Fireproof Garage #6 – Fuelled By Alcohol And Caffeine

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Fireproof Garage

LISTEN (AND WATCH) HERE!

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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No Lie: Perry’s Seven Pearls Of Priceless Wisdom

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AYSM - Cover With Quote 2

Are You Seeing Me? is on the shelves and the initial response has been terrific. Readers have shared their experiences of laughing and crying and wishing earnestly and thinking differently and, when all was said and done, not wanting to let go.

A major reason for this response has been Perry Richter. The young man with the “brain condition” seems to be touching hearts and souls in a big way. I’m delighted by this – in the character’s simple eloquence and careful observance, there are lessons for all of us, his author included.

So, as both an early thank you to AYSM’s readers and a brief foray into the beautiful mind of a special person, here is Perry’s “No Lie” guide to living a good life in an unstable world:

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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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‘Another’ Post About Book Diversity

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Diverse Books

First, the good news:

The recent #WeNeedDiverseBooks Twitter coup was an admirable rebuff of the longstanding hegemonies in children’s and young adult fiction. It doesn’t look like a flash in the pan either, so that’s good too.

Now, the bad news:

The whole exercise has further illustrated – dare I say, reinforced – the pecking order of minorities in both the book debate and the wider society looking on.

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Fanning The Flames: ‘Kindling’ Released in North America

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Kindling - US Canada Ebook Cover

Courtesy of the fine folk at Exciting Press, Kindling is available for the first time in the Home of the Brave and in the True North, Strong and Free.

Now, apart from continental accessibility, what’s different about this publication compared to the original Aussie release in 2010?

  • Exclusively e-book (Kindle for the first 90 days, then in other formats subsequent)
  • Hawt new cover
  • Cheap as chips ($4.99 in the US; $5.12 in CAN)
  • Much less ink
  • Zero chance of paper cuts
  • Author is slightly older (though still sexy)
  • Every single copy downloaded has a different ending
  • Nazi zombies
  • Vampire zombies
  • Zombie zombies

As you can see from this extensive list, the work is TOTALLY different, barely recognizable from before. So, grab the new and improved Kindling while internet stocks last!

(Warning: Some of the statements above may be the product of author hubris and/or inebriation…)

Kindling in Kindle format for North America – buy the US version here and the CAN version here.

Kindling Some Autism Awareness

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Brain in Bloom

April is ‘World Autism Awareness Month’. April 2 is ‘World Autism Awareness Day‘.

And I am proud to announce Kindling has been officially selected as the ‘World Autism Awareness Novel of Awesomeness’.

To commemorate this prestigious achievement, I have pasted below an excerpt  from the book, soon to be published in the US and Canada through Exciting Press. The scene describes an epiphany for a grandfather coming to grips with his “lost” grandson. It’s a moment of not just awareness, but of true understanding. It’s my favourite moment in the entire story.

I hope it stays with you throughout April, and beyond.

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