Archive for the ‘writingReading writing fiction’ Category


Another journey….Scrivener. I’m currently working my way through a set of tutorials by Joseph at http://www.learnscrivenerfast.com so that I can take control of my writing in a way that hasn’t been possible for me to date.


This program promises that not only can I organise my writing and keep count of my progress but I can take control of my output too…and herein lies the secret for me, being able to format my books as ebooks and print books, and upload them to the appropriate retailers in the right format. Sounds simple??


Let me tell you, it’s not…I’ve been blessed with the support of Australian EBook Publisher (AEP)…but now it’s time to learn at least a bit of the process for myself and that’s where Joseph and his ‘learn Scrivener Fast’ tutorials come in…he is my Scrivener coach and can be found at http://learnscrivenerfast.com…

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soldier for web
soldier for web

Ideas for stories are all around us. In my local newspaper today is a story about a little known role of Australian soldiers in WW1.

It made me think about our recently released middle grade novel, Dirt Busters, and where our inspiration came from – although my co-author and I disagree about whose idea it actually was – to save fights I’ll use the words ‘we’ and ‘ours’ – but the more I think about it the more I realise our idea grew – as ideas do – like topsy.


medal for web

We found an article and we liked the idea of an old medal and we already had the setting – a development site – and an old professor turned up and we found him a shack to live in and we started to ask questions like what was the professor doing down the coast in an old shack and – boys being boys – our characters, Cracker, Trann and Bone had to follow him to see what he was up to…and our girl character, Gilly, being Gilly, had to have plans of her own and so a billy cart race was born with the race taking place – yep, you guessed it – at the development site.

As ideas go, it’s turned out to be a good one as so far the response to our novel has been great and we keep getting asked when is our next book being released.

And here’s the article that inspired it:

Moruya Examiner, 23 August, 1919:

On Friday night last Pte, Frank Stewart was the recipient of the usual Shire address and a presentation from the Bay to honor him as a returned Australian soldier. The occasion was rather unique, in as much as the ceremony too place during the interval of a picture show. To this entertainment about 50 of Private Stewart’s friends and relatives from the Aboriginal Reserve had been invited. The presentation was made y Mr D F Mackay and was received by much acclamation and to the accompaniment of the indispensable leaf strains of music…

(Please note, the aborigine pictured in this blog post is not Frank Stewart…)





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Yesterday’s post about reader book buying habits got me curious…how exactly does my fourteen year old daughter choose the books she reads and buys?


Here’s the short answer:

1.  She checks out Goodreads and follows the links to authors and books that look interesting

2.  She reads School Library Journal blogs

3.  She reads Book Review sites (sometimes she finds links to these on Goodreads)

4.  She searches Common Sense Media to check for content and appropriateness (can you tell her mother’s a teacher?)

5.  She goes to Amazon and downloads a sample chapter

6.  If she likes the chapter she buys the ebook on her mother’s Amazon account

7.  And finally, if she absolutely loves it she is then allowed to buy the print copy (a rule instigated by her mother who nowadays has to stand at the door of her study to place aforesaid books on perilously high piles of books bought indiscriminately over many years of bookshop trawling)



Conclusion…we love our local bookshop (and every bookshop between here and New Zealand) but the Internet has opened up our lives to a world of books we could never have otherwise found. We are voracious readers and will always love the texture and smell of books, and our house will always be full to brimming with the things, but our iPads with our iTunes and Kindle apps allow us the added pleasure off fossicking for reading treasure that until now we would never have had the opportunity to enjoy.




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