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Rebecca Timmis



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Rebecca Timmis is an author-illustrator from the sunny Gold Coast.

Before she started writing magical and adventurous stories, Rebecca wrote code for websites (which is not nearly as exciting). She's had lots of real-life adventures like almost falling off the Great Wall of China, hiding from grizzly bears in Canada and being chased by giant pigs in outback Queensland. When Rebecca isn't writing or drawing, she's working hard to turn her rambunctious three boys into polite members of society or watching superhero movies with her husband.


Being an author-illustrator has been my dream for as long as I can remember. After many rejections from publishers early on in my career, I decided to self-publish my books, but found it near impossible to get my titles into bookstores.


In 2018 I was invited to illustrate a picture book for Ford Street Publishing (Super Nova, written by Krys Saclier). This was followed up by a contract with Larrikin House to illustrate a second picture book (Reggie Red, written by Josie Layton). Both of these projects helped boost my confidence - plus, I really enjoyed learning to draw in a new medium, using a graphics tablet to paint digitally.

In 2019, after having my youngest son, these small successes prompted me to move away from self-publishing and seek out traditional publication as an author-illustrator once again. I had been sitting on an idea for a junior fiction series for some time (over 10 years, in fact!), and decided to just go for it. I worked and re-worked the manuscript of the first book, working with a mentor (the fabulous Aleesah Darlison) and reading any junior fiction title I could get my hands on. At the same time I was awarded an illustration mentorship through the ASA, and worked under Marjorie Crosby-Fairall to help get my artwork up to scratch.


After about 6 months I had a polished manuscript, series proposal and illustration samples all ready to go. I booked two manuscript assessments with CYA, one with a publisher and one with Justine Barker from Mayfair Literary Agency. Justine loved my series proposal and signed me up in July 2020. I pranced up and down the hallway for days!


Over the next month we tweaked the manuscript, then Justine shopped it around to a small number of publishers. Within weeks we had accepted an offer from Albert Street Books, an imprint of Allen and Unwin.


Most of my time in 2021 has been taken up with writing and illustrating all four books of the series. On July 2nd, 2021, MerTales Book 1: The Best Friend Promise was released. It was even featured on the back cover of Total Girl Magazine! It has been so wonderful to have a team of talented people behind me every step of the way, from Justine to the editors, designers, and marketing and publicity team at Allen and Unwin.


CYA has been a part of my creative journey for a long time, and I'm so glad that it was through CYA I connected with Justine and began this new and exciting journey. If it wasn't for Tina and the team, my manuscript would probably still be wading through the slushpile of multiple publishers!


Thank you Tina and all the team at CYA!

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