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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Robert Vescio – Soaring

Robert’s interest in writing seems to be lifelong, showing up as a school student, but like me, when he had kids he fell in love with children’s books, especially picture books. He’s been writing now for over 5 years and in that time has published several short stories in various anthologies and four picture books , with more on the way. He's totally soaring! He's excited that his latest release, Jack and Mia with Wombat Books has just been placed on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge and he ha...
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Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave Part 3

This is the third and final part of my interview with Penny Morrison, author of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the Hey! series and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book. In this installment Penny reveals the patience needed to be an author as she discusses the circuitous path to publication of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer. See part 1 here and part 2 here. Penny, Captain Sneer, published by Walker Books, was released in September 2016 but I understand all was not clear sailing (pun intended:) ). ...
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Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Penny Morrison, author of Captain Sneer the Buccaneer, the Hey! series and The Mighty Mighty King Christmas Book which is hot off the press! See part 1 here. In this part Penny tells about the struggles this writing life throws up and the things that encourage her to keep going. Penny, how are you linked in with a writing community? My writers’ group runs through the NSW Writers’ Centre, where members can use a room for their group meetin...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 3

This is the third and final installment of my interview with Deborah Kelly. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. This month we look at what now? What's in the pipeline and how does Deb go about promoting her books? What are you working on at the moment, Deb, and do you have anything else on the horizon? I’m currently working on books four and five of the Ruby Wishfingers series (Wombat Books) which will be released next year. All five books are being illustrated by the talented Leigh Hedstro...
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Lessons from a punnet of tomatoes.

One thing I love about the creative industries is that several people can have a similar idea yet express it in totally different ways. This was brought home to me the other evening when attending a talk by CBCA judge, Cathie Tasker. Cathie pointed out that two of the books shortlisted for awards this year were on the same theme, yet they were different in so many ways – Mr Huff and What’s Up MuMu? You can see even from the covers the difference in approach and mood – such a contrast! Wal...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 2

In Part 1 of this interview with Deb Kelly, we found out how she got started on the road to writing books for children. This week we focus more on how the books came to be picked up for publication and the setbacks and encouragements along the way: Deb, can you tell us the path your books have taken to be picked up by publishers? Is it similar/different for each? My name was pulled out of a hat to pitch a story idea to a panel of publishers at the Kids and YA festival one year at the NSWWC...
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Deborah Kelly – Star Ascending Part 1

Deborah Kelly’s publishing career is really taking off! Since the publication of her delightful picture book The Bouncing Ball (Random House) in 2013 Deborah has had 7 books published, across a variety of genres. Deborah’s second picture book, Jam for Nana (Random House, Illustrated by Lisa Stewart) was published in 2014, the same time as my When I See Grandma, yet it took a while for Deborah to appear on my radar. She made a strong impression on me when I reviewed her fabulous picture book Din...
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