Jane Routley

Publishers Weekly like it !

 

Routley (The Melded Child) unravels a complex web of familial politics in this eccentric fantasy. It’s Blessing time in the Empire of Light, an annual tradition in which the Matriarch of each family ensures fruitful crops for the following year. As always, Shine and her Auntie Eff, both mundanes without magic of their own despite their noble lineage, are expected to host a clan of their condescending, magical relations for the duration of the festival. Shine’s usually monotonous life as a mundane is plunged into chaos as she must put out fires at every turn, from curbing her cousins’ inappropriate seductions to stopping a burgeoning plot to overthrow the Matriarch. To further complicate matters, Shine’s exiled cousin, Bright, asks her to hide Shadow, a foreigner caught in a crystal smuggling scheme that somehow involves their wicked and violent cousin, Illuminus. Though readers will struggle to keep track of Shine’s many relations, even with the help of the family tree Routley provides, Routley’s whimsical tone lends a dark comic quality to this intricate fantasy, and the outlandish characters and captivating worldbuilding make up for occasional confusion. This is a bumpy but entertaining ride. Agent: John Jarrold, John Jarrold Literary. (Aug.)

www.publishersweekly.com/pw/reviews/single/9781781088340?fbclid=IwAR39MKqxZeO3d612h-JdxmKj2_YZEnqQawmrqcV65U6r1RVCP3Od1wyDGDc

Shadow in the Empire of Light – Cover Reveal

Woo Hoo!

The lovely people at Solaris Press have sent me a proof of my new book.

Shine’s life is usually dull: an orphan in a family of powerful mages, she’s left to run the family estate with only an eccentric aunt and a telepathic cat for company.

But when the family descend on the house for the annual Fertility Festival, Shine is plunged into intrigue; stolen letters, a fugitive spy and family drama mix with an unexpected murder, and Shine is forced to decide both her loyalties and her future.

Shadow in the Empire of Light is due out in August

 

In your favourite Natural Place

 

The beautiful Mountain Ash forests on the Black Spur outside Healesville are my favorite place in the world. Their spicy peppery earthy smell is the perfect fragrance, the smell of home. After the grief and collective loss of beautiful places and animals in the New Years bushfires, I decided to visit the Black Spur. These are some of the most flammable forests on earth and they haven’t burnt in a while. We have 2 more months of fire season to go. So I went there last weekend.

Just in case.

 

I’d love to see recent pictures of you in your favourite place in nature.

The Picture Gallery

One late night meal break about six months ago, a bored Protective Services Officer drew a picture on a piece of paper towel and stuck it on the wall.
Since then many of P.S.O’s who staff Zoo Station on a rotating roster, have added little cartoons/sketches to the wall signing them with their departmental numbers. Such a pleasure to open up and see what popped up last night. Some are quite talented, some seem to be tracings of pop culture figures but if you can’t draw… – well my favourite is one labeled Mick the Stick which is just a line. My least favourite is of a certain American President. Does he have to be everywhere?!! (an no I shall not put him in here.)

 

 

Naked men and the military industrial complex

I’m getting ready for my shift in the backroom of the Junction, when the Station Master calls out, “You ladies might like to stay in there. There’s a guy walking around out there naked.”

Feeling sorry for the passengers outside who must face this spectacle without a place to hide, the other “lady” and I search round in the lost property locker for any old clothes. The only thing we can find is a lost MacDonald’s uniform. Possibly giving that to the kind of person who walks around naked at a railway station will get us into trouble. One would hate to offend a multinational corporation.

Flinders Street Station Wins Cake Prize

 

Here’s my beloved central station resplendent in icing and with a tram circling it on a rotating disc – winner of Batter, Bake, Build – Melbourne University’s Architectural baking competition.

Click through here to learn more about the competition and see the other entries.

https://architectureau.com/articles/sweet-success-winners-crowned-in-architectural-bake-off/#

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/melbourne-architectural-baking-competition

On casual racism

 

Its 22.30 one Sunday evening and we are once again chivying people off trains and onto buses so that men can work on the tracks.  We tend to do a circuit of the quiet station calling out,  “Replacement buses outside the station,” to everyone because no matter how many announcements they make over the PA, someone always misses them and gets angry about there being – “No announcements!”

My Indian workmate is going down the escalators ahead of me and coming up towards us on the opposite escalator are an ordinary-looking elderly couple in their 60’s – probably someone’s Nan and Pop.

“Replacement buses outside the station!” she calls helpfully to them as she goes past on the escalator.

And the man turns and says calmly to her retreating back –“Don’t yell at me, you black c**t!

