Blog

Reviews of FLYING THROUGH CLOUDS

Michelle Morgan - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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

Buzz Words Interview

Michelle Morgan - Sunday, July 27, 2014

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Ann Harth for the July 15, 2014 issue of Buzz Words, a twice monthly e-mag for children's writers and illustrators. It contains news, reviews, articles, interviews and information on opportunities for writers, including conferences and festivals. Some of Ann's interview questions delved into my writing process for Racing the Moon, while others touched on my experience as a playwright:

Your ability to make a reader feel the essence of 1930’s Sydney is a gift. You mention in your notes that you were inspired by stories from your uncle who grew up during this time period. This would have been invaluable, but what other kind of research did you have to do to recreate this feeling?

I immersed myself in the period by reading as much as I could (mostly non-fiction), visiting libraries and museums, doing online research, and keeping my eye out for interesting info. I also found old photos, YouTube videos and listening to oral histories very useful, even though what I used in my writing was only a very small amount of what I actually researched.

Are most of the places in your book real or did you use some creative licence for your settings?

Most of the places are real but I used creative licence with St Bart’s, the Farm and Joe’s address: 51 Abbey Rd, none of which exist.

How did you develop these relationships?

The family relationships developed over time with each subsequent edit.

Some of your secondary characters are fascinating. Do these people, or some of their traits, resemble people you know?

I developed my characters by selecting personality traits and behaviours inspired from a range of people that I might have met, read about or seen on TV or in movies.

I felt that you handled Brother Felix’s attraction to boys with great sensitivity. Was he a character that you had always planned on including, or did this situation develop as the story did?

Brother Felix was planned from the start, although he did undergo a couple of name changes. It was also very difficult to come up with the words that Joe uses to describe what was happening.

Did the story develop around the setting or was the story envisaged before the setting?

I had a strong idea at the start as to how the story would develop and then let Joe tell the story. I also reviewed the structure every now and then, making adjustments to build tension, heighten the drama or bring in some humour.

As an experienced playwright, can you name a few differences between writing a stage play and writing a novel?

A play relies on the director’s and actors’ interpretations of the dialogue and stage directions, and is a visual, aural and sensory presentation of the written play. With a novel, you have to create this sensory world through words on a page and there is no intermediary to interpret the script for readers. For me, it is harder to write dialogue for a play, but I also find it challenging to create characters and their world in a novel because of the absence of visual and other sensory cues, everything depends on the language used.

Can you tell us what inspired you to get into playwriting?

I’ve always loved the theatre and discovered writing short plays to be an excellent way to start learning the craft. It’s also a lot of fun working with directors and actors and seeing your own plays performed.

What was the first play you ever wrote? Was it performed?

The first play that I wrote was an adaptation of Oliver Twist when I was in 5th class, and it was performed by the class on the school stage. The first play that I wrote as an adult was Driving Me Crazy, which was performed at the Favorite Shorts Festival in Armidale in 2009.

If you had one day a week when you couldn’t work or write, what would you do?

I’d go for a walk or ride a bike, do yoga, have lunch in a café, go to the movies or read a book, then a BBQ at home on the deck. Bliss!

(Ann Harth, Interview: Michelle Morgan, Buzz Words, July 15, 2014, pp 3-4)

Racing the Moon was also reviewed by Ann Harth in the February 6, 2014 issue of Buzz Words. You can read the review online at http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/2014/02/racing-moon.html

» Share this post

Reviews of "Racing the Moon"

Michelle Morgan - Friday, May 23, 2014

This is what some reviewers had to say about Racing the Moon:

“Racing the Moon is confronting Young Adult fiction and readers of any age will be captivated by Joe, who wins our admiration as a stoic and heroic figure." (Deb Robins, ReadPlus, 28 April 2014).

"Beautifully written, this book is a great read for 10 to 15 year-olds. I would recommend it to read aloud to a class. It has humour, history and plenty of childhood escapades to keep the listener engaged." (Nova Gibson, Massey Primary, Allen & Unwin Teacher Reviews, April 2014)

“Set in Sydney during the Great Depression, this is a beautifully written, well-researched and deeply engaging story." (Wendy Noble, Good Reading, April 2014)

"This story is skilfully written, the pace is swift and it kept me so engaged I finished it in two sittings.”... “This is an auspicious start to what could be a lengthy career as a writer for the YA market and I look forward to reading more of Michelle's work." (Barbara Braxton, ReadPlus, 17 March 2014).

