Category Archives: The Truth About Penguins

Three More Things on Thursday

I am still in the trenches. Last week, I said I would pop my head up again, “all things being well”.

That may be something of an overstatement. The novel goes slowly, more slowly than it needs must (is that an actual sentence? It sounds like it should be. I guess this sort of digression has something to do with why the novel goes slowly. If I’m having to ask what constitutes a sentence, I am clearly in trouble).

But today was better than yesterday. There is progress. And that is a good thing, on a Thursday, when the book is due on a Monday.

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Three Things on Thursday

It’s been too long between posts again and that may continue for a while. Sometimes there is a limited number of words to go around and I have to use them all for the more important stuff, being the books themselves.

I have my head down on a deadline at the moment, which is equal parts energising and terrifying. If you had told me a couple of years ago that in October I could strip back and rewrite a book scheduled for publication in March, I would have laughed.

I’m not laughing now. In a secret place, I may be weeping. But I’m writing, and that’s good. It’s the main thing, after all.

So it’s a quick post from the trenches, to poke my head up briefly and share three things that have made me smile mightily over the last few weeks of bloggy silence.

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The Penguins Are Here!

It’s launch day at last! Following relatively hot on the heels of the publication of Duck for a Day, I’m very excited to announce the launch of my first picture book, The Truth About Penguins, featuring illustrations by the copiously talented Mark Jackson.


There will be no official launch as I am still in Japan. This is perhaps fortunate as it has made it easy for me to resist the temptation to hold a joint launch party for both books under the banner “Two Birds, One Stone”, a slogan which may have traumatised small children.

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The Duck Is Not Amused

36a4c-duckbackpack2We were walking, the duck and I, on our way up the hill to work on campus. The duck was riding, as he always does, in the mesh outer pocket of my backpack, the source of occasional stares, giggles, and some interesting conversations. If you want to break the ice in a strange place, I heartily recommend the “duck in pocket” strategy.

We were walking up the hill when we stopped in our (my) tracks. There were beady eyes upon us. Two pairs.

2b0b3-penguins2It looks like the duck is going to have to waddle aside for a time.

It looks like the penguins are coming.7dea2-penguins4

Penguin Pics

Those of you paying close attention may remember I had a picture book called The Truth About Penguins accepted for publication a while back. Well, something marvellous has happened.

I have illustrations.

First, I had ‘pencil roughs’ – black and white sketches of what the illustrations would look like, where things would go and so on. My editor sent me a note saying “We think they are FABULOUS! Hope you do, too.”

I did.

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New Books on the Way

Okay, it’s official. Or at least official enough to post here, I hope. The penguins are definitely coming, sometime in 2009. I’ve just accepted an offer for my first picture-book, The Truth About Penguins. I love picture books – they’re where I started writing for kids – and can’t wait to see what an illustrator does with my story. It’s going to be a bit of a wait for this one, but well worth it.

And (yes, there’s more!) – I’ve also just accepted an offer for another novel. This one is for boys and will be out around May next year. The working title is Going for Broke (one world record, 52 tiny bones). Anyone who knows boys can probably imagine the rest!

Both these books will be published by the fabulous Walker Books Australia, and I’m beyond thrilled.