Jackie French is a truly inspirational author! Jackie is the author of the Fair Dinkum Histories series, Hitler’s Daughter, Pirate Boy from Sydney Town, The Matilda Saga and much, much, much more.
I have always Adored Jackie French’s quirky writing style since I was a little kid and I still do to this very day. All of her books which I have read are very enjoyable and each have been written in various styles, some are fun and quirky whilst others are serious, heartwarming and moving.
I believe that Jackie is an inspirational author because of how she tells history in a fun and enjoyable way for kids in the Fair Dinkum Histories series and how she shows the truth behind our Australian history without white washing it as much as most books do but she tells it in a a fun way to help us learn, not just handing us the facts in a boring bland historical book.
I have always enjoyed the Fair Dinkum Histories series because of it’s a amazing comics jokes and because of how it tells the history of Australia from a new perspective and it displays it honestly, it also makes learning about our history fun.
Here are some of my face Jackie French quotes: “Books aren't like broccoli. You don't have to eat it because it's good for you. "Books drag you in because they are fascinating.”
“If you want intelligent children, give them a book. If you want more intelligent children give them more books.”
Her books have also won these awards: 'Let the Land Speak 2014 NIB Award', 'Christmas Wombat (with Bruce Whatley) 2012 Shortlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards.' & 'Nanberry: Black Brother White 2012 Shortlisted Children’s Book Council of Australia &2012 Honour Book, Children’s Book Council of Australia' as well as many more! Thats a HUGE amount of awards!
Jackie's writing career spans 25 years, over 140 books, several manuscripts which have been eaten by the wombats ;), 36 languages, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas and she is still writing more books! Jackie is a truly incredible and inspiring author and I definitely recommend checking out Jackie French's website, following her on social media and buying and reading some of her books they are INCREDIBLE!!! You will not regret it!!
For the rest of October, check out my Facebook page and Instagram for your chance to win some very cool Jackie French books!!
Hey Everyone I am super excited to be able to interview the extraordinary Alison Evans. Alison is an incredible author who is well known for their books Ida and Highway Bodies. Their book Ida won the People’s Choice Award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2017!
I find Alison to be an inspirational author because of how Highway Bodies has wonderful representation of bisexual and non-binary characters and how Ida delves into deep topics such as making the right life choices and being confident that you’re on the right path and it takes the readers on a journey to a parallel universe!
Alison has been extremely busy but still managed to make some time to answer my questions about their work and what it’s like to be an amazing author, which I’m extremely grateful for, so I can share it with you.
Here are the questions and answers:
Q: How long did it take you to get your first book published from when you started writing it?
A: I actually just wrote a blog post about this! I wrote ten books before getting Ida published, and Ida was the third book I wrote. The first draft of Ida was written in 2011, and then Ida was published in 2017.
Q: Can you tell us about your 2 books? What ages would you recommend them for and who would love them?
A:Ida is about a girl who can go back to any choice she’s made and make a different decision. When she starts doing this too much, she starts to see shadowy doppelgangers of herself. Highway Bodies is about three different groups of teenagers who find themselves at the start of a zombie apocalypse and have to band together to survive.
They are written for ages 15+ but I think anyone who likes to read about found families, a little bit of spookiness, and queer people would like them.
Q: I love seeing that you have bisexual and non-binary characters in your books! Why do you feel it’s so important?
A: I’m bisexual and non-binary and there were very few books that I read as a teen that represented this. (I didn’t read about a non-binary character until I was 24.) I want teens to be able to see themselves on the page, to know they aren’t alone.
Q: What has been your favorite scene to write out of Highway Bodies?
A: I can’t choose one! But my top three would be
1. where Dawn and Eve meet for the first time and their lives slot together like jigsaw pieces
2. when Jojo and Rhea kill a zombie for the first time
3. the ending, which I won’t write about because of spoilers! I love how it all came together.
Q: You also write short stories. What has been one of your favourite short stories to write?
A: Again, so hard to choose! But I think it would have to be Sky Children, which was published in Concrete Queers 7. It’s set in the near-future and the city is very polluted, but people still are able to find connection and love.
Q: So you do workshops have you had any funny, embarrassing or just straight up awkward moments you’d be willing to share with us?
A: Not yet! I have only done a few so far. I guess the most embarrassing thing is when I am talking but forget to breathe! I still get a bit nervous speaking to a room when I’m the only one talking.
Speed questions all the same for each Author:
Q: What are you writing at the moment?
A: I am about to start what will hopefully be my fourth YA book published, Sky Runners. It’s about super-powered teens in the future.
Q: What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
A: Mint choc-chip!
Q: What’s one of your favourite pieces of poetry you have written?
A: I wrote terrible poetry more than ten years ago. I can’t remember any of it! I much prefer to read other people’s work.
Q: How long did it take you to write your Book?
A: It’s hard to say. With Ida I wrote the whole first draft in a month, and I think with Highway Bodies it was about two or three. The editing is the longest part for me.
Q: Who is your favourite or most inspirational Author?
A: I love Jorge Luis Borges. He wrote fantastic short stories that explore huge concepts in just a couple of pages.
Q: Do you prefer cats or dogs?
A: Cats, but I’m biased because I have a cat. Dogs are good too.
AA: It’s okay we can still be friends ;)
Q: Do you prefer reading e-Books or hard books?
A: I do love reading hard books, but e-books are also really convenient.
Q: Where’s your favourite place to write?
A: I have a desk at home which is set up so I can write without hurting my back, so that is my favourite place! But I also love writing in cafes, I just can’t do it for very long.
Q: Do you remember the first book you ever read? OR if not, what’s your fave childhood book you loved to read.
A: Harry Potter was my whole life when I was young. I read the first book when I was 11 and then the last book came out when I was 17, so I was the same age as Harry. It was the best.
AA: Harry Potter is AWESOME!!
Q: What’s your biggest achievement so far?
A: It’s hard to say. I’m really proud of the things I’ve done. I think my next book, Euphoria Kids, is a pretty big achievement. It’s about three trans kids who become friends, and it’s a very quiet book. I’m really grateful that Echo are publishing it.
Q: Do you have any big goals for the future or any new poetry being released soon?
A: I really want to be able to do more school visits and workshops. I find workshops really rewarding, I love teaching.
Q: Do you have any advice for young writers and poets.
A: Just keep going! Believe in yourself, and you can do it.
AA: Amazing advice!
Hey everyone today I’ve written about the incredible Graham Bebington! Graham writes and tells crazy stories for the purpose of just making kids laugh and have fun, he’s really making a difference in kids’ lives through literature, he believes that all good stories need a “bum” and he’s on a mission to encourage all kids to love reading and writing. Graham also illustrates his own books as well!
I believe Graham is a truly inspirational author because his books are funny and entertaining and he is really making a difference in kids’ lives.
I did message Graham and ask if he would be available to do an interview but he lives is Queensland, which is a little too far from Perth to manage a face to face interview but he amazingly offered to answer my questions via email.
Thank you very much Graham for your time!
These are the Questions that I asked and his responses:
Q: Why do you love making kids laugh and smile so much in your books?
A: If children are able to smile or laugh it enables them to enjoy their experiences. This is really important especially for children who are not confident when they read.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
A: Definitely not! Writing is something that compliments my profession as a Teacher Librarian. When children come into my library, I want them to see that anybody, but especially teachers also love to be creative and we can also write books. So I guess it’s important to practice what we preach.
Q: What has been your favorite part about doing workshops?
A: I live to see children excited about reading and realising that everyone can achieve their dreams. I speak about how I struggled as a child to read and write and I think that a lot of children resonate with this, because so many children struggle with literacy, but they just don’t like to admit it or they might feel embarrassed because they are not great readers. I let them know that this is okay, but practice does make perfect.
Q: You do a lot of workshops, I bet you’ve had lots of funny or embarrassing moments; can you share one with us?
A: I went to a school few weeks ago and they had no idea I was coming. When they realised they had made the mistake and forgot to add it on their calendar, the entire school timetable was quickly adjusted and I had a great day there. It is also funny when kids fart in the audience. This happens quite often.
Q: Which character in your books do you feel that you connected the most with and had the most fun creating?
A: Definitely Fred Do-it. He is a little selfish (like most of us) but he realises that this is not going to help him much. He also dresses weird. I used to wear weird stuff as well in my younger days.
