Date of Success:
I'm an Australian author of books for children and young adults, represented by Golvan Arts Management.
My debut middle-grade novel - an Australian historical fiction time-slip adventure, set at Mt Buffalo, inspired by and featuring Guide Alice Manfield, will be published in 2023, by Riveted Press!
I have a PhD in Psychology and worked in mental health for many years.
On my blog, I write book reviews and stories about other Australian authors; share some of my own author story and learnings in life; and write about sustainability, wellbeing and nature.
I've had type 1 diabetes since 1979 and live with anxiety and ADHD. I like to include characters in my stories who are neurodivergent and/or who live with physical and mental health conditions, out in the world, having adventures. I'm passionate about inspiring action for our planet and nature features in all of my stories.
WHAT CYA CONFERENCE DID FOR ME
During the first period of Covid-19, being a person with chronic conditions, I was extremely scared and isolated, but the benefit was the way the world opened up. Having begun my foray into children's fiction in 2019, securing an agent in September of that year, I had heard about the CYA conference, but being held in Qld, was unsure I would get there - suddenly it was online and I booked straight away for the 2020 conference! I had no idea what I was in for, not having attended such a large conference virtually, but I was not disappointed - it far exceeded my expectations. There was such a rich tapestry of options and I gobbled up every session, from how-to workshops, to inspiring stories of success and informative sessions about the industry.
As an older person starting a journey to traditional publishing, I was filled with self-doubt and nerves about whether I would ever get there. Each session provided me with another stepping stone towards the confidence and support to hang in and reach my dreams. The organisation of this conference is outstanding and the ability to connect with other attendees through break-out rooms, added a much deeper experience. It really felt like you were there in the room together. I was so impressed that I attended again in 2021 and 2022.
Over the years I have done at least one virtual assessment, which helped my writing overall in many ways. I also attended a bootcamp which was invaluable. For my historical fiction time-slip, I had taken guidance on the development of this manuscript through the sessions of CYA, and I am sure that the conference helped propel me towards crafting a manuscript that is now being realised as a published book in 2023. (Thank you to my agent for doing the pitch to Riveted Press.)
CYA equipped me with confidence, connected me to fellow authors, encouraged me to stick at the pathway to publication, informed me about how to craft a story, how to edit a story and how to prepare it for publication. It made me feel like a valid and important part of the literary community in Australia and I believe attending the 3 years of the CYA has been pivotal in my success.