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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: author interviews, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 707
1. Meet Alice Pung, author of Laurinda

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books about your outstanding first novel Laurinda (Black Inc.), Alice Pung. Thanks for interviewing me! You are well known for your excellent non-fiction, Unpolished Gem, Her Father’s Daughter and as editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia. Why have you sidestepped into YA fiction? Growing up, I went to five different high schools, […]

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2. Interview with Jo Emery, author of My Dad is a FIFO Dad

My Dad is a FIFO Dad, an uplifting story that has already touched the hearts of many families, has beautifully encapsulated the highs and lows of the life of a child with a father who ‘flies in and flies out’ for work. (See Review here). But let’s not forget the strength, courage, commitment and perseverance […]

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3. An Interview with Amazon Best Selling Author Linda Watkins

BookBuzzr author Linda Watkins recently had an opportunity to celebrate. Her book – Mateguas Island – recently hit the number 1 spot on Amazon in the Horror > Occult category.

The screenshot below was taken on October 14, 2014.

linda-watkins-amazon-rank

We reached out to her to learn more about her journey…

Hey Linda! Always a pleasure to connect with a fellow Carnegie Mellon alum! Why don’t you start out by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Linda Watkins with her dogs

Sure. My family is from New England. We moved to Michigan when I was young and that’s where I grew up. After college – at Carnegie – I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where I spent most of my adult life, working as a financial analyst at Stanford Unversity School of Medicine. When I took early retirement, I moved to Oregon for a brief time, then on to Chebeague Island, Maine, where I resided for seven wonderful years. Chebeague is an “unconnected” island – there is no bridge or causeway; access is only by ferry or private boat. It was there that I wrote MATEGUAS ISLAND. Last year, for personal reasons, I gave up island life and moved to Western Michigan where I live today.

I’m single and live with my three aging rescue dogs, Splatter, Spudley and Jasper,

Why did you start writing?

I think I’ve always been writing. When we were young, my sister and I used to write satirical sketches based on the era’s most popular tv westerns. Later in life, at work, I wrote “long forms” and business plans while, at home, I wrote songs, poems and bits of whimsy to share with family and friends. A novel, however, was something I never attempted until approximately four years ago when I started MATEGUAS.

I think there were two things that spurred me to actually sit down and write this book. First was a challenge from my sister who is also a writer. Second was the invention of the iPad! I got one of the first ones and it freed me from being tied to my computer. I could write anywhere – in my car, waiting in the parking lot on the mainland; on the ferry, going to and from Chebeague and in the wee small hours of the morning when my characters refused to let me sleep – they wanted their story told!

What’s the story behind ‘Mateguas Island’?

Well, as I mentioned above, I lived on an island not unlike my fictional one. Living on an unconnected island, there are times, most especially when a storm is coming (I experienced 2 hurricanes and an untold number of nor’easters while I lived there), that one can feel an overwhelming sense of isolation and claustrophia. These emotions play well into a story based in the supernatural. Also, you’ll note my main characters moved to the island from northern California – just like I did.

Since horror is the genre I most enjoy, I decided to write a horror story, using a fictional island as the backdrop. It began, initially, as one of those “house” stories – you know, there’s something evil lurking in the walls, etc. However, my characters had other things in mind and they led me to the story that is now MATEGUAS.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Gosh – the people you meet in your mind! And, you can do anything to them that you want! Also, your hours are your own – you can write in the early morning, late at night or whenever the spirit moves you. It’s so much fun creating a story – I can’t really describe it – it’s wonderful.

What’s the worst thing about being a writer?

As a self-published writer, I have to do all the promoting of my work myself and I can’t say I really enjoy it. I’d rather be writing. But promotion is a necessary evil and I have to do it!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a morning person. I’m usually up around 5:30 – 6:00 am. After I let the dogs out and brew that first cup of coffee, I’m at the computer – reading emails, scheduling tweets, answering messages on FB and posting book promos there. After all that is done, I walk my dogs, feed them and then it’s back to the computer again, either doing promo stuff or writing/editing.

In the early evening, I’m again back at the computer doing promos. After dinner, it’s down time – I stop work and just relax.

What are some of the things that you did to market your book?

I’ve tried quite a few different things. I do Facebook promos in the numerous groups that feature books, I tweet and retweet, I’ve been on several different horror blogs as a guest, and joined in promotional events featuring book giveaways. I’ve also placed my novel on a number of websites that feature books. Outside of cyberspace, I’ve done signings and participated in charity events, giving away copies of my book

It was a BookBub promotion, that I’m now in the middle of, that catapulted me to the #1 Bestseller Ranking.

