The Slipstream

A degree of the surreal,

The not-entirely-real,

And the markedly anti-real.


You are welcome to post questions you have by posting them using the below comment form.

Posting questions doesn’t guarantee any sort of sensible reply, so if you have a question that needs a proper answer, contact Isobelle through the regular online channels (facebooktwitter, etc).

Questions might be drawn into the slipstream, but it will be as if all words are heard half asleep.

35 Responses

  1. Simi says:

    You once described the story writing process as making a necklace, and stringing it with beads… knowing what the necklace would look like and how long it will be, but not knowing the colour or shape of the beads, or what is between the beads. That image has stuck with me for year, and I am curious to know more, and to understand the creative process further. Since you want to allow a glimpse of the process in embryo, would you embelish this metaphor please?
    As I seem to be also heading into “the rapids in life again”, and can’t see what is ahead clearly, I feel the urge to start my own blog, so that I, too, can “steer a smart, wise, bright course”. I look forward to reading yours.

  2. Daniel Talanine says:

    When you begin planning a completely new novel, what do you think of in terms of how you will write the story itself? I understand some authors like to plan out their stories in detail before writing, while others come up with a rough idea and see where that takes them. I’m curious to their initial thoughts on a tone though, as in- how do the readers feel when reading these books? Do you think about this aspect early on in the writing process or while writing the book?

    • I guess it is a rather organic process for me. I have an idea and I have usually had it for a while befor I start work on it. I find I will think of an idea over years and sometimes it is quite insistent, but I don’t let myself do more than keep it at the periphery of my vision, until I start. I do a LOT of thinking between the first and second drafts, once I have the thing on the page, no matter how misshappen and problematic it might feel.

  3. Maddy says:

    I’m sure you get this question a lot, but I’d really like to know the release date for Darkbane. I’ve just finished reading Darkfall and Darksong. They were wonderful. I’m thinking about doing Darkfall for my school novel study.
    Thanks, if you can tell me.
    Thank you for writing the first two, if you can’t.

    • hi Maddy. I am still working on the final Obernewtyn book, and I plan over christmas to do some rough illustrations for a small book, but next year I will begin work on the final Legendsong book, Darkbane. I can’t wait. I have been waiting for years to be able to get to it, but I couldn’t work on it while I was enmeshed in another big book that is also the last of a series. I expect it will come out in 2016.

  4. Satari says:

    Hi Isobelle Carmody,
    I hope you are well and happy writing away. I certainly appreciate all your books. However there is one particular book i am inquiring about today and that is Darkbane.I read the other two legend song books with a dear friend and she very ill Doctors believe she may have a year at best. We are both hoping that it will be ready before her time here is done, so we can read it together. can you please give us some idea of when it maybe ready and published, we know that it may not be ready in time that is as it is naturally. Kindest regards

    • Dear Satari,

      I am so sorry to read that your friend is ill, and even sorrier that I don’t have anything to offer immediately. I seem to have been caught top in so much stuff this year, following on from all the time i spent finishing the Red Queen, when virtually everything was on pause. I never would have imagined it would take so long, but I can say that I am hoping it will be published in 2018.


  5. Bella says:

    Hi Isobelle, I am a HUGE fan of your books, especially Obernewtyn and Legendsong! I can’t wait for the final Legendsong book to come out! Do you know when it’ll come out yet?

    • hi Bella, I have been off site stumbling around in the wilderness post Red Queen completion- I can’t believe it has taken a year, but I am clawing back my life. Doing a PhD, being my family breadwinner and having a daughter finishing Year twelve this last year really swallowed so much time. But I am right now working on a book, and I hope to have Darkbane out in 2018.Thank you for staying with me!

  6. Sherone Brown says:

    Isobelle, I must say that I am extremely grateful to have stumbled across your Legendsong series only in March 2016 as the suspense of waiting for years for Darkbane would have been difficult! What a fascinating and absorbing storyline. I can understand that you would have to finish all other projects to be able to give this final book your 100% attention. They are all such addictive characters to follow the twists and plots. Your books are so unpredictable to know what is coming next! Do you have an idea of a date in 2016 when Darkbane will be released? I do hope you are enjoying the journey and can’t wait to devour book three. Thank you for Darkfall and Darksong.
    Regards Sherone

    • Dear Sherone, thank you for your lovely post. I have finally got to the point where I think I am beginning to regain my balance after the finish of the Obernewtyn Books- Elspeth’s part of them, at least. I am looking forward to getting back to Darkbane, but it is still a little way off yet. I am hoping it will be out in 2018.
      warm regards

