Sunday, October 31, 2010

Last Day of the Blog Tour

Today is the last day of the Pond Magic Blog Tour and I'd like to thank my hosts and everyone who has been reading along with the blogposts. It's been a pleasure sharing the journey with you.

On this last day I am sitting on Sheryl's back veranda sipping tea and chatting about fairytales. We chatted for so long that we had to split the post in two.

So here is part two where I divulge the secret elements that make a true fairytale and Sheryl challenges me to a Fairytale Playoff!

There are 10 quotes from various fairytales. See if you can guess them all:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 9 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

Once upon a time in a far away place...

Find out the truth behind fairytales. There is a lot you don't know or your parents didn't tell you.

Join Sheryl Gwyther and I 'in conversation'... on her blog: SherylGwyther4Kids

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 8 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

The tour hits a high note today as I share my secrets on 'Promoting your First book' on the blog of Mabel kaplan - 'Tales I Tell'

Shhh...Don't tell anyone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 7 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

Ever wondered how to go about writing an Aussie Chomp? Today on 'Kids Book Review' I talk about just that.

Grab a coffee and join me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 5 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

Today I'm visiting YA author Dee White at the Tuesday Writing Tips blog to talk about 'Writing a Book that's Less than 12,000 Words Long'.

I share my process on plotting and cutting back thousands of words.

Join me there!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Review of Pond Magic on 'Kids' Book Review'

Pond Magic is reviewed today on Kids' Book Review

Read what Tania McCartney has to say about my 'froggy' tale.

Day 4 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

As part of my Pond Magic Blog Tour I'm magically appearing on children's author Catriona Hoy's blog today where I discuss 'What Girls Read'.

Join Catriona and I to find out the differences between writing for girls and boys.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 3 of the Pond Magic Blog Tour

Today I'm visiting Sally Murphy's 'Writing for Children' blog where I discuss 'Getting Published for the First Time'.

Sally is an award winning author of children's books such as Pearl verses the World and Toppling.
I am honoured to be invited to her blog.

  • Toppling won the 2010: Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the Children’s Book Mary Ryan’s Award.
  • Pearl verses the World was the winner of the Children’s Book category in the Indie Awards, 2009, and is shortlisted for the Indie Book of the Year Award.
  • Pearl verses the World was also shortlisted in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, 2009.
  • Pearl verses the World was named as a Notable Book and shortlisted for the CBCA’s Children’s Book of the Year Awards, 2010 (Younger Readers Category)
You see why I'm excited?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pond Magic Book Launch

There are days in life which stand out as being perfect. Days when you are surrounded by family, friends, children and laughter. Days when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and your heart is full.

The launch of my book Pond Magic was just such a day.

After months of planning, weeks of praying for the rains to lift and many many lists to check and tick off, the magic launch day of Pond Magic in the grounds of the beautiful Marks and Gardner Gallery arrived. And, just like the little pink and black book we were celebrating, it was perfect.

Two of my best friends from high school had flown over from New Zealand to help. We spent the day before in the kitchen making fifty 'Frog in a Pond' jellies to hand out to each child when they had their book signed.

The rainbow of colours sparkle as Frogs swim in their individual Ponds.

Guests were asked to wear something 'French' , Froggie' or 'Fairytale' with awards for adults and children alike.

To get everyone in the mood as they arrived, my daughter Daniela greeted visitors to the gallery with a glass of  French 'Sparkling', coincidentally called 'Lily Pad Pink' (like the main character, Lily Padd) and generously donated by the Arrogant Frog winery. She was even accompanied by the Arrogant Frog himself, who was just as amazed at the serendipity of the coincidence.

Here, please take one yourself....

But the star of the day was Lily Padd in her party dress.
who enjoyed her prime position in the gallery as the main character of Pond Magic.

 And because it was a French themed day and to suit the gorgeous pink and black cover of the book, I dressed up for the occasion.

Even Pond Magic wore roses; French of course.

But I wasn't the only one dressed 'French'.

Visitors went through the gallery and collected on the cafe veranda as French music played.

My aim for the day was to celebrate with my family and friends, allow others to get to know me better and 'shout out' to the world about Pond Magic.

So as you read this, or if you were there on the day, you will discover I am a mixture of fun, flamboyance, creative spirit and international flair. I wanted my guests to experience games, activities, music, fun, a taste of France, competitions, prizes, a chance to be involved, a family outing, theatre, speeches and of course a reading of Pond Magic.

This was going to be a day to remember...

As more people arrived the crowd spilled out into the garden. The weather was brilliant; the best we had had in two months. It was almost hot.

The craft table was a popular first choice with the kids as they painted, glued and cut out their
 'Fly Catching Frog',
ably helped by my friend Brigitta.

A party whistle was the frog's tongue

Here are some frogs sticking their tongues out.

Then it was off to the Frog on a Lily Pad Pond game.
My son was in charge of this one.
Strangely there were lots of girls lining up.

Throwing the frog.
If it lands on a lily pad the prize is... you guessed it - a chocolate frog.

Many of you will know how blessed I am to have a talented sister, Nadia Sunde.
She entertained the kids with songs from her international award winning album, Homespun.

And I couldn't help but join in dancing.

Then we decided the Best Costume award
The adults loved it too, especially the burping competition.

A friend of mine wrote me an email a few days after the launch and this is what she had to say:

"Just wanted to let you know what a delightful afternoon your book launch was! There was the most wonderful magical feeling in the air! I almost expected to see little bunny rabbits hopping over the grass, and little fairies poking their heads around the trees."

Maybe this is what she meant...

And just so the adults didn't feel left out
I gave away a bottle of 'Ribbit Red', by the Arrogant Frog
to the winner of the best adult costume.

There were representatives from all of the themes of Pond Magic: frog, magic, fairytale and French.
And the winner had to be Jean-Marc, who is not only half French, but also a Doctor of Herpetology at our local university. And guess what his research specialisation is? That's right - frogs!!! True.

No, I'd never met him before, but like the story of the Arrogant Frog winery, serendipity follows me around. And of course the garlic around the neck was a nice touch.

And so the crowd gathered.

Some 270 plus according to the raffle tickets we had given out.
Perhaps they were waiting to see whether they'd won,
but now the official part of the day would begin:

The launch of Pond Magic by the lovely Narelle Oliver,
award winning author/illustrator and all round beautiful person.
She joined in the magic of the day with a magnificent witch's hat.

Narelle's passion for Pond Magic and her belief in me gave me the confidence to submit to Penguin Australia.
I am so very grateful for her support and friendship.

"I'd like to thank my husband, Rob, my children, family and friends
for all your support, Nadia for your songs and entertainment and for being my Pond Magic reader, Mary and Janene at Marks and Gardner Gallery for creating such a magical place, my publishers at Penguin Australia who made editing such a joy and my sponsors: The Arrogant Frog , The Pampered Princess, The Arts Centre GC and Homespun Music."

And after I read a few pages from Pond Magic
I thought I heard a school bus

and then there was a LOUD BU...UUURP !!!....

It's the Pond Magic Skit!!!

It's green-faced Lily Padd and Maureen, followed by the French exchange student, Rainier.

'Do you think anyone heard?' asks Lily.

'What do you think? It was like a jumbo landing on the bus roof,' says Maureen. 'You really have to cut back on the garlic. You're starting to look as green as a frog!'

'But I hate garlic!'

'Why are you wearing my clothes?' Lily asks Rainier.

'Er, your mother said it is all right to lend your pullover.'
'It's 'borrow', says Lily. 'And...we call it a jumper in Australia.'

Rainier tries to kiss Maureen's hand hello, 'Bonjour, I am Rainier.'
 But Lily butts in,
'You're in Australia now, Romeo. We don't kiss. Get it?'
'Speak for yourself,' says Maureen, disappointed.

 'So Rainier, tell me about France,' says Maureen. 'Is your town romantic?'
'Yeah, if you like garlic bread,' says Lily.

'I live in the south with my grandmother,' says Rainier. 'She has a vineyard called the Arrogant Frog.'

'Really?' says Maureen. 'I already know another arrogant frog.' She looks at Lily in disgust.

A big thank you to my actors:
Daniela as Lily Padd
Dale as Maureen O'Leary
Riley as Rainier le Dauphin

And the crowd went wild!

The Arrogant Frog calls out the winner of the raffle.

The raffle first prize is drawn.
Family pass to 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Arts Centre.
2nd Prizes - Bottle of 'Lily Pad Pink' French 'Sparkling',
 Gift Certificates to Pampered Princess and Homespun CD by Nadia Sunde

Meanwhile, some people are not listening...

others are reading


Or lining up to get their book signed.

And this was the first time I would meet readers eager to hop into Pond Magic.

They were a bit nervous, and so was I.
The Frog in a Pond jellies helped break the ice.

And this little girl at 7 years of age is an avid reader of Aussie Chomps.

And these soon will be.

My writing friend, Marion.

With my friend, Sheryl

With my besties, Rosalia, Elesia (my personal assistant on the day) and Brigitta

That jelly was yum!

Thanks for coming.
Au revoir!

Day 2 of Pond Magic Blog Tour

I am talking about 'Developing Character' on the blog 'Write and Read with Dale'.

It really made me think in depth about how I approach character and I ended up getting out my Pond Magic notes, which were in storage, and going over them. I've ended up learning about myself. So glad I decided to go ahead with this blog tour.

Join us there and leave a comment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 1. Stories are Light

Pond Magic's very first review is up on 'Stories are Light', the blog of Sandy Fussell.

Sandy is the author of the extremely popular Samurai Kids series, the award winning Polar Boy and the recently published Jaguar Warrior.

Hear what Sandy has to say about Pond Magic here:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pond Magic Blog Tour

Welcome to the Pond Magic Blog Tour

After a fabulous launch last Sunday Pond Magic is now ready to take on the online world. And Lily is thrilled!

Tomorrow is the first day of the Pond Magic Blog Tour. I'll be visiting nine different blogs to talk about my writing journey and how I wrote Pond Magic.

Four of the blogs will also be reviewing Pond Magic for the first time.

Join me on this trip around cyber space!

The schedule is below.

NB. Stay posted. Tomorrow I blog here about the Pond Magic Launch.

October 2010

21st October - Stories Are Light - Sandy Fussell 

22nd October – Write and Read with Dale – Dale Harcombe
Review and Developing a Character

23rd October – Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog
Getting Published for the First Time

24th October – Cat Up Over - Catriona Hoy
What Girls Read

24th October – Kids Book Review
Review of Pond Magic

26th October – Tuesday Writing Tips – Dee White
Writing to this Length

27th October – Kids’ Book Capers – Boomerang Books
Review and Where Story Ideas Come From

28th October – Kids Book Review
The Aussie Chomp Format

29th October – Tales I Tell - Mabel Kaplan
Promoting your First Book & Planning a Book Launch

30th October – SherylGwyther4Kids
Once upon a time in a far away place…

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pond Magic Book Launch Invite

Bonjour mes amis!

Please join me as I celebrate the launch of
my debut children's book, Pond Magic.
Penguin Australia.
Pond Magic tells the hilarious story of an intolerant, self-obsessed 'tween', whose relationships with her family, her best friend and a French exchange student are made all the more difficult by a little magic and a lot of burping. ‘Lily Padd’s name is the least of her problems. Can she really be turning into a frog?’

My experience as an exchange student, a teacher and a lover of fairytales have each added their own to this light-hearted urban fantasy.

Launching Pond Magic will be award-winning children's author and illustrator (and all round lovely person) Narelle Oliver.

There will be activities, games and songs for all ages. Pond Magic’s main character, Lily Padd, herself may even make an appearance. So be sure to wear your favourite fairytale costume or (just to annoy Lily) come dressed in something French – and not just the kids!

Bring the whole family for a fun-packed afternoon at the Marks and Gardner Gallery set in 5 park-like acres with café, art gallery and children’s bookshop on the beautiful Tamborine Mountain (behind the Gold Coast).

Ooh, la la!

MC for the afternoon will be international award-winning children’s songwriter and entertainer (and my sister), Nadia Sunde, who will also perform on the day.

We have prizes for best costume (adults too), a free raffle and don’t forget to practice your best burp for the burping competition! Pardonnez-moi!

Prizes have been kindly donated by The Arts Centre Gold Coast, The Pampered Princess (salon for little girls), Homespun Music and me.

À bientôt!

Children are welcome to bring their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.

See you there!

RSVP: to

Marks and Gardner Gallery (with café, art gallery and children’s bookshop) is located on Tamborine Mountain, just 35 minutes from the Gold Coast beaches and one hour from Brisbane. The gallery is surrounded by 5 park-like acres, with Witches Falls Winery located immediately beside the gallery and other attractions close by. The area is famous for its natural beauty, cool rainforests, waterfalls, expansive views and national parks.

Marks and Gardner Gallery
69 Main Western Road
North Tamborine
Queensland 4272
Phone: 07 5545 4992

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My sister the star

Some of you will know I rave on about my sister a lot. She is Nadia Sunde and although half a generation younger than me I am accustomed to being asked, 'Are you Nadia's sister?' Recently, with my new-found success as a children's author someone actually asked her, 'Are you Angela's sister?'
Ha ha!!

I'm just thankful for the fact we are...sisters.

Nadia is a songwriter, singer, musician, performer, playwright, actor, entertainer, ABC radio presenter, early childhood music teacher and more. She has been involved in music from the time she could stand and jive about, from the time she found our brother's old guitar in the cupboard (he's 17 years older than her - I'm not telling you how much older I am) and taught herself how to play it.

In high school I was there to see her win the talent quest when she was in Year 12 and I was the relief teacher. I was there for the Band Recitals, The Lead in the Musical, her first CD launch
and every gig (almost) ever since. She has always been a winner, including Best Female Vocal at the Qld Sunny Awards and more recently this year winning 3rd Place at The International Songwriting Competition (children's category) for  her song, The Goat and the Goose, from her new children's CD, Homespun - a collection of songs that are fun, blue-grassy, folk-inspired, toe-tapping and joyful!

So this is a tribute to my sister - a talented, highly experienced and varied performer. I want to share her many talents with you.

A photo of her band Nadia Sunde and The Best Band in the World.

Here she is elegantly 'Home Cookin' with guitar virtuoso Michael Fix and the voluptuous bass of Paul Robert Burton.

Burton, Sunde, Fix. 'Home Cookin' (Youtube link)

Here she is performing in the musical theatre show, Nadia's Wish, which she co-wrote and produced for the State Library of Queensland's summer holiday children's programme in 2010.

Nadia's Wish (Youtube link)

Here she is being interviewed at The Wintermoon Festival about her recent award.
Wintermoon Festival (Youtube link)

Here she is entertaining the families at the Neurum Creek Festival, Sunshine Coast, with her Kindie Indie music and inimitable style..
Nadia Sunde's Family Music Jamboree (Youtube link)

To find out where Nadia is performing next take a look at her Myspace page and listen to a few of her kids' songs while you're there.

Nadia is also a mother of two (three and six years). How does she do it? I don't know, but if you are reading this you probably realise she has a lot of guts and determination, a strong passion for music, for entertaining and the craft of storytelling through song and movement.

Her CD is an independent release and Nadia is seeking distribution. She relies on word of mouth and the support of her fans.

Jump on board and tell your friends, publishers, music companies etc about the breath of fresh air Nadia brings to children's music - real music for kids and grown-ups who want to enjoy something a little more rootsy and organic. She calls it Kindie Indie.

Nadia's CD Homespun is available from her website and the Borders Robina store.

Now who do you think I should ask to MC and perform at the launch of my debut children's book, Pond Magic, on Sunday, 17th October at the Marks and Gardner Gallery, Mt Tambourine?

And she has already said 'YES'. Now, that's another reason for you to come along... The invite will go up in the next few days.

If you've stopped by, don't be shy to leave a comment and say hello. I love hearing from you.