Wednesday 27 November 2013

The Perfect Christmas Present - Each the Same

Each the Same, written by Michelle Worthington and illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn, finalist in the 2013 USA Best Book Awards, is available for Christmas delivery at

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Cuppa and a Catch up with Author Penny Reeve

Author Penny Reeve

When did you start writing?
Like many authors I loved writing as a child. I wrote my first ‘picture book’ when I was 7 years old. It was inspired by real life (as all good books are!) and called ‘Creepy Crawlys’. I then went on to write detailed stories at school, soppy poetry when I was a teen and kept a diary off and on the whole time. But I never really believed I could write for publication until I was in my early twenties and that’s when I began giving it a more serious try.

What is your favourite place and time to write?
I love writing at home, alone, at my old leather topped desk. I seem to get my best writing done around lunch-time which is very inconvenient as I’ll get hungry in the middle of the creative flow.

What writing groups do you belong to?
Over my writing life I’ve been a member of a number of formal and informal writing groups. I’m currently part of various online writing communities and love a good catch up, talking writing over a cuppa with one or two good writing buddies.

Why did you/do you want to become an author?
I initially started seeking publication because I couldn’t find the books I wanted to buy for my daughter at our local bookstore. Now I write because it is my ‘heart thing’. I think best when writing and enjoy stretching myself to communicate my ideas in print as best I can.

What are you currently reading?
I always find myself part way through a variety of books. The current pile includes Meredith Resce’s For All Time, Stephanie Evans Steggall’s Can I Call You Colin?, Jackie French’s Refuge and the latest SCBWI journal.

Who are your favorite authors?
The answer to this question seems to change according to whatever I’m reading or recovering from. Current favourites include: Rosanne Hawke, Penelope Wilcock and Shannon Hale.

What is your current project?
I’m working on another story with the characters from my 2013 picture book Wonderfully Madison.

Do you write with a visual image of the illustrations for your book?
Yes, I always imagine how the story will play out visually, but try to hold myself back from being too specific as I enjoy seeing what unique storytelling aspects the illustrator will contribute.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
All over the place! It might be a scene as I’m driving the kids to school, an overheard conversation, a piece of music, an experience from my life, or a story that I believe needs telling. There doesn’t seem to be one main source, stories are generally a culmination of various ‘inspirations’.

Do you/Would you do all the marketing of your books or do you/would you have someone supporting you in that role?
I’ve found the marketing role different for each publisher I work with. There seems to be a level that is generally expected and helpful for the author to do, and I am also quite careful about what I expect from myself. It’s great to have the support of the publisher too.

What do you want your legacy to be?
That I told true stories, ones that gave children wings and hope to grow, reach and change the world they live in. 

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Friday 25 October 2013

Inside Story - Black Cat Books, Saturday 2nd November

Inside Story - You're Invited!

The Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators 

in conjunction with specialist bookshops 

launch across the world...

Where children’s authors and illustrators give insights into
the stories behind the creation of their books.
Meet & be entertained 
by Queensland and northern NSW's’s loved and acclaimed
children’s authors & illustrators
179 Latrobe St

Saturday 2nd November 2013

MC author Angela Sunde will host:
Pamela Rushby, Stephen Axelsen, Katherine Battersby, Julie Nickerson, Samantha Wheeler, Dimity Powell, Christina Bollenbach, Judy Paulson, Michelle Worthington, Candice Lemon-Scott, Christine Bongers, Jennifer Poulter, Peter Taylor 
and so much more… 
Balloons, book signings, cake, prizes 
and the chance to chat with authors & illustrators...
It's a mini festival! 
An inaugural international SCBWI event, 
Inside Story will be launched simultaneously around the world, 
including The Children’s Bookshop Beecroft in Sydney,
 and The LittleBookroom in Melbourne. 
Join in the fun of this FREE event at a city near you!

Brisbane - RSVP: (07) 3367 8777

Saturday 21 September 2013

Cuppa and a Catch Up with Guest Author, Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison

When did you start writing?
I’d always loved books and reading, ever since I was a small child, but I started writing my own short stories and poems when I was about sixteen. Unfortunately, I didn’t pursue a writing career properly at that time but left it until about six years ago when I decided: this is it, it’s make or break. Thankfully, things turned out well!

