out of the house, he was really bad at things like running and climbing, things that the other kids in the street were good at. And I started thinking about what it would be like if a whole city was as overprotective as this boy’s mother. The story grew out of that.

      Developing personalities is a tricky thing. The first thing I need to know about a character is What does this person want? Not just a little want, but a big want – like Goldie being so desperate for freedom in Museum of Thieves. Once you know what someone wants desperately, and what sort of price they’ll pay for it, you can start to think about other things, like are they shy or outgoing, talkative or quiet, brave or timid. Sometimes I use character traits from people I know, or people I’ve seen in the street. I find that my characters grow in personality as I write the different drafts. They sometimes start off quite boring, and a little bit alike, then as I become more playful they start to change and grow. Being playful is very important – some of my best ideas come when I’m just mucking around being a bit silly.

      If you’re asking this because you like to write, and you’re wondering how to develop characters, then it can be really helpful to take a little notebook along to a shopping centre or some such place and sit quietly and take notes about some of the interesting people you see. How they stand, how they talk, what sort of person you think they are. If you can eavesdrop a bit it’s even more useful!

  4. Erin says:

    Hi Lian, Thank you for replying. I did ask you about your characters because I love to write, it’s my second favorite pastime, after reading of course! I have only just got off the computer as I have been writing a story for school all afternoon! It is about a bankrupt adventurer who gets summoned to a reclusive wizards castle, the village lives in fear and awe of him and tell stories about his almighty power that he used to bring entire nations to their knees and punish all who dare challenge him! The adventurer meets the wizard and finds out that he is very, very old and very, very greedy he wants to use the adventurer to retrieve the book of wisdom to complete his extensive collection of magic and threatens to turn him into an armchair if he disobeys! That’s where I’m up to, later on in the story I am going to introduce Dave the depressed dragon and the book of wisdom and his family ( his wife Journal and their three children, Paper Back, Dictonary and Encyclopedia). Thanks again for replying.

    1. Lian says:

      Dear Erin, I love the sound of your story. It includes such interesting characters – a bankrupt adventurer is so much more interesting than an ordinary adventurer, because presumably he is desperate for work and money. And what worse fate could there be for someone who loves adventure and travel than to become an armchair? I also love the sound of the book of wisdom and his family – this story sounds as if it is both exciting and funny, which is always a good combination.

  5. Erin says:

    Thank You!!!

  6. gabi says:

    hi its gabi iwas wondering if i could ask if we could have a compitition

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Gabi, I’d love to have a competition – I even know what sort of competition it would be. The only problem is, I don’t know what I’d use for prizes. I’ve still got copies of the audio of the Keepers – do you think I could use them as a prize?

  7. Io says:

    Gabi! You’re being rude!

    1. Lian says:

      It’s okay, Io, I don’t mind the question at all.

  8. Morgan says:

    Hi Lian!

    At the moment I am listening to the audio books of the Keepers and I LOVE them!

    I’ve already read them in book form, but Claudia Black makes them sound so much more exciting and realistic, because the does voices.

    My little sister loves them too, she asks for them every time we are in the car, and also takes them out and listens to them in her room.

    1. Lian says:

      Hi Morgan, doesn’t Claudia do a brilliant job? I love the voices she does for the Blessed Guardians in particular, but they are all pretty good. I’m really glad you are enjoying the books so much, and glad your little sister likes them too. Thanks for letting me know – it’s always really good to hear from a reader like yourself!

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