Write on Fertile Ground

What are my sources of inspiration? I have endless sources of inspiration with three young children, a beautiful garden to nurture and enjoy, a great community of friends, and living in Albany – a coastal town with striking landscapes, abundant space and beauty. I keep the initial threads for my stories together in an ideas file. Anything from a turn of phrase, a person I pass in the street to a daydream in the

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Can I Come Too, Eliza-Lou?

Excitement is mounting! For the final copy edits of my next picture book ‘Can I Come Too, Eliza-Lou?,’ illustrated by Rebecca Cool, I was emailed this story in an electronic format which Wild Eyed Press sends on to their graphic designer. The graphic designer makes alterations to the position and shape of the text on each page, and works with the illustrations, to create

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Grateful for Feedback

Critiques are fantastic! The other day, someone asked me, ‘how do you respond to a critique? Surely having someone tell you what is wrong with your manuscript makes you feel miserable?‘ Quite the opposite….Receiving a critique on your picture book manuscript or the first ten pages of your novel at a conference, is a most valuable learning experience for any new writer. And I

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Community

I recently returned from an inspiring few days on Rottnest Island for the annual Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators retreat. I caught up with old friends, made new friends, received some great education and inside tips from guest publishers and W.A.’s published authors and illustrators, I was encouraged in my own writing and had a huge amount of fun. I’ve returned home buzzing with fresh ideas

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Identity

Who am I? This is one of those universal questions that is explored in many books for middle-grade readers. It is a question that has popped up in the junior fiction/ middle-grade manuscripts I’ve been working on over the last couple of years. In two stories I’ve recently finished (unpublished) my main protagonists seek to find answers to questions around identity in very different ways. I’ve been writing a

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Musings about careers and the writing life

Last month I was thrilled to catch up with my PhD supervisor, Professor Sue Jenkins who was visiting Albany with her partner. It had been about six years since we’d last met and it was lovely to see her happy, relaxed and enjoying her current phase of life. Sue is a very special lady, and a significant mentor to me. She was awarded an Order of

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My Grandmother

This year began with the passing of my Grandmother. She was a humble and inspiring lady who will be dearly missed. Among her many pursuits and passions, Grandma had a great love for words and education, as seen through her achievement of three University degrees, an enjoyment of cryptic crosswords, of scrabble and writing poetry. Grandma had a rich and full life and I am blessed to

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New Book in the Pipeline

A third picture book manuscript of mine has been picked up by Wild Eyed Press, yippee! I was thrilled to hear it will be illustrated by Rebecca Cool whose beautiful, happy and vibrant illustrations are sure to bring this story alive. I’ve long been a fan of Rebecca’s! The story is a quirky, modern-day Red Riding Hood tale with a humorous, Aussie twist. Also exciting, is talk of it becoming a

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Author visit to Australian Christian College

Another enjoyable author visit took place before the school holidays with Australian Christian College. Mrs Power, a teacher at the college, kindly invited me to address the lower primary students. The students were just delightful and came prepared with interesting questions about Beyond Our Garden Gate and my experiences as a new author. I was touched to receive a handmade card with illustrations of the children enjoying imaginative games outdoors. As well as

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Book Week

I loved sharing Beyond Our Garden Gate at my first Book Week appearance. The students at Parklands Primary School were an enthusiastic and interested audience. In the Kindergarten to Year One presentation, I was astounded by the children’s spontaneous creativity. As part of this interactive session, volunteers drew pictures on butcher’s paper of natural structures in their own backyards, and depicted what these could become in an imagination game. One girl

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Book Launch and Book Week

August is proving to be a busy month. I have my first Book Week appearance next Thursday at Parklands Primary School. I’m looking forward to presenting three sessions to the students: A closer look at Beyond Our Garden Gate– The story behind the story and using imagination in nature play, A workshop to assist students in turning their ideas into well crafted stories, and A workshop which will focus

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