New Book Release – Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light by Pauline Hosking

I’m thrilled to welcome Pauline Hosking back to the blog as she launches the second book in her Cinnamon Stevens series, ‘Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light.’ Here’s a little about the story and how it came to life. Enjoy!

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About the Book

Cinnamon Stevens – Ghost Light* is the second in the series about a twelve-year-old sleuth who lives near Melbourne. When her Year 7 class has an excursion to Walhalla, the old gold-mining town in Gippsland, Cinnamon is dared to visit the out-of-bounds graveyard at night. What happens next is truly scary. There are more eerie happenings in a haunted theatre. A sub-plot deals with bullying. Although the outcome is sometimes in doubt, Cinnamon and her friends manage to defeat the bullies and solve the crime.

Once again the book is illustrated by talented and witty Kat Chadwick. The paperback is available from Dennis Jones, The Book Depository and Booktopia. An ebook can be downloaded from Amazon, Apple and Port Campbell Press.

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On Writing the Series

Before starting these books I decided that the main character (Cinnamon) would be a girl with normal tween anxieties – like growing up, keeping friends, becoming aware of boys, being embarrassed by parents – and that her investigations would happen in real locations. Some publishers believe that middle grade readers (9-12 years) prefer books set in imaginary places. I’ve always liked reading about somewhere I’ve visited or lived in. The first book, Crime Buster,  featured Phillip Island and the famous penguin parade. Almost every school kid in Victoria has been there!  I wanted the second book to be full of spooky happenings. The spookiest place I knew was the graveyard at Walhalla, ‘the valley of the ghosts.’ When I was teaching I took several school camps to Walhalla. Then you could visit the cemetery in the dark – which made it even more scary. Nowadays the cemetery is closed at night because it’s so dangerous. Unfortunately this doesn’t stop Cinnamon…

One of Cinnamon’s besties is Cosette, a fledging actor. She hadn’t appeared much in the first book and I wanted to give her more exposure. Linking with the ghost-graveyard theme, the perfect play for Cosette was Macbeth. So the book opens with Cosette auditioning for two small parts in The Scottish Play… and seeing the theatre ghost.

* A “ghost-light” is the light left on in an empty theatre so the theatre ghost won’t feel forgotten. It’s one of many theatrical superstitions mentioned in the book.

For more about Pauline and her books you can visit her website.

 

Five Fantastic Facts with Author Elizabeth Klein

Thanks for joining us on the blog today Elizabeth.

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1. What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

Greenheart of the Forest, published in 2014. Protagonists Dougray, Robbie and Belle are captured by an evil tyrant and taken to Wychwyre. Here they face their greatest challenges as they attempt to free the people, return an elemental to her home-tree and seek a lost crystal.

2. What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

My first story was about a boy who discovers he’s not human. Some villainous government agents attempt to capture him.

3. What got you interested in writing in the first place?

When I first began reading. I come from refugee parents and we didn’t have a whole lot of money, certainly not enough for books. So, I found the local library, which became my constant haunt.

4. What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Don’t get discouraged by those rejection letters. They happen to the best of authors. Believe in your writing abilities and keep sending out those manuscripts.

5. What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

Reading a great children’s or young adult book and travelling in my caravan. (Yes, I’m a bit of a gypsy.)

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Thanks for chatting with us today Elizabeth. To find out more about Elizabeth and her writing you can visit her website: http://bethloria.com.au/

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Five Fantastic Facts with Author Pauline Hosking

Welcome Pauline and thanks for joining us on the blog today!

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What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

My most recent book is called Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster. It’s a fun, mystery story for readers 9-12. Cinnamon dreams of being a super sleuth. Her chance comes when a class-mate disappears.

What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

When I was about thirteen I wrote my first book The Spellbinder’s Secret. Cassandra and her cousin Alison have magical powers. They get entangled in a war between good and bad magicians. Unfortunately it’s still unpublished!

What got you interested in writing in the first place?

I was always interested in writing because I love reading. I think that being able to create characters and tell a story is an amazing gift. Every day I try to do it better.

What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

My writing tip is: don’t panic when the words aren’t flowing or you can’t think of an idea.  Go for a long walk or have a hot shower. Relax. Your imagination is amazing. Trust that it will, eventually, solve the problem.

What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

My favourite fun activity is playing table tennis. I also love going to the beach. Winter or summer doesn’t matter. I just love the sea.

