On Friday, 5 May, 2017 I held my first ever book launch, at the University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery. It is incredible to think that this happened over a year ago.
Since The Whirlpool‘s release, I have been fortunate to present creative writing talks and workshops at Voices on the Coast, the CYA Conference, Romancing the Stars, and Where the Wild Things Are. I love talking about stories and learning from other writers.
The kids are fantastic. Let me just mention that. At this year’s Voices on the Coast (at the University of the Sunshine Coast), I talked to Year 4 and 5 kids about how animals in stories are always a little bit human. Animal characters are expressive and emotional; they often wear clothes or stand on two legs; they live in families or form strong connections, friendships and rivalries. The kids picked up what I was saying and ran with it. They drew their own animal characters, dressed them in hats, scarves (and, in one case, board shorts), and created rich backstories. They could tell me what their characters liked doing, what their favourite food was (answers varied from doughnuts to carrots), and whether he/she enjoyed school. One kid explained all about how his possum had a messy room (which his mum didn’t like), while another told me that her fox had formed an unlikely friendship with a very tall rabbit. Some of the animals had enemies; all of them had personality.
It makes me so happy to see kids become passionate about creating, and I’m excited to keep sharing stories and meeting the vivid imaginations of the future.