Hard to believe it is just over 12 months ago that my picture book; Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush was released by Big Sky Publishing. Bruno was inspired my Dad and his many mischievous mongrels.
While in Tasmania, I was involved in two Australian Reading Hour author events; a workshop at Scottsdale library and presentations to visiting local schools at Stories Bookshop, Launceston.
For Book Week 2019 I visited Cooran School, in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, where I shared my books with all students, from Prep to Grade 6. What a lovely bunch of enthusiastic book lovers they were!
I recently had the pleasure of sharing some of my picture books with the children at Aussie Kindies Early Learning Centre, in Hervey Bay. My Dog Socks proved to be a big hit, as were the photos of Snowy and Socks I showed. Thanks to Alicia and staff for inviting me, and to the children for their enthusiastic welcome.
Now that we are back home after 3 wonderful months in Tasmania, I have been busy catching up on things. Maggie Dent is one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators. As I am a big fan, I was really chuffed to read her very positive review of Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush AND My Dog Socks! There have been some other book reviews of Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush, which I will add to the book page.
While in Tasmania, I was keen to do some volunteer work at the wonderful Brightside Farm Sanctuary. Run by the amazing Emma Haswell, Brightside rescues, re-homes hundreds of animals every year. Together with the other friendly Thursday volunteers, I got to walk, pat, groom and hang out with the lovely dogs (mostly greyhounds) waiting for their furever homes. Throughout the weekly visits I made to Brightside, the weather was decidedly variable; rainy, cold and blustery, through to stinking hot weather that was more Queensland than Tasmania.
This month we have lived with the constant threat of bush fires. Out of control fires are just across the Huon River have meant our little country cottage is surrounded by thick smoke, with ash and embers falling constantly. We have evacuated to the north of Tasmania a couple of times, but so far the fires haven’t jumped across the river. My heart goes out to the people and animals affected by these dreadful fires.
We are currently living in the beautiful Huon Valley region of Tasmania for 3 months. I hate the Queensland heat and humidity, so it made perfect sense to go south for the summer. Jack the dog once again accompanied us, although he was unhappy about the pet traveling arrangements on the Spirit of Tasmania – i.e. he had to spend the night in a kennel, rather than with us in the cabin. Like his human owner, Jack has been reveling in the cool, green delights of Tasmania.
An article about Bruno in the Gympie Times. Thanks to journalist Rowena Robertson for the story.
Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush was also launched at Hervey Bay Library at a special story time event. Book launch for my latest picture book; Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush at Mary Ryan’s Hervey Bay. Thanks to Cate for inviting me and for the great display of my books at the store.
My latest picture book; Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush will be featured on the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) BookStop for the next three months.
Next month, my latest picture book, Bruno:the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush will be launched at a couple of venues in Hervey Bay:
- 3rd November (9.30am – 11am) Mary Ryan’s Hervey Bay
- 24th November (10.30am – 11.30am) Hervey Bay Library This will be a combined story time/ book launch, with me as a special guest author. The morning should be lots of fun, as children are encouraged to come dressed as Bob the Bushie, with some great prizes to be won. I will have to dust off my flannelette shirt, blue singlet and thongs to get in the action.
- 25th November (9am – 1pm) I will be selling my books at the Handmade Expo markets at Hervey Bay PCYC (Pialba).
My Dog Socks looking rather glamorous adorned with these stickers.
I am very proud to announce my latest picture book – Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush has just been released by Big Sky Publishing, great supporters of Australian authors. Illustrated by the talented John Phillips, Bruno is a timeless Aussie tale celebrating the friendship between Bob the Bushie and his best buddy, Bruno the blue dog. The book uses extensive alliteration and is filled with the quintessential language of the Australian bush. It is suitable for ages 6 and up. Bruno is available NOW through Big Sky as a hardcover and a paperback. The book can also be purchased through all good bookshops and online stores.
Thanks to Fraser Coast Anglican College for inviting me to be part of their Book Week celebrations. It was great fun to share my picture books with such enthusiastic and appreciative children.
Big Sky (BSP), the publishers of a number of my books recently ran an Expo afternoon at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, Buderim. The Expo was attended by members of the Sunshine Coast Librarians Network. Di Evans, from BSP, gave a run down on the company, as well as some tips for getting published. I was one of four BSP authors who spoke about their publishing journey, latest books and works in progress. It was great to meet fellow authors Allison Paterson, Jane Smith and Poppy Inkwell.
The news for this month is that My Dog Socks has been shortlisted in the 2018 Speech Pathology Book of the Year Award. Socks is in the 3 to 5 years category with some rather formidable pedigree; Mem Fox, Nick Bland and Phil Cummings.The shortlisted books are now being judged against criteria relevant to each category by a panel of experts in oral language and literacy development. The winners will be announced in December. Fingers and paws crossed.
