Wednesday, 31 July 2019
Drum roll please ...
I wanted to share this amazing opportunity that has just been offered to me. I am incredibly grateful and excited for my new Young Adult novel to be published and am looking forward to the journey. Thanks Odyssey Books!
Saturday, 30 December 2017
What's with the New Year? It makes people all shades of crazy. Reflective. Despondent. Hopeful. Excited. Nervous. Thoughtful. Melancholy. Joyous.
Everyone wants to reflect on the year that has passed. What have I achieved? What do I still need to work towards? Everyone wants to set goals for the year ahead. What do I want to achieve? What do I want to work towards?
It's been almost twelve months since I posted anything on this blog. Not because I've been living in the remotest part of the world with no access to WiFi. Is there even such place? If so message me the coordinates so I can go there.
It's also not because I've had nothing to say. I've got plenty to say, just ask my kids and husband!
The truth is, I haven't posted anything mostly because life got busy and I had to evaluate where my energy went.
I listen to conversations around me about people's lives and sometimes I feel the need to have a nap with how full their day is. Family commitments. Offspring's commitments. Exercise commitments. Education commitments. Business commitments. Work commitments. Social commitments. Social media commitments. Housekeeping commitments. Pet commitments. Shopping commitments. The list is never ending!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of commitment. But what I am afraid of, is Life Passing Me By. Sorry, I couldn't think of a cute little acronym to go with my fear. LPMB doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Although OMG works, as does LOL and PMSL so maybe LPMB will catch on.
I had a milestone birthday this year and it was like a slap to the face. My life was either halfway over or only just beginning. After much thought, I chose to go with the latter. Because you only get one shot at this life. So whilst there will always be commitments and juggling acts in our lives, it's important to stop. And live. And laugh. And be in the moment. Or else life will pass us by and we won't have been able to enjoy it.
Goals for 2018 ... Do not let LPMB.
Thursday, 24 November 2016
Bill Condon is a well-known Australian children’s author whose books have been CBCA short-listed four times and won numerous awards, including the inaugural Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Youth Literature. His last CBCA short-listing was his junior novel, The Simple Things (Allen & Unwin) in 2015. His most recent junior novel is All of Us Together (About Kids Books), a gentle and sometimes funny family story set in the 1930s Australian Great Depression. Today he shares some of his writing journey.
I had my first book for children published in the early 80s when I was just a boy of 30 something years. Now I’m just a boy of 67, but I’m still hanging in there. I stumbled into writing, probably because at school it was the only thing I showed any aptitude for. When I was about 14 I wrote an essay that a teacher singled out for praise – a rare thing for me in those days – and I think that’s what got me dreaming of one day becoming a writer. My writing apprenticeship was simply living and earning a crust, mowing lawns and working in factories, meeting people and hearing about their lives, all the time subconsciously ‘growing’ my own stories, which I’ve been plundering ever since.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love the freedom of being able to create my own little world and to play in it, also to escape from real life and to not have a boss. Writing is the one thing I can do well.
What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
Self-discipline, mainly the pressure I put on myself, lots of negative messages. There are millions of books so it’s extremely hard to come up with something original. There’s also the stress of spending years writing something which might never be published.
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?Yes. There are autobiographical aspects to most everything I write. I plunder my life including things I see in day-to-day life. My writing is largely influenced by my environment and my personal history, the people I meet and places I’ve been.
Tell us about your publications.
I’ve had more than 100 children’s books published by publishers such as Allen & Unwin, Random House, and Queensland University Press et al – more recently a junior novel All of Us Together (About Kids Books http://www.aboutkidsbooks.com). My writing includes novels, short stories and non-fiction, and collections of plays and poetry.
Three of my YA novels, Dogs, No Worries, and A Straight Line to My Heart, were shortlisted in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Dogs won CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2001), No Worries won CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2006), A Straight Line to My Heart was CBCA Honour Book of the Year (2008), Daredevils was a CBCA Notable Book (2007) and my junior novel, The Simple Things (Allen & Unwin) was CBCA short-listed in 2015.
