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Karen Bayly

Author and Copywriter

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I feel the need for clean (sorry, Top Gun)

Recently, I did an author spot at a virtual book club meeting. Not only was it exciting to have my book featured as "Book of the Month", it gave me a wonderful opportunity to talk about why I created a "clean" steampunk world.

Steampunk worlds are thrilling and wondrous, but are often grubby and po…

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Author Question: What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been catching up on finishing and polishing a few short stories.  Black Hare Press has already accepted one piece for publication in one of their LOCKDOWN Sci-Fi Anthologies.

I’m editing a sci-fi story about an assassin (female) and writing a ghost story inspired by a bus stop I used to…

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Winged Warriors

Last Saturday was my Mum’s birthday. She would have been 100 years old and eligible to receive a telegram from the Queen. It would have thrilled her had she lived that long. I can never forget my Mum’s birthday as it falls on Anzac Day.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia …

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Author Question: Does music inspire you to write?

Yes, definitely. For the novel, I’m working on now (The Witch Who Wasn't), I’ve found inspiration in Kate Bush’s “Cloudbusting”,  Stevie Nick's "Crystal" and Talking Head's "And She Was".

The second movement of Philip Glass’ Tirol Concerto was a huge inspiration for Fortitude. The da…

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The Art of Armchair Travel

With the world in the grip of Covid-19, travel is fast becoming a distant memory for many people. It doesnt affect me at the moment as I’d planned to travel when I retired. By that stage, I hoped to have saved enough to journey to distant lands. Unlike my peers, I’ve rarely had spare cash availab…

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Author Question: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The best thing about being a writer is creating new worlds and characters to populate that world. You can explore so many different scenarios and travel to places no-one else has ever been. You can share a vision of how the world could be - for better or worse. If you're lucky and someone actually r…

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News Booth - Getting older and getting up

There is still lots of good stuff happening out there amidst the bad but this offering is a more personal News Booth.

The Bad News: Getting older has a lot to answer for

I always thought life would get easier as I got older but I was wrong. Not that it gets any more difficult - at least not yet! H…

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Author Question: What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on a YA fantasy novel, tentatively titled "The Witch Who Wasn't".  It's about a young witch whose parents disappeared when she was a toddler, and who a famous wizard once called "The Witch Who Wasn't". Needless to say, she has a long journey to discover herself and her place in…

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And now for something completely different...

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Author Question: How do you deal with writer’s block?

 
I rarely get writer's block nowadays but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. How do I avoid it? I sit down and start writing. I stop editing an idea while it is still in my head and just go with it. If I write drivel, fine. At least I know and can start again. Sometimes I use …

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New Londinium

Another new year is almost upon us. I’m not sure how I feel. I’m trying to be hopeful but the out of control bushfires, poor air quality from the smoke, and the all too common heatwaves here in Australia do not encourage hope or optimism. I wonder if “2020” is predictive? Will it be the year we see …

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Author Question: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

As someone who trained in the sciences I've long been fascinated by the idea that just because science can, it doesn't mean science should. Even before Ian Malcolm's quotable quote in "Jurassic Park", I'd thought about it long and hard while doing my degrees. Ethics - what you do and how you do it -…

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Yule Lads and Christmas Cats

It will soon be Christmas. I find it difficult to feel Christmassy these days. It’s so hot in Australia in summer with temperatures up 40 °C (104 °F) and beyond. Most houses and apartments do not have air conditioning, and celebrating in sweltering heat is not my idea of fun. Indeed, it’s not most p…

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News Booth: Saving Children

I introduced the idea of a steampunk style News Booth in my novel, “Fortitude”. This is the blog version.  So what’s on today?

The Good News: Children are being saved!

More than a quarter of a billion children have a better chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe than in the past t…

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On Awards and Gratitude

On Awards and Art

I received a newsletter recently from Jonathan Fields of The Good Life Project where he wrote:

“I just know when something moves me. Increasingly, I wonder if that’s the true measure of art. In any form. To push us beyond aesthetic appreciation. Past rational examination and inte…

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Book Recommendation: The Time Travel Handbook by James Wyllie

This is an odd yet intriguing book based on the premise that it is a handbook for a time travel tour company, so each of the 18 chapters is about a tour package. You will be given a summary of the historical event you are about to witness, told what clothes you will wear and why, where you will be s…

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The People of “Fortitude”

Much of my writing inspiration comes from free writing. Free writing is a technique in which you write continuously for a set period (say ten to fifteen minutes) without regard to spelling, grammar, or topic.

I especially love free writing to prompts. I’ve done many writing prompt courses online ov…

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Will the real Hansel and Gretel please standup?

First of all…

It’s now two months since “Fortitude” was released. If you’d like to learn about some of books, music, actors and artists that inspired me as I wrote and edited, check out my Pinterest Board “Fortitude”.

Now for fairy tale history and some fake (literary) news ...

Hans…

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News Booth … and a thought

I introduced the idea of a steampunk style News Booth in my novel, “Fortitude”.  So what’s on today?

The Bad News: Plastic … not fantastic

Unless you’ve been living somewhere cut off from all communications and the rest of humanity, you would have heard about plastics pollution. It is hav…

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Fee Fi Fo Fum

One of my favourite sources of weird and wonderful information is Atlas Obscura. Recently I stumbled upon a happy little article titled “In 1590, Starving Parisians Ground Human Bones Into Bread” concerning a somewhat nasty situation during the tumultuous French Wars of Religion.

Henri III of…

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