Archive for June, 2011

Literary speed dating with a sequel

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Yesterday I attended the Macmillan Winter Sales Conference along with the team from Ford Street Publishing. Why? Because Macmillan distribute Ford Street’s books. And Ford Street will be publishing my new teen novel, Gamers’ Challenge, sequel to Gamers’ Quest, in September this year. (Actually, I got my advance copy at the conference. Exciting!) It was […]

Reading like you write

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Do you write like your favourite authors? Over on Cam Roger‘s* website, there’s a comment thread getting going on social groups and networking amongst your friends and someone raised an interesting idea; that we are the sum of a few people that we spend the most time with. This is an idea popularised by motivational […]

The Making of Chasing Yesterday by Sean McMullen

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Sean McMullen, the author of new young adult fiction adventure Changing Yesterday, tells us about how he researched his new book. People who have read Changing Yesterday and its predecessor, Before the Storm, tend to get back to me with variations on this question: how did you make such an unexciting period in Australian history […]

News Roundup: The Potterless is More Edition

Monday, June 27th, 2011

The Pottermore ship has landed. Or at least, it has been announced. For everyone who doesn’t already know, JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of novels, has finally announced her secret plans (based on rumours that have been bouncing around the internet for a while). They involve an immersive online game based on […]

Romantic readings for bibliophile brides and grooms

Monday, June 27th, 2011

I have never been much of a romantic reader or writer. When my teacher made my class do up our first Valentine’s Day cards, at the age of 8 or so, my offering was “Roses are red, violets are blue, these flowers are dead so I’ll give them to you”. If you are looking for […]

More Pixels with Henry Gibbens

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Last time around I introduced you to Henry Gibbens, CG artist extraordinaire — the man responsible for the Mole Hunt and Gamers’ Quest book trailers — and we had a bit of a chat about how he got started in 3D animation. He’s back again today, to tell us about his book trailer work… Your […]

Muffed-Up Books And Motion Sickness

Monday, June 27th, 2011

It’s been well documented that I muffed up the number of books I took to South America last year. In an effort to be a responsible packer and not load my luggage up with books in place of underpants, I took excellent books but not nearly enough of them. It turned out that I didn’t […]

A Super Sad True Love Story

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

I promised myself that after reading the desolate, desolate Oryx and Crake, I would turn my thoughts to dystopian novels that are more reasonable. Whatever that means. Super Sad True Love Story seemed like one such ‘reasonable’ dystopian, but in retrospect it has affected me just as much as Atwood’s, though not in entirely the […]

The Boy Might Be A Genius, But The Author Is Too

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

It’s taken me almost 10 years and something like 20 attempts to read Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, but I finally managed it this week. It hasn’t taken so long and so many tries because it’s a tricky book to read—more because I until this week didn’t own a copy and was attempting to read it […]

Pushing Pixels with Henry Gibbens

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Henry Gibbens is a veterinary surgeon based in Melbourne. In his spare time, he swaps his stethoscope for a computer and moonlights as a CG artist. After working on a number of film and television projects, both amateur and professional, he has now entered the ever-expanding domain of book trailers. His first book trailer was […]


Friday, June 24th, 2011

MEET ROSE’S CREATOR, SHERRYL CLARK Sherryl Clark was born in New Zealand and learnt a lot about European history at school but nothing about Australia. She had no idea how the government worked, or that the states were independent until Federation. Now she lives in Australia and in writing the story of Our Australian Girl […]

Trailblazers: Caroline Chisholm to Quentin Bryce by Susanna de Vries

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Reviewed by Hazel Edwards – At a time when gossip-manufactured ‘celebs’ are featured merely for being thin, it’s a relief to read about ‘real’, historic females. ‘Trailblazers’ includes fifteen women from Australia’s past, and a few contemporaries  who achieved significant goals, solved problems for others or tackled challenges as the ‘first’ in their field. ‘Trailblazers’ […]

