More fab photos from Desmond Dog’s Woofy Launch Party on Saturday!

February 12, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Bookazine Princes Building, Bookshop event, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Many thanks to Bookazine Events Organizer Manon for these lovely photos!

Here’s Harry Harrison and me before the launch!

Harry and me!

Here’s our fun book reading with some avid fans!

My gorgeous daughters Bea (left) and Annabel (right) have been holding up the pictures for the last 14 years now! Thanks Bea and Annabel!!

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A busy book-signing!

Harry and the Quiz, me and Harry – and the man himself with his fabulous book covers!

My wacky daughter Annabel continuing her annual ritual of a finger-signing by Harry and me!

Small is Beautiful at BIBS in Beijing!

January 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Posted in Beanstalk International Bilingual School, Beijing Schools, Being an Author, Clever Competitions | Leave a comment
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What a happy day I had at Beanstalk International Bilingual School Shunyi Campus today! Although it was FREEZING outside, the welcome inside was warm and very friendly from everybody, from the gorgeous kids to their lovely parents to the dedicated staff! The Grade 1s met my hungry, lonely dragon in The Tale of Chester Choi; the Grade 2s screamed like spoiled princesses and roared like tigers very convincingly as I read them The Tale of Temujin; the Grade 3s and 4s learned about the world’s most successful pirate Ching Shih and about Hong Kong too when they heard The Tale of Desmond Dog, and the Grade 5s asked some fabulous questions after I told them all about my journey to becoming an author, why I wrote The Chinese Calendar Tales and that very important question – what is my writing process? I was delighted to find out that, like me, they were all firm fans of making story plans before they wrote their first draft of a story! So I’m really looking forward to some great entries from the BIBS Grade 5s in my current Dashing Dog Story Writing Competition (details on the Clever Competition page here).

Warm thanks to wonderful librarian Heather Wright (with me above) who expertly hosted me today, and thank you to the mums and dads and kids who bought over 100 books! I hope to see you all again soon!

3 Fabulous Christmas Fairs in 3 Fun-filled days!

December 14, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Posted in AISHK, Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Christmas Fairs | Leave a comment
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Priscilla Ko and son Ian Chow

Phew! From last Saturday to this Monday, I had a ball meeting my fans and their mums and dads at a trio of fantastic Christmas Fairs! And I  hope they’re having a ball reading their latest Chinese Calendar Tales, Dirty Stories, and my beautiful new Storm Whale!

We were even able to sell my fabulous new book for 2018, The Tale of Desmond Dog!

  • On Saturday, my oldest daughter Bea and my lovely husband Philippe helped me to sell my books at the always-busy Singapore International School fair – we had enormous fun meeting all the SIS parents and kids, and rubbed shoulders with other friendly stall-holders we met there last year! Here I am above with one of my Summer Writing Course 2016 students Ian Chow and his lovely mum Priscilla Ko.
  • On Sunday, I had another busy table at Prestige Fairs at the Conrad Hotel in Admiralty, Hong Kong – I was signing books all day and it was great to meet so many fans from so many different places! My books will now be winging their way to nieces, nephews, godchildren, family friends and even a few grandparents and in-laws in countries right around the world! Huge thanks to my lovely daughter Annabel for all her help!
  • And finally, on Monday evening, I had one last table at the Australian International School Jingle and Mingle Fair where I caught up with fellow AISHK mums and dads while signing my books!

And that’s the end of my Christmas Fairs for 2017!!

Judging at the KidsLitQuiz Hong Kong!

December 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Hong Kong Schools | Leave a comment
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Last Friday, I had the great honour of being one of a panel of four judges at the Kids Lit Quiz Hong Kong competition held at German Swiss International School! It was great to judge alongside my friend and fellow Hong Kong author, Mio Debnam, and to catch up with my old friend GSIS Librarian Jun Niu, who is National Co-ordinator for Hong Kong.

The Kids’ Lit Quiz is an annual literature quiz for students aged 10 – 13 years. Quizzes are held in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. The winning team from each heat competes in a National Final, then the National champions compete in the World Final. The quiz was founded by New Zealand quizmaster Wayne Mills, who reads enough books to write several thousand questions each year! For more information, click here.

On Friday, over 20 teams from Hong Kong schools competed, answering questions from books as diverse as Humpty Dumpty and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith! The winning team was Hong Kong Home School Team 1 (pictured with me above), with Harrow International School Team 1 placing second and Creative Secondary School placing third. The winning team will be representing Hong Kong in the World Finals in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2018! I wish them all the luck in the world!

Many thanks to Anne Simpson for the wonderful photos!

