behind the scenes

My Latest Publisher Meeting

This was my second visit to Penguin Random House in Sydney. I'm trying to make it a point to see them each time I travel to the eastern states to visit family.

It's overwhelming meeting the people in charge of publishing your book. Trust me. They kept telling me all these wonderful things to do with the impending launch of Lintang and the Pirate Queen - marketing plans, festivals, school tours - and I just sat there in stunned silence. I'm sure I managed to get out an  "ugnn" at some stage. Lucky they're paying me for writing and not talking!

I also got a sneak peek at the draft cover of my second book in the series. It's not coming out until February, but all these things need to happen early on. My publisher should be sending me second-round revision notes sometime this week.

Meanwhile, I've just finished a fresh draft of the third book in the series. I'll do a revision over the school holidays before sending it to the publisher.

Sound like a lot? Because we're planning on having the books coming out every six months, we have to work extra hard. This is all as well as teaching four days a week! I have a busy life, but I'm enjoying every moment.

The mythies are here!

But not "here" here. Just with me. Sorry!

I've now seen all six illustrations to go with the guidebook entries of my mythical creatures, and I'm thrilled to say they're incredible. James Brouwer has such a wonderful style that matches the tone of my story (he designed the cover of the book, by the way). One of his mythie pictures literally took my breath away. When I first saw it I was staring at the screen, unable to exhale.

This whole illustration process has been a dream. My editor, Zoe, chose James because she thought his previous work gave a good indication that it would go well with LINTANG. She and I decided which six mythies out of the twelve would benefit most from in-text illustrations. There were multiple reasons for choosing the ones we did - some mythies diverged so much from real world mythology that I wanted people to have a good idea of what they looked like; some were important to the story; some were just for fun.

Then Zoe sent James the guidebook entries of the six mythies he'd be illustrating. He drafted some design ideas, and Zoe and I sent him back comments. There wasn't much we wanted to change, to be honest. And the little additions he made were fantastic. It's bizarre to see how someone can take what you've created and make it their own. In some cases, the mythies he drew were different to how I imagined, but we left them how they were because he did it better.

I can't wait to share the guidebook entries and illustrations with you! Just under four months to go!