How did you learn about your book hitting the number 1 slot on Amazon?

As I mentioned above, I had a promotion going on, so I was watching the stats very carefully. The first day, the books were flying off the virtual shelves so fast, the Amazon ranking couldn’t keep up with them! I think the lowest number I saw was 123 in all paid, which blew my mind. Getting the #1 ranking in Horror/Occult, ahead of Anne Rice and Stephen King and lots of other amazing writers, was just too awesome!

Who designed your book cover for you?

The photos on both the front and the back are ones I took on Chebeague Island. The colorization and lettering, etc., were done by a fellow writer, H. William Ruback, who also has a graphic design studio – www.incolordigitaldesign.com.

How did you get your book and author websites created?

Another fellow writer and good friend, Steve LeBel (The Universe Builders), helped me set them up initially. The rest was done by just trial and error. I learn best by doing, not by reading about doing!

How did you manage to reach out to your first few reviewers and get them to read your book?

My book is published under Argon Press which is actually a consortium of writers. The aforementioned Steve LeBel set up a website for Argon and, in that website, members of the general public have the ability to download ARCs (advanced reader copies) of our unpublished work. I obtained several reviews from those readings.

In addition, I reached out to reviewers who have pages on Facebook asking them if they would be so kind as to read and review my work. I also sent MATEGUAS to the Midwest Book Review and Readers’ Favorite organizations in order to obtain editorial reviews. At the same time, I entered the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest and was so thrilled and elated when MATEGUAS won the Gold Medal in Fiction-Supernatural.

When is your next book coming out? Can you tell us a little about it?

The next book is the sequel to MATEGUAS, aptly titled: RETURN TO MATEGUAS ISLAND. The novel is in the final editing stages now. My goal is to have the editing done by the end of October, then its on to formatting, etc. I have the front cover done – the back and spine will come later when I prepare the print version. I hope to publish the eBook by mid-December 2014. The print version will come later – probably in January or February of 2015.

As for the story, it takes place ten years after Karen Andersen and her family leave Mateguas. Karen’s daughters are now eighteen and want to return to the island to find out what really happened that night of the storm when everything changed. Karen, now married to Dex, naturally, does not want to go, but is eventually persuaded. There will be some major surprises in store for them on Mateguas, but I’m not going to give away anything here. Suffice to say, there is plenty of supernatural stuff going on as well as a healthy dose of romance. A brief excerpt of the novel can be found on my website, www.mateguasisland.com.

RETURN TO MATEGUAS is the second full-length novel in a three book series. I’m writing the final novel in my head right now and, once Return is publshed, hope to get started putting it down on paper! My goal is to publish that book by the end of next summer.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Vikram Narayan is the founder of BookBuzzr Book Marketing Technologies. Vikram is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to starting BookBuzzr, Vikram founded another software company that has been successfully serving clients from all over the world since 2001. When he is not dreaming up ways to help authors accelerate their earnings and book sales, Vikram spends his time playing the guitar, practicing Aikido and spending time with his family._________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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4. Jay Asher Discusses Thirteen Reasons Why | 50 States Against Bullying

A conversation between Jay Asher and Trudy Ludwig the 50 States Against Bullying tour, bullying, teen suicide and how to create kinder and more caring communities.

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5. COMPETITION! ASK a question to WIN!

A chance to WIN a copy of Ursula Dubosarsky’s ‘The Terrible Plop‘, AND YOU can ask her a question in an exclusive interview, to be featured on the Boomerang Books Blog! To win: 1. Head to My Little Story Corner and LIKE the page. 2. Find the Competition post, pinned at the top of the […]

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6. Hazel Edwards discusses collaboration and controversy

On the day that prolific Australian author, Hazel Edwards was honoured with an Order of Australia Medal for services to literature, her latest young adult novel was receiving a very different distinction at the other end of the country. Hazel Edwards has written more than 200 books, including the hugely popular Hippopotamus picture book series, […]

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7. A TOTES Awesome Love Letter & Giveaway! {THE BURNING SKY/PERILOUS SEA}

From Becca & Andye  Dear Readers, Every once in awhile there is a story that touches our hearts more than others. There is a story that is so beautiful and exciting and moving and creative that we just can't let it go with a simple review or two. This is one of those stories. We couldn't just move on. We had to know more! So we did some digging. Sleuthing. I can't tell you how we came by

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8. Danielle Ellison Takes Over the Blog! {FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS}

