Meet My Book: Pickle and Bree, by Alison Reynolds

I’m really pleased to have Alison Reynolds here on the Aussiereviews blog today to introduce us to her latest book. In fact, she’s going to tell us about TWO new books. Over to you, Alison.

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

Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds – The Playground Meanies    

Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds – The Big Snow Adventure

Illustrator Mikki Butterley

The Five Mile Press; February 2017

  1. Why did you write the books?

The publisher commissioned me to write a book about manners subtly hidden in a picture book. We wanted to explore a deeper level of social etiquette rather than the basic “say please and thank-you”.

  1.  How long from idea to publication?

The books were written and edited within five months.

  1. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

We decided to have Pickle and Bree in outside locations for these books rather than the home environment of the previous two books. It seemed to take me ages to decide on the location – too many choices.

  1. Coolest thing about your books?

Seeing Pickle and Bree having more adventures. I adore Mikki Butterley’s illustrations.

  1. Something you learnt through writing the books?

That it is so much fun to return to well-loved characters. Also, that the narrative flows from the characters. The personalities of Pickle and Bree dictate what is going to happen.

  1. What did you do celebrate the release?

We’re off to a special Italian restaurant.

  1. And how will you promote the books?

A photo & drawing competition and a blog tour! There are lots of excellent prizes.

  1. What are you working on next?

I’ve been thinking about a new series for 6-8 years old, which could be fun.

  1. Where we can find out more about you and your books?

At my website:

Via email

Or on my Facebook page:



Thanks for dropping in, Alison. If you want to learn more about Alison or Pickle and Bree, or if you would like to enter one of her competitions, keep reading.



Look whats happening to celebrate the release of the latest two books in the award nominated Pickle & Bree series, The Playground Meanies & The Big Snow Adventure.


13/2/17 Boomerang Books & Pass-it-on Jackie Hosking

14/2/17 Creative Kids Tales

15/2/17 Buzz Words Di Bates

16/2/17 Aussie Reviews

17/2/17 Just Write for Kids & Julie Grasso


Just leave a comment on any of the posts in the blog tour, comment on facebook or twitter or even email to win a copy of The Playground Meanies or The Big Snow Adventure.


Win an opportunity for a childrens editor at The Five Mile Press to look at your picture book submission (strictly 500 words or less). Just comment on any of the posts in the blog tour and add initials JSP.


Win a free picture book assessment by the author Alison Reynolds. Just comment on any of the posts in the blog tour and add the initials PB.

Remember the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.


Win a print of Mikki Butterleys fabulous artwork from one of these two books. Just send a photo or drawing of your favourite teddy to or upload to or Twitter @AlisonReynoldsa

Competitions close March 24th and winners to be announced and contacted by March 31st.


Meet My Book: Awesome Animals, by Di Bates

It is truly awesome to welcome author Di Bates to the blog today, to introduce us to her new book series, Awesome Animals. Welcome Di. Over to you.

Please tell readers about your new books.

Awesome Animals (Big Sky Publishing) is an entertaining new non-fiction animal series for kids – a Guinness Book of Records meets Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Awesome Cats and Awesome Dogs, the first two books in the series, are each an entertaining new read — a Guinness Book of Records meets Ripley’s Believe It or Not! which features fascinating stories about animals from all over the world. As well, there are relevant book lists, jokes and even humorous animal verses. Each beautifully styled book contains true stories and amazing photographs and quirky, illustrated break-out boxes, introduced by funny cartoon animal characters. The book is best suited for children aged 8 to 11 years, but there’s no doubt older readers will love the books, too.

What are the books about?  

Each of the books is a miscellany of fun facts and stories about real-life cats and dogs. As well, there are poems and jokes and a list of children’s books featuring cats and dogs.

Before writing these books I searched for something similar, but found nothing. Yes, there are books about cats and dogs, but the presentation of content in the awesome books is unique. Take cats, for example: in Awesome Cats there are hundreds of short stories about cats in history, cat adventures, famous cats and famous people’s cats, working cats, spoilt cats, and cats in fiction and in TV, on stage and in movies. Here’s just a little ‘teaser’ from the book: ‘In 1976 a mystery cat in Hong Kong killed more than 20 dogs. According to local people it was about four feet long and black or gray in color. It was never caught.’ Imagine that, a dog-killing cat; certainly not a lap cat!

