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I'm excited about these literary events in July:
Wednesday 26 July Gordon Library (Sydney) 6 to 8pm - Wings into History: how the past inspires historical fiction – Four authors talk about their works and shared themes (Historical Novel Society of Australasia event)
Sunday 30 July Woollahra Library (Sydney) 1 to 4pm - Q&A with A&U (SCBWI event):
I hope to see you there!» Share this post
I'm very pleased with the reviews of Flying through Clouds that have been published so far. I got off to an excellent start when Jackie French read a review copy and loved it, then she allowed me to include her quote on the cover and inside the book.
‘Superb! Adventure combined with a deep understanding of our history - and some of its most exciting bits.’
(Jackie French, back cover of Flying through Clouds)
Bill Condon also read a review copy and his full review was published in Buzz Words. Here is an excerpt:
‘Read it for its accurate depiction of Depression-era Sydney. Read it for a rattling good story; it’s highly recommended.’ (Bill Condon, Buzz Words 13 Feb 2017)
Quotes from other recent reviews:
'...the description of time and place lifts it and gives Flying through Clouds a good grounding in this part of Australian history.' (Emily Clarke, Reading Time 13 Feb 2017)
‘A heart-warming family story…evokes the time and historic setting vividly by including real events.’ (Lyn Linning, Magpies March 2017)
'The background of the novel is wonderfully realised, with readers able to sink into the surrounds of Sydney in the 1930s...' (Fran Knight, ReadPlus 13 Apr 2017
Many thanks to the reviewers, journals and websites!» Share this post
Following the Gold Coast launch of Flying through Clouds, I headed south to Lismore Library for a YA Writing Workshop. Lismore was still recovering from a devastating flood but the Library was open for business. It's hard to believe that only a few weeks earlier there had been 1.5 metres of water on the ground floor of the Library. Several keen budding authors turned up for my workshop.
I left Lismore early the following morning and drove to Grafton Library, a beautiful new building with lots of natural light. At this talk, I incorporated a Powerpoint presentation of historical photos to give the audience a feel for Australia in the 1930s, when Flying through Clouds is set.
After spending a relaxing weekend in Coffs Harbour, I headed to Port Macquarie Library for a High Tea literary event, where I talked about my writing process and the challenges of writing historical fiction for young adults. The High Tea event was a great success with more than 20 people attending.
Many thanks to my host libraries for organising and promoting these events and for your warm welcomes and delicious teas. I hope you all enjoy reading Flying through Clouds!» Share this post
FLYING THROUGH CLOUDS was launched in Queensland at Dymocks Brisbane on 24 April and at Broadbeach Library on 26 April.
Both launches included author talks and readings, with lots of questions from enthusiastic audiences.
I've had a wonderful time this week chatting to enthusiastic readers at book launches of FLYING THROUGH CLOUDS at Muswellbrook and Quirindi Libraries, and at Reader's Companion Bookshop in Armidale.
It was such a pleasure to talk about my new novel and to discuss books with teenage and adult audiences. I was made to feel very welcome, and the atmosphere at each venue was relaxed and informal. Signing copies of my books is always such a buzz.
I look forward to the next leg of my Book Tour in sunny Queensland, with launches at Dymocks Brisbane on 24 April and Broadbeach Library on 26 April. Heading down the coast, I'll be running a YA writing workshop at Lismore Library, and giving author talks at Grafton, Port Macquarie and Taree Libraries. I'll then head home for a well-deserved rest!
I was the guest author at the YA Book Club at Better Read than Dead and enjoyed discussing Flying through Clouds and other YA books. I was so pleased that Arielle Gamble, the cover and layout artist of Flying through Clouds was able to come as well.
My Author Talks and YA Writing Workshops at Nowra and Ulladulla Libraries were attended by lots of bright and budding authors. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and it was a delight to talk about my new novel and to run the Writing Workshops. Thanks to all!» Share this post
It's been an amazing week with book launches of FLYING THROUGH CLOUDS in Bowral (Southern Highlands), Canberra and at Gerringong (South Coast).
It was heart-warming to be surrounded by family and friends at the Bowral launch of Flying through Clouds at Bowral Art Gallery on Saturday April 1. Marie Fitzpatrick from The Bookshop Bowral was the MC, Maryanne Williams launched the book then I gave a talk about the book and did a reading. The catering was mostly a family affair with friends pitching in to help as well. Thanks to all for making the Bowral Launch such a special occasion.
The Canberra Launch on Wednesday 5 April at Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka may have been a smaller crowd but they were a keenly interested audience, asking lots of questions after my talk. Canberra features in a couple of chapters of Flying through Clouds, and I've been a frequent visitor to this beautiful city over the past 20 years, so it was a special event.
The South Coast launch of Flying through Clouds was a few days later on Saturday April 8 at the amazing Gerringong Museum. An exhibition of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's landing of Southern Cross on Seven Mile Beach, which I first saw at the museum four years ago, was one of my inspirations for writing the book. Seven chapters of the book are set on the South Coast at the time of Smithy's landing in January 1933. Thanks to Helen, Matt, Bobbie and the Gerringong & District Historical Society for hosting the event, and to the enthusiastic audience, some of whom have relatives who were there on Seven Mile Beach when Southern Cross landed and took off the following morning on the first commercial flight to New Zealand.
I look forward to all my upcoming events on the Flying through Clouds Book Tour, with events to come in Sydney, Nowra, Ulladulla, Muswellbrook, Quirindi, Armidale, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Lismore, Grafton, Port Macquarie and Taree.» Share this post
They were a great audience and asked such interesting questions. I interspersed historical photographs in my presentation to give the students an idea of what it was like to grow up in Australia in the 1930s.
With heartfelt thanks to Year 9, Library staff, English teachers and my enthusiastic helpers from Narrabundah College!» Share this post