“Potentially confronting strong topics such as domestic violence and sexual abuse are treated sensitively for the intended readership, so with its feisty hero and interesting characters and events, this engaging novel is recommended for Upper Primary to Lower Secondary readers.” (Chloe Mauger, Magpies, vol. 29, Issue no.1, March 2014, p. 38.)

“Racing the Moon is a captivating historical narrative set in the Great Depression. Morgan has created a refreshingly frank and necessary narrative we must read and you are guaranteed not to be disappointed.” (All the Buzz about Books, Issue 1, 2014, p. 4)

"I would recommend this story for young people who enjoy character-driven historical fiction. Clear and compelling, this book will leave its audience with a genuine feel for life during the Depression." (Ann Harth, Buzz Words, 6 Feb 2014)

There are also excellent Teachers' notes by Fran Knight on the Allen & Unwin website.

» Share this post

Review of "Racing the Moon" on Buzz Words

Michelle Morgan - Saturday, February 08, 2014

Check out the great review of "Racing the Moon" on Buzz Words!

"I would recommend this story for young people who enjoy character-driven historical fiction. Clear and compelling, this book will leave its audience with a genuine feel for life during the Depression." (Ann Harth, Buzz Words, 6 Feb 2014)

» Share this post

Recent Posts

Tags

Dymock's Canberra allen & unwin booktopia book cover design good reading magazine smashwords barnes&noble books Magpies Reader's Companion Armidale ubud, bali festival of golden words writing workshops bay of fires mother's day State Library of NSW martin luther king, jr berkelouw book barn historical novel society australasia children's book council of australia 12 curly questions Gordon Library Mitchell Library Grafton Library readhowyouwant arielle gamble literary lunch goodbye frankie jackie french self-publishing smsa library historical fiction school visits Paperchain Manuka fran knight society of children's book writers and illustrators griffin theatre tasmania decimal currency southern highland news ubud writers & readers festival frankfurt book fair deep sky CBCA Children's Book Week shoalhaven libraries Broadbeach Library berkelouw books awards reconciliation Bookshop Bowral clancy tucker festival of dangerous ideas sydney opera house spark award 2017 kobo telopea park school QBD flying through clouds captain tobias furneaux authors Australia Day Books + Publishing reviews illustrators scbwi griffin press book fairs bologna children's book fair hans christian andersen mETAphor playwriting potts point bookshop Taree Library sir charles kingsford smith believing eBooks.com Lismore Library book depository children's / YA literature too late for love bill condon kindle refugee week gerringong historical society museum holidays NAIDOC week southern highlands writers' festival playwrights retreat giveaway teachers' notes elaine ousten Historical Novel Society better read than dead book tour songs bookloons eBook mall alexander mccall smith nook sydney ANZAC Day deb robins interviews big book day out canberra Sydney Harbour Bridge tanika gupta middle grade fiction CBCA book of the year awards Tamworth Country Music Festival writing process blog hop scbwi australia Anniversary Day teen fiction ReadPlus di bates romy sharp atyp sharon mcguinness writers' festivals coming-of-age fiction nowra library kate gordon bradman museum nsw writers' centre author videos tom keneally centre Good Reading sydney writers festival 2019 paperback Bowral Art Gallery author talks children's book council of australia illawarra south coast elizabeth gilbert bookstop[ Port Macquarie Library spark award older readers 2017 gorman arts centre combined book exhibit all the buzz about books bushwalking australian standing orders sydney mechanics school of arts library libraries australian federation of graduate women lovereading4kids goodreads copyediting amazon kindle seven mile beach Muswellbrook Library Moss Vale Campus Library jump for jordan children's book council of australia national conference children's book council of australia NSW branch byron writers festival autumn revel refugees sophie masson act writers centre literary events Quirindi Library ulladulla library racing the moon australian literature Spotlight On lachlan philpott Dymocks Brisbane skylight books amazon book trailer YA fiction international children's book day 2014 australian reading hour St Paul's Primary School valentine's day dymocks narrabundah college Newcastle writers' festival Reading Time indigenous literacy day fishpond MacLean's Booksellers eBook 19 March 1932 sandy fussell blog tour book launch highlife magazine bookworld ann harth indigenous literacy foundation theatre michelle morgan heart of australia chloe mauger festivals indie publishing just write for kids Abbey's Bookshop barbara braxton iTunes jamberoo public school playwriting festival ainslie + gorman arts centre mabo day southern cross 14 february 1966 WritingNSW hnsa goodreads giveaway Woollahra Library national simultaneous storytime sally odgers luke johnson Waterstones Tamworth City Library buzz words bookshops lyn linning kids' book review read3r'zrevu

Archive