Tell us about your latest creation:
The Cracks in the Kingdom is the second book in ‘the Colours of Madeleine’ trilogy. The Royal Family of the Kingdom of Cello are trapped in our world. Madeleine, who lives in Cambridge, England has been exchanging letters with Elliot who comes from a farming town in the Kingdom of Cello, through a crack in a parking meter. Now Madeleine and Elliot must work together to locate the Royal Family, figure out how to open up the crack, and bring the Royals home.
Where are you from / where do you call home?:
I grew up in the north-west of Sydney, spent a few years living in the US, the UK and Canada, and now I’m back in Sydney. I live close to the harbour and beaches. I like being near water. When I lived in Montreal, I kept looking for the coast.
I wanted to be an author from when I was about six. I also wanted to be an astronomer, an astronaut, a flight attendant, a teacher, a psychologist, and a movie star.
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:
I always have trouble with this question. I think it’s a bit like being asked to choose your favourite child. And what if I chose one, and then one of the other books happened to see my answer here? How hurt would he/she be? I’d have to pay for therapy for him/her for years.
I like all my books for different reasons eg Feeling Sorry for Celia, for being my first book and having a lot of me in it; Finding Cassie Crazy (or The Year of Secret Assignments) because I love the characters; Bindy Mackenzie, because I feel protective of Bindy because everybody hates her, and so on. I’m proud of A Corner of White and The Cracks in the Kingdom because I spent years imagining the Kingdom of Cello, months researching colours, science, and music, and they are closest to what I want to write.
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:
Most mornings I work at one of the outside tables of a local cafe. So my writing environment is noisy, sunny (or rainy, cloudy, stormy etc) and cluttered (there is nowhere to put my tea because the table is always covered in notes, textas and pens). In the afternoon I work at my desk in my study. It’s always important to me to clear the desk completely and tidy up the room before I begin writing. That’s probably just procrastination.
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:
I read a lot of children’s and YA books. Some of my favourites are Diana Wynne Jones, Louis Sachar, Libba Bray, Frank Cottrell Boyce, David Levithan, Rachel Cohn, E.L. Konigsburg. Some of my favourite writers for adults include Lorrie Moore, Lisa Moore, Virginia Woolf, P.G. Wodehouse, Emily Dickinson, John Donne, Carol Shields, Alice Munro, Barbara Kingsolver, Karen Joy Fowler.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:
In primary school, the defining books were E. Nesbit’s The Phoenix and the Carpet, Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger and James and the Giant Peach, Madeleine L’Engle’s, A Wrinkle in Time, Enid Blyton’s, The Folk of the Faraway Tree. I could go on for a long time.
In high school, it was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Virigina Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?:
I always imagine I am Elizabeth Bennett, but I think a lot of people imagine that about themselves. I grew up identifying with Clover, the second sister in What Katy Did. Like me, she was a second sister with a charismatic older sister she adored, and she was quiet but sometimes funny. And I was very taken with her name.
Also Eva Ibbotson wrote some great historical romances with heroines who were quite ordinary-looking but whose faces scrunched up when they smiled, and who therefore caught the attention of the sexy male hero. I’m pretty sure my ordinary face scrunches up when I smile.
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:
I have a seven-year-old son named Charlie so mostly I spend my spare time trying to get him to do his homework, or trying to get him to stop throwing balls around the apartment. (‘There’s quite a lot of thudding up there,’ the man who lives downstairs said to me the other day.) I’m also addicted to baking cakes (especially anything with ginger and cinnamon), and I am learning the cello, and, if there was a frozen lake anywhere, I would like to skate on it.
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:
Favourite foods include chocolate, blueberries and fine-quality peach; favourite drink, champagne or hot chocolate.
