The Future of Puddle Hunting

The very talented Karen Blair has agreed to illustrate my first picture book for small children, Puddle Hunters. Inspired by puddle hunting adventures with my granddaughter, Alexandra, the book will be published by Allen & Unwin and released in early 2018.

Lost in the crowd

Yesterday I visited Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School to speak to the Year 8 students who are studying my novel ‘The Year it All Ended’. They had great comments and questions about the book and had obviously read it very closely. But during question time, a bright-eyed girl in the front row asked an impossible question, or at least one I couldn’t answer on the spot; had a real person inspired the character of ‘Ray”.

For an awful moment, I drew a complete blank. Ray? Who was Ray? The student prompted me – ‘Nette’s fiancé!’ Then suddenly, Ray came pounding to the front of my consciousness. Ray Staunton, husband of Nette Flynn, WW1 veteran who takes his bride to Cobdolga to farm marginal land courtesy of the Returned Serviceman’s Land Scheme. Poor gruff, tortured Ray with his damaged hand that’s missing three fingers, scarred in more ways than one, struggling away on his bleak acreage in the Riverland. How could I forget him? I invented him. I had even cried when I wrote the scene where he held his baby son for the first time.

It doesn’t happen often but, occasionally, I forget some of the minor characters from my novels. It’s excruciatingly embarrassing when it happens during a public lecture. How can a character I’ve created, someone that I have lovingly laboured to bring to life, someone for whom I have created character files and scenes and dialogue, someone who was so real when I was in the thick of the story, how can they disappear into the crowd of imaginary characters at the back of my brain? Other authors have shamefully admitted it happens to them, too, but that’s small compensation.

In the last twenty years I have invented literally hundreds of characters across eleven novels and many short stories and junior fiction titles. Sometimes I dream of them, long after the book in which they’re featured has been published. So there is always a particular sense of shame when I forget one of them. Sorry, Ray.

Launch of Wendy Orr’s new novel Dragonfly Song

I’m very honoured to be launching Wendy Orr’s stunning new novel, ‘Dragonfly Song9781760290023‘ on Saturday, 2nd July, the same day as the Australian Federal Election. Join us at 4.00 pm at Readings Bookshop, Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn to celebrate the release of the book. Wendy is one of Australia’s most out-standing and versatile authors for younger readers. ‘Dragonfly Song’ will definitely get my vote on election day.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

Keep in Touch

Upcoming Events

  • 5th March - 15th March
    Writer in Residence - Methodist Ladies College
    MLC - Kew
    Further information
  • Tuesday, 20th March
    CBCA Victorian Branch - Clayton's Night, 6.00 - 10.00 pm
    Trinity Grammar, Kew
    Further information
  • Monday. 26th March
    Year 8 Talks - The Year it all Ended, All day
    Haileybury Campuses, Berwick & West Melbourne
  • Saturday & Sunday, 7/8th April
    The Literature Centre's 25th Birthday Party, Saturday Evening, All Day Sunday!
    Old Fremantle Prison Hospital, corner Hampton Rd and Knutsford St (see gate) Fremantle, Western Australia
    Further information
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 10th-12th April
    Story Camp!, 10.00 am - 1.00 pm
    State Library of Victoria
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