David Kernot bio picture

    David Kernot is an Australian author living in the Mid North of South Australia and when he's not writing, he's riding his Harley Davidson through the wheat, wine, and wool farming lands. He writes contemporary fantasy, science fiction, and horror, and is the author of over fifty short stories in a variety of anthologies in Australia, the US, and Canada, including the Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror (2011, 2013), and Award Winning Australian Writing (2012). David is currently working on his novel Seventeen Souls. More information can be found at http://www.davidkernot.com/?page_id=6

I’ve just spent the last 2 days traveling up to Brisbane and back, pleased that I managed to miss flying through a super cell that formed south of the airport, but during this time I decided to take Terry Brook’s Sometimes The Magic Works – Lessons From A Writing Life (published by Random House Ballantine in 2003) and read it as a bit of a writing refresher. It’s a great inspirational book and I recommend it. Two chapters (for writers) were particularly important and I’m going to jot down Terry’s Top Ten Writing Tips. It got me thinking about a couple of things. One was about me re-reading his Shannara Series, of which I noted in his book mention of him having to fulfill a writing commitment to produce more of them. And two, was about where he was in his writing career. I “Internet-Searched” Terry (sorry not using the G-word today), to see how he is getting on and to check on the status of those books I have to admit having neglected from his series. Wow! What a time to have looked at his status. At 71 he is going strong. Not only that but Shannara is a movie series. Where have I been? So now this post has two purposes. To highlight a point about writing for writers and to obviously spread the word about his books and the movie adaption.


1 – Write What You Know.

2 – Your Characters Must Behave In A Believable Fashion.

3 – A Protagonist Must Be Challenged By A Conflict That Requires Resolution.

4 – Movement Equals Growth; Growth Equals Change; Without Change, Nothing Happens.

5 – The Strength Of The Protagonist Is Measured By The Threat Of The Antagonist.

6 – Show Don’t Tell.

7 – Avoid The Grocery Shopping List To Describing Characters.

8 – Characters Must Always Be In A Story For A Reason.

9 – Names Are Important.

10 – Don’t Bore The Reader.


Here is a great U-Tube clip that runs for about 14 minutes about Terry Brooks. Here he is giving an overview about why he writes fantasy (and elves). It’s good, and taken in 2012, so it’s also current.

But the exciting news about the Shannara series is that it is making its way to the movie screen, and I was surprised to find out that it is happening right now!


Published on Oct 10, 2015

Coming to MTV in January 2016, ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ is a new TV series based on the best-selling fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. Set thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization, the story follows an Elven Princess, Amberle, a half-human half-elf, Wil, and a human, Eretria, as they embark on a quest to stop a Demon army from destroying the Four Lands.

‘The Shannara Chronicles’ stars Poppy Drayton, Austin Butler, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett and John Rhys-Davies. The series is executive produced by Jon Favreau, Al Gough, Miles Millar, Dan Farah, Jonathan Liebesman and author Terry Brooks.

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I’ve recovered from the whole Hugo Nominee (aka SAD PUPPY) thing with ASIM.  I think I may have had my 20 seconds of not-quite-fame, and the world has now now pushed me into a little corner of obscurity.  Not so if I have my way!  A voice in my head said I should blog an update for those people curious enough to follow my posts and my journey to the next story or novel. So here goes… On the short story front, I’m basking in my recent HM success from The Writer Of The Future competition.  I’ve had this story read by a couple of folk to provide feedback after I did a major re-write, so I am hopeful that as I provide some updates post reader review, that I’ll have a great story to tell (aka publish somewhere).  My short horror piece is waiting for a 1000 word update on it so I can send it on to Lovecraft Fiction and see what they think of it.  I’ve also polished a serial-connected story somewhere for consideration.  I’m hopeful, but worse case is I’ll self-publish the series just before Christmas.  I’ve been doing some of those you-review-mine-and-I’ll-review-yours writer swaps.  They’ve worked out okay (some not so good but I get were a community and sometimes you have to go the extra mile to help people out for little personal gain ). I’ve also stepped up to be an Australian Shadows judge and this should be fun.  On the novel front, I’m busy adding new chapters to my W-I-P, and I’m contemplating the whole NaNoWriMo thing for November.  Last year it got away from me, but this year I’m considering adding to one of the two current novels.   Either adding a different character POV, or finishing 13 chapters.  Other than that, there is nothing new.  I keep penning new story ideas, but hold off so  I can finish some of my current ones.   So not a lot.  Phd continues to play foremost, and I have a secret real-life project on the cards hat is taking up some of ky writing time.  But I can say that I recently purchased iA Writer, and I have to say that while it is good I do like the typewriter clicks of other writing software:) Reminds me of bye-gone-days.

Other than that, it’s quiet here and I hope you are all well:)

As AMAZING as it is to be nominated for a HUGO! At my core, I’m a writer, and in 2003 I began to write my first FANTASY novel, which as it turned out I found was from my perspective was awful.  Not from a character sense, or a problem or a story telling per-se, but from clarity, saying what I need in the right tense.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time getting pulled this way and that way with writing groups and such… until I found my own way. Until I was able to tell the story the way I think it needs to be told.

