Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Choice article from Rocky Life to kickstart Book Week  2014 – Connect to Reading.

Looking forward to connecting with heaps of readers this week at Ashgrove Literature Festival, St Williams Grovely, and Sharing Stories – Connect to Reading with Authors & Illustrators – a Book Week Event for Kids aged 10-13 | Book Links Qld Inc.

Hope to see you round the writerly ridges this Book Week!

 

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

I rarely give away my favourite books. They’re like friends that I like to keep close, on hand for when I need the  fun and comfort they offer.

Even lending them out is fraught. I press them onto friends in the afterglow of reading, blissfully unaware of what went where, and to whom, and only months later wonder what happened to those that didn’t make it back home.

So when Riverbend Books asked if I’d like to celebrate National Bookshop Day by donating a favourite or much-loved book to the Great Book Swap to aid Indigenous Literacy I immediately said yes,  because it’s such a great cause. But later, I felt a secret pang about donating a favourite or much-loved book. 

Sigh. So much easier to give away the ones that we don’t care for.

But luckily this story has a happy ending.Great Book Swap

A quick search of my bookshelves unearthed two copies of one of my favourite books: Karen Foxlee’s gorgeous modern fairy tale, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy.

(I can bring myself to part with the paperback because the American hardcover edition with its gloriously illustrated end pages will never leave my shelves.)

So, hope to see you on Saturday 9 August at Riverbend Books where I’ll be swapping one of my much-loved books.

Which favourite book are you prepared to part with for a good cause?

CBCA QLD Book Week Dinner

My husband and I were snoring when you snuck in over the front balcony of our Yamba holiday unit in the early hours of last Thursday.

Thank heavens Nana didn’t stumble upon you. She’s often up and down during the night. But at 87, she’d had a big day at the Angourie rock pools and slept through it all, her ‘ears’ turned off, and tucked into their case on the bedside table.

So no-one heard you take our mobiles, my laptop, or Nana’s camera with its precious holiday snaps of her grandkids.

There was no-one to stop you slipping the keys to our unit and car into your pocket, opening the garage door downstairs and rolling our station wagon out into darkness.

My mobile wasn’t locked. So I guess you scrolled through my photos. Saw those hundreds of silly shots of the dog and the kids.

And I know you looked at my facebook. Because I found your message when I got home.

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Those two little words sent at 4.16am.

Oh sorry.

And I wondered then, what were you thinking.

What made you reach out across the ether, knowing that I’d  find that message in a bottle when it washed up on the shores of my home wifi.

Nana AngourieWas it the photo of Nana, so happy at Angourie, that brought on an attack of conscience? Such a lovely holiday, she kept saying, thank you, dear, for bringing me.

Or was it the night rushing past as someone else drove? Leaving you free to lean your head against the window and wonder about the family who’d wake to find their car gone?

Or was it just that automatic apology that pops out when you intrude on someone else’s space? When you walk into the wrong bedroom by mistake, or open someone else’s facebook page, expecting your own?

I don’t know you, but I’d like to think that you meant it.

You see, I know where you went after you stole my car.Gold Coast

Google+ sent me automatic backups of the photos you took from my mobile.

My husband was so pleased to see that his stand-up paddle board was still safe on the roof racks of our car. He hopes his wetsuit also survived the trip to the Gold Coast (and that funny crate he uses to store all his important bits that no-one else cares about, like surfboard wax, sun block and leg ropes).

We were actually tracking your progress through Broadbeach when the police called this morning to say they’d found our car. Locked up and abandoned down a dirt track at Angourie. In good nick, he said, apart from the tree sap, which will be a bugger to get off when we get it home.

He couldn’t see if the wetsuits were still in the boot. Said there was a plant on the back seat, was it mine? Maybe, I said, it’s a thank you gift from you, for borrowing our car?

So, I’m guessing that you made it back home. I’m glad. Because for some reason, I picture you as a kid, and I worry about the dumb things that kids do. You might have got away with it this time. But then again, maybe not.

It’s not safe what you’re doing, you know. A trip to the Gold Coast isn’t worth it. Stop now. Please. While you still can.

 

 

Teacher+Apple+CardThe most common question I’ve been asked since Intruder came out is what age group is it for?

I struggle with this question because I read a lot of YA fiction myself (despite being well outside the demographic). And I’ve always thrown my own bookshelves open to our kids, figuring that anything that was genuinely too old for them would defeat them or go over their heads.

 Choosing what to read is one of the incandescent pleasures of the book lover. And it is one that we deny children to their peril.

Restricting what children read is fraught, particularly in their final year of primary school when so many readers are at their most voracious, poised on the cusp of adolescence, and reaching for a greater understanding of the world that is opening up to them.

