Out & About

Writing Workshops with Wyrallah and Fernleigh Public Schools

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited by the CBCA (NSW) to join the Wyrallah and Fernleigh public school students to run writing workshops along with the very talented author/illustrator Lucia Masciullo, who ran the illustrating sessions.

It was a really fun and rewarding day and I loved hearing the feedback from Lisa Fahy, Wyrallah Public School Principal:

It was delightful to witness students, especially several who are normally rather reticent, taking a leap into both their artistic souls and out into their creative writing spaces.

The pride they felt in their accomplishments was heart-warming.

Here’s an article about the day featured in the Northern Star Newspaper:

Northern Star - on CBCA (NSW) author visit

All About Writing

NaNoWriMo: What Do You Get Out of Writing?

Hello fellow writers and congratulations to anyone who participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. I applaud you for your efforts as it’s certainly not something I could do – not at this stage of my life anyhow.

I bring you this post as I’ve been asked by Webucator to talk about my writing and answer a few questions to wrap up novel writing month. I hope that these answers help inform and inspire you as you make your own writing journeys.

1. What were your goals when you started writing?

I really didn’t have any distinct goals when I began writing as I started off purely for the joy of putting pen to paper and watching imaginary worlds and characters evolve. I’d always loved reading and writing as a child and through my teenage years but it wasn’t until I moved to Sydney when I first married that I had a go at penning my first book for kids (mind you this book will never see the light of day because it was so atrocious). But, once I’d finished that one I realised this was what I wanted to do, write books for kids, and the following year I began a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing. It all went from there with my first book for children being published in 2008.

2. What are your goals now?

I’ve since achieved more than I could have ever imagined possible, being published and receiving recognition for much of my work. I’ve now published three stand alone books for children, a fiction reader, a novel for adults and most exciting of all, my first book series. The first half of the Jake in Space series was published this year and the remaining three titles will come out early next year. I guess my goal now would be to keep on writing and publishing books for younger readers. I have a number of book ideas floating around in my head that I’d love to write and it would be great to publish a full-length book for kids, or young adults.

3. What pays the bills now?

Not my books unfortunately, not yet anyway. Let’s call it cinema ticket money for now. Right now, it’s the second-hand bookstore that I own paying the bills, combined with my husband’s income. But, I couldn’t think of any better income earner than a bookstore and I love the people I meet through Big B Books and the book conversations we have – not to mention the unlimited access to reading material.

4. Assuming writing doesn’t pay the bills, what motivates you to keep writing?

That’s probably a correct assumption for most authors these days. I will always be motivated to write because it’s something I not only love to do, but need to do. It’s my form of expression and my creative release and really there’s nothing not to enjoy about it, except editing perhaps, but even that gives me great satisfaction as my work is given a shine and polish.

5. And, optionally, what advice would  you give young authors hoping to make a career out of writing?

I’m not usually one to give advice, since everyone has their own way of going about things, but what I’ve learned is that writing is a process. By that I mean that as a writer you are constantly learning and your writing is always evolving. For me, that’s meant studying, going to workshops, classes and writing festivals, reading widely, and most of all spending the time writing, writing, writing! There are no short cuts when it comes to writing. Like anything, it takes hard work, determination and persistence – but it does pay off in the end and the rewards can’t be measured in dollars.

Out & About

‘Jake in Space’ Blasts off at Black Cat Books & Cafe

The Daily Moon journalist Angela Sunde recently jetted down from the Moon to interview me at Black Cat Books & Cafe about the launch of ‘Jake in Space,’ my new series out with New Frontier Publishing. We celebrated the release of the first book in the six-book series, ‘Jake in Space: Moon Attack.’ It was great fun and I answered some probing questions about the book and the series with Ms Sunde. Here are some photos from the day by the wonderful Elena at AEV Photography (hair & make-up courtesy of the talented Suzi Dent, Gold Coast Hair Stylist and Make-Up Artist).  Video of the interview will be airing soon. For more info, free chapter samples and cool and fun activities visit the Jake in Space website.

Angela Sunde from The Moon Daily interviews me about the release of 'Jake in Space.'
Angela Sunde from The Moon Daily interviews me about the release of ‘Jake in Space.’
Some of the characters from the books, Milly and Skye, make an appearance for the audience and then there are the space snacks ... mmmm!
Some of the characters from the books, Milly and Skye, make an appearance for the audience and then there are the space snacks … mmmm!
More book chit-chat, signings and celebrating with family and friends.
More book chit-chat, signings and celebrating with family and friends.
All Things Books

‘THE DAY THE ENERGIES SAVED THE WORLD’ – Pearson English 3-6 Wins the EPAA Best Primary Resource Award

I’ve just received the very exciting news that the series that my title ‘THE DAY THE ENERGIES SAVED THE WORLD’ featured in has just won the Educational Publishing Australia Awards 2014 for best primary resource. I’m proud to announce that it’s officially classed as a top resource for schools, perfect for year 3-6 teachers.

A bit of background on how this all came about:

I was recently given the opportunity to write a Year 3 reader for Pearson Education. It was a lot of fun writing a fiction story based on the educational science topic of ‘night and day.’ Through my fiction reader ‘The Day the Energies Saved the World’ I could explore and explain this concept to kids by taking my characters on a futuristic science fiction adventure. What was even more exciting was that my eldest daughter happened to be learning this very subject at school this term, not long after the book first came out. To top it all off it’s very exciting to have the series win an award.

Pearson Education shortlisted series

 

A picture of the shortlisted series featuring ‘The Day the Energies Saved the World.’ You can read a bit more about it on the Pearson Education blog.

All About Writing

SCBWI Queensland Meeting – Tips for Author School Visits

I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous SCBWI Queensland meeting last Sunday. By request, the topic was on tips for author school visits.

SCBWI Queensland branch

The panellists shared so much of their knowledge and experience with honesty and humour so I was very pleased to write a post gleaned from the copious amount of notes I took at the time, along with my fellow author, Dimity Powell. You can read about it here.

Panellists Peter Carnavas, Prue Mason, Charmaine Clancy, Pamela Rushby and Amanda Worlley, with Sheryl Gwyther, SCBWI Aust. E/NZ Assistant Regional Advisor.