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
6th March 2012
Writing for Children
7th March 2012
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