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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.