Since the CBCA shortlisting of Duck for a Day, people have been emailing to ask me things.
They have been asking things like:
- Why did you write Duck for a Day? Where did you get the idea?
- Where are the teaching notes for Duck for a Day?
- Is there a book trailer for Duck for a Day?
- Has it been published overseas?
- Where is this sequel to Duck for a Day you have been promising us?
And I have been sending answers. But now I’m going to post the answers here, and then maybe I’ll get fewer emails.
- The very beginnings of Duck for a Day formed when I saw an interview with the cartoonist Michael Leunig, who draws lots of ducks. He was talking about how people are sometimes confused by his ducks, wanting to know what they’re about, and he said, “I thought everybody would understand what a duck is about, and it’s just … there is the duck”. That line stayed with me and one day the line “The duck was different. The duck had demands” came to me and I knew I was going to write a story with that line in it. I had no idea what it was going to be about, other than that there would be a rather glorious and stubborn duck in it, but eventually other ideas came along and attached themselves to it and slowly, the story began to form.
- The book trailer is in my head and that may be where it will stay. Book trailers are fun but they take a long time to make and that’s time I have to take away from writing. I’m not sure that’s a wise thing to do at this point. If I find myself between projects later, I may make one then. A couple of people have told me I should ‘strike while the iron is hot’ but I think that applies to writing too.
- No, Duck hasn’t been published anywhere but Australia/New Zealand, but that is going to change. In January, I learned that Candlewick have picked it up for US publication in February 2012. Exciting!
- I’m working on the sequel at the moment. I think I’ll have it done in a week or so, subject to the many demands of email and book trailers. I don’t have a title yet, which worries me a little. I usually have a title before I start – not by design but just in the way of things – and feel a little rudderless without one.
And to reply to a few repeating comments I’ve also been receiving:
- There are some broken images on your website.
I know, but it’s not something I can deal with at the moment. I do it all myself and have so far been unsuccessful in working out why these few buttons aren’t reproducing properly. This suggests it’s the kind of fiddly thing that’s going to take me hours to track down and you know, I’d rather be writing.
- You should update your blog more regularly. That’s how you get more readers.
Sorry, but I’m not going to do that. Or at least, I’m not going to commit to doing it, although there might be accidental regularity from time to time. I update the blog when I have both something to say and time to say it. It’s just that simple.
Having said that, there are many pieces of news to be posted, and that will happen soon. Here’s a question no one has asked me yet, but which may be answered shortly, and surprisingly:
- is there a music theatre production of Duck for a Day?
Your idea of answering all the questions together in one place to stop people asking more is very clever, Meg. But I have just one more…how come you're not so brilliant that you can fix your website with ease, write 3 blog posts a day, write a sequel, make a trailer and juggle six ducks all at the same time? You're an author. You're supposed to be superhuman, aren't you?