I have been tagged by Joh at johblogs. I’ve never been tagged before, but figure I’ll give it a go.
Here’s how it works:
Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
So here we go – 7 random and/or weird facts about me:
1. I am the youngest of six children (five girls and one boy) and have six children myself (five boys and one girl).
2. I am NOT a good cook, though my bickies and cakes are okay. My significant other is much better at meals than me.
3. I didn’t leave Western Australia until I was 26, and then did so with a bang, spending a year in Papua New Guinea, where I taught in a National High School. I have since travelled to most states of Australia, with the exception of the Northern Territory.
4. When I was ten my home was blown up by a bomb. Well, not completely blown up, but badly damaged. My parents owned a country hotel in Collie, and a man who mistakenly thought publicans were rich tried to hold all the local hoteliers to ransom. He was eventually caught and jailed, but not until after he’d successfully planted a bomb in our hotel.
5. I have always wanted to run a marathon but have never done anything about this ambition. I’ve also long intended to compete in a triathlon, but am nowhere near fit enough and am scared of riding a bike.
6. I am claustrophobic but managed to do a cave tour in Dunsborough last year without freaking out in front of my kids. It was a near thing, however.
7. I am naturally a messy and disagorganised person, but am constantly trying to do better.
I want to know about the weirdnesses/random facts of the following bloggers*:
Bren MacDibble’s Beast of Moogill
Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s Books
Pemberthy Bear’s Pemberthy’s Ponderings
Claire Saxby’s Let’s Have Words
Tina Marie Clark’s What is Happening in my Office?
Sally Odgers’ Spinning Pearls
Elizabeth Bezant’s Writing to inspire
* I won’t be offended if you pass.
The mail man brought me something nice today – my contributor copy of Little Ears magazine, bearing my poem Raining. Always wonderful to see something I’ve written in print, and especially wonderful to see it included in such a quality publication, alongside names including Claire Saxby, Meredith Costain and Dianne Bates.
By email I also received something nice – a PDF of proofs for my new poetry book, Assemble, which will be released by Ready Ed early in 2008. Assemble is designed for classroom use and includes 24 performance poems, each with accompanying teaching notes and suggestions for classroom use. I’m delighted with the design and layout, and can’t wait to hold the final product in my hands.
At this busy time of year I find it difficult to find enough time to write, but when I see my finished work like this I remember why it’s important to keep making that time.
In the meantime, the Squeezy Blog Tour wrapped up today, after seven interesting days and seven wonderful blogs. The feedback on this tour has been excellent and I’m looking forward to hosting other authors in the future. If you don’t know about the tour, see my post below and click through to read all seven entries.
I have a visitor. Jacqui Grantford, illustrator extraordinaire, has dropped by myblog today as part of her Book Blog Tour to celebrate the launch of her new picture book, Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs.
1. Jacqui, thanks for dropping by. A Book Blog Tour might be a new concept to some of my readers. Would you like to explain it a little? Are you enjoying the experience so far?
This is my very first blog tour and I’m enjoying it greatly. Over seven days I’m going to be interviewed by different bloggers with a view to the interests of that particular blog. This is my second interview and yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Bren Macdibble’s blog. (I reckon Bren has the best name for a children’s author.)
2. Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs is such a beautiful book – with lovely, gentle text, and beautiful pictures . It contrasts with some of your other books – most recently, with A True Person dealing with such serious subject matter, and, earlier, Shoes News being quite tongue in cheek. As an illustrator, how do you find the challenge of adapting your style to such differing subject matter?
It is a challenge, but a very enjoyable one. Illustrating other people’s texts often pushes you out of the safety zone in this way. A number of the books I’ve illustrated I would never had thought or had the knowledge to write, so it’s great to have the opportunity to explore these texts. And of course think of the best way to adapt my illustrations to suit.
3. You’ve told me before about using models for your illustrations. Did any of your children model for Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs, and how many characters/faeries/toys made cameo appearances from your previous books?
I had a very special character appear in Squeezy Cuddle. Pemberthy Bear makes an appearance in a great big double page spread. (For those who don’t know, Sally is the author of Pemberthy Bear.) I was extremely fortunate to illustrate it. One of the pages required a book, so what better book to do?! It was so much fun.
The mother in the book is Sophia, the publisher at New Frontier, and the daughter is her real daughter, Grace. She was so gorgeous. This tiny little thing with a delightful smile. Bet I know what all their relatives will be getting this Christmas!
4. As a teacher (when she’s not illustrating and writing, Jacqui is a school teacher) do you find inspiration for your books from the students you teach? Have you read Squeezy Cuddle Dangly Legs to any of your classes? How did your students react?
Teaching is a great way to gauge what a book’s reaction will be. I read Squeezy Cuddle to them and they loved it. And they were so excited to see Pemberthy in it. That’s one of their favourite books. One thing I know about kids is that what adults think kids will like is not always the case, so reading them a new book can sometimes be fraught will peril. But they loved it, and even wanted to hear it again.
5. You’re a teacher, a mother of two, you write some of your own books and you illustrate. How do you fit it all in? Any tips for other time-strapped creators?
I’m not sure that I do fit it all in. Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth panicking about and you’ll get done what you get done. And somehow I seem to get more done that way.
Thanks so much for dropping in, Jacqui Enjoy the rest of your tour.
It was an absolute pleasure, Sally. I’m hoping to return the favour some day. I’ll have to get a blog up and running first, but will be a fun challenge.
You can follow Jacqui on her virtual book tour by visiting these venues:
Day 1 – Saturday 10 November — Bren MacDibble’s Beast of Moogill
Day 2 – Sunday 11 November – Sally Murphy’s Scribblings
Day 3 – Monday 12 November – Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s Books
Day 4 – Tuesday 13 November – Pemberthy Bear’s Pemberthy’s Ponderings
Day 5 – Wednesday 14 November – Claire Saxby’s Let’s Have Words
Day 6 – Thursday 15 November – Tina Marie Clark’s What is Happening in my Office?
Day 7 – Fri 16 November – Sally Odger’s Spinning Pearls
You can purchase the book online, direct from the publisher.
And, you can visit Jacqui online at:
Have just added 11 new reviews to Aussiereviews, again all children’s and young adult titles. Though I didn’t review it, one of my favourites in this batch is Night of the Fifth Moon, a new fantasy title by Anna Ciddor. I didn’t review it for Aussiereveiws because I’ve recently done so for Reading Time magazine. Anyway, this is a wonderful fantasy offering.
For younger readers my favourite from the batch is The Aussie A to Z, a fun picture book by Heath McKenzie. There are so many Aussie icons on every page. I see something new every time I read it to Murphlet 6, who loves it, too.