How did the idea for this series come about?

As a full-time, professional children’s author, I am always searching for an idea which will result in a book that any child would love to read. The three books in the Awesome Animals series are dogs, cats and horses (Awesome Horses will be published in 2016): it would be impossible, I’m sure, to find one of these animals that any child didn’t love, much less cherish. I started researching stories about dogs, first as I’m a real dog lover. Before long, I was finding amazing dog stories everywhere! Here are just a few famous dogs, for example, whose stories are told in Awesome Dogs: Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Old Yeller, Bullet, Scooby Doo and Benji. I just love dogs and really miss our last beloved dog, Sassy; she has been irreplaceable since she died two years ago of old age.


Where can people buy Awesome Cats and Awesome Dog?

The books retail for $14.99 each. Here’s where you can get Awesome Cats:

… and Awesome Dogs:

Meet My Book: The Country Practice, by Meredith Appleyard

Another visitor! Today I welcome Meredith Appleyard here to answer my quick questions about her new book. Over to you, Meredith.

Meredith Appleyard (Photo credit: Nan Berrett, Word Solutions 2014)

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

Title: The Country Practice
Publisher: Penguin Group (Australia)
Release date: 25 February 2015

2. Why did you write the book?
I can’t imagine life without books. I’ve read and enjoyed so many. I want to make a contribution, and I love making up stories.

3. How long from idea to publication?
About 7 years.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
Writing it was a joy. The hardest thing was having the confidence to ‘put it out there’.Book Cover: The Country Practice

5. Coolest thing about your book?     
The cover – Penguin did it so right.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
That I could do it – that I had the tenacity and downright doggedness to keep going.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?
Celebrations started when I received the advance copies in the post! The high point, and probably the best night of my life, was a local book launch on 25 February 2015 attended by friends and family. On the night the local Collins book shop sold out of their 80 copies of The Country Practice! And, I received flowers from the Penguin Team and a letter of congratulations from the Premier of SA. Doesn’t get much better than that.

8. And how will you promote the book?
I have been doing radio interviews, locally and interstate, blogs and Q&As. I’ve been interviewed by journalists for local and interstate publications and I have a raft of author talks across SA.

9. What are you working on next?
Book 2 is almost done. When I’ve finished it will go off to my agent and hopefully you’ll see it in print sometime in the not too distant future.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
On Facebook – Meredith Appleyard Author.


Thanks for visiting,  Meredith.

The Country Practice is out now.

Meet My Book: The Spires of Kurrong, by Malcolm Wells

Today I’d like to welcome Malcolm Wells to the blog. Malcolm is here, as part of his current blog tour, to introduce us to his latest book. Welcome, Malcolm, and over to you!Picture

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

The title is ‘The Spires of Kurrong’ and it is published by Morris Publishing Australia. The book was released on 21st January 2015. The cover illustrator is Kevin Burgemeestre.

2.          Why did you write the book?

I have always had an interest in the sci-fi / fantasy genres; as well as horror and ghost stories. For a number of years I had been writing short stories in these genres and this was one of them. When I won a competition in the CQ Literary Festival last year with the story at novella length, Elaine Ouston from Morris Publishing suggested I extend it to novel length.

3.          How long from idea to publication?

The story was originally about 20,000 word and I extended it to approximately 60,000. From the time it was suggested I extend the story, to the publishing date was 7 months.

4.          What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Starting to expand on the original theme was the toughest part. However once I began to write the ideas began to flow freely.

5.         Coolest thing about your book?

I had previously had non-fiction articles, short stories and poetry published, but this is my first published novel. That is pretty cool.

6.          Something you learnt through writing the book?

Writing the book was fun; it is the proof-reading and editing that are the hard parts.

7.          What did you do to celebrate the release?

I just published the news on my Facebook and blog sites and emailed my friends. Then I sat back with my wife and celebrated the launch with a bottle of wine.

8.          And how will you promote the book?

I have put all of the links to the book on my Facebook, blog and Linkedin sites. I will also be talking to my local newspaper The Morning Bulletin, for whom I write a weekly column. I am also hoping to get some air time on ABC Capricornia where a number of my 500 word stories have been read over the past 18 months.

9.          What are you working on next?

I am currently working on a novel about an alien who crash lands in the Dorset countryside in southern England. It is a comic novel set in the quaint village of Lesser Codswallop. It is a light read but with an underlying message about racism.