This month I attended the Children’s and Young Adult Writers And Illustrators Conference (CYA) Conference in Brisbane. CYA is a professional development day for new and established writers and illustrators of Children’s and Young Adult literature. It is always a fun day, with inspiring presenters and excellent workshops. Over the years, I have entered their writing competition with some pleasing results; a 1st and a couple of Highly Commended. Of these winning entries, two went on to being published. In 2011, I spoke at the conference as one of their ‘Success Authors’.
So very exciting to see my next picture book; Bruno the Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush up on the Big Sky Publishing website, ready for the book’s release in September. Bruno will be available as a hardback ($24.99) as well as a paperback ($14.99) and you can pre-order NOW!!!! . Illustrated by the talented John Phillips, Bruno is a timeless Aussie tale celebrating the friendship between Bob the Bushie and his best buddy, Bruno the blue dog. Like My Dog Socks, the book was inspired by real characters. Bob the barefoot bushie was based on my dog loving Dad, whose name was actually Tony. His best buddy Bruno was a Bull Terrier in real life, rather than the blue dog in the book. Bruno was a stray who fell on his paws when my Dad adopted him and they spent many happy years together roaming the farm at Belli Park, on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. I think it is wonderful that my Dad and many of our beloved dogs can live on posthumously through my books.
There is a great article on my writing (and my lovely dogs) in the latest edition of Gympie Living magazine (page 15). Thanks to journalist Kate Anbeek at Gympie Living.
Deakin University, where I completed my first Graduate Diploma (Women’s Studies) has over 230,000 Alumni scattered throughout Australia and around the world. They publish details on the achievements of their graduates on-line through Alumni – where are they now? I was recently interviewed and you can read the article here.
How exciting that My Dog Socks has been selected as one of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Books 2018 (Early Childhood) especially when I see books there by famous authors such as Mem Fox, Libby Gleeson and Alison Lester. Established in 1945, the CBCA is a not-for-profit, volunteer run organisation which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature.
I had a wonderful evening as one of the ‘stars’ at Romancing the Stars – Sunshine Coast 2018 . Although the weather was awful, the event was sold out, proving how popular literary events are on the Coast. The Immanuel Lutheran College at Buderim was the perfect venue for a very professionally run event. Good food (plenty of vegetarian nibbles), friendly fellow authors and an enthusiastic audience.
My Dog Socks received a great book review from Dimity Powell. Dimity also included an author interview with me. Dimity writes and reviews stories exclusively for kids. She is a blogger for Boomerang Books and is the Managing Editor for Kids’ Book Review.
Two book events I will be attending this month are fast approaching. On 19th February, I will be sharing My Dog Socks with some little people at Gympie Library for a special First Five Forever Storytime. Later in the week, I will be appearing in Romancing the Stars – Sunshine Coast 2018. at Immanuel Lutheran College, Buderim. Romancing the Stars is run by Book Links (Qld) and began a few years ago to promote local authors, illustrators and their books. Librarians, teachers, parents and anyone with an interest in literature are encouraged to come along to hear local authors talk about their latest books. There will also be book sales, displays of artwork, raffles, quizzes and prizes to win, great food and something with which to toast the new books.
For most of December and some of January, we toured around Tasmania, my favourite place in Australia. Jack the dog came too, although he was quite miffed to find that he had to travel in a cage on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. He did get to meet a number of canine chums, lift his leg on numerous trees and sniff many a new smell, so I think he has forgiven us.
The exciting news this month is that I have recently signed a contract with Big Sky Publishing for my seventh book (and fourth picture book). The story is tentatively titled Bruno Bright, the Big Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush. No prizes for guessing what it is about! Like many of my stories, this one was inspired by a real dog – not surprisingly – named Bruno. He was a bull terrier who turned up one day unannounced at the bottom of my Dad’s property. We suspect he was dumped and it was a serendipitous moment in Bruno’s life when my Dad decided to adopt him. Bruno lived the life of luxury there, with his own lounge chair, plenty of plates to lick clean and 30 odd hectares to roam around in. The real Bruno was indeed big and very boisterous, at least in his younger days. He also lived in the bush, albeit the Sunshine Coast hinterland, rather than the outback described in the story. The transformation from bull terrier to blue dog was also a bit of poetic licence. The story celebrates the quintessential Aussie culture, so Bruno the bull terrier morphed into a more ‘Aussie’ blue cattle dog. Big Sky has secured the talented John Phillips as the illustrator of Bruno and I am looking forward to working with him. John’s most recent picture book is Parmesan, the Reluctant Racehorse.
I was kept busy this month with an author visit to Berkelouw Books, Eumundi as well as a stall at the Gympie Gallery Twilight Markets. Unfortunately, the weather was awful for both events, with torrential rain and the odd bit of thunder. A cute article Paw of Approval for Robyn’s Sixth Book was also published in The Gympie Times this month.