Q: Do you base your characters off people you meet or do you create them yourself?
A: Probably a little of both. But I guess that bumpires are imaginary and Princess Stinkalot is everything that a princess should not be. So I guess I do make characters up.
Q: Where did the inspiration for Fred Do-It’s wacky plan really fails come from?
A: I wanted to write a story that kids would relate to and be able to laugh. I also wanted to include aspects of narrative within the story so that children could learn about the parts of stories that are important like problems, settings, building suspense and the importance of characters.
Q Your new book was released just a few months ago, can you tell me what that has been like for you?
A: It has been exciting. It is a difficult journey and not something you do for the money. Writing is something that is done because you love writing. I have recently ordered my second 500 prints so this is cool. If they sell I will have sold over 1000 books. Pretty amazing really.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
A: Walked through a pitch dark storm water drain and smashed my tooth out. Served me right for doing such a dumb thing.
I feel like I have more questions about this one!!! ^^
Speed questions all the same for each Author:
Q What are you writing at the moment?
A My second Fred Do-it book.
Q What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
A Salted caramel.
Q What’s one of your favourite books/stories you have written?
A I’ve only written one, so it’s my favourite so far.
Q How long did it take you to write your Book?
A 5 years.
Q Who is your favourite or most inspirational Author?
A Sally Rippen ... I love Polly and Buster. Beautiful writer!
Q Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Q Do you prefer reading e-Books or hard books?
A Hard-copy books for sure.
Q Where’s your favourite place to write?
A At my sit stand desk.
Q Do you remember the first book you ever read? OR if not, what’s your fave childhood book you loved to read.
A 3001 jokes for kids
Q What’s your biggest achievement so far?
A Marrying a beautiful person and raising three special girls.
Q Do you have any big goals for the future or any new writing or art being released soon?
A Writing book 2!!!
Q Do you have any advice for young writers.
A Never give up. The first draft is essential. Just get it out your brain ... even if it’s brain vomit, it can always be turned into something amazing.
Neal Shusterman is a truly inspirational author to me. He writes Dystopian Sci-fi and Cli-fi (climate fiction) and he incorporates such dark theories and concepts into his books such as the earth running out of water or what really happens to us when we die, but he does it in such in a fun and humorous way so you would expect them to be dark and scary but they are not. He also has strong female and male leads which is important!
I have met Neal Shusterman before and he was incredible! Before hearing him talk and reading his books I had personally never thought about writing a dystopian book but he personally inspired me to start working on a dystopian book which I hope to finish the first draft of this year.
Neal Shusterman is an award-winning author based in America. He has won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Fiction, the 2015 National Award for Young Peoples Literature and the prestigious 2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Honor award.
He is incredible and so are his stories, the way they are written with compelling descriptions and action really make the reader feel like they are right there is the stories alongside the main characters. And when you listen to him talk about his work you can almost feel the passion emanating from his body! He has written the; Unwind Dystology, Arc of a Scythe Trilogy, The Accelerati Trilogy (with Eric Elfman), The Anstey Bonano books, Shadow Club series, Darkfusion trilogy, The Skinjacker trilogy, The Star Shard chronicles, Challenger Deep, Dry and many, many more! Woah!
I cannot wait for The Toll to finally be released this year! It is going to be awesome! It is the show stopping finale of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy and I cannot wait!
I definitely don’t recommend his books for little kids or the faint hearted, they do tackle some really heavy issues but if you love cli-fi, sci-fi, action, adventure and stories that make you think about deeper issues; make sure to read Neal Shusterman’s books! They are awesome, you will not regret it! And a word of advice; if you get one book in a series, make sure you also get the next before you start reading it as Neal has a habit of leaving us on the most annoying cliff-hangers possible in his books!
