Heavy Mental

Hey there, web surfers (remember when that was a thing? What a bunch of dorks we all were. Or maybe just me.)

If you haven’t noticed, World Mental Health Day has been a thing this week. I don’t know exactly what day it is/was because I am on holidays and I don’t know what day it is in general. But it’s sometime around now. Anyway, bumbling aside, I did an interview with the Centre for Public Christianity about my mental health thing, my past life as an awkward teenager, the way pretend play set me up for becoming an author, and Jesus going on a fishing trip.

You may notice that I sound a bit doubtful when talking about Jesus and his fishing trip, this is because Anxiety was whispering in my ear ‘You’re getting this wrong. You’re always getting things wrong. You really should shut up’ despite the fact that I know the story very well. That’s the kind of crap Anxiety does. Thanks, Anxiety – ya nong.

You can listen to the podcast here. You can also download it and stuff

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Your Book Week Costume Sorted

It’s that time of the year folks: time to wrangle some crepe paper, sticky tape and random things you put at the back of the cupboard thinking ‘I’ll use that for Book Week’ five years ago and forgot about. Sure, your kids might be at uni now, but what student doesn’t want to add a bit of colour to their tutorial and really make a bold statement about how much they love Australian children’s literature? If you’re looking for some inspiration – and lets face it, there’s only so many times you can send your kid in a panda onesie claiming that Kung Fu Panda is actually adapted from a book – look no further, because I have your costume sorted. Why not go with a One Would Think the Deep theme? There’s not even any need to dress your kid up as the Leviathan, you can simply pop them into this tidy costume design conceived by One Would Think the Deep‘s cover designer Astred Cherry.

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Happy Book Week everyone, it’s the only week that matters. And if you’re interested, I still have some slots available for Book Week school visits, just click on ‘School Visits’ at the top of the page. I might even wear my costume.

‘One Would Think the Deep’ to be published in the UK!

Here’s some thrilling news for your Wednesday: (Okay, probably more thrilling for me than you. Still.) If you couldn’t tell from the title of this blog, One Would Think the Deep is to be published in the UK by Ransom Publishing in August. August! That’s really soon in the publishing world and I know the people at Ransom have been staying up and working through the night for weeks to ensure its speedy delivery to UK readers. (This may be an exaggeration. I don’t know. I just imagine them working all night because they are very excited about the book.) You can read their write-up about One Would Think the Deep on their blog here.

If you are in the UK go and preorder it now, for goodness sake. You’ll bloody love it.

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2017 White Ravens

I’m absolutely thrilled that One Would Think the Deep has been included in the 2017 White Ravens catalogue. As explained in the catalogue:

The White Ravens catalogue is the most important annual publication of the International Youth Library. It aims to promote quality in children’s book publishing and has become increasingly useful tool for anyone interested in looking beyond national borders. This year, the White Ravens contain a selection of 200 notable children’s and young adult books from 56 countries published in 38 languages.

The other featured Australian titles are Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon, Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall, and The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard.

More information can be found at http://www.ijb.de/home.html

What lovely news for a Wednesday

Hello internet. It’s day three of the school holidays and I am all out of ideas to occupy the small people. They are both still alive and nothing (including my spirit) has been broken, though. So let’s count that as a success thus far.

And* hey, Twitter just delivered some happy news! The Protected has been shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Book Awards. This book continues to prove itself to be the little book that could. I nearly threw this manuscript in the bin and gave up on writing altogether multiple times during its creation. Here’s an understatement: I’m glad I didn’t.

The other shortlisted books in the YA category are:

Croggan, Alison The River and the Book Walker Books (2015)
Groth, Darren Are You Seeing Me? Random House (2014)
Hayes, Nicole One True Thing Random House (2015)
Lawson, Sue Freedom Ride Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker Books (2015)
Lomer, Kathryn Talk Under Water University of Queensland Press (2015)

What a top notch bunch. I am, as ever, privileged to be amongst them and to be part of the powerhouse that is Australian Young Adult fiction.

When you’re working on a big project, whether it’s writing a book, making a film or creating an album, the whole thing is a gamble. You continue to bet, often against the odds, that something will come of the pain and time you pour into it. You hope that it will find an audience of people who love it as much as you do. If you are someone who is toiling away in the pursuit of a career in the creative arts, please, please hear me when I say that hard work and determination will pay off. Ignore the pressure to ‘grow up and get a real job’. If you’re good at it, stick with it, surround yourself with people who will encourage you when it all seems hopeless and gently guide you when you’ve gone off course.

I still find myself wracked with self doubt when I’m writing. (Especially when it takes me four goes to spell the word ‘privilege’ correctly.) Being shortlisted for awards (and being fortunate enough to win a few) is encouraging beyond words.

Thank you to all the people who helped me on the road to this point. You know who you are. I’m so bloody proud of Hannah right now.