The Next Big Thing – I’ve been tagged

I’ve been tagged to take part in an ongoing blog tour about upcoming books. I was tagged by Lorraine Marwood. You can visit Lorraine’s blog and learn about her new book here
But enough about that, and to the questions:
1. What is the working title of your next book?
Big Red Kangaroo. With stunning illustrations from new illustrator, Graham Byrne. Here’s a sneak peek at the cover.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Big Red Kangaroo is part of a Walker series called Nature Story Books. The series originated at Walker UK (under another series name), but Walker Books Australia is making it their own,  producing titles about iconic Australian animals. 
3. What genre does your book come under?
It’s a bit of a crossover really. The main narrative is fiction, about a day in the life of a male red kangaroo, and on each opening there is also non-fiction. Narrative non-fiction? It’s a picture book for 5 +
4. What actors would you choose to play the parts of the characters in the movie rendition?
 Hmm, I’d have to go inland to audition. I’ll get back to you on that one. 
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
 A night in the life of Big Red and his family in central Australia. 
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Big Red Kangaroo will be published by Walker Books Australia in August this year. 
7. How long did it take to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It took a while. It was tricky working with the dual texts, constructing a story about a single kangaroo and his family, while keeping in mind the need for species general information.
8. What other books would you compare your book to in this genre?
There are other wonderful books in this series. ‘Bilby Secrets’ by Edel Wignell and Mark Jackson is one. ‘Python’ by Chris Cheng and Mark Jackson is another. 
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
 I loved the poetic language in the Walker UK titles and was inspired by the dual narrative idea. They are all beautifully illustrated and are just lovely books. Here was a chance to blend poetry and non-fiction. What an opportunity!
10. What else might pique a reader’s interest?
Spend a night with Big Red Kangaroo and his family in their Australian home.
If you would like to post about your next big thing, please contact me and I’ll add the link here.

Travelling to Fiji

I wish!
But the second-best thing did happen. Some of my books are now living in Fiji in a school library.

A local uni student had the opportunity to spend a week in this school this summer. And she took some of my books with her (thanks G).

So now my stories of chickens and children, bears and bowling machines are being read by Fijian students!

That’s what it’s all about.


Roma Mitchell was a judge, QC, chancellor of a university and a state governor. Not all at the same time, but she was the first women in several of these positions. So she deserves a rest, and here, outside Government House, under leafy trees, she gets it. 

Playing with the cartoon app again … this time it’s the River Torrens, just in front of the Festival Centre in Adelaide.

Not sure this is at all flattering but love the colours. 

River Torrens at sunset.

Home again, and the clouds swirled spectacularly, but alas no rain. 
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A Day in the Country

A friend was in town for a medical appointment so I met her and drove her home to the country. She and her family moved here about 15 years ago and have transformed a fairly ordinary home and garden into a welcoming family home. And I do mean welcoming. At any given time, there will be extras staying there, for days or months. Meals are always expandable depending on who turns up. Some even take away their tucker (that happened last night). 

I stayed in son one’s bedroom. He stripped the sheets on the way to his part time job in Melbourne. Lucky for me it was a working day for him. 

Two more of their children were there after work and training, and two English cousins were staying.
We washed and ironed panels for a quilt that will be laid out today. I had no phone or internet coverage (although was part of a ‘discussion’ between my friend and her children about the low level of the home coverage). 
It is entirely coincidental that no one was home at my house – even the dog was having a sleepover. I arrived home this morning to an empty house and a space where there used to be a side fence. Was happy to miss the actual deconstruction. 
Now, where can I go to miss the construction tomorrow? 
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Any idea what derm-pav is? 

Nor had I, until today. 

We went on a train trip. A Diesel Electric Rail Motor – Preservation Association Victoria train trip. 

It began in Newport and travelled through the western suburbs freight lines, returning us to Newport about an hour later. The engine/carriage was built in 1925 and had those iconic luggage racks that today adorn bathrooms. The windows opened high so you could stick your head out to look – or take photos – or have your face whipped by close-growing bushes.

Our trip was peopled by train-enthusiasts, multi-generational families and a smattering of couples.

It was a journey to so many places, so many times, so many people. 

Even the rock-holes-through-reinforced-glass looked like something other. Like spider webs perhaps. 
I took many photos, saw unfamiliar views of familiar places, overheard some fascinating conversations.  A slice of life
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