A week in the life of a children’s author
On Monday the author copies of the board book version of Hey Baby! arrived at my front door. It’s always an exciting moment, a box of new books.
Since the hardback version of Hey Baby! came out in November, I’ve found myself giving readings and presentations to very young children, often babies and their parents – quite different audiences from what I’m used to i.e. primary schools, secondary schools and presentations to groups of seniors.
So on Sunday I was invited to the Watsonia Kindergarten to read Hey Baby! to the parents and kinder kids as well as their younger and older siblings. I also took along my bag of plastic animals which appear in the book so I could interact with the children in a sort of ‘let’s find the animal’ and ‘what noise does it make?’ journey through the pages of the book. I’d forgotten how loud 30+ toddlers can be when they are enthusiastically making donkey, elephant or monkey noises.
Yesterday I repeated Sunday’s reading and activity, this time at the Diamond Valley Library in Greensborough to a room full of mothers, grandmothers and pre-schoolers. Not quite as noisy as the first group but just as enthusiastic in their audience participation.
This was followed by songs, mask-making and face painting activities organised by the library staff while I signed copies of my books and spoke to parents.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about children’s books and Queenie in particular at the Pascoe Vale Probus Club where I’ll meet the niece of one of Queenie’s keepers, always a thrill and I won’t have to make animal noises.
Saturday, May 11, I’ll be signing copies of Hey Baby! for Mother’s Day at the BigW store at Doncaster Shoppingtown, Doncaster from 1.30 – 3.00 p.m.
Sunday May 12 (yes Mother’s Day) I’ll be part of the Bayside Literary Festival on a panel called Writing and Getting Published from 2.00 – 3.00 p.m. at the Brighton Library, 14 Wilson Street, Brighton. Bookings essential – Cost $10.00 www.bayside.vic.gov.au/literaryfestival
‘The workshop, convened by Pauline Luke, will present five successful writers, Hazel Edwards, Reg Egan, Corinne Fenton, Margaret Geddes and Suzanne McCourt who will describe what called them to be writers and how they got published.’
Not all weeks are quite this busy . . . thankfully, because there has been little time for writing.