Saturday, January 2, 2010

we must be bonkers...

Been editing a completed first draft of a little junior/middle grade mystery thriller I finished just before christmas. I'd written most of it a few years back but I've been fixing it up and put in a slightly different engine and now its getting a new lick of paint and a polish. As its been worked on somewhat in the past, its not too raw so I have hopes of getting it ready for a first drive to the publishers in a couple of weeks - how's that for ambitious :) Still want to finish the first draft of my YA ASAP. I think I can finish it before the university year starts in March. I hope by then I've heard back from the few publishers that have some of my material right now so I can get started on the great submissions plan for 2010. Its good to get cracking on a few things while I wait out the publishing doldrums of the summer holiday season.

I've been looking back over 2009 and someone asked me the other day whether any of my eggs hatched. I think when I blogged about it I had ten sitting in the basket. Of those ten, only one hatched, with Australian Standing Orders taking a small number of my PB, The Were-Nana. As they only select a small number of titles every year I felt very pleased about that. Was a bit sad and grumpy about the other nine eggs (and there have been other eggs that also never came to life)but there have been some unforseen hatchings (wild eggs?) like having a couple of dozen copies of my novel Jack the Viking purchased by Singapore Public Libraries and The Were-Nana picked as one of their favourite children's book by the Studio 2 Crew for NZ book month. I also sold four short stories and had some very exciting public speaking and school visiting opportunities which were a wonderful experience that gave me some new skills and honed others. I got to meet and work with some lovely people like Sarah Forster from NZ Book Council, authors Lucy Davey and Kyle Mewburn, librarians and teachers from a number of great schools around Auckland, and librarians from the Public library's in Westport and Thames who were all wonderful wonderful people. I got interviewed on National Radio and The Were Nana was also read out on the radio and nicely reviewed by John McIntyre on radio too. I went to a fantastic conference in Wellington in September for people just like me and hung out with the loveliest bunch of folk, meeting a whole new crowd of writers and illustrators for children as well as catching up with some much loved writery friends. Of course there was the Children's Choice Award thing which basically gave most of the year its impetus and was the biggest thrill. So on the whole, despite the mouldy egg thing, it was a surprising and very positive year. This year, I think, cannot help but be different (although not in a bad way) and I will be working hard on keeping that egg basket as full as I can with new stories and new submissions. Good luck to all of you out there toiling away on stories for children. Sometimes it is a business with the definite whiff of spoilt eggs but that doesn't seem to dampen the creative spirit does it - we must be bonkers :)

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