news & interviews
Just wanted to give a big shout out to the students, teachers, librarian staff, parents and community of COONABARABRAN. I’ve just returned from a trip out there as part of the high school’s Feast of Words festival, which featured former student/journo/lawyer Michael Morrissey, script writer Patrick May, academic/literature expert Elizabeth Hale and YA author (and my excellent travel partner) J.C. Burke. We were made to feel so welcome, and I had an absolute ball (thanks also to Kellie Nash for the invite, and the brilliant organising!).
The Coona community is a generous one. I came away inspired. And feeling very, very lucky to get to do this kind of thing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
*I must also make mention of our professional nodders – excellent job, guys! Nod hard or go home.
**’Forever Dare’ are the words on the school’s crest. Isn’t that the best motto?
Further to my last post, the schedule for this week is now up at Irresistible Reads, so check it out. I’ve realised, just from trying to get my guest posts ready, how much time and effort must have gone into organising, preparing and coordinating this week, so once again my thanks to Irresistible Reads and Bibliophile Brouhaha and everyone taking part for their support.
In addition to the guys I mentioned previously, there will also be reviews from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing, Fiction Folio, and a really moving review of Raw Blue is already posted at Buried in Books. Reviews are always scary to me, but reading about Raw Blue makes me oddly homesick, just because I miss the characters (which probably makes no sense, but there you go).
In addition, Steph Su Reads will be talking about Older YA, and Nomes at Inkcrush will be talking about Aussie YA, so definitely a few things worth checking out there. Anyway, don’t listen to me, head over to Irresistible Reads and see if you can snag yourself a giveaway.
A BIG thank you to the lovely Nic from Irresistible Reads and the force-of-nature who is Linds from Bibliophile Brouhaha who have organised an appreciation week starting Monday 29th August. Also participating are other wonderful bloggers such as Inkcrush, The Unread Reader, Supernatural Snark and I Swim For Oceans – mega thanks to them also!
These guys have all been so supportive of Raw Blue, and Aussie YA in general, so they already have my undying gratitude, but this is really amazing of them. Apparently we’re all going to an island resort where we will drink pina coladas and lie around the pool and talk about how great I am.
Okay, I am kidding. There will be giveaways, posts, reviews, other Aussie YA features, and I’ll be doing a couple of guest posts talking a bit about Night Beach (the new book due out in February) and how the writing process was for me (fraught is the short answer!), as well as a bit on Raw Blue. If you want to know more, check out Irresistible Reads and Bibliophile Brouhaha for the rundown.
Mayjune being this new, extended month I’ve made up, on account of my not keeping up to date …
Firstly news – I panelled at the Reading Matters 2011 conference back in May. It was a fantastic experience, particularly listening to the other authors talk. A huge thank you to the Centre for Youth Literature team, Express Media and the State Library of Victoria for an incredible couple of days.
Also in news – a big thank you to Irresistible Reads for coming up with the Aussie YA Reading Challenge 2011, and to inkcrush, who helped get it off the ground. In a similar vein, thanks to The Unread Reader, who came up with Go Aussie Book Tours and is very generously sharing Aussie writing around on the other side of the pond. To all those participating – a huge thanks from me (and all Aussie authors me thinks). If you haven’t heard about all this, check out any of the links to the sites above to find out more.
Reviews. Everything this special double month is about Raw Blue. (I should interrupt myself here and mention that I don’t have Google Alerts on, I only become aware of things when other people point them out to me – so, if you’ve reviewed something and you want to see it mentioned, drop me a line):
The Book Nerd Club: All my life I’ve lived within five minutes of the ocean, so for me this book is set in ‘my’ Australia. The cleansing power of the ocean is something I totally get. I don’t surf, but you don’t need to personally know about it to understand the power and freedom it gives Carly …
Book’d Out: It is wonderful to have a book that is so naturally, authentically Australian, and so gloriously, beautifully written …
The Perpetual Page-turner: I would definitely recommend this for readers who are looking for a little bit of more mature YA read … There was just the right amount of “drama” and love and growth…
Angieville: I loved this book from start to finish. It dropped me into another world, full of surfing lingo and weather reports, charmingly different speech patterns, and the ubiquitous word “mate.” … But even more than surfing, this book is a love story.
