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Susanne Gervay’s breakthrough young adult novel, That’s Why I Wrote This Song, combines text, music and film as it explores music and life. It is a collaboration with her daughter Tory, who wrote the lyrics, music and sings her rock songs.
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1. Gorge yourself on authors, illustrators, kids’ books industry ~ SCBWI Conference at The Hughenden

Frane Lessac, in the jaws of a crocodile SCBWIThe buzz is mega with some of Australia and New Zealand’s most loved authors and illustrators as delegates – Sarah Davis, Libby Hathon, Stephen Axelson, Corinne Fenton, Claire Saxby, Mark Greenwood, Dianne Wolfer, Sally Murphy, James Foley, Meredith Costain ….. and more ….

and then there’s Frane Lessac fighting off crocodiles to get from fremantle WA to Sydney!!!!!

Look out for the brilliant creators of  Looking for Alibrandi and Jellico Road;  Diary of a Wombat;Star Girl and Boy Versus Beast

Guess who they are?

Melina Marchetta

Bruce Whatley

Louise Park

Australian Publishers Association party Nov 2013 Sue whitingAnd there’s more – Australia’s best publishers and editors from most publishing houses

And there’s more – US Senior editor from Roaring Brook (Pan MacMillan) USA

And there’s more – some of the best of Australia and New Zealand’s illustrators in the Illustrator Showcase

And there’s more – launches, illustrator’s duel, Christmas Press limited edition prizes; and there more …. and then the SCBWI BAND – dinner party sing along with the fabulous Meredith Costain, James Foley on the guitar with Scott Chambers and Chris Cheng

…….

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2. I LOVE TASMANIA!!!

Tasmania is heaven – landing in Hobart from the crazy mainland to this island paradise. Hills, harbour, blue skiies, vineyards, historic buildings, Salamanca …. and authors and illustrators, author tours to brilliant schools ,,, and I LOVE TASMANIA!!!!

Highlights:-

Sharing the ‘I AM JACK’ series and anti bullying with the wonderful kids of Corpus Christi Catholic School Bellerive Hobart. Thankyou for your warmth and hospitality Erica Halley – school librarian there.

Loved the smart observations of the boys at the historic Hutchins School. Thankyou Kate Reid for organising my talk.

Catching up with great Tasmanian authors and the CBCA Angela Briant and ….more … at Salamanca Arts Centre.

 

 

 

 

Julie Hunt author extraordinaire and Nick Falk best selling author of SAURUS STREET hamming it up at the SCBWI Event in historic Salamanca Arts Centre on Hobart harbour.

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3. Writer Ambassadors endorse Room to Read educating the kids of the developing world

Sarah Davis and Susanne Gervay writer ambassadors for Room to Read at Hughenden 2014 009Champagne, catching up, sharing publishing news, writers, illustrators  …. at The Hughenden Hotel in Sydney.

Why? To spread the news of ROOM TO READ – educating the children of the developing world.

How many kids, has Room to Read helped?  9 million children and growing!

The brilliant Jennie Orchard heads the writer ambassador program for ROOM TO READ – and writer ambassadors came – award winning author Emily McGuire, best selling children’s author Belinda Murrell, Country Saga author Pamela Cook, Sarah Davis award winning ….. Susanne Gervay …. and we were there to discuss how to reach everyone with the message of Room to Read.

 

Come on -

-let’s get kids reading

-let’s especially give girls education

- let’s work with communities to stop illiteracy.

 

 

www.roomtoread.org/australia

 

 

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4. Farewell to the USA – a special hi to Malik & IKE!!!

My last author talks are in Los Angeles and it has been fabulous – great kids, with insightful questions; great teachers and special thankyou to the beautiful welcome by the Principal of Tulita Elementary School Redondo California.

Hi to IKE who has great humour.

Malik who’s a great I AM JACK fan – loved sharing JACK with you at Playa Vista Elementary School, Playa Vista California.

Meanwhile Monkey Baa Theatre is continuing its hugely successful tour of the play I AM JACK across the USA.

Great performances by Tim McGarry!!

I’ll be home in 2 days – what abuzz!  Thankyou to the consultants from my publisher Kane Miller Books for hosting me.

