I have an advance copy of in ecstasy and like all proud parents I think it is the most beautiful book in the world! That’s not to say I love it more than Destroying Avalon– just differently!! It has turned out really well- and the cover (thanks Tracey) is receiving lots of compliments. Like I say ‘I always judge a book by its cover!! It’s reminiscent of The Collector (an old favourite), smacks of Silence of the Lambs and has been compared to A Cage of Butterflies and Papillion– all great comparisons to my mind.
Review copies have been sent out and the feedback has, so far, been encouraging. Which is very reassuring when facing ‘second book syndrome’!!! April is the launch date- and there are plenty of things happening around that time!
I have been invited back to the All Saints’ Literature Festival in Bullcreek WA, where I will discuss Destroying Avalon and in ecstasy, and writing for young adults, yada yada yada…. Those dates are 2nd April- 4th April 2008. I’ve also been invited to be part of a panel on the evening of the 3rd April, organised by the ETA and Kris Williams (co-ordinator of the All Saints Festival) to discuss writing for the classroom and the influences of school etc… its a PD with teachers as the target audience (more on that when details come to hand).
My publisher (with Penguin Books) is hoping to put together an east coast tour, (Melbourne and Sydney) to coincide with the release of in ecstasy– but more about that when details are confirmed!
The MS Readathon is booked in for the 1st May- I’ve agreed to read a passage from my books to a school (not sure which one yet) as part of its launch.
And later in May there is the Rosalie Writer’s Festival- I’ve agreed to attend a parent workship to discuss both Destroying Avalon and in ecstasty.
This is only the beginning- let’s get the party started!
For those of you interested in teaching Destroying Avalon and have not found anything useful in my teaching package I’d like to direct you to Penguin’s Puffin Website:
Click on Teachers- then go to Teachers’ Notes
Then go to Units for the Secondary Classroom, pull down the menu and click on Destroying Avalon.
That’s the link (kinda long and scary looking isn’t it!!) But what you will end up with is a different angle for teaching Destroying Avalon. This focuses more on the text as a tool for combating bullying than as a ‘literary analysis’ of text- so I guess it depends on your aim.
But there you go two to choose from!
Teaching packages galore!
What could be better????
On my website there has always been teaching notes for Destroying Avalon. These were devised when Destroying Avalon was selected by Australian Standing Order, as a book to be sent to public libraries.Today, after mucking around for hours with the upload button I’ve managed to put an entire teaching guide on this blog. It contains some of the original information but I think it has a lot more content. Especially teacher reference notes and activities presented as student briefs.
You’ll find it under Teaching Notes and Guides on the home page. Click on through to the guide. It’s yours to download and reproduce!
As an English teacher I know how much effort you have to put into devising a new package for a new novel. I hope this takes the pain out of it! Any comments or suggestions welcome!
Yep, it’s not far away! We kick off this Wednesday 21st March at All Saints’ College for three fun filled days of author talks and book signing. Truthfully, like any other engagement I’ve been a part of, I don’t really know what to expect! I’m trying to organise how these “Meet the Author” sessions will go. But if you could see inside my head (quell horreur!!) you would see the disorganised chaos!!
I’m in the process of negotiating an inter-state trip to Melbourne mid-year to discuss Destroying Avalon and cyber bullying. Watch this space for further details!
And just for the record, I love teacher librarians! With the recent furore over Destroying Avalon– its language and sexual connotations- the teacher librarians of WA have proven how open and accepting they are! So to all of you who defend Destroying Avalon and believe it has a position on the shelf of your library I thank you.
Thank you all!
I’ve checked the final text of Destroying Avalon. The notorious ‘f-word’ appears 5 times.
Do you get that? In a novel of 56 393 words, 5 of them are that bad word! Reason enough to ban it? I guess so, for some schools that’s obviously five times too many. I get it. But what about what those other 56 388 words are doing? What about the impact those words deliver?
The messages in Destroying Avalon (I think- and so does my editor and publisher- and my Mum) are important. It’s about cyber bullying- something so terrible and soul destroying we need to deal with it. It’s a book for kids who are alone, who feel they can’t take it anymore, who need to reach out. And maybe Destroying Avalon will encourage them to take that first step.
It’s a book for kids who maybe engaging in that behaviour without realising the ramifications of their actions. Maybe reading Destroying Avalon will remind them of the fundamental human kindness they so eaily shed when they hide behind the anonymity of the web.
It’s for parents who are giving their kids 15 inch LCD monitors, high speed broadband access and a passoport into the cyber world- without knowing where their kids are actually going.
It’s a book that is meant to send a timely reminder to us all. We live in a fantastic, technologically advanced world that provides us so much more than ever before. But let’s not blind ourselves to the dark side because it’s an inconvenient truth (thanks Al Gore!)
So it’s official Destroying Avalon has the f-word (in the most crucial pages of the novel) appearing five times. Do you think that should be reason enough to ban it???
Today a friend forwarded me some of the discussion librarians are having about Destroying Avalon and its WAYRBA nomination. Well, pardon me if lil ole Avalon aint caused a bit of a ruckus!! Apparently it has been withdrawn from the shelves at a Catholic SHS for its language and ‘sexual connotation’. I didn’t think there was any sexual connotation! But there you go- there were issues with sexuality- but that wouldn’t cause a book to be banned. Would it?
In this discussion a librarian (who I think must have heard me speak at something lately) defended the 11 appearances of the notorious ‘F-word’, I think there were only 7 (but I’ll check that and report back) and also made mention of how I’d reduced it from 144! So there- tis true! I was a very foul- mouthed author before the good people at FACP made me moderate my language!! But let’s discuss language and censorship at another time!!!
Thankfully it’s being embraced by the masses (pardon the pun) with that lovely old “it’s the best book I’ve ever read” being bandied around! I love it, I do!! So thank you kind readers and defenders of Avalon! If we could look past some naughty four letter words to the great messages beneath!!!