The official launch of My Dog Socks – Ford Street Publishing, Melbourne Sunday 15th October 2017
The official book launch for My Dog Socks book launch went off well – apart from having to walk the 3 kms from the city to Ford Street Publishing in Abbotsford. Due to the Melbourne Marathon there were limited taxis available and many road closures. We didn’t discover this fact until quite late, which resulted in us having to make a mad scramble. I arrived hot, sweaty and late. Paul Collins from Ford Street was extremely gracious about my tardy entry, and once I had caught my breath and gulped down some water the launch began. Thanks to Paul Collins for hosting the launch, Ann James for officiating (and for the great dog socks – very appropriate) and to all the lovely attendees. It was great to finally meet Paul Collins and Sadmai Konchi, the talented illustrator of My Dog Socks. Another unexpected pleasure was meeting the delightful Benji, Paul and Meredith’s friendly canine. Having a dog at the launch of My Dog Socks seemed totally appropriate. The talented young winners of the My Dog Socks art competition were also able to attend. Congratulations to winners Edison and Zahra.
Some of Sadami’s wonderful illustrations from the book were on display.
The official book launch for My Dog Socks is on Sunday the 15th October at Ford Street’s headquarters in Melbourne. Both Sadami Konchi (the illustrator) and I will be attending the launch. In conjunction with the book launch, Ford Street are running a free art competition for children up to the age of 15. The prize is a box of books from Ford Street.
My latest picture book, My Dog Socks has been released and I love it!!!! Thanks to Ford Street Publishing and the incredibly talented illustrator, Sadami Konchi who has created the most wonderful illustrations. My Dog Socks is distributed through New South Books and available online from Ford Street, Booktopia, QBD Books, or any good bookshop. My advance author copies have arrived and I caught a certain canine friend enjoying the read, although he did suggest My Dog Jack was a better title! Thanks to my lovely niece Brianna for taking the great photo of Jack. Considering he is such a handsome dog, it is surprisingly hard to get a good photo.
Each year across Australia, the CBCA brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Children’s Book Week (19th to 26th August 2017). During this time schools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and children celebrate Australian children’s literature. I was invited to Albert State School in Maryborough to share my books with the students. I attended the school for the last 6 months of Grade 7, many years ago. It was amazing to see the changes at the school.
The 2nd Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Alumni Authors Showcase was held at QUT Gardens Point Campus on Saturday 12 August. The event featured 24 QUT alumni published authors (including me!) in panel discussions, book sales/signings and one-on-one chats.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will be once again holding their Alumni Author Showcase at Gardens Point Campus. Last year I was invited to be part of the inaugural Showcase and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. This year it is on Saturday 12 August, from 9.30am to 2.30pm. The event will feature 24 QUT alumni published authors (including me!) in panel discussions, book sales/signings and one-on-one chats. Come and discover the wide range of alumni authors showcasing their work and hear about their stories, their publishing journeys and their lives as published authors! This exciting showcase is open to alumni, students, faculty, staff and the public. It is a free event, but you do need to register for a seat.
In April 2016, my energetic, fit and brave brother Don Bright, sister-in-law Annie and fellow cyclist Brenda Noonan rode a massive 4,749 kms from the west coast of U.S.A. to Newport, North Carolina on the east coast. 2016 Across USA raised money for the Cure Brain Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis Foundations. Annie obviously found the personal challenge of long distance cycling worthwhile, because she is at it again!
On 17th August 2017, Annie and fellow cycling enthusiasts, Brenda Noonan and Liz Wright will be setting off from Adelaide to bike the 3,100 kms to Darwin, where they hope to arrive on 17th September 2017. This ride is called Biking For Books and they will be raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, a national book industry charity, which aims to reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in remote Indigenous communities across Australia, by lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of reading. Donations can help to provide books and literacy programs to remote communities where they are needed most. As a teacher and author, this is cause close to my heart and I am very happy to be able to assist by donating some of my books. Please ‘like’ the Biking For Books Facebook Page follow their journey and consider donating to this worthwhile cause.
I am very excited to announce my sixth book (and third picture book) My Dog Socks, is currently in production with Melbourne based Ford Street
Publishing. The book – not surprisingly -is about my famous pooch, Sox, the Philosophical Pooch. Sox co-pawthored the very witty Dog Logic, wrote a canine column for Dogs Life magazine for a number of years and continues to run a fun Facebook Page. Eagle eyed readers will have noticed the subtle spelling change in the title, from Sox to Socks, which was a decision by the publisher. The incredibly talented illustrator for My Dog Socks is Sadami Konchi, a Sydney-based fine artist and prize-winning portraitist who specialises in water colour. Sadami’s first picture book was Moon, published in 2015 by Windy Hollow Books. See more of her beautiful work at her Monday weekly blog, Sadami’s Graffiti. I do love her water colour interpretation of my old doggy, even if he does have floppy ears. We are all hoping that My Dog Socks will be ready for release later this year. Paws and fingers crossed!!!!
Another of my articles – ‘Cooking with kids – tales for the unwary’- has been published in the Need a laugh? section of the latest Parenting Express (an online magazine for creative people who write and read about raising children). Once again, this was written a while ago when I was a bright eyed and enthusiastic early childhood teacher. I still cringe when I think back to how naive I was. What possessed me to think making lamingtons with a class of eight-year-olds was a good idea? I lived through the experience and managed to see the humour of the situation, albeit some years later. Thanks to Anne-marie Taplin, the editor of Parenting Express for publishing my story.