  7. Satari says:

    Hi Isobelle, thank you for your reply, unfortunately my friend passed from this dimension a few days ago. She left me in charge of ensuring i read your books to her 2 girls. My friend was a huge fan of your writting and we grew up together reading your books especially on cold winter nights we would snuggle in blankets with flasks of yummie pumpkin soup and doorsteps of fresh home made bread and read your books. Sorry having a memory. I’m really here to say what my dear friend asked me too. “Thankyou you for who you are and imparticulay for using you special talents to give us the ability to dream and imagine and support other through good and bad.thank you so much cheaper

  8. Steve says:

    Hi Isobelle. How are you going with Darkbane? Can you please give an update on how it’s going? For anyone who reads this, please join me in this meditation and Isibelle, know that we believe in you and we have your back ☺: “We ask that Isobelle Carmody is given the time and Space in her life, to complete the novel ‘Darkbane’. We collectively send her rainbow crystal light and loving star energy, so that she can give closure to the characters we love and adore. Fill her and her family with exuberance, warmth and blessed energies. So mote it be”.

    • Satari says:

      Hi, Steve, what a lovely intention for Isobelle her Family and her creative talents. I second them without doubt and hope your lovely intentions are also returned to you in kind.
      Dear Isobelle, my sick friend passed from this world in December 2016. She loved all your books with great passion. Imparticulaly she lived through her pain in the world of Ember. My friend had an inoperable tumour in her brain and could relate to Embers pain and experiences, I know she wanted Ember to live and find a cure in the hope she would two. Very natural given the circumstances. I have just read both books again to prepare my self for the release of Darkbane. Id like to thank you with all my heart and soul for choosing writing as you lifes passion and profession you are truly a gift to the world. Your books were a source of great enjoyment for both my friend and myself, and a deep source of comfort, hope and adventure that provided my friend all she needed to make her final years as peaceful as possible. I’m sure my friend is one of many who’s lives are made more beautiful by the incredible world’s, characters and experiences your creativity unleashes in your books. I Looking forward to more, deep gratitude

    • Hi Steve

      Thank you for your lovely calling on the universe to send me warmth and kindness and space to work. I have just finished my mid candidature review for my PhD, and I am hoping to finish Darkbane for next year, but I am still trying to sort out contracts with the publishers. I have The Ice Maze coming out next month, and I will have another stand alone book out with Allen and Unwin 🙂

  9. Satari says:

    It would be lovely now 2018 is here to have a progress up date on Darkbane.. I cant imagine how good a juggler you are, but would be great if you could keep updating us on your progress. I know there are many many fans out there waiting for this book, so many you could find this particular book soar to the best sellers list very quickly upon its release… 16 years is a long wait. Sending you lots of love and creative energy for this particular project, it would be amazing to be able to receive and read it for Christmas 2018.

  10. Andrea says:

    I was wondering if, after a long break, you find it difficult to view your characters in the same way? How difficult is is to return to characters like Glynna and Ember after fifteen years, and still see them through the same lens? Do you have to make allowances for them to see the world in the way they did, or is it necessary to have them change their view as you would have done in that time? Also do you consider how your readership would have changed in that time too, or is it more a matter of recapturing that moment when you pick them up again. Just curious because I find it difficult to pick up a story after leaving it for a year or so and not be tempted to rewrite a lot of it because I no longer see it in that way. With something the size of the Darkfall novels it’s probably not an option! All the best with it. I hope you are finding a good way to balance all the demands on your time! Regards, Andrea

  11. Chelsea says:

    Hi Isobelle!

    How are you? I am in the middle of re-reading the whole Obernewtyn series (for the millionth time!) from the beginning so I can fall in love with it all over again as now there is a conclusion!

    I would dearly love to know if you are still hoping for a 2018 release date for Darkbane? I will hold off re-reading them until it is released!

    I know there are many other eager fans out there awaiting its release too!

    • Dear Chelsea
      I am afraid it is not there yet.
      I am still struggling to find the deep time to write this book. It’s very important to me and I have spent years trying to find the space to do it in. I’ve made some plans for next year and if I don’t get it started by the end of this year then those plans will come into play. I have to do something.