Today I finished the second edits to my first fantasy novel.  Something that started out at 144,000 words is now 89,000, and ready for the first time after after picking up a pen 12 years.  This morning I penned “THE END” and had a moment of pride.  Too any author that has done that, they know how I felt.  It’s a wonderful point in time.  Equally it’s a horrible point in tie when you can set your work free… So now I have searched for the next part in the saga.  Book two starts out at 113,000 words, and I hope it is better written so that it sits around about the same size as the first ended up.  Only time will tell.  I think I’m getting better at it, with clawing time between my PhD to edit and straighten all my words and tense.  It’s a fun time.

As it stands I have a novel I could hand out… but then people will read it and ask for the next, so I’m thinking perhaps I need to get that one done too, quickly so I can have it ready and then finish the next two in the saga.

Oh to have so many choices at this point.  Advice from you all would be wonderful.  Do I sit on novel one until #2 is ready, or push it out there for the world…


I wish I knew.

I was thrilled to wake up this morning and find that I am among such excellent company in this year’s Hugo Award nominees.  As it turns out I have been nominated along with fellow editor, Sue Bursztynski, in the Best Semiprozine category from a pick of 660 nominating ballots.

Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Association Incorporated, 2014 editors David Kernot and Sue Bursztynski.

The thing with ASIM is that each issue is more than the efforts of any one or two individuals, it’s a mammoth task, and the team there is equally deserving.  To name a few, I would have expected that Simon Petrie, Lucy Zinkiewicz, and Edwina Harvey would also received mention, as should have the rest of the team.  Still I can’t emphasise how nice it is to see my name there.  I’ve always found the caliber of story submissions to ASIM to be quite exceptional, so in many ways it’s the great stories that make it easy to edit an issue, I’ve always found we were spoiled for choices.

A Hugo Nomination. Wow!

  • April 11, 2015 - 6:55 am

    c_Dave - Do you have a comment on being on the Sad Puppy slate?ReplyCancel

    • April 11, 2015 - 11:18 am

      David - I hadn’t been aware of the existence of a Sad Puppy slate at the time of my blog post… I’d been too busy on a couple of science publications for quite a few months now, but I see the concept has been reported by some as ‘quite controversial’ and ‘about time’ by others who support it…

      My own opinion is that anyone who finds themselves nominated for a HUGO should feel quite justifiably proud, and as I look over the list of nominees I recognise many many names and believe them more than worthy. Did they get there because a Sad Puppy slate made everyone vote a certain way and took away people’s free will? I think not. As I understand it, not all of the Sad Puppy slate named ended up as nominees, and there were variations in several of the lists. But did they shine a light to highlight to people the vast diversity of excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy works out there? Yes. I really believe so. Do I think that’s a bad thing? Absolutely not. From what I understand no HUGO rules were ‘broken’.

      Around 1592, Robert Greene called William Shakespeare an ‘upstart Crow’ when he first launched onto the stage as a ‘virtual unknown’ and look at the impact that his works have made…

      I think people should read the works on offer and vote for what they believe is the best piece in each category. After all, as writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy (and also horror in my case), we write stories, and we invest an inordinate amount of time and effort, often for little return. The least people can do is read them and ponder the message in each one.ReplyCancel

So I’m in it… a 10,000-word story, which comes from the first (in chronological order) of my inter-connected Dark Military Fiction collection featuring Emerson James Ash.

Here is the link: A Hero’s Welcome by David Kernot 

I’m pretty thrilled with what Mike Davis and the team out at Lovecraft eZine have done.  I’ve even received some feedback on the story, which I have to say felt pretty good.

Here is the list of all the stories, so you can go out and check them out.  But hats off to Mike and his hard-working team, and to Max Martelli – http://www.maxmartelli.com/ who did the illustration for my story.

I’m in EXCELLENT writing company too, so you should check out the other stories too.

What more can an creative artist ask for?


Cthulhu Does Stuff #13 a comic strip by Ronnie Tucker & Maxwell Patterson

Echoes from Cthulhu’s Crypt, #11 a monthly column by Robert M. Price

To Kiss Your Canvas by W.H. Pugmire

The Sleekit Ones by Cameron Johnston

Hunger Full and Lean by J.T. Glover

What the Storm Brings by KC Grifant

Maps by Arley Sorg

Spiral by Matthew Lowes

Exit Horizon by Damir Salkovic

In the Forest of the Night by Alter Reiss

The Mask and the Mirror by Ethan Carpenter

A Hero’s Welcome by David Kernot 

The Unmistakable Shape of Night’s River by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

Back cover illustration Illustrated by Andrew Mangum, colors by Roy Young


Publisher & Editor: Mike Davis
Co-editor: Matthew Carpenter
Kindle & Nook versions: Kenneth W. Cain
Issue cover: Peter Szmer
Issue back cover: Andrew Mangum, Roy Young
Graphic design: Leslie Harker
Website version: Raven Daegmorgan
Story Illustrations: Nick Gucker, Dave Felton, Peter Szmer, Dominic Black, Raven Daegmorgan, Steve Santiago, John Donald Carlucci, Dauny Mandir, Max Martelli
Story Readers: Lou Columbus, Kimberly Smeltzer, David Binks, Mark Robinson, Douglas Wynne, Vincent LaRosa, Chaz Engan, Anthony Pearce
Line Editors: David Binks, Laura Dawley