Posts Tagged ‘James Roy’

“Thank you, Somerset Celebration of Literature, for four of the most joyous days of my writing life.” John Danalis, author of Riding the Black Cockatoo

“Missing you all. Sob.” Belinda Jeffrey, author of Brown Skin Blue

“Fabulous four days…Why can’t life be like that all the time??” Kate Constable, author of the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy

“Now that the music has stopped it seems a little embarrassing.” Gus Gordon, author and illustrator of 67 children’s books and newly crowned Dancing King of Somerset

“Sometimes the planets just align, don’t they. Nothing but magic…Couldn’t have hoped for a more meaningful, inspiring and wonderful four days.” Dave Hackett, author of ‘Unavoidable Family Outing’ series, and proud winner of the kids dinner performances.

“My little car kept forgetting to change gears in the hope that we might be able to go back for just a little longer.” Nette Hilton, author of Pyro Watson and the Hidden Treasure

“I touched Markus Zusak.” Chris Bongers, author of Dust

“Oh, it’s even better than I’d hoped.” Anthony Eaton, author of Daywards, the latest in his Darklands trilogy

“Best Somerset Festival ever. Thanks to all the organisers and the other presenters for a fantastic time.” James Roy, author of Anonymity Jones

Chris Bongers and Melina MarchettaQuick gush here…

Last night I was at Melina Marchetta’s Brisbane launch of her latest novel The Piper’s Son.

Melina is such a rock star; her launch at Riverbend Books would have needed bouncers but for the good behaviour of the crowd. Hearing her in conversation with CBCA National President, Marj Kirkland, was an absolute treat.

My autographed copy has been burning a hole in my pocket, but I’m not allowed to open it until I’ve finished Chapter Two of my new YA w-i-p, Intruder.

I can’t even look at The Piper’s Son or I’ll crack and spend the rest of the day on the couch with my legs in the air.  I’ve had the biggest literary crush on Melina since Looking for Alibrandi and have adored all her books, so my pitiful supply of willpower is being tested here folks; I’m hurting, believe me.

chris Bongers at Riverbend BooksBTW, I ♥ Riverbend Books. I had my own book launch there and have often admired their awesome book-covered verandah blinds. But it wasn’t until last night  that someone drew my attention to the little orange spine sandwiched in between Bram Stoker and Nick Earls…

Thank you to the lovely Lynn Priestley for not only pointing it out, but for capturing these Kodak moments on her trusty iPhone. Somerset Writers' Festival

In other news, I’m counting down the sleeps till Somerset Writers’ Festival at the Gold Coast from 17-19 March.

Melina will be there, along with an awesome lineup of literary talent including Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, James Roy, Belinda Jeffrey, Derek Landy and Anthony Eaton.

If you click here you can book tickets to hundreds of sessions and dozens of authors, including little old me.  (I’ll be the one reading The Piper’s Son in an empty tent while fifteen thousand people stampede the rock stars of the YA literary world. If this pathetic image moves you, please come up and say hello. I’ll welcome you with open arms, I promise.)

As a newbie in the world of publishing, I enjoy hanging on the words of the wise, and spending time with older hands who are happy to roll back their sleeves and show me their scars.

I have learned much at the knee of Veny Armanno (QWC’s Year of the Novel), Kim Wilkins (Year of the Edit) and Nick Earls, whose generosity in inducting Brisbane’s debut authors into the world of publishing was stretched to capacity this year.

My education continues, online, following writer’s websites (a few of my  favourites are on the lower right of the screen), and in real life, at festivals, writer’s get-togethers, and through reading till my eyes bleed.

But almost everything I have learned as a writer, I have learned by writing and putting it out there.

I now have a discerning first reader who is capable of pinpointing what hasn’t made it onto the page (but needs to be there), and what clunks in the otherwise smooth action of my story.

Feedback may not be the hallelujah chorus of my dreams, but neither is it a direct thrust to the heart. It is certainly an opportunity to see my work through trusted, more objective, eyes.

When I scanned the initial response to my latest work, I had to admire my first reader’s ability to season praise with constructive criticism. She hit on a couple of niggling issues that I had pushed away during the writing process (things I probably hoped to get away with and didn’t.)

It reminded me of James Roy on the adverse comment in an otherwise favourable review: ‘That’s like saying you’ve got a beautiful baby, but it’s got big ears. Big deal. You’ve still got a beautiful baby.’

I’ll hang on to that thought while I’m doing my revisions.

I’ve got a beautiful baby … (but that’s not going to stop me pinning back those ears.) 😉