with multi-published author, Sally Murphy
Sally Murphy is a talented and prolific Australian writer.
When she visited my Book Chook blog, I asked about her new book, The Big Blowie, her Aussie Reviews site, and what she does to promote her own books.
Sally, you have a wonderful site
called Aussie Reviews. Please tell us about the site - how it started, and what we can find there when we visit.
Aussiereviews is a labour of love,
and reviews all genres of books, but focuses on children’s books because they are my main love.
I started the site as part of the
Webseed network and when Webseed closed down I bought the domain name and kept it going. At the time there were few websites
which reviewed Australian books (this was long before blogs became popular). I thought maybe I could help Australian authors
and publishers, as well as the reading public.
When you visit Aussiereviews I’m
hoping you’ll find helpful reviews of wonderful Australian books. That’s what I aim to provide.
You're a writer as well as a book
reviewer. Your latest book to be published is The Big Blowie. What on earth impelled you to write a book about a blowfly?
I wrote The Big Blowie on spec, to
submit to Aussie Schoolbooks for their Aussie Aussie series. I must have been successful in following the guidelines and tailoring
my story to their requirements, because they published the book.
Because the publishers were looking for uniquely
Australian stories, I decided to use Aussie icons including the Outback, blowflies and ‘Big Things’. They were
also keen on stories which explored important issues, so I used the backdrop of a drought, as drought is a huge problem in
Australia. With these things in mind, I crafted a story
which I hope is both entertaining and a little informative.
So, to answer the question, the reason
I wrote a story about a blowfly is that I couldn’t think of anything more likely to be found in the outback in the middle
of a drought. I wanted something really Aussie and there it was, buzzing around me!
You've been on a blog tour to promote
The Big Blowie. What else are you doing to spread the word about your book?
This was my first ever blog tour (though
I’ve had one off visits to other blogs, and I’ve also hosted a couple of tours before). I’m really excited
about blog tours as a way to spread the word about books, and they're also lots of fun. Answering all the questions was a
great writing exercise. I would recommend it as a promotional idea for anyone with a published book.
I try to take whatever opportunity
is available to promote The Big Blowie, and my other books. I have the cover image in my email signature line, with a purchase
link. I write articles for other websites and newsletters about all aspects of writing, and include information about the
book in the bio. I write about The Big Blowie on my blog.
Away from the net, I promote my books
and reading and writing generally when I do school visits.
I read in your bio where you narrowly
escaped being blown up by a bomb! Has that or any other real life experience made it into one of your 27 books?
That particular story hasn’t
made it into any stories yet but may well do so one day. I am certainly influenced by experiences from my life when I write,
but rather than writing about events that have happened, it is more that I draw on my emotions and reactions to experiences.
For example, if I’m writing about someone dying, I will remember what it was like for me when people close to me died.
I did this for my forthcoming book, Pearl Verses the World, where I cried buckets of tears as I wrote it.
On a lighter note, I recently travelled across
Australia with my husband and five of our six kids, living
in the confines of a small caravan for five weeks. Not only did we see lots of wonderful sights, but we had a gazillion life
experiences which I am sure will make it into my yet to be written stories, I do think, though, that I’ll avoid telling
the kids of Australia about the giant huntsman spider which found its way into my underpants in a public toilet. That might
be a mental image they don’t need! Oops – I think I might have just told your readers, though.
Muselings readers are a tough
bunch - they need to be! Thanks for letting us in on your secrets, Sally.
Thanks so much for having me. I’ve
had a ball!
The Big Blowie can be purchased at the publisher's site. If you'd like to find out more about Sally, visit her site, her blog, or check out her Aussie Reviews site.
Have you been to these
Delacorte Books for Young Readers announces its
Eighteenth Annual Delacorte Yearling Contest for a First Middle Grade Novel. First
prize is a book contract with a $7500 advance against royalties, plus a $1500 cash award. U.S. and Canadian authors who have
not previously published a novel for middle-grade readers may enter their manuscript of between 96 and 160 typewritten pages.
Manuscripts must be postmarked after April 1 but no later than June 30. All the details are available at
Promote your Book
official. Blazing Trailers is now open for submissions. If you have a book trailer, it's free to post. Instead of inviting
readers to view your trailer on a dead end url at a video sharing site, send them to Blazing Trailers. Each video is accompanied
by an excerpt, review, blurb, author info and BUY LINKS! Blazing Trailers authors are also invited to share their news, contests,
reviews, etc on the home page.
submit a trailer visit http://www.blazingtrailers.com/submit.php. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim is a friend of mine, but I think what she's doing with this site is a terrific and generous opportunity for writers.
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Muse Marquee Blog
Book Chook blog
reviews, tips for parents and more from an Australian writer who's passionate about children's literature and literacy.
next time, write on!