2020 Snapshot: Donna Hanson

Donna Maree Hanson is a traditionally and independently published author of fantasy, science fiction and horror. She also writes paranormal romance under the pseudonym of Dani Kristoff. In April 2015, she was awarded the A. Bertram Chandler Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction’ for her work in running science fiction conventions, publishing and broader SF community contribution. Donna writes dark fantasy (the Dragon Wine series), epic fantasy (the Silverlands series), steampunk (the Cry Havoc series) and young science fiction (Space Pirate Adventures) as well as short stories across the speculative fiction genre. Her short story collection, Beneath the Floating City was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award in 2017.

Donna is currently in the final year of her PhD candidature, researching Feminism in Popular Romance at the University of Canberra. Donna lives in Canberra with her partner and fellow writer Matthew Farrer.

  1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My most recent publications are Emerald Fire, the second book in the steampunk, smash up Cry Havoc series. And a free novella called Vorn and the First Comers, which gives a glimpse into the founding of the world, Argenterra, which features in my Silverlands series. I have other novellas planned as the series uses tales through out to illustrate the history of the world and morals and so forth. I had planned to write another Goslien of the Valley this year but have been waylaid by my PhD, the exegesis of which is struggling to find a life outside my head. I have two projects in draft, a sci fi romance (new series) nearly ready for an edit and a paranormal romance as a rough draft for the Dani Kristoff books and the first chapter of the third book in my Cry Havoc series in long hand. However, I have bound myself to a promise not to write until I get a creditable draft of my exegesis done. My PHD is in creative writing, examining feminism in popular romance fiction. The novel that is part of the thesis is written and damn near polished. It’s a near future SF book that features gender and romance.

  1. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

Getting acceptances for books. First Rayessa and the Space Pirates. I cried. Then Shatterwing and Skywatcher, the beginning of the Dragon Wine series. Then with indie publishing, finishing off the Silverlands series and publishing it and finishing off the Dragon Wine series. Great personal highlights for me. I was sad that my agent couldn’t sell Ruby Heart but I was thrilled with the covers and publishing it and the sequel myself. I had so much fun with Jemima Hardcastle, the lead character. More recently, having my supervisor say he loved my novel and I think I might have more publishing highlights to come.

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge? 

There is so much interesting work around in the traditional published and the independently published world right now. Trudi Canavan has put out her latest book in Millennium’s Rule series, Maker’s Curse, Angela Slatter’s work both long and short form, new books arriving like Claire McKenna Monstrous Heart and news announced for other Australian authors, Freya Marske and Devin Madson, We Ride the Storm, which I’m looking forward to. I recently got my hand on New Zealand author, Russell Kirkpatrick’s Silent Sorrows, with a delayed release until December I think. If you have a horror bent I’ve had two recent purchases of Kaaron Warren. Tide of Stone and Into Bones Like Oil.  In the paranormal arena I am reading Keri Arthur, with two series going.


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