No Worries and A Straight Line to My Heart were also shortlisted for the NSW Premier Awards.
I was very lucky to win inaugural Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2010 for Young Adult Fiction for my book Confessions of a Liar, Thief and Failed Sex God. My YA novel A Straight Line to My Heart was also short-listed for the PM’s Literary Award in 2012.
Other than writing what else do you love?Playing Scrabble, reading, golf, watering the garden, punting on horses and making meals
What would your dream location for writing be?My ideal location is where I live currently, at Cordeaux Heights on the beautiful south coast. It is so quiet and peaceful here. I can go to my office any time, even in the middle of the night, and write without any hassles.
What are five words that sum you up?A very tall sexy bloke
How can we learn more?I share my website http://www.enterprisingwords.com.au with my author wife, Dianne (Di) Bates. I have a Facebook page, but I don’t do much social media.
Thanks for the interview Bill and all the very best with your exciting new release!
Thursday, 15 September 2016
Ever wondered how authors create their make believe worlds? Today Karen Tyrrell shares some tips. Karen has 8 published titles to her now. She works tirelessly to help people feel empowered and is passionate about helping others. Song Bird Superhero is her recent release which will no doubt be a soaring success!
How to Create a Superhero World in Fiction
I created a unique superhero world for my children’s novel, Song Bird Superhero.
From the very first page, readers know Song Bird Superhero lives in a superhero world, reminiscent of superhero comics and movies. Song Bird Superhero is set in Happy Valley, a parallel universe where superheroes reign supreme, incognito with super villains. Happy Valley reveals normal world scenes like the family home, the neighbourhood, the local park, Happy Valley School, the science fair and dreamscapes but populated by supernatural beings. In Happy Valley, dark spectacular happenings occur. It’s a place where good triumphs over evil …eventually.
Meet Song Bird and her alter ego, Rosella Ava Bird, a young girl who nightly dreams are filled with flying. Too bad her waking hours are a living nightmare:
Her flying inventions crash.
Her kooky parents, Mr and Mrs Bird are super overprotective.
Her singing shatters windows.
The principal bans her from the science fair.
Worst of all, Rosie lives next door to Frank Furter, an evil boy-genius whose sights are set on seeing her fail! Rosella is the girl least likely to soar, and yet when she learns to sing something incredible takes flight. Rosella becomes Song Bird, a flying superhero who saves the day.
In chapter one, we meet Rosella’s kooky Mum, a health and safety officer. And her dad who’s scared of heights and speed. Both are oblivious to Rosie superpowers. Her little brother Robin and her big sister Raven do suspect something is going in.
Rosie’s side-kick, Amy Hillcrest is wheelchair bound, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Amy supports Rosie’s quest and inspires us by her positive words and actions. Amy is smart, confident and super talented in maths and science, inventing things.
Rosie’s teacher and mentor, Miss Darling is a superhero in disguise. Her role is to guide Rosie on her journey to discover her super powers and save the day.
Rosie’s nemesis, Frank Furter is a bully, whose traits we recognize from our schooldays. He bullies the weak and turns them into victims. Frank Furter’s evil powers are equal to Rosie’s, which makes her soar even higher.
Rosie lives in a human world facing supernatural brick-wall challenges, instigated by the villain.
Can Song Bird defeat the evil child genius and save her brother, Robin and the school?
5 Tips to World Building
- Create an original, authentic scifi or fantasy world with the minimum of clichés. The superhero genre is a sub-genre of scifi, fantasy or both.
- Hook the reader in with intrigue, immersing us into the main character’s emotions.
- Personify your world with emotions. Describe your world vividly in regard to its physical environment, social structures, special rules or languages and the people.
- Ask yourself: How is your fictional world like ours? How is your world different?
- Reveal your intriguing world and code of behaviour through dialogue between characters, thoughts from the main character and specific vivid descriptions where needed.
Did these World Building tips resonate with you?
FREE Teacher resources and kids activities for Song Bird.
Includes STEM science, creative writing, history, art, craft, maths, literacy, drama, social skills, and bully prevention.
Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell is now available on Amazon HERE
Song Bird Book Giveaway
Let’s celebrate the release of Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrrell on Amazon.
