Cover love…

Here’s a peek at the German cover for All I Ever Wanted.

It’s published by Bloomsbury Taschenbuch and it hits the shelves in October 2012.

This cover makes me crave long, summer days and watermelon. What do you think?





Happy days…

Somebody wise once said, ‘I know I can write. I just have to figure out how to feed myself while I do it.’ Something like that. I think it was Cormac McCarthy. Anyway, it seems I can write without worrying about how to feed myself for a few more months. Yes, that was a clumsy segueway into some self-back-slapping—All I Ever Wanted won the Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Fiction a couple of weeks ago.

To top off that wonderful moment, I got to hang out with some lovely writers, some of whom have been scooping up awards like seagulls at a burley-fest. I loved that several writers admitted that their knees still knocked and they were lost for words and some even felt sick before an appearance. I feel bad, but I needed to hear it because I suffer all those symptoms plus I have a complexion that lights up like a slapped arse. Okay, enough bad similes.

I was especially thrilled to be shortlisted with a group of YA authors whose books graced my shelves many years before my own book was published, and some amazing South Aussie writers won awards: Rosanne Hawke, the Children’s Literature Award for Taj and the Great Camel Trek; Janeen Brian, the Carclew Fellowship; Margaret Merrilees, the Wakefield Press Unpublished Manuscript Award; Nicki Bloom, the Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award and the Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship.

Congratulations to the organisers of Writers’ Week and to all the writers who emerged, blinking, into that perfect week of sunshine. Back to your garrets, please.

Second book syndrome…

I’m still wrestling with my demonic second book. And it’s hard. Really hard. It’s supposed to be easier, isn’t it? You’d think, having successfully worked through the editing process before, that I wouldn’t make the same mistakes over again. This time the writing should be better, seamless. Painless. Hah. Phooey.

This time it’s like plumbing the depths of the well. I’ve already skimmed off the clear, spring water and now the bucket’s hauling up sludge. When the muck settles, sometimes there’s something salvageable, but more often I have to dip the bucket again and again and hope the well’s been miraculously filled overnight.

I don’t think I’ll ever write ‘big’ books. All I Ever Wanted has been called ‘slender’, ‘a slim volume’, ‘short’ and other things that I don’t consider disparaging. I just say what I want to say and then I’m done—which is pretty much how I am in real life. So, this second book that I imagined would evolve into a doorstop of a novel (based on the large cast of characters and epic scale of my protagonist’s journey) is still a lean and sinewy thing. I’m tempted to put some meat on its bones. But will I be straying too far from what I always intend when I write—to leave room for whimsy, to make a character stick with one line, to create a world that’s vivid and palpable but not absolute—and if I make that detour, will it change the way I write forever?

Scary stuff.

Usually if I just write something, anything, it’ll start to flow. Like unblocking an artery. If I just write a page of self-serving crap that has no point and no intended audience I can float ideas around until, finally, one beautiful, clear thought bodysurfs out of the mosh and gets up on stage and screams, ‘Look at me, look at me!

Oh, sorry. I have to go. I have an idea…


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