One Lone Swallow, Scruffle-Nut and the SCBWI
This article, on the background of One Lone Swallow and Scuffle-Nut and how they came to be; appeared on the SCBWI website and in the PIO Online Newsletter.
Back in 2010 I attended the Bologna Book Fair, celebrating the publication of my third picture book there (Flame Stands Waiting) and representing SCBWI on their stand as the SCBWI ARA for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. I met a lovely bunch of SCBWI members from all over the world, many of whom I am still in touch with today. Following Bologna, my husband joined me and we enjoyed a beautiful holiday in northern Italy and Switzerland. We spent a couple of precious nights in Florence, one of my favourite cities, where I started writing a story about a swallow, as I watched swallows sweep about the roof-tops and towers.
We were lucky enough to just escape the volcanic ash cloud which hung all over Europe, into Singapore where I did some school presentations.
Two years later, I traveled to New York for the SCBWI New York Conference where I caught up with old friends and new. I stayed on in that vibrant city for a few days where I loved wandering about Central Park, to escape the noise, and to watch the beautiful grey squirrels as they scurried about the bare trees and branches. And there I began a story about a squirrel.
As we all know, stories take time, and both of these ‘scribblings’ – because that’s what they were in the beginning, needed time to sit and simmer in my mind and in the bottom drawer.
Then, last year, 2019, I flew to London for the launch of Scruffle-Nut, my squirrel story, published by New Frontier Publishing and illustrated by the talented Owen Swan. Following the London launch, Owen then headed off to Florence to begin the roughs for One Lone Swallow, again published by New Frontier Publishing – my swallow story.
Some creators make contact with agents and publishers at these types of conferences but for me it was my creative heart which benefited from these opportunities. So thank you SCBWI.