Bunnings Gympie run some great holiday activities for kids. This month I visited as a local author and shared my picture books, Going Fishing and Going Camping to an a large and enthusiastic number of youngsters. Going Fishing elicited a spirited discussion between the group on sea sickness, dogs and vomit, with some rather descriptive language used! Working with kids certainly makes life interesting.
A number of years ago (when my son was still a surly teenager) I penned a rather tongue in cheek article called Teenagers – a Parent’s Survival Guide. I re-read it recently, got a few chuckles and sent it off into cyber land to see if others might also find it funny. Luckily, Anne-marie Taplin, the editor of Parenting Express, (an online magazine for creative people who write and read about raising children) enjoyed the read and offered to publish the article. So if there is a teenager in your life, or you just like a bit of off beat humour, have a read. Teenagers – a Parent’s Survival Guide
The inaugural QUT Alumni Author Showcase was held at QUT Gardens Point Library on Saturday, 20th August. Featuring 16 alumni authors (including me) the event proved to be extremely popular with the 100 tickets getting snapped up within 48 hours of becoming available. With a keynote presentation by Benjamin Law, panel discussions, book sales/signings and one-on-one chats, it was a great literary get together. Together with fellow authors Margot de Groot, David Gillespie and Katie Rowney, I participated in a lively panel discussion on ‘So you want to be a writer?’, moderated by QUT’s Dr Rohan Wilson. The session was recorded and can be viewed below.
Every August, a short story competition is run by the Hunter Writers Centre (NSW) to coincide with Grief Awareness Month. My story, ‘After’ was a finalist and will be published in the 2016 anthology. The top 20 stories selected by the judges will be read at the Live Reading in Harold Lobb Concert Hall, Newcastle on Saturday 27th August.
The Sunshine Coast Family Expo was held at Lake Kawana Community Centre on 6th August. In conjunction with Books of Buderim, a number of local authors (including me) were involved in Story Time sessions throughout the day.
The The Best of Times Short Story Competition is run twice a year; in Autumn and Spring. I was lucky enough to get a Commended in the latest competition, for my story ‘The Workin’Dog’. You can read my story (featuring a clever canine – naturally!) and the other winning stories by clicking on the link. There were 60 short stories entered into the competition from 47 entrants.
My terrific, tongue twisting tale, ‘Bruno Bright, The Big Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush’ has just been published in Short Tales 2. Short Tales 2 is a collection of short stories from writers around the world and suitable for boys and girls 8-12 years. Short Tales 2 is published by independent ebook publisher Storm Cloud Publishing and is available FREE from Smashwords.
‘The Other Girl’ (adult short story) has been shortlisted in the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. There were 89 entries from around Australia. This is a themed fiction competition, open to all women, female-identifying and non-binary writers. Rachel Funari, the namesake of the competition, was the founding editor of Lip. Tragically, Rachel went missing in 2011 while on holiday in Tasmania. This prize is held in her honour. As Lip is a feminist magazine, the theme of the 2016 competition was ‘Other’, with a focus on women’s stories. The winners of the 2016 Prize will be announced at The Wheeler Centre as part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ event on Friday 17th June, 2016.
An excerpt from my latest book, Midget Bones’ Diary has featured in ”Your Own Work” section of Buzz Words (15th May 2016). Buzz Words is a bi-monthly Australian e-zine edited by Di Bates. Buzz Words keeps children’s writers and illustrators up to date with the buzz on writing markets, opportunities, competitions, courses plus writing tips, interviews and more.
Rather chuffed to have a short story selected for Short Tales 2, an eBook anthology for kids aged 8 -12 years. Short Tales 2 is published by Storm Cloud Publishing and will be out in June 2016. It will be available at Amazon, Apple iStores, Smashwords and your favourite eBook retailer and lending libraries. Dogs certainly play a big part in my life and writing, so it will come as no surprise that the story chosen is about my Dad’s canine companion, Bruno. ‘Bruno Bright, The Big Boisterous Blue Dog from the Bush’ is a terrific, tongue twisting tale, filled with good old Aussie slang and colloquialisms. Fair dinkum!
My latest novel, Midget Bones’ Diary, as well as my two picture books, Going Fishing & Going Camping are included in the Queensland Writers Centre (QWC) catalogue, Books From Our Backyard 2014. Produced annually, Books From Our Backyard is a catalogue of books written by Queensland writers. QWC distributes Books From Our Backyard to readers via libraries, schools and booksellers throughout Queensland and beyond. All editions of Books From Our Backyard are also available as downloadable PDFs.
Thanks to Jackie Hosking for featuring me in ‘Meet the Writer’ section of her wonderful Australia’s Children’s Book Industry E-zine Pass It On. I appear in Pass It On Issue 572, alongside the talented illustrator, Muza Ulasowski.
I am starting the new year off with a couple of Brisbane library visits, as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Summer Reading program for children. On Tuesday 5th January, I will be at Zillmere library. and the next day (Wednesday, 6th January) at Everton Park library. After reading my two picture books, Going Fishing & Going Camping, I will be helping the children create their own fishing and camping story.