Who is your hero? Why?:
My hero is my mother because she raised six children, took care of over 50 foster children, and made every single child feel special. She seems like a gentle, quiet person but actually has a wide streak of stubborn strength and a wicked sense of humour. My dad is also very impressive to me because he built up a big successful surveying business out of nothing, learned how to fly planes and helicopters, and he can fix things.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:
The fragmentation of the concentration span. Nobody wants to read more than two or three lines any more.Add a Comment
Pierre Zenzius studied animation production at Gobelins.Add a Comment
The Believer is one of the magazines in McSweeney’s indie publishing empire. Published nine times a year, it focuses primarily on books, but occasionally devotes an issue to another topic. This year, the March/April film issue includes a DVD of shorts by John and Faith Hubley, in tribute to John Hubley’s centennial, which happens on May 24th. The disc covers seventeen years of the Hubley’s work together, almost their entire career as a couple. John Hubley died in 1977, and Faith in 2001, and in lieu of any essential DVD releases of their work, this DVD serves as a fantastic introduction to their work. The Hubley’s Oscar-winning short Moonbird (1959) has lately been available as a scratchy public domain print on cheap truck-stop DVD collections of random cartoons. It’s an entirely different experience to see this recently restored print, preserved by the Academy Film Archive. Other restored prints are Tender Game, The Hole and Adventures of an * (1957). And the music scores for these films, from Benny Carter and Lionel Hampton, to Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and the Oscar Peterson Trio, comprise a who’s who of jazz in the late 1950s. Moonbird and Cockaboody (1973) feature improvised dialogue by the Hubley children, providing an extra free-form quality that is jazz-like in its own way. There are seven shorts in all on the DVD, including the rare mockumentary Date with Dizzy, as well as Cartoon Modern-era TV commercials directed by Hubley and home movie footage. Plus, the accopanying print magazine includes storyboard panels from the Hubleys’ feature-length documentary Of Stars and Men (1964). The DVD was supervised by the Hubley family and Jacob Perlin of Artists Public Domain/Cinema Conservancy. For a full list of the DVDs contents, visit The Believer website. If you’re new to the Hubleys, there are plenty of articles and comments on the web, but I would recommend the late Michael Sporn’s post on Moonbird as a good place to start. The Believer may be ordered from its website if your local bookstore doesn’t carry it. /wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hole-believer-580×388.jpg” alt=”" title=”hole-believer” width=”580″ height=”388″ class=”alignnone size-large wp-image-97204″ />Add a Comment
This past weekend, Heinemann sponsored a Commenting Challenge for everyone participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge.Add a Comment
As soon as spring is in the air Mr. Krippendorf and I begin an antiphonal chorus, like two frogs in neighboring ponds: What have you in bloom, I ask, and he answers from Ohio that there are hellebores in the woods, and crocuses and snowdrops and winter aconite. Then I tell him that in North Carolina the early daffodils are out but that the aconites are gone and the crocuses past their best..”
—Elizabeth Lawrence, The Little Bulbs
The photo is not of my garden; this lovely sight of a neighbor’s front yard left me breathless last April. I haven’t been down that street lately to see what may be in bloom, but the daisies and poppies are coming up in other yards around town. My own poppies are all leaf, not quite ready to set buds yet. But soon. And some of these small daisies have popped up quite unexpectedly in a large planter by my front steps, along with some adorable johnny-jumpups. Either they jumped up indeed, right into the pot, or it’s possible Rilla planted some seeds…she’s always finding an old half-full packet in a drawer somewhere (why do I only ever plant half the seeds in a packet?) and taking it upon herself to do a bit of Mary Lennoxing. Today it was freesia seeds, inherited from a friend, and some sweet peas and sweet william. I grow freesia from bulbs, not seed, so I’m eager to see if these come up. It’s turning wonderland out there, already…the lavender has gone supersized this year, the bees are quite drunk.
