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READ WRITE INSPIRE. Welcome to my Words, a place devoted to making Reading and Writing for children more Inspired.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Next Big Thing

I'm excited. Christmas around the corner. Debut book, PS Who Stole Santa's Mail? about to launch. The prospect of Santa visiting soon is enough to produce a smile even on the most chaotic of days.

I'll be celebrating the imminent new arrival in November with several book launches and a ripper sleigh ride around some fantastic author blog sites (aka Blog Tour). Stay tuned for dates. But for now here is a preliminary glance into the world of Dimity Powell's first children's novel  - an interview conducted by the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. THANKS for the NOMINATION ELENA, of Answers From Blog.

                'THE NEXT BIG THING' BLOG HOP
Q: What is the working title of your book?
A: PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? This is the published title. The working title was PS What About Christmas?

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?
A: Amazingly from the local newspaper. Years ago an article appeared announcing the decreasing numbers of post boxes throughout the Gold Coast. This led me to think, what if post boxes suddenly and mysteriously began to disappear, just before Christmas? I thought the answer would make an intriguing kids’ story.

Q: What genre does your book fall under?
A: Urban fantasy for primary aged kids would probably best describe it; real life characters with everyday emotions finding themselves in situations with just a touch of whimsy and magic thrown in.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A: Hmm, that’s an interesting one! I don’t watch many kids’ films that feature real actors these days; mainly just ones with lions, zebras and talking penguins, so I’m not sure. The child actor, who plays Luke on Modern Family, really reminds me of Tobii in some ways, although Tobii came into my life years before this show did.

Q: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A: An action-packed Christmas mystery about disappearing mail, an evil elf and weird smells that guarantees to ignite the magic of believing within.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A: Neither. It has been published by, Morris Publishing Australia. They are a young, independent, traditional publishing company with several strong Aussie authors already on their lists.

Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: Around 12 weeks or so but not consecutively. I was a mum with a young baby and was completing a distance learning course at the time, so fitted in writing with sleep times. The first draft of around 10,000+ words was sent off as part of one of my writing assessments. It took a further four Christmases to perfect.

Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: I love the Little Rockets series (New Frontier Publishing) and Aussie Nibbles (Penguin) type books. Their length and reader audience fit best with the style of writing and age group that I love to write for. The stories are fun, fast paced, believable but quirky enough to leave kids wanting more and more. I can’t recall reading any about evil elves yet though!

Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A: Simply believing in Christmas. A newspaper article prompted the idea and the need to submit an assessment piece for the writing course I was studying at the time provided the theoretical reasons to write the book, but the inspiration is derived from my strong conviction that Santa Claus really does exist. It is this magical quality of Christmas – believing – that I want kids to walk away with.

Q: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A: Well apart from an annoying older brother, a vanishing sister, and some pretty curious smells, not all of them good, PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? will make the readers laugh, reach for something Christmassy to eat and hopefully send a letter or two off to Santa Claus; (he loves hearing from kids of any age.) Our heroes Sam and his slightly soft, always faithful side kick, Tobii, will appeal to boys who aren’t afraid of adventure or manic elves but there is enough humour in it to keep both boys and girls entertained.
Check it out for yourself and order your signed copy in time for Christmas now.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Little Things

It's the tiniest, subtle changes in routine that an out of-work-husband being-at-home-all the time brings, that are creating the greatest disturbances.

His presence has noticeably shifted the fragile balance I fight so hard to maintain between creative household management and things of a writerly nature.

For instance; my laundry situation. I know, I know; it was a personal pact of mine to never air my dirty laundry socially, but now that the frequency of my coloureds load is compromised, now that my weekly wash routine is in complete disarray (I'm at a loss not having to wash drum-loads of uniforms), I feel compelled to explore the reason why.

And it is simply because he is here.

OK, maybe my problems are not that significant in the grand scheme of clean clothes management, but life-balance is a precious, delicate thing and when something like a stay-at-home-husband comes along and leans too heavily on one side of the scale, well, there's no telling where one's smalls will end up...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Starting Fresh

I quit the gym this week. Not an earth shattering revelation but it was a harder thing to do than joining one.
After twelve loyal years of sweating it out and pounding the treadmill, I'm cutting the emergency stop chord free. And not without some reservations.

But at least it confirms that I do indeed belong to the human race; for I share the same two inherent dislikes that  most human beings have difficulty dealing with:
  • change
  • letting go
Perhaps though, it is time for a change. Reduced physical activity should tie in nicely with my renewed writing commitment; to apply bum glue, stay put and write more.

Okay, so not all life choices are wise ones. But not all in life is a matter of choice.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Like a Mountain in Springtime

It's Queensland Writers' Week in this neck of the woods. A time to embrace and celebrate the vibrant literacy culture of the Banana State. It's also a time of great activity as I embark on the launching of my debut novel, so my involvement this year is limited to a few humble blog posts. Here's the first of the week; a small knot of realisations spawned from some much needed time away over the school holidays to rest and recouperate.

  1. Running away from something is not always a bad idea, especially if there's a Rhino chasing you.
  2. Beauty is not always hidden and hard to find. It's just sometimes very discreetly placed so at first you don't notice it.
  3. Like a Mountain in Springtime
  4. It doesn't matter what you're running away from, or to, or even who you're running for; sometimes it's just good to run for the sake of it. To jog and loosen up all the cracked thoughts, to shake them free and make way for new ideas and inspirations.
  5. Running into discreetly placed beauty can sometimes end up with spiders on your face, but it could be an experience worth writing about.
  6. A Rhino can run ten times faster than I can, regardless of how many spider webs are in its way.
  7. I'd better keep practising.