 

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5. Rocking across the USA with anti bullying!

I AM JACK touring USA

I’m going home soon after a whirlwind trip with I AM JACK with thousands of kids and teachers seeing I AM JACK, media and adventures.

Loved that SCBWI authors and illustrators saw the play too. Special hi to Des Moines and of course Suzanne Morgan Williams who flew into las Vegas to see it – and we had fun too. Check out the  BANANAS.

I love Aussie kids, but love American kids too.

They’re so funny at times and gorgeous and real.

Questions and comments by the audiences moved me about being bullied and how Tim McGarry who plays JACK and 11 characters reached them.

Ended up with catching up with my USA publishers of the I Am Jack series – Kane Miller Books

- Love Kira Lynn Publisher and Lynn Kelley the Marketing Manager-  and some of the consultants I met there – Pat Vecio who took me on a wild and woolly ride into Orange County – so made it with heaps of detours and I got to speak to kids from one month old to 15 with parents and grandparents

- and thankyou to Mia for a lunch of taco fish???  New cuisine for me.

Monkey Baa Theatre and Tim McGarry continue their USA tour through snow and sleet – they’ll be home mid March and I’ll be home soon.

San Diego zoo and Kira 032What an amazing trip.

 

 

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6. Monkey Baa Theatre’s I AM JACK Wows USA

I AM JACK with Tim McGarry No8  2008What a trip – the love, engagement, enthusiasm of thousands of US kids for I AM JACK has been extraordinary.

Tim McGarry who plays 11 characters from JACK to wobbly Nanna to 11 year old Anna …. and more makes you believe he’s all of them.

Sam Johnston, stage manager puts the stage together and all those tech parts – fantastic.

It’s a love fest across the USA and a huge anti bullying campaign with heaps of media.

Las Vegas media Jan 2014 004I have been privileged to do the post show Q & A and media with Tim in Las Vegas at the fabulous Smith Center for performing Arts.

 

 

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7. Animal Logic creates magic with Guardians of Ga’hoole and Kathryn Lasky

Guardians of Gahoole Kathryn Lasky

Loved catching up at the Hughenden Hotel, with the brilliant author Kathryn Lasky and her husband Chris Knight who is an amazing photographer. What a team for their award winning non fiction books.

They’re in Sydney on holidays and to see ANIMAL LOGIC –the wonderful Australian animation studio who adapted her books Guardians of Ga’hoole into a beautiful animated film and guess what?

The actors all speak AUSTRALIAN!!!!! Including Deborah-Lee Furness, Abbie Cornish. Joel Edgerton, Sasha Horler, Bill Hunter … and more.

Not a bad thing to remember as Australia Day comes up soon.

What’s the Guardians of Ga’hoole about?

“Legend tells of a band of noble warriors… known as the Guardians of Ga’hoole. Whenever trouble is at hand, seek them out. For they are sworn to protect the innocent, and vanquish evil…”

See it on video if you didn’t see it at the movies.

Kathryn and I connected as our families came from Europe escaping persecution and her family landed in Minnesota and my family landed in Sydney!

http://www.kathrynlasky.comhttp://www.newfilmco.com

http://www.animallogic.com/Studios/Work/Legend-Of-The-Guardians-The-Owls-of-Ga-hoole

 

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8. Australia Day celebrations with George Negus!

Trev the truck george negusGeorge Negus journalist, investigative reporter and you may not know – children’s author chaired this high powered panel of Australians ~ for Australia Day:-

Professor Tim Flannery – champion against climate change

Tim Wilson Australia’s human rights commissioner

Shelley Reys AO Djirribul woman, Australia Day Council

Dr Tim Soutphommasane Australia’s Discrimination Commissioner

Ronnie Kahn – established OZ HARVEST taking surplus restaurant food to the homeless

Tim Flannery climate change Australia Day Council NSW panelWhere? At the Art Gallery of NSW in the Domain. @AusDayNSW

Best part of Australia Day is recognising and engaging with Australians who live their lives making a difference.

 

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9. Love, love, love the community of kids’ books!!!

