April has been a whirlwind of activity with the publication of Anchored and all the associated activities both in the real world and online!! So forgive me if this post is rather self-indulgent :-)
I'd like to start by thanking everyone who has enthusiastically supported this book's journey into the world, from the publishing house, booksellers, librarians, teachers, bloggers, reviewers, readers and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Now let me tell you about the events still to come, so you don’t miss out if you want to join me in the new book celebrations!!
The official launch party is on the 29th April 2pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre! Kristin Darell of Football Fever fame will be helping me ‘christen’ Anchored. I’m putting the bubbles on ice, so please let me know if you can come, so you don’t miss out! (See flyer below for details).
Other dates for the diary include:
Sunday 30th April – Woodlands Open House Family Day (home of ‘Seven Little Australians’ author Ethel Turner) and storytime. Information here.
Sunday 28th May – Sydney Writers Festival! YES I’M READING ANCHORED AT THE SYDNEY WRITERS FESTIVAL!! And look at the rest of the fabulous line-up at the Storytime Clubhouse:
Certainly, worth a visit for the day!!
And now to back-track a little: where have I been, what have seen??
On the eve of Anchored’s launch I spoke at the CBCA NSW Branch Northern Sydney Sub-branch event about the ‘Pathway to a Picture Book.’ I also got to hear Aura Parker read and talk about her sublime and lyrical new picture book, Bowerbird Blues, (a must-buy) and Kristin Darell spoke with publisher Holly Toohey about her fabulous Football Fever series.
Talking about Bowerbirds – there are so many books popping up about these fascinating creatures! I went to the launch of Sophie Masson and Lorena Carrington’s Satin, at Better Read Than Dead bookshop. It’s an almost philosophical picture book for older readers with a magical, ethereal quality, and sumptuous endpapers! I was sad I couldn’t get to the same bookshop for the launch of Freckles by Sarah Wallace and Lesley McGee, a picture based on the Gaelic mythology of freckles! Check out Sarah discussing it here. Look out for that one!
At Easter I took a little trip to Canberra and dropped in to sign some books at The Book Cow in Kingston. I got to see Anchored in a bookshop window for the first time (what a thrill), and the amazing Peter even recorded a little video interview with me! Thanks Peter.
The wonderful Gina at Dymocks Neutral Bay hosted a reading and signing day last week, which was a lot of fun. We made paper boats and discovered if they could sail on the makeshift ‘lake.’ And of course, I read Anchored to an enthusiastic crowd! Thanks Gina!
I then flew up to Where the Wild Things are bookshop in Brisbane for their Storytime Festival with Sophie Beer, Dannika Patterson and Rachel Burke. This was a great event with all four picture book creators reading their books and fighting it out in an extreme crowd-sourced story telling challenge! I was put with the amazing Sophie Beer who illustrated my story of a chip-stealing dragon on a boat being chased by a seagull and the magical Easter Bunny and fan that come to its rescue! Crazy-fun! I totally recommend all the books by these great creators: Craft Roach, Heavy, You're Fabulous as You Are (and Anchored)! Check out my socials for some fun photos and videos. Thanks to Genevieve for organising all the mayhem!
And just this past weekend, I was signing books, making paper boats and enticing children to play a fishing game at Berkelouw Books Hornsby! Thanks to Ally, for having me, and thanks to those who dropped by to say hello.
It was great catching up with many friends and celebrating the CBCA awards shortlist at the NSW Branch celebration. congratulations to all the shortlisted creators! I got to finally meet impressive author Kate Foster, after having been social media friends over the years. Oh, and Kate and Dee White have teamed up to bring author pen-pals to schools, and I’ve sent my first package off to the tiny QLD Clare State School – I can’t wait to hear back from them. Dee White has also had me on her blogs: Monday Motivators here, and Writing prompts for kids here. What a dynamic duo!
It was a warmth filled room for the fundraising evening for Room to Read, where we heard from Deb Abella, Sarah Davis, Tristan Bancks and Paul Macdonald, about this inspiring charity and the importance books have made to their lives and are making to the lives of many children in less wealthy countries around the world. Find out more about Room to Read here.
Gleebooks put on a ‘housewarming’ party and ‘ladder launch’ for Sue Whiting and James Foley’s new books. Sue’s is another Pearly and Pig adventure, and I did love the first in the series, and James’s is a graphic novel, Secret Agent Mole, with a very recognisable spy flavour – lots of fun!
I'm collecting so many wonderful reviews for Anchored, and rather than bore you with them here, I’ll direct you to my website where I’m trying to keep up with collecting them all. I’ve also been on a couple of blogs – Dee White’s as mentioned above (thanks Dee), and on the Just Write for Kids blog (thanks Romi) with a Quick Six interview with me and another interview with Anchored’s illustrator, Arielle Li.
Thanks to Dani Vee for having me on the Words and Nerds Podcast recently and allowing me to talk about writing with these other amazing guests (see photo)! You can check out the episode of April releases here. Anchored was sailing with the big ships in this ep of thrillers and mystery writers! I also loved chatting with kids about writing and seeing their imaginations fire in a writing workshop I took for Westwords in Bowral last week
SCBWI offers writers and illustrators for kids amazing opportunities, and a recent one was an online Critique-a-Palooza. I got to have a zoom assessment with an agent from the US. Such a gift - and a great reason to belong to the supportive SCBWI community.
And finally, congratulations to the winners of the Forevability Book awards for books with a disability, illness or inclusion theme. I was pleased to be one of the judges, and I was excited that the winner of the Australian picture book section (in which I was NOT a judge) was my writing buddy, Katrina Roe and her beautiful picture book, Same, based on her experience having a brother with cerebral palsy. Yay!! Find out more about the awards here.
On my radar:
That's about the round up for now. Apologies if I've left out anyone/anything - it's been a lot to keep a track of!!
Things I'm looking forward to:
The launch on Saturday - don't forget to RSVP via 'reply' or to Anchoredlaunch@gmail.com.
And then Woodlands the next day.
Sydney Writer's Festival in May
No doubt there'll be more opportunities to help get Anchored into the hands of readers: I'm chatting with a few libraries about upcoming events and even a regional NSW tour!
Thank you, fellow adventurers for your interest and support. Hope to see you on my adventures, either in person or online.
Until next time,
PS I'll leave you with Captain Archie ready to set sail... or is he??!!! Maybe I need to change the blanket - he's taking it literally ;-) :-)