I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Friday 8 March 2019

Katapult - Edition 11 - March, 2019

Welcome to Katapult!

Are you surprised to see me in March? Me too. I thought I’d jump in early this month and give you a quick update because lots of things are happening behind the scenes and I’ll lose track otherwise.

Are you strapped in? Good. Let’s go …

What's Up?

1) Up To Something Update:

Kirrili and I are planning our launch as you read this. Here’s the flyer:

You're the first to see this. It will be appearing on our social media next week. I didn’t share it this week as I started adverting my other book launch and I didn’t want to confuse people. Gosh, I’m confused enough for all of us – two launches just over a week apart - no need to share that confusion with you but I’m battling at this end J
This is a free event as part of the Newcastle Writers Festival Family Takeover Event so everyone is welcome. Here’s a link to the entire Family Takeover schedule.
I’ll let you know as soon as I have a hard copy of this book in my hands. Should be very soon. Book trailer is coming too (I’m still building it actually). World exclusive premier will be at the launch.

2) No Baths Week Update:

The launch-planning is underway. Newcastle Region Library, The Polite Puppy Academy and I have teamed up to present a community dog picnic where anyone and everyone can come together to celebrate reading with our pets. During the picnic, I’ll be launching No Baths Week, doing storytime and signing books. Thanks to Newcastle Region Libraries for designing this very official poster. I believe there are bookmarks too.

To support this community dog picnic, there will be a range of local business and organisations offering a huge range of fun activities. They include:
Newcastle Region Library - craft
The Polite Puppy Academy – paw printing and photography
The council rangers – information about ways you and your dog can have fun and be safe in and around Newcastle
A dog bakery – yum!
A dog wash – bathtime!
A coffee cart – essential, I know!
MacLean’s Booksellers, Hamilton – books will be on sale
And much more! (We're still planning these - more announcements coming.)
We’ll be hosting dog competitions at regular intervals with prizes to be won.

I will also be launching ‘The RUFF Challenge’ (Reading in Unlimited Fun for the whole Family – including pets). I have started a Facebook page where people can get ideas about how pets can assist with building reading confidence. The whole family can get on board and no specialised dog training is needed. 

I’m also running ‘The RUFF Challenge’ Instagram photo competition. Please enter and help me promote reading in an exciting new way. Winners will be announced at the launch. Here are the details:

3) SCBWI Conference (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators):

Wow – what a conference! I spent three days chatting, meeting new people, absorbing information, buying books (see below) and enjoying time mingling with everyone and anyone associated with the children’s literature community. I had manuscript assessments, chaired a panel of publishers, and listened to wonderful advice about all sorts of things. 

My picture book based on Ivy was very well received during assessment too. Can’t say much more at the moment but a rewrite is underway as I have some interest, which is great news J
I chaired a panel of publishers on the topic, Let's Talk Vision! Are your story elements all working together?. I had great feedback from those who listened so hopefully everyone got to take home some advice relevant to them as I had a mixture of very experienced and beginning authors in the room.

I also had the honour of reading No Baths Week for the first time in public to an audience of librarians at the State Library of NSW. That was very nerve-wracking as this was like receiving the first book review - but live!

During the evening of the third day, I attended the CBCA NSW Branch Night of the Notables announcement. Matt Cosgrove (Macca the Alpaca author and illustrator) was a very entertaining speaker. Congratulations to everyone on this CBCA Book Week Awards longlist known as the 'notables'. The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday, 26thMarch.

4) Website Upgrade:
My website has had a major upgrade. It has a new appearance, new pages (one for each book) and new links to fresh resources. I still need to add teaching notes and trailers for the new books but everything else is ready to go. Take a peek here.

Thanks to Alison Matthews who spent hours doing this massive task ready for my new books to jump into the word in a few weeks.

5) Puppy Update:

My beautiful Ivy turned one on the 28th February. Her chewing has progressed to digging! Grrr ...

 Upcoming Events

Grey-glasses-itis (by Lynn Jenkins and Kirrili Lonergan) Book Launch – 16thMarch
CBCA NSW Branch Newcastle Sub-branch meeting – 20thMarch
CBC CBCA NSW AAA event – 26thMarch
Newcastle Writers Festival - presenting two writing workshops – 5thApril
Up To Something Book Launch – 7thApril
Newcastle Writers Festival Family Takeover Event – 7thMarch
CBCA NSW High Tea with the Stars event – 13thApril
No Baths Week book launch and dog picnic in Lambton Park - bring your dog! – 16thApril
Gresford Billy Cart Derby - presenting storytime – 20thApril
Crown St PS Lights Off Torches On event – 17thMay
Kitlitvic Conference – Melbourne – 25thMay
CBCA National Conference – 31 May – 2 June
CYA Conference - presenting a 90-minute workshop on how to write picture books – 6 July
More events to be confirmed ...

Publishing Update

I have two more picture books coming in 2020. This year my publishers will be working with the illustrators to storyboard these books – my story is broken into 32 pages – and then the entire story is illustrated. Towards the end of the year, I get to jump back in and make sure the text is still working and see if any more edits need to be made. 
Chasing Rainbows will be illustrated by Cheri Hughes and published by Big Sky Publishing (same illustrator and publisher as No Baths Week). Sketches will start to pop in my inbox around May. I’m looking forward to seeing those.
Isla’s Family Tree will be illustrated by Prue Pittock and published by EK Books (same publisher as Dandelions and Up To Something). I look forward to working with Prue – we haven’t even met yet! I have seen a few early sketches and I’m an extremely happy and grateful author. This book will look very different to the other four and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Recent Book Purchases:

It's extremely hard not to buy books when you're at a children's literature conference (which is where I bought this pile). I thought I was very restrained. I personally know either the author, illustrator or both here so I'm not going to pick a favourite :)


Where can you find me on social media?

I’ve made it easy. Just click on the live links below to like or follow me.

Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email: author@katrinamckelvey.com

I’d love to hear from you!

I can't promise I'll be back on my blog in April. I’ll be flat out. But come visit me in my social media spaces as things appear there more regularly.
As a reward for reading to the end of this blog, here's a peek inside No Baths Week. Meet Ben and Bandit.

And here's the latest destruction thanks to Ivy - sorry Sue Whiting :)

Either, I have a dog who can read and she didn't like chapters 14-17.
Or I have a very naughty dog!