A new book! Secrets of the Saltmarsh.Secrets of the Saltmarsh by children's author Claire Saxby

Making books is a long game. Very few parts of the process happen quickly. Often, it can seem like there’s nothing going on. Sometimes it feels like everything is invisible. But out of public sight, a book is being created. For me, that begins with finding the right words, putting them in the right order and making them sing. Then I hand the words over to the publishing team (and I include publishers, editors, fact checkers and the myriad other often-unsung people who help to bring a book to life) and then it is offered to an illustrator. More silence. More busyness, again beyond my sight.

There’s back-and-forthing, to-and-froing, quite a lot really along the path to publication. Sometimes there are a cluster of conversations and decisions, sometimes single brief emails (with designers, editorial managers, marketing and communications).

Finally, the book is off to print, no more changes possible. More silence.

And then one day, a single advance copy arrives in the mail. Hurrah!

But there’s still more waiting, while the rest of the copies arrive into the warehouse.

But finally, the day arrives. The book is finally released and available to be shared with readers.

This is the process, give or take a few tweaks for every book. But also, each book has its unique journey.

Secrets of the Saltmarsh is narrative non-fiction, where facts are interwoven in a story about the richness and diversity of this important ecosystem. I’ve chosen to use first person, and each element, from the foundation species of plant (glasswort), through microscopic animals, through to the largest migratory wetland birds, and even the sun and the wind, tell their own story. There are life cycles, seasons, tides, water cycles, storms and gentle breezes.

Secrets of the Saltmarsh, illustrated by Alicia Rogerson and published by CSIRO Publishing. OUT NOW!

Discovery and curiosity about the Saltmarsh

  • Photographs taken by Claire Saxby
Saltmarsh with white heron
Saltmarsh birdlife
Saltmarsh land and water - research for Claire Saxby's latest award winning book