My latest book, Midget Bones’ Diary has been reviewed by Buzz Words Books. Midget Bones’ Diary Thanks to Ashling Kwok for the review and Di Bates for organising it. * Midget wants to reassure her fans that she hasn’t done a Bruce Jenner and changed sex, even if the reviewer referred to her as a he!
Very pleased that my short story, ‘The Thief’ has been selected to appear in the latest Geelong Writers Tantalising Tales 2015 Anthology. Tantalising Tales 2015
I would like to welcome the very talented Di Bates to my website, as part of her whirlwind blog tour. Di is the creator of Buzz Words, an informative e-mag aimed at children’s writers and illustrators. She is also a prolific writer, with over 120 books for young people published. Her most recent releases are Awesome Cats and Awesome Dogs the first two books in the series, Awesome Animals. Awesome Horses, the third book in the series is expected to be out in mid 2016. The publisher is Big Sky Publishing, the wonderful folk who also published my recent picture books, Going Fishing & Going Camping, as well as my quirky dog training book, Dog Logic. Big Sky is an Australian owned and independent publisher, based in Sydney. Like me, Di found Big Sky to be a really dynamic and pro-active publishing company and a dream to work with.
Awesome Cats and Awesome Dogs feature fascinating stories about animals from all over the world and are suitable for children aged 8 to 12 years of age. The books retail for $14.99 each and can be purchased through Big Sky. As an early childhood teacher, I know how popular cats and dogs are with little people, so I’m sure the books will sell like hot dogs…congratulations Di!
I am very pleased to see my picture book, Going Camping has made it to the Queensland Premier’s Reading Challenge Booklist for Prep to Grade 1.
Midget Bones Diary, my latest book, has achieved the highest possible rating (5 stars) in all the reviews on Booktopia, Amazon and Goodreads. Great to see so many readers out there with discerning taste!
A very amusing book with some great quotable quotes from the feisty little heroine. My dog-loving teenagers enjoyed it as well and our home is ringing with Midget speak. It also manages some pathos, and is a great way to promote the ‘adopt, don’t shop’ message with humour.
This is a very funny, very cute book, beautifully written from a dogs point of view. Anyone with a dog will appreciate Midgets diary, and even if you don’t have a dog its an excellent read, full of laughs and great imagery.
June 215 news
A very positive Midget Bones review is in the latest Dogs Life magazine (May/June 2015) . Thank you to Kylie Baracz, the editor of Dogs Life for her kind words.
April 2015 news
I will be at Noosaville and Cooroy libraries this Friday (10th April) reading and sharing my two picture books, Going Fishing & Going Camping. Hoping for a good turn up. Reading to an empty room wouldn’t be much fun!!!!
March 2015 news
The Midget Bones Goodreads Giveaway ended on the 16th. It was very successful, with 793 peaople entering the competition. For the small cost of donating two books, it was great publicity for Midget Bones’ Diary. As the two lucky winners both live in USA, my publisher (Puppy Care Education) kindly offered to organise the book prizes. Thank you Stephen!
February 2015 news
I am giving away two copies of Midget Bones’ Diary through Goodreads. It doesn’t close until 16th March, is free to enter and winners are picked randomly by Goodreads. This seems like a great way to promote my books. So far 192 people have entered the competition from U.S.A., U.K., Canada and Australia.
December 2014 news
A lovely article in the Gympie Times about my books and my delightful (and photogenic) canine companion Jack. What a cutey!
November 2014 news
I am very pleased to announce my latest book has just been published. Midget Bones’ Diary (Puppy Care Education, 2014) is based on my dog Snowy’s memoirs. It follows her journey from shelter mutt to finding her furever home. The book is part Bridget Jones, a little bit ‘Jacki’ Collins, with a big dose of Lassie thrown in!
October 2014 news
My two latest picture books, Going Fishing and Going Camping were launched at Gympie Library on 3rd October. It was great to read my books to an appreciative audience of little people and adults. Thanks very much to Lynne Alsop and Jane Gunn, at the library for a wonderful morning. Next literary event is the Maleny Celebration of Books on the 25th October.
September 2014 news
I have just returned home after a three month driving holiday across the bottom of Australia, from the east to the west and back again. We covered over 20,000 kilometres and saw some amazing country. In many ways this was a trip down memory lane. In 1989 B.C. (before child) we did a very similar journey on our K75C BMW motorbike. The drive across the Nullarbor in the Patrol wasn’t as fast as on the bike (not as many speed cameras around 25 years ago), but with the MP3 player and Kindle at my fingertips, it was considerably less boring!
While in Geralton, W.A. I gave a talk to the Writers of the Coral Coast. In 2012 I won their short story competition so it was wonderful to meet some of the members. Thank you Lorraine Chapman for the invitation and your warm welcome.
