Australian Author of Children’s Books and Teen Books: October 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Roald Dahl Museum

I am currently on a six-month writing-research-homeschool-work-photography-travel adventure with my family. I return to Australia on 1 March when my new book Two Wolves is released. 

My mission is to refresh myself creatively, to research a new book, write another book of short stories, to expose my sons to the UK, Europe and South-East Asia and to visit as many famous children's literature sites as possible. These have included the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, seeing Matilda on the West End and speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. Last week, we visited the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, England, Dahl's home for 36 years from 1954 until his death in 1990.

Mr Dahl in front of his writing hut.
The centre filled me with a great sense of wonder, the feeling of warmth and wide-eyed awe that makes you want to go travelling in the first place. I spent the afternoon sorting through Dahl's letters and photos, gazing at the contents of his writing hut, watching performances of his stories and listening to snippets from his autobiographical books. Here are some pics from my time with the Fantastic Mr Dahl.
Map of the Roald Dahl Museum
One of my favourite Roald Dahl quotes. 
Two of my favourite writers – Roald Dahl and Ernest Hemingway.
Measure yourself against some of Dahl's most famous characters.
Apparently my height is somewhere between Mr and Mrs Twit.
My lovely wife Amber bought me a book about Dahl's famous writing hut
and six of his beloved pencils – Dixon Ticonderogas.
Writing in a replica of Dahl's chair.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Skype Talk Winner

Big congratulations to Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury, South Australia for winning my Galactic Adventures: First Kids in Space 'Read Across the Universe' competition. I saw lots of great displays featuring the book as I travelled around over the Book Week period (some are featured here and here) but I think Tyndale's was the best. The prize is a free Google Hangout / Skype Visit.

I look forward to running another competition based on the 2014 CBCA Book Week Theme 'Connect to Reading'. ;-)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Last week I was lucky enough to visit Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios in London and it was a highlight of my time in this fine city. I thought I'd share some pics with you. If you're a fan of the Potter movies (or a fan of movies in general) you need to start saving for the plane (or bus) ticket.

I am going to model my new study on Dumbledore's Office. ;-)
The Great Hall.
Number 4 Privet Drive
I have always been particularly fascinated by film Art Departments and, for me, this was where the tour really came alive.

Harry Potter Creature Shop
Diagon Alley blueprints
Diagon Alley set

There were detailed models of each of the key sets from the films...

The Burrow

And, on digital screens, you could witness the development of one of the sets from initial sketch...

The Shrieking Shack digital illustration...

...through to the final set as used in the movie.

Hogwarts model
The tour finished up with a spectacular 360-degree circumnavigation of the enormous Hogwarts model used for exterior shots of the castle in the first (I think) six movies.

Seriously, if you have to choose between visiting Buckingham Palace and Harry Potter Studios Tour, I don't mean to be disrespectful to the Queen, but...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Two Wolves book trailer

Here's the new book trailer for my March 2014 release Two Wolves. Looking forward to seeing this book out in the world. It's been a long time in the making.
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