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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Zanni Louise – Walking on Sunshine

Zanni Louise is author of picture books Too Busy Sleeping and Archie and the Bear published by Little Hare. She also has a deal for four early readers with publisher Five Mile Press and another picture book with Scholastic coming out next year. I've run into Zanni in cyberspace groups, shared in her enthusiasm for the release of her new book and listened rapt to her interview with Allison Tait on the Australian Writers Centre So You Want To Be a Writer podcast. She is a very generous member of ...
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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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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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Tonya Alexandra – magic happens!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing YA author Tonya Alexandra. Tonya is a very generous committee member of my CBCA subranch, where I have the privilege of catching up with her from time to time. The Incredible Story of Olive In Love is the first of a YA series picked up by Harlequin Publishers. The book launch for Olive In Love was at a brewery - a far cry from the kid's book shop or library story-time sessions for picture book launches! What a hoot! Tonya doesn't like talking about herse...
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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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