Susanne Gervay's I AM JACK in Las VegasIt’s the start of 2014 & it’s drop in time before the crazy life of writing tours, events, festivals , school visits, media …. start seriously.

Where’s the drop in centre? You guessed it -The Hughenden.

I loved catching up with:-

-the award winning Albany (WA) Dianne Wolfer whose Lighthouse Girl (Fremantle Press) is a best seller!

- Monica Lizama the Chilean-Australian writer who dresses up as her character PAWS!

- Jennie Orchard with Margaret Wilcox from Room to Read who are developing the Writer Ambassador programme to raise awareness of the need to educate the kids of Asaa and Africa. SCBWI is on board with lots of our authors taking on the role of ambassadors.

- Libby Hathorn dropping in with her poetry books and she’s got a new book coming out with HarperCollins on ANZACS.

- Chris Cheng with Bini getting ready to head off to New York for the SCBWI Conference and then Bologna Book Fair  …. and other favourite creators!

Nearly ready to hit Las Vegas for the I AM JACK season at the Smith Center of performing Arts!

I’m staying at the EXCALIBUR HOTEL, so getting into princess gear … their could be some princes there. or toads!

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10. Love, love, love the community of kids’ books!!!

Susanne Gervay's I AM JACK in Las VegasIt’s the start of 2014 & it’s drop in time before the crazy life of writing tours, events, festivals , school visits, media …. start seriously.

Where’s the drop in centre? You guessed it -The Hughenden.

I loved catching up with:-

Dianne Wolfer and Jennie Orchards at The Hughenden 001-the award winning Albany (WA) Dianne Wolfer whose Lighthouse Girl & Lighthouse Boy (Fremantle Press) are best sellers!

- Monica Lizama the Chilean-Australian writer who dresses up as her character PAWS!

- Jennie Orchard with Margaret Wilcox from Room to Read who are developing the Writer Ambassador programme to raise awareness of the need to educate the kids of Asaa and Africa. SCBWI is on board with lots of our authors taking on the role of ambassadors.

- Libby Hathorn dropping in with her poetry books and she’s got a new book coming out with HarperCollins on ANZACS.

- Chris Cheng with Bini getting ready to head off to New York for the SCBWI Conference and then Bologna Book Fair  …. and other favourite creators!

And I’m getting my spangles ready to hit Las Vegas for the I AM JACK season at the Smith Center of performing Arts!\

I’m staying at the EXCALIBUR HOTEL, so getting into princess gear … their could be some princes there. or toads!

 

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11. From Las Vegas to Pooped!

Exhausted puppyIs this the way to start the New Year?

My VIP list:-

-  get organised for the LAS VEGAS trip where I AM JACK is being performed!

(LOVE Monkey Baa Theatre  www.monkeybaa.com.au)

- finalise the author tour on the West Coast USA.

- seriously organised the SCBWI International Conference 13-16th July at The Hughenden!

- work out the SCBWI website www.australiaeastnz.scbwi.org

-  edit my BEING JACK – where Jack goes from victim to victor to someone who stands beside his mate & family – I LOVE Jack because he’s like all the boys we know – the funny, real, good bits.

And it’s late ….. I’m pooped … and going to join this puppy.

 

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12. Flying into the Melbourne Festive Season with elepahnts & books!

Elephants Have Wings flying elephant image 001Landing in Melbourne, I zoomed into launching the scary, creepy, cult driven  ’The Beckoning’ published by no-less a press than DAMNATION Press  and the science fiction last book of the Paul Collins’ Maximus Black series.

Packed with authors & illustrators and good cheer.

There such a beautiful speech by her son in law Dave and the video clip by her beautiful daughter Kim. And so much great food at the RACV too.

Susanne Gervay, Hazel Edwards, Kim and trevelyn Edwards at OAM eventMeredith Costain with lemon tartsMeredith Costain, Marjory Garnder and Corinne Fenton

Got to hang out with the cool kids at the local pool den in Clifton Hills with the Ford Street Publishing team – special hi to Gemma!!!!!

