NOTE: I am in Sydney, Australia where it is already April Fool’s Day. However, my blog is set to NYC time cause I was too lazy to change it.
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April Fool’s is the day I began my career as a full-time freelance writer. Back in 2003, having sold only one short story, I took the completely insane plunge. The first year did not go well, but since then it’s mostly worked out great. I’ve been very lucky indeed.
For my own benefit some stats:
- Books sold: 81
Books published: 72
Countries books have been sold in: 153
Countries said books have been written in: 64
Published words: 400,000 (Guestimate.)
Books written but not sold: 25
Books started but not finished: 32 (Guestimate.)
Ideas collected: 2,372,456 (Precise measurement. I have an ideaometer.)
This week, as if in celebration of my seven years of freelancery, I discovered that Liar has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2010 Book of the Year. I fell over I was so shocked.
Let me explain: For those of you who did not grow up in Australia, the CBCA awards are the most prestigious and longest established awards for young readers in Australia. USians: think Newbery. As a kid I would read the award winners and most of the shortlisted books every year. When I was nine I wrote a letter to the editor I was so indignant that the latest Patricia Wrightson6 book had not been considered for a CBCA because the judges decided that it was too old.7 Nine year old me’s head would have exploded to learn that one day something I wrote was going to be shortlisted for a CBCA. Frankly, the me of 2010’s head is not exactly in one piece having learned the news.
Today is also the day Karen Healey‘s first novel, Guardian of the Dead is published in Australia, New Zealand and the US of A. Set in New Zealand, NOT AUSTRALIA AS SO MANY MISGUIDED USIAN REVIEWERS SEEM TO THINK,9 Guardian is one of the most original and unputdownable novel debuts I’ve read in ages. In fact, I was just discussing how cool it is with Melina Marchetta. How could you not buy a book that Melina Marchetta is recommending? I’m not going to tell you anything more about the book except that you should all run out and grab a copy. RIGHT NOW. OR I’LL JUST KEEP SHOUTING AT YOU. AND NO ONE WANTS TO BE SHOUTED AT.
That’s all. Happy April Fool’s day! Don’t believe a word anyone tells you today.
- One non-fiction tome, two anthologies, five young adult novels. [↩]
- 8 in September [↩]
- Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and USA. [↩]
- Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand and USA. [↩]
- One I hope will be some day. The other NEVER. [↩]
- Who was my favourite writer in the entire world and died recently. A sad day for Australian letters. [↩]
- This was before an older reader’s award was created. [↩]
- For those wondering how Scott is eligible he is an Australian resident. Most Australian literary awards are open to residents as well as citizens. [↩]
- Newsflash: they are not the same place and have very different histories. [↩]