Burnt Snow, my first novel, was released in 2010 by Pan MacMillan Australia. White Rain, the sequel, is due soon. As part of a trilogy about witches, earth magic, curses, love and revenge, this blog archives my research into the world of the witches - as well as my own magical saga as a new author.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Why, hello!

The weeks have flown... and so have I. I've been in Shanghai doing some research for my post-The Book of the Witch books book, Robot 9. Why robots? Why Shanghai? Just look at this:

You look at this and tell me how NOT to write about hot robots in this magical city.

Fear not, Book of the Witch fans, White Rain is coming, coming, coming... Waiting for the editorial report at the end of this month... so just enjoying the quiet between storms and enjoying thinking robots before I'm witchariffic again at the end of this month.

In the meantime, I'm cataloguing all of my photographs of beautiful Shanghai now that I'm back home in London. Stay tuned for some great photos of How It Is Or As You Like It in Sydney, and the rumour that I may be doing an opera in the UK soon...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How It Is Or As You Like It

Hey Frenzied Friends,

My crazy new play How It Is Or As You Like It is on next week, June 9, 10 and 11 @ 7.30pm at the Pratten Park Bowling Club and NO I am not joking. It will rock the hard and tickets are FREE. You want a ticket? Click this link and tell me how many. Bring whoever you like, but BEWARE: this show is NOT for children. It's a black comedy. That means it contains "adult themes", "sexual references" and LOTS of swearing. How much swearing? At least 158 muches.

You should come because it's experimental and wacky and the cast are great and it's in Ashfield. And you know what Ashfield has? DUMPLING HOUSES. Oh my! Try Taste of Shanghai, which is just west of Ashfield Mall on Liverpool Rd, and eat the deep-fried pork buns or the vegetarian dumplings; ignore the mains, this place is dumpling city, man. You will die of delight. DIE. OF. DELIGHT.

Hope you can make it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Attractive People Doing Interesting Things

Hooray! The Arty Party was a fantastic success. Weird cabaret acts, stylish folk, a balmy night. There's photographic proof:

See that? It's called "fun".
No rest for this wicked woman, alas. While I wait so patiently for the editorial report to be returned on White Rain, I'm busily using the window before I turn back into a novelist to write a new play (How It Is Or As You Like It, as mentioned in my last blog), as well as teach some classes at my beautiful Thirning Villa, and run some workshops, and so some other stuff. Oh, yeah, like review the Sydney Film Festival (!). Ooh!

It would be totally, utterly awesome if y'all could come to the play. Did I mention I wrote a play? You should come to my play. June 9 (Thu), 10 (Fri), 11 (Sat) at Pratten Park Bowling Club, next to Thirning Villa, Arthur St, Ashfield, Sydney, 7.30pm. Free. All you have to do is email us and reserve tickets.

In the meantime, enjoy these fantastic shots from the Arty Party. More White Rain news coming soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


So you're all coming to Thirning Villa in Pratten Park, Arthur St, Ashfield THIS MONDAY at 7pm to hear me do a read from White Rain and listen to some opera and cabaret? Yes? Great. You should also plan to come to this...

Click on this and open it out for good times.
Yes, I've written another play. It be exhausting. This one I've developed with a group of long term collaborators - the wonderful director, Travis Green, and dramaturg (that's "script jockey") Jenni Medway as well as some remarkable actors (Simon Binns, Karli Evans, Aileen Huynh, Kirby Medway, Lucy Miller, Abe Mitchell, David Molloy, Joe Parro, Mark Rogers, Erin Taylor and Brendan Tynan-Davey who are in the show and Nikki Kennedy, Feargus Manning, Emma McManus, Sarah Quinn, Karena Thomas, Kate Worsley came to play as well). 
It is a VERY BLACK comedy and not suitable for children, but anyone who accidentally acquired a knowledge of Shakespeare's As You Like It should find it... an interesting interpretation of some story elements. It's also a workshop performance, which means the set may full down but it is FREE to attend - and the venue is the Pratten Park Bowling Club, here on Arthur St, next to the villa. 
If you've ever wanted to see experimental theatre in a suburban bowling club venue, this is your best opportunity! It's June 9 (Thu), 10 (Fri) and 11 (Sat) for a 7.30pm show, and to guarantee a ticket, drop a line to theashfieldbeehive@gmail.com. I promise, it will be an unforgettable theatrical experience.
If you don't live in Sydney, but you DO live in Brisbane, you can STILL see a play of mine (if not at a bowling club). Bang on the Nerve is getting a production from May 26-June 4 from Underground Productions, and the details are here. AND if you are in Tasmania and can get to Launceston, Bang on the Nerve is also running in the 13th Floor Festival at The Annexe Theatre on the 28th and 29th of May, read about it here
More news on White Rain to come soon - but YES, it is off with the publishers, and they are standing around their magic cauldrons of editorial goodness to make it supergreat. SO. EXCITING. 

xxx Van

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Arty Party

Wanna come to an Arty Party?

