Thursday, 27 June 2013

Creative Kids Tales




 Creative Kids is an Australian website with the aim to help writers promote their work. It is the brain child of emerging writer Georgie Donaghey. What started as a small possibility soon grew wings and took flight. It is a thriving, successful web site that continues to expand. Read on to learn more about this inspiring lady! 
How was the Creative Kids Tales site born? 
I had been writing for some time and involved with different writing groups.  I even ran a local branch of the CBCA for a couple of years but felt restricted.  After the birth of my third child I had an idea for a website that offered everything an emerging children's author needs on their journey to publication. 

I searched the internet and whilst I found sites that offered some services, I couldn’t find a site that offered everything, especially a site for Australian emerging children’s authors.  In 2011 Creative Kids Tales was born. 

Creative Kids Tales assists emerging authors all over Australia and we even have a large overseas following too.  We now average over 55,000+ hits per month. Creative Kids Tales is a proud partner with Love2Read and has been archived under the National Library’s Pandora Archive.
What does the site offer? 
One word - Everything!  It’s a one stop shop for emerging children’s authors.  We have a growing list of emerging authors and illustrators who each have a profile where they can display their work.  We have a complete listing of children’s publishers, 4 pages of useful tips for writers, competition and industry information and upcoming events. We have a Pitch ya book! page for established or self-published authors to promote their book.  Our testimonials page is filled with encouraging words from some of the biggest names in Australian children’s literature.

What do you enjoy most about facilitating such a site?
Again everything!  It’s hard work but I know that I’m helping to make a difference in someone’s life.  Writing is a solitary occupation and to have a network of like-minded people is great!  By providing the tools and resources we do, it takes some of the research work away from budding writers, freeing their time to create stories and adventures for children to love. 

I love interviewing well known authors and discovering new things about them.  Meeting fellow emerging authors and illustrators, swapping stories, tips and information. Every day I learn something new about this important industry.

Do you have some favourite writers that have been featured?
No, I love them all!  Sorry, but I do.  I’ve learnt something from every author I’ve interviewed. Each one has given me a piece of advice or idea I have been able to take and use in my own writing. 

If you could invite ANY author to feature, who would it be and why?
A tough one!  I never imagined I would have been able to interview children’s literary royalty such as Mem Fox, Andy Griffiths and Jackie French but I did and they were all very generous with their time and support of Creative Kids Tales.  All the authors we have featured have been fun and taught us lots along the way.  I guess two authors I would like to feature would be Emily Rodda and Morris Gleitzman.

What is the most surprising thing about writing/publishing that you have learnt?
This industry is definitely full of surprises.  When I started my writing journey I would never have imagined I would have a successful website and be able to have my own radio show.  This has been a rewarding often scary adventure that I wouldn’t swap for anything.  My dream was to be a published author. I’m not saying that won’t happen but I’ve learnt there are so many other ways to be involved in the industry I love.  I’ve made some remarkable friends along the way.

Tell us about the team behind the scenes (or screen!)?
There’s just the two of us.  I have a talented husband who is my internet guru.  The first two weeks of the month I spend gathering content, interviewing people, reading upcoming releases, writing reviews, researching the featured author of the month and preparing their intro.  I write the ‘What’s new’ page which is a summary of the previous month and highlights events coming up in the next month.  Around the 15th of the month I send my husband the emails on average around 30 emails.  He then spends the next two weeks uploading it to the website so on the 1st of each month a new edition is released.  My sister designed the logo for Creative Kids Tales,

Georgie, you have appeared as an emerging writer. Can you tell us about your own writing?
I had hoped the creation of Creative Kids Tales would help promote my writing but instead most of my free time is spent promoting other emerging authors.

I still love writing, although I spend less than half the time I used to, actually writing for me.  With the website and three young kids, plus working fulltime it’s hard, really hard.  I used to write on the train to and from work, now I spend this time reading new releases for review or writing content for the website.  I’ve decided to write when I can and focus more on it when I’m able to change to part time work. 

Can you share with us, the Authors Shelf and tell us why it has you so excited?
I read an email from friend and author, Deborah Abela advising to SCBWI members about a Northern Beaches radio show.  They were looking for authors or people from the book industry to talk on air.  I emailed the host, Robert Salisbury who kindly invited me in for a chat.  I was petrified and suffering from a cold which is a great start to a radio career, although I didn’t know it was going to turn into a career at the time. 

I chatted with Robert for about 40 mins of the 60 min show and basically had a ball.

After a few weeks I contacted my local station 2SSR 99.7FM Sound of the Shire (notice the little plug there) as I noticed their program guide was lacking in a literature content and thought it might be a good idea for a show.  Again at no time was I thinking I would present.  Within 24 hours I received a reply loving my idea.  I was invited in for a sound check, I didn’t even get the three pieces of dialogue read before I was ‘welcomed aboard’.  Three weeks later, radio and legal components passed in their course I was well on my way.  I’ve now enjoyed a fair amount of air time with my mentor, Yasemin Kemal and have one last practical exam to pass before The Author’s Shelf goes live.

I’m excited because the show will be an extension of the website.  I’m still working on the exact format of the show but basically I’ll be chatting with authors, both established and emerging, discussing industry news and have the occasional giveaway with a little music along the way.  Anyone who has a computer or access to Tunein radio will be able to listen to the show.

I blame Deb for this and have made her promise to be the first guest on The Author’s Shelf. 

Sorry did you want the long or the short answer??

Who is your favourite author?
Hmm too many children’s authors to choose from and many I now call friends so I don’t want to offend or forget anyone. 

James Patterson is my favourite author in the adult genre.  How’s that? 

If you had a premonition you would be stranded on a desert island, what 5 books would you throw in your bag?
Winnie the Pooh, let’s face it with all that water visiting the 100 acre wood would be a welcome change.

Any of the James Patterson/Alex Cross series.  I’ll need to keep my brain active.

How to build a raft whilst stranded on a desert island.  After all I don’t want to be on the island forever.

1001 ways to use coconuts.  I don’t think I could live on Mary Ann’s Coconut Cream Pie everyday. 

Arthur Fales (my main work in progress.  I can always use more editing time)

What 5 words best sum you up Georgie?
Persistent, passionate, hard-working, Mother, writer.

How can we learn more?
If you would like more information about Creative Kids Tales or The Author’s Shelf email me 

Thanks for the interview Georgie and best of luck with everything!

Thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog.  It was fun being in the interviewee’s chair.

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