Posts Tagged ‘Morris Gleitzman’


Feels like I been everywhere, man – Biloela, Rockhampton, Bracken Ridge, Toowoomba, Newmarket, Springfield, Ascot, and Sunshine Coast (for an online festival)… I barely had time for a breather after Book Week and now Brisbane Writers Festival is upon us.

Word Play, the kick-ass program for kids and lovers of youth literature kicks off on Wednesday with a host of international, award-winning, and best-selling authors and illustrators including Kate Forsyth, Morris Gleitzman, John Danalis, Leigh Hobbs, Gabrielle Wang and Dave Hackett.

I’m there Wednesday and Thursday introducing Henry Hoey Hobson to Years 6-9, trying not to look like a naughty school girl with my scraped knees and band aids.

Seriously, I’ll be hobbling rather than hobnobbing, after not one, but two nana falls in the past week.

I tripped over my Birkencrocs on the way to school last week. Tore my tights and looked like a right scrag when I fronted up at St Margaret’s for my Book Week talks to Years Six and Seven.

Then I opened up the same knee a few days later, crash-tackling my runaway beagle after he rifled my visiting brother’s suitcase and stole his socks.

I came away with an egg on my forehead, bent glasses, a tear in my brand-new jeans and a sliced open knee.

The beagle, of course, got away with the socks.

The gods are rubbing their hands and giggling with wicked delight.

Only days after publicly revealing my fear of ever again sharing a signing table with Morris Gleitzman, they’ve conspired to put us on the same bill for this year’s Word Play at the Brisbane Writers Festival.

For those who missed it the first time, Morris has queues that extend to the outer reaches of the galaxy, while I try to attract passing interest by balancing a pen on the end of my nose, toppling backwards out of a chair, and knocking myself unconscious.

If you’d like to see me knock myself out for Grades 6-9, click  here and here to book for my sessions (1 and 2 Sept). Book now and ker-ching! you’ll get an early bird discount (available to June 25 or while stocks last. )

Seriously, Word Play at BWF is made of awesome for kids and lovers of kids’ literature. Click here for everything you need to know about Word Play, and here for the full program of fabulous authors and illustrators.

The call came from my kids’ school, the moment I stepped off the plane. “The camp is under water, they’re on their way back from Stradbroke Island. Can you pick your child up at five-thirty?’

“Well, no. I’m in Sydney.”

Did I consider, even for a moment, heading home to rescue my children from flood-ravaged south-east Queensland?

Hell, no. I was in Sydney. I had credit in the favour bank. Enough to get me through the next 48 hours – floods, school closures, and bad mother rep, notwithstanding.

I had places to go, people to see… Family, newly cloistered within the gothic sandstone arches of St John’s College at U.Syd… Appointments with the warm and wonderful Linsay Knight, Sarah Hazelton and Yae Morton, in at Random House Australia.

Later, at the Writers Festival, I met Linsay’s son Dominic Knight of TV’s The Chasers. He spoke of taking the mickey, and his debut novel Disco Boy, to a packed auditorium at the Sydney Dance Company.

I was at a table outside, on the water, in debut author’s heaven, shooting the breeze with Melina Marchetta, internationally acclaimed author of Looking for Alibrandi, Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock.

I passed on the forty-minute long queues into jam-packed sessions, in favour of two hours with Melina, talking books, writing and life. She introduced me to mega-selling author Morris Gleitzman (who will also be at Voices on the Coast in July) and her literary agent, Sophie Hamley from Cameron Creswell.

Before flying out, I brunched with children’s literature advocate Judith Ridge whose Misrule blog comes in at Number 18 in CopyWrite’s Top 50 Australian Writer Blogs. I’m thrilled – Judith is producing the Teachers Notes for Dust which will be down-loadable from the Random House Australia website in July.

Barely 48 hours after leaving the rising floods of Brisbane, I arrived home, excitement over. Water levels were dropping fast, but there were lit candles on the dining room table, and a beautiful boy, with a hug as big as his smile.

“Did you miss me?” I whispered later, into my daughter’s hair. She smelled of puppy. Everything smelled of puppy.

“Uh, not really.” She pulled away gently. “No offence Mum, but you weren’t gone for very long.”

I thought back to all that I’d done, experienced, felt and seen; all that water under the bridge.

“Wasn’t I?”

“No. Next time you should go for longer.”

I kissed her again. That puppy smell had to go.

But she’s right. Next time, I will.