10.       Where we can find out more about you and your book?

The book is currently available through Morris Publishing, Amazon and Smashwords.


Thanks, Malcolm. Good luck with the book!



Meet My Book: Wanting Mr Wrong, by Avril Tremayne

Today Avril Tremayne joins me to introduce you to her new book, Wanting Mr Wrong.


Avril Tremayne


Welcome Avril!

1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.Wanting Mr Wrong, Avril Tremayne
Wanting Mr Wrong by Avril Tremayne; Random House Australia; February 2015
Blurb: Evie Parker has never been one to swoon after celebrities – give her a neuroscientist over an actor any day! So when she develops her first movie-star crush, she’s determined to date her way out of it, starting with the next good-looking doctor she sees. Yet hovering on the fringes of her life is her gay best friend’s determined brother, Jackson J Stevens, a famous actor who comes with trailing paparazzi. The one thing worse than a celebrity in Evie’s eyes is a media circus, so Jack isn’t an option no matter how hard he flirts with her. Evie knows what she doesn’t want; Jack knows what he does. And somewhere in the middle, pheromones are making things go haywire every time they’re together.

2. Why did you write the book?
I got the idea for this book after watching British actor Matthew Macfadyen play Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. He was my first ever movie star crush and I was a little bit shocked at how obsessed I became. My work colleagues at the time were shameless enablers, so a period of YouTube watching and fan site scouring ensued – and it was a very funny and wonderful period in my life, to be honest. I have a habit of using stray events like that and twisting them into story ideas, and this one was irresistible. What would happen if I put a heroine in the same ‘crush’ predicament…? Wanting Mr Wrong is the result.

3. How long from idea to publication?
The idea part happened years ago, but all that YouTube watching aside, my job at the time was very a demanding 24/7 one, with unpredictable hours and travel patterns, which made it almost impossible to write a book – although I did a lot of thinking about how it would progress and the types of scenes I would include. It wasn’t until two years ago, when I decided to opt out of corporate life, that I got the chance to put it together properly.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
Finding the best way to tell it. I initially wrote the book in the third person, from the points of view of both the heroine and hero. But something about it didn’t quite feel right. I’m not sure what made me rewrite it solely from the heroine’s point of view, but once I started doing that, it seemed to click. It was, nevertheless, a massive adjustment.

5. Coolest thing about your book?
The coolest thing is the character of Drew – the heroine’s best friend, who is also the hero’s brother. He is funny and irreverent and tells it like it is, but has a wonderful heart.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
The rewriting I mentioned taught me a lot about paring back, because I had to kill a lot of darlings in the process. I also learnt a lot about using dialogue to the best advantage, because that was the only way I had of letting readers into the hero’s head.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?
I celebrate, always, with a Negroni.

8. And how will you promote the book?
I’m fairly active on social media, as well as a columnist on a couple of romance writers’ blog sites. I’m still a relatively new writer, but I believe in taking advantage of every opportunity.

9. What are you working on next?
When I finished Wanting Mr Wrong, I knew I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Evie’s friends, Chloe and Drew, so I am actually working on books for those characters. I’m in the process of finishing Chloe’s story right now. Chloe is a television reporter with a reputation for being cool, calm and collected – but she has a fiery core that only one man seems to see.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
I love interacting with readers, and will be sharing snippets and other information about the book – and my life – on:
my web site –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Wattpad –

Thanks for popping in, Avril, and good luck with the book!

If you want to learn more about Avril and Wanting Mr Wrong, you can follow the rest of her blog tour. Tomorrow she is at My Written Romance.

Meet My Book : Arkie's Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing, by Lisa Walker

It’s lovely to have Lisa Walker here today to talk about her new book. Over to you, Lisa.Lisa Walker

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

Title: Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing    

Publisher: Random House – Bantam

Release Date: 1st February, 2015.

2.       Why did you write the book?

This story started with the idea of a pilgrimage. Over the last ten years or so it has seemed like almost everyone I meet has just done, or is about to do, a pilgrimage. Those who have returned talk about it ecstatically – it was life changing, they say.

The idea of a pilgrimage attracted me. I visualised the experience as a chance to take stock and maybe change direction. Although I am yet to do one myself I still have a vague notion that at some stage I will head out on a spiritual journey from which I will return changed for the better.

