Interview with Libby Gleeson, author of our new Second Look title

Libby GleesonIt’s the official release week for the new edition, in our Second Look imprint,  of multi-award winning author Libby Gleeson’s wonderful first novel, Eleanor Elizabeth!

To celebrate, we spoke to the author about the novel and what’s it like seeing it back in print. (Interview cross-posted from the Second Look website)

First of all, Libby, congratulations on the release of the new edition of Eleanor Elizabeth in Second Look! We are so thrilled to be bringing this wonderful novel back to a new generation of readers. In your new introduction to the book, you wrote about how the book came about. How does it feel like, revisiting your first novel?
It’s a strange experience. I feel so proud to see it back in print. It was my first attempt at writing a novel, I didn’t know if it would ever be published and so revisiting it brings back all the pleasures of creating it while at the same time fearing it would never see the light of day.
One of the striking things about this novel is the sense the reader gets of the natural environment, which has a real role to play in the story. How did you build up that vivid background?
I wrote the book while I was living in Europe so I was missing my homeland at the same time as wanting to place my characters there. I spent a lot of time focusing on my own memories of landscape and the difference between where the story starts and where the family moves and lives. The new environment helps shape the main character. It’s almost a character in the story.
Elizabeth’s diary is almost like a kind of time-travel device, plunging Eleanor back into the past. How did you recreate Elizabeth’s world? Eleanor Elizabeth final cover
I knew enough about rural life in the late nineteenth century – that’s the story of my mother’s family.  I had to spend time looking at the kind of language Elizabeth would use. Diaries were a great help – especially Ethel Turner’s, despite it being about twenty years later.
You have gone on to become one of Australia’s most acclaimed and popular authors. What role do you think Eleanor, Elizabeth played in that?
The success of Eleanor, Elizabeth gave me confidence to keep going. I had written it while I was a member of a writing group in London and that group was very demanding in terms of finding the right image and language and sentiment. It encouraged experimentation. I still have that in my head as I write. I think I have also been lucky.
 The Second Look edition of Eleanor Elizabeth is available in all good bookshops.  ISBN: 9780994234070, RRp $18.99.

Cover reveal for our fabulous Christmas title!

A Toy Christmas Cover Final-jpegWe’re delighted to reveal the gorgeous cover for our Christmas title, A Toy Christmas, which will be released on November 10. That beautiful cover illustration is by Fiona McDonald, design by Beattie Alvarez and David Allan.

Compiled and edited by award-winning author Sophie Masson, this fabulous anthology of new, original seasonal tales, written by some of Australia’s most talented authors, both established and emerging, features the special magic of toys at Christmas. Illustrated in full colour, this is the perfect book to snuggle up with in the festive season—and well beyond!

With an introduction by Sophie Masson.

Featuring:

Natalie Jane Prior—Meredith Costain—Michael Grey—Fiona McDonald—Juliet Marillier–Anna Bell–Ian Irvine—Kathy Creamer—George Ivanoff—Goldie Alexander—David Allan—Rebecca Fung—Beattie Alvarez.

Have a look here at what Natalie Jane Prior, has said on her blog about the experience of writing The Dolls’ Nativity, her story for the anthology.

Book details:

ISBN 9780994234063

RRP: $24.99

Format: Large Paperback

Page extent: 96 pages, illustrated in full colour

 

Excellent review for Brothers in Magpies Magazine

Those fabulous reviews just keep on coming for John Heffernan and Kate Durack’s gorgeous Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia! The latest is in the new issue(July) of the prestigious children’s literature magazine, Magpies. The review is not available online, but here is a short extract:

Two Tales of Brothers is told with lively, colourful language, and illustrated by Kate Durack in rich, vibrant colours. The beautifully-designed book will appeal to children from mid-primary school to upper secondary.

 

Yet another great review for Two Tales of Brothers!

John Heffernan and Kate Durack’s gorgeous Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia just keeps collecting those great reviews! The latest is from ReadPlus blog.

Here’s a short extract:

These two stories tell of rivalry and bitterness, of forgiveness and love, of bravery and allegiance. The second story tells of Gilgamesh and Enkidu going out of the city to destroy a huge monster. This marvellous story full of blood and gore will appeal to primary people.
The illustrations are bright and vivacious, reflecting the images found in the temples and carvings left in the Middle East by civilisations of long ago.

You can read the whole thing here.

Interview in Books +Publishing

One of our directors, Sophie Masson was recently interviewed for the ‘Small Publisher Spotlight’ feature in Books+Publishing. Here’s a short extract:

What makes your small press unique?

All our imprints focus on very particular areas—we decided early on we did not want to do a general list, as we felt that otherwise our tiny press might get lost in the great ocean of children’s publishing. Because we’ve done that, we’ve been able to market our books in specific ways and give each imprint a flavour all of its own, which makes it easier to brand our books in the trade and to schools and libraries.

You can read the whole thing here.

Another good review for Brothers!

And Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia just keeps collecting those great reviews!

Here’s a short extract from the latest, on The Great Raven blog:

Here is yet another beautiful picture story book from the wonderful Christmas Press. Christmas Press is a fine example of Australian small press publishing, springing up to fill a niche that the large publishing houses have left open. It only does a few books a year, but all of them are carefully and exquisitely produced, retelling folk and fairytales from various countries. 

You can read the full review here.