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Thanks for joining us Pauline! For more about Pauline and her writing go to:

www.paulinehosking.net

 

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Five Fantastic Facts with author Michelle Wanasundera

Welcome Michelle and thanks for joining us on the blog today!

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What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

Bubbles and Puddles  – just published!
The stories were originally written for my daughter. They aim to celebrate the simple things in life, like getting lost in the wonder of nature, finding magic in the moment, with tips to help overcome challenges little ones face.

What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

I clearly remember very much enjoying writing a story at school and being excited as we were allowed to sit outside and write in the sun. However I can’t remember what the story was about!

What got you interested in writing in the first place?

I’ve always loved reading so it was a natural progression. But receiving a diary for my 10th birthday really encouraged my love of writing. I also enjoyed writing poems from a young age.

What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

For rhyming stories I’ve found it so helpful to count out the beats of each line. This helps so much with the scanning and having consistency throughout the poem, or find weak spots.

What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

I really love reading, and reading to my daughter, that is fun for us!

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Great chatting with you today Michelle For more about Michelle and her writing go to:

Facebook page to Bubbles and Puddles:

https://www.facebook.com/BookBubblesandPuddles/

Website:

http://bubblesandpuddlesbook.com/

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Five Fantastic Facts with author Melissa Gijsbers

Welcome Melissa and thanks for joining us on the blog today!

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1. What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

My most recent book is Lizzy’s Dragon, launched in September this year. The book is about a girl called Lizzy who really wants a pet lizard. Instead she discovers something much, much better.

2. What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

I have a story that I wrote when I was about 7 about two rabbits called Mark and Melissa. They get married. Not much happens in the story!

3. What got you interested in writing in the first place?

Writing has always been something that I do. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I only started thinking of creative writing as a career a few years ago as a way to do something I love and get paid for it!

4. What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Stay true to yourself. Find the writing style that suits you.
I use this in my writing by sticking to topics that interest me and following the processes that work for m. There is no one size fits all way to get your writing done, do find a method that works for you.

5. What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

I enjoy all sorts of fun activities including reading, playing with my kids and their cousins, cross stitch, jewellery making and more! It’s hard to choose just one option.

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Great chatting with you today Melissa. For more about Melissa and her writing go to:

From Melissa Gijsbers – www.melissagijsbers.com & www.melissawrites.com.au

Lizzy’s Dragon available from http://stonetablebooks.com/product/lizzys-dragon/

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Five Fantastic Facts with author June Perkins

Hi June, and thanks for joining us on the Young Authors Academy blog!

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What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

I published Magic Fish Dreaming, a collection of poems for children and families, at the end of 2016.  It is a poetry quest set in Far North Queensland Environment and an invitation to understand and care for nature.

What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story ?

The first poem I remember being proud of which I recited to my class with great enthusiasm was about a helicopter seed spinning in the air and making its journey to the ground. The first story I wrote was about the life of Joan of Arc and told in the first person.

What got you interested in writing in the first place?

I was an avid reader from a young age. I enjoyed stories about other places, times and adventures as well as inspiring non-fiction stories, like that of Joan of Arc. Grey Friars Bobby, and the story of Tahirih from Baha’i history.

What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Keep a creative journal and write in it regularly. A journal like this can have anything in it you want.  You can paste photographs and memory trigger objects into it. Make it a safe place to experiment, observe, record, reflect, meditate and record things like your favourite jokes, the first time you tasted kiwi fruit, as well as to store an unusual word or incident that evoked great emotions for you..

What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

I love walking in and photographing nature. When walking I pay attention to what the creatures are around and like to photograph plants I can later learn the Latin and common names of.

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Thanks for joining us June!

You can find out more about June and her creative work at:  http://juneperk.wixsite.com/gumbootspearlz

Five Fantastic Facts with author Debra Tidball

Hi Debra, and thanks for joining us on the Young Authors Academy blog.

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1.  What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

The Scared Book asks readers to help it not be scared and to chase away monsters that appear on its pages.

2. What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

It was about a convict escaping from Fort Denison by out-swimming ten sharks in Sydney Harbour! It was called The Old Grass Hut. I still have it!

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3. What got you interested in writing in the first place?

I’ve always loved picture books – I had a collection even as a teenager and I was particularly drawn to animal stories. Then when I started reading picture books to my children, it sparked a desire to write.

4. What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

I love this quote from Robert Cormier: ‘The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time – unlike, say, a brain surgeon.’ It frees me up to think of re-writing and editing as a joy because I can keep playing around with words and ideas until they fit together in the best possible way.

