Posts Tagged 'Julie Nickerson'

Romancing the Stars

Happy (late) Valentine’s day! Happy day of romance and flowers and winged little fat men toting arrows. Or as wiki would have it, happy commemoration of love and affection between intimate companions (now doesn’t that sound exciting?). So how did I spend this romantic day of days?

I spent it speed dating librarians*.

Yup, you read that right. Last night Book Links, an active QLD group that promotes a love of stories in young people, threw an event called ‘Romancing the Stars’. It was all about Australia’s National Year of Reading 2012 and our Queensland ambassador, Nick Earls, launched it with his usual humour and charm. The Big Read was also launched, an initiative that celebrates books set in Queensland, and the shortlist was announced. You can see all the awesome books chosen and vote for your favourites here (go on – you know you want to). Josie Montano did a hilarious job as MC for the night and the Sunde sisters did a surprise singing skit (clever and so funny).

All the authors and illustrators

It was a great chance for local children’s writers and illustrators to connect with teachers, librarians and fellow book lovers. Hence the speed dating. All the authors sat at tables across the room and guests rotated around them, with three minutes to talk to each creator. It was a pretty lighthearted and fun night, and I met (dated) some truly inspirational teacher librarians. I didn’t give my number out to anyone (I’m not that sort of girl, at least not on first dates) but a few people took down my website and I’ve already had some enquiries about school talks.

Pick the picture book authors Vs the serious novelists

Chris Bongers, me and Julie Nickerson

Hope everyone else had a romantic (if not bookish) kind of Valentine’s Day!

* With my reputation as a tragic romantic on the line, I thought I’d best confess that apart from this event I actually spent the day with my lovely poet. Think breakfast in bed, a French feast and a little late night Casablanca

Pippa’s Perfect Ponytail

2009-04-28On Wednesday the 15th of April, a very good friend of mine, Julie Nickerson, held the launch party for her first children’s book, Pippa’s Perfect Ponytail.  This book is a delightful early reader, released as part of Penguin’s highly successful ‘Aussie Nibbles‘ range.  The story follows Pippa, who is getting ready for her birthday party.  For parties, Pippa always wears her hair in a perfect ponytail, but on the big day, not everything goes perfectly to plan.

The launch was particularly special to me because Julie and I have been crit partners for many years now.  I have had the joy of watching both Julie and the story grow and develop on their journey towards publication.  So I was also incredibly touched when Julie asked me to launch the book.  It was such a joy, although Julie may have secretly regretted asking someone who knows her so well to speak publicly about her, because I may have given away a few secrets… (this is a snippet from my speech)

As writers, we’re often asked if the characters in our books are based on people we know.  Specifically, we’re often asked if our characters are actually us in disguise.  Writers spend a lot of their time trying to convince people that they’re not – that the characters in our stories are actually their own people, with their own unique quirks, strengths and weaknesses.  But I have a secret.  Pippa, the main character in this book, is actually a LOT like Julie.

Just like Pippa, Julie needs things to be not just perfect, but perfectly perfect.

There were about 80 children and adults at the launch, and lots of food, laughter and books.  Party games were played and creativity was encouraged at an illustration table (which the delightful Peter Allert helped me to run).  Following is a photo diary from the day, chronicling the general hilarity:

 

Me, pulling silly faces during my speech to entertain the kiddies (although not consciously)

Me, pulling silly faces during my speech to entertain the kiddies (although not consciously)

Julie, hugging me after my speech, possibly out of relief that I didn't give away anything too embarrassing...

Julie, hugging me after my speech, possibly out of relief that I didn't give away anything too embarrassing...

Julie doing a reading from the book

Julie doing a reading from the book

Julie playing 'Pin the ponytail on Pippa', but I think she got a bit confused about the rules...

Julie playing 'Pin the ponytail on Pippa', but I think she got a bit confused about the rules...

Julie signing books for her hordes of fans

Julie signing books for her hordes of fans

Sheryl, Ally and I being entertained by some books Julie created as a wee thing

Sheryl Gwyther, Ally Howard and I being entertained by some books Julie created as a wee thing


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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