I’m shocked, appalled and unfortunately speechless.  I glare at them but they don’t meet my eye as they go past. They are as expressionless as if he’d said nothing – bored people on an escalator.  Is saying such an awful thing just every day for them?  Like shopping?

I should have said something.  But perhaps she didn’t hear him and if I’d spoken out – called him the racist bastard he was – she would have known what he said.  And no one needs to hear that.  But if she did hear it and I said nothing, what will she think then? That I agree?  That would be awful!

I say nothing to her and she doesn’t mention it.  She doesn’t seem upset.  Maybe she didn’t hear him.  Or horrifying thought – she’s used to it.  We do get a lot of abuse on these bus nights and it must be even worse if you stand out as different.

But I should have called this guy out as a racist bastard.  Shoulda! Shoulda!  I’m so furious when I think of it.  Why did my words fail me at the time?

The Magpie Dilemma

One of the matriarchs of the tribe of magpies who thrive around my stations, has broken her leg maybe even a hip or rib – a bad break which causes her to huddle on the ground with her wing all askew.  But she’s survived 5 days and, more importantly, nights now.  She sits like a duck among the grasses and the customers throw her bits of food.  She can fly and perhaps she has found a safe place to huddle in a roof or tree at night.

Concerned zoo volunteers encouraged me to ring the zoo vets.  You have to be a true animal lover to be a zoo vet- willing to come out a chase a wounded magpie round a golf course in your own time.  They’ve come out twice with nets and boxes but she’s too smart and quick for them – still fit and vigorous despite the leg.

“Perhaps you could try and throw a coat or something over her and then wrap her up” suggests the vet.  “Then ring us and we’ll come right out and get her.  But be careful.  They have a savage bite.”

As if I need warning.  I’m scared of that huge beak. (so are most of the customers – sometimes feeding the magpies looks more like a mugging) And I’m scared of the rest of the tribe too.  Australian magpies are sophisticated social creatures with long memories who regularly blind school children in territorial disputes.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/offtrack/thbe-magpies-among-us/6777832

I’d be willing to be more courageous if I was more certain of the cause.  But the zoo vets say they will probably have to euthanize her if they catch her.  And she’s still alive and full of beans and pecking at her fledglings when they try and move in on her food.

Do I work towards this death for her- she may be in a lot of pain – or shall I let nature take its course?  She may get better.  Although probably not.  She may survive with one leg.  Lots of birds do.  Or she may die a horrible slow painful death or be eaten by an urban fox.  I do wish she could sign one of those voluntary euthanasia forms.

So that is my Magpie Dilemma.

On International relations

 

The little Chinese girl pulls her sleeves over her hands and waves the empty sleeves at me.  I look horrified (Oh no! where are your hands?) She lifts up her arms and her hands pop out of her sleeves.  I respond with appropriate cries of relief and amazement.  We don’t need a common language to enjoy this popular children’s game.

 

Woo Hoo! I’ve sold a book.

photo by Trudi Canavan

PRESS RELEASE – WORLD ENGLISH LANGUAGE RIGHTS DEAL FOR FANTASY NOVEL BY AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR JANE ROUTLEY

Kate Coe at Solaris Books has acquired World English Language rights to Shadow in the Empire of Light, a fantasy novel by award-winning Australian author Jane Routley. The agent was John Jarrold.

Jane Routley has won the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel twice – for Aramaya and Fire Angels. Her story “To Avalon” was nominated for a both an Aurealis and Ditmar Award.

Shine is an orphan without magical gifts in a family of powerful mages, and is stuck managing the family estates with only an eccentric aunt and a telepathic cat for company. But when the family descend on the house for the annual Fertility Festival, Shine is plunged into intrigue; while helping one cousin to find a compromising letter, rescuing another from an unwelcome alliance and hiding a fugitive, she also discovers a smuggling ring and then stumbles upon a murderous plot to depose the current Family Matriarch, and is forced to run for her life. Kate Coe describes the book as “modern Jane Austen with magic”.

John Jarrold said: “I love the protagonist, Shine, a 23-year-old who I think will entrance readers of recent fantasy by authors like Alison Goodman and Victoria Aveyard. There’s an assured lightness of touch here (and some great humour over the openness of the magic wielders’ dealings involving sex) but also some welcome darkness. The larger story is only starting to unfold as this book ends, and we’re talking to Solaris about that too.”

Contact Kate Coe or John Jarrold for further information:

Kate Coe – e-mail: Kate.Coe@Rebellion.co.uk

John Jarrold – e-mail: j.jarrold@btinternet.com phone: 01797 227426

24th June 2019