It’s the season when I have no choice, I must read gardening books. The Little Bulbs is mandatory at this time of year, when the freesia are tumbling everywhere. I could live on the scent of freesia. This bit to Miss Lawrence from her horticultural pen-pal, Mr. Krippendorf, one February day, made me laugh:
“I was surprised to hear of the paucity of bloom in your garden, as I once read a book by an Elizabeth Lawrence who listed quantities of plants that bloomed in February or even January in her garden (which she alleged was in Raleigh, North Carolina). We have quite a few snowdrops now, and some eranthis, in spite of the fact that the pool on the terrace freezes every night.” And later: “I have your letter dated Fourth Sunday in Lent but not mailed until Tuesday. You say you might as well have lived in Ohio this winter—that sounds almost scornful. Yesterday was a wonderful day, not too warm, and sunshine off and on. I have tens of thousands of winter aconites in the woods—bold groups repeating themselves into the distance, also the spring snowflakes, and Adonis amurensis.”
All this sudden color is the result of the few days of rain we had the other week, after a crispy, crackling, waterless winter. And I know so many of you in other parts of the U.S. have had a really dreadful time of it these past few months. I wouldn’t dare to ask Miss Lawrence’s question, above, but I’m starting to see hints on Facebook and Twitter of a crocus here, a narcissus there, and Mr. Krippendorf’s tens of thousands of winter aconites gave me courage.
Henry Hikes to Fitchburg (ahhh, deep delight)
Grace for President
Here Comes Destructosaurus (coming out soon, quite funny, wonderful Jeremy Tankard art)
Finished Where Angels Fear to Tread. Forster is tearing me up, lately. I had to read Howards End because of the Susan Hill book, and it wrung me inside out, and Angels hung me out to dry. In a good way, you understand.Add a Comment
Once in a while experimentation with styles is good for my soul.
The Leipzig Book Fair starts tomorrow, and runs through the 16th; they'll also announce the winners of the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse, the big German spring book prize (the German Book Prize is the big(ger) fall prize).
They let readers vote for their favorite in the fiction category (Am Ende schmeissen wir mit Gold by Fabian Hischmann easily won) -- and I'm kind of disappointed that they used the word 'voting' for this process; there is a perfectly good German word for that .....
Meanwhile, today Pankaj Mishra -- who has been on some kind of prize-roll (he just won the big-money Windham Campbell Prize) -- gets the Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung ('Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding') -- but in Die Welt Necla Kelek denounces the choice, arguing Mishra is 'anti-European' (and not much one for understanding ...). It'll be interesting to see what he says in his acceptance speech.
(Also always good to see: that even a small weekly like the Falter offers a jam-packed book review section in the Leipzig-week issue.)
The Westport Writers' Workshop is offering an eight-session program on Early and Middle Grade Fiction. It meets on Friday mornings and is limited to 7 students.
This organization has a whole series of spring programs coming up.
It’s a well known fact that a child in possession of a well-loved book is unlikely to set down this well-loved book. Case in point:
Yes, both Turkeybird and Littlebug are smitten with books. To the point they simply will not put them down at any time, even while walking. This, makes me one very happy mom.
Also, tomorrow is T-Bird’s big 7th birthday! If you get a chance I know he’d love to read all your birthday wish comments! (Like I said, he loves reading…especially when it’s about him. Haha!)
Original article: Walking And Reading
©2014 There's A Book. All Rights Reserved.Add a Comment
|Paolo Baratta & Rem Koolhaas - Photo: La Biennale|
|In 1914 -Photo: courtesy La Biennale|
|In 2014 -Photo: courtesy La Biennale|
Stair - Models at the Friedrich Mielke Institute of Scalology
|Corderie Map - Arsenale|
Via I learn that the Library and Information Association of South Africa has selected the Top 20 South African Books, 1994-2014 (from 253 titles nominated by librarians).
An interesting variety, certainly -- but only two titles are under review at the complete review: Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee and 13 ure by Deon Meyer.
the Infinity Ring comes full circle--with The Iron Empire, we are once more back with James Dashner, who wrote the first book of the series (A Mutiny in Time). Sera, Dak, and Riq have travelled through the centuries fixing Break after Break--all the bits of history that didn't happen as they should have. Now they have travelled to the time when it all began. It is the age of Alexander the Great, and the time of Aristotle--who founded the league of Hystorians who sent the threesome off on their quest.
