Thursday, March 26, 2009


Connie and her guardian angel: the hidden story
As I checked that the fuel lines were OK I noticed a lizard polishing one of the plane’s wheels. Yes! There’s another story about Connie that is only told in the illustrations. Here are a few to tickle your imagination. Thankyou Kelli Hainke (now Meugens) for doing such a great job on the illustrations!

. . . . . . . Waiting to hitch a ride

On the lookout

Packed and ready for adventure

And here's a video clip

I hope you enjoyed it. Please come again.

Connie's tour concludes tomorrow (Friday, 27 March) with a visit to Brenton Cullen at

If you missed any of the earlier stops along the way, you can catch them here:
Monday, 23 March Sally Murphy at
Tuesday,24 March, Sally Odgers at
Wednesday, 25 March, Dee White at

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Ooh! My toes are beginning to itch. Just one more sleep before Connie, the pigeons and I set off on our blog tour of my children's picture book: Connie and the Pigeons.

Here's our itinerary:
Monday, 23 March Sally Murphy at
Tuesday,24 March, Sally Odgers at
Wednesday, 25 March, Dee White at
Thursday, 26 March, Refuelling stop at
Friday, 27 March, Brenton Cullen at

Don't forget to drop back here at on Thursday for the refuelling stop. I've got a surprise for you.

And, if you'd like a copy -
'Connie and the Pigeons' is available through Westbooks in Victoria Park WA (08) 9361 4211
Email:; online through or direct from the publisher Stories for the Telling 54 Hudson Avenue Girrawheen WA 6064 Tel. (08) 9342 7150 Email:

For those on the Eastern coast it is also available from
HARS Souvenirscnr Airport and Boomerang Roads
Albion Park Rails, New South Wales 2527
Qantas Founder Outback Museum PO Box 737 Longreach Qld 4730

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BLOG TOUR of Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet by Brenton Cullen

It is Saturday and Brenton Cullen has just arrived to chat with me about his book: Ronda‘s Gang and the