Participation Ribbons (Part 3)

1 Comment

Good Job

2015 was, without doubt, the year of Are You Seeing Me?. By November, it had achieved nine big-time recognitions on three continents, including five major prize shortlistings. Then the year ended with a nod in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards.

Over twelve months, I’d pinched myself so much I took out a self-restraining order.

The ticking over of the calendar to 2016 felt like the end of AYSM‘s dream run, especially with my focus now firmly set on the draft of the follow-up novel, Where You Are Now. The little book with the car and the cracks and the marauding monster on the cover, though, was not yet prepared to shed its sneakers.

In fact, it was saving up a finishing kick of epic proportions.

More

Participation Ribbons (Part 2)

Leave a comment

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.

More

Participation Ribbons

Leave a comment

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.

More

The ‘Never Dead’ Principle

Leave a comment

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as an author – and let’s face it, this might be the only thing I’ve learned – it’s the ‘never dead’ principle.  A manuscript, a short story, a book that for all intents and purposes appears to have been pine-boxed can rise up out of the ground and zombie along into new momentum.

I’ve experienced this with pretty much all my work, most notably my second published book, Most Valuable Potential (I won’t go into the gory details – suffice to say I believed it deader than a canary in a toxic mine the day it was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards).  And just this week, Kindling joined the resuscitated ranks of its predecessors.

What gave it the kiss of life?  Nothing so dramatic as a major award shortlisting; just a very kind, very affecting, very passionate review from someone who read Kindling for the first time, eighteen months after its joyous birth and twelve months after its doleful passing.  It demonstrated to me once again that work out in the world makes its own way, in it’s own time.  It assured me there is an immortality to words an author commits to the page; an unceasing story pulse that may vary between frenetic and faint, but ultimately won’t ever fail.

It was a timely reminder of the ‘never dead’ principle.