Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blog Tour Week Three

October 18, 2009

The blog tour to celebrate the release of Snowy’s Christmas continues today. If you’ve just tuned in, every Sunday for eleven weeks David, Snowy and I are visiting a different blog to talk about Snowy, about writing and about illustrating.

Today both David and I are visiting the Soup Blog to share five things you may not already know about Snowy’s Christmas. In actual fact it is ten things in total – because I shared five things about writing the story and Dave shared five things about illustrating. So, head over to the Soup Blog to learn more. And, while you are there, you can enter Rebecca’s competition to win yourself a copy of Snowy’s Christmas.

In the meantime, some more sightings of Snowy’s Christmas have been reported. It has been spotted on sale in two Kmart stores (in Cannington, WA and Kalgoorlie) and also in Myer and David Jones in Perth city. Am guessing this means it will be in more Kmart, Myer and David Jones.

If you see Snowy in a store, drop us a line and let us know.

Dave on the Radio

October 13, 2009

David has been out and about with Snowy, and he dropped into ABC Canberra’s Drive Time program to chat about the book, about illustration and about life. The broadcast is now available online – so have a listen for yourself.

And check out the photo of Dave, Snowy and the book.

Blog Tour Stop 2 – A Wonderful Review

October 11, 2009

Today is the second Sunday in our eleven-Sunday blog tour. Today’s stop is at Write and Read With Dale where Dale Harcombe has some lovely things to say about Snowy’s Christmas.

In part she says: “This is a cute Christmas picture book with a positive message,” going on to say ” It’s lovely to see an Aussie Christmas book that reflects the wildlife, colour and landscape of Australia.” To see the full review, though, you’ll need to visit Dale’s blog here.

Have a wonderful Sunday. I know I will.

On the Shelf

October 5, 2009

The release of a new book is always exciting – but equally exciting is when you actually get to see that book on the shelves of a real-life bookstore. The reality is that not every book makes it into every bookshop, and sometimes, for an author or illustrator, the thrill of actually seeing the book on a shelf can be a rare occurence.

So, it is with great delight that I present photographic evidence of Snowy’s Christmas sitting proudly on a real life bookshop display. David spotted it in Dymocks in George Street, Sydney, and snapped these shots.

Pretty cool, huh?

Have YOU seen Snowy instore anywhere? If so, drop us a line and let us know.

October 4, 2009

The virtual launch may be done and dusted, but the celebrations to mark the release of Snowy’s Christmas are still in full swing. Today marks the beginning of our eleven week blog tour. Each Sunday for the next eleven weeks we’ll be visiting a different blog to talk about Snowy, about the writing and illustrating life, about Christmas – in fact about whatever the blog owners ask us to talk about (and perhaps some things they don’t, lol).

To get started, today David and I are both visiting Dee at Deescribe Writing Blog. So hop on over and see us there. And, while you’re there, scroll down to read Dees’ lovely review of the book.

Want more? Well, here’s the schedule for the rest of the tour. And, while we’re not there yet, all of these blogs are wonderful places to visit at any time.

Week One: October 4
Deescribe Writing Blog
Week Two: October 11
Write and Read With Dale
Week three: October 18
Alphabet Soup Blog
Week Four: October 25
Let’s Have Words
Week Five: November 1
Sally Murphy’s Writing for children Blog
Week 6 November 8
Aussiereviews Blog
Week 7 November 15
Samantha Hughes’ Blog
Week 8
Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s Books Blog
Week 9
Stories are Light
Week 10
The Aussie Christmas Blog
Week 11
Tales I Tell

We’ll keep you updated with each new tour stop.

The Morning After

October 2, 2009

Phew. What a party. Come in, come in. Don’t mind the mess. In case you missed it, there was a party here yesterday. I had a few friends round to celebrate the launch of Snowy’s Christmas.

You missed it? That’s a pity – but the wonderful thing about virtual parties is that you can join in the fun at any time. So, if you scroll down to yesterday’s post you’ll be able to snaffle yourself a lamington, a glass of virtual chardonnay, or maybe even a piece of my mum’s pavlova. Then, when you’ve had your fun you can come back to today.

I’d like to thank everyone who did drop in yesterday. I had dozens of visitors (in fact, over 100 people) and lots of lovely comments and, even though I was firmly ensconced in my loungeroom, it really felt like I was having a party with lots of friends and family. Also thanks to the people who wished me well on Facebook and Twitter, spreading the fun even further afield.