Comment below to win a "LIMITED EDITION COPY" of Song Bird Superhero.
Answer this question: Why do you want to win a copy of Song Bird Superhero?
Giveaway closes on October 20. Good luck J
Sunday, 24 July 2016
by Toby & Molly
Katherine x 4 nights
Kilometres travelled so far 5,133 km
We went for a 2km walk and eventually found a swimming hole with a waterfall. I swam out to it and got under it but the water was hard on my head.
We climbed up to the waterfall. It was really, really tough and hurt my legs! But when we got there we went for a swim and it was cold.
The canoeing was strenuous! But we got to go for a swim. There were fish swimming around us where we swam!
We went to Katherine Gorge and went on the canoes. We saw a freshwater crocodile. I was scared!
We left Katherine for home and stayed in Devils Marbles, Alice Springs and Port Augusta on the way back.
We have had the most amazing adventure travelling a total of 10,940 kms in just under 6 weeks.
The Northern Territory is a vast, rugged and spectacularly beautiful part of the world.
Thanks for the memories NT!
My favourite bit about the trip was being able to adventure though central Australia. My top 3 were canoeing, quad bikes and the crocodile jumping.
My top 4 bits were going on the quad bikes, the crocodile jumping, canoeing and doing the walks. But not some because they were tiring!
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
By Toby & Molly
Kakadu x 2 nights
Kilometres travelled so far - 4,878km. 253
I learnt at the cultural centre that there are picture story books about aborigianl stories. I read one where the Mum told the little boys not to look at the sun too much because their heads will get stuck together. They didn't listen to thier mother and thier heads got joined together. Luckily another person told them to go into some special water so they could get seperated again. They always listened to thier Mum after that.
My favourite part were that the walks were short but there was lots to look at along the way.
The aboriginal people used crushed rock and animal blood to make paint and draw pictures.
We climbed to the top of Ubir. Along the way we could see Aboriginal paintings. At the top we could see a view that went all around us, right across Kakadu.
We went for a walk and a snake slithered past me unexpectedly. It gave me a HUGE fright! On the walk there were warning signs saying look out for buffalo's, crocodiles and snakes.
My favourite part was when we looked at the rock artwork we could see different pictures and we guessed what they were. I saw fish, people, kangaroo, spears and turtles.
Saturday, 9 July 2016
By Toby & Molly
Mataranka x 2 nights
Litchfield x 2 nights
Darwin x 6 nights
Kilometres travelled so far - 4,625km.
Mataranka - Bitter Springs
It is a thermal river which means it is really warm by mother nature not humans.You could float down the river and there was lots of mouldy slime along the edge.
Mataranka - Bitter Springs
When we floated under a tree we saw a spider above in a big web. I was frightened because I thought it might land in the water next to me.
Litchfield National Park
We walked about two kiometres and found small swimming areas along the way. One of them had a swing rope. That was really fun! We swam out and got to swim underneath the waterfall.
We jumped off a rock and splashed into a waterhole. Toby and me went on a swing rope. It was very fun and exciting!
Termites look similar to ants. Other animals use the mounds as protection. For example mice, ants, frogs, snakes and birds.
In the termite mounds there are holes where the termites went. There is a queen of each group and each termite has a job. The most popular one is the worker.
Darwin Military Museum
The Japanese bombed Darwin and over 250 people died, mostly Americans who were on their ship in the harbour. They kept bombing for a few more months. People got evacuated and it was 2 years until they were allowed back.
Darwin Military Museum
Darwin got bombed on the 19th February 1942. We saw lots of weapons on display like swords and guns.
Crocodile jumping on the Adelaide River
Crocodiles are more active in the afternoon after they've warmed up and because they are reptiles. A bull shark can eat a crocodile and one bit the leg off the biggest crocodile in the river called Brutus who is 90 years old.
Crocodile jumping on the Adelaide River
They fed the crocodiles buffalo meat so they would jump up so we could see them. The babies had more teeth than the adults and they were sharper and shinier. They could bite your leg off! There's over 100 crocs in the river.