My esteemed author colleague, Sue Bursztynski, is looking to get in touch with a reader who commented on a post during Sue's recent Inside a Dog residency. Sue apparently promised Cara from St Columba's some bookmarks and posters. So, if Cara from St Columba's is out there, go to Sue's blog and use the Contact section to get in touch.
Writers have many challenges. Getting a pencil to a perfect sharp point. Coming up with alternatives to 'Once upon a time' to start a story. Finding time to count our enormous sacks of money. Things like that. With my most recently released book, 'The Extinction Gambit', I encountered a challenge that I hadn't confronted before: the intricacies of using a real life character in a work of fiction.
Tis the season to be jolly, and it's also the season to do a bit of seasonal reading. Many people have favourite books that they read at this time of year, an annual tradition. Sometimes they're books to share, reading aloud to a family gathering. Some are solitary pleasures revisited every twelve months. The stories therefore become more than what's between the covers. They accumulate memories and associations and become as evocative as the spicy sweet smell of Christmas pudding.
Here's a list.
As an author, I'm invited to speak at many, many schools and today I completed my last school visit for the year. I looked back over my records and today was actually the twentieth school I've lobbed into over 2011, getting to talk about books and reading and writing. Interestingly, that gives me a broad view of what's happening in schools right around the country, and what students and teachers are up to.
With my astonishing Lego skillz I've been putting together versions of great Australian YA/Teen book covers, but I thought I'd give you a task by redacting the title and author. Consider it a challenge - what is this book?
I've always been fascinated by magic, which explains my lifelong love of Fantasy. But this passion extends beyond the world of make believe sorcery and into the art of stage magic. Call it sleight of hand, conjuring, or prestidigitation, I love the cleverness involved in stage magic, the canny combination of applied psychology, physical dexterity and showmanship. The drama and the showmanship appeal to me, the knowingness that pervades each performance. The magician and the audience all know that it's a show, but while the performance endures, the extraordinary takes place.
This week sees the publication of ‘The Extinction Gambit’, my twenty-ninth book. When a book finally hits the shelves, it’s a remarkable jumble of mixed feelings. Satisfaction and pride are there, naturally, but also trepidation, because people are finally going to read it and what if they don’t like it? On top of that there is relief, for writing a book is a commitment of time, emotional and physical effort.
Since it's pinch and a punch time, I started thinking about the calendar - so here's my list of books with a month in the title.
So, why is this piece like an army camp at sunset? It’s the last post.
Well, the last one for me, anyway. As of tomorrow, the Doghouse’s next occupant will be – roil of drums! – Michael Pryor! I have been reading and loving his Laws of Magic series for the last several years and can’t wait to get stuck into his new series.
I’ve enjoyed this gig and the challenge of writing something every day. I’ve told you about me and what I do, about others and what they have done. I’ve given you a recipe for chocolate truffles and shared photos with you.