I used to blog every day. Can you believe that? I can’t. I find it particularly difficult to imagine in months like this, where weeks fly by like hours and I pop in here to write something and realise it’s been a month since I’ve shown my face.
But I digress.
This post is going to be like one of those Christmas letters we used to receive in the days before Facebook showed us the inner workings of the lives of our friends and family on a daily basis.
An easy, breezy catch-up, light on detail, strong on the highlights, glossing over the bad bits that nobody really wants to know about anyway.
So where have I been?
VIVID SYDNEY LIVE EVENT + BOOK LAUNCH
It’s been a busy month for school visits and other events. One of the highlights was, of course, the So You Want To Be A Writer Live event at Vivid Sydney on 8 June.
“How are ya, Al?” The event incorporated all the things that listeners love about our podcast – and more!
Our Power Panel: Allison Tait, Pamela Freeman, Candice Fox, Valerie Khoo.
Valerie and I were thrilled to see so many people packed into the MCA for the live recording.
(If you missed out, click here to listen to the special live podcast episode.)
Thanks to everyone who came along and gave So You Want To Be A Writer (the book) such a brilliant welcome into the world.
Buy your copy here.
Last weekend, I headed down to Milton to participate in three sessions at the inaugural Storyfest festival.
It was a wonderful day, and included the opportunity to interview the charming Jaclyn Moriarty (above left) about her children’s books (and if you’d like to get an idea of what that might have included, listen to my earlier podcast interview with Jaclyn here).
And then there was the chance to talk about adventure stories with Meredith Jaffe, and a very entertaining panel about podcasts and audio books with Pamela Cook, David Hunt and Katherine Collette (above right).
Note to self: organise audio versions of A.L. Tait’s books asap!
The pace of my year does not look like slowing any time soon. Upcoming events include:
•Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival, Mackay, Qld, 17-19 July, 2019 (Program here)
•Shoalhaven Readers’ & Writers’ Festival, Nowra, NSW, 27 July, 2019: I’m teaching a limited-places writing workshop for kids 9-13 at 12 noon. (Details here.)
If you’d like to talk to me about speaking at your school or event, go here.
And stand by for a couple of other very exciting announcements.
“A fast-paced adventure brimming with mystery and complex navigations of loyalty and morality.”
I was thrilled by this review of THE BOOK OF SECRETS on Booklist Online, the review site of the American Library Association. Read the full book review here.
It is true that I tend to interview people rather than being interviewed, and I can vouch for the fact that we have some very exciting and entertaining guests coming up on the So You Want To Be A Writer podcast over the next few weeks.
One interview I particularly enjoyed was this one, with US author Peter Rock. If you want to know why, you’ll need to listen to it but suffice to say that Peter enjoyed a year at an Australian school ‘back in the day’ and we shared an English teacher for that year. I always knew he’d end up a writer – even if he didn’t!
From the other side of the microphone, thanks to Nick Rheinberger, ABC Illawarra, for having me on his morning show recently to talk about the So You Want To Be A Writer book.
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.
My whirlwind visit to Singapore is over and I thought it was time for one of those ‘what I did at the writers’ festival’ posts, as well as a bit of a catch up. So here, in no particular order, is November in a nutshell.
NEWS: Singapore Writers’ Festival
As I dusted off my passport to head to Singapore, I realised it had been nearly 10 years since I’ve left the country. Too long between flights! Fortunately, Singapore Writers’ Festival was a fantastic re-entry into all things international. My first session was at a local primary school, talking to 100 students about where ideas for stories come from and what to do with them.
On day two, I found myself in the wonderful Timbre Music Academy talking to 30+ keen writers about how to unleash their writing superpowers.
My last session at the festival was a fast and fun panel with Hanoch Piven (Israel) and Claudia Rueda (Columbia) about encouraging creativity in kids. The three main takeaways, as summed up by our fabulous moderator Andrea Lam: let kids be bored, expose them to new ideas and people (just not every day) and let them play.
In other news, the winners of the #altaitshelfie comp have been contacted! Congrats to Louise Brooks (Twitter), Jo_Digs (Instagram) and Literacy Westall (Twitter), who will each receive a signed bookshop poster for The Book Of Secrets.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered! If you entered and you haven’t yet sent me your address to receive a signed bookmark, please get in touch!
The Book Of Secrets (Ateban Cipher #1) has been quietly collecting fabulous reviews and I could not be happier. Here are just a few.
“This fantastic adventure story has all the hallmarks of a classic tale, full of twist and turns and fabulous characters like the band of feisty girls led by Gwyn who help Gabe reach his destination. I can’t wait for book 2!”
– Kids’ Reading Guide 2017-2018
“Tait builds a believable and evocative middle ages world, rich in historical detail – think dungeons, danger, archery and royal double-crossings … High on energy, The Book of Secrets is a compelling read with twists and turns to keep you guessing, and sets up a whole new exciting adventure for the next installment.” Liz Ledden, Buzzwords Magazine
And then there’s this one, from The Sunday Telegraph’s Funday pages.
You can read more reviews here.
As an author, I’m incredibly thrilled when a reader takes the time to review my books. The number of reviews and ratings on Goodreads is also growing, and I’d love to see your review there if you’re a member!
I was asked by the Children’s Book Council (US) to answer three questions I WISH someone would ask me. I wonder if you can guess what my questions might be? Here are my answers.
I was also interviewed this month by Spine Out magazine, which comes from the stable that produces Good Reading magazine. Spine Out is an online magazine for YA readers and writers, created by YA readers and writers. You can read the magazine through your school or local library.
If you have a young writer (12-18) at your place, they can contribute articles, reviews, poems, stories and more to Spine Out – see here for how to submit.
And that’s November so far!