What is your favourite place and time to write?
I don’t really play favourites on place or time. I write whenever and where ever I can fit it into my busy schedule. I usually work directly onto my laptop, which is obviously portable, and so if I make a mistake I can press delete and quickly correct those errors or rework a particular piece of text. If I can’t take my laptop, I take good old paper and pen with me. In an ideal world, I would spend most of my time in my study dreaming up stories and writing all day, every day.

What writing groups do you belong to?
I used to run two writing/critiquing groups at the NSW Writer’s Centre, but I just couldn’t commit the time anymore. Now I belong to networking and author-illustrator groups such as SCBWI and the CBCA. Any time my work needs to be critiqued now, that usually comes from my agent or editor.

Why did you/do you want to become an author?
It was just an urge inside me, something always telling me that I wanted to be an author, to share stories and have my name on books.

What are you currently reading?
Lots of picture books to my 5 year old daughter! I usually only ever read children’s books because they’re fun and what I love reading most.

Who are your favorite authors?
Kate Forsyth, Belinda Murrell, Libby Gleeson, Margaret Wild.

What is your current project?
Besides editing my new fantasy series for Walker Books called ‘Ash Rover’ (part 1 = Ash Rover: Keeper of the Phoenix) and preparing promotions for my new picture book with Wombat Books called ‘Little Meerkat’, I’m working on a new chapter book series for boys, a few picture book ideas for various publishers AND trying to find time to plan an adventure series for older readers. There’s always a few things on the boil…

Do you write with a visual image of the illustrations for your book?
I usually do write with characters and scenery swirling in my mind while I imagine the story unfolding as I type it onto the computer. Sometimes I have firm ideas of what a setting will look like and I will try to find drawings or photographs online that I can print out and tape up all around me in my study. But sometimes, it is simply the words, the text, the story, pouring out of me so that I have to type as quickly as I can to keep up with the words. That’s on a good day, mind you, when the story is flowing well!

If you could bring a fictional character to life, who would it be?
I think it would have to be one of the unicorns from my Unicorn Riders series, possibly Estrella, because she is so magical and beautiful. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see a real, live unicorn?! I know quite a few of my young readers who would like to see a unicorn too!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ideas are all around us, you just have to look and start collecting them ready to use in your next story. People I meet, places I go, stories and articles I read – ideas are everywhere.

Do you/Would you do all the marketing of your books or do you/would you have someone supporting you in that role?
My publishers provide a lot of marketing support to me, however, I firmly believe (and have learned from experience) that an author needs to get out there and promote their books too.

What do you want your legacy to be?
A collection of well-loved stories that have enriched and empowered people’s lives.

Find out more about the amazing Aleesah Darlison at

Friday 20 September 2013

Craft and Afternoon Tea Fundraiser: Rett Syndrome 21st September 2013

Auction for Ava Fundraising Afternoon Tea and Craft fair is on this Saturday from 1 till 4

All proceeds from the entry fee of $10 will go to Ava Larder who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome 3 years ago

Last year, we raised over $2000 for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation
Proceeds from the sale of Yellow Dress Day, written for Ava, go directly to IRSF
Go to to buy your copy and support this worthwhile cause.

There will be free facepainting and storytelling, tea and coffee and delightful nibbles.
Come and join us at the Redland Special School Hall on Panorama Drive, Thornlands
Everyone welcome

Thursday 19 September 2013

Cuppa and a coffee with Guest Author: D J Blackmore


Historical Fiction Author

Fiction author. Born and raised near the vineyards in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, the author has recently begun a new chapter of her life in Central Queensland. The first of her books will go to publication in 2014, and the author is currently working on its conclusion in a sequel.

When did you start writing?
I began to write my first novel at the age of fourteen. I told my father that I was going to be a writer. He said, “There are very few people lucky enough and talented enough to get their books published.” I guess that was a challenge I never lost determination in achieving.

What is your favourite place and time to write?
Especially at night time, when the whole household is in bed asleep.

What writing groups do you belong to?
None at present.

