Australian Author of Children’s Books and Teen Books: November 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Prime Minister's Literary Awards

Well, what fine news! I had no idea that the Prime Minister's Literary Awards were about to be announced and no inkling that Two Wolves would be among the nominated books. But it is. In the Children's category alongside some very fine authors and illustrators (see image below).

It is an exceptional piece of news to cap a very good year for the book. I think of the years I spent writing it at home and in cafes and on the beach and in the car and in five-minute writing dashes during school workshops asking myself over and over again, 'What is the story about? How is it me? Why do I understand this story so deeply?' It was unlike anything I had ever written and I really didn't know if it would find an audience but I felt compelled to keep writing through my fear. I was daring myself to write something more reflexive and honest and it seems to have resonated with readers.

An award or nomination doesn't make it any easier to write the next book (I'm three-and-a-half years and four drafts into writing another book working-titled The Fall) but it does give you confidence to keep digging down into your ideas, to embrace the mystery and to know that someone, somewhere might understand what you were trying to say.

[Two Wolves came out in the US last week as On the Run. It's still set in Australia but I had to provide guidance on Caramel Koalas, Ned Kelly and thongs (Americans don't wear them on their feet). Actually, there are no thongs in the book but I use this gag in school talks and it seems to get a laugh. I will put thongs in my next book. And emus.]

Thanks to the extraordinary editorial and marketing team at Penguin Random House, Sophie Hamley and Catherine Drayton for having faith in the book. Good on the Australian government for offering such a valuable and important literary prize to Australian writers. And good luck to all the writers nominated and, please, if you're looking for something to read, take a look at the shortlist.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Fourteenth Summer of Angus Jack by Jen Storer review

Review of Jen Storer's The Fourteenth Summer of Angus Jack (illustrated by Lucinda Gifford) by guest reviewer Ella Sharpe, bookseller at The Younger Sun Children's Bookshop in Melbourne.

Ever since leaving England for Australia, Angus, his sister Martha and their father have moved constantly. Their latest move sees them in a dilapidated old neighbourhood next door to a peculiar old woman with a taste for sugar and a shop full of useless junk (or so Angus thinks). The summer starts off strange with weird smells in the middle of the night, snow globes that freeze you when touched and midnight serenades coming from the odd shop next door. Angus tries to tell himself it’s just loneliness and the weird neighbourhood playing tricks on his mind. But when two goblin girls rob his neighbour’s shop, Angus gets caught up in a battle of the Old Realm and the New World, of goblins and Viking magick, and it turns out he has much a bigger part to play than anyone could have ever imagined.

This book is full of vibrant characters and eerie landscapes. Interspersed with Norse Mythology and witchcraft, this is a perfect book for anyone interested in adventure, magick, Vikings and goblins.

Don’t let the slow beginning of the book put you off, it sets the tone for what is an amazing, magickal adventure!

Reading Age Recommendation – 8 +


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ON THE RUN How it Was Written

One week to go before the US release of my Middle-Grade adventure novel On the Run (Farrar Straus Giroux), released in Australia as Two Wolves (Penguin-Random House Australia).

I've made a short video (1:45) taking you behind the scenes on the writing process of the book. I wrote a lot of it outdoors and this video takes you on to the beaches and into the hinterland of Byron Bay Australia where the book was made.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

WIN Books!

WIN this pile of kids' and teen books by signing up for my monthly Children's Book Email News in the month of November.

My eNews is full of fun things happening in the world of kids' books, upcoming events, writing and reading tips and giveaways! In 2016 there will also be exclusive offers to eNews subscribers. (Your details will never be passed on and it's easy to unsubscribe.)

Everyone who signs up gets an entry in the draw to win this stack of books including Morris Gleitzman's striking Loyal Creatures, Nikki Gemmel's marvellous mystery The Kensington Reptilarium and John Boyne's incredible follow-up to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

You can check out back-issues of my eNews here.

And you can sign up

Love you to share the competition with interested friends on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you have time. The draw happens 30 November and the winner will be emailed as well as being posted on this blog and on the social media accounts above.

Good luck!
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