  12. Kim Williams says:

    Hi Isobelle,
    I love your books; but was wondering if you know when darkbane will be released yet? I understand the process is long and life get in the way of such things. But I would really love to see it. We have all waited a long time.
    Kind regards

    • Dear Kim,

      You have and I apologise for the long long delay. I have just finished my PhD after seven years and now there is Covid. I am hoping this year is the end of all the things that get in the way. I was just speaking to the publishes the other day and they were asking me when I would begin and I said end of this year. I wish it was sooner


  13. Natalie says:

    Hi Isobelle!
    I was just telling a colleague about your books for her and her daughter to read, and I felt a pang of anticipation for the release of Darkbane… Should we still expect it this year or later? I can’t wait to find out what happens to Glynn and Ember <3
    Thankyou for all you do


  14. Jasmin says:

    Hi Isobelle,
    Any update on Darkbane for 2019? I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed! Every couple of months I do a google search in anticipation. x

    • Dear Jasmine
      As you see much time has passed. I finished my PhD after seven years and now Covid is all around us. I’m still struggling to find the date time and space I need to finish the legends song series. But my fingers are crossed that this will be the year That will free me from all my obligations


  15. Caitlyn says:

    I read darkfall and darksong when I was in year 8 of highschool and have been waiting patiently ever since for Darkbane. I am now 31, it is 2020 and I am still sans an ending. When will you finally write Darkbane? I keep seeing all these new books by you, but you seriously seem to have forgotten about the Legensong fans among your readers.

    • I haven’t forgotten. But sometimes other books are more ripe and ready to go – with Darkbane I am longing to write it but I have just finished 7 years of doing a PhD in the hope of having a second string to my bow in these parlous times. And now there is covid. But I will write it. I want to write it but A book like that needs time and mental space but I haven’t been able to achieve. Likewise Matthew’s Story, Which will be a standalone book. All I have been able to do is small books and even these are a struggle to finish. I hope this is the last year where life is so much of a muddle and a struggle. My apologies for keeping you waiting so long. Thank you for writing to tell me you loved it enough to tell me you want the last one


  16. Satari says:

    Hi Isobelle, it’s been 6 years since, I last wrote to ask about Darkbane. Can you please give an update on progress 😍

    • I wish I could say it is finished, but it is not. The need to make a living somehow in these covid times has meant having to take on a great deal I rather not have done. This coming year, I have accepted a post doctoral research position until next June, as I see it is really the only way to earn enough to be able to do nothing but write for an extended period. I am literally buying time- the research it incredibly interesting but the main thing is that I will free me in the second half of the year to write Darkbane. X

  17. Alice says:

    Hi Isobelle,
    I just happened to come on here to see if there were any updates about Darkbane and saw that you have recently responded to some messages! While I am sad to hear that it is not yet finished, I do definitely understand why you have not been able to finish writing it. I also just wanted to say thank you for responding to the comments/questions on here and giving what updates you are able to 😊

    Congratulations on finishing your PhD, that is very exciting! Good luck with the research position! And I hope that your plans work out so that afterwards will indeed be the right time, place, and space to write Darkbane 😊

    Thank you so much for all of your books, and I look forward to reading Darkbane when it is ready ❤

    • Hi Alice

      I am longing to come back here and write something. I really like the form this site generated for me. And I think it’s going to be perfect as a way to think about my research. I don’t know if you know that following my PhD I have been offered a research fellow position for 18 months. I’m really glad to have the opportunity to do it and I have to say in this Covid hampered time it is not a bad thing to have something to do. I mean something that earns me a living LOL And it is actually amazingly interesting. I have just come back from several days of reconnaissance around the four research sites a.k.a. for regional towns in Victoria. I am writing about them from the outside in a way. I took a lot of photographs and it seemed to Me the photographs what kind of sad and a bit Barren – And yet that is only looking at these places from the outside. There will be another story and once I start working with kids in the town the stories will come to life for me and then together we will venture into the possible future of the town in the form of stories. I would like to write about my research here. But of course I am also still trying to do my own creative writing. I have sworn to get back to Darkbane next year. In the meantime I got a grant to write a book called standing which is to be a memoir about protesting for that here that I protested. It’s a hard thing to write because I’ve never written about my own life and I’ve never wanted to. It’s a bit like killing the golden goose. I Use my life constantly of course just not as reality. It’s the source I draw from. So I am supposed to do that by April which is going to be literally impossible because I had built in a whole lot of travel which cannot happen. In a way it’s good because that will give me a good reason for not being able to finish it when I’m supposed to. I am also trying to finish a book that has been sitting with Alan and Unwin for a couple of years while they patiently wait for me to edit it. I would’ve managed it I think if I had an editor to work with but instead when I said it needed editing they simply are waiting for me to edit it and I really need some input. I am accustomed to a sort of gentle but adversarial approach. So somehow I need to work So I am supposed to do that by April which is going to be literally impossible because I had built in a whole lot of travel which cannot happen. In a way it’s good because that will give me a good reason for not being able to finish it when I’m supposed to. I am also trying to finish a book that has been sitting with Alan and Unwin for a couple of years while they patiently wait for me to edit it. I would’ve managed it I think if I had an editor to work with but instead when I said it needed editing they simply are waiting for me to edit it and I really need some input. I am accustomed to a sort of gentle but adversarial approach. So somehow I need to work On that and finish it and right this second I am trying to finish an edit of my PhD novel. So there is a lot of stuff on the go. But my research is front and Centre. Thank you so much for coming on here and post a comment. It’s nice to see this is still drawing an audience And I hope you will come back and read and stuff about my research and comment.

