I’ve been sitting on this news for a little while, but now I’m super excited to announce I’ve got a new book coming out with Wombat Books.
‘Skippy Blackfeet’ is a junior fiction novel that introduces readers to Skippy Blackfeet – a very little cat with a very big heart – and how two lives change for the better when he meets a young girl called May. The story is told through Skippy’s point of view, and will appeal to anyone who’s ever questioned their place in the world.
This will be an illustrated work, and I’m so excited to have the talent of Jennifer Horn breathing life, movement, and whimsy into this story.
Will keep you posted on further news / release date. in the meantime, I can’t wait to share Skippy Blackfeet with readers, I’ve come to really love this little black cat!
So, I woke up this morning and yesterday’s news wasn’t just a dream! I’m so incredibly excited and honoured to be on the Adaptable: Turning the Page to Screen longlist with such esteemed company. If I make the shortlist, I’m headed to the Gold Coast Film Festival to pitch my coastal family drama ‘Sea Glass’ (Wombat Books) to film makers, TV producers, and script writers!
Big thanks to Ken from Reading with a Chance of Tacos for having me on the latest episode of his awesome podcast in which we chat about my writing process and inspiration for my forthcoming middle grade novel ‘Sea Glass’.
I kick in around the 18 minute mark, but make sure you tune in to Hayley the Librarian before that – she’s got terrific insights into current KidLit reading trends.
As writers (indeed, as practitioners of any form of art) it’s often too easy to dwell on what we haven’t achieved, rather than what we have accomplished.
I’m guilty of this. I often raise my creative bar impossibly high, and set myself productivity goals and benchmarks of success that simply don’t align with my work and family life. As a consequence, I’m often left feeling like I’ve failed myself and my art. Silly, huh? I’m working on it.
My two words for 2023 are: Balance and Vitality. I aim to use their themes to underscore all aspects of my life this year, and help guide my intentions and mindset.
Many writers post a list of their ‘year in review’ and I think it’s a great way to overthrow any negative feelings you might hold about your personal output. You might not have set the world on fire (according to your own goals), but you’ve written, damnit! And maybe, along the way, and in between the rejections, you’ve had a few wins, in whichever shape they take.
As we move into 2023, my creative advice is simply this:
Do not compare yourself to others.
Remember, a high tide raises everyone’s boat.
Make the art you love, regardless of whether it’s deemed ‘commercial’ enough. Writing to a trend or market when it’s not your jam does not a happy writer make. When you attempt to shoe horn your work into a space and place not carved from authenticity it will also show in your writing.
With that said, below is my 2022 Writing Year in Review. Despite my inner critic telling me otherwise, it’s actually been a very positive year.
Why not make a list of your writing activity from 2022? Even if it’s just a word count. You’ll be surprised at what you’ve achieved.
Happy New Year to you all, and of course happy reading, happy writing, and happy days for 2023.
Awards and Honours
Finalist – Ditmar Awards – Best Collected Work
Finalist – Ditmar Awards – Best Novella / Novelette
Finalist – Aurealis Awards – Best Fantasy Novella Finalist – Australian Shadows Award – Long Fiction Category Finalist – Australian Shadows Award – Poetry Category
This month I had the privilege of spending two immersive weeks as Writer in Residence at Police Point Shire Park in Portsea, Victoria. The opportunity formed part of my prize for winning the 2021 Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor’s Writing Awards for my short story Due South.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Artist in Residence program has hosted over 100 Australian and international artists since its conception, providing a location rich in history, cultural heritage, and stunning natural assets
Cottage #4 was my home and workspace for the duration of my residency—a delightfully maintained residence with a history dating back to the 1850’s. You can read more information about the history of Police Point here.
And what a gift this little cottage was, not only for the time and space it provided to focus on my latest work in progress, but also for its peaceful stillness in a location that is and of itself a work of art.
I felt inspired and encouraged by all the creatives who came before me, and all those who will follow. I enjoyed sitting with my work and chatting with my characters, trusting them (and myself) to know what they’re doing, and allowing myself the freedom to move forward with a productive first draft of my contemporary Australian middle grade novel Tiger Girl.
I also clocked up the bushwalking miles as well as the writing miles. I made friends with multiple echidnas while sunset strolling. I’ve said g’day to magpies and blue tongues. I took joy in observing the newly-hatched plover chicks under the fierce protection of their proud parents, and I watched the sun rise over London Bridge, feeling like the only person Earth. The solitude and the setting of this Residency has been the greatest blessing.
My greatest thanks and gratitude to Mornington Peninsula Shire for this invaluable creative opportunity.
I’m thrilled to announce my middle grade novel ‘Sea Glass’ has been signed by long-established Australian publishing legends, Wombat Books.
Here’s what you can expect…
When eleven-year-old Cailin’s mother takes a contract job on Victoria’s eastern coast, Cailin’s holiday plans are ruined. Worse, they’re staying at her estranged grandfather’s shack at Whitefoam Cove. Cailin barely remembers him, let alone knows him.
Grandpa doesn’t have Wi-Fi, and his television is older than him. Memories of her father are everywhere and, to make matters worse, she’s left her cricket bat at home. How will she make the team now? And how will she keep in touch with her best friend, Josie? It’s going to be the worst summer ever.
But life with Grandpa proves to be anything but boring. There’s treasure to be found at Whitefoam Cove! But just when cricket-mad Cailin and Grandpa finally feel like they’re making a connection, disaster strikes…and Cailin knows it’s all her fault.
Sea Glass is a coming-of-age family drama for readers aged 7-12 that explores how, despite difference and disaster, a generational gap is bridged. This contemporary Australian middle grade novel celebrates the importance of family and environment…and proves you’re never too old to go treasure hunting.
Sea Glass will be released 1 March, 2023. Click here to pre-orderyour copy.