There could be no doubt for people observing my writing career recently that things appear to be going pretty well for me right now. I have a picture book coming out next month, The House That Went to Sea, that has gained some potential overseas attention about which I am cautiously optimistic. I have a young teen thriller, My Sister's Shadow, coming out in December and it is probable I have another picture book coming out next year. There are other possibilities as well and I still intend to put Jack the Viking: Magnetic North out as an e-book before 2011 is over. But folks, objects in your rear view mirror may appear closer than they actually are. Before 2010, my last acceptances (not including anthologised short stories which are quite a different kettle of fish) had been in 2006. Despite winning NZ Post's Childrens Book Awards Children's Choice in 2009 for The Were-Nana - published 2008 and accepted 2006 - (also shortlisted for the Sakura Medal and the BPANZ Book Design Awards, and a 2009 Storylines Notable Book) and actively submitting stories and ideas and having an agent, I walked in the publishing wilderness for four years. The wilderness is peopled with fantastic authors (and I suspect that there are more in the wilderness than out of it) and I appreciate that my time there might have been longer and I have been lucky to leave (at least for now) - I don't watch Bear Grylls for entertainment folks, I am always looking for survival tips. Whether you are in the wilderness or out of it survival tips may be the only thing that keep you going. When no one would take a chance on what I was offering I thought I might go crazy (in fact there are some residual tics and occasional manic outbursts) but in the absence of anything else to do I behaved like the successful writer I wanted to be. I kept writing and submitting and observing the publishing industry. I kept involved with what was going on and finding out all I could about how things worked and the changes that were occuring. I was storing up information I wasn't sure that I was ever going to need because the door was closing pretty hard on the toe I'd poked in the gap. But I was visible as part of the community a) because I wanted to be (this is the home turf that I wanted to belong to) and b) because I wanted to be seen to be part of that community. If you behave like you belong, even when you feel like a rank outsider, then one day you'll find you do. And I kept writing new and complete material even when I thought it pointless so I would have new things to offer as well as any of my earlier work that I thought cut the mustard.
The drought was painful - man was I thirsty - but I rain danced my ass off. There are no guarantees the drought won't return and I love the taste of water. If you are in a drought now, keep asking for a sip of water. Hang in there, you have to believe the rain will come...
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications