Showing posts from March, 2012

Being Abigail Book by Kathryn White

Being Abigail, my fantastic little book. Hi all! Sales of my book Being Abigail have been a little bit down lately. For those of you who don't know, the book is about a young woman who attempts suicide and posts a note online. The attempt fails and she spends the next few months updating her blog, telling her followers how she rebuilds her life. The book has been reviewed well. (On Amazon, she was declared an Aussie Bridget Jones. I don't know if this is a good thing or not, lol.) You can read one of the reviews here: Review on the Australian Bookshelf I really don't want to go out of business like Angus & Robertson almost did (they still exist as an online bookseller, to prove it, just click that nice little link below,) so perhaps if you've been contemplating it, if you're stuck for something to read, or you just feel like helping out a struggling indie author, then consider clicking on one of the links below. The good folk at Angus & Robertson of

Babysitting RL Stine Style

Just to prove that not all babysitting adventures from the 1990s are saccharine sweet or have happy endings, my next review is of a classic children's horror novel, The Babysitter  by RL Stine. I remember being desperate to read this book at age twelve after seeing it advertised inside a Dymocks catalogue. Fortunately, my mother saw the same catalogue and bought me a copy as a surprise gift. Actually, I think she was hoping that it might encourage me to read something other than Sweet Valley High and The Baby-sitters Club . Which would certainly fit in with the other books that she purchased me around that time. Without the help of my mother, I never would have discovered wonderful young adult authors such as Judy Blume and Paula Danziger. (Parents, please take note.) But that is another story. (Pardon the bad pun.) The Babysitter is a fairly simple but surprisingly memorable tale. It tells the story of Jenny, a high school student who takes a job babysitting a young boy by the

Looking Back: The Baby-Sitters Club

Baby-sitters Club author Ann M. Martin stands beside a poster that features cover artwork from Kristy's Great Idea , the first volume in the series Now that I've spent the past few weeks making fun of (or perhaps paying tribute to, who knows,) Sweet Valley, it is time to turn my attention to that other big pre-teen series from the 1980s & 1990s, The Baby-sitters Club. With sales around the 170 million mark, and merchandise that included a board game, nightgowns (mine had a picture of the BSC gang hanging out in New York on the front,) dolls, a 13 part series on VHS and a feature film,  The Baby-sitters Club meant big money by the early 1990s. In an attempt to mimic Sweet Valley's successful cradle to the grave formula, by the mid 1990s the series was spawning numerous spin-offs aimed at various age groups Baby-sitters Little Sister and The Kids in Ms Coleman's Class  for those still too young for the books, and The California Diaries and Friends Forever  for th

The Editing Process Continues

I am still working away, editing a hard copy of the manuscript for my latest masterpiece, Behind the Scenes. The first time I went through the manuscript, I picked up just a few errors. I have now been through the manuscript several times. Slowly, more and more errors are becoming noticeable. There have been some small continuity errors - on one page, Kimmy's eyes were said to be blue, on the next page her eyes are said to be green. I have picked some repetition of facts and information. And then there are larger errors. Early in the novel, a character called Phil is seen scheming with the villain of the piece. Later on, Phil is shocked when he discovers the villain's handiwork. Phil will need to be edited out of the earlier scene. At the end of the novel, another character does not get the closure that he deserves. Overall, it has been enjoyable editing a novel that would appear to have no major faults or failings. I will keep going through the hard copy of my manuscript unti

James L. Matthewuse & Cover Artwork

As follows of this blog will know, I posted a three-part Sweet Valley High spoof a few weeks ago. Seeing as I took so much time and care to make fun of the books, I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to what is easily the most striking part of the novels - the artwork. Matthewuse Artwork on an early cover of Tiger Eyes The vast majority of covers for the Sweet Valley High series, including the iconic circle covers were painted by James L. Matthewuse, who has painted cover artwork for many American publishing houses, including Bantam, who, of course, published the Sweet Valley High novels. Matthewuse artwork was also featured on the covers of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, as well as Judy Blume's wonderful young adult novel, Tiger Eyes . Matthewuses' artwork was often simple but always told a story. The cover artwork for Sweet Valley High #6: Dangerous Love  is a wonderful example: Original cover artwork. On this cover, we see the normally co

The Editing Process

I'm now on day two of editing a hard copy of the manuscript for Behind the Scenes.  The thing that has surprised me most so far is how few errors I have encountered. This is a stark contrast to when I started editing the manuscript for Being Abigail, when I found errors practically screaming out at me on every page, to the point where I had to print the darn thing out three times, and even later, when I received a proof copy from Createspace, there were more errors to be found and much editing to be done. So to discover that the manuscript for Behind the Scenes  contains only a few niggling spelling and punctuation errors, was something of a surprise and not necessarily a pleasant one. Granted, it has taken me a lot longer to write Behind the Scenes  (about eight months, as opposed to four,) and the novel is about ten thousand words shorter in length. I would also hope that maybe, just maybe, I have improved over the past two years as an author. But what remains is a second, and a

Behind the Scenes

My latest masterpiece, a novel for young adults titled Behind the Scenes.  It tells the story of a young woman who travels to Melbourne to work on a popular television show. She moves in temporarily with the father that she barely knows and uncovers some surprising family secrets ... I intend to spend the next few days editing and checking for continuity errors. Wish me luck!

Adelaide Writers' Week

Crowds gathering around the West Stage, waiting for the lovely Gail Jones to speak. This afternoon, it was my pleasure to walk down to the Pioneer Women's Memorial Gardens and join in some of the events that were being held for Adelaide Writers' Week. For those of you who don't know, Adelaide Writers' Week is a biannual event that is free to the public and makes up part of the much larger Adelaide Festival of Arts. What some of my friends and colleagues may find more surprising, however, is that this is only the second time that I have attended Writers' Week. The first time was in 2002, back when I was still a university undergraduate, who quite happily spent the (very hot) day trampling around the gardens in thongs, denim shorts and a very old tank-top. The highlight of the day was spotting Scott Hicks, the director of Shine  in the crowd. My companion and I had a good laugh the whole drive home about how pompous and arty-farty the whole event seemed.  Attendi

Calvin & the All-Important Issue of Salt

To those of you who may not have caught on yet, I am a big fan of cartoons and comics. From the age of about eight, reading the comics page in my local newspaper has been one of my favourite parts of the day. Back then, The Advertiser was a conservative broadsheet that contained just a few comics - The Phantom, Peanuts, Footrot Flats, The Wizard of ID and possibly one or two others that I have forgotten. On the weekends, the Sunday Mail offered a greater variety of comics, including Ginger Meggs and Andy Capp, along with the Possums Pages, and the (vasty superior) version of the Kangaroo Creek Gang that existed in the late 1980s. My parents rarely bought the saucy evening tabloid, The News, unless something very, very, important had happened during the course of the day and they couldn't be bothered waiting for the ABC news bulletin at 7pm. (My father did not, under any circumstances, watch the news on any of the commercial stations. Unless the cricket was on. That was differen