Congratulations to debut author, Erin Le Clerc, on the launch of her book, I'VE GOT A COW CALLED MAUREEN, on March 5, 2019!
Maureen believes she’s inadequate. She thinks the only remarkable thing about her is her name: every farmer in town has a cow called Maureen! But one day, she hears a famous yodeller on the radio and her life changes. She escapes into the bush, and atop the tallest tree, teaches herself Swiss yodelling. Little does she know, folks in town hear her, and enter her into a radio talent contest…
Based on the true story of how my Nana, Maureen Naylor, became Australia’s Champion Swiss Yodeller in the 1940s!
How does Erin plan to celebrate?
According to Erin . . . "I’m having a family and friends book launch, which is being hosted by the most fabulous school library I have ever seen! It has cosy couches, cushions, and books EVERYWHERE. We’ll get to hear a recording of Maureen yodelling, talk about the inspiration for the book, do a book signing, and have a lovely morning tea together.
The best part is that my Nana Maureen, the star of my picture book, will be our special guest of honour!!!
I can’t wait to celebrate not only the launch of my book, but my beautiful Nana, an unsung (until now!) Australian treasure."
Want to know more about Erin and how to order I'VE GOT A COW CALLED MAUREEN? Read on!
Erin Le Clerc is as fit as a flea, mad as a cut snake, and probably a sandwich short of a picnic. She grew up with seven siblings, three ghosts, two eccentric parents, and a multitude of farm animals in a crumbling abandoned hospital in the suburbs. This vastly informed her imagination!
Erin is tremendously proud of her Australian “bush heritage,” which she inherited from her Nana Maureen – Australia’s Champion Yodeller in the 1940s.
Erin is an SCBWI Member, Queensland Writer’s Centre Member, a multi-course Children’s Book Academy graduate, StoryStormer, Storyteller Academy Maker, and all-round nice gal.
She spends her “9 to 5” working as a psychologist, and her “5 to 9” writing stories filled with adventure and fun!
Purchase links available at: https://erinleclerc.wordpress.com/books-2/
As an added bonus, here are 5 interesting facts Erin has shared with us!
"I love to travel, and in 2017, I flew to my dream location of Egypt, and got to explore Pyramids, tombs, and temples! I also sailed the Nile in a beautiful dahabiya boat, and I am longing to go back!
I am the eldest of eight children, and the whole family - mum and dad included - are singers, just like Maureen! We LOVE singing together, and it’s quite a spectacle when it’s time to sing Happy Birthday in a restaurant! My family is full of musicians, performers, artists, and writers!
One of my favourite things to do is play board games with my friends. I’m generally a very nice person, but I’m quite competitive when it comes to gaming! :)
My favourite book of all time is The Secret Garden. I love the lyrical, beautiful, mystical way that Frances Hodgson Burnett writes, and I have many different copies of the book on my shelves!
I secretly collect Care Bear collectables! I’m a child of the 1980s, and I adore their colourful, whimsical, caring ways, and they’ve been my favourite fictional creatures since I was very small!!
Please leave a comment for Erin below - she would love to hear from you!
Written by Melissa Stoller
I often hear the question: “Why do you write for children?” Friends and family are inquisitive. Strangers are intrigued. And children themselves are genuinely curious. In moments of self-reflection, I have asked myself this question as well.
There are many reasons why I write for children. Here are three:
1) I write to offer nuggets of inspiration. When writing, I focus on how children will see pieces of themselves and others in my stories, and how that might provide nuggets of inspiration in their lives. I hope that when children read SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, they realize they don’t need to strive for perfection, but instead can rely on their own type of magical creativity. Similarly, I hope that after reading READY, SET, GORILLA!, children might consider how they can play fair. And when RETURN OF THE MAGIC PAINTBRUSH releases in 2019, I hope children will reflect on being a kind and generous friend. When children tell me that my words have helped them solve a problem, conquer a fear, or understand the world a bit better, I feel like my mission has been accomplished.
2) I write to spark imagination. During school visits or other book events, I enjoy listening to insightful comments and questions that let me know what children are dreaming about, what they’re worried about, and what they’re hoping for. When I’m reading my books, I watch the kids’ reactions – I love to hear big belly laughs at funny parts, surprise “oohs” at twist endings, and “ahhhs” at sweet sections. As an author, I believe I have a responsibility to give something special to my young readers. I hope I can spark a reaction that stirs the imagination. That’s what books did for me when I was a child, and I hope that I can continue this legacy with my own writing.
3) I write to encourage connection. When I read aloud my chapter book, THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, I always field questions about how I researched this time-travel chapter book. I talk about how I was inspired to write the story based on my own family history, and I discuss my grandparents’ adventures in Coney Island during the 1920s. I relish hearing comments about stories children would write surrounding their grandparents or other relatives. Then I know that I have encouraged connection. To further this connection, I hope that families might organize parent-child book clubs, using my stories or other books as springboards for discussion and theme-related activities including projects and field trips. The connections families can make through bonding about books will last a lifetime.
* * *
It’s truly an honor to be part of the lives of children through the books they read. I love telling stories and it’s a privilege to share my stories with children and their families. Ultimately, that’s why I write.
Written by Melissa Stoller
RETURN OF THE MAGIC PAINTBRUSH
Illustrated by Sandie Sonke
Releasing October 2019
Melissa is the author of SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH; READY, SET, GORILLA!, and THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND.
Hello fabulous readers! Welcome to the inaugural post from the Book Stars of #BookBlastoff. We’re a team of authors and illustrators who are passionate about, and committed to, writing and sharing children’s literature.
Some of us are debut authors and illustrators, publishing our books for the very first time. Other members are already established authors and illustrators, launching their second, third and sometimes fourth book into the stratosphere! No matter how we're on our individual paths to publication, we’re all super-excited to be having “book babies” this year!
How did we meet? Well, just like many couples meet via internet dating sites, we all made an internet connection of our own. Call it karma, say it's fate, point to perfect timing, we made similar decisions to improve our skills as writers and artists and joined the Children’s Book Academy.
The Children’s Book Academy (CBA) is all about the craft, business and magic of creating children’s books. And at some turn in the road, after much hard work and perseverance, we each became a member of the Spork family, having our work published by Clear Fork Publishing.
Over the next few months, you’ll get a chance to meet our 2019 kidlit crew as well as gain insightful information about creating children’s tales. We’ll be chatting about perfecting the pitch, how to track down inspiration, and how to care for your inner creative. We’ll also be discussing the highs and lows of entering contests, the importance of professional organizations and critique groups, and so much more! Plus, we’ll be having our own contests and giveaways through the course of the year. You won’t want to miss out!
Now it’s your turn—comment below if you’d like to tell us more about yourself. It’s been lovely meeting you! We’ll be back with our book baby announcements and an insider’s look into why writers write and why artists create.