Thanks for visiting my website.
I want to start by saying ‘thankyou’ to you all for your wonderful support of my books. It is very heartening, and appreciated more than you know.
When I first decided to self-publish Quizzical, I had no idea what to expect. In general, self-published authors aren’t taken as seriously as commercially published authors, but it is very difficult to get published, and the thought of having to wait months, or even years hoping to be published didn’t appeal to me all that much. So I decided to publish the book myself. I have always loved writing, and my childhood dream was to one day write a book that hopefully someone would enjoy then, perhaps make mention of it to friends, and maybe … just maybe … that would lead to me writing another one, and another one …
Imagine my surprise (and great joy) then, when Quizzical was awarded joint first prize in the 2006 Australian Best Self-Published Book Award for Fiction. It was the best feeling to have my work recognized by a panel of judges, and to have them say some really great things about it. Oh, and the prize money and certificate were just the icing on the cake!
Quizzical was subsequently picked up by commercial publishers, The Five Mile Press, who re-released it in 2008, followed by the sequel, Money Bags, in 2009.
In 2008 The Five Mile Press also published a chapter book I wrote, called Alby and the Cat, as part of their 2008 Ripper Reads series.
My dad was blinded in an industrial accident many years ago and had a guide dog called Duke for 13 years. It was wonderful watching their unique relationship, and to see how important Duke was in helping dad regain his independence, and his confidence to face the world again. I wanted to write a story for children so that they could understand more about the work a guide dog does, and how important they are in the life of a visually impaired person.
Also in 2009 The Five Mile Press asked if I was interested in writing the text for a Christmas book they were planning. I jumped at the chance. I’m a big believer of when an opportunity comes your way, you grab it with both hands, because they don’t come along very often. The end result was: A Classic Christmas Treasury: Carols and Stories, with beautiful illustrations by Lee Krutop, a book I’m very proud of. Having to research the information needed for the book, then writing the different parts to it was a wonderful experience and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I found it very interesting, and very different from the sort of writing I’m used to doing, which made for a nice change. This book went on to sell many copies both in Australia and overseas.
In 2010, Puzzle Palace (the third book in my Quizzical series) was released, as was Alby and the Cat: Showbusiness, the second of my books about Alby the Guide Dog and the mischievious cat that lives next door (for younger readers). If you can't find them in bookshops, you can purchase them here on my website.
I’m currently working on a new book, which will hopefully be out later this year or early in 2014. It’s a little different from Quizzical, although it’s still aimed at upper primary and early secondary aged readers. It’s at the editing stage, but there’s still a lot to do!
Also with my Editor is another Alby book, the third in the series. This one has taken longer than expected due to the death of Allan Cornwell, the wonderful man who did such a fantastic job of producing Quizzical when I self-published it at the end of 2006. He brought to life something I thought would only ever be a dream. He also published Alby and the Cat: Showbusiness for me, making the whole process seem effortless because he made things so easy for me, and the experience so enjoyable and rewarding. His expertise, guidance, generosity and friendship is sorely missed. I’ll update you more when the book is nearer completion.
I am hoping to visit lots of schools and libraries again in the coming months with my ‘Interactive Quizzical’, the interactive quiz show that promotes literacy and encourages student participation in a fun way, after spending most of the last year writing.
Oh, and keep those letters and emails coming in! I love hearing from you! Your kind words and support are what makes being an author so enjoyable!
Until next time, happy reading!