As we travelled around, I dropped into many libraries and bookshops along the way to introduce myself and give my latest picture books, Going Fishing & Going Camping a plug. Self-promotion has never been my forte, but I am building up the confidence to get out there. Most librarians and book shop owners were very welcoming and positive, others not quite so much. It was interesting that more shops in W.A. and S.A. stocked my books (some had even sold out and were re-ordering) than on the east coast.
Coming back to reality is always difficult after such a lengthy time away, but this has been eased a little by the addition of a new canine chum to our family. Welcome to Jack, our cute ten year old rescue terrier of indeterminate heritage. We found Jack at ‘A Second Chance Animal Rescue’ based in Brisbane, an inspiring group of volunteers who foster cats and dogs until they can find their forever home. We got on to A Second Chance through PetRescue, a wonderful website that gives homeless pets a voice and makes adoption the first choice for all. Rescue dogs rule!!!!
May 2014 news
My two new picture books, Going Fishing and Going Camping, published by Big Sky Publishing in Sydney have finally arrived. I was more than a little excited when I unpacked my author copies!
April 2014 news
As many writers would know, getting a picture book published is a bit like winning Gold Lotto. The cost of producing picture books generally means the odds are stacked against new and beginning writers. With this in mind, I am more than a bit chuffed to announce that my very first two pictures books, Going Fishing and Going Camping will be available in early May. Get a sneak preview of both books on the Big Sky Publishing website. Going Fishing Going Camping I think they look absolutely wonderful!
December 2013 news
Exciting news! Big Sky, the wonderful people who produced Dog Logic are in the process of publishing my very first two picture books, Going Fishing and Going Camping. Illustrated by the very talented Colin Stevens, the books are a light-hearted look at the foibles of family life. The two books are part of a series of three, entitled My Family, with the final book, Going Shopping, as yet only partly written. I am thoroughly enjoying the process of producing a picture book and have a new appreciation for illustrators. Corny as it may sound, to see my words come to life is an amazing experience. Going Fishing and Going Camping should both be out by May 2014.
October 2013 news
I attended the second Maleny Celebration of Books as part of “Meet the Local Authors. With over 35 authors promoting their books, it was a great day for book worms. I made a few sales, talked a lot and sampled the local fare.
2013 September news
Very happy to get a Highly Commended (and $100) for my short story “The Workin’ Dog” in the inaugural Good Dog Film Festival. Good Dog! is a film festival screening engaging films that include a dog. The annual festival is held on Sydney Harbour, nestled in the historic suburb of Balmain. All profits are donated to Australian and International dog charities. http://www.gooddogff.com/
2013 August news
I have been invited to once again take part in the Maleny Celebration of Books, which is on from 24th – 28th October, 2013. Celebration of Books, now in its second year, is held in the beautiful hilltop town of Maleny — nestled in the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. If you love books, this is the place to be. Activities include a Big Book Club Gathering, forum, readings, conversations with writers, workshops, displays, children’s activities, theatre and film. You also have the opportunity to meet many local authors, including me (and hopefully buy their books)!
2013 July news
I recently applied for both the Queensland Writers Fellowship and the Australia Council for the Arts New Work Grant. Unfortunately, I missed out on the Qld Writers Fellowship. Once I found out the calibre of the writers who did win, I didn’t feel so bad. Congratulations to Patrick Holland, Kristina Olsson and Angela Slatter on becoming the inaugural Fellows. I find out about the Australian Arts Council New Work Grant in September.
2013 June news
Sad news. Sox, my wonderful canine companion of nearly 15 years and co-author of Dog Logic is no longer with us. After months of failing health, we knew it was time for him to join Snowy in the great cat chasing grounds in the sky. Dogs have been a huge part of our family for 18 years, so things are very quiet at the moment. I know another four-legged furry friend will join us in time, but for now I’ll reflect on how lucky we have been to share our lives with two wonderful dogs.
2013 March news
I recently spent an enjoyable Saturday morning at the Gympie Suitcase Market. This was part of the regional art gallery’s Bizzart Day; a mixture of art and the “Bizzare” This event celebrates the birthday of the Gallery which is now 15 years old. It also showcases the many talented local artists and craftspeople living in the Cooloola Region. While I made a number of book sales, most of the profit was ‘eaten up’ by the cost of a rather delectable morning tea. No use feeding the intellect and forgetting the stomach.
Thanks to Jacki Hosking, the wonderful editor and publisher of Pass it on for featuring me in Issue 428 (5th March 2013). I got to tell the cyber world all about my very first publishing experience. Pass it on is Australia’s premiere Children’s Book Industry e-zine, packed with information for writers and illustrators. Check out her Facebook page
2012 December news
Thanks to Georgie Donaghey from Creative Kids Tales for allowing me to promote Dog Logic on Pitch Ya Book this month. Creative Kids Tales is an Australian website for emerging children’s authors. Their aim is to be a voice for those authors and help them on their publication journey. They also have a Facebook Page.
