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...
More

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...
More

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 ...
More

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...
More

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...
More

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...
More

Penny Morrison – Riding the Wave

Penny’s wonderful picture book Captain Sneer the Buccaneer (illustrated by Gabriel Evans and published by Walker Books) was released in September to great fanfare and Penny has been riding the wave of swashbuckling book launches and appearances around the Sydney area since. Penny also has a series of board books for preschoolers (The ‘Hey’ books, recently shortlisted for the CALEB award) and other Christian resources published by Christian Education Publications (CEP) over the last few years. He...
More

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...
More

Diving into Picture Books—Signposts for Authors and Illustrators

Are you an aspiring or emerging children’s book author? Not too sure of what you have to do? How do you write that opening sentence? What is a story board? Do I need one? How do I work with an illustrator? Do I need to find one? What are agents looking for? The answers to these questions, and more, are just ahead. Writing Picture Books Opening sentences are important for every story, every novel—and this includes Picture Books. Find out the various types of sentences you can use for yo...
More

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...
More