From Paddock to Plate by Louise Fitzroy

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

The ongoing and seemingly endless love affair between the media and food or food sources has ensured that an apparently inexhaustible mine of food and cooking publications finds their way onto book retailers catalogues. We can take our choice from over-rated celebrity cookbooks, chef memoirs, hastily penned food-themed novels and any number of glossy themed […]


Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

MEET POPPY’S CREATOR – GABRIELLE WANG Gabrielle Wang is the author of the four Our Australian Girl Poppy series featuring Poppy, a Chinese-Aboriginal girl growing up on the goldfields in  the 1860s. Gabrielle is fourth generation Chinese Australian and her maternal great-grandfather came over to the Victorian Goldfields from Guangdong, China in the 1850s. Gabrielle […]


Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

MEET LETTY’S CREATOR, ALISON LLOYD Alison Lloyd is an immigrant Australian girl too. She came on a plane from the USA with her family and enjoyed making mud pies, playing dress-ups and reading. Writing the four Our Australian Girl Letty books felt a lot like pretending to live in the olden days and travelling by […]

Not for holiday reading Pt 2 – Deadly Waters and tourist ferries

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Some books you shouldn’t read while traveling. Avoid Alive if you plan to fly a lot (especially if, like me, you are packing a few extra pounds on your derriere) or The Beach if you are planning on hiking in Asia. And if you are planning on spending a lot of time on slow moving […]

Books in Homes

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

As an author, I often do signings, readings, talks and workshops. Many of these are in schools. School visits are my favourite sort of author appearance. I love talking to kids. I love their enthusiasm for books — something that is unfortunately often lost in the transition to adulthood. And I love being able to […]


Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

MEET GRACE’S CREATOR, SOFIE LAGUNA Sophie Laguna was the first Australian Girl born to her parents, a doctor and a nurse who met at a hospital in Sydney after fleeing war torn Europe. Sofie feels lucky to live in a peaceful country like Australia. Here her dreams of writing stories like the four books she […]


Monday, June 20th, 2011

Today is the start of a fabulous Our Australian Girl week at Kids’ Book Capers. We have some great interviews and reviews planned and there are opportunities to win a copy of one of the fabulous Our Australian Girl books from Penguin Australia. The series took two years and two months to develop and Publisher, […]

There’s No Book Like Vampire Academy

Monday, June 20th, 2011

My Dorothy-style there’s-no-book-like-Vampire-Academy moan hasn’t stopped since the last few times I’ve mentioned it on this blog. I don’t own red shoes and clicking my heels together to conjure up either more, as-yet-unpublished books in the series or books equal to the task of filling the series’ big, now-empty shoes hasn’t worked. My friend Kate […]


Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Tune  into Kids’ Book Capers from Monday to Friday next week for some great chats with the creators of the Our Australian Girl series. There are great prizes to be won!

Celebrated In One Country, Unknown In Another

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

It never ceases to amaze me how a writer can be celebrated, award-winning, and absolutely massive in one country and yet entirely unknown in another. I found that was the case with Canadian writer Wayson Choy, whose name until recently drew a blank with me (and with, I’m guessing, most other Australians). Choy’s first book, […]

Death of a Bookseller

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

I can’t tell you how many times we’ve buried the book in my lifetime. The fact is that we haven’t buried the book, and however all this works out, we’re still not going to be burying the book. People are still going to be reading books, and whether they’re going to be reading them on […]

Famous Dead People

Friday, June 17th, 2011

At the recent Continuum 7, Melbourne’s Speculative Fiction and Pop Culture Convention, I attended a panel called “Goodbye Sarah Jane”. It was a tribute to actress Elisabeth Sladen and the character of Sarah Jane Smith, which she played in Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Ms Sladen passed away recently and her death has […]


Friday, June 17th, 2011

Lennie the Leopard is the latest book in author and wildlife photographer, Jan Latta’s True to Life Books for kids. Jan’s books are narrative non-fiction. They are unique in that real photos are taken by Jan of animals in the wild to help tell fictional stories. Jan spends months or even years collecting the information […]

