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?
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 Hedstrom.
I have another picture called Me and You (Penguin Random House) coming out in March. It is a celebration of all the wonderful things kids do with their families and friends. It is currently being illustrated with warmth and humour by Karen Blair whose work I have long adored.
Next July I am releasing a picture book with EK Books. It is about a boy who is different to other kids. It’s a story about being different, about family and about learning to see the world through the eyes of other people. Gwynne Jones, a local artist is currently working on the illustrations and they are looking spectacular!
After publishing – then what? How do you promote your books?
I like to celebrate the release of a new book with a public launch at a local library. Both Lake Macquarie and Newcastle Library networks are very supportive of me and my work. My launches usually have a theme inspired by the book and involve a lot of cake, balloons, prizes, giveaways and fun activities.
When I launched Jam for Nana at Belmont Library, kids spread Jam (made from my Nana’s original recipe) on pancakes (200 of them!) that we started making at 5.oo that morning! For Dinosaur Disco we held a dinosaur disco party at the library with a very special moonwalking guest-T Rex himself! This year I was lucky enough to launch Ruby Wishfingers: Skydancer’s Escape at Newcastle City Library as part of the wonderful Newcastle Writers’ Festival.
Our local independent bookstore, Maclean’s Booksellers, is extremely supportive. They have attended all my launches and I have done a few author events in store for them as well. Another local bookstore, Harry Hartog does a lot to promote local authors too. Last Christmas they organised several story time sessions in which local authors had the opportunity to share their books alongside Mrs Claus!
In addition to bookstore readings, I have a wonderful friend who allows me to do school holiday story time sessions in her shop, Reflections Within at Belmont.
I’ve been lucky enough to take part in all sorts of wonderful events such as the Big Book Day Out in Sydney, and the Lunch with the Stars event organised by our local Newcastle CBCA. I’ve held stalls at markets with other CBCA members, and have taken part in Sydney Writers Festival and Newcastle Writers Festivals as a presenter. I visit schools, libraries and childcare centres regularly to share my books and talk about writing. I also run a hands on Haiku poetry writing workshop for upper primary school aged students, which includes a Japanese morning tea and a slideshow presentation about the two years I spent living and working in Japan. I am a Books in Homes Role Model which requires me to attend end of term assemblies for participating schools, to talk to children about books and reading and hand out books supplied by sponsors. It’s a lot of fun!
My website is http://www.deborahkelly.com.au
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DeborahKellyChildrensAuthor/
Ruby Wishfingers has her very own website filled with free activities and games as well as teachers notes! Check it out at:
Thank you for interviewing me, Debra!
It’s been an absolute pleasure, Deb. We’ll look forward to seeing all those new books hit the shelves!