The good news is I have... finished White Rain!
No way! YES, WAY! It is with the publishers being made beautiful and then there will be release dates, and then there will be a lot of rejoicing. Well, there'll be a big launch party.
Rather than wait, I thought I'd throw a party, anyway. As you may know, I have this lovely residency at Thirning Villa in Sydney's Ashfield (see blog post below), and as part of my brief is to make fun happen, I am throwing a free, free, free Arty Party this coming Monday, May 23rd from 7-9pm.
We'll all be at Thirning Villa, Pratten Park, Arthur Street, Ashfield.
There'll be some singing from Sophie Webb and the Opera Fairy, Adam Norris is the MC, the Beehive Ensemble will perform a spooky story, there may be a little bit of installation art from Hamilton Richardson Supergenius and I will be reading a tiny sneak peek of White Rain. There'll be lights and a little food and top hats and lovely people, so do drop in. Ashfield Council are our generous sponsors.
And for the theatrically curious...
June 9 (Thu), June 10 (Fri) and June 11 (Saturday - Rebecca Black taught me that, yair), my new play How It Is or As You Like It is doing a workshop season at Pratten Park Bowling Club at 7.30pm, right here next to Thirning Villa. You may wish to send an email to theashfieldbeehive@gmail.com and reserve tickets because some wonderful people are in it and it is FREE. Directed by Travis Green and dramaturged (that's made nice) by Jenni Medway, the HOT AWESOME performers are: Lucy Miller, Karli Evans, Erin Taylor, Aileen Huynh, Joe Parro, Mark Rogers, Simon Binns, Abe Mitchell, David Molloy, Brendan Tynan-Daley and Kirby Medway.
How much fun is that? LOOK AT THE BUNNY, IT IS SO FUN.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

In defence of sub-editors

Fairfax newspapers - who publish The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age - have just announced they are sacking their sub-editors and out-sourcing the sub-editing of their content. 

As an author, this worries me. A lot of people, human resources managers and cost-reduction "experts" among them, probably have no professional reason to understand how crucial and vital good sub-editing is to, you know, the transmission of text information. 

Let's consider this point, below.

Staff, union shocked by job, losses at Fairfax
May 03, 2011 11:

UPDAATE: FAIRFAX staff is appalled by a management decisions to outsource sub-editing of the group's metropolitan flagship newspapers.
Chris Warrren, federal secretary of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Arts Alliance, said Fairfax Media's decision to outsource subbediting of its news business and business and news and and sports content to AAP subsidiary Cellarmasters, announced to staff this morning, was "grossly misguided".
"It is estimated that hundred of jobs could be lost as a result," Mr Warren said in.
"At a time when Fairfax are looking to invest in the football of journalism and the development of market-leading cross-platform newsy content taking the specialised skills and expertise of sub editors out of the newsroom, is are of them grossly misguided.
An Age staffers were now anxious about further axes.
"Staff are schocked and appalled especially, given the sub-editors haven't even clocked. On yet?" the staff member, said. And then said: "Why would they bother coming or in to work?"
Fairfax announcement this morning was it would outsource sub-editing of newspaper sections of the groups’ spaceship newspapers to Pagemaker.
The move is one of a number of cost. Cutting measures planned for the group's production processes.
"This is not an unprecedented decision. Beastmasters and other independent production horses now produce many high-quality newspapers around THE WORLD,'' FAIRFAX CHIEF executive Greggles Mcwood said in a stuff announcement. 
point and we must move now. 
"The core of the changes I am announces today are logic-driven around getting the right balance in our allocation of resources in delivering you the necessary outcomes.
"And it involves a substantial reallocation of our resources to writing and erporting.''
“Who really needs sub-editors anyway?”

Friday, April 29, 2011

I teach you how to write heaps good - for FREE!

How cool is this house? Do you want me to teach you how to write in it?

Beautiful Thirning Villa

This is Thirning Villa, Ashfield. It's where Ashfield Council are presently employing me to write beautiful things for the people of the Ashfield Council Area (that's Ashfield, Summer Hill and Haberfield, and bits of Croydon and Ashbury, Sydney). 

It's also where I'll be teaching a *free* drop-in creative writing course for interested persons starting VERY SOON MAY 10 OMG. Sponsored by Ashfield Council, for six weeks, I'll be running a course on EITHER Tuesday nights (7pm - 9pm) OR Wednesday mornings (10am - 12 noon). Yes, free, completely free. I'll teach about storytelling, structure, imagery, action and suspense and I'll even lend you a pen.

All the details are below. Numbers are STRICTLY LIMITED, so if you are interested, let the organisers know ASAP by dropping us an email below. Here's the press release:


Got a story to tell?
Think you have a book in you?
Love reading and want to learn more about writing?

Internationally-award-winning novelist and playwright Van Badham is Ashfield Council’s Artist in Residence for May and June.

Van will be running free creative writing classes out of Thirning Villa, Pratten Park Ashfield for six weeks, beginning Tuesday, May 10.

Van’s classes are fun and dynamic way to improve your creative writing and communication skills, whether you are a novice, a trained writer lacking discipline or just someone interested in exploring your own creativity.

All ages and levels of ability are welcome. Materials are provided.

Numbers are limited, so register your interest by emailing Jenni on theashfieldbeehive@gmail.com, or phoning council on 02 9716 1866.

Indicate which timeslot best suits you:

Tuesdays (night programme): 7-9pm (May: 10, 17, 24, 31, June: 7, 14)
Wednesdays (day programme):10am-noon (May: 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15)

You can learn more about Van (OMG that's MEEEE!) via her website: www.vanbadham.com

... and PS I recently reviewed the wonderful movie, Thor. If you need an excuse from me to go and see it, it is here.