2012 November news
Here is the link to a great article on me (and Sox of course) in 2012 Puppies and Dogs Annual magazine, earlier this year. We are on pages 72 & 73. Happy reading! Puppies and Dogs
2012 October news
I attended the inaugural Maleny Celebration of Books this week-end as one of the local authors. We got to
set up a stall, chat to the public and sell our books. The good news is I made some sales. The bad news is most of my profit went into a delicious morning tea. Still, things probably ended up fairly cost (if not calorie) neutral! It was a fun day and hopefully Celebration of Books will continue to grow each year. With 4 book shops, Maleny is the ideal place to hold it.
Great news that Dog Logic is currently one of Berkelouw’s top 12 Domestic animals & pets books, rubbing cyber shoulders with Cesar Millan and Bradley Trevor Greive. Dog Logic also held top spot in the iTunes Australian Lifestyle & Home Book Chart earlier this year.
2012 September news
I have recently had the exciting (and slightly scary) experience of being interviewed by Chris Ilsley at 6PR Perth. Sox declined to be interviewed, so I stepped in to represent him. If I was a little more technologically savvy, you would be able to listen to the interview here. If I have a flash of brilliance in the future, I’ll attach the interview. Thanks Chris for inviting me.
My book Dog Logic:a Pooch’s Guide to Dogs Behaving Badly has been featured in the latest Deakin Alumni Magazine, in the Community Authors page. Great PR for the book and hopefully it will generate some sales.
2012 August news
I was very pleased to get my First Prize certificate (and cheque!) from Writers of the Coral Coast Short Story Competition for my story ‘River Dreams’. Even more pleased with the judge’s comments :
So well written! Gripping and original with vivid descriptions, appealing techniques of interspersing cameos with voice-off comments and cleverly placed ending at the opening of the story.
2012 June news
Sox and I are currently featuring on Wendy Orr blogspot. Sox is very excited, but whined about his name not appearing first on the blog page (prima donna pooch).Wendy is the author of many children’s and YA books, including Nim’s Island, Nim at Sea, Peeling the Onion, Ark in the Park, The Princess and her Panther and Raven’s Mountain. Thank you Wendy for allowing us to be part of your blog.
Really pleased to discover I have won the Coral Coast Writing competition, with River Dreams, my auto-biographical short story. While I’d love to collect the money and certificate in person, the airfare to Geralton would probably take most of the $500 prize money!
2012 May news
I have been invited to be part of the Cooroy Fusion Program, to be held on Saturday 12th May, 9am till 4pm. The inaugural Fusion event was held last year to celebrate the first anniversary of the new Cooroy library. The day combines market stalls, entertainment, workshops, come and try demonstrations, music, community displays, literature and arts, local foods, orchid displays and wood craft. Last year over 1500 people attended Fusion and this year is expected to be even bigger. Local authors will be giving book readings (I’m on at 11.25), as well as selling their books. I’ll take along Sox’s ‘pawtograph’ stamp for anyone interested in buying copies of Dog Logic. I’ll also have a few copies of my junior novel D.O.G. to sell.
April 2012 news
I have recently been interviewed by the lovely Wendy Orr for her blog page Wendy Orr blogspot
Wendy is an Australian author of books for children and young adults ( Nim’s Island, Nim at Sea, Peeling the Onion, Ark in the Park, The Princess and her Panther and Raven’s Mountain). Wendy has been interviewing various authors and illustrators about the influence of pets and animals on their work. She is hoping to run one interview per week for the rest of the year. Not sure when my interview will feature, but will post the date here when I know.
The latest ‘Dogs Life’ magazine is out now (May/Jun 2012). Apart from Sox’s clever Philosophical Pooch column and lots of great doggy news, it features a 46 page RSPCA Million Paws Walk lift out. As ex-RSPCA puppies, Sox and Snowy are big supporters of this worthwhile cause. Unfortunately, their age now precludes them from attending.
2012 February news
My publishers, Big Sky have just released an e-book version of Dog Logic with a different cover.
Although Sox is disappointed the model doesn’t have a glossy black coat, he gives it the paws up!
2012 January news
Check out the wonderful article on Sox, Snowy, Dog Logic (and me) in the latest Puppies & Dogs Annual Magazine, (pages 70 – 71, Volume 12). Puppies & Dogs Magazine is published by Vink Publishing.
2011 December news
There is an article on me (and my clever literary canines) in 2012 Puppies & Dogs Annual magazine (page 70 ‘Dog Culture’), which is available now at newsagents throughout Australia. Our thanks to the editor, Andrea for a funny, informative and very canine centred story – great PR for Dog Logic and for me as an author. Don’t forget you can read more from Sox, The Philosophical Pooch on his Facebook Page. Please check it out and ‘like’ it. He does enjoy getting more two-legged Facebook friends.
2011 October news
The good news is I survived the library talk, as evidenced by this website update.
The even better news is that Dog Logic is now available as a Kindle edition through Amazon, making Sox a truly international star! Discerning readers around the world now have access to Sox’s little book of wisdom. Dog Logic the book can be purchased through any good book shop in Australia, or on line through my publisher, Big Sky Dog Logic
Dog Logic the e-book is also available through Big Sky Dog Logic e-book
And for Kindle fans: Amazon Dog Logic
2011 September news
Some late September news: I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the delightful Andrea, editor of Puppies & Dogs Annual 2012 magazine, which hits the newsagents in January. The article mentions my lovely and talented canine companions, so we are all looking forward to reading it.