5. What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

Walking my donkey (I don’t ride him anymore – we are both too old!) and rock climbing.

You can find out everything you need to know about Debra and her books here: www.debratidball.com

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Thanks for joining us today on the blog Debra.

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Five Fantastic Facts with author Chrissy Perry

Hi Chrissy, and thanks for joining us on the Young Authors Academy blog.


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1. What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

The Green-Eyed Monster. Book six in the Penelope Perfect series.

Penelope is challenged by her mum dating post-divorce and her best friend branching out into a new friendship.

2. What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story? 

I made up stories for my niece and nephew. One was about a village entirely coloured orange, and featured a catchy song we still remember!

3. What got you interested in writing in the first place?

My parents were (and are still) avid readers and lovers of language. Mum read us stories every night and dad made them up. My early memories have the poems of A.A.Milne as a constant backdrop.

4. What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Say what you mean to say. Don’t sacrifice meaning for eloquence.

When editing my writing for kids, I comb through each sentence to check that the efficacy of the language. Plus, it’s way better to underwrite than overwrite. Require your readers to work – that’s the fun of the story.

5. What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

Reading!

You can find out everything you need to know about Chrissie and her books here: http://chrissieperry.com/

The Quite Big Book of Penelope Perfect

Thanks for joining us today on the blog Chrissie.

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Five Fantastic Facts about Author Robert Vescio

Welcome to the blog Robert, and thanks for sharing five fantastic facts about you with Young Authors Academy.

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What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

Finn and Puss with Melissa Mackie and published by EK Books. Finn, a young boy, is lonely. Puss, a cat, is lost. Then Finn and Puss meet. Suddenly Finn isn’t lonely anymore, and Puss seems quite happy to be with Finn too. So when Finn sees a ‘Lost’ poster, put up by Puss’s owners, he’s faced with a tough decision. Will he do the right thing?

Finn and Puss is a tender tale that explores ethics and integrity through the friendship of a lonely boy and a lost cat.

This simple story, told in few words, gently explores how sometimes we need to make hard choices but that ‘doing the right thing’ has its own rewards.

What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

A story about a bunny who enjoyed digging things up. I always wanted a bunny so I made one up.

What got you interested in writing in the first place?

Books. I am a self-confessed hoarder of books, especially children’s books. I read every night. It relaxes me. Books take you in and out of magical lands. They make you laugh and they make you shiver. But, best of all, they make you dreamy and leave you bursting with excitement.

Reading is fun! You never know where your next adventure will take you…who you’ll meet on your trail…or what you’ll find.

I love to read and I enjoy writing stories and sharing them with children.

What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Write what you know. Think of something close to your heart and make it interesting. If something is very close and dear to your heart the words will flow out easily.

What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

Going to the movies. It’s a family favourite.

You can find out everything you need to know about Robert and his books, here: www.robertvescio.com

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Five Fantastic Facts about Author Vacen Taylor

Hi, today we find out five fantastic facts about author Vacen Taylor.

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What is the most recent book you’ve had published and can you please tell us a bit about it?

My most recent book is Starchild: The Healing Stone.  This book is the third in a five book series. Essentially, it’s about four children and a small lizard who go on a journey linked to a prophecy to stop the King of Fire from taking over their world.

What was the first story you remember writing when you were at school and can you tell us what happened in the story?

I don’t remember the first story I wrote as a child at school. I was very much an outdoor type of girl. Instead, I pretended (used my imagination) a lot.  So lunchtime was when I really wrote stories but not on paper. In the playground, a few of my friends would go on fantastic pretend adventures.

What got you interested in writing in the first place?

To be truthful, my life feels settled when I’m writing. And now, I write in different forms. I like writing books, plays, screenplays and I’ve had my first poem published this year too. It’s exciting to experiment with stories in different expressive forms.

What’s your favourite writing tip and how do you use it in your writing?

Know the rules of writing but be open to breaking them occasionally. To create something different, something unique, we often have to think outside the box. Most recently my play broke many of the play writing rules because the theme was very much outside the box.

What’s your favourite fun activity to do besides writing?

Hiking is my favourite activity. Spending time in the bush with the birds and creatures is when I’m most happy away from writing.

Thanks for joining us Vacen, I’m a huge nature lover as well.

You can find out everything you need to know about Vacen and her books, here: About Vacen Taylor  Starchild series

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