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Post Holidays check-in and The Next Big Thing

Happy Holidays Recovery! I hope that everyone had a fantastic time away with family and friends, eating, feasting and with the making of the merry.

As part of holiday tradition, today is the day we rub our full bellies in front of the telly watching the cricket. As part of a holiday non-tradition but part of an authors’ go around, I’ve been tagged by the awesome Oliver Phommavanh in The Next Big Thing to talk about my next work in progress.

So if you’re already taking a break from the cricket, here’s your chance to read a tiny bit about the next exciting adventures of Little and Lo. Enjoy!


1) What is the working title of your next book?

Chook Chook: Little and Lo in the City

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

From a movie about a pig named Babe. No, not really, of course. The characters in the first Chook Chook had more stories to tell and this is the continuation of their tale. Some of the events in the book are based on some cool things that I had actually learned about chickens growing up in New York City – because you know, that’s what chickens in the city do.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Like the first Chook Chook, it’s a children’s book for kids in young primary. Unlike the first Chook Chook, this story probably has a bit more action and characters that will appeal a bit more to boys as well as girls.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmm okay this is hard because of the background and age of the characters. If you’ve read Chook Chook: Mei’s Secret Pets, you’ll need a cute Chinese girl in pigtails…so maybe the girl singing Mariah Carey in Rush Hour – except she’d be too old now.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A little girl from a Chinese village takes her pet chickens into the big city to find her brother.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book will be published by the University of Queensland Press in mid-2013. I haven’t worked with an agent yet, would be interested to chat with one if you’re reading!

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Probably 3-4 months total, with the last 30% being written in a week.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Chook Chook: Mei’s Secret Pets, Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This is a continuation of my first work. I think the characters themselves were asking for more story.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s quite a different story to the first Chook Chook even though most of the characters are the same. I think it’s more action packed and a bit older as the main character, Mei has aged a bit. There are also a couple of new characters that I think readers will love. And of course, the chooks!


So the next part is to tag some more authors to write on their blogs in the New Year. I am very pleased and honoured to give this task to:

1. The awesomely badass Michael S Hunter who’s been at the top of Amazon’s Hot New Releases with his monster of a series Beat Down. If you’re into stupendous hardcore awesome – then Beat Down is a must-read. When he’s not breaking rocks with his bare hands, this author is rocking out in one of my favourite parts of the world, Nagano-ken in Japan.


2. The incredibly talented (and fellow member of my awesome writer’s group) Adina West whose first book Dark Child will be released by Momentum early next year in one of the most exciting new formats to hit publishing – as a serialised ebook. I absolutely cannot wait to read it!!


And that’s it! Have an incredible New Year’s folks – and here’s to a wonderfully bright & happy 2013.

happy new year

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