One of many divine business cards for children’s illustrator Amanda Francey. Visit her website amandafrancey.com

It’s been a while since I posted here and for that I apologise.  Never enough time and all that.

But I simply must rave about an event I attended recently.  Hosted by Booklinks, it was a chance for librarians to meet with children’s/young adult authors and hear about their latest ventures.

The evening opened with Isobelle Carmody interviewing Rosie Borella – a bit like a fireside chat, it gave us an insight to the development of a writing career.

Then we got into some real work.  No less than 20 authors (2 or 3 at a time) pitched their books in a maximum of 3 minutes to 10 groups of entranced librarians.

It was a bit like speed dating only more fun.

I did try to take lots of notes.  Here are some of the authors/illustrators I met:

  1. Jessie Blackadder – told us about Stay: the last dog in Antarctica and Paruku The Desert Brumby.  Aimed at those aged 8-13 years old, teaching notes are available to support reading.
  2. Katherine Battersby – told us about her beautiful picture books Squish Rabbit and Brave Squish Rabbit.  Published by UQ Press they are about a small person in a big world.  Great for storytime!
  3. Michael Bauer – famous for his book Don’t Call Me Ishmael, Michael wanted to tell us about his latest writing including the spin-off books to the Eric Vale Series featuring  Eric’s own creation Secret Agent Derek “Danger” Dale.  These books are wildly popular with tween boys.
  4. Christine Bongers – I used to work with Christine 500 years ago at the ABC.  She wouldn’t remember me as I was but a ‘umble PA when she was a high flying journo.  I was very impressed to hear all about her writing.  She wanted to tell us all about Drongoes which is published by Scholastic for early independent readers and popular with reluctant readers.  She invited us to the launch of Intruder on the 1st June at Riverbend Books – a YA novel.
  5. Rosie Borella – told us about The One and Only Jack Chant due out the end of the month. Aimed at 13-16 year olds it is a mystery set in, of all places, a nursing home.
  6. Peter Carnavas  – famous for The Boy on the Page and illustrating My Nanna is a Ninja, told us about Jonathan and how happy he was to be working with illustrator Amanda Francey for the first time.  Jonathan sounds like another perfect book for Storytime.  He also told us that Sarah’s Heavy Heart is touring Queensland schools as an Arts Link project.  Sounds great.
  7. Emily Craven – spoke enthusiastically about The Grand Adventures of Mdeline Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire which comes with a bonus Facebook experience.
  8. Amanda Francey – graduate of QCA and illustrator of Peter Carnavas’ latest book Jonathan.   We all loved her work and were so excited to meet illustrators as well as authors.
  9. Rebecca Johnson – I was particularly excited to meet Rebecca as I’ve catalogued quite a few of her books.  She is a prolific writer, probably most famous for the Steve Parish series of early readers.  She wanted to tell us about her latest work – Juliet nearly a Vet and a new series published by Pascal Press on insects.
  10. Andrew King – is a self-published author of Engibear’s Dream available from the EA Books.  You can see a video about the making of the book here.  Designed to encourage more kids to be interested in engineering.
  11.  Kate Knapp – We have “Oooh”d and “Ahh”d over Kate Knapp’s work when it has come into the library before so you can imagine how delighted we were to meet her and how ecstatic I was to win a copy of Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris.  There was a quiz at the end of the speed dating to see how much attention we had been paying to the authors.  I knew that Ruby Red Shoes had met her cousin Max in Paris.  The writing is just delicious as are the delightful illustrations.  
  12. Josie Montano – Josie has written quite a bit about Aspergers and Autism Specturm Disorders but wanted to let us know about her latest book My Family Sized Pizza.  You can read more about the book on this blog.
  13. James Moloney – was excited to tell us about his latest work for Penguin as part of their adventure series for boys called Do you Dare?.  James’ contribution is called The Last Horse Race.  Aimed at 8-12 year olds .  He also mentioned The Disappearing Act which is due out in June aimed at Upper Primary about a magic act gone wrong.
  14. Narelle Oliver – Narelle had much of her work on display and for sale on the night which was just fantastic.  She told us about her latest work Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen.  She told us about the sometimes frustrating work of her collage process.  It sounded fun and is so very beautiful.
  15. Pamela Rushby – it was great to catch up with Pam again.  We used to have a lot to do with each other in my work for AFTRS.  Pam told us about her latest historical novel The Ratcatcher’s Daughter.  About the Black Death in Brisbane (who knew?), it’s bound to be an intriguing read.
  16. Samantha Wheeler – wanted to let us know about her book Smooch and Rose which is a tale of conservation, family and friendship.  This is her first novel and she impressed us with her passion.
  17. Richard Yaxley – told us about Joyous and Moonbeam aimed at 11 – 16 year olds.
  18. Nicholas and Alison Lochel – famous for the Zarkora series of books (think Deltora quest) about orphaned brothers, these two impressed us with their energy and enterprise.

We were encouraged to come along to the State Library on 9 May where Isobelle Carmody will be a keynote speaker.

Here are some images of the goodies I picked up on the night.

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If you want to read more about the stars go here.

Also the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Qld. Branch and SCBWI are presenting a supper with Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac this Thursday, 6 March at the Queensland Writers’ Centre Level 2, State Library from 6-8pm.  Admission is free but you must book. RSVP qld@cbca.org.au.

Thanks again to Booklinks for being the hosts with the most and Bulimba State School for providing such an impressive view of Brisbane!  How lucky are the kids that get to go there????

A big thank you to my employe MBRC for paying for me to attend.  I hope to be able to feed back into all our programming and reader’s advisory services, the wealth of talent that we have here in the Sunshine State.

Til next time!