His consistent attention to voice, his narrative muscle and unrelenting delving into a mind denied its presumed right to have what it wants, all conspire to make this story resonate…. The dread inexorable march of bloodshed won me over.

So sayeth judge Sarah Endacott, in awarding The Claws of Native Ghosts this year’s Australian Shadows Award.

To say I’m chuffed would be to understate the case. The Australian Shadows is the Australian equivalent of the Stokers– a technical award, given by the industry peak body, judged by industry professionals. To be shortlisted in a field alongside Sara Douglass, Paul Haines, and rising stars Jason Fischer and Chris Green was cool enough. To beat them was gratifying indeed.

Gary Kemble interviewed me in the wake of the award announcement for the ABC arts blog Articulate, and you can read it here. As is mention in the interview, to be recognised for both the entertainment value and technical merits of my work is extremely rewarding.

I’ve set aside this weekend for being unbearably smug, and then I’ll get back to work on Monday.


So, a lack of content here on the Battersblog recently, as well as a general lack of activity in any way, shape or form on the being-a-writer front.

Of course, I have a fair excuse.

What with getting everything ready for the rounds of appointments and open homes; as well as beautifying gardens; performing all those maintenance jobs that I would have got around to eventually, probably, sooner or later while we were living here but now have to be done NOW, dammit; and starting my AHWA mentorship with Mark and Grant, this year’s sacrificial victims; and listening to my kids pretend to be Hercules and Xena after watching that putrid cartoon movie of those two putrid televisual debacles thanks to the Cartoon Network; and running down to Mandurah every weekend to look at houses and put offers in and sit on the balcony at Cicirello’s and eat fish and chips while we watch boats come in and out of the harbour; and learn to play Texas Hold-em so we know what the hell’s going on when we watch the Professional Poker Tour late on a Saturday night; and occasionally sleep; and balance papers with the bank as we go back and forth organising finance and altering loan details and negotiating interest rates and all the crap you have to do with banks even though you’ve been a customer for something like twenty five years and you think they’d know you by now……… well, it’s been a bit hectic lately.

Still, we’ll undoubtedly get the offer we want this afternoon, and have the finance sorted out by the middle of the week, and then all we’ll have to do is pack up and move to our beautiful new beachside suburb and spend the rest of our lives lying on beach blankets being fed grapes by oil-smeared underwear models, right?


  • We’ve seen another house, so back to bloomin’ Mandurah again today!
  • Have put an offer on a house and had it accepted. All that remains is to start shitting ourselves while waiting for bank approval.
  • Have chosen my AHWA mentees. Let the senseless torture of innocent aspiring writers begin!
  • Should be in bed- to work early tomorrow. But I’m too awake, slightly scared by the finances to come. Wish I knew how best to proceed
  • A day of shattered tiredness thanks to non-sleepy squirmin’ child. Please let tonight be better.
  • @eugiefoster Zombies. Zombies go up like dry tinder.
  • Head to the left, galley to the right, weird shit off the port bow.