New Year, New Adventure

2014 has brought some big changes. Big, but exciting.
The short story is … I’m going to be dividing my time between Australia and Canada. But that’s a bit too short.

Our snowy house

The long story is this: The only regret I’ve ever carried in life is that I’ve never lived overseas. Growing up, my head was filled with travel tales told by my mum, who shifted around the globe through her 20s and 30s. My parents met in Africa, travelled across Europe, got married in England and I was conceived in Oman, all before they settled in Australia to raise my brother and I. As a family we did many overseas trips to visit relatives and friends. When I left home I always intended to move overseas after uni, but life kind of got in the way. Fifteen years later and, well, it’s about time.
I was considering England when the opportunity to spend some time in Canada came up. I spent all of December over there, having myself a white Christmas and exploring Ottawa and the surrounds (which is where I’ll be based). There’s much to love about Canada – so much about the country and the people that have stolen my heart. It’s already left an imprint on my creative mind: I’m currently working on a new picture book about a big brown bear and a small wild girl. Plus I have a sudden urge to end my sentences in ‘eh?’ and I’m getting insatiable cravings for maple syrup.
While I’m hoping to spend more time over there than not (starting early March), I’ll actually continue to divide my time between Canada and Australia. It’s really important to me to keep in touch with my Australian readership and to continue to develop links with local schools and festivals (not to mention visiting family and friends!). I’ll be back in Australia over July and August for a packed two months of speaking engagements, however I still have days free in both months so contact my speaker’s agents if you’re interested in a visit from me or Squish Rabbit (links on the right).

Based on the photos, I keep getting told I look as though I was born in Canada. I think it’s the fair skin and pale eyes. I’m really excited about the change and love the idea of being closer to all sorts of other unique travel experiences. We already have two trips planned, first to Cuba and then in summer to the Moraine Lake Lodge in the Rocky Mountains. But instead of trying to convince you as to why I’m setting out on this adventure, how about some photos so you can see for yourself?
Ottawa city and its frozen canal (perfect for iceskating)

Ottawa city and its frozen canal (perfect for iceskating)

Amazing museums and art galleries (I love this sculpture by Bill Reid)

Amazing museums and art galleries (I love this sculpture in the Museum of Civilisation by Bill Reid)

Lots of time to read and eat French pastries (in the inner city industrial style cafe 'Art Is In')

Weekends reading and eating French pastries (in the inner city industrial style cafe ‘Art Is In’)

Writing by the fire

Writing by the fire

Gorgeous outdoor installations (this lonely wolf haunts my dreams)

Outdoor art installations (this lonely wolf still haunts my dreams)

And another, this time in Montreal (called 'Light Therapy')

And another, this time in Montreal (called ‘Light Therapy’)

Did I mention the food?

Did I mention the food?

And the salmon (I could live on smoked atlantic salmon)

And the salmon (I could live on smoked atlantic salmon)

Loving the graffiti art (snow makes the bunnies a little mad)

Loving the graffiti art (turns out snow makes the bunnies kinda crazy)

An Aussie style barbecue (clearly)

An Aussie style barbecue (clearly)

Icicles taller than me

Icicles taller than me

REAL christmas trees (and all decorations I collected locally)

REAL christmas trees (and all decorations I collected locally)

Christmas morning sunrise from a cabin in the woods

Christmas morning sunrise from a cabin in the woods

Finally, I was lured to Ottawa with the promise of divine hot chocolate. And they didn't disappoint...

Finally, I was lured to Ottawa with the promise of divine hot chocolate. And they didn’t disappoint…

24 Responses to “New Year, New Adventure”

  1. 1 Tony Single January 21, 2014 at 7:19 am

    What an adventure it will be!

  2. 3 SquiggleMum January 21, 2014 at 8:08 am

    We’ll miss you on the writing scene down under, but what an adventure! (And you’ll get to wear those amazing boots all the time…)

  3. 5 Sheryl Gwyther January 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Jealous! Jealous! Jealous! Well, never too late for another adventure, Kath. Might even visit you when you’re there, one of these days. Always wanted to experience Canada. :) xx

  4. 7 Charmaine Clancy January 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Stunning settings, and with your passion to embrace your new lifestyle, you’ll never be short of story ideas!

    • 8 Katherine Battersby January 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      2013 was a bit of a ‘stuck’ year for me creatively, so I think a change of setting is just the thing! I’ve been told if you want to be a writer you have to go out and live a really interesting life – so that’s my plan :)

  5. 9 Karen Tyrrell January 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Congrats Katherine. What a place to live! A Smart and passionate choice.
    AND You’re close to New York, the epi-centre of the publishing scene.
    I wish you every success! … Karen :)

    • 10 Katherine Battersby January 22, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks Karen. You’re so right – this is a decision I made with my head and my heart. I’m a sensible Virgo girl, but I’m a passionate creature too! Both my head and heart were very happy with the choice. And it will certainly be nice to be closer to my NY publishers.

  6. 11 Rebecca Sheraton January 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Will miss you Katherine! Maybe you can show me the ropes of the Canadian market one day on a visit. You make it look so enticing. And yes, maple syrup is amazing on French toast with bacon.

  7. 13 shewrite63 January 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Welcome to Canada, eh? (that’s the correct way to write it: eh)

    I look forward to seeing you around Ottawa and meeting you in person. You may want to attend some of the local writing group meetings. I recommend you start with Ottawa Independent Writers :o) See They have a Members for Hire page with one can advertise skills and expertise.

    Best wishes for 2014!


  8. 15 chrisbongers January 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Wow, so exciting! Glad to hear you’ll be keeping Briz Vegas in your inter-continental orbit. We’d miss you too much if you left forever. Cx

    • 16 Katherine Battersby January 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Chris, the biggest hurdle has been leaving my network of friends. I’m used to living away from my family, but all of you – not quite sure how I’ll do it! Instead I’m trying to see it as expanding my network – I’ll get to have friends across the globe. And I’ll always come back xx

  9. 17 Dimity Powell January 22, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Oh your inner bunny will thrive and prosper I’m sure but we will be all the more diminished by your absence Katherine! I have numerous rellies in Ottawa and surrounds and now more excuses to lug myself over there one day. See you on the flip side or here on your missions to thaw out once and a while, Dim x

  10. 19 Helen Ross January 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    What exciting news. Wishing you every happiness.

  11. 21 Emily Craven January 25, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Hurray for you lovely lady! I lived next to Moraine Lake for almost two months (well, next to Lake Louise which is only a bear toss away). It is amazing and I am envious. If you like to hike and you get the chance I recommend my three most favourite hikes in the world ever: Mount Fairview, the Ink pots at the top of johnson’s canyon, and the track that goes up to mirror lake :)

    • 22 Katherine Battersby January 26, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Sounds amazing, Emily! My man loves to hike, so I’ll make sure we walk those trails. PS. Almost spat water all over my screen at ‘bear toss’. Have been told I’ll need to take bear spray when hiking. Can’t tell whether they’re just trying to scare this clueless Aussie girl…

  12. 23 Jill Smith January 26, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Canada is a place I would love to visit, sounds like a perfect choice, have fun.

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About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:


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