The 17th July 2022 was one of the most exciting days of my life. My first adult novel was published, Thank you to everybody who helped me celebrate the launch of The Near Daphne Experience. Special thanks to the fabulous Anne Gracie, Affirm Press Sales Director Keiran Rogers, Jaye from Mary Martin books and Erica for the fabulous food from the Gasworks Café. A good time was had by all!
I’m thrilled to announce that the fabulous team at Affirm Press are publishing my debut novel The Near Daphne Experience to be released on the 28th of June 2022! This book was so much fun to write! I fell in love with my characters and feel quite nervous about how the world will greet them. It is difficult to categorise but I’m calling The Near Daphne Experience a romcom with bite. Or maybe a thromcom, being a thriller romcom!
This book was my escape during Melbourne’s lockdowns, It was either go stir-crazy or write a book! An old idea itched at me and I chose to slip back in time to 2001 when we sipped cosmopolitans sharing straws without fear, danced to Kylie’s I can’t you out of my head and still looked for possible loves in the classified ads of newspapers. It was a joy to write for adults and unleash any murderous tendencies. I hope the readers love the book as much as I loved writing it.
It will be available at all Bookshops from the 28th of June or you can pre-order now.
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I’m not sure what happened to 2020 and 2021! Like the rest of the world they’re lost in a daze of lock downs, anxiety, masks, and restrictions and then just when the end appears in sight another variant arrives!
I’ve really missed getting out and about to share my love of writing and stories with readers young and old and just meeting people in real life. We had so much fun promoting The Day Rudolph’s Nose Turned Blue at bookshops and festivals and do plan to be back out and about later in 2022.
I am lucky to be a writer which is a solitary profession anyway, although it feels a bit different when it is enforced solitude! I had no idea how much I usually go out! But I’ve been busy after being commissioned to write some young readers as well as a number of nonfiction titles for Engage Literacy a division of Capstone US.
It was so much fun writing these two titles. One set in space (the title is possibly a giveaway) and the other about goods and services. I’m especially pleased with that one as I think I’ve managed to make it fun and not boring. The books were released in February 2021 and are available in Australia through the usual online bookshops.
KidLitVic Meet the Publishers also took up a great deal of time. I ran a mini KidLitVic in 2020, and 2021 we ran the full conference on line. Huge thanks to Sarah Reynolds, Nicky Johnston, Coral Vass, Julie Grasso and the volunteers. And the wonderful, generous publishers. So many zoom sessions with the potential to go wrong, but everything ran amazingly smoothly. Of course my internet connection decided to keep dropping out in the very final session, but nobody knew except me frantically pushing buttons.
The lockdowns also gave me the time and impetus to tackle a project of mine that has been sitting on the back burner/ lying in the bottom drawer/dwelling in the depths of my computer. Finally, I finished and polished it. I don’t want to give too much away at the moment but there will be some exciting announcements in the next few months. Sometimes good things really do happen in the publishing world.
Wishing everybody out there a wonderful, healthy 2022!
TROTTING AROUND WITH RUDOLPH!
To celebrate the release of THE DAY RUDOLPH’S NOSE TURNED BLUE we’ve been hitting the shops of Melbourne.
You still have a chance to come and see us!
Saturday 16 November 2019 Dymocks Doncaster Storytime 11:30
Wednesday 20 November 2019 Dymocks Southland Storytime 11:00
Saturday 23 November 2019 Dymocks Eastland Storytime 11:30
Friday 29 November 2019 Port Melbourne Festival Signing & Activities 5:30 & 6.30 (Mary Martin’s Bookshop)
Tuesday 3 December 2019 Dymocks Highpoint Signing & Activities 11:00
Saturday 7 December 2019 Collins Moonee Ponds Signing & Activities TBC
Saturday 14 December 2019 Pictures & Pages Coburg Storytime 10:30
All books are special but The Day Rudolph’s Nose Turned Blue is very special for me. It’s the first book I’ve written with my partner, Alan aka Mr X.
I wanted to write a book which was pure fun to write and I came up with the idea that Father Christmas would be already to go off on his epic present delivering journey but the reindeer were all reclining in the barn and unable to pull the sleigh. Al and I ended up trading lines to make each other laugh and from our jokes Rudolph emerged.
The fabulously talented Shane McGowan agreed to illustrate and he entered into the fun and we’ve ended up with a quirky, funny rhyming picture book.
We hope readers enjoy it as much as we three enjoyed working on it.
And if you want to know why Rudolph’s nose turned blue, you will need to read the book! (It may be because he had the flu.)
A big thank you to our Christmas elf, Mabel!
Lake Press 2019
Available Big W and Bookstores
At KidLitVic Meet the Publishers, we’re making the final arrangements for our conference on 25th May, 2019. From all over Australia, publishers, agents, editors, writers and illustrators will converge at the Melbourne Town Hall for a packed day of publisher panels, illustration showcase, pitches, assessments and up, close and personal sessions.
From a tiny idea that Melbourne, especially as a City of Literature, needed a conference for creators of children’s and YA literature, we are now one of the biggest conferences for creators in Australia. The support of the Australian publishing industry has been amazing and humbling.
One of the impetuses for the conference was to give attendees the chance to hear from the publishers themselves what they are seeking and how to improve their work. KidLitVic has a policy that you do not need to present a finished work to the publishers, giving attendees an opportunity to improve their work and learn the craft. The publishers do just that, by providing honest and invaluable feedback.
Sometimes it’s hard to deal with expectations when you are having an assessment. If the publisher doesn’t flourish a contract immediately, does this mean that you’re a failure and they hate you? Of course not. The chances of being offered a contract immediately are as likely as me climbing Mt Everest! (My ears pop when I go in a lift)I believe that an assessee will gain much more if they go into an assessment with the headset of what can I learn and what can I improve. And who knows, it could be the start of a long-time relationship with a publishing professional. You may not have exactly what they want, but they like your writing style and want to see future work. Gold!
This opportunity for feedback from industry professionals is priceless! It worries me that many assessment services are springing up in the Australian literary community. Some are fabulous and offer amazing feedback. Unfortunately, some are started up with the best of intentions but the knowledge and experience isn’t there and people are spending hundreds of dollars on manuscript assessments that will not help them hone their craft nor give them wise advice on where to go next.
Having an assessment or giving a pitch is an act of courage. No matter how well you write, not everybody is going to like your work. It doesn’t mean your work is bad, but it’s just not the cup of tea that the publisher craves. The taste of chai is revolting for me and even the most well-made chai in the world won’t make me change my mind.
So if you are fortunate enough to have got a hot little ticket to KidLitVic Meet the Publishers 2019, know that any feedback you receive comes from a place of experience, wisdom and an eye on the market.
Buy all six Ranger in Danger Books now for only $50!
A choose-your-own adventure style book series based on real-life stories from rangers around the world. Defeat poachers, rescue animals and have fun learning about wild animals and the natural world.
Two classic picture books now only $19.95 for both!
The Littlest Bushranger is an epic, swashbuckling story about Jack, who is left at home with his faithful dog Hector when his sister Lil starts going to school. But their ordinary day is about to be transformed when a fiendish, oddly bird-shaped outlaw suddenly descends on them. Booktopia
A Year with Marmalade is a charming book about about losing friends and making new ones. Set against a beautiful backdrop of the turning seasons, this story of transition reminds us that change, while constant, is not always a bad thing.
Postage included and personalisation available!
Looking for that special gift? Any book purchased through Alison’s website can be personalised with an inscription of your choice and a signature from Alison.
Check out our shop today as it features a few hard to get titles.