Participation Ribbons (Part 2)

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Good Job

Back in April, I posted about how 2015 had already achieved ‘house on fire’ status in the Are You Seeing Me? chase for literati glory. Given we’re now in November, I figured I should update you on the six months that have passed.

What a caper.

While still coming down from the CBCA shortlist clouds (it rightfully took several months), I discovered that AYSM was a finalist for the Griffith University YA Book Award in the QLA’s. To receive this nod from my state of origin was very gratifying and took me back to my very first brush with literary acknowledgement: a shortlisting in the 2004 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards’ young adult category for Most Valuable Potential.

Next came two very cool pats on the back.

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Release The Publicity Hounds

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On Air

Are You Seeing Me? is out and about in North America this week and, in accordance with the promotional deities, there is plenty of upcoming opportunity to catch me in a live or online AYSM experience.

Here’s a rundown of confirmed happenings:

August 18-25: Goodreads Giveaway (for CAN/US only)
August 24: Staff Meet n Greet, Kidsbooks on Broadway, 11.00am
September 9: Vancouver Book Launch, Book Warehouse on Main, 7.00pm
September 12: Delta Book Launch, Albany Books, 2.00pm
September 15: Vancouver Writers Fest Soft Launch, Indigo Broadway & Granville, 7.00pm
September 19-20: Word on the Street Lethbridge (see festival program for full details)
September 27: Word Vancouver (see festival program for full details)
October 2: PNBA Tradeshow in Portland, Nightcapper Author Event, 8.30-10.00pm
October 20-25: Vancouver Writers Fest (see festival program for full details)
November 4: Orca Group Launch in Victoria, Munro’s Books (time TBD)

Other events may be added to the docket, so stay tuned.

I look forward to seeing you somewhere on this fun ride!

Participation Ribbons

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Good Job

2015 is the Aussie awards season for Are You Seeing Me? and, if the first four months is any guide, it’s a year that’s going straight to the pool room.

It started off with a delightful nod from those very fine fans at Booktopia. As an added bonus, they included a faker with the movers and shakers on their annual ‘Australia’s Favourite Novelist‘ poll. Like a qualifier facing Roger Federer at Wimbledon, I was disposed of quickly and efficiently in the first round…But, man, was it good to play Centre Court.

In March came a recognition that is a source of particular pride. The International Board on Books for Young Adults (IBBY) compiled their 2015 list of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities and Are You Seeing Me? was among the 50 chosen. AYSM was one of two successful Australian entries in a worldwide submission involving 159 books and 27 countries and was a part of IBBY’s catalogue that did the rounds at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Those successes were humbling.

Then came April.

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Kind Of A Big Deal

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Orca
Since the release of Are You Seeing Me? on August 1, readers outside of Australia and New Zealand have been lamenting their inability to get a hold of it.

Lament no more: just like Just Jeans and Pez in the novel, AYSM is coming to Canada and the US of A!

Renowned West Coast publisher, Orca, has acquired AYSM’s North American rights. The book is targeted for release in Fall 2015 and will hit the shelves in hardback.

Excited? I bloody am!

Time for a celebratory drink…

Scotch

You See What I Did There?

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AYSM - Cover With Quote 2

With Are You Seeing Me? having just hit the shelves in Australia, I’d like to share with you some insight into what inspired me to write the novel.

Anyone who’s spent any time with me knows I am Dad to a set of twins: one girl, one boy. My daughter is ‘neurotypical’, which is how people in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community sometimes refer to regular, everyday kids who do not have autism. She is amazing. She plays trumpet, creates short animated films and adores The Hunger Games. My son, who is three minutes younger than my daughter, is diagnosed with autism. He is amazing, too. He is awesome at Minecraft, swims like a champ and enjoys Pixar films. They will officially be teenagers in 2014.

Are You Seeing Me? is a gift to my daughter. She was due a book – my previous novel, Kindling, was a gift to my son. (By the way, all of my books are gifts for my beautiful
wife). When I first started considering what to write, I kept coming back to a message I held dear for my daughter: ‘You should never feel like you must be your brother’s keeper. Love him, as he loves you, but live your own life to the full.’

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Seeing Is Believing

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AYSM - Cover With Quote 2

Behold the cover for Are You Seeing Me?, formerly Master Disaster, formerly Finding Fault, formerly The Mantle. How did a novel with this much schizophrenia finally make it across the line? I’ll let you know in a little while…

In the meantime, dream of earthquakes, sea monsters and Jackie Chan.

Are You Seeing Me? will be published by Random House Australia in August 2014.

 

Fertile Imagination

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AC

With our twins now on the cusp of becoming teenagers, it seems a lifetime gone since their very existence was in question.

It wasn’t that long ago, though. Latter part of the nineties, turn of the millennium, to be precise. While couples worldwide were daily adding millions to Generation Next, we were trying – and failing – to supply just one.

Difficulty having a child was not something I’d ever imagined. Not in high school (all too easy to get a girl knocked up); not in university (I’m never having kids anyway); not when my beautiful wife and I married (let’s have some fun first), not as a school teacher (I’m not ready to have one of these jokers). Not even when we decided to give it a go, see what happened.

Nothing happened.

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