It’s just a touch exciting, but this morning I learnt that “Grandad & The Baby Dolphin” has won a bronze medal at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in the USA. Category – “Best First Book – Picture Book“.
It’s quite a big deal for our little story.
Click here to learn more about the awards, the other categories and 2016 winners…
Now where’s the Champagne!!!
Love to colour in? Below is a free download for you to print at home. What colours will you choose?
Take your picture to your Mum, Dad or Guardian and ask them to send me a message. I’ll make sure we can share your beautiful picture – right here – on my site. Let’s make it happen!
I kept getting asked, “Wendy, when can I buy a copy?”
It’s been such a huge week for this little story. So huge in fact that I’m now excitedly holding the very first printed copy in my hands.
This means, we can finally offer a pre-order copy if you want one. Simply click here to pre-purchase. I will also be at the Indian Ocean Festival in Jurien on 12th November 2016 if you’re happy to wait until then.
Shadowline-studio have done a fabulous job at the typesetting and book design. Here is a super-quick video of how we took the original paintings and transformed them into print ready digital images.
Playing with the original paintings and slowly transferring them into a printed book was both super exciting and somewhat stressful. They were big files and beautiful images – we didn’t want to get it wrong. Maintaining the integrity of Naomi’s original paintings and her intentions for them was always front of mind. On a side note though – Naomi was initially a little embarrassed when we decided to use her “doodles” in the book design. She’s come around though – doodles they may be – but they work brilliantly don’t you think?
Speaking of Naomi. She wrote a beautiful post on the self doubt she experienced while painting for our book. As a fellow creative – I also understand that self-doubt as I felt it too. However, as I staggered out of bed this morning to find my 6 year old reading “Grandad and the Baby Dolphin” to her doll – I knew I too had to put self doubt aside and embrace my journey as an Author.
All that’s left now is to wait for the Catalogue Information Data (CiP) issued by the National Library of Australia. This is boring but important, as the CiP information helps bookstores, libraries and other stockists to find our little book and then easily upload it into their management systems. I’m expecting this to come through early next week.
From then on – it’s time to hit the print button & begin marketing…
Wish me luck!
I wish I could draw like Naomi Bulger.
Over the weekend I watched Naomi’s beautiful paintings come to life as we began putting the final touches to our story-board. If you’re not sure what a story-board is, it is the process of placing images against text in a sequential order. The story-board is not meant to look pretty – it doesn’t have all the design elements of the finished book; instead there are boxes, pen scratches and 22 stunningly, beautiful paintings to play with.
Story-boarding allows Naomi and I to see how the story and images are working together. I’m making sure the rhythm or cadence of my story makes sense to a young reader, plus we can get a sense of any language or imagery that might need more work.
I’m so excited to share that the story-board is finished and we’re another step closer to publication on 12th November 2016.
Our next step is to find a graphic designer and begin making our book ‘print ready’. That’s when the fun really begins.
It is 33 degrees. My window is down, my hair is loose, my elbow rests an inch outside the window. Billy Joel is on AM Radio and the roadsign tells me that I’m 98 kilometers away from the next available services. To the tourist – it’s easy to see snow-capped mountains drawing ever closer. BUT, they’re not mountains and its not snow. It’s sand! Bright white and constantly shifting inland, the sand dunes of Cervantes are signalling home.
I’m in the wheat-belt region of Western Australia. Known today as the turquoise coast, this remote part of the world is Dirt Music Country, land of the Pinnacles and home to my childhood. I’m struck by how different my memory has painted it. For a start, this land is BIG for a LITTLE town. It has an endless horizon of native grasstrees that slowly blur into one homogeneous mass of green, gold and blue. There’s an ambitious forest of man-made windmills, absorbing energy from the windswept farmland and idealistically capable of feeding a city 100 times the size of its closest neighbour. And yet it is empty country – raw, wild and beautiful.
I didn’t always love this place. My history in dirt music was one built on locker room gossip and the ambitious imaginings of teenage boys. It’s taken 28 years to forgive that history and walk these streets with affection. The amazing thing is, once I decided to forgive, forgiveness was easy.
The house that I grew up in & the jetty I jumped off are there no more. Time has taken those relics of history from me. However, it is surprisingly easy to find others. A rusty tractor – a timber swing – a pile of fishing rope tossed carelessly amongst disregarded craypots. I flick through ancient photos and am reawakened to the carelessless of childhood. Bare feet, foam surfboards, giant sharks and green utes that made perfect chariots. At last I can smell the salt in my blood – embrace the wind as it caresses my hair. This is not nostalgia. It is a deep sense of belonging reawakening within me.
As I reunite with my history and my history reunites with me, I find something I once lost; a sense of pride and belonging to the relics of time that define who we are and what we become. I’m understand now that it’s our history which drives us forward and leads us home – wherever that home may be.