News, reviews + interviews (August 2019)

Posted on August 26, 2019

You might need a cup of tea for this one…

August  has been a crazy-busy month, featuring planes, trains and automobiles, Book Week, the MS Readathon, the first Your Kid’s Next Read Live event, and media appearances on television, radio and in print. Add to that the business of writing a new manuscript, and I’m a bit surprised I’m still upright.

These monthly posts are collated for the purposes of keeping a record on this blog of my author life, so thanks for sticking with me.

Where to begin…


The month kicked off with the launch of the 2019 MS Readathon, and, in my role as author ambassador for this year’s event, I visited The Illawarra Grammar School. My boys were very excited to see me on the 6pm news that night!

It was a terrific start for a wonderful event, and I was thrilled to see that, as of last week, the MS Readathon had raised over $1 million, and kids at 3,500 schools had read more than 75,000 books!

A few weeks later, I was sitting with a great group of kids at the CBCA (Illawarra-South Coast Branch) Literary Lunch, which is always a great day out. This year, I was asked to give the writing workshop for the event, which was a great honour.


And then, before I knew it, Book Week was upon us! This year, I visited schools in Sydney, Brisbane and Milton, talking to around 1500 excited and enthusiastic kids in total.












I was blown away by the warm welcomes I received in every school and, in particular, the library team at Citipointe Christian College in Brisbane were next level with their enormous floating Ateban Cipher and their escape room based on The Book Of Secrets. Teacher-librarians are truly an amazing bunch!

(If you’d like me to visit your school or event, check out my speaking page here.)

And, last but not least for my Book Week report, I’m thrilled to announce that the first-ever Your Kid’s Next Read Live Event + Meet-Up was a smashing success.

Nervously awaiting the crowd! From left, Megan Daley, Allison Tait, Allison Rushby, the admin team behind Your Kid’s Next Read.

The Living Room at St Aidan’s, Brisbane.








Answering some of our community’s most pressing questions about kids and books.

We had a lot of laughs along the way!








Megan Daley, Allison Rushby and I were delighted by the response of our YKNR community, and enjoyed meeting you all, talking about books and answering your questions! (Allison R. particularly enjoyed the incredible grazing table at St Aidan’s school…)

We’re hoping to do it all again in another location soon, so keep an eye on the YKNR community Facebook page for details.


How could I possibly resist sharing this fantastic review, by a grade six boy, of The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race To The End Of The World, in the window of the library at Waverley College as part of a display for Book Week?

“This book is an amazing book where the characters are loveable, the story is exciting with many nail-biting moments and plenty of action!”

I’ll take that, and say thank you very much!

In other news, this review of So You Want To Be A Writer: How To Get Started (While You Still Have A Day Job), my book with Valerie Khoo based on our top-rating podcast, also made my day!

I absolutely love the fact that the reviewer Annamaree is someone who said ‘I’d love to write a book’ over and over and, after reading this book, is inspired to actually do something about it!

She says:

If writing is something that you have thought about but never done anything about, then I suggest that you get your hands on a copy of this book and absorb all the wonderful information contained within.”

It’s exactly the response that Val and I were hoping for!


I’ve been interviewed several times for radio over the past month, mostly in my role as MS Readathon Ambassador, and often at very short notice. It’s always an interesting process – in one case, I was huddled under a tree in a windswept park in Rose Bay, trying to sound sensible – and it never quite goes the way you expect.

It reminded me that I’ve been meaning to write a ‘how to be interviewed’ post for this blog for ages, so I’ve put it back on the To Do list. Let me know in the comments if there are any questions in particular you’d like me to cover!

Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.

 You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.



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