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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

THIS MONTH'S GIVEAWAYS are The Singing Silence by Annie Hamilton, Karaoke Kate by Dale Harcombe and Chirpy's New Home by Rochelle Manners. To be in the draw or have a chance to be interviewed, post a comment and click FOLLOW.

The winners of our current giveaways are Lynnette from NSW, James from QLD, Narelle from ACT, Mary from TASSY, Jeannie CA, Laura from QLD and Janet from QLD. There are still books to give away.

As the CHILDRENS BOOK COUNCIL conference is next week, I thought it appropriate to interview a veteran of the children’s book trade: DALE HARCOMBE. I remember reading Dale’s books to my eldest when she was young.

You can find Dale at

If you'll be at the conference and would like to be interviewed, email us through this site. ( ) from June 18th to June 19th.

Here is Dale...

What are you passionate about?

Lots of things. Here are a few. Sharing faith, being married and sharing what I have learned over many years of marriage with others through my marriage and blogs at www., writing fiction and poetry for children and adults, books and reading, singing and music, and following the Sydney Swans AFL team.

What do you find is your biggest struggle as an author and how do you overcome it?

Knowing what ideas to concentrate on and what to let go. Finding time for all the things I want to do. Pray about it and try and prioritize. That still doesn’t mean I always get it right though.

Do you have any tips for new writers?

Read as much as possible especially of the type of genre you want to write. Make contact with other writers through online groups or face to face at writing groups and festivals. Study publishers’ lists and see what they are publishing and try and target what you write to the appropriate publisher. Of course, even that doesn’t always guarantee publication. Don’t give up despite rejections but keep writing, revising and submitting.

Are there any programs or events you would recommend to budding authors?

Workshops at local writing centres like the NSW Writers Centre cans be helpful as can SCBWI conferences and CBCA conferences to get a picture of what is already in the market place, meet other writers and sometimes connect with editors or agents.

What would you say is the most important message to help a new writer gain publication?

Write lots, read lots, revise lots, check publisher websites and guidelines and then submit.

What are the themes you explore in your books?

Choice and how one person's choice often affects more than them but affects others in a family is a big theme in much of my work, as is how people deal with discouragement and the difficulties that life hands them. From Chasing after the Wind, my first published novel, all of my books feature family relationships and relationships with friends. Peer pressure and bullying comes into The Goanna Island Mystery. My novels often feature people who are not in well off financial circumstances but are battlers e.g. Chasing after the Wind is set in the Great Depression and in the present day in Western Sydney, an area I was very familiar with. Others, including my two as yet unpublished adult fiction manuscripts are set in country areas, as is Karaoke Kate. Again these are areas I am familiar with. The Goanna Island Mystery and the two Team Turbo are set in coastal areas similar to where I now live. All are set in Australia. Kaleidoscope, my book of poems, is very much about the people and places of Australia. It contains a number of poems involving social comment on topics such as homelessness, abuse, youth suicide among more lyrical poems and family oriented poems and poems about people on the fringe of society. Water and music are part of all my novels and poetry.

Tell us something about your latest books.

Lights, Camera, Action, and Saltspray Idol are my two latest books, both published towards the end of last year. They are about a group of children called Team Turbo who live in the coastal town of Saltspray. In Lights, Camera, Action they audition for a movie shoot as extras. As well they visit Doughnut Island and that doesn’t turn out as expected. In Saltspray Idol they form a band and end up winning a place in the finals of the Idol competition and a trip to Sydney.
I was approached by the publisher and asked to write for the series as Wendy Pye had already published Karaoke Kate and Red Alert!

Lights, Camera, Action and Saltspray Idol are part of the Interventions series to help encourage reluctant readers nine to 12 years of age. They come with lots of teacher resources.

**For submissions for author interviews to AussieWriters, email CLICK FOLLOW and POST A COMMENT. And we will look at your work.


  1. Another great interview, Wendy. I so agree with so much that Dale has said, especially the importance of writing groups. I only wish Omega wasn't so far from Tassie!

  2. We wish you were up here too! You'll have to do an interview for us, Mary!

  3. Wow, a blog for Christian writers downunder! What a great idea. As an Australian writer in New Zealand I feel a little isolated - but not anymore. Personally I think the hardest thing for Christian writers in our part of the world is finding a publisher! Especially if you're after a local Christian publisher. There's not a lot around and since I started writing seriously, a number have closed doors. I think too that the cost of producing books down here means they're not competitive in the Christian market which is a shame because we have some incredible authors in this part of the world who deserve to be known.

  4. Thanks Wendy for the interview.It was fun. Like Mary,I wish I had had a professional writers group near where I live.

  5. Meant to add, a friend of mine laughed about me being called a veteran.

  6. Yes, Jules. That's the point. I recommend EvenBefore Publishing for your type of books. Best with that.

  7. P.S. Let me look at it first, though, as they require editing beforehand.

  8. Yes, I agree with your friend. You should look much older LOL!

  9. Another great interview, Wendy. Couldn't agree more, Dale, about reading books of the type of genre you want to write. My fourteen-year-old granddaughter makes sure I have a constant supply of young adult books to read with the comment, "Gran, you just HAVE to read this-it's awesome!"

  10. Hi Dale, Mary, Jules and Wendy -

    It is hard in Australia and NZ, isn't it? I lived in NZ for a couple of years not too long ago and I felt that the scene there is much more supportive than that here in Australia. But that's not what Kiwi writers tell me!

    But things are changing. I think God really is starting to move on our behalf!


  11. Anne, you have a point. I've found that NZ bookstores are more ready to provide shelf space for books published downunder and jump at the chance for book signings whereas when I was in Australia recently the reception I received to my book and a book signing was not as enthusiastic. They were prepared to stock it but only in small quantities and the impression they gave was that book signings were a waste of time (proved them wrong but then I had a friend who is worth her weight in gold and encouraged as many as her friends as possible to turn up).

    Wendy, my first book was published by Ark House but they've informed me that they're not considering any future fiction works until mid 2011. I'm in that do-I-look-for-another-publisher-even-though-it's-probably-hopeless-since-my-next-book-is-a-sequel-or-do-I-wait-until-2011-and-resubmit stage. I must admit that I'm not familiar with EvenBefore Publishing but will look into it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Blessings, Jules

  12. Hi Jules,

    Looking around is a good option in this situation. Companies are going under by the day. But I have great confidence in EvenBefore Publishing because of the way they operate.

    Best with that.