Welcome to Katapult!
Hello there! Did you miss me?
Well, I've just finished dusting the cobwebs off this blog. There were quite a few since edition 9 - about 5 months worth. Oops!
'So where have I been?' I hear you ask. The simple answer is nowhere and everywhere. I've been at my desk, working hard, doing stuff, but I've also been trekking around parts of America on a very special family holiday trying to escape the heat of Summer.
I'm going to fly over the events of the last 5 months to catch you up and then give you a hint of what's to come in the first half of this year - it will be my busiest six months ever!
1) Up To Something Update:
Up To Something, our picture book about billy carts being published by EK Books and illustrated by Kirrili has gone to print - yay! Kirrili finished the illustrations and sent them to our publisher in September. Our book designer then weaved more magic into the layout and the cover. In January, the final edits were completed. I can't wait for you to see this book. So much hard work, tears and time have gone into creating it.
2) No Baths Week Update:
No Baths Week, our picture book about Ben and his dog, Bandit trying to avoid having baths for a week being published by Big Sky Publishing and illustrated by Cheri Hughes has gone to print - yay, two books! Cheri finished the illustrations early this year. After a few last minute changes, it was perfect. Can't wait to have both books in my hands. It has been a very long wait!
3) A new picture book about my Ivy:
Thanks to the craziness of raising a puppy, I've had oodles of inspiration to write a picture book about a puppy. After many rewrites, Sue Whiting, my freelance editor helped me nail the story and characters so I had a polished book to send to publishers in the new year. Watch this space as I will be getting face-to-face feedback from an agent and a publisher at the SCBWI Conference in less than two weeks - eek! Hope they like it!
4) 'Stories After Dark' CBCA NSW Branch Newcastle Sub-branch Childrens' Event
This was our local CBCA annual children's event and it was huge! Children of all ages filled the Newcastle Region Library to hear stories read in the dark by loads of local children's authors and illustrators. Too much fun!
5) Book Launches:
I popped my head into a few book launches over the last few months. I love attending these events. Here's a summary:
Sue Whiting's Beware the Deep Dark Forest
James Foley's Gastronauts
Kate Simson's Finding Granny
Jess Black's The Tales of Mr Walker - Book 1
6) Muswellbrook South Public School visit
Late last year I visited Muswellbrook South Public School to have a chat to the infants children about how picture books are made. What fun we had :)
7) I attended the CBCA Newcastle Sub-branch and the Sydney SCBWI Christmas Parties
I am a party animal! Yes, I am. I go to these events to socialise and catch up with my local and Sydney kidlit friends. There's not enough time to do all the socialising I wish I could do, so I always jump at the chance to attend these lovely events.
8) USA Family Holiday
My husband and I took the kids to USA to visit Disneyland, California Disney Adventure Park, Legoland, San Diego Zoo, Palm Springs, Universal Studios, Hollywood, LA, and everything in between. What a hoot we had! I won't talk about the vomiting bug both my children had while we were in Disneyland, but apart from that, we had a fabulous time. I needed a break from my computer, my town, my country, and technology (OK, I did sneak on Facebook and check my emails but that was it, I promise).
9) Puppy Update:
My beautiful Ivy will turn one on the 28th February. Where has that time gone? She is so lovely but she still chews things. The latest victim - my new, expensive sunglasses! Grrr ...
|Ivy with Copper - her big brother!|
In between all these events these things happened: my son finished Year 6 and started high school, I attended all end-of-year school concerts, assemblies and events, the dishwasher broke down, soccer presentations, golf tournaments, P&F meetings, writing group meetings, school discos and keyboard concerts, singing concerts, Yr 6 camp, birthday parties, started water polo, funerals, haircuts, sport gala days, public speaking finals, school assignments, Aspire auditions, school excursions, new orthotics fitted (kids and me), dentist appointments, Bon Jovi concert, family Christmas functions, end of Yr 6 activities, dog grooming, a trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas lights, CHRISTMAS!, NEW YEAR!, bought new school shoes, spring cleaned the house for four days, packed for an o/s holiday, AMERICA!, prepared for the new school year, worked out school buses for HS, started Aspire rehearsals, pest man sprayed the house, first school swimming carnival, first junior golf tournament for 2019, and Year 7 camp. Oh, and the cat died :(
And you all know in the middle of this was housework, groceries, cleaning and other boring things.
Oh, and sleep ... we had some sleep :)
I'm chairing a panel of four publishers at the upcoming SCBWI Conference in Sydney in less than two weeks. At this conference, I'm also meeting with Walker Books Australia publisher, Nancy Conescu. I'm also meeting with an agent to discuss possible representation. And I'm getting a manuscript assessment from an o/s agent. Phew!
I'm also attending:
Newcastle Writers Festival Program Launch
CBCA NSW Night of the Notables event
Grey-glasses-itis (by Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan) Book Launch
Local CBCA Newcastle Sub-branch meetings
CBCA NSW AAA event
Newcastle Writers Festival - presenting two writing workshops and launching 'Up To Something'
CBCA NSW High Tea with the Stars event
Launching 'No Baths Week' in Lambton Park - bring your dog!
Gresford Billy Cart Derby - presenting storytime
Crown St PS Lights Off Torches On event
Kitlitvic Conference - Melbourne
CBCA National Conference
CYA Conference - presenting a 90-minute workshop on how to write picture books
More events to be confirmed ...
And this is all in the first half of the year! I have Book Week school visit bookings coming in too.
Hmmm ... I think I've overloaded myself a little.
So, if you don't follow me on Facebook, you've missed the all-important reveal of both of the covers of my new books. Here they are:
Book launch information for both books coming soon. They will both be in April.
Anything to Share?This meme was taken from Facebook. No explanation needed.
I was in the USA while the government shutdown was on in an anti-Trump state (California). Two teacher strikes also happened during our time there. As we had sick children for some of the trip, we spent a lot of time watching American news. Eye-opening stuff!
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I've just finished making my, 2018 My Year in Review movie and have uploaded it to my YouTube channel. Click here if you'd like to see it.
I can't promise I'll be back on my blog in March. I may be too busy. But I do visit my Facebook page often so keep an eye on news about my book launches and other events there.
The definition of resilience!
And some information about my writing workshops at the upcoming
Newcastle Writers Festival.