Meeting the wonderful Jung Chang

November 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Posted in Being an Author, children's literacy, Literary Festivals, Room to Read | Leave a comment
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With Jung Chang 7 November 2017

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and other extraordinary books about China, at the luncheon in her honour (and in honour of Erin Ganju of Room To Read) hosted jointly by the Hong Kong Literary Festival and Room to Read at the China Club in Hong Kong. Jung spoke with passion about her experiences as a child growing up in China, then later as a best-selling author in London, and the large crowd was simply mesmerised by her eloquence and dignity. And before Jung’s talk, Erin Ganju spoke of the essential work of Room to Read in developing countries in bringing literacy to literally millions of children, especially girls. Read more about their tireless work here. A big thank you to my friend Jennie Orchard of Room To Read for inviting me!

A fabulous 2 day visit to QSI Zhuhai!

September 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Being an Author, School visits, Zhuhai schools | Leave a comment
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Thank you to the lovely Heather Domenico (above left) for hosting me on Wednesday and Thursday at QSI Zhuhai! It was a very busy time, with story readings from the Chinese Calendar Tales and Dirty Stories for everyone from 2 years old to 13 years old, and writing workshops for everyone from 7 years old to graduation! Plus a talk to the parents and staff about How to Create Writers in the Digital Age – and book-signings in between! Not to mention some great chats with British poet and publisher Neil Stevens, a teacher at the school (above right).  Then a fun evening  with Principal Cliff Geis-Poage and his lovely wife and teacher Becca who treated me to a delicious dinner before I caught the ferry home to Hong Kong! Everyone was so warm and welcoming – the terrific staff, Theresa in administration, not to mention the mums and dads and the gorgeous kids and teens. It was my first visit to Zhuhai in mainland China, and my first visit to QSI – I hope to see you all again soon!

Why I wrote Storm Whale and other questions…

September 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Press interviews | Leave a comment
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Storm Whale cover

Thank you to The Letterpress Project in the UK for publishing two terrific interviews with Jane Tanner and I about our beautiful new book Storm Whale, the UK edition of which was published by Old Barn Books in August! You can read them here and here !

Storm Whale’s Wonderful Melbourne Launch!

June 4, 2017 at 6:05 am | Posted in Being an Author, Book launches, Melbourne events, Storm Whale | Leave a comment
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Our beautiful Storm Whale splashed off to a wonderful start at the launch party at the famous Readings Kids bookshop in Lygon Street in Melbourne on Thursday night 1st June! Here are just some of the photos! Top – an original illustration from the book, by award-winning artist Jane Tanner. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

Readings Kids beautiful store front in Lygon Street.

Before the launch with my dear friend Judy Mackerras who flew in all the way from London via Sydney!

Three very important women – to me, and to Storm Whale! Top left, my wonderful agent and friend Julie Watts, top right, Jane Tanner, the renowned artist who brought Storm Whale to life in her exquisite pictures, and top centre, the lovely Erica Wagner, head of children’s books at Allen & Unwin, our fantastic publisher.

With two dear old friends, Jill (top left) with whom I went to school in Hobart many, many years ago and Stacey who lives in Melbourne; and my new friend Jane Tanner!

With Jane, Julie and my friend Tom Danby of INT Books (left), and the three gorgeous girls who were Jane’s models for the drawings of me and my sisters in the book!

Book signing after the speeches…

The shop window before and after the launch! We sold out completely!!

A big warm thank you to Readings Kids for hosting this wonderful event, and to my friends at Allen & Unwin for putting on such a fabulous party!

My Marvellous Day at MLC, Melbourne!

June 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Posted in Australian schools, Being an Author, children's literacy, Melbourne schools, Story Readings | Leave a comment
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It was wonderful to visit my old friends at Methodist Ladies College Junior School yesterday, and to catch up with my dear friend, librarian Tracey Ricchini (below)! I had SUCH a great day introducing my latest Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, to the girls from Grades 3 to 6 in three wonderful sessions chockful of history and fun, and then meeting up with my very favourite Book Bugs (above) at lunchtime for a lovely long chat about being an author, as well as a sneak preview of Storm Whale. Tracey is one of the most dedicated librarians I know, and we spent every spare moment talking about our most passionate shared interest – children’s literacy. The girls of MLC love their books, and below you can see a photo of Tilda Clohesy, a young author who has written and illustrated her own excellent children’s book! Thanks Tracey for a brilliant day and I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

 

Thanks Fullers for a funny and fabulous event!

May 27, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Being an Author, Books about Chinese Zodiac, Bookshop event, Chinese festivals, Hobart | Leave a comment
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A big thank you to all the friendly efficient staff at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart for hosting a wonderful event this afternoon for me and Rickshaw Rooster! We had a lovely crowd of babies, kids, pre-teens, mums, dads and grandparents, who cockadoodle-dooed beautifully during my story reading, learned lots of Chinese history, and did brilliantly in the post-reading Quiz (for which they won some tasty fortune cookies!) Special thanks to my host for the day, Anne – photographed with me above; to Cat, the fabulous shop manager, and to Peter Igram-Jones who so patiently and efficiently handled all the lovely book sales in the three schools I visited this week (even though we sold out of four of my titles!). I’ll see you again soon!

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