While I wasn’t watching, this happened:
Old news, you say? Isn’t Going for Broke just so very last year? Well, yes, I suppose it is, at least in Australia. But look closer, if you can.
Look at this:
Pounds! UK only!
On 4 May, Going for Broke was published in the United Kingdom! Somehow, I seem to have slept through it. But no matter. I am awake now.
More information here. I wonder what they’ll make of my boys?
Six days of poetry workshops, readings, panel discussions, book signings, and reader-meeting are over. It was both excellent and exhausting. I met some wonderful writers, read some poems, sat in on all kinds of lively discussions, and got to talk about Going for Broke to a lovely al fresco Family Day crowd. If you came past to say hi or have me sign a book, feel free to drop me a line via my ‘Contact‘ page. I always love hearing from readers.
Something else I love is turning up approximately three minutes late to a panel discussion on short fiction and finding standing room only at the (large-ish) venue. It is a real pleasure to be part of such a vibrant community of readers and writers. Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen and everyone who gobbled it up with such gusto. Please, sir, can I have some more?
Here’s the blurb for Going for Broke from the South Australian Premier’s Reading Challenge:
“Nathan is determined to do well and achieve, but ignores advice to plan and research.”
South Australian Premier, thank you for including my book on your list, but is this really the best you could do? I’m afraid it makes what has been described as a ‘crack-up funny’, ‘laugh-out loud riotous journey of boyhood misadventure’ sound rather like that most odious of beasts – a Book With a Lesson.
I’ve just sent back what I think are the final revisions on my next junior novel. Going for Broke (one world record, 52 tiny bones) will be out with Walker Books Australia in May next year.
In a curious twist, I have actually done an illustration for the text (although once my editor sees the extent of my artistic skill, she may well place a panicked last-minute call to an actual illustrator).
Okay, yes, I admit it. During Book Week, I may have said a few things. I may have admitted to skydiving and bungy jumping and jumping my bike off poorly constructed ramps in an attempt to keep up with my brothers. I may have said that the first draft of Going for Broke contained a scene in which a boy sits in a shopping trolley with a lawnmower engine on his lap, while one friend pulls the starter cord and the other pushes the trolley off a cliff. I may have said that every kid needs a little risk in their life, a little danger, even; that stepping out into the world without a helmet and kneepads is not a bad idea every now and then.
I will stand by all that.
But, seriously, to the unknown Googler who arrived at my website via the search terms “bungy jump” and “shopping trolley”, I can only say: Please don’t. This will not end well.
It’s been brought to my attention that the main character in Going For Broke shares a name with a certain AFL player. And that’s not all. Another reader has pointed out that Nathan Foley is also a member of Hi-5.
This is food for some thought. It’s not that I thought my Nathan would be the only Nathan. But it does suggest to me the wisdom of Googling potential character names before setting them in stone, just in case. The last thing I need is to accidentally name a character after some less-than-savoury figure, or even someone whose real-life attributes somehow undermine or parody those of my character (although the ironic potential of naming an advocate for refugee rights John Howard or a conservative, morally upstanding teen Britney Spears is not lost on me).
If you recognise the lyric I’m quoting above, you are probably too old to read my books!
So, it’s been a while, and there are reasons for that. I’ve had some time off, but am starting to find that writing space again. Here’s a summary of what I’ve been up to over the last month:
Writing: completed a picture book and a short novel and sent them off with fingers crossed. Uncrossed fingers again because I was finding it difficult to type, and started a new novel. This is another short one and is coming quite quickly so far, which is usually a good sign. I’m also working on a picture book, something I’ve been playing around with for a year or so. It’s very conceptual and a bit tricky to write, but I’m in love with the idea, so keep hammering away at it. Hopefully I’ll find a way through soon.
Launching: attended the launch of the FAW(WA) anthology Lines in the Sand, which contains my poem ‘Ancestor Games’.
My new book, Going for Broke, is part of a new series called Lightning Strikes, which has just been launched by Walker Books.
There are six books in the initial launch, with more to follow later this year. Along with Going for Broke, the first release includes Queasy Rider (James Roy), The Black Baron (Robyn Opie), Jinxed (Jill McDougall), Sucked In (John Parker), and The Great Shave (Clare Saxby). It’s a crazy crew of fast-paced stories about everything from racing cockroaches, bloodthirsty eyeballs and bad hair days to, of course, amazingly amazing world record attempts.
Go on, check them out!
Today, I’m launching my new book, Going for Broke. Sadly, you are not invited. But don’t take it personally, because no-one is invited. This time around, I decided that a launch party was beyond me. That doesn’t mean that the book isn’t launched, though. In fact, I’m launching it right here, right now.
Imagine, if you will, some hardwood floors, some overstuffed couches, a balcony overlooking the street. Picture a room full of enthusiastic friends and some random people who just wandered in from the Fremantle night. Imagine some gourmet pizza, a bar in the corner, a ‘kids table’ left sadly unappreciated while my target audience instead heckle passers-by from the balcony.
Shhh! I saw a cover. It was a blue cover. It was a grey cover. It had skateboards, several. It had my name on it. It had the title Going for Broke in shiny foiled letters. It was very, very cool. And now I can post it, so here it is:
Going for Broke will be released in May this year as part of Walker Books’ new Lightning Strikes series. The series will kick off with six books and I’ll be in the fine company of authors such as Robyn Opie and James Roy. I have a feeling this is going to be fun!
Sadly, we have had to lose the subtitle “One World Record, Fifty-Two Tiny Bones”, but I suspected that would happen at some point.