Last year was a really good year for me in terms of education writing. I was contracted to write 14 education titles, including school readers, reference books and a couple of chapter books. Most of these books will be published over the course of 2014.
I’ve been writing for the education market for many years and I’ve had over 70 books published… but the joy never dies. Each time a new title shows up in my postbox I still feel the little thrill of excitement flash through me as I hold the book for the first time.
I had an extra thrill last week, as six readers showed up in the post. Five of these readers form the Fairytale Fixits set I wrote for Pearson Australia’s Bug Club series. The other book is a non-fic Bug Club title called The Food You Eat.
The Fairytale Fixits are, without a doubt, my all-time favourite readers. Each book is about Sarah and Joe getting zapped into a broken fairytale and having to find a way to fix it.
The Fairytale Fixits were an absolute joy to write, the editing process was a truly collaborate creative development and Diane Le Feyer provided gorgeous full-colour illustrations.
I read all five of the books to my five-year-old daughter Lexi the day they arrived. As we finished each one, she eagerly begged for the next. And her favourite moment — when Joe offers his stinky socks to Puss in Boots. It was a magic experience.
I love my job! :-)
Yes folks… it’s time to reveal all about that Secret Project I’ve been going on about for ages. So…
[insert drum roll]
I’ve been working on a new series of kids books called…
YOU CHOOSE is a series of interactive books where the reader gets to make key decisions about how the story progresses. Numerous intertwining story paths and a plethora of different endings (many of them resulting in certain death), combined with a variety of genres and an odd assortment of really weird characters should provide a roller-coaster ride of a reading adventure.
As a kid, I loved reading the old Choose Your Own Adventure books. And over the years, I’ve read a variety of different takes on the style, from the Pick-a-Path books to the more recent Interactive History Adventures, and even one of the Doctor Who: Decide Your Destiny series. So I am VERY EXCITED about having my own series. And they have been a lot of fun to plot out. Check out my whiteboard for The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove…
The first two books come out in May from Random House Australia — The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove and Mayhem at Magic School. They will be marketed for middle to upper primary… but I reckon they’re fun for ‘kids’ of all ages. The wonderful covers and internal illustrations are by James Hart (check out his site, he does awesome work.)
The next two books will be released later in the year. Book 3 is currently going through the editing process and I’ve almost finished Book 4. More info about them later.
I can now breathe a sigh of relief. I cannot express to you, dear reader, how difficult keeping this secret has been. I am so pleased to be able to shout about it from the rooftops.
Well hello there, 2014! So pleased to make your acquaintance. You’re a nice looking year — so much promise; so full of hope. You just make sure you fulfill your potential. So many people are counting on you.
Your predecessor was very kind to me and for that I am grateful. But 2013 wasn’t all that nice to some of my family and friends. So I’m hoping that you can do better on that front.
So… you just do your best and I’m sure we’ll get along. And if you see fit to be as lovely to everyone as 2013 was to me… well, that would be truly AWESOME!
If any of you have been following me on Twitter or Facebook (and if you haven’t… why not? ) you will have been enduring continuing cryptic comments about my ‘secret project’. Well, if I may paraphrase the Walrus, the time has come…
for a partial unveiling. (Don’t you just hate me right about now?) I can reveal four things about this project.
- The secret project is a new series of four books aimed at middle and upper primary kids. That’s right! Count ‘em — 1… 2… 3… 4!
- Each book is a stand-alone story — so it doesn’t matter what order you read them in.
- The first two books will be published in May 2014.
- The books will be published by Random House Australia. I am so excited about this. Random House Australia publishes some amazing authors including Michael Pryor (If you haven’t read his Laws of Magic series… go get them right now!) and John Flanagan. Random House Australia recently published two rather wonderful anthologies, Stories for Girls and Stories for Boys, containing my stories “Fairy Pie” and “Rainbows and Jellyfish”.
Well… that’s about all I can tell you for the moment. Doh! Stay tuned for more revelations in 2014!
To anyone who stumbles upon my little corner of cyberspace…