Posts Tagged ‘Michael Gerard Bauer’

256x256_fit_one_bestfit (10)Oh you can book me in anytime, Somerset – fifteen thousand school kids, 120 parent volunteers, thirty-three authors and thirty-plus temperatures over a jam-packed four days at the Gold Coast – another sizzlingly superlative Celebration of Literature!

The kids were all inspired and inspiring, but a special shout-out to the Macintyre Young Writers for their enthusiasm despite the seven-hour bus trip via Goondawindi  to be part of the festival; and to the Somerset College kids for their brilliant hosting of the event.Macintyre Young Writers

After 22 years, Somerset has a fair idea just how disoriented authors can get when taken out of their native habitat. That’s why they allocate two hardworking elves to each of us, to guide and assist, fetch coffee, steer us into our sessions, and make sure we don’t get lost in between times.

I had the finest elves any author could ask for – Rosalie and Nick, Year 10 members of the Wordsmiths club, seen here behaving themselves beautifully while I ham it up with Clare Atkins, author of the brilliant debut novel, Nona and Me. With my brilliant Wordsmith elves and debut author sensation Clare Atkins

Clearly, literature festivals are hard work. Hanging out with old friends Michael Gerard Bauer,and James Moloney. Dining out with our wonderful Scholastic publisher Dyan Blacklock. Breakfasting with my brilliant Random House publicist Zoe Bechara and fellow Authors Belinda Murrell, Keith AustinR.A. Spratt and George Ivanoff.RHA authors

And don’t get me started on my fan girl moments, sharing the Green Room with so many talented authors including Ellie Marney (Author of Every Breath), and Melissa Keil (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl).

What can I say? It’s a tough gig . . . but I did miss my dog, my kids, and my husband (possibly in that order). It’s good to be home. 🙂

 

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Who knows how, when, or even why this Blog Hop on Writing Process even started.

But if it’s good enough for my friend, fellow author and all-round nice guy Michael Gerard Bauer to sass his way through four questions on his writing process, then it’s good enough for me.

So here goes.

1. What are you working on at the moment?

[Cue: deer-caught-in-the-headlights]

Em … [That question ranks right alongside people asking (as one did at last week’s launch of Intruder) ‘When’s your next one coming out?’ My first impulse is to lie – because  the truth does not set us free. The truth is I’m trapped on Level 181 of Candy Crush. Trapped like my protagonist Win Mackie in my adult work-in-progress The Lonely Dead. Trapped by a terrifying past and an intricate web of lies half a lifetime in the making. And that’s just me. Win Mackie’s in an even tighter spot.] 

2. How do you think your work differs from other writers in your genre?

Well, I don’t know, how many other writers of fiction for children and young adults are working on adult literary crime at the moment?

3. Why do you write what you write?

Because I have no choice. Stories either sink their teeth in or they don’t.

4. What’s your writing process and how does it work?

I day-dream, incessantly, obsessively about my main character and their (usually ghastly) situation. I interrogate my characters ruthlessly,letting scenes spool through my head, as I dream up ways of making it worse, making it funny and making it matter. Generally, I need three strong ideas to come together in a unique way to make a novel work.

I usually don’t start writing until I come up with something that makes me cry. And that’s often the ending. It can change in the writing (and often does, as I discover unforeseen depths of character and dramatic opportunities as I write the story).

Writing novels is a bit like driving in the country. You can have a destination in mind, and a map, but it’s the discoveries along the way that make the journey unforgettable.

Well, that’s it for me on the Blog Hop, folks. I can’t resist dobbing in Katherine Battersby next, so hop over to her blog sometime at The Well Read Rabbit to see if she takes up the challenge. 🙂

 

 

 

 

So, I’ve done it again. Agreed to be a Clayton’s judge for Qld in the 2012 CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

I’ve gorged on books: eighty-odd were entered in the Older Readers category this year.  The REAL CBCA Shortlist and Notables will be announced nationally on 3 April.

My Clayton’s Notable Books for Older Readers for 2012 is being announced right here, right now (Shortlist to follow… well, shortly).

Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel by Michael Gerard Bauer

Hilarious third and final book in the Ishmael series where our cast of lovable larrikins finish Year 12 at St Daniels. A must for every kid’s library.

Votive (Curse of the Bond Rider #2) by Karen Brooks

Compulsively readable second installment in Karen Brooks’s fantasy trilogy. The gentle candlemaker Tallow has been suborned by the corrupt Maleovellis and transformed into courtesan and assassin Tarlo. The machiavellian intrigues of this beautifully realised world will have you on tenderhooks for the final installment. Bring on Illumination!

Silvermay by James Moloney

The first in James Moloney’s brlliant new fantasy series where a young village girl battles the Wyrdborn, a race of corrupt wizards, to save a baby prophesied to lay waste to the world.

The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner

Gritty yet sensitive tale of a troubled boy apprenticed to a kindly undertaker. A celebration of life in the face of death.