By Danielle Ellison My book releases today!!!! (I’m still trying to process that.) Giving birth to a book baby, creating something to put out there into the world, is a big deal. It’s not a feeling I can describe. Each book that you create comes with a new feeling. Follow Me Through Darkness is my third release this year. Third. Going from zero to three in a year has been a crazy journey. (

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9. Doodles and Drafts – A bewitching encounter with Angela Sunde

Hold on to your broomsticks because today we have someone special visiting. She’s a bit of a drafter and doodler, a fellow resident of the magical Gold Coast and a wickedly wonderful conjurer of stories. Snap Magic is her latest light-hearted, fairy tale inspired fantasy novel about friendship and young girls approaching the precipitous edge […]

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10. Interview with Rebecca James, author of Cooper Bartholomew is Dead

Rebecca James' debut YA novel, Beautiful Malice, was an international publishing sensation, selling in 52 countries. Her third novel was released this month, Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead. It's terrifically gripping - I read it all in one sitting. Spoiler: it's about Cooper Bartholomew being dead (even though it opens with Cooper's death, we actually get to know Cooper pretty well... as Rebecca says, it's a backwards mystery. Okay, I should probably stop talking about it. I might genuinely spoil it. More info on it here).

I was on a panel with Rebecca at Somerset Writers Festival in 2011 (There's a photo of that panel in this post, where we appear very solemn, obviously because we were being serious thoughtful writer types. My blog is very helpful for remembering things - including my polka-dot dress phase). As well as being a sensational writer she is lovely in real life. So it was terrific to have the chance to interview her about Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead, her writing process, genre (NA vs YA) and her publishing journey!

Steph: In Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead, we get to see the story from four different perspectives - primarily Libby's (Cooper's girlfriend), but also Cooper's, Sebastian's (Cooper's best friend) and Claire's. Each of these characters are  well-developed, but there's also a wide cast of secondary characters with similar authenticity - what made you decide to write the story from four different perspectives, and how did you manage to develop distinct voices and characterisation?
Rebecca: When I started writing this book and started thinking about the characters involved I quickly realised that it would be more interesting and satisfying to include all four perspectives. One event can be described so differently depending on who's telling the story. It's one if the fascinating things about human beings  --- the way we all see things from our own point of view, the way we're all the centre of the story. Having the four different voices, each with their own individual take on the situation, allowed me tell four versions of the same story --each of them equally valid.

It's always hard trying to make different characters have different voices and I'm very glad to hear you think I've succeeded in this. First of all, I guess, I just try and exist in each characters head as I write their scenes. I try to think and feel as I imagine they might feel. In a more practical way I try to vary sentence length, dialogue tics, vocabulary, things like that. 

Steph: The novel is also incredibly suspenseful and well-constructed - do you plot your stories out before writing them, and do you have any specific strategies for generating suspense and increasing tension in a story? Do you have any advice for people wanting to write suspense?
Rebecca: Thank you. After many years of saying that I'm a a complete panster I've come to realise that's not entirely true. It's not that I've been fibbing all this time, it's just that when I wrote my first published book, Beautiful Malice, I had no idea what was going to happen from page to page, scene to scene, and I think I decided then and there that "This Is How I write." But when I wrote my second and third books (Sweet Damage and Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead) I definitely had a rough outline of the plots in mind before I even started. I even wrote a synopsis for Sweet Damage. (I altered it dramatically, but still, I don't think I can claim to have been completely winging it.)  My plots are very loose and unstructured -- major plot points always change, unexpected things always happen -- and there are certainly no spreadsheets involved, but I do have a general story arc in mind before I begin.  

Hmm. How do I create suspense? I'm afraid I don't have any brilliant or insightful answers to this. I write quite intuitively, I think, ploughing on without thinking too hard about the mechanics behind it all. If I have to stop and think about it though, I guess suspense is all about withholding information, tantalising the reader with different possibilities and clues, forcing them to turn another page and then another so they can find out what happened or is about to happen. 

Steph: The central characters in Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead are university students, a bit older than traditional YA characters (I suppose you could call it New Adult Suspense?), and it's a novel I can imagine being read by both older teenagers and adults. Do you have a specific age range or reader in mind as you write? Is fitting into a genre or subgenre something you consider at all?
Rebecca: Since getting a publishing deal with Beautiful Malice I do think about what category I'm writing for, yes. I have to because I'm contracted to write YA books for Allen and Unwin. I couldn't really write a book about a middle aged man contemplating a career-change for example. (Well, I could I guess, but they probably wouldn't publish it!) So, yes, I think about the category in that I consciously keep my characters young. Having said that, in both Sweet Damage and Cooper Bartholomew is Dead my characters are in their late teens and early twenties which makes them a bit older than many traditional YA characters, as you noted. 

