Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scouting landscapes

I've been on a road trip through the central west and outback NSW. Marvellous country. Essentially, I was on holiday, but I was also scouting for material for my work in progress, which is set on a wild property somewhere in rural NSW.

I live in a small coastal village, so it was easy for me to write authentically about life by the sea in Get a Grip, Cooper Jones and Battle of the Rats. The sea is such a part of me, I swear I have salt in my veins.

Although I have spent quite a bit of time in the country over the years, country life and all that goes with it is less familiar. That's why it is so important for me to experience it first hand. To drink in the smells, immerse myself in the sights and sounds, and experience the joys and hardships of rural life, take note of the minuscule that will add authenticity to my work.

Here are some of the visual images I brought home with me. We live in a vast land.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Will the real Cooper Jones please stand up

August and September have flown by in a blur of school and library visits, Book Week events, festivals and conferences. It has been an absolute blast, and although at times I have been on the brink of exhaustion, I would do it all again.

There were so many highlights - too many to mention - but one that I do want to share is when a great young lad by the name of COOPER JONES introduced me at one of my Brisbane Writers Festival sessions. He did a great job with his speech; he was funny and clever and I couldn't help but get a photo of the two of us afterwards.

Coincidentally, this Cooper Jones goes to my niece and nephews' school and his family won a pack of my books (including Get a Grip, Cooper Jones) at a school fundraiser earlier in the year, so it was extra special that Payne Road School was asked to do the introductions and that Cooper was chosen.

Thanks, Coops. (By the way, he assured me that he isn't quite the idiot that the Cooper in the book is and that his life, thankfully, isn't spinning out of control.)