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My latest novels have been my big international breakthrough, published in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany and Brazil. They're all steampunk fantasy: WORLDSHAKER, its sequel LIBERATOR, and now SONG OF THE SLUMS (same world, new story) appearing in May 2013.

SONG OF THE SLUMS is about the invention of rock 'n roll - 100 years before Elvis Presley! In a world enshrouded with fog and smog, the Slumtown gangs have created their own music, raw and savage, with a driving beat. Respectable Victorian society has never heard anything like it!

Astor comes from a genteel family of classical musicians, but ends up as an outcast in the slums. She discovers an unexpected talent for rhythm and playing the drums. Her fellow-outcast, Verrol, is an amazing dancer and would-be singer - but he hides a dark criminal past.

I was once a muso in a band myself, which helped with SONG OF THE SLUMS. I was also a university lecturer for 10 years, but always dreamed of writing fantasy fiction … slightly delayed by 25 years of writer's block! I live 85 km south of Sydney in Australia, I've now had 17 novels published (fantasy, SF and horror, for adult, YA and children) - and I'm one happy human being!

As a way of saying thank you to the world for being kind to me, I set up a website of writing tips for fantasy and SF authors. It's a free resource, it's 150 pages long, it covers most every aspect of writing and getting published - and it's at
www.writingtips.com.au.

My author website is at
www.richardharland.net,
with another at www.worldshaker.info for the US. I have to mention the trailer for SONG OF THE SLUMS, just put up on YouTube, at http://youtu.be/kO46j2Hh73Y

Some awards: WORLDSHAKER took out the highly prestigious Tam Tam Je Bouquine Prize in France, and I've won six Aurealis Awards (Australia's nearest equivalent to the Nebulas).

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