But Allen and Unwin publish my work as YA fiction, so I guess it still qualifies! (Maybe when and if NA becomes more firmly established in Australia this might change? I don't know.) In any case kids and teenagers like to read up, so an older teenager who is finishing High School may well be very interested in a story about young people moving out of home, starting university, getting a job, falling in love for the first, second or third time. (I know I certainly would have been!) I try not to get too hung up on categories and publishing definitions. I suppose I trust that I can leave that side of things to the professionals? Some reviewers have called my work NA fiction, others upper YA, some people describe it as crossover fiction. I don't mind how it's categorised, I try to concentrate on writing engaging stories. 

Steph: You mention on your blog that you started writing Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead in 2009, and you've published two novels in the meantime, so I imagine it was a challenging novel to write - what was your process like for this novel, and how did it change and evolve over that five year period? Were there any particular inspirations for this novel?
Rebecca: I started writing Cooper Bartholomew is Dead  after I'd finished writing Beautiful Malice but before I'd sold anything to a publisher. When I sold Beauitful Malice I also  sold Cooper Bartholomew is Dead as the second book in a two-book deal. Sadly, when I handed the first draft of Cooper B in to my publishers I got a very lukewarm reaction. I was told it needed a lot of work. I was shattered. Deflated. I cried for a day or two and then had a bright idea! I'd dump Cooper and work on something else. (This something else eventually became my second book, Sweet Damage.) 

Easy peasy! I promised to have the new book done in two months. Ha! Sweet Damage took two years and in hindsight, dumping CooperB was a crazy decision. I now know that it always seems easier to start something fresh. The new shiny idea always looks so glittery and tempting. Problem is the new shiny idea soon becomes the difficult book, the work that needs a major restructure and a good polish. There's simply no getting away from the fact that there is hard work involved. 

Steph: Your debut novel, Beautiful Malice was published in a whole lot of countries and there was a great deal of hype around it, which is what I think a lot of aspiring (and published) novelists dream of, but obviously there's a huge amount of pressure. What was that experience like for you, and did it make writing your second and third novels more challenging, with that level of expectation and scrutiny?
Rebecca: It was very exciting to have my first book sell all over the world but in all honesty it wasn't an entirely positive experience. I think my reaction had a lot to do with my own fears and my own (common, I think, among writers) feeling of being a fraud. (Surely I was just an imposter dressed up in a fancy writer's costume?) 

For a long time I worried that I'd been given more than I deserved. I suddenly had a lot of unexpected attention (not all of it positive)  that I really wasn't ready for and hadn't in any way anticipated.  And all the time I was afraid of seeming ungrateful, afraid of feeling ungrateful. It was a strange time and I learned a lot. About people. About publishing. About myself. 

Steph: Imagining you could travel back in time and meet your slightly-younger self without tearing the fabric of the space-time continuum and what-not, is there any advice you would share with her about writing and publishing?
Rebecca:  If I could go back a few years and talk to myself when I was just selling Beautiful Malice to publishers I'd have quite a lot to say.  I'd definitely tell myself not to feel guilty or ashamed of success. I'd tell myself to ignore online negativity and unkindness, to let it wash over me. I'd train myself not to be terrified of attention and not to take it all too seriously.  

I'd also tell myself to grow a thicker skin and not to feel too intimidated: all writers feel slightly fraudulent. I'd explain that publishing is a very fickle industry, that there will be highs and lows, times when writing will seem like the worst job in the world, days when it will seem like the best. I'd stress the fact that, ultimately, it's the work that counts --  which is a good thing, because it's the only part the writer can control. 

--

Thanks, Rebecca! For more info on Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead, check it out on the publisher's website (you can read an excerpt! You will almost definitely want to read more!)I also love Rebecca's blog - she writes very honestly and insightfully about being a writer and her experiences. And she twitters!

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11. My Writing and Reading Life: Darlene Beck Jacobson

Darlene Beck Jacobson has loved writing since she was a girl. She wrote letters to everyone she knew and made up stories in her head. She loves bringing the past to life in stories such as WHEELS OF CHANGE, her debut novel.

