She’s back…

June 1, 2011

Categories: Burke and Wills, Hoosh, Immanuel College Novar Gardens, May Gibbs Fellowship May 2011, My Dad Thinks He's Funny, Prince Alfred College Norwood, Six

May Gibbs Fellowship 1st June

In the last week of my fellowship, I had an issue with the blogger template which would not allow me to log on. I decided to stop playing with technology and concentrate on the writing. Good plan. When I logged on tonight, it was working again – oh bliss. My last ten days was crammed full of things I had to do, things I wanted to do, and things that surprised me.

My biggest surprise was that the Year 9 group of boys at Prince Alfred College that I presented to in Norwood were great. I decided to talk about Six and was ready for a range of reactions — these were Year 9 boys — but the boys were incredibly polite and if they were bored they hid it very well. Alle was my minder for the session and she gave me a lively intro, and then the boys asked some interesting questions at the end, so all in all, a fun session.

I met up with Katrina Germain, author of My Dad Thinks He’s Funny — if you haven’t seen this book yet, grab it, it’s loads of fun — and we had some quality author chat time, which was great after a long time of just knowing each other via email.

The last day I spent at Immanuel College in Novar Gardens and gave a presentation on writing non-fiction (using my Burke & Wills book from the Our Stories series from black dog books) with the Year 6 kids, who were again great fun and had loads of questions, the best one being, ‘So, how big is your laptop?’ Special mention to Oscar — sorry I missed out on reading to your class, buddy. Definitely next time.

Had a lovely dinner with the May Gibbs crew on my last night in Norwood. I could have spent hours more hanging out with them and chatting about the industry. Lovely to meet Nan Halliday finally and to get a chance to really talk to Janeen Brian— author of the fabulous award-winning Hoosh — who I had met online only in my previous life as an editor.

I finally took a photo of the Lord of the Rings art installation near the Burrow — a set of gigantic rings which lit up at night in different colours and helped me find my way home every day. The toll of the chimes rang out into the Norwood darkness with a satisfying dong, dong, dong (x 12) and heralded midnight one last time for me as I packed up my little house and turned it back into The Burrow. Then I got up early on my last day and wrote my minimum number of words required for the day, before closing the door one last time.

If you have the chance to apply for this Fellowship, I would urge you to do it. It is available to published authors. Hop on the May Gibbs Website and check it out. To sum it up, I have always fitted my writing in around my life. For the past month, I have fitted my life in around my writing. What an amazing experience.

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Easter Sunday at the Farm

April 26, 2011

Categories: Across the Universe, Brady, Country Style Mag, Easter Sunday, Six, The Age, The Farm, The Seeds of Time, Winky Wonky Donkey

It’s been a tradition for many years to spend Easter at the family farm and this year was no exception. Many of us tent it, but there’s no point doing without luxury. Time is spent in comfort around a roaring fire each night unless it’s raining. This is the morning after a huge bonfire — there’s still a flame but the mist in the background is an indication of how cold it can get. If you look really closely in the distance you can see the disappearing tail of the Easter Bunny after depositing a stash of Easter eggs. That’s what 5 year old Brady told me, anyway…

What we were reading this Easter – The Seeds of Time, Six, Across the Universe, Country Style Mag, The Age, Winky Wonky Donkey, Peepo



December 8, 2010

Categories: Hostage trailer, Inkcrush blog, Six

Talk about your kids coming home to touch base (ie Chasing Boys paperback from the US), Hostage has turned up in a review on the Inkcrush blogspot ( It was nice to catch up with Tully again. Nice to know she’s still out there in the world trying to be heard.
Merry Christmas, Tully.
Merry Christmas Inkcrush!

(I wonder if Inkcrush has met the Six gang yet?)

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Why Six – Part 3

September 30, 2010

Categories: Six, teen car accidents, teens, VW Beetle

The Message finally got through.
It wasn’t an ad campaign.
It wasn’t the plethora of adults just trying to save us some pain.
It was a Friday night.
My sister’s boyfriend failed to pick her up from work.
Usually she’d be furious, but instead she was just concerned.
A knock at the door late at night.
Her boyfriend’s cousin delivered the news.
A tree and a VW Beetle car – not a good combo.
My sister spent days looking for the right black hat
for the funeral. But really it was just about something to do because it was too hard to think about the reality.

And now my kids are driving age.
Six is my message to them and their friends and every other young driver
who deserve not to be a road statistic.
It’s not about going crazy on the road
but about making bad choices.

I hope they get it.

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So why Six? Part One

September 20, 2010

Categories: Daddy Cool, Six, stories, teen car accidents, teen driving, the 70s

Sometimes stories just arrive. You don’t really think about where they came from and mostly you don’t need to know. Then there are those stories that demand to be written. That hang around until you finally give up and give them a voice.

That is where I found Six.

Six began in 1971 when I was a kid. (Don’t do the maths, it’s frightening.) My friend, a neighbour across the road, lost her brother in a car accident. We sneaked into his room one night, a shrine to his memory, scared we would get caught by her mother still grieving.

This is what I remember.
A Daddy Cool poster on his wall.
A tidy bed.
Shoes lined up neatly.
The stale smell of nothing.
Guilt that we had intruded upon this special place.
But mainly disbelief that this person’s life had ended so abruptly.


If you go down into The Woods today…

September 15, 2010

Categories: car accidents, murder, nursery rhymes, Six, teen driving, teens

Let the countdown begin.

16 days.
That’s all that’s left until my latest book, Six, is officially released.
I’ve already got the real deal in my hot little hand
but it’s not legit until 1 October.

But I guess I can show off the cover…


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