Since the end of 2016, I’ve had an exciting project in the pipeline and early this year my name was signed on the dotted line of a publishing contract with UQP.
I’ve never seen myself as a writer and I’ve always made it very clear that I review books, not write them. I am in awe of the work of children’s and YA authors and illustrators and their ability to craft a story, create an entire world and have characters live in their heads which can be transferred to paper via words and images. I am not a story creator and there will be no fiction series coming from me anytime soon, I’ll leave that to people like Allison Tait, Belinda Murrell, Jacqueline Harvey, Will Kostakis… and, oh, the list goes on!
Having said that, my (over) sharing on my blog has become part of who I am and I do not have the words to adequately express how much my blog means to me. It is my creative outlet (no more crafting of fairy wings and hot glue gun creations for me), my passion and, recently, my therapy, and I so enjoy pouring my thoughts onto a screen and sharing them with my incredibly supportive online tribe.
So when UQP approached me with an idea for a ‘Reading Handbook’ (must work on title) last year I was sceptical regarding my ability to write but rather intrigued by the idea. I mulled it over for months and discussed it with Dan (gee, wonder who the book will be dedicated to 🙂 ), my parents and my closest friends in the industry – including Narelle Oliver who sadly passed away last year, but who, in typical Narelle style, whacked me into line re my concerns about my ability and told me there was no question about me doing it and she’d buy the first copy (Greg Oliver please note – you need to buy a copy of my book).
After much discussing and debating and advice, I decided that yes, I could do this, and Kristina Schutlz, who may live to regret ever approaching me, and I worked out what this project may ‘look like’. Once the decision was made I couldn’t believe I ever considered not doing it. I also could not be more chuffed with this being a UQP project. UQP are one my my favourite Australian publishers; their attention to detail through careful editing and most excellent graphic design, and their commitment to Australian books which are of the highest quality is second to none. Just look at these beautiful UQP covers and spines would you?
My darling dad, my gorgeous brother and a dear friend have built me an office as a ‘new space’ in our house to think and write.
There is still have a bit of work to do to finish it off (clearly!), but it’s wonderful to have a different space which is still attached to our house and to Dan. To date I’ve written my entire blog and my Masters degree in bed, with my laptop and coffee and Dan removing bags of quality chocolate from the covers. I even miss him removing chocolate from me (“I’m going to walk towards you now and remove that chocolate – you’ve had enough. Coming towards you now, hand it over quietly.”) so it’s so good to have a space that is a new start.
I’m not moving on, I never will, but I’m moving through and this book will be a part of this process.
This is just a rough outline of what you can expect…and Kristina? Steel yourself, apostrophes and sentence structure are not my forte.
As a teacher librarian and parent, Megan is well aware of the difficulty of matching books to young readers; either through being unable to find ‘that’ book which switches a young non-reader to a reader or keeping up with the voracious appetite of an established reader. What are the best ways to choose reading material for the young people in your life? How do you support your child in their reading journey? How do you give them ‘the edge’ in their literacy journey?
Easy to access, conversational style but with academic research and a firm knowledge base underpinning the information. Short chapters to dip into as needed or as time permits. Break out boxes with teaching tips, quotes from experts and further reading ideas.
Primary school teachers, librarians and teacher librarians and parents of primary-school age children who want to give their children ‘the edge’ in reading, a head start in literacy or who loved books themselves and need to know how to imbue this love in their own children.
It’s going to be a slowly-slowly project, but I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck!
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