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12. SUBLIME by Christina Lauren: Cover Scoop

From the minute I saw the cover of SUBLIME at the Simon & Schuster lunch at Book Expo America, I've been fascinated by it. I think they did such an incredible job! So when I was asked what I'd like the authors to write about, I immediately said, "I want to know about THE COVER!" Check out what Christina Lauren had to say about their cover experience! ~ Andye On July 25, 2013 our YA editor,

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13. Talking about crime with Sue Bursztynski

I’m a firm believer in the old adage that “the truth is stranger than fiction”. In fact, I’ve living proof. Not too long ago I was swimming at Four Mile Beach in North Queensland when a garfish, not much bigger than my middle finger, jumped out of the water and speared me in the ear. […]

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14. CINDER & ELLA by Kelly Oram {Dream Cast & Giveaway}

 Hey Everyone! I am so excited to be here today. I absolutely love Reading Teen, and am grateful they let me stop by today to talk about my new book. Thanks guys! Cinder & Ella is a contemporary retelling of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. Cinderella has always been my favorite fairy tale and I've always known I'd eventually write my own adaptation of the story. It was only a matter

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15. Ready to Play: Peter Carnavas bears all on ‘Oliver and George’

Peter Carnavas is an award-winning children’s author and illustrator, some of his titles including The Children Who Loved Books, Last Tree in the City, The Great Expedition, The Boy on the Page, The Important Things and Jonathan!.   Peter’s books consistently provide both children and adults with heartwarming, humorous and thought-provoking experiences that leave a […]

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16. I Have a COMPULSION For Magic! {HUGE Giveaway & Blog Tour}

Guys. GUYS!   I need your attention right now. I just finished a book. Only it wasn't just a book, it was a magic book. I mean, it's a book about magic, but it's also a book that IS magic! You know how there are a lot of books that you like, but there are only a few special books that you just want to read over and over? This is one of those books. I LOVED Compulsion. LOVED. I finished

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17. Interview with Kami Garcia, Author of Unmarked

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18. Susanne Gervay’s Elephants Have Wings

Susanne Gervay is an award-winning author, speaker, recipient of the Order of Australia and all-round dynamo. She rushed into my life last year at the Central Queensland Literary Festival. I had the pleasure of sharing an apartment, and lots of stories with Susanne during our week-long visit to schools in Rockhampton and Emerald. Her energy was […]

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19. How Do Fairy Tales Affect Today's Teens? (& POISONED APPLES Giveaway)

When Hannah emailed me about POISONED APPLES, I could basically see her excitement seeping out into the email. It isn't often that she's this stirred up about a book, so when she is, I pay attention. So, of course I agreed to be a part of this blog tour (I promise, Hannah didn't threaten me . . . much). Check out Christine Heppermann's thoughts on Fairy Tales today, and make sure you enter to

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20. Meet Elizabeth Fensham, author of My Dog Doesn’t Like Me

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Elizabeth Fensham.  My Dog Doesn’t Like Me (University of Qld Press) resonated with me because I also have a puppy, Floyd (whose middle name is Pink)– a spoodle who is easier to train than Eric’s dog, Ugly, but I have used one of the dog-training tips described in the novel. […]

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21. The Clockwork Dagger {Blog Tour & Giveaway}

Hello & welcome to THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER blog tour. I'm so thrilled to be on the tour. Check out today's post below & be sure to enter to win! By: Beth Cato Published by: Harper Voyager To Be Released on: September 16th, 2014 Add it to Goodreads Get it From: Amazon | B&N Book Blurb: An extremely fun and very commercial fantasy debut, in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail

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22. Interview with Dianne Bates, author of A Game of Keeps

Dianne (Di) Bates makes a living from full-time writing. She has worked as a children’s magazine and newspaper editor, manuscript assessor, book-seller, and writing teacher. Di has a wealth of publishing experience and is a recipient of The Lady Cutler Award for distinguished services to children’s literature. She has written over 120 books, mostly for […]

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23. Meet Deadly D and Justice Jones

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Deadly D/Dylan and Justice about your Deadly D and Justice Jones books (Magabala Books). Kids who like rugby league and sport are going to love these books. Questions for Dylan/Deadly D and Justice - What are your favourite football teams and players? Dylan: Growing up in Mount Isa and being a North Queensland […]

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24. Check Out Rio's Playlist! {ATLANTIA by Ally Condie} #AtlantiaAbove

Hello my lovelies! I hope you're ready for a treat! Today, as part of the ATLANTIA blog tour, we have the amazing Ally Condie with us to talk about her new heroine, Rio! Rio has been trapped below the sea, in the underwater world of Atlantia for her entire life. Now all she wants is to go Above, to see the sky and feel the sun. Although living under the sea sounds fun at first, I think

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25. A visit from Dianne Bates

When Counterfeit Love, my latest book for young adults, came out this year, I have to admit to suffering a little fatigue. I’d had eleven books published in four years, and was feeling like I’d just finished an ultra marathon. But when I look around at my fellow children’s authors, I realise I’m just ambling […]

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