Category Archives: Farm Book

Book Launch

Today is the day. My little book is now out in the world.

I have mixed feelings. I always knew – on some level – that my first solo effort would be about animals. But I also thought it would be speculative fiction as well. Life is always throwing surprises at you.

Reviews:

Summer Brook Spring is an amazing book as it really captures the essence of living in Queensland. I love how the character of Freya is so relatable to me and how the girls are so different yet get along so well. My personal favourite part of the story is when the girls camp out with the calf and its mother. I just find it so heart-warming. Overall it is an amazing book for all ages. Logan (10)

When I first started reading this book I could tell that it was going to be one of the best books based in Australia that I have ever read, and it was! I do find it annoying how the father wants to take the Nan back to London though but I would guess you meant us to feel that way about it. I also think Freya is brave for doing the things she did in the first week being there because personally I would never sleep in half a shed with a calf, the calf’s mother and a girl I met within the week. Now to recommend this book to all genders, ages 8-12 Taylor (11)

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Filed under Book Launch, Farm Book, The Summer Brook Farm Books

Welcome to my Life, 2021 edition

This year has started out very well, career wise. Daily Science Fiction has just notified me that they have accepted a third submission. On the very same day, I was advised the first book in my Summerbrook Besties series – which I refer to as my farm books – is now up for pre-order. Fate decided to keep me grounded by having maggots invade my kitchen bin – EWWWW! Nothing says ‘down to earth’ as much as cleaning up crawlies.

Still, the horror of invading crawlies is good inspiration for my Gothic themed project. Everything is grist for the mill!

I’m not making New Year resolutions as such for 2021. I have my five year career goals, I have my short term career goals, and I have my personal goals (be kind), and they aren’t just to make me feel better about starting a new year. They make me feel better about myself on a continuous basis. If that makes me sound like a grind, so be it. I’ve hit the combination that is working for me and I’m not fiddling with the magic.

I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season, and I look forward to chatting with you all throughout the coming months.

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Filed under Autobiographical, DailySF, Farm Book, Personal experience, Submissions, Writing Career

Writing for an Audience of Ten Year Olds

I am currently writing books aimed at middle-grade readers around ten years of age. Ten is an interesting age. Before a child is eight, they are still in the ‘dreamtime’ of their youth where fantasy concepts can seem as true as reality. Many younger children are either completely fearless or very fearful, depending on their nature, because everything is still ‘unknown’. A ten year old is still much smaller than an adult, but the world is no longer unknown territory. A ten year old has a pretty good grasp of the rules of the world.

Then puberty hits and messes up the world view again. But that’s another issue.

This makes writing for this audience tricky. They can tell if you’re talking down to them. They can certain sense insincerity. And they can most definitely tell if the writing and story telling is bad. So, it means you have to write with your heart as well as your mind; which is how we should write all the time, really.

I’m lucky. I still like many of the same things I liked as a ten year old: animals, comics, cartoons, fairy tales. It makes writing for this age group easier, because I can remember how it felt to be ten.

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Filed under Farm Book, Story, Structure, The Summer Brook Farm Books, The Writing Life, Writing Career, Writing Style

Writing the Farm Book

Study shows cattle temperament affects feedlot performance ...

I am currently writing a middle grade book series about living on Australian farms. No horror, no fantasy, no Science Fiction themes … SHOCKING! Just the reality of farm living and some of the agricultural science behind farming practices.

There was a point in my life when I was doing a degree in agriculture, and then swapped into zoology. I love farms, because I spent holidays on farms as a child, and I love animals. My experiences with farms makes it easy to give my farm books plenty of real life incidents and so plenty of verisimilitude.

My biggest problem was finding my writing voice. Once I managed to tap into the mind of a preteen girl, it all started happening. I really like this character, because she is open to the lifestyle changes that come with living on a farm. All the conflict comes from the animals and the character missing her friends & family lift behind when her family moved to the farm.

She is going to have fun over the next four books.

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Filed under Farm Book, Humour, Inspiration, Science, Writing Career, YA Work in Progress