Australian children's author Zanni Louise chats to fellow children's book creators about process, getting published, and everything in-between.
Episode 19: Tabitha Bird
In today's episode, Zanni chats to Tabitha Bird.
Tabitha is a writer and poet who lives and works in the rural township of Boonah, Queensland.
She has written 2 adult novels: A Lifetime of Impossible Days—winner of the Queensland Literary Award 2020's People's Choice Book of the Year, and The Emporium of Imagination.
Tabitha is also a budding picture book author, and is no doubt on her way to writing and illustrating some fantastic picture books!
By day Tabitha may be found painting, working on her next book or with her husband, three beautiful boys and Chihuahua.
This podcast was produced by Jen Pitch @virtualcreatrix
Episode 18: Deborah Abela
In this episode, Zanni chat's to her good friend Deborah Abela.
After training as a teacher, Deb travelled to Africa where she was harassed by monkeys, caught in a desert sandstorm and thrown in jail . . . twice!
She has since become an internationally published and awarded author of 28 books including her cranky climate change trilogy, Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm.
Her family’s survival in WW2 and migration to Australia inspired Teresa A New Australian. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee and The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery were inspired by her fantabulous Grade 4 teacher, Ms Gray. She’s also written picture books: Wolfie, An Unlikely Heroand the 2021 CBCA Notable, Bear in Space.
The Book of Wondrous Possibilities is her love letter to books, booksellers, librarians and readers. Deb’s won awards for her work but mostly hopes to be as brave as her characters.
She’s a proud ambassador for the charities, Room to Read and Books in Homes.
This podcast was produced by Jen Pitch.
Episode 17: Sandhya Parappukkaran
Sandhya Parappukkaran writes stories which are inspired by her multicultural experience. Scrumptious food and glimpses of nature from her Kerala Indian heritage feature heavily when she sits down to write. Sandhya resides in Brisbane with her husband, three children and a backyard brimming with mango trees, curry leaves, and green chillies.
Her debut picture book, The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name, illustrated by Michelle Pereira and published by Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (Imprint: Bright Light), was released in August 2021.
Her second picture book, Amma’s Saree was published in April 2022.
Sandhya believes exploring and owning your cultural identity cultivates happy holistic people who are capable of mutual respect, empathy, and connection in this diverse world we live in.
Episode 16: Carter Higgins
Carter Higgins is the author of many books for young readers, including Everything You Need for a Treehouse, an NPR Best Book of the Year, This is Not a Valentine, a Kids' Indie Next List selection, and the chapter book series, Audrey L & Audrey W: Best Friends-ish. Her first book as both author and illustrator, Circle Under Berry, was named a Best Book of 2021 by Publisher’s Weekly, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.
Carter is a creative storyteller who designs playful experiences around visual literacy and believes the wit of kids' language is the best poetry of all. She is an Emmy-winning visual effects and motion graphics artist and spent a decade as an elementary school librarian. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @carterhiggins.
She lives in Las Vegas.
Episode 15: Sue Whiting
Sue Whiting is an award-winning children’s and YA author and editor who has worked in publishing for twenty+ years. Sue was senior commissioning editor and publishing manager for Walker Books Australia for many years before leaving in 2016 to concentrate on her writing.
As a storyteller and schools’ performer, Sue has informed, inspired and entertained thousands of kids across the country. She is also a freelance children’s book editor and writing coach, and the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Missing, the acclaimed The Book of Chance and a number of CBCA Notable Books.
Sue’s latest books are Pearly and Pig and the Great Hairy Beast, the first in a new junior fiction series, and the narrative nonfiction picture book The Echidna Near my Place, illustrated by Cate James. Her book Tilda, loosely based on the story of her grandmother, will be released in September.
Episode 14: Lian Tanner
Lian Tanner has worked as a teacher, a tourist bus driver, a juggler, an editor and a professional actor. She has been dynamited while scuba diving and arrested while busking. She once spent a week in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, hunting for a Japanese soldier left over from the Second World War. It took her a while to realise that all this was preparation for becoming a writer.
Lian’s best-selling Keepers Trilogy has been translated into eleven languages and won two consecutive Aurealis Awards for Best Australian Children’s Fantasy. The Hidden series was shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards and received three starred reviews from School Library Journal (USA). The Rogues trilogy has also been shortlisted for two Aurealis Awards.
Lian’s first picture book, Ella and the Ocean, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley, won the 2020 Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature, as part of the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Her latest novel, A Clue for Clara, won the 2021 Sisters-in-Crime Davitt Award for Best Children’s Crime Novel. A companion novel, Rita’s Revenge, will be published by Allen & Unwin in July 2022.