Instead of a journey, my fascination with pilgrimages has produced a book. Arkie’s pilgrimage forms the backbone of a story about redemption, trust and finding magic in the everyday.


3.       How long from idea to publication?

About four years. I tend to write my first draft quite quickly but then take a long time to revise and polish it.

4.       What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Finding the right concept and then sticking with it was hard. The novel started as a story about a woman walking the Shikoku pilgrimage trail in Japan. I bought a lot of books about the pilgrimage and became quite an armchair expert, but somehow I could never find the time to go to Shikoku and research it. Despite this obstacle the book was on a roll so, loathe to put on the brakes, I got creative and changed the setting. My pilgrim now travels no further north than Noosa and no further south than Sydney. She is a ‘do it yourself’ pilgrim, finding transcendence on the highways of our local area on her way to the next ‘big thing’. Throughout the writing process the concept of a pilgrimage to the ‘big things’ often struck me as a little wacky and I got quite shy trying to describe my story to others. My writing group was very good at encouraging me along to the next big thing.

5.       Coolest thing about your book?

Probably the fact that I’ve managed to combine a pilgrimage, a mid-life crisis, big things, surrealism, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, spirituality and a dash of magic all in one book.

6.       Something you learnt through writing the book?

As well as learning a lot about big things I also researched Japanese spirituality. I was particularly taken with the story of Tanuki the shape-shifting racoon dog. Tanuki is a trickster who pays for his food and drinks in money which turns to leaves as soon as he is out of sight. He can also turn himself into a teapot at will. When Arkie picks up an old teapot on the side of the road strange things begin to happen.

7.       What did you do celebrate the release?

I had a launch party at the Northern Rivers Writers Centre in Byron Bay. The staff at the centre have been a big support to me over many years and every book is a huge milestone. You can’t let it go past without raising a glass of champagne.

8.       And how will you promote the book?

For a start, I’m doing a blog tour! My son, who’s into film, has made a book trailer for me, which you can see on my website I’m doing two speaking events in Sydney (at Ashfield and Randwick), one in Lismore and one on the Gold Coast. You can find out more about these on my blog

I also have an article about big things coming out in the Fairfax ‘Escape’ travel section across Australia and Random House is doing a TV ad on Foxtel, which is pretty exciting. I’ll be at Bellingen Writers Festival in June and Byron Bay Writers Festival in August and I’m sure some other events will pop up along the way.

9.       What are you working on next?

I’m branching out. My current work-in-progress is a young adult novel about a Brisbane teenager with an obsession for Paris. It’s a coming of age story, tentatively titled ‘Paris Syndrome’. I’ve just been over in France doing some research, which was awfully tough of course.

10.   Where we can find out more about you and your book?



twitter: lisawalkertweet


instagram: lisawalkerwriter


Thanks for dropping by, Lisa.

Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing is out now! You can see all the dates for Lisa’s blog tour here.

Meet My Book: 1915, by Sally Murphy

Today is the release day for my new book: 1915. So, I thought I’d celebrate by asking myself the same 10 questions I usually as visiting authors. They say talking to yourself is the first sign of madness  – but hey, you have to be a bit crazy to be a children’s author, so I’m fine with that.

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

1915, published by Scholastic Australia, on February 1. 1915 (Australia's Great War)

2.  Why did you write the book?

 Usually I write a book because there’s an idea that won’t leave me alone. This time was a little different – because I was approached by Claire Hallifax at Scholastic to see if I might be interested in writing for this series (Australia’s Great War). I love a challenge, so I said yes. My brief was to create a fictional story set in the midst of Australia’s involvement in World War 1 in the year 1915 (other books in the series deal with the other years of the war). It was up to me to find a way to bring those events to life, through a character young readers could connect with. I decided on a school teacher, because I was interested in how the war affected children back home, and I thought perhaps having a teacher at the war would connect a class of children more closely.  One day I was looking at the very famous photo of the 11th Battalion posed on the Cheops pyramid, and I realised I had a starting point for my story. My character, Stanley, was there posing for a photograph. I started writing, and found that having him there on that pyramid really got me into Stanley’s head ready to tell his story.

