Meet My Book: Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present, by Jacqueline Harvey

I’m having lots of fun ‘meeting’ the new releases of wonderful Aussie authors. Today it’s time to hear from the wonderful Jacqueline Harvey, here to tell us about her latest book. Welcome Jacqueline.

  1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

My latest book is Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present; Random House released 1 May 2013.  This is my third book for the year and it’s the third book in the Clementine Rose series.

Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present

2. Why did you write the book?

Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present is the third book in a series about a very sweet little girl and the adventures she has with her family and her teacup pig called Lavender.

3. How long from idea to publication?

I started writing the book in November 2012, although the idea had been percolating for a couple of months before that.  It has been a very fast turnaround as there are eight Clementine Rose books currently contracted with Random House and the release dates are only three months apart.
4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Time!  I’ve got two characters, Clementine Rose and Alice-Miranda on the go at the moment and this year there will be 6 new books including the Alice-Miranda diary for 2014.  Until  November last year I was working full time as the Director of Development at a school for girls in Sydney and writing on the weekends, in the evenings and during my holidays (basically anytime I wasn’t asleep or at work).  When I finished up at work I went on tour with Random House straight away so it really wasn’t until early December that I could get my teeth into the book properly.  Then it was incredibly intense with lots of writing and re-writing over the next month or so – I basically locked myself away for the summer and wrote.
5. Coolest thing about your book?

I think the coolest thing about my book is that there is a wedding at Clementine’s house in a huge marquee in the back garden.  Many of the guests are Sri Lankan and wear beautiful saris.  Clementine is very impressed by the fact that there is a wedding and with her penchant for clothes, she adores seeing the bride and guests.  The wedding planner, Sebastian Smote is pretty funny too.
6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

I had to do some research about Sri Lankan customs and what their flag looked like too.  I also learned about different types of cicadas but I can’t tell you why or it would give away the surprise.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?

Alice-Miranda in Paris was launched on the 1st March and we had a huge afternoon tea party at Shearer’s in Leichhardt with delicious French food, a fashion parade and craft activities where the girls fashioned colourful berets for Alice-Miranda to wear.  We had a second party at the Children’s Bookshop at Beecroft a couple of weeks ago.  Clementine’s book, coming hot on the heels of Alice-Miranda has been a little more low key but I’ve been touring schools and last weekend spent a couple of hours at the PLC Croydon Fair promoting both books.  In a couple of weeks we’ll celebrate at the official reopening of a lovely bookshop in St Ives called Book Review.
8. And how will you promote the book?

On my blogs and website, the Random House website, touring schools, visiting bookshops and any other publicity opportunities that come along.
9. What are you working on next?

I have just finished the structural edits for Alice-Miranda Shines Bright and Clementine Rose and the Farm Fiasco a week apart.  Now I am starting on the ninth Alice-Miranda title but at the moment I’m still debating exactly what it’s going to be.
10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?

I have a website and two blogs, and They are all linked and I try to update the blogs as often as I can.

Thanks Jacqueline. Clementine Rose and the Perfect Present is available now in good bookstores or online.