Musings of a YA Reader: A novel I’m going to recommend to anybody and everybody, Raw Blue will leave readers with a lasting impression and the indelible gift of hope.
Thanks to all reviewers for taking the time to read the book – I know some of you had to buy an e-book to do it. And, as ever, thanks to bibliophile brouhaha for passing it on.
Hey peoples, here is the cover for Night Beach – isn’t it beautiful? The book will be out in February next year, and I’m currently busy, busy, busy on the edits. More to come on Night Beach, but for now I’m going to make up a genre and call it sea-gothic. It’s about art, the ocean, and the very dark things that feed the creative process … There’s surfing in there, and a look at the idea of ownership. But mainly it’s about a girl called Abbie and a guy called Kane.
For the cover groupies amongst you – this one was designed by Marina Messiha, rock star of book design (so from now on RSBD). Marina also designed the Saltwater Vampires cover and if you want to read about her process you can check out this post on Penguin’s Between the Lines site.
What’s that? You’re obsessed with cover design? Well you can check out Tony Palmer’s process for designing Raw Blue‘s cover in this post.
H’okay, for me this month has been all about the Somerset Celebration of Literature. A massive thank you to all the parents, volunteers, organisers, students and the other authors for making it The. Best. Time. Ever. And special thanks to my student helpers Nathalia and Kumiko!
While I was up there, I found out that Saltwater Vampires had been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards – Ethel Turner Prize. This was The. Biggest. Surprise. Ever. (I thought they’d chuck it in the bin when they saw the ‘V’ word in the title). Congratulations to the other shortlisted authors: Michelle Cooper, Cath Crowley, Belinda Jeffrey, Melina Marchetta and Jaclyn Moriarty.
And finally, some lovely reviews have come in for Raw Blue from the States (thanks once again to Linds from Bibliophile Brouhaha who is the driving force behind a blog tour over there).
And separate to this, a nice one from Chachic’s Book Nook in the Philippines. What a lucky story, getting to travel around like that …
Well, I owe a huge thank you to Linds at Bibliophile Brouhaha who has sent Raw Blue on a blog tour in the States off her own bat.
Three reviews have come in as a result.
One from The Unread Reader: [Carly’s] bravery, when revealed, was silent, but it was hers and it was full of heart and hope.
And one from Supernatural Snark: Raw Blue … handles personal anguish in a delicate and unassuming way so we don’t even realize the strength of the connection we’ve developed with Carly and Ryan until we find ourselves unable to let them go, clinging to our memories of their interactions for days and weeks afterward.
And one from Forever Young Adult (which was really funny!): And when the fire department asks who started it, tell them it’s all Ryan’s fault because he’s too damn sexy and understanding and enigmatic and GAH HERE COME THE FLAMES AGAIN. Seriously, though, one of the things I love about the swoon in this book is that the mysterious loner dude is actually a girl– Carly– and therefore, Ryan is trying to reach out to her and that just makes him even hotter, IF THAT’S EVEN POSSIBLE.
It’s still hard to get a copy of this book for those of you who are readers in the States, the two options at the moment being E-book, or shipping from Australia, so my apologies!
(And thanks to Amelia from Better Read Than Dead for letting me know about the FYA review!)
16 – 18 March, 2011
Somerset Celebration of Literature
Details to come. In the meantime, you can find more on the festival by clicking here …
27 – 28 May, 2011
Reading Matters Conference
Friday 27th: 10.15am Monsters Ink (Panel session with Ananda Braxton-Smith, Karen Healey and Brenton McKenna)
Saturday 28th: 11.20am Dangerous Arrangements (Panel session with Jane Burke and Denis Wright)
For more details on the conference, please click here …