Yes, it has been quiet around here. However, life continues apace and I am busily engaged in a few secret projects that will hopefully be ready to announce soon.
In the meantime, I stumbled across another lovely review of Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land. The reviewer had some great things to say about the anthology, and was particularly kind about my story.
“Set Your Face Toward the Darkness” by David McDonald, told in journal style, also hit the spot for me. It’s a dark gothic story that re-imagines the fate of explorers Burke and Wills. While touching lightly on social commentary about the invasion of the country, the tale also shows the characters’ growing understanding about the natives’ “connection to the spirit of the land”, with descriptions of the harsh terrain emphasising the growing terror and isolation they feel. A great sense of place, well-developed tension and all-round, a good story.
It’s a very nice feeling when someone “gets” your story, and seems to understand what you were trying to achieve. I am new enough to all this to be unused to reading people’s thoughts on my stories, and I am thrilled. You can follow the link above for the full review and read about the other awesome stories in the anthology.
And, if you so desire, you can buy both paper and electronic copies of the anthology here!
I don’t know about other writers, but I really struggle to judge the quality of my own work so I usually just assume it is terrible! So, it has been nice this week to get some great feedback on a couple of stories. It was an especially pleasant surprise to come across a review of Tales of Australia:Great Southern Land by the industrious Aussie reviewer, Sean the Bookonaut. He covers most of the stories in the book, and has some very kind things to say about mine:
The collection finishes on David McDonald’s Set Your Face Towards the Darkness and having read his work before, this story is a bit of a departure from his normal style. It is written in journal format – the secret journals of explorer John McKinlay, who was sent to find Burke and Wills. McDonald does a good job of capturing a reserved 19 century style in these entries written to McKinlay’s sweetheart, Jane. I think the most challenging thing in writing fiction in journal and letter form, is building and maintaining tension and McDonald does this in his interesting mix of alternative history and pop culture horror trope. If you like Australian gothic horror and reading between the lines of historical journals you’ll appreciate Set Your Face Towards the Darkness.
You can read the complete review here.
And, if you want to pickup a copy of the anthology, either directly from the publisher, or from Amazon. At only $4.99 for the ebook you can’t go wrong!