 3. How long from idea to publication?

About two years.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Finding a way to explore really difficult events in a way that is both realistic but also appealing to children. I cried writing this book, many times, but needed to be sure to somehow offer hope. The other difficult things is fictionalising history. It is important not to alter facts too much though occasionally some poetic license is needed. For example, there are a few characters in the book who were real people. In order to write about Charles Bean, the war correspondent. I had him befriend Stanley, and get Stanley’s help on compiling the Anzac Book. This didn’t happen, of course, because Stanley is fictional. So it was important to do this only when and as necessary for the story to come alive, but not to alter what really happened.

 5. Coolest thing about your book?

My name on the cover? Seriously, though, I think the fact that it highlights the creation of The Anzac Book is pretty cool, and the photo on the pyramid too. It’s good to be able to bring pieces of history alive.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

That a deadline is a pretty good way to overcome self doubt. I had never written historical fiction of his length before – and kept wondering if I could really do it. But the contract had been signed, and there were deadlines, so I had to get over that and just work work work till I got it right. My editor, Claire, was a  great support.  I also learnt many many things about the Gallipoli campaign, about war, about some of the famous and less famous men and women who served, and about life back at home at the time.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?

 I’m having a virtual launch over on my website today and am planning a physical launch as well. There may even be a glass of bubbles tonight  . 🙂

 8. And how will you promote the book?

 I’ll be  visiting lots of blogs, and talking at schools and festivals throughout the year, as well as my usual twitter, facebook and so on. And telling anyone who will listen!

 9. What are you working on next?

Lots of things. I’m currently a PhD candidate, with my project focussing on children’s poetry. As part of this I am working on a verse novel and a collection of poetry.  I’ve also got a new picture book, Fly In Fly Out Dad, coming out later in the year.

 10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?

At my author site:

Or my Facebook page.

Or on Twitter.

I’ll post links to any other interviews and publicity on one or all of these.

Oh, and today I’m having a virtual launch over on my blog. Drop by and join in the fun, If you leave a comment you will be in the draw for a free copy of the book.

And, of course, you can buy the book through good brick and mortar bookstores, or online.


Meet My Book: Snap Magic, by Angela Sunde

Today I’m delighted to welcome Angela Sunde to the blog, here  to talk to us about her latest book as part of her blog tour.  Welcome, Angela.

Hi Sally, thanks for hosting me on Aussiereviews

1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.  Red Pedal Press Publisher of Australian Children's Books

Snap Magic, Red Pedal Press, illustrator-Angela Sunde, 11.October 2014

 2. Why did you write the book?

Snap Magic was written as a stand-alone sequel to my Aussie Chomp, Pond Magic.

3. How long from idea to publication?

It took three years from idea to publication, as the Aussie Chomps list closed just after I submitted Snap Magic to Penguin.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

The hardest thing was probably finding a starting point. The idea for Snap Magic came from a short story I wrote called Snap, which was shortlisted for the Charlotte Duncan Award in 2009.

 5. Coolest thing about your book?

I’m very proud of the colourful, quirky characters who are thrown into hilarious and cringeworthy situations, and that my original senior editor at Penguin loved my story so much she jumped at the opportunity to work with me again. The coolest thing is how beautifully edited it is, and I also love the layout and cover.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

I learnt that it is difficult to deliver consequences for covert bullies, unless your next-door neighbour is a witch. (There is a covert and an overt bully in the story.) And I now understand how the publishing world operates and that, with the right professional senior children’s editor and book designer, the only difference is the size of your catalogue.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?

Last weekend we celebrated with two launches – one in Brisbane and one on Mt Tamborine (near the Gold Coast.) They were Halloween themed to match Snap Magic’s story, with dress-up competitions, games, activities, food and prizes. There was story telling, song and laughter. It was a lot of fun! Photos are on my blog

8.  And how will you promote the book?

The marketing machine is well under way. If you sprinkle enough seeds, some will grow. This week I was interviewed live on 612 ABC Brisbane radio, interviewed by both Gold Coast papers and featured in a local parenting magazine. The launches are listed in numerous online what’s on listings. And I am running a blog tour at the moment with campaigns on social media. Mostly it’s through direct contact. Listen to the ABC Radio interview here:

 9. What are you working on next?

I’m working on a picture book during a week’s residency at Pinerolo Children’s Book Cottage in the Blue Mountains as Illustrator in Residence at the end of this month.

 10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?

Visit me at


Thanks for having me on Aussiereviews.