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

A difficult-to-put-down, warm and gritty novel about a girl from a rough neighbourhood who is desperate to escape her small-time crim roots. The engaging storyline and characters, fluid narrative and evocative writing make for a fantastic debut novel.

A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson

Deliciously fun geek-girl detective story set in a museum with bonus gross-out natural history trivia wrapped up in a treasury of mystery genre references. Something to nurture your inner nerd. Highly recommended.

The Extinction Gambit (The Extraordinaires, #1) by Michael Pryor

Entertaining romp through a richly re-imagined 1908 London, where magic flourishes, an enclave of Neanderthals survives in hiding, and a wolfish young man and a beautiful albino are all that stand between a trio of Immortal magicians and their plans for world domination. Wry and witty, for those who love their steam punk.

Being Here by Barry Jonsberg

Beautifully told story about the power of imagination. An unlikely friendship develops when an elderly woman relates the grim story of her childhood to a teenage girl for a school assignment. Keep tissues handy for the ending when the ghosts of the past come to claim their own.

Black Painted Fingernails by Steven Herrick

Life and happiness can turn on the toss of a coin. A lovely, affirming story by a writer who keeps coming up with the goods. If you liked Herrick’s last YA novel “Slice”, you’ll love this.

Crow Country by Kate Constable

A time-slip novel exploring black/white relations over three generations in rural Victoria. Deftly weaves Aboriginal spirituality into a magical realist framework. Highly recommended as a class novel for early high school.

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

Exquisitely written story about the mysterious disappearance of a teacher from a 1960s girls’ school in Sydney. Haunting and lyrical, with shades of Picnic at Hanging Rock.

The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan

All the hallmarks of a swash-buckling classic from Miles Franklin award-winning author Andrew McGahan. The first instalment in the Ship Kings series brims with adventure, heroism and secrets.

When We Were Two by Robert Newton

Beautiful, funny and deeply moving story set at the start of World War One about runaway brothers marching towards their future. Deftly deals with the best and worst that men can teach boys as they conquer mountains, prejudice and the pain of their shared past.

The Shadow Girl by John Larkin

Thoughtful and edgy story about teenage homelessness. Recommended for upper secondary due to mature themes.

Only Ever Always by Penni Russon

Claire’s world is commonplace and familiar; Clara’s, post-apocalyptic and dangerous. A music box provides the key to their worlds colliding in a shared dreamscape. Fascinating and adventurous in its writing, “Only Ever Always” is for those who love reading to be both challenging and mesmerising.

Shift by Em Bailey

Is the new girl at school a parasite or something far worse? Is she imitating other girls or cannibalizing their lives? A genre-busting, riveting gallop of a read that examines toxic friendship through a more sinister lens.

Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2) by Melina Marchetta

In this mesmerising sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, loyalties are tested and dark bonds of kinship revealed as Lumatere strikes back at the heart of its enemy. Richly imagined, powerful story telling, with characters that will steal your heart.

Pig Boy by J.C. Burke

A confronting and compelling read that confounds expectations. An unlikeable outsider teams up with a Bosnian pig shooter so that he can learn to shoot. But the Wake in Fright elements mask author JC Brennan’s real and more subtle intentions. Impressive story telling.

A Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon

“Gungee is an ancient word meaning: this place is a hole.” Join Tiff from Gungee Creek in her funny, poignant and heartfelt tussles with life, death, first love, first job. From one of Australia’s finest writers for young people.

Eona (Eon, #2) by Alison Goodman

Stunning conclusion to the Dragoneye fantasy duology that started with Eon (also published as The Two Pearls of Wisdom). Eastern fantasy with spirit. Highly recommended.

Dangerously Placed by Nansi Kunze

Alex’s dream work experience placement becomes a nightmare when a co-worker is murdered and Alex becomes the prime suspect. A virtual reality thriller for high schoolers.

Just a Girl by Jane Caro

Atmospheric first person account of the young Elizabeth I on the eve of her coronation. A compelling fictionalisation and fascinating glimpse into the life of a great queen when she was just a girl.

Whisper by Chrissie Keighery

A fascinating story of a teenager who becomes profoundly deaf after contracting meningitis. Her attempts to reconcile her hearing and non-hearing worlds make for riveting reading.

Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan

Lanagan’s latest short story collection is beautifully written, mesmerisingly strange, yet oddly familiar. She tilts the world on its axis, we lose our balance and topple into the bizarre. An original and unique voice in Australian literature.

If, like me, you plan to end the year skidding in sideways with a book in each hand, then read on for this year’s hot Xmas pressie ideas for family and friends…

For the Teen Miss, it would be hard to go past Shift by Em BaileyA genre-busting, riveting gallop of a read that examines toxic friendship through a more sinister lens. For me, this is the Young Adult psychological thriller of the year, with a doozy of a cover that booksellers tell me is walking off the shelves.

For tastes that run more to funny and poignant, first job, first love, then get Bill Condon’s A Straight Line to My Heart. All Aussie humour and heart, with cracker dialogue and characters you can’t bear to say goodbye to when the last page is turned.

