publishing

The Secret Science of Magic

Way back in late 2012, when Life in Outer Space was just about to become a real book, I started toying with a new idea. The idea was vague – a girl obsessed with failed genius, and a boy with a penchant for card tricks, a sort of star-crossed-lovers tale with maths and magic at its heart. It took a while for the thing to become something more than an idea. A really long while. In fact, it took so long that I managed to write an entire other book in between – The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl was born through this writer (figuratively) tossing her half-finished manuscript across the room, and deciding to read comics instead. Because as it turns out, some books need longer than others to gestate. Some characters are stubborn, and wilful, and only give up their stories after a whole lot of wrangling. Also, advanced maths? Yeah – kinda difficult. But this month, The Secret Science of Magic is finally out in the world. It may have taken longer than I planned, but I’m pretty proud to share Sophia and Joshua’s story – I hope you like it.

Now here are some pics from the very awesome launch that was held at Embiggen Books, Melbourne. There were cupcakes, and an amazing young magician named Lucas, and a whole lot of love from friends, family and the brilliant community of #LoveOzYA fans:

Happy UK book birthday, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl!

Cinnamon Girl

Today is the official UK release day of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl, and I could not be more excited! I love the yellow cover! I love the cape! And I especially love the amazingly warm reception Alba and her friends have already received from some fabulous UK readers and reviewers.

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For the next week, Cinnamon Girl will be on tour – check out these stops for interviews, articles and more:

Cinnamon Girl

If you’re in the UK and would like to talk books, publishing, writing or comics, Maximum Pop are running a competition to win a Skype date with me – I’ll be available for a half an hour writing masterclass, or a Q&A, or for a general natter about life, the universe and everything. Check out the competition here

 

 

Welcome to the World, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl

Happy first of September, and happy springtime to fellow southern-hemisphere dwellers! Today the skies over Melbourne may be gloomy and grey, but the mood in the Park Street household is totes buzzed** – because today, The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl is OFFICIALLY out in stores! I’ll be schlepping around Melbourne signing books at various stores – or click here to win one of five hot-off-the-press autographed copies.

Last weekend, friends, family and publishing folk gathered at The Sun Bookshop on a stunning blue-sky Melbourne afternoon to celebrate the launch of Cinnamon Girl. Champaign was drunk, vegan brownies were consumed, and Wonder Woman badges were pinned in various places. The always fabulous Ellie Marney stepped in to make the introductions (seriously, read her books!), and Tina from IBBY presented the Ena Noel award, and honour that I’m still pretty stunned to have won.

A giant thank you to everyone who attended; as always, I’m eternally grateful for your hugs, well-wishes, enthusiasm and support.

(**The Park Street household accepts that no-one here can pull off using the word ‘totes’)

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Pretty shiny things: creating a book cover

Like all proper book nerds, I have a stash of books on my shelf that I’ve bought but haven’t got around to reading. No matter how many times I’ve told myself that there will be no new additions until the spine on ever last unread book has been cracked, the lure of shiny new books, with beautiful covers, is just too tempting. Who hasn’t picked a book up in a bookstore or library just because it has a stand-out cover? Something that catches your eye amid a sea of other rectangular paper objects, that you must have in your hand right now because OMG – THE COVER!

Ever wondered how a book cover comes into being? Who decides what a book will look like? This might surprise you, but usually, it’s not the author. Publishing houses have teams of very clever people who’s job it is to give your naked book the perfect outfit; to take all your words and package them in something that’s going to make it jump off the shelf screaming YOU MUST PICK ME UP AND READ ME!

Generally, this is what happens:

At some stage during the editing process – sometimes very early on – the very clever publishing team will have a chat about the direction that they think the cover should go. They’ll look at other books on the market in similar genres, and will brainstorm ideas, looking at the ‘mood’ that they want the cover to invoke. They’ll research type treatments and images that they think say something about the story. They’ll put all these ideas together into something called a cover brief, and will send this off to a designer or illustrator, along with either the text of the book, or a synopsis of the story. The designer has the very fun job of taking all those ideas and thoughts and instructions in the cover brief, and, using their own expertise, sending back some rough ideas with their own creative spin.

Cover roughs might look something like this:

Cinnamon Girl CVR directions 1

[For the month of June, I will be writer-in-resident at the fab Inside a Dog – you can read the rest of this post here]