This edition of Kishaz Reading Corner is a little different because this review is part of a book tour. So let's get to the review and then more about the tour and giveaway.
Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.
At Tablet Vladislav Davidzon profiles The Best Little Jewish Publishing House in London -- Halban Publishers.
A pretty interesting read, given everything from their interesting family-backgrounds to their view of (and position in) the publishing world.
This week, Oxford University Press is hiring a senior designer, and Random House is seeking an eBook specialist. Kensington Publishing needs a senior book cover designer, and Schiffer Publishing is on the hunt for a design team member. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.
Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
Why do you want to break my heart?
From the Guardian:
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Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar is about Richards' grandfather, Theodore Augustus Dupree, who played in a jazz big band and introduced the young Keith to music.
"I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I'm talking about," Keith Richards said. "The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me."
The Cartoon Network upfronts took place yesterday and the now Stu Snyder-free network presented its slate of upcoming shows for the 2014-'15 season to their advertising and promotional partners.Add a Comment
At Chemers Gallery, it's all about the art, but we bet you didn't realize that we consider the framing to be a part of that! Custom framing is an art form in itself, and we strive to create just the right tone to fit not only your artwork but your life as well.
We love it when new mouldings are introduced - our imagination runs wild with the sheer scale of possibilities that open up. Over the years we've seen trends come and go and return once again. We've also seen some crazy ideas that just might work. (Remember when we brought badass to the OC??)
|All natural glycerine soaps, made in America!|
Tristram Shandy still being in my not long ago reading memory I could not help but compare the opening of that book to David Copperfield.
A memory refresher in case it has been a while since you read either book or in case you have never read them at all.
Tristram Shandy begins:
I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly consider’d how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.
And David Copperfield:
I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night.
Both books are coming of age stories written from the perspective of a later date and both books begin at the beginning only it takes Tristram nearly half to book to actually get born where David does it in the first sentence. Both books are more about character than plot and filled with digressions. But the whole point of Tristram is the digression and Copperfield always comes back to a main progression toward a firm conclusion. Tristram ends with a joke and loose ends flying everywhere, while Copperfield ends with everything wrapped up and tied with a neat little bow. I’ve no further comparisons to make or brilliant observations, I only wanted to remark how fascinating literature is that you can have the same basic story told in two completely different ways.
What I found really interesting about David Copperfield is how all the characters come in pairs except for David, he is left alone until late in the book. There are the brother and sister Murdstones, Dr. Strong and Mrs. Strong, Mr. Wickfield and his daughter Agnes, Mr. and Mrs. Micawber, Uriah Heep and his mother, David’s aunt and Mr. Dick, Steerforth and his butler Littimer. Everybody has somebody except David who goes from pairing to pairing, learning from each while being cared for or hated.
I would have thought that in all these relational pairings David would have learned something about pairing up himself, but alas, he makes the same mistake his father made and chooses a “child-wife.” When he gets a second chance he makes the correct choice but he had to learn the hard way.
In spite of its length and lack of real drama, David Copperfield moves along pretty well without bogging down at all. It does bog down though. The last 15% of the book dragged as David went on his European tour to get over his grief at losing Dora and as Dickens felt compelled to tie up all the ends. The wrapping up went on and on and on as characters died, got put in jail, or shipped out to Australia. Australia solved a lot of problems for Dickens in this book. Need to get rid of a thief? Send him to Australia! Need a fresh start? Go to Australia! It actually got to be kind of funny. It’s a good thing Dickens had so many characters to dispose of, which was probably the problem in the first place. Nonetheless, good book. And if you like Dickens you are sure to enjoy David Copperfield.
Strike Three, my post-apocalyptic novel is coming soon: http://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/Strike3.html