Also got to see Anna Pignataro’s original artwork for our new picture book to be published by Ford Street

- Elephants Have Wings

We had an editorial meeting with Paul Collins and Meredith Costain and …. it’s sooooo beautiful. Anna Pignataro’s art is amazing! The STAR of course is the huge white strong elephants with wings~~~~~~~ sneak preview

 

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13. Rudolph the Red Nosed Musical – A SCBWI Australia East & New Zealand extravaganza!

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14. Writers Go Crazy in November as XMAS starts %@#

Funny dog asking writer a question imageHow do you feeling about our crazy life?

Ask the PUG!!!!!!

Can any more events, parties, book fairs, get togethers …. be squished into the 4 weeks before December’s Christmas!!!!!!

It’s on … we’re heading for the turkey and an almighty crash!

Diary of November 2013:-

-  Celebrations of Hazel Edwards receiving an Order of Australia – YEAH!

- MC for SCBWI’s INSIDE STORY with our loved authors & illustrators at The Children’s Book Beecroft telling the inside story of creating their books including Deborah Abela, Tony Flowers, Yvette Poshoglian, Jan Latta, Christopher Cheng and more.

- Lunch with assistant editor of School Magazine - LOVE Sue Murray - a talented playwright as well as editor

-  Sharon Rundle editor and friend and I went off to the launch of  ’A Country Too Far’  at Glee Books- caught up with professor Elizabeth Webby and Tom Keneally, Rosie Scott and others.

-  brilliant theatre at the opening at The Ensemble of ‘Rapture Blister Burn’

- catching up with my favourite actor Tim McGarry to talk about the I AM JACK USA tour for 2014

- Society of Women Writers’ at the State Library – lunch and collect a prize for ‘Ships in the Field’ – lovely

- Christmas celebrations at the CBCA lunch Northern Branch – catching up with children’s laureate Alison Lester and fabulous illustrator Sarah Davis

-Unleased Writers Festival in Sydney – loved speaking about the journey of writing with the audience

- post Unleashed Festival shared the book industry over dinner with publisher Paul Collins and author James Roy

- I’m the prize on e-bay for the UNLEASHED FESTIVAL!  Talented author Mo Johnson won me – well a mini mentorship!

- Caught up with Sue Meyer at the Francis Keevil Gallery to se Sue’s beautiful art

Elistein insanity photo- lunching with the fabulous authors Meredith Costain & Louise Park for Christmas cheer

- dinner with my wonderful publisher Lisa Berryman from HarperCollins to share news and my new book JACK 4 – yet untitled!

- coffee with Jesse Blackadder – love her last book STAY the last dog in Antartica -at The Hughenden  who’s down in Sydney for a minute meeting her publishers

- my darling friend Kim’s 40th birthday

- the Australian Publisher Association party – sooo good and caught up with the HarperCollins team there.

- speaking at my old school Daceyville’s Creative Writing Festival – aaahhhhh – memories

- Books in Homes committee meeting selecting books for indigenous & disadvantaged kids – great charity

- launching Margaret Roc’s ‘Jellybean Goes to School’ at the Lindfield Learning Hub – lots of jellybeans and love Margaret

- the SCBWI BOOK FAIR at The Hughenden with some of our best ever authors like Sopgie Masson. kate Forsyth, Belinda Murrell, Deborah Abela and the lsit goes on.

- at the BOOK FAIR supporting ROOM TO READ www.roomtoread.org – loved seeing Jennie Orchard, Wendy Rapee, Cathy and Margaret and the Room to Read team.

- MC for Susan Wyndham’s talk on her book she edited and contributed to   ’My Mother. my Father’ (Allen & Unwin) with authors Margaret Rice and Gerard Windsor – such great wrietrs  at The Hughenden. Buy the book for Christmas.

Phew – that’s November!

 

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15. The start of the festive season with Children’s laureate Alison Lester!

Sarah Davis award winning illustrator with keynote at CBCA Christmas dinnerAlison Lester Children's Laurete Australia with author Laurine Croasdale Alison Lester Children’s Laureate and Sarah Davies award winning illustrator and friend were the keynotes at the Children’s Book Council Christmas dinner. Heaps of authors and illustrators celebrated with the community of book lovers.

