As I celebrated finishing a picture book, self-congratulating myself on my level of professionalism given that I had engaged a talented illustrator, an experienced graphic designer, a well versed editor and an amazing printer, I’d always simply assumed that the step of translating this PDF print-ready file into another file type relevant to an eReader…

‘Why did you choose to set your books overseas?’ It’s a question I hear often, at just about every event I do, both here in Australia and in the US. It’s a question I grapple with every time it’s asked, because the answer is long and complicated. I usually end up saying I watched too…

One of my favourite genres to read is children’s fantasy fiction. It’s easy and quick to get into and thoroughly entertaining. Some might call it escapist literature and they’d be right. There’s nothing better than escaping into a good book, whatever the genre or literary status, so why does the term ‘escapist fiction’ have such…

One comment from a publisher changed my view on becoming a children’s author. At the 2016 KidLitVic conference a publisher said, for every junior fiction submission they receive, there are 30 picture book submissions. What did that mean to me? That competition was fierce and my chances of becoming a traditionally published picture book author…

When I tell people that I’m a children’s author, they usually smile, which I interpret as – well, that explains the terrible haircut, at least. When they ask what kind of books I write, I say ‘Early Middle Grade Fiction’, and then they smile again, which I interpret as – I have no idea what…

Just over 20 years ago, in 1994, my first novel for children was published. Some 200 books later (I hasten to clarify that quite a few are only 2000 words long), I’m working on my latest. What, if anything, has changed in children’s books over that time? Quite a lot. We’ve seen international game changers….

Going it alone without a publisher, agent or editor is the way a person who doesn’t know anything about the publishing industry finds herself travelling. When an idea forms during one of those 2am wide-awakes, it might never occur to someone who finds the idea interesting enough to write down that they (a) might be…

Do you remember being scared of the dark? How it felt when your BFF abandoned you at little lunch? You do, don’t you? All too painfully, I bet. Resurrecting childhood memories is an important part of writing for middle-grade readers, since rejection, fear and exhilaration are as real today as they were then. But here…

SO now I am a Young Adult (YA) writer, apparently. On Wednesday 9 December, my novel marketed at teenage readers, Clancy of the Undertow, will be published by Text Publishing and my name will begin to appear in a whole different section in bookshops, a whole different category on websites and my chances of being…

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