Grimm Pickings

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IB Cover

Infinite Blue — a collaboration between myself and younger brother cum San Francisco Giants tragic, Simon Groth — has now officially hit the shelves. As this little fabulist novella makes its way into readers’ hands, I thought I might provide some insight into the IB inspiration we derived from our brothers-from-another-mother: Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm.

It’s short.
Despite what Disney would have you believe, The Brothers Grimm fairytales were brief affairs. So brief they crammed 86 tales into the first edition collection. We weren’t into that level of abbreviation — IB comes in at just under 180 pages — but we did want to honour the Grimm tradition of concise legend.

It’s archetypal.
Characters in IB, though contemporary in construct, should still call to mind those populating the pages of Grimm lore. The Caregiver, The Hero, The Villain, The Mentor, The Sage, The Jester, The Orphan. Even water — our constant presence and ‘shadow narrator’ — could be tagged as The Ruler, perhaps even The Lover.

It’s oral.
Okay, IB is a book, so strictly speaking it ain’t oral. But it is meant to feel like something shared at bedsides and around campfires. This is very much in the Grimm wheelhouse. The Children’s and Household Tales were passed-down tales gathered from families all over Germany and beyond. In fact, anthropologist Jamie Tehrani has found 35 different versions of Little Red Riding Hood throughout the world.

BG Cover

It’s seamless.
When you read the Grimm Fairytales, can you tell which brother transcribed which story? No? That’s how it should be in a brotherly collaboration. And if the reviews are anything to go by, it appears we achieved that goal. Though I will say this: I haven’t forgotten who wrote what, and my favourite bits are the ones Simon put together.

It’s magical.
What sort of purveyors of Grimm-esque fare would we be if there wasn’t a reasonable dose of the extraordinary in IB? Translucent limbs, freaky drawings, waking nightmares and the mystical, inescapable influence of water are just some of the magical elements present in Infinite Blue. And the biggest fabulist feature of all? You’ll have to read the book to find out. 😉

Infinite Blue can be purchased here in North America and here in Australia.

Fireproof Garage – 3 Authors We’d Have a Beer With

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Fireproof Garage
LISTEN AND WATCH HERE!

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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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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Fire Up The New ‘Kindling’ Cover!

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Kindling - US Canada Ebook Cover

With the US/Canada ebook release of Kindling mere days away, here’s an insider’s view of the hot new cover (you see what I did there?). Two burning thumbs-up to Exciting Press Creative Director, Will Entrekin, for his fine work.

One thing about this confronting image – it ought to make fans concerned for Kieran’s safety very angry. I can imagine the hate-mail arriving already:

You sent your 10 year old, autism-diagnosed protagonist into this fiery maelstrom!? Really!? What sort of sicko author does that!? What sort of monster are you!?

(Note to self: send your next 10 year old, autism-diagnosed protagonist to a lovely inviting forest, full of marshmallows and rainbows and dolphins…and zombies.)