Why did you/do you want to become an author?
I have loved books from an early age, and discovered that I loved words right from kindergarten. Every week after work, my father would come home with the gift of yet another story book. Perhaps that's what started it all...

What are you currently reading?
“The Bride Price” by Tracey Jane Jackson.

Who are your favorite authors?
Francine Rivers and Siri Mitchell.  Lynne Austin, Dee-Anne Gist and Beverley Lewis.

What is your current project?
I’m currently working on “Consider the Ravens” the sequel to my debut novel “Charter to Redemption”, which is to be published in 2014.

Do you write with a visual image of the illustrations for your book?
As my writing doesn’t involve illustrations, no, but when I have inspiration for a new work, it always flashes into my head as a picture, a feeling, rather than a thought.

If you could bring a fictional character to life, who would it be?
The characters I create. Excluding the bad guys, that is.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Some is from life experience. Other inspiration comes from what I see or hear. All the rest is pure fiction that seems to just spring to life without beckon or call.

Do you/Would you do all the marketing of your books or do you/would you have someone supporting you in that role?
At present I am still at the stage of building my writer’s platform. Ideally I would like someone to do the marketing work for me, since organisation is not my calling.

What do you want your legacy to be?
To leave stories to enjoy, to ponder over, and to leave part of my voice behind when I am no longer here to speak. I am truly humbled at the opportunity that has been given me.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day with The Pink Pirate

The Pink Pirate available at

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Cuppa and a Catch up with Guest Author Elizabeth Klein

Elizabeth Klein


When did you start writing? 
I’ve loved stories from an early age and looked forward to writing them in class with a passion. Back then, I wasn’t a very good writer, but I loved imagining unusual places and characters. So, when did I start writing? Probably in primary.  

What is your favourite place and time to write? 
My favourite place to write is where I’ve set up my computer. It’s beside huge glass doors that slide open onto a garden full of wild plants and trees, and flowers in enormous, green pots. My favourite time is the mornings when I feel freshest with ideas.  

What writing groups do you belong to? 
Quite a few. The Sutherland Shire FAW, Brit Writers, Omega Writers, Australasian Christian Writers are just some.

Why did you/do you want to become an author? 
I think wanting to become an author is just the natural progression on from the love of writing that writers have. I wanted to share the incredible worlds, characters and adventures with others, not just with my family.  

What are you currently reading? 
I can’t help it: The Hobbit (again!) 

Who are your favourite authors? 
Emily Rodda, Terry Brooks, J. R. R. Tolkein, Robert Jordon, Frank Peretti 

What is your current project? 
At the moment, I’m really trying to complete the climax of Book 4 in my Bethloria series. It’s called Crown of Shadows and will be finished by the end of the year if not sooner. 

Do you write with a visual image of the illustrations for your book? 
My book doesn’t have illustrations other than a different map at the front of each new book. However, I always visualize what is happening in my mind first before I write it down. I thoroughly see the scenes, hear the characters speaking, the dangers approaching and then I am able to write it. Thank God for imagination! 

If you could bring a fictional character to life, who would it be? 
That’s something I’ve never thought of, but an interesting question. Because I loved the Deltora Quest so much, I’d love to one day see it as a movie—with real life people acting the parts, not cartoon characters. I guess I’d love to see the three main characters in real life.  

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
From everywhere, especially TV. Dreams and documentaries play a huge part in my creations. I also get ideas when I’m driving around, hearing people talk, on holidays. Just about anything can spark off a trail of thought that ignites into a fiery saga in my soul. I keep an ideas book handy which is filling with future stories. Just need the time to write them. 

Do you/Would you do all the marketing of your books or do you/would you have someone supporting you in that role? 
I’ve dubbed my husband the PAAA, which stands for Personal Attempt At Assistant. It’s a joke between us, of course, but in reality I don’t know what I’d do without his support. He’s my manager, agent, computer fixer, ink changer and clever strategist when I can’t see a way out of a scene. (And there’s been a few of those). 
I’ll do most of the marketing, the writing of blogs, interviews, letters, follow-up phone calls, etc.  

What do you want your legacy to be? 
I’d like to be remembered for the sublime story of love in my books and that light always overcomes the darkness in the world, no matter what kind of world it is and no matter how dark things become.