REVIEW: Into the Heart of Life by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Title: Into the Heart of Life Author: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo Publisher: Allen & Unwin, PO Box 8500, 83 Alexander St. NSW 2065, Australia. Date: 30 May, 2011 Reviewed by Louise Gilmore More than 20 people from around the world joined Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo last year for a pilgrimage to the cave in the Indian Himalayas […]


Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Jan Latta is a wildlife photographer and author who spends weeks, months and sometimes years researching for her next book in the True to Life Books series. Jan is visiting Kids’ Book Capers today to talk to us about how and why she started creating her books for children about endangered animals. How did you […]

Not for holiday reading Pt 1 – Kingpin and your Credit Card

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

kingpin, crime

The post-Continuum post

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Over the long weekend just past, I attended Continuum 7, Melbourne’s Speculative Fiction and Pop Culture Convention. For me it was a rather surreal experience. I did some speaking, I did some listening, and I did a lot of wandering around in a vague haze. That’s what happens when you come down with a nasty […]

Thoughts on: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is one of those literary phenomenons. You know the ones – plucked from relative obscurity, a story that doesn’t seem like it would appeal to the masses somehow does, and before you know it millions of copies are sold and book clubs everywhere are discussing it and your friend tells […]

Under Pressure

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Pressure Pressing down on me Pressing down on you Wherever you have the opportunity to quote something by the immortal David Bowie, do. Freddie Mercury? Ditto. The reason I’ve started this post with song lyrics (accompanying a tune which is now stuck in your head, most probably), is that I’m feeling – you guessed it […]

The Psychopath Test

Monday, June 13th, 2011

I’m acutely aware that the excitement I expressed and the enthusiasm with which I sought out a review copy of Jon Ronson’s forthcoming book about psychopaths might have made me appear a little, well, mentally unhinged. So I want to say a massive thank you to the Pan Macmillan publicity team, who agreed to send […]

The Single Most Important Reason To Switch To Ebooks

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

I realised today the most important reason and deciding factor for me moving across to ebooks. It actually emerged from hearing a single, throwaway sentence. Before I continue, I should say that you may not wish to be eating or drinking while reading this blog, because it comes with an ‘ewww’ warning. Oh, and sorry, […]


Friday, June 10th, 2011

Today we have a very special guest at Kids’ Book Capers. Ike, the star of the Grim and Grimmer series has promised us an EXCLUSIVE interview.  He is here to talk about his latest adventure, The Calamitous Queen. Please be kind to him. He’s never been interviewed before and he’s a bit shy so he’s […]

Life after Harry, part 2

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Last post I blogged about the Harry Potter books. Today, I move on to the films. The film version of the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released in 2001, in the long drought between the publication of the fourth and fifth books. I don’t think I have ever been as excited […]


Thursday, June 9th, 2011

There are some books that are so well written they make you hold your breath. They crawl inside you and inhabit your senses – make you wonder how someone could have thought to put words together in such a hauntingly beautiful way. Tantony by Ananda Braxton Smith is one such book. It’s unusual title comes […]


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Ananda Braxton-Smith is visiting Kids’ Book Capers today to talk about being a writer and her extraordinary new book, Tantony and how she created it.   How did you become a writer? I haven’t always worked as a professional writer, but I’ve always written. I wrote my first stories at about eleven; stories I chose […]

Life after Harry, part 1

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

The final Harry Potter film is due out in a little over a month. I am positively quaking with antici… pation. I have been looking forward to it since the closing credits rolled on my first viewing of 7.1. But once it’s over, what will I do? No more new Harry Potter! How will I […]

My One True Mug

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

It was meant to be a perk of the job, but my books’ blog mug has been an object of serious contention since I got it. When I signed up, nearly a hundred blog posts ago, Boomerang Books knew how to lure me in. Not only would I have a platform to discuss my many […]

Interview with Paul Collins – Author of Mole Hunt

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Today we’re speaking with Paul Collins, author of Mole Hunt, Book #1 in The Maximus Black Files series. Writers have various methods as to how they put pen to paper – or fingers to the keyboard. Some write by longhand and transcribe to computer; some write chapter-by-chapter synopses and then write their novels; others start […]