      Thank you too for your patience.


  18. Sara Ang says:

    Hi there Isobelle,

    Do you mind sharing what your PhD is in? I am in my early 40’s now and I too did some post-grad studies. Originally out of highschool I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (minoring in psychology), Then in my mid 30’s I did my teaching degree and fell in love with writing and the nuances of language. At the same time I got a diagnosis for ASD (aka Aspergers) which explained a lot of things and is actually more common than most people expect. I began relief teaching at a local high-school, however, with Covid and all that came with it, I have found that my anxiety has now prevented me from continuing that pathway. I also now homeschool my ASD son which is an absolute joy.

    My point in all this is…. if you need an alpha or beta reader I would be happy to assist! I may not be too adversarial however, I will not shy away from saying what needs to be said. Aspie’s are very good at telling it like it is, and I am rather OCD when it comes to proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The offer is there, no pressure though.

    Oh btw, I too love all your books and eagerly await Darkbane. So, anything to help speed that process also helps me, lol 🙂

    • Hi Sara
      That is a very generous offer and in fact I might really take you up on it. I am right now trying to cut my PhD novel and it might be great to have someone to read it through who has not read it before down the track. It may not be your cup of tea though. My PhD was looking at the fantastic and realism as tools rather than genre and a specific technique I have used since I was a kid which requires both tools working at once. The novel is a demonstration and an exploration of that technique. I have called it slipstream repurchasing Sterlings use of it as yet another genre. It was totally fascinating and I loved every minute of it Even though it took me seven years LOL. He will be pleased to hear that next year I will be back onto Darkbane although It probably won’t be published until the following year As I have an 18 month position as a research fellow at UQ on a project which explores the connection between creativity and human flourishing.

      I love this site and it is a long time since I have visited. Thank you for giving me an excuse.


  19. Emily-Jane Cobbold says:

    What is really happening with Darkbane? You haven’t told the truth very often and it’s been 20 years since the second of the trilogy was published. The first book is out of publication and needs to be found in paperback second hand like it’s 1980 not 2023.
    In 2006 you said you had pages written
    In 2008 you said it was “substantially underway”
    You’ve never referred to this writing or mentioned any additional work on the novel since but you continue to give a two year estimate for completion and given a different excuse every time.

    The latest excuse is really cynical about your readers intelligence – the one about covid and sacrifice and needing to make a living for your family. Only aren’t you 65 now? It’s not like you’ve got young children about so is this another lie? And..Like. Sure. Covid totally stopped you writing the last Legendsong for 21 years and forced you to scrap work done 2006-2008. Everyone knows how covid stopped the world since 2002…oh no wait…it’s been only 4 years

    Have you lying to yourself or to us?

    Did the publisher cancel it and you are contracted in some way not to say so? Maybe by hubris?

    Do you also need to re-read the first two to remember what they were about?

    Maybe stop hosting writing seminars and attend one yourself, just to like learn how professional writers complete novels in under 20 years.

    • Let me see if I can answer this angry communication in some way. I removed the Legendsong books from publication because Penguin did not want to bring out the first two again when the third one comes out. Allen And Unwin bought the first two and that process took quite a while – Allen and Unwin also contracted the third and I have about 300 words written. I would call that substantially written, but perhaps you see substantial meaning something different. At the moment I have been working on a book for Allen and Unwin which they contracted before taking on the Legendsong books and which needs to be finished first because that is what they want. My PhD took seven years and then post grad work took 18 months. My daughter is 25 now so I know longer support her but I still have to make a living for myself and the seminars and various other things other way that I do it. I have to take those when they are offered. When I talk of taking care of family these days I mean my severely mentally ill brother who at this moment has been missing for three weeks. I am in Victoria helping to search for him. I don’t really know how to respond to your accusation that I am a liar or that I suffer from hubris. I don’t see myself as either. I am guilty of finding it hard to concentrate on a book Darkbane that without a decent span of time in front of me and there always seems to be something to interrupt and force me to go back to the beginning again, to get the flow. I never set out to be efficient and when asked for time frames, I always give the amount that seems right to me at the time because I am asked, but in reality, I simply write when I can, and when I feel I can do justice to whatever it is that I’m writing, and it takes as long as it takes. The professional writing course you suggest I should take would produce an efficient writer, but I guess I will just go on as I have been doing.

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