You can follow the rest of Angela’s tour, and find out more about Snap Magic, at these sites:


Snap Magic Blog Tour Dates




Monday 13. Kids Book Review

Tuesday 14. Sheryl Gwyther

Wednesday 15. Robyn Opie

Karen Tyrrell

Thursday 16. Alison Reynolds

Friday 17. Chris Bell – From Hook to Book

Saturday 18. Boomerang Books Blog

Dimity Powell

Sunday 18. Sandy Fussell / The Reading Stack

Monday 20. Aussiereviews

Tuesday 21. Dee White

Wednesday 22. Angela Sunde’s Blog Tour Wrap Up


About the Author: 

Angela Sunde is the author of the light-hearted fantasy novels Snap Magic, and Pond Magic (an Aussie Chomp – Penguin Australia.) Awarded a May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellowship in 2013, Angela represents the Gold Coast as a committee member of the Queensland branch of The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is the editor of the Redlands City Council’s ‘Junior Redlitzer Anthology 2014.’ Formerly an award-winning language and literacy teacher, she is also a children’s writing judge and offers workshops at libraries and schools.



Meet My Book: Tottie and Dot, by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling

Today I am delighted to welcome Tania McCartney who is here as part of her fabulous blog blast, a magic day of celebrating her new book. Welcome, Tania – and over to you.

Print1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

Tottie and Dot, illustrated by Tina Snerling, EK Books, September 2014.

2. Why did you write the book?

Like the inspiration behind most of my books, it was just a random thought while observing children and the way they interact with and view the world. I love that children are not yet conflicted by such challenges as ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ but they can be nonetheless competitive. I toyed with the idea of having two girls compete with each other by creating the prettiest, most outlandish, crazy-pants house—and the idea just grew from there. It ended up being a lot of fun.

3. How long from idea to publication?

I wrote the first draft back in 2010, and pottered with it on and off for the next two years. In 2012, I submitted a revised version to the CYA awards and received some wonderful feedback from the judges, so felt inspired to rework it again. I submitted it to EK Books in April 2013 and it was accepted within weeks. Tina and I finished production in January 2014, so I guess it was around 3.5 years all up. Never fast!

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Ensuring it wasn’t didactic. There is no direct, conscious messaging in this book. It’s become a book crafted purely for entertainment purposes and I hope the end result—the drama, the action, the stunning illustrations—are just a lot of fun for kids. Despite my intentions, however, some strong messaging has still come through, with themes such as friendship, inclusion, self-respect, and appreciation for what we already have.

5. Coolest thing about your book?

The illustrations. They’re just fantasmagorical. Sorry, but they are.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

How important it is for authors and illustrators to work closely together. Tina and I already had this experience with An Aussie Year, but the Tottie and Dot experience really cemented the fact that a close collaboration can’t be beat for seamlessness and a finer narrative dance. I changed text for Tina. She altered illustrations to more powerfully impact the text. We liaised, laughed, bubbled with ideas, and came up with new concepts and nuances that took the book to a whole other level. EK Books are fantastic to deal with and entrusted us with so much.

7.  What did you do celebrate the release?

Champagne! Always champagne. I’m almost teetotal now, so it’s the ultimate indulgence.

8. And how will you promote the book?

This Blog Blast! It runs all day today and we’re also visiting DeeScribe for Tuesday Tips on 9 September. I’m hosting a book launch party at Dymocks Canberra today at 11am and we’re running a Tottie and Dot Drawing Competition, too (closes 7 October 2014)  . It’s for kids aged 12 and under, and they can win an exclusive prize pack.

9. What are you working on next?

I’m working on a picture book on the life of a famous Australian, but I’m illustrating it, too. It will be the second book I’ve illustrated this year and will be mixed media. It’s been unbelievablyrewarding and exciting, most especially because this person was an artist/designer—very inspiring. I’m also working on some new junior fiction and loads of and loads of illustrations, some for my 52-Week Illustration Challenge  (which will be exhibiting publicly in Perth next March!).

You can find out more about me at and Tina at Tottie and Dot have their own website …, with links to purchase. You can see the full tour Tottie and Dot Blog Blast schedule on my blog at and also catch snippets and updates while you’re there. Tottie and Dot can be purchased from all good bookstores Australia-wide or online. And if there isn’t a copy at your local bookstore, just ask them to order it in!

Thanks for calling in, Tania. You can follow the rest of the blast by visiting this link.

Tottie and Dot blog blast web