Sox has asked that I represent him at the Cooroy Library next Thursday, 22nd September, 10am – 11.30 am to promote our latest book, Dog Logic-a pooch’s guide to dogs behaving badly. Sox has prior guarding and bone chewing commitments, but will be with me in spirit (and photo form). Please pass on to anyone you think may be interested. It would be weird talking to an empty room.
Dog Logic is now available as an e-book through my publishers, Big Sky Dog Logic e-book
The Philosophical Pooch was very happy to see his name has finally made it onto the book, but then he noticed the new cartoon ‘Sox’ on the e-cover appears to have grown considerably in girth. The e-dog certainly has a more generous and mature figure than the original paperback pooch, but perhaps this is the cost of fame. Too much resting on your laurels Sox?
2011 August news
The good news just keeps rolling in! My manuscript Midget Bones’s Diary – Memoirs of a Mongrel (the mongrel being my other four-legged friend, Snowy) has been shortlisted in the children’s and Young Adult (CYA) published author writing competition. I have been invited to the CYA Conference next month as one of their success authors, after the publication of Dog Logic.
I have been selected to attend the Allen & Unwin Manuscript Development Program, which is run in conjunction with Qld Writers Centre. Three days working intensively on my manuscript with the help and advice of editors from Allen & Unwin. So exciting!
More good news – this time dog related. Sox, my clever canine co-author of Dog Logic, is now a regular columnist for Dogs Life magazine, the No.1 publication for dogs and dog lovers in Australia and New Zealand. His first musings have appeared in the latest edition (September/October). Sox is looking forward to a long and successful career as the first canine columnist with Dogs Life.
Another very positive review of Dog Logic has appeared in Maroochy Weekly on 27th July 2011. I particularly like the reviewer’s suggestion that Dog Logic ‘… should be a mandatory purchase whenever buying a dog for yourself or giving one as a gift.’ Music to my ears.
2011 July news
A couple of bits of writing news for July. My short story ‘The Workin’ Dog’ (just can’t get away from the dog theme) was selected for The Bridge an e-book anthology of Australian themed stories, just published by Stringybark Publishing. It is available from Stringybark Stories for a trifling $1.99. Hopefully The Bridge will shortly be published as a paperback.
Sox has once again appeared in print, this time as a columnist offering helpful hints in a glossy local magazine, ‘Gympie Woman’ (he is actually in the ‘Gympie Man’ section of the magazine, much to his delight). Sox is hopeful that the editor may even consider introducing a third section, ‘Cooloola Canine’.
2011 June news
After many months of waiting, Dog Logic has finally been reviewed in the Sunshine Coast Daily. It was worth the wait though, as it was very positive. I have put a copy on the media page of this site.
2011 May news
An article I wrote has been published in the Travel & Indulgence section (page 2) of The Weekend Australian newspaper (May 14-15). ‘Follow the Reader – Life’s a bowl of cherries’ is about the trials and tribulations of being a travelling vegetarian (that would be me!). Writing kudos AND a nice prize!
Articles on Dog Logic have appeared in the following community newspapers; Eumundi Green, Rainbow Beach Community News and The Cooroy Rag. Great to have such wonderful local support.
2011 April news
Sox, my clever co-author of Dog Logic has led a fast, furious and fun Facebook discussion on Best Friends Rescue.Five lucky people each won themselves a copy of the book. Don’t forget that my publishers, Big Sky, are donating $5 to Best Friends for every copy of Dog Logic sold on-line through BSP website.
I’m pleased to report that in the latest edition of Dogs Life magazine (May/June), there is a great review of Dog Logic. Dogs Life magazine is the No.1 publication for dogs and dog lovers in Australia and New Zealand.
2011 March news
Big Sky, the publishers of my latest book, Dog Logic – A pooch’s guide to dogs behaving badly are offering a fabulous deal at present. For every copy of Dog Logic sold on-line through BSP website, $5 will be donated to Best Friends Rescue (BFR). BFR is a non-profit, registered charity that saves and re homes abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Being an ex RSPCA puppy, Sox thinks this is a great way to support such a worthwhile cause.
2011 February news
Woofstock – I will attending the very first Brisbane Woofstock this Sunday, 20th February, 9am till 4pm at Albion Raceway. Woofstock is a one day festival of fun and entertainment for dog loving humans and their four-legged friends. Sox has asked me to represent him at this important canine social event of the year. I will be selling genuine ‘pawtographed’ copies of Dog Logic, so call in and say hello. http://www.woofstock.com.au
2011 January news
Book signing – I will be ‘pawtographing’ Dog Logic books at Mary Ryan’s New Farm bookstore, Saturday 5th February, 11 – 1
Sox isn’t able to make it, but his handsome face will be smiling from the back of my t-shirt.