Society of Women Writers (SWW)  in the Mitchell Library – with its heritage sandstone columns and magnificent rooms – addressed by Professor Yerbury – introduced by historian and author Maria Hill, who’s the President of the Society of Women Writers.

Wonderful event.

Unleased Festival with festival convenor Jodie Wells Slowgrove – who organised a weekend festival of authors and publishers. it was a buzz!  Linda Jaivin gave insight into her travels and life in  China – she was so entertaining. Read her books!

Tim ferguson comedian author who manages his MS with style and humour.  Publishers including Paul Collins Ford Street Publishing, Zoe Walton RandomHouse, Heather Curdie Penguin.

But BEST fun was being won by Maureen Johnson (author of Boofheads and many other books)  to give her a mini mentorship. Love doing it and watch out for her new series!

authors Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Tracey Hawkins, Libby Gleeson and brian Cook

 

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16. Kids’ Authors & Illustrators Reaching Everywhere!

Insanely creative and hectic October zooms into November as we torpedo into December and these are a few of the things everyone’s celebrating:-

FUN & FABULOUS – INSIDE STORY – writers & illustrators across the world give the INSIDE STORY of creating their books to thousands in bookshops from Sydney to New York!

From Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver in the USA to our own stars. Tony Flowers’ illustrates the BEST dragons!

In Australia Black Cat Book Café Paddington in Brisbane; The Little Bookroom in Melbourne, and The Children’s Bookshop Beecroft in Sydney splashed illustrations and dragons and story through the community. yeah to books!

Celebrations for our Hazel Edwards famous author of There’s a Hippopotamus Easting Cake on the Roof, Antartic explorer stuck in ice writing those stories of icebergs and adventurers, defending authors rights and so much more  - received her ORDER OF AUSTRALIA to huge cheers from the Australian writing community.

Engrossed in the brilliant theatrical performances of the outstanding play ‘Rapture. Blister, Burn’ by Gina Gionfriddo cut into the heart of relationships at the Ensemble Theatre – one of the world’s most picturesque theatre nestled into the harbour overlooking sailing boats and bushland in Kirribilli.

SCBWI Room to Read’s writer ambassadors celebrating books for kids across Asia and Africa where they build a library every 4 hours!

As writer ambassadors, Deborah Abela and I were at Berkelouw’s Paddington – but there were SCBWI authors everywhere like Kate Forsyth, Belinda Murrell, Oliver Phommavanh, Sarah Davis – illustrator extraordinaire at Berkelouw bookshops through Sydney … and more.

Deb abela and Susanne Gervay at Room to readDeb and I dressed up as a sheep and pig - we got HOT heads and a few PATS!

 

 

 

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17. Thomas Keneally, Rosie Scott, Debra Adelaide, Elliot Pearlman ~ launches ‘A Country Too Far’

Inner city Sydney bookshop, Glebe Books was packed at the launch of   ‘A Country Too Far’  (Penguin) – a collection of  writings on asylum seekers by some of Australia’s most renowned authors – edited by Tom Keneally and Rosie Scott.

I sat between Professor Elizabeth Webby, who is at the heart of Australian literature, and Sharon Rundle editor of the anthology ‘Alien Shores’ published by Brass Monkey. I had the privilege of contributing a story to ‘Alien Shores’  which also welcomes discussion and debate.

Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally were moving as they spoke about A COUNTRY TOO FAR:-

Elliot Pearlman writes: -’It took me almost six years  to research and write… The Street Sweeper’, a novel that deals with … racism.’

‘Tom Keneally writes: One hundred and seventy thousand displaced persons came to Australia between 1947 and 1952, bearing their United Nations Displaced Persons/Refuge identity cards.’

Geraldine Brooks writes: ‘I am pretty sure that for  much of his life my father was an illegal immigrant.’

Bella Vendramini.writes: ‘I was seventeen years old when I got locked up in a Spanish jail.’

It’ll make you think, cry, hope, feel in this powerful and moving anthology which opens debate about escape Tom Keneally editor of 'A Country too far' published by Penguinfrom terror to find a safe place.

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18. Inside Story to School Magazine ~How Cool R Kids writers & Illustrators?