People think I'm frail and weak
but in reality I'm not what you think
I'm strong and brave in my own special way.
and what people think of me doesn't make me sway
I may have a condition that affects my ability
But I live with this nightmare you couldn't begin to dream of
I walk against the tides of discrimination
With a spring in my step and my head held high
So if you dare try and shame me, if you say I'm lazy
Just know I face this illness with weapons of courage and a shield of hope
So don't go saying I'm frail and weak
because in reality I'm not what you think
I'm strong and I'm courageous in my own special way
and living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is only for the brave
Poem by Imani Benfell
Inktober Day 8: Frail
I decided to leave the old, dusty room and explore other areas of this ancient, abandoned castle but as I walked towards the decrepit door, I saw a very delicate staff lying on a desk to the side. The staff had a black stem with inlaid rubies arranged in a spiral pattern up the stem and was topped with a transparent orb. It was the most beautiful thing I had seen today and unlike everything else in this castle, it appeared to be completely free of dust. I picked it up to get a closer look at it and I then entered the dark and haunting corridor, taking the staff with me.
Suddenly the orb on top of the staff lit up! I was so shocked that I dropped it and a cloud of darkness flooded into the hall, destroying every bit of light in its path as the darkness devoured me. Then the intense smell of what I could only presume was a rotting animal carcass filled the dark air around me and the sound of a hissing snake began to grow louder, taking control of my senses until it was almost unbearable.
I dropped to the floor and fumbled around in the darkness until I finally found it, I picked up the staff and the orb lit up once more, illuminating the room again to reveal that a mysterious figure was walking eerily toward me with a large blue cobra with silver eyes slithering by its side! The figure stopped and, in a raspy voice, spoke calmly ‘I’m Maybelle.’
I freaked out, scrambled to my feet and frantically raced into the next room, looking for an exit. Not noticing anything strange about the floor as I ran, I took a step and the wooden floor boards made noises and moved slightly beneath my feet as they laboured under my weight. I turned around to find myself face to face with Maybelle, I took one more step backwards and held my breathe. My last thought before being plunged into darkness was ‘Oh no!’
Adapted from an excerpt from Mysteries of Maybelle by Imani Benfell
I believe Jeremy Lachlan is a truly inspirational author and someone who all bookworms and lovers of adventure and fantasy should check out because of his Book Jane Doe and the Cradle of All worlds and the protagonist Jane who is very relatable to young girls and a great role model, as she is strong, determined, persistent and will do anything to save her friends & family as well as all the worlds and I LOVE to see books with more strong female leads so young girls have characters they can look up to.
I have met Jeremy before and it was incredible, although I’m not going to lie, I had a huge, ridiculous fan girl moment and I was speechless for a very long time before finally being able to mumble out a few sentences which made me look less than intelligent... It was super embarrassing! He was so kind and kept talking to me even though I could barely make any noises. All my friends who know me well will know how rare it is for me to be silent.
Jeremy Lachlan is an Aussie, award winning author, Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds has won the 2019 ABIA award. He also attends and runs writing workshops and talks to inspire other young writers & readers which is incredibly inspirational!
I love Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds and highly recommend reading it for kids and adults aged about 8+, there are no sex or drug references, there is a little bit of violence but nothing too gory. It has very strong themes of magic, adventure, overcoming evil and one’s personal issues. It took me 3 days to read this book and I got into trouble for reading it all night instead of sleeping but it was totally worth it! I absolutely couldn’t put it down; it was gripping, thrilling and so action-packed! Jeremy’s use of vivid descriptions and his talent for creating emotional scenes made me feel like I was there, alongside Jane as she ventured through the manor on a quest to rescue her father which then leads to a much bigger and more urgent quest. I fell in love with the main character from the first few paragraphs. I could totally relate to her, as she is the misfit of her town and often had moments where she felt that she didn’t belong and she also had to overcome bullying, feeling excluded and her own insecurities and feelings of unworthiness while also battling the evil villain!
I was extremely upset when Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds ended because I knew I had to wait a whole YEAR before the sequel would come out, then when I met Jeremy and pestered him to see when it would be available he let me know that the release has been delayed but it’s all good, I totally forgive him (JK) because we are so close to the release of Jane Doe and the key of all Souls!! I CAN’T WAIT!! As Jane will venture further into the elusive manor while all the souls of the world hang in the balance and if she fails this quest all the worlds will fall.
For all fans of fantasy, mystery and action packed adventures with a side of magic and overcoming evil… If you haven’t done it yet, read Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds, then get ready for the release of Jane Doe and the key of all Souls in January 2020!
I was super lucky to receive a copy of The Lost Stone of Sky City before its released in just a few days and I absolutely have to share it with you!