Or at least one thing. Specifically, this:
It’s my new book, The Truth About Penguins. And my old book, The Truth About Penguins.
Confused? Don’t be.
If you look closely, you can see differences in the two books – in size, font, and other small elements to do with presentation.*
I’m delighted to announce that The Truth About Penguins will be out in paperback in December, just in time for Christmas. It’s lovely to see my work getting a new lease on life like this, and I can only hope the new format helps it find its way into the hands of even more readers over the coming months.
* For the eagle-eyed reader, there is another crucial difference. If you have access to both copies, the last page of text will reveal all.
I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, waiting for an illustrator to be confirmed, but now that all is signed and sealed, I can announce that I have a new picture book forthcoming in 2012!
This one is with Fremantle Press, which is fitting as it’s a ‘very Freo’ book in many ways. It’s called Ten Tiny Things and it’s inspired by something my daughter and I often do when we go out walking, an activity we have cleverly named “Things We Would Never Have Seen If We Had Been Driving”. As you can see, I have a way with words …
I’ve seen early sketches and am very excited about what’s to come for this book. The illustrator is this guy. He’s a little creepy but there’s not much I can (or would) do about that. Click on the “Secrets” link on his site to see why he’s perfect for the book. You’ve probably seen his work in the city, possibly without even realising. You would probably have seen more of it had you been on foot …
Watch this space for more details. Watch the secret spaces all around you for random flashes of loveliness. Go out walking. See if you can spot ten tiny things.
So while I was off in my head musing about curious connections and astonishing alignments, I managed to overlook something kind of important.
It’s here! Or there! It’s in bookstores! And other places!
I did promise the occasional dash of random and I’m not sure I’ve really been delivering. To rectify that, here are two completely unrelated things:
Random Item #1
Surface Tension came out this week. This is excellent and I’m thrilled to see it on shelves. I’m told it received “a cracker of a review” in Bookseller + Publisher, though I’m yet to see it myself. As you do when you have a shiny new book, I’ve taken to picking up a copy, opening it, reading a few lines, sighing, and putting it back down.
Shall we call it Shiny New Book Syndrome? It is an identifiable disorder – I’m sure of it.
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.
We 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.
It looks like the duck is going to have to waddle aside for a time.
It looks like the penguins are coming.
Today, I’m taking a leaf out of Julia Lawrinson’s blog, which took its own leaf from Anita Heiss (for such is the way of the madly intertextual interwebs), to talk about things I’ve been grateful for lately.
It has been a tricky couple of years for me on some fronts and there has been less writing and relaxation and metaphorical lying on my back looking at the clouds than I would have hoped. Very often, I have felt as if I am simply scrabbling to keep my ground, rather than actually making any progress. But good things have happened. Many good things. And I am very fortunate. Mostly fortunate, in fact, and it is too easy to lose sight of that.
Okay, I know I talk a lot of talk about ducks, about Duck the First and Duck the Second as if they are actual books, rather than just ideas quacking softly in a corner of my brain.
But over the last few months I have been watching quietly while Duck the First came into being. I have seen pencil sketches of a little girl working at her desk, of a slightly grotty boy hanging over her backyard from a branch. I have squeed over colour roughs of Abby and Noah and Mrs Melvino and most of all, Max – the
difficult demanding different duck who takes up residence in Abby’s class.
I have been thrilled and delighted by the work of the wonderful Leila Rudge. It’s not that the characters are as I’d imagined them, that I feel satisfied seeing ‘my’ vision come to life. The truth is that I’m not much of a visual thinker and am not sure I had imagined them in any great detail at all. It’s rather that they are just so absolutely right for the book. Illustrators are wizards, I tell you.
When I got home from Rottnest, I found this:
It’s The Big Dig – my very first copy and it looks great! And oh yes, I know you’ve seen the cover on here before, but this is the book, the actual book, and there’s nothing like it, nothing like seeing that actual package with the little bear and knowing your book is inside and that it weighs exactly 230g.
Coming to a store near you from July 1st!
As you may know, The Big Dig is my next book in the Lightning Strikes series. I’ve been madly going back and forth with my editor trying to finalise the manuscript for the last month or so (it is more important than you can possibly imagine to make sure all the commas are in the right places!) and now it’s finally done. And even better than that, I have a cover, which is fantastic. By which I mean that it is fantastic that I have a cover, because the book would look naked without one, but more importantly that the cover itself is fantastic (see how important those commas are?). The real thing will be even more sparkly and fabulous, but for now, here is a taste:
In other news, I have completed the manuscript of Duck the Second and sent it off to my editor. Cross your webbed digits for me!