Cool, cool, cool – they danced, joked, wore fluffy hats, made the audiences laugh and cry and go … awwww …

SCBWI authors & illustrators were fantastic wowing the crowds at Black Cat Book Café Brisbane; The Little Bookroom Melbourne; and The Children’s Bookshop Beecroft in Sydney.

It’s INSIDE STORY and on the 1st weekend of every November from now on!

The School Magazine NSW is cool, cool, cool too – caught with the creative team in Sydney -bringing the best stories, fiction and non fiction and art to the kids of Australia since 1916!

Loved dropping in on Alan Edwards the editor, Sue Murray the deputy editor who’s also a writer and playwrite and the team.

 

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19. Celebrate ~ Room to Read’s Booktober with Berkelouw Books all across Sydney

Room to Read -  giving children in developing countries in Asia and Africa have access to schools, libraries, books and literacy instruction.

Booktober celebrations in Sydney with Berkelouw events and booksignings with writer ambassadors for Room to Read – watch out for Deb Abela and me  10am-12.30 am  Saturday 26th October at B erkelouw’s bookshop Paddington.  During ‘Booktober’, it would be great if could ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ Room to Read and spread the word:-

“Like” Room to Read Australia on Facebook / http://www.facebook.com/roomtoreadaustralia

 Berkelouw Booktober  – Writer Ambassadors’ e vent Schedule

Saturday October 26, 10.30am to 12pm at various Sydney locations. Authors will speak at 11am. 

Deborah Abela and Susanne Gervay at Berkelouw Paddington
19 Oxford Street, Paddington (9360 3200)

Pamela Cook at Berkelouw Cronulla

29 Cronulla Street, Cronulla (9544 4790)

Sarah Davis at Berkelouw Leichhardt
70 Norton Street, Leichhardt (9560 3200)

Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell at Berkelouw Balgowlah
24/215 Condamine St, Balgowlah  (9948 1133)

James Knight at Berkelouw Rose Bay
708 New South Head Rd, Rose Bay (9371 5500)

John Larkin at Berkelouw Dee Why

3/11 Howard Avenue, Dee Why (9982 3568)

Oliver Phommavanh at Berkelouw Mona Vale

12/14 Park Street, Mona Vale  (9979 2112)

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators SCBWI Australia and new Zealand endorses Room to Read
Gracie and Josh at National Bookshop SayRobert Berkelouw and Jennie Orchard
www.berkelouw.com.au 

 

 

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20. Science Fiction author Paul Collins gets Scary!

You are a successful YA Science fiction author. What inspired you to change from YA to adult literature with The Beckoning?

A) Actually, it’s the other way around. I wrote The Beckoning over 30 years ago when I was writing for adults. I was having great success with selling short stories, but my novels were slow to take off. I sold a collection called The Government in Exile plus a YA crossover called Cyberskin, but that’s about it. I then wrote two novellas and sold them to Parteach. They promptly went broke and disappeared (don’t blame me – they hadn’t published my books!) so I figured perhaps I should be writing for a younger audience. The Wizards’ Torment sold to HarperCollins and The Earthborn sold to TOR in the US. So away I went.

Your YA trilogy, The Maximus Black Files http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S-eKDYqpEs has received great acclaim as edgy, powerful, violent. The brilliant hero, Maximus, a master of disguise and technology on the quest to uncover the weapon caches of the Old Empire, has a strong fan base.   Fans are waiting for The Only Game in the Galaxy, the third book in this science fiction trilogy.  Do you believe these fans will read your new entry into adult fiction with The Beckoning?

 

A)   I  somehow doubt you’ll find The Beckoning in schools, so if any young adults do want it, they’ll have to go to the effort of finding it on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/ny6urwy. Of course, young adults become adults, so if they really like my books for younger readers, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t seek out anything I’ve written for adults. Most writers of books for kids don’t venture into the adult market, so in this case I’m somewhat a rarity.

What is the difference between your YA science fiction trilogy and an adult horror story?