For the young fella in the house, you can’t go wrong with The Coming of the Whirlpool: Ship Kings 1This new series has all the hallmarks of a swash-buckling classic from Miles Franklin award-winning author Andrew McGahan.  Brimming with adventure, heroism and secrets. A must-buy for boys 12+ this Christmas.

Michael Gerard Bauer’s Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel is a corker of a read for anyone aged 12 and over. In this hilarious third and final novel in the Ishmael series, our cast of lovable larrikins finishes Year 12 at St Daniels. The colourful rejacketed full set will make a terrific addition to any kid’s library.

For the knee-highs, Katherine Battersby’s adorable picture book Squish Rabbit is a winner with a squishy cover as sweet as the gelati palette used in its collaged pages. I have a very special three year old in mind for this one…

Lovers of fantasy are spoilt for choice with wonderful offerings from award-winning authors Melina Marchetta, Karen Brooks, Alison Goodman and James Moloney.

Froi of the Exiles is the riveting sequel to Finnikin of the Rock  and once again proves that Melina Marchetta is gifted with the grace of writing characters who steal your heart. Powerful story telling coupled with a nuanced understanding of human nature creates a richly imagined tale peopled with unforgettable characters. Froi of the Exiles is compulsive reading that will leave you clamouring for the final book in the series.

In Karen Brooks’ Votive, the second in her Curse of the Bond Riders trilogy, the gentle candlemaker Tallow has been suborned by the corrupt Maleovellis and transformed into courtesan and assassin Tarlo. The machiavellian intrigues of this beautifully realised world will have you on tenderhooks for the final installment. Bring on Illumination!

Alison Goodman’s Eona is a stunning conclusion to the Dragoneye fantasy duology that started with Eon (also published as The Two Pearls of Wisdom).

And finally, James Moloney’s new fantasy Silvermay is guaranteed to please his myriad fans with Wyrdborn and common folk fighting over a child destined to destroy the world.

PS I’ve just realised this list is top-heavy with speculative fiction and kids, so next time I’ll post some recommendations for Nana and other significant adults in your lives. 😉

So tell me, what books are on your must-buy list this Christmas?

Not all the cool kids were at the Brisbane Writers Festival’s Word Play for young readers, writers and illustrators this week.

Some of us – er, I mean, them – took a mosey down Waterworks Road to the inaugural Mater Dei Writers Festival at Ashgrove, where they heard tall tales and true from award-winning authors like Michael Gerard Bauer, Narelle Oliver, John Danalis, Josie Montano, Julie Fison and of course, yours truly.

It was a fabulous end to Book Week for this little black duck. After quacking away to nearly two thousand students in three dozen sessions over the past three weeks, I was delighted to shake my tail feathers closer to home for my last official school visit of the term.

My littlest guy was in the audience, just one of the gorgeous Year 4-7 students from Mater Dei, St Ambrose’s, St Peter Chanel, St Finbarr’s, Holy Rosary, Windsor and St Joseph’s.

Thanks to Dominique Gardiner for organising what we all hope will become an annual event. Watch out BWF, MDWF is stealing your thunder!

The third Friday in August is a red-letter day for every Aussie kids’ writer.

It is the day the Children’s Book Council of Australia announces its Book of the Year Awards across five categories covering toddlers to teens.

The CBCA awards are arguably the most prestigious children’s literature awards in this country. School libraries snap up its shortlisted titles. International networks promoting and celebrating literature for children and young adults bring the books to international attention.  Authors, like me, are honoured to even make the shortlist.

I’m happy to see some of my favourite books and authors honoured this year, so with no further ado, the winners are…

Book of the Year for Older Readers – The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett. Honour books are Cath Crowley’s Graffit Moon and The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher by Doug MacLeod.

Book of the Year for Younger Readers is The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. Honour books are Michael Gerard Bauer’s Just a Dog and Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford.

For a full list of all the 2011 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, click here. And congratulations to all winners, honour books and others who made the shortlist. The world of books is richer for your presence. 🙂

This year’s  Book Week theme takes us Across the Story Bridge, (and yes I did conquer that demon fear of heights, after a communal neck rub and surprise de-lousing, courtesy of the naughty John Danalis).

Greg Rogers, pictured here working the kinks out of Narelle Oliver, went on to win Picture Book of the Year for The Hero of Little Street. Narelle’s Fox and Fine Feathers was an Honour Book in the same category.  For a complete list of CBCA Book of the Year Awards, click here.

The good folk from Story Bridge Adventure Climbs got us up and down without a mis-step. My monster fear of heights shrank back down to a pathetic little bogey that dogged me slightly on the see-through stairs, then disappeared completely when I stood at the top.

I could see to Stradbroke Island, I was higher than the city sky scrapers, I was Top of the World, Ma! Next time, I’m doing it at night. 😉

CBCA Book Week: Across the Story Bridge