A Bookish Adventure

I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy launch day to Alice-Miranda Shines Bright and the Alice-Miranda Diary - and Happy Father's Day too!

Yesterday, in spite of having almost no voice and feeling more than a couple of shades under the weather, I had a great day.  Today, the voice is well and truly gone but at least I can still write.  I pinch myself to think that yesterday we launched the 8th book in the Alice-Miranda series, Alice-Miranda Shines Bright as well as a beautiful diary for 2014.  It was also a belated launch for Clementine Rose and the Farm Fiasco which has been out since the beginning of August.  I pinch myself because I can hardly believe that in just three and a half years, I've managed to write as much as I have - and up until last November with a full time job to boot.  When people ask me how I managed it - it had everything to do with working every weekend and any holiday time on the books, doing many 12 hour plus days at school - and the fact that I didn't do any touring.  These days the day job has been replaced by a lot more touring and I still fit in writing around many other events, much to the chagrin of my very patient publisher :).

It was wonderful to have so many children and parents there with us to celebrate at The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft.  This time Paul had organised some baby farm animals to come along - it was very appropriate given that there are numerous animal stars of Alice-Miranda Shines Bright including a cheeky donkey called Cynthia, two devious goats called Cherry and Pickles as well as cocker spaniels, Maudie and Itch, alongside Alice-Miranda and Millie's ponies, Bonaparte and Chops.  Clementine Rose's latest outing is all about a farm excursion so the two went together perfectly.

There were ducklings, chicks, guinea pigs and rabbits, all of whom seemed very calm (or had been drinking Phenergan water before the event!).  There was also a face painter extraordinaire who created Clementine Rose hand paintings!

I decided that to get through the 'talk' part of the event, I had to make a self explanatory presentation lest the voice go west completely, but it held out and I was even able to answer some questions.  I adore my readers - their enthusiasm for the stories blows me away and I feel so humbled that children and parents seem to enjoy what I spend so many hours pouring my heart and soul into.

I loved having my sisters, brother in law and nephews and niece there too, along with my husband Ian who is the best support crew in the world.  Our niece Eden inspired the look for Clementine Rose and now that we have a Clementine standee (along the same lines as the Alice-Miranda one) it was hilarious to see her standing next to it.  She's definitely a star in the making and loved having her photograph taken over and over.

Today is the official release date for the two Alice-Miranda books and the other very exciting news is that Alice-Miranda Shines Bright is part of the Get Reading program for 2013.  It's an honour to be selected for the list of 50 Books You Can't Put Down and this year I'm looking forward to doing some touring in South East Queensland in the upcoming school holidays for Alice-Miranda Shines Bright Parties - you can get all the details here Get Reading Queensland Events

But there's not a lot of time for celebrations - I have a Clementine Rose book to write (quickly!) and another straight after that.  So, I'd best get on with it.

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Pop, Grandad and husband - and to all the other dads out there, I hope wherever you are, that you get to stop and enjoy the beautiful weather and time with your families.

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