A) The genres are completely different, of course. One is contemporary, the other science fiction. My style has changed considerably since I wrote The Beckoning. Oddly enough, I think the adult book is an easier read than the young adult trilogy. Simply in terms of technology. The Maximus Black Files http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FDJXF0K is bursting with it, although I think in a self-explanatory way. In other words, you don’t need to be a geek to understand what’s going on. The trick when writing SF if you’re not a geek is to make it seem like it’s reality – in other words, suspend disbelief.

Are you tempted to move now totally into adult writing? If so why? If not, why?

A) To be honest, I’ve moved somewhere away from writing in recent years to concentrate on Ford Street Publishing www.fordstreetpublishing.com and Creative Net www.fordstreetpublishing.com/cnet. Having said that, I’ve just sold a six book series called Lucy Lee to Macmillan http://www.macmillan.com.au/primary31/site/libraries/Search+results?open&template=domPrimary&query=Paul%20Collins. Add another two chapter books and it’s been a busy year. So for now I’ll be taking a break from writing. Mind you, I do have another six book series out with a publisher right now, so I might be breaking my word on that if it gets accepted!

You are a recognised, award winning Science Fiction writer. What attracts you to Science Fiction?

A) I fell into science fiction quite by accident. I was working at the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane in the early 70s and a fellow waiter suggested I publish a science fiction magazine because there wasn’t one in the country. I only vaguely knew the name Asimov, so I enlisted the help of many well known SF writers of the day. These included A Bertram Chandler, David Lake, Jack Wodhams, Frank Bryning, Wynne Whiteford and others. Somehow I bluffed my way along. Then I published Australia’s first heroic/epic fantasy novels along with a series of science fiction books. The fun thing about SF is that you can predict things and have fun doing it. And let’s face it, most of today’s tech was written about by SF writers long before it became reality. Who knows, some of the tech I used in The Maximus Black Files might one day become commonplace.

Your books are known for high-level excitement and action in The Maximus Black trilogy. Is this the same driver as in The Beckoning? 

A) People who read my books do so because my writing is plot and action-driven. Characters I think find their own way. As a reader I get bored quickly is nothing happens in a book. Give me an action-packed book for relaxation any day. The last adult book I remember reading was Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda. I don’t think I finished it. It might’ve won a truckload of awards and garnered more critical praise than all of my books put together, but I don’t think a book is well-written if people don’t finish it. And I know a lot of people who couldn’t wade through the mire. Not as much action happens in The Beckoning, simply because it’s not that type of book, but for those who love horror, I’m sure they’ll enjoy the ride.

Where is your Science Fiction going?

A) Nowhere right now LOL. I’ve moved back into fantasy, if anything. The six book series I mentioned is a fantasy called Broken Magic. I also have a Jelindel novella waiting for a second draft, if I get some time to work on it. I have no immediate plans to write SF, not unless I get commissioned to write something.

 How would you describe the main characters of the trilogy versus The Beckoning?

A) As you can imagine the characters in a science fiction book can be shall we say superheroes, simply because they’re augmented with all sorts of tech wizardry. They scale walls, jump higher (Anneke was born on a high grav planet), are hyper knowledgeable due to being wired into mainframes, super-fast due to enhancements. Nothing is impossible so long as the writer suspends disbelief and shows how it’s all just every-day simple. With a contemporary novel such as The Beckoning, about the only suspension of disbelief is that the dead can rise and can be beckoned from another dimension. For those who believe in psychic phenomena, there’s not much in The Beckoning to disbelieve. So we’re talking everyday mortals who can die from stabs wounds, gunshot, and no augmentation is going to save them. Writing a contemporary book is way more limiting than writing within the realms of science fiction and fantasy.

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21. SCBWI’s INSIDE STORY – authors, illustrators, bookshops & readers CELEBRATE on 2 Nov, 2013

COME & JOIN  SCBWI AUTHORS & ILLUSTRATORS

SATURDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2013

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators SCBWI  in conjunction with specialist bookshops launch across the world

INSIDE STORY

Where acclaimed children’s authors and illustrators give insights into the inside story and support books & bookshops.

A FUN, FREE, FANTASTIC EVENT CELEBRATING BOOKS!

