Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Do Not Forget Australia


      Today, as promised, I welcome Sally Murphy to Spinning Pearls to answer some curious questions about her new picture book.  


1. The title of your new book is “Do Not Forget Australia”. Can you name three things you would never forget about Australia if you had to leave?
   A. Great question. Three things I wouldn’t forget:
       - Our beautiful landscape – hills, forests, plains and, of course, the beaches. Oh, and the smell of the gumtrees.
  - The light. The sun and sky in Australia have a special white brightness that the rest of the world seems to miss out on.
- Our freedom. Oh, Australia has its problems (like every country) but, in the main, Aussies are free to follow their dreams and beliefs. We are so very lucky.

2. How did you come by the idea of connecting the two boys in your story via an adult character?

   A. From very early on I had the idea of two child characters – one in each country - but it took a while to figure out how to connect them in a way which was feasible to the time. I had thought to have them as penpals, but had trouble with making that authentic. Then, as I thought about the fact that there were Australians stationed there in France, I realised it was quite feasible for an Australian child to have a soldier father there.

3. Had you ever worked with Sonia, your illustrator, before? If so, on what projects?

A. No, I hadn’t worked with Sonia before, though I had seen one of her covers and admired it. And when Walker Books sent me samples of her work and asked me if I thought she was a good match for this story I said an emphatic ‘yes’.

4. “Do Not Forget Australia” was several years in the making, so you must have had definite mind’s eye views of the characters. How did Sonia’s interpretation match your mental pictures?
     A. Funnily, I am not really a visual thinker so don’t tend to have very set ideas about how a book should look. The mental images I had were mostly from photos I’d seen whilst researching, and I love the way Sonia has drawn on photo references. Her style is perfect (in my opinion) for the story. I couldn’t have asked for more!

5. Was the story always going to wear this title? How did you arrive at the title?

.        A. Yes, the story had this title right from the beginning. It was the sign bearing the words ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ that inspired me to research and write this story, and I didn’t ever consider any other title. Fortunately, there was never any discussion about changing the title – which is something that does tend to arise with a lot of stories.

Thanks heaps for having me, Sally. It’s great to be out and about talking about the book without even leaving home.

Thank you, Sally! You can follow Sally on her blog tour by visiting the sites below.

Please leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of this beautiful book, donated by Walker Books, the publisher. The prize draw will be made on March 14th.

1st March 2012
Let's Have Words
2nd March 2012
Kids Book Capers
3rd March 2012
Running With Pens
4th march 2012
Read and Write with Dale
5th March 2012
Karen Tyrrell
6th March 2012
Writing for Children
7th March 2012
Spinning Pearls
8th March 2012
12th March 2012
Pass It On
12th March 2012
Kids Book Review
13th March 2012
Under the Apple Tree
14th March 2012
Lorraine Marwood. Words into Writing


Peter Taylor said...

Thank you for your interesting questions and answers, Sally and Sally.
For most stories I've written, I don't have specific pictures in mind for characters, but I do visualise the potential illustrations in media - watercolour, detailed drawing rather than 'cartoon'..., though I'd not be disappointed if a publisher chose another style. The words of the latest one describe normal family life, but the aim is for the illustrator to show the universality of family love by creating surprising characters. I'd be delighted to be surprised - but I do see them as Hell's Angels,or possibly aliens or in a fantasy world. It may never be published and illustrated at all, but secretly, I'm greedy and I'd love to see different interpretations.

Sally_Odgers said...

THAT would be excellent, Peter. Just think of the one text illustrated by six top-flight illustrators without consultation! They could tender for the job in a bidding war of talent and originality.

Just as DWM offers different covers for its magazine, the book could offer different artwork.

Sally Murphy said...

Thanks again for hving me, Sally, and thaks for your coment Peter. I love books where the text and illustrations and surprisingly different, as you've described :) Can't wait for itto be snapped up by a publisher so I can read it.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Sally O and Sally M,
Loved reading this interview. Especially loved the thought provoking questions and informative answers.
I have a real solid understanding of the writing & publishing process for Do Not Forget Australia.
Thank you :)

Kaz Delaney said...

Hi to the 'Sallys'... Hmnm wondering if there is a collectve noun for a group of Sallys: A galley of Sallys? A rally of Sallys?

I rather like 'rally' I think.

Lovely interview and one I enjoyed very much. I LOVE your unique approach Sally O. That first question was fabulous and made me wonder what I'd not want to forget about Australia.

Too many things to answer here - but just a hint?

Family & friends are a given, and I'm with Sally M all the way on the freedom we enjoy here, so I'll just focus on the first sensory things that came to mind.

I'm much more of a coast person than a bush person, so naturally our amazing beaches and coastlines that I feel are unsurpassed anywhere. But that said, I would miss the distinct smell of the Aussie bush.

And, being a NSWelshwoman, and living about 2 hours north of Sydney, I'd miss the sight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House sparkling on the harbour that ALWAYS catches my breath every time we drive into the city. I've experienced that sight hundreds of times yet it never fails to knock me out every time.

Gosh I could go on and that's rather unfair!!

Thank you both for another lovely visit!

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks, Karen and Kaz. I do like to try and find a different approach in questions. Looking forward to the next stop-off.

Sheryl Gwyther said...

What brilliant questions, Sally. I love the sound of this book. Thank you, Sally M and Sally O. x

Sally Murphy said...

A galley of Sally's? I like that. I have thi snot-sosecret fear of being the wrong Sally. Whenever I'm invited for a school visit or speaking engagement I always wonder if they've mistaken me with Sally Odgers, or Sally Morgan or Sally Rippin. So many talented Sallys!

Thanks Karen and Kaz and Sheryl for visiting and commenting.

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks, Sheryl and Sally:-) And Sally, you're a rapidly rising star which, believe me, is GOOD.

As for Sallies, I belong to a club full of Sallies. I think here are 109 of us currently.

Unknown said...

I love the concept of this book! Another building block for Aussie children, to establish their identities as heirs of this bright and blessed land.
Thanks, Sally M! And thanks, Sally O for giving her a voice here.
Judy MacDonnell

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks, Judy:-) How lovely to see you here!

Dale said...

Interesting questions and answer about what you'd miss etc.

Kat Apel said...

I love your first question, Sally. Clever you, making us think a little bit differently. :)

Kat Apel

(I do this, because I know from experience I'll be snapped up by the captcha otherwise!!! I've been gobbled by lots of blogs this tour. :P)

Robert Vescio said...

Hi Sally and Sally,

I really enjoyed the interview. I think picture books are a great way to introduce, challenge and kindle interest in all kinds of subjects like history, emotions and cultures. I’m sure Sally’s book will do just that!

Well done.

Robert Vescio

Sally_Odgers said...

Thanks, Robert! You're right; picture books give yet another gateway to culture, history and other concepts. No wonder they're popular with adults as well as with children.

Anonymous said...

Such a great interview.
I can't wait to get my hand on this book!