My second story inspired by an idea posted on Facebook. This one is for slightly older kids (9-13) Hope you enjoy it. Lockdown Tales 2
In an effort to kickstart my creative cogs during lockdown, I asked kids to share ideas which I could turn into a story starring them.
Here’s Ivy’s story for download: Lockdown Tales 1
Free Lockdown Download!
I’ve been wondering how I might contribute something to help cure potential boredom during the covid-19 lockdown. In the end I realised only have my stories. So here’s a new one for middle grade readers which hasn’t been published yet. Download the PDF below.
Edgar Allan Poe meets Enid Blyton in this Gothic Famous Five-esque High Country adventure.
For twins Archie and Pippa (12), summer holidays are a time for adventure. Having grown up on the farm, they’re used to making their own fun, too. The last thing they need is to babysit city kids Nik (13) and Mia (11) who have, rather unexpectedly, come to stay.
When animals start turning up with skulls shattered and brains missing, their adventure takes a dark turn. The four must join forces to solve the mystery and keep the farm out of the clutches of the evil Howes.
My first self-publishing adventure begins. It’s been 12 years since my first book The Hoppleplop was published. Being a first book by an unknown writer, it quickly sank without a trace, despite some excellent reviews by librarians and teachers. Or at least I thought it had sunk without a trace. But over the last dozen years I’ve been amazed and thrilled by the number of kids who have told me it’s their favourite book and the number of parents who have contacted me wondering where they might replace their read-to-death copy. I’ve even had several kids turning up as Hoppleplops at school Book Week Dress Up days.
Over the years, the wonderful illustrator, Deb Hinde (who has shared similar experiences of The Hoppleplop’s enduring legacy), and I have often chatted about re-publishing it ourselves… one day. Until finally, last year, we decided to take the plunge. But we didn’t want to simply re-print the original story. We wanted an improved, revised and extended Creators’ Edition which we could both be proud of. And it’s finally here!
We’ve completely re-designed the book with a brand new cover plus a “behind-the-scenes” look at the story’s creation. The Hoppleplop is now available in two formats – Hardcover (complete with newly designed endpapers) and Softcover (with flaps to help protect and enhance the book). You can pick up a copy at any good bookshop or order a signed copy directly from me. Just follow this link to The Hoppleplop page.
My wonderful new website is offically launched! For a non-visual, non-designery type person like me, having a website professionally designed always seemed a bit daunting. All those questions about what I want it to look like, how I want stuff to work, whether I wanted to include links to bookshops etc etc. Especially when my answer to all these questions was – “I don’t know!” In the end it was actually quite painless, thanks to Doug from ArtsNet. Now it’s all up and running and looking rather fetching – plus, more importantly, working wonderfully.
To celebrate I’m giving away 10 books! (More or less of your choice – unfortunately I don’t have extra copies of all my books anymore. But who’s going to complain about a free book, eh?) There are two ways to enter. If you’re already following my Facebook page, simply leave a comment on this post saying which book you’d like to win. If you’re not following my Facebook page, simply follow the link to my page, “like” it and post a note on telling me which book you’d like to win. 5 books to be given away to each group. Entries close September 15.
Thanks to everyone for your support!
Time flies! I guess when I’ve got no new books coming out I sort of lose track of my website. In fact, until recently it looked like I wouldn’t have ANY books coming out this year for the first time since 2004. But at the last minute I got asked to do another Rosie the cow story for DairyNZ. So that was exciting. The book will be released in October, I think.
In the meantime I’ve been hard at work on my new Junior Fiction series called Dragon Knight. It’s all a bit TOP SECRET at the moment, because the first episode isn’t coming out until March next year, so I can’t give away too many details yet. But stay tuned! Hopefully all the Dinosaur Rescue fans will enjoy my new series as well.
Speaking of Dinosaur Rescue, today I received my copies of it in Brazilian! Very exciting. It’s now been published in 25 countries, including Israel, Slovenia and most of Asia. Still not available in the US or UK, I’m afraid. Weird.
In other exciting news I was recently in Wellington to talk to the kids who made enormous sculptures based on my stories. Talk about impressive! What a great job they all did. Click on this link to view some photos.
Gosh, where has the time gone? It’s been NINE months since i updated my News page. If anyone has visited my website in the last year they probably assume I’m dead or have become a monk in a monastery without internet somewhere … or maybe become stranded on a desert island .. or been abducted by pirates … or aliens … or … boy you people have weird imaginations!!
Anyway, one of the main reasons for my web-ly silence lately is that in July last year I was elected President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN). Since then I’ve been very busy with all sorts of presidential activities.
But some exciting things have happened and I’ve also done some exciting things.
For a start Melu WON the Children’s Choice award at the Book Awards. Woo-hoo!! thanks to everyone who voted for me!
Then I attended the adult Book Awards and presented the prizes for Best First Book. I went to Australia to the Australian Society of Authors’ Congress in Sydney. I attended the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement and I went to New York to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference where I met heaps of other writers. Great fun!
In the meantime I’ve also written the first two episodes of my new junior series . It’s still a bit of a secret since it’s won’t be in the bookshops until 2015, so I can’t tell you too much about it except it’s set in the MIddle Ages. The amazing Donovan Bixley will be doing the illustrations, so it’s going to be loads of fun!
Oh, and I was also one of the 22 writers who were invited to explore the back rooms of Te Papa (the National Museum of NZ) and write something about an item. The book The Curioseum is in the shops now. Here’s a link to a review – The Curioseum
Melu has been short-listed for the NZ Post Children’s Book awards!
The winners will be announced on June 24, so keep your fingers crossed.
Melu has made the finals of the New Zealand Book awards! Very exciting as usual to be included in a very strong line up. If you liked my story and want to vote for me, go to – Children’s Choice Awards
The winners are announced in June, so stay tuned.
Oh, and Melu was also included in the Storylines Notable Books List. Cool!