Yes, that's right. Tania and I are packing our bags and heading on tour. And not just any old tour, a 'Camp Max Book Launch Tour'!
What's a Book Launch Tour, you ask?
Well, it's a series of book launch events, structured as author visits suitable for schools or children's clubs, to help celebrate and introduce children to a new book. AND the fees for this type of visit are discounted.
For a Camp Max Book Launch Tour, readers get a chance to hear the inside story behind the writing of this particular adventure, explore the themes of generosity and friendship the novel celebrates and ask heaps of questions. There's also 'hot-off-the-press' opportunities to buy Camp Max and get it personally signed as it is being launched!
The official Camp Max publication day is 15th March, and Camp Max Book Launch Visits will be available for Term 1 and 2 only.
Get in touch if you'd like to book your school or group in to participate. Spaces on the tour are limited, but I'd hate anyone to miss out!
My time since returning from holidays has been fairly frantic. Getting the kids back to school, figuring out extra-curricular routines, taking the big girl driving etc. And there's been a lot of writing work occuring behind the scenes too, as my publisher has been finalising the details for Camp Max!
Camp Max is a brand new, stand alone Tania Abbey story. And doesn't the cover look fantastic?
The illustrator for this book is Leigh Hedstrom. She's an Australian illustrator whose work I've admired for a while now. She's illustrated some great books, including 'When I see Grandma' and 'Marty's nut free party', as well as Deborah Kelly's Ruby Wishfingers series. I was thrilled to hear she'd be illustrating one of my books too!
The count down for Camp Max's release is well and truly underway now. Only a month to go. For more information pop over to my Children's Fiction page or visit the publisher's website (where you can pre-order).
I'll post details of the official launch as soon as I can.
Looking forward to sharing this story with a new group of Tania Abbey fans!
Over the last school holidays my family embarked on an epic holiday! The five of us traveled back to Nepal for the first time in eleven years. This meant it was the first time for our youngest and a wonderful opportunity to share that part of our lives with him.
Returning to Nepal was extremely special. I suppose part of me never really believed we'd be back and so to meet with our friends again, eat in their homes and share a laugh once more was priceless.
There was also a beautiful symmetry in our visit as one of my publishers sent me the edited manuscript for my novel, Out of the Cages (to be released in July under my other author name, Penny Jaye) to work on while we were there. This was the novel I had originally drafted during our final months in Nepal in 2006. It was a reminder to me that God's timing is perfect, even when I don't understand it.
I was also blessed with the opportunity to do two author visits while we were in Pokhara. One at the study centre my two big kids had attended when they were first starting school, and the other at a local home-school group. It was beautiful to be able to share my stories with kids in a different context and to watch them interact with my characters and books.
And of course we also did some lovely touristy things too, like spotting rhinos in Chitwan National Park and watching the sun rise and set (and the full moon rise too) over the glorious Himalayas!
It's been rather exciting at my desk lately.
For those of you who are subscribed to my newsletter, you'll know what I'm talking about. At the end of last year I received two contracts for new books with children's books publisher, Wombat Books. These included the long awaited fourth installment in the Tania Abbey series (if you haven't yet met Tania now's a good time to do so) and a brand new picture book.
Since then I've also received another contract, but this time for a novel for older readers. A novel set in India about two young girls trafficked into slavery. This book has been accepted by the YA/adult imprint of Wombat Books', Rhiza Press, and is scheduled for release mid next year.
The really exciting thing about two of these projects is that they're written for a wider audience than the Christian book market that I've been writing for so far. The picture book and the novel for older readers will be sold into the general market. They'll find their way into public libraries, local schools and general bookshops. So, although they're still obviously mine, they're different and their readers will be different too.
Because of this, I've decided to give these new books, and others that will come after them, another author name. One that can still reflect who I am, but allows new readers, parents and schools the option to pick and choose which books of mine they'd like to interact with.
That new name is Penny Jaye. I'll be officially launching the new name and website soon in preparation for the new books, and I'll will predominantly share about them from that platform. So, if you're as excited as me for these new books, please do keep an eye out for the new name as it pops up in social media and so forth. But don't worry - I'll make sure you don't miss anything! www.pennyjaye.com/
And I'll keep writing as Penny Reeve too.
These are my daughter's shoes.
The shoes she wore last Thursday
when she graduated from high school.
Among the stilettos and fancy dress
she happily trod with rose gold Converse.
And I proudly followed along.
Because these shoes were telling a story
about who my grown up girl
has turned out to be.
How she chooses to shine
apart from the rest
quietly, confidently, being herself.
It takes courage and a sense of humour
to walk like this amid a crowd.
But it can be done,
with elegance and grace.
That's what I learned last Thursday
from my daughter's shoes.
In high school I used to call them 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. These days I probably call them journal entries, or blog posts. Whatever the name, here's some of what I get when the penny drops, or doesn't, and I sit down to write...