Welcome to Chapter 17 of The Happy Book. In this chapter, I'll be talking to author Penny Harrison about the emerging author journey. I'll be chatting to Penny about her route to publication, and about the challenges she's faced along the way.
We'll also cover working in magazines, about working with illustrators, attending events and getting industry involved, writing across genre, exploring different creator roles, and so much more, including the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of the emerging creator journey.
Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids' book creation. If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm Tania McCartney and I'm an author, illustrator and editor of children's books. I've always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do. Welcome to the Happy Book.
GUEST - PENNY HARRISON
Penny Harrison is a children's author, book reviewer and lifestyle journalist. She has released three picture books in the past three years, with two more due out in the next year through Little Hare and New Frontier. Penny's passion for the children's book industry is reflected in her work as a reviewer with Kids' Book Review and as secretary of the Eltham Authors' Collective. A professional writer for more than 20 years, she has worked for some of Australia's leading publications, including the Sydney Morning Herald and the Herald Sun Home Magazine, and now freelances for a variety of magazines and newspapers, such as House of Wellness magazine, Yarra Valley Country Life and the Herald Sun Home Living section. Penny lives in a rambling old garden on the edge of the Yarra Valley with her husband, two children and an ever-growing menagerie of plants and animals (and of course books).
01:36 Introducing Penny Harrison
02:31 Our bevvies of choice-coffee, with honey!
03:28 A typical writing day for Penny
05:08 How does Pen balance her many styles of writing?
06:24 Penny's magazine and journalism career
08:30 What brought Penny to writing for children?
10:18 What drives you to write for children?
11:43 Penny's emerging career so far
14:38 The difference between journalism and the children's book industry
15:17 Working with an illustrator
17:21 Never telling an illustrator 'what to do'
19:15 Publication journey for Emily's Green Garden
20:30 An upcoming picture book with Little Hare
21:59 What is the most daunting part on this children's author journey?
23:41 Penny's recommendations for online groups and courses
24:27 What has brought Penny the most joy?
25:54 School visits as an emerging creator
28:06 The value of industry involvement
29:17 Developing relationships along the way
31:25 The joy of talking shop
31:57 Attending bookish events
33:18 Events afford publication opportunities
34:43 Assessments at conferences
35:17 Choosing which conference to go to
35:43 Grants and funding to get to events
36:39 Limitations that new creators face
37:32 How does Penny carve out her time to create
38:52 The limitations we place on ourselves
38:57 Getting bogged down in what others are doing
40:15 Genre-moving into non-fiction
41:43 Getting bogged down in genre or creative blocks
42:44 Your dream project
43:27 Strategies for pushing through creative blocks
45:45 Pursuing other directions and roles in our career
47:04 What does Penny wish she'd known before embarking...