I vividly remember my own desire as a child to read books denied to me by virtue of my years. And the truth is that I read them anyway, often perplexed at what the fuss was about.

As an adult, I write layered texts that can be read and appreciated at different levels and ages. If pressed, I might recommend Intruder for anyone aged between 12 and 112, as I know that for different reasons, the story will resonate and appeal across that age range.

Intruder fits easily into the secondary English curriculum, but you can imagine my delight when the Oz Teacher Librarian Network reviewed Intruder for Years 6-8:

Intruder is a story that will be adored by those on the transition between childhood and adolescence. It has just enough suspense to keep turning the page, but not enough to terrify; its characters are diverse, realistic, memorable and recognizable and show that we all need a little bit of everyone to enrich our lives….this story would have great value as a small-group read, perhaps as a book club, where readers can discuss its layers, explore the what-ifs, and perhaps not only gain some insight into the tunnel-vision of the age group, but perhaps develop some safety strategies as well.’ Barbara Braxton, Teacher Librarian, Cooma [click here for full review].

It was a pleasure catching up with so many teachers and librarians at Random House’s Meet-the-Authors do at the Book Garden in Brisbane this week – thank you to all those who were able to come.

For those who’d love to know what they missed, please click here for teacher and children’s writer Rebecca Sheraton’s comprehensive and entertaining commentary on the event.

Also, Teachers Resources for Intruder are now available on the Random House Website.

Just click on the link below and it will transport you directly to a veritable corncucopia of useful classroom activities.

Click to access TR_Intruder.pdf

 

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Really looking forward to catching up with the lovely Belinda Murrell and the ever engaging Tristan Bancks at Random House’s Teachers do in Brisbane next week.

Any English teachers who fancy a scone and a bit of bookish chit chat, please email deb@thebookgarden.com.au – we’d love to see you there!

IMG_0737A third novel is a bit like a third pregnancy –  knowing what’s ahead doesn’t make it any easier – and as the months drag by, you just want to get it out!

Well,  Intruder is well and truly out now, launched last night by the legendary Isobelle Carmody to an enthusiastic home-town crowd at Riverbend Books.

Isobelle Carmody launching Intruder

It was so lovely to be back at Riverbend, the site of my first book launch almost five years ago.

Owner Suzy Wilson pointed out where a slim volume titled Dust has been immortised on Riverbend’s marvellous book wall, sandwiched between Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Nick Earls’ The True Story of Butterfish. 

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Suzy was in her usual fine form – despite sitting up till 3.30 in the morning reading Intruder (she said she couldn’t put it down which is what every writer wants to hear).

And it just got better from there. I’m still reeling from Isobelle’s generosity in taking time out from a schedule that would overwhelm any lesser being and for making the night unforgettable.

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So…Bouquets to Isobelle for  her warm and generous comments, to my lovely agent Leonie Tyle from Tyle&Bateson Publishing for championing my books, to my hubba hubby for shouting the bar, and to my friends, my posse, my blood for supporting me, last night and always.

Oh, and brickbats to the prowler who broke into our house five years ago – finally I get my revenge!Chris Bongers and Isobelle Carmody

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So excited to have international best-selling author Isobelle Carmody launching my new novel Intruder on 31 May.

Prague’s loss is Brisbane’s gain, so we’re going to launch this Queensland-style, on the deck at Riverbend Books, Bulimba.

If you’re in the mood to welcome into the world a ‘gripping new coming of age story’ (thank you Random House, I never know how to describe my books in six words or less) please come celebrate with the pair of us.

It’s a free event, but there will be wine, so please rsvp to events@riverbendbooks.com.au or ph: 07 3899 8555

Love to see you there. 🙂

Orphelia and the Marvellous Boy 17910570One of the great pleasures of the writing life  is welcoming a new book into the world. Especially when it is a simply marvelous story by a favourite author.

So if you’re free this Sunday afternoon at 4pm, please join me and Karen Foxlee to celebrate the release of her brilliant Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy at Riverbend Books at Bulimba.

We’d love to see you there. 🙂

(Note: this is a free event, but please rsvp for numbers to events@riverbendbooks.com.au – and if you can’t make it, be prepared to kick yourself when this book becomes an instant classic. You’ve been warned!)

race wear for drongoes

Look, if you’re going to wear a silly hat, think big I say.

It’s been years since I’ve taken part in our national Silly Hats Day, but this year I’m keen.

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As revealed at Saturday’s The Inside Story, a racehorse was one of the major inspirations for my children’s book, Drongoes… 

And now, with the Spring Racing Carnival in full swing, Drongo, The Immortal Loser has also hit the adult bookshelves.

Nice to have another drongo author out there….But do you think he has a fascinator to rival mine?

drongo the immortal loser