Authors & illustrators include Katherine Battersby & her famous BRAVE SQUISH RABBIT; Yvette Poshoglian & her adorable ELLA and OLIVIA; Tony Flowers & his cool dinosaurs of SAURUS STREET; Meredith Costain’s gorgeous MY FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL; Sherryl Clark & her moving RUNAWAYS, Sarah Davis’ TOUCAN – very, very, very brightly coloured – and so many more outstanding authors & illustrators… from Sarah Davis, Alexa Moses, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Kate Forsyth …. a festival of authors & illustrators!

When:  Saturday 2nd November 2013

10 am -  at BLACK CAT BOOKS, Brisbane

179 Latrobe Paddington Qld 4064 Phone : (07) 3367 8777 : info@blackcatbooks.com.au

 at LITTLE BOOK ROOM, Melbourne

759 Nicholson St Carlton North Vic (03)9387 9837; books@littlebookroom.com.au

2 pm – THE CHILDREN’S BOOKSHOP, Sydney

6 Hannah St, Beecroft, ph(02)9481 881; staff@thechildrensbookshop.com.au

Inside Story postcard 2SCBWI event Nov 2013 flyer v4

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22. AUSTRALIAN AUTHORS, BERKELOUW BOOKS SUPPORT ROOM TO READ & KIDS’ LITERACY

Come on and join us – in a celebration of books, authors, kids at Berkelouw Bookshops

10.30-noon on Sat 26th October

Room to Read is supported by many of Australia’s top writers for children and young adults. On this occasion

Susanne Gervay and Deborah Abela will be at Paddington;

Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell at Balgowlah;

Sarah Davis at Leichhardt;

Oliver Phommavanh at Mona Vale;

John Larkin at Dee Why

James Knight at Rose Bay

Pamela Cook will be at Cronulla with her hugely successful romance novel, Blackwattle Lake.

Oliver with Thai-terrificALL KIDSJapanese Inetrnational School Hong Kong March 09

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23. SWOFTY’s Susan Sarandon, Christie Brinkley, Sheryl Crow – Jayne & me – living life!

What’s a SWOFTY?  Susan Saradon, Christie Brinkley, Sheryl Crow are that and more -

SINGLE WOMEN OVER FIFTY – living life just like travel writer Jayne Zakheim who follows adventure and art and writing across the world..

www.havefunflysafe.com

We caught up in Sydney and checked out Bondi, graffiti art, the harbour,  Centennial Parklands and The Hughenden Hotel – had a ball and she fell in love with SYDNEY. I’m already in love with SYDNEY.

Check out her travel blog.

Jayne Zakheim travel journo to Sydney 011

 

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24. LUV Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service – saving lives in the fires

Westpact Recue helicopter 003For 40 years the Westpac helicopters have been rescuing people from the bikie gang war in Milperra,  Sydney to Hobart yacht race to the fires now!

I was proud to celebrate them tonight at the Hordern Pavilion.

Gail Kelly CEO Westpac Group spoke compellingly and so did the head of the service.

Moved by the family of fisherman with 2 young boys whose boat went down and who were saved by the Westpac helicopter. YEAH!

We rocked to Daryl Braithwaite and had a brilliant night of giving and thanking them.

Westpact Recue helicopter 022

 

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25. INSIDE STORY: Authors & Illustrators, bookshops across the World

Inside Story postcard 2Across the world on the 1st weekend in November, SCBWI kids’ authors & illustrators and specialist bookshops are giving the INSIDE STORY of our books.

When?  2nd November

Time: 2 p.m. at  Black Cat Bookshop Paddington(Sydney);

3 p.m. The Little Book Room Melbourne;

10 am Black Cat Bookshop Paddington (Brisbane).

The celebrity authors & illustrators are performing, signing, enjoying fun, food and company.

There’s champagne at the Children’s Bookshop Beecroft too.

Come along and see Sarah Davis, Serena Geddes, Pamel Rushby, Krista Bell, Hazel Edwards ….. heaps of authors & illustrators.

I’ll be the MC in Sydney

Angela Sunde is the MC  in Brisbane

Corinne Fenton is the MC in Melbourne.

Love to see you there.

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