The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – part 2

In Part 2 of finding out how intrepid pioneer Jan Latta carved out for herself a publishing niche, Jan talks about some stories behind her adventures and her marketing and promotion strategies. To recap part one, click here. Jan, how do you walk the fine line between fact and fiction in bringing the animals stories to life? How much do you attribute human emotions/motivations to them?  The True to Life Books are called creative non-fiction because the animals ‘talk’ to children in the text...
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A walk through Walker Books

I first heard Linsay Knight at a CBCA conference speaking about poetry, before she became the publisher at Walker Books Australia and New Zealand. Then, earlier this year, I had the good fortune to pitch a manuscript to her at a literary speed dating event where I found her to be engaging and responsive. Recently, I heard her speak about Walker Books at the recent SCBWI Christmas Party. I wasn’t quick enough to secure one of the manuscript assessments that Linsay was giving that day, but I heard...
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The Wildly Intrepid Jan Latta – Part 1

Today’s interview is a break from my usual focus on up-and-coming children’s book creators, to look at someone who has forged her own way into a niche market in children's publishing, and from whom much can be leant. Jan Latta is the only woman in the world who is the author, wildlife photographer and publisher of books on endangered animals. Each of her books is self published and distributed widely in schools and she is a sought after international speaker. On the publication of her 17th b...
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The remarkable Tim Harris

Tim Harris knows how to write funny. His wildly popular Exploding Endings series has been nominated by children and shortlisted for the YABBA awards (book 1). Initially self published, his four Exploding Endings are now published by Harbour Press and his new release mid-grade, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables is published by Penguin Random House. For all this success, Tim’s a nice guy. I’ve run into him in a few places now, and he’s warm, engaging and friendly. He’s got a lot of experiences to draw ...
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Zanni Louise – Walking on Sunshine Part 2

This is part 2 of our interview with Zanni Louise, author of picture books Too Busy Sleeping and Archie and the Bear, plus  four early readers and another picture book coming out next year. In part 1 (here) we found out how her blogging both ignited her desire to write for children and provided the opportunity to be published and in part 2 we look at some of the issues involved in the business of getting published.  Hi again, Zanni! You've had two books published with one publisher (Little H...
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Shelly Unwin – Launched!

Shelly was my very first interviewee on this blog two years ago (see here, here and here) and now here she is – finally – with her series of no less than five books! And they are so gorgeous too!  It’s an absolute delight to welcome Shelly Unwin back to the JWFK blog! Thanks Debra! It’s lovely to be chatting with you again, and at such an exciting time. Shelly, last time on this blog, you had just signed the contract with Allen and Unwin but couldn’t tell us much about the books at all, b...
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The D Word – Diversity at the AAA

Well, the dust has well and truly settled on the The CBCA  Anticipate, Appreciate, Applaud (AAA) shortlist announcement in March this year, and in my mind, the gold has sifted to top to be extracted here in this post. The day started with Freya Blackwood speaking on ‘Escape to the everyday’ and the adventures that can be had in the seemingly ordinary moments of life – a theme many of her books pursue – before receiving the IBBY honour book for illustration award. The morning panelists spoke abou...
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Tonya Alexandra – Magic Happens Part 2

In this second installment of my interview with Tonya Alexandra, she delivers some sage advice and we find out what has encouraged and challenged her in writing for kids. You can catch up on the first installment here Tonya, I understand you have an agent. I hear that they are as hard to get as publishing contracts! Can you tell us how this came about? I needed some help with the contract for my book deal, and one of the authors in our CBCA group told me an agent was really good for your c...
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Robert Vescio -Soaring Part 2

In part 1 of this interview with Robert Vescio we looked at his soaring success in the picture book market in Australia. Today we continue to find out the events and experiences that helped shape him and his writing. Robert, can you tell use how you developed your writing to get it to a publishable state? Did you belong to any critique groups, attend courses and association events, enter competitions? If so, how did/do they help? I’ve always submitted my stories to manuscript assessment ...
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So- how did you go?

At the beginning of last year I posted this matrix of things to do spread throughout the year. I think it’s a good strategy for everyone to review their goals from time to time, and when better than at the beginning of the year? So, how did you go with these goals and what were the results for your efforts? Here’s how I went: Subscribe: I discovered Jen Storer’s vlog Q&Q Fridays – invaluable information delivered her in her warm, fun, quirky way. Just a delight! Join:  I join...
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