I love Christmas. I love the gathering, the sharing, the wonder. Okay, also the feasting. It’s crazy busy always, but fabulous to spend time with family and friends. After the last couple of years, being together is even more special.
I also love surprises (I NEVER peek at wrapped presents under the tree). This week has brought multiple surprises in the post. The first was the first sparkling copy of ‘Whisper on the Wind’ my second picture book with amazing illustrator Jess Rackyleft and publisher Allen & Unwin.. ‘Whisper on the Wind’ is a story about the bond between a parent and a child, told in cumulative rhythmic text. It begins in a lighthouse, ends in a lighthouse and in between explores real and imagined wonders of the ocean. Whisper is due out 1 April 2022.
The second surprise was a parcel from Walker Books with an advance reading copy of my middle-grade novel, ‘The Wearing of the Green’ also due for 1 April 2022 release. ‘The Wearing of the Green’ is the story of Biddy, who arrives in Australia in 1850 aboard a shipload of Irish famine orphan girls and women. This story has taken many years to find its form and to hold it in my hands was overwhelming. I can’t wait to share it.
The third surprise was in the same parcel – a paperback copy of ‘The Anzac Billy’, illustrated by Mark Jackson and Heather Potter. It is the story of the filled, billies sent to Australian soldiers in WW1, from the perspective of a young boy missing his father.
Books can take a long time to emerge, and to endure the waits it’s sensible/necessary to focus on other things. There are always plenty of other things to be thinking about, to be doing, particularly at this time of year.
So, here’s to surprises, to books and of course to Christmas.