So, Snowy has been set free to bound across Australia and across the world . The book will be appearing soon (if not already) in a bookstore near you, or if you prefer to shop online, it is already available from Booktopia, QBD or Alwaysonsale.

And the fun isn’t over, because on Sunday I start my blog tour – where Snowy, David and I will be visiting a different blog each Sunday for eleven weeks. I’ll also be talking more on this blog about Snowy, about Christmas (and especially Christmas in Australia) and sharing links and snippets to reviews and any other publicity that Snowy attracts. So pop back often over the coming months to keep up to date with Snowy’s wanderings.

Party party party!

October 1, 2009

Welcome! Come in, come in. So glad you could make it.

You’ve arrived at the online launch of new picture book Snowy’s Christmas. David and I are so pleased you could make it.

Before we start the formalities, please help yourself to a snack – we have on offer vegemite sandwiches or lamingtons, straight from the Aussie kitchen. And to drink, for the adults there’s some nice Margaret River chardonnay to sip. If you’re under 18, please accept some Cottee’s cordial. Oh, and feel free to mingle and enjoy the very Aussie opportunity to have a yarn with some mates.

Okay, that’s enough frivolity. Now on to the speeches. We’ll try to keep them short.

Firstly , let me introduce myself.


Yup, this is me – Sally Murphy. I’m a West Aussie author, teacher, mother and book reviewer.
I’ve been writing all my life and Snowy is my twenty ninth published book, but it’s the first time I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Random House and with David, my talented brother in law, so today is a pretty special day for me. I’m really glad you could make it along to celebrate with me.

So, let me tell you a bit about the wonderful book we are here to launch. ((Sally holds books up, to many oohs and aahhs))

Snowy’s Christmas tells the tale of a young kangaroo who doesn’t like being different, until Christmas arrives and, with it, a surprise for Snowy. There is something that only Snowy can do to help Santa – and suddenly he knows that being different can be a good thing. Available as a hard cover picture book, Snowy’s Christmas is a gentle Christmas story suitable for kids of all ages. You can learn a little more about the book by visit the website of publisher Random House Australia.

Now that you’ve seen the book, I think it’s time to declare it officially launched. So, without further ado I would like to set Snowy free to bound across Australia and around the world. And, ladies and gentlemen, if you could please raise your glasses and drink a toast – to Snowy.

Thankyou. And now just a few words of thanks. Of course I’d like to thank you all for coming, but I’d also like to thank the wonderful Linsay Knight, children’s publisher at Random House who sat next to David and me at a breakfast at last year’s CBCA conference and said ‘you two should do a book together’. When a publisher makes a comment like that, an author thinks all her dreams have come true – and, of course, I was pretty determined to make it happen. Linsay loved the manuscript I subsequently offered, and David’s sample illustrations, and we were delighted with her subsequent acceptance.

Next, to Kimberley, our editor, who patiently helped me to trim the manuscript and worked with David to fine tune the illustrations. Thanks Kimberley.

And, of course, to David – who brought Snowy to life so beautifully. It’s been such fun to share this journey with you.

Lastly, to my family and friends, who believe in me and put up with me through the highs and lows of the creative life. I love you all.
((Sally dabs her eyes delicately.))

David, would you like to say a few words? This is David Murphy, my darling brother in law and illustrator extraordinaire. Over to you, David.

Dave at work

Mmmmph Ummmp hwfmph ishmplwph hmphwsh
(Translation – Sorry Sally, just let me finish this lamington. You know how much I love lamingtons.)

I’ve often been accused of having a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock. I can now confirm this is indeed the case and many of them are white. I have been living with Snowy and his adventures in my head since Sally first showed me her fantastic story. It was an absolute joy to be able to capture the images Sally’s story evoked and share them with the world. My wife would often come in to the studio whilst I was working on Snowy and ask me what I was laughing at. The truth was I was laughing along with Snowy and his friends. Illustrating Snowy’s Christmas was some of the best fun I have ever had.

Illustrating a picture book is fun but it is also hard work – it was made much easier thanks to the efforts of Kimberley and Linsay from Random House. Kimberley’s eye for detail and gentle encouragement helped me stay focused on the heart of the story. I would also like to thank my children who would peer over my shoulder and try and work out what was going on in the picture – they kept me from getting too fancy, and my darling wife who would gently remind me ‘Dave, it’s 4am. I think you should put the pencil down and get some sleep.’

Christmas stories are special. Australian Christmas stories are very special because the festive season here is so unique. Warm Christmas eves, the sounds and smells of the bush on hot a Christmas day, and of course back yard cricket on Boxing day. Australian culture does interesting things to our European traditions and Christmas has been no exception – so it is an honour to illustrate a book which adds a little bit to that tradition and brings to life something which I had always suspected. What is that? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Thanks Dave.

Okay, I can see some of you eyeing off those lamingtons and wondering if I’m ever going to stop speaking, so I’ll just finish by saying again, thanks for coming to this launch. Snowy’s Christmas is available from today at all good book stores (if they haven’t got it, ask) or online at stores including Booktopia.

Before you go, please have another Vegemite sandwich, or perhaps you’d like one of the snags Dave is cooking on the barbie outside? And please, leave a comment below so we know you’ve been here.

One Sleep – Internet Roundup

September 30, 2009

With only one sleep left until Snowy’s Christmas is released, I couldn’t resist a session with my dear friend Mr Google, to see where Snowy is being mentioned online. So, here goes: 
Booktopia has Snowy available to preorder for $17.50, so if you can’t wait until tomorrow you can jump in early.
The National Library has Snowy in its catalogue, though not yet in stock – it is great to know they’ve ordered it.
Sally Murphy (hey, that’s me!) has an entry about Snowy on her (my) author site.
Random House (the book’s publisher) has information about the book and about me (the author) and David (the illustrator).
Always On Sale has Snowy for sale for just $16 (plus postage). I’d not heard of this site before, so a new one to watch.
Geelong Library system not only has an entry, but seven libraries have copies on order. Hooray!

So, even before its release Snowy is being offered for sale and ordered by libraries. That’s great to know. If you’re an author, using a search engine to see who is talking about and stocking your books is a great exercise. Helps you to see where your book is going, and gives you ideas for how to promote it.

See you back here tomorrow for the online launch of Snowy’s Christmas. One more sleep!

Two Sleeps – I’m Making a List

September 29, 2009

Only two more sleeps until Snowy’s Christmas is released. The release of a book is a bit like the long awaited birth of a child (labour pangs and all). But at least I know what this baby is going to look like – and the sleepless nights and the hard work (of editing, revsisions, finding a publisher and so on) are now behind me.

All that’s left now is the count down to the day and the fun of sharing the book with the world. But, of course, that’s not quite true because, as every author knows, part of the work of releasing a new book is the work of promoting it, so that the reading public know about the book and go out and buy it. Much as writing a book is a real pleasure, it is an even greater pleasure when you know that it is being bought and read.

So, in between counting sleeps I’ve written a list – of things I’m doing to promote Snowy’s Christmas.

1. Set up aussiechristmas blog (check – I’ve done this – you’re there now)
2. Update blog regularly (in progress)
3. Set up blog tour (check – have lined up bloghosts. The tour starts Sunday)
4. Add cover and links to (check – thanks to my webguy Jason)
5. Set up virtual launch (check – ready to happen on Thursday. Come back then for some virtual fun)
6. Write article for Pass It On newsletter (still on the to-do list)
7. Look for more interview opportunities (yup. Still to do)
8. Set up google alert so I can keep track of any on-line mentions of the book and link to the, twitter them and so on (done)
9. Add Snowy to my email signature (to do on October 1)
10. Party! Celebrate the release any way I can (in progress. Definitely)

The list will get longer because, as I go, I often think up new ways of getting the word out about my book-baby. Promotion is such a key part of a book’s success – but I have to admit that I really enjoy it.

Three Sleeps

September 28, 2009

Well, it’s just as well I got in early and started this blog back in August, because, just like Christmas seems to creep up on us, so has the launch of Snowy’s Christmas. Only three more sleeps and Snowy will be here!

That’s right, Snowy’s Christmas, a very Australian Christmas story, will be released on Thursday October 1, and just like a kid at Christmas, I’m excited.

I’ve written my list, tried hard to be good and have pulled my stockings up ready to share Snowy with the world.

Three sleeps to go, three sleeps to go!