I have found that one of the biggest stumbling blocks of being a relatively new author, is getting known. It can be a long, slow process - it's incredibly hard competing against the more popular, well-known authors whose books are guaranteed to walk off shelves as soon as they are released - but I'm learning that perseverance is the key. And not giving up. When one door closes, another one will open. Well, that's my theory, anyway. And that's how it often works out.
There are so many things I enjoy about being a children's author. As well as the writing process itself, which can make you almost pull your hair out at times, but then be so challenging and rewarding as well, there are the broader aspects, such as promoting your books, and going to schools and meeting the children who read your books. There are so many wonderful literacy programs in schools today, and it is always an honour and a privilege when I am asked to be involved in one. I took part in a literacy day devoted to 'writing' last Friday, involving several of the smaller cluster schools from around the Warragul area, and held at Nilma Primary School. What a wonderful day! It was just fantastic to see the students so excited, and the teachers so motivated. I had a great time, going through the publishing process - or my experience of it - then finishing off with a round or two of my 'Interactive Quizzical', the interactive quiz show I 'bring into the classroom' to help promote literacy and encourage student participation in a fun way. I had a one-hour session each with children from Years 4, 5 & 6, and what fabulous sessions they were - lots of attentive children, lots of thoughtful, interesting questions, and a lot of fun!
To all of you, if you dream of one day becoming an author, or an artist, or a designer, or an AFL player, or whatever it is you dream of becoming, don't ever give up on those dreams, because dreams do come true. I am proof of that.
I have lots to look forward to in the coming months, with the release of my two new books: Puzzle Palace, and Alby and the Cat: Showbusiness. I've just received copies of both books and they look great. I'm also in the process of finalising several library visits to the metropolitan area, which I'm really looking forward to.
Check out some of my recent interviews online in Alphabet Soup Magazine, at http://soupblog.wordpress.com/ (thanks Rebecca!), in Kids Book Review, at http://kids-book-review.blogspot.com/ (thanks Megan!) and in Good Reading Magazine, at http://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/meettheauthorarchive.cfm (thanks Rowena!) You will also find links to their sites on this page, so check them out. There's some great stuff on them!
Well, that's me just about done for the moment! I'll catch you on my next blog!