Let Your Heart Be Light

Hello! I like writing blog posts at Christmas. No one expects much. Do they? Writing: I finally finished Truly Tan: Baffled! (book seven) and delivered it to my publisher on time (working right up until December 15, the day it was due). Phew! Next year I’ll be waaaay more organised. Ahem. Finalising: We signed off…

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Behold! The children’s book industry. Here’s how it works

Is there a hierarchy in the children’s book industry? You betcha. If you’re just entering this dog-eat-dog world, think of it like a school. A large, grey bugger with high fences and lots of asphalt. The picture book creators are kept inside, in a rarefied, humidity-controlled, tastefully decorated sanctuary. Busy finger painting. Will speak to fairies. No one else. The…

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Why all writers need a secret stash

Early this year I was interviewed by a rather pompous character called, Bookworm. It was for a Channel 9 kids TV show. I’ll let you know when it screens… At one point during the interview, Bookworm said, ‘I hear you collect words.’ I said, ‘Who told you that?!’ Bookworm was taken aback (and that’s saying something).…

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Why unwriting is a writer’s best friend

  Writers love words. Not just for what they do—create entire universes. They love them as individuals. Most writers (and editors) will blush with delight when handed a dictionary. They enjoy nothing more than ‘word talk’. Who likes pernickety, lilting, lumber, moot? Moot is a queer word. Queer is a great word that’s taken on a…

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What do editors know?

It’s only subjective! They don’t know everything! You have to stick to your guns! Over the years I’ve been privy to conversations wherein authors discuss/ argue/ wail about their editors. Likewise, I’m often asked by aspiring  authors and illustrators, ‘What should I do when my editor makes suggestions and I don’t agree with them?’ Sometimes…

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Setting goals for 2017

Look. See the water on the steps? Yep. That’s rain. Rain, I tell ya! Oh, happy days. Perfect weather for plannin’, dreamin’ and schemin’. Do you plan your year in advance? Do you set goals? I do. Kind of… If you subscribe to girl and duck (and why wouldn’t you?)  you would have received an…

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Are you in a mess? Me too.

What’s happenin’, duckie? It’s Christmas! Well, nearly. We’re on the slippery slope but I’ve decided not to lose the plot this year. Instead… I’m systematically working through our house. So far we have one festive, almost pristine, room. The dining room. Naturally. We painted it. White. It used to be green. Green, I tell you! Did…

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Tough love tips for aspiring authors: Part Two

Hey, sleepy head. Did you miss Part One? You can read it here. Okay, so I’ve eased up a bit. This next lot? Not so hard-arse. 5. Always begin with pen and paper. Go to the computer later but connect your hand to your brain first. It’s a physical thing. Our imagination is stimulated by…

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Four tough love tips for aspiring authors. Part one.

Got on your thick skin? Here we go! 1 Don’t die with your book in you. Write. Learn. Commit to doing the grunt work. Stop thinking about writing and write. Don’t expect your first book to be a bestseller. Don’t even expect it to be published. Want to write a series? I went along to see…

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Ten Twisted Tips: Weird stuff that helps me write

1. Garamond is my lucky font. Good things happen when I write in Garamond. 2. I don’t read anything in my own genres. Especially anything that’s doing well. It intimidates me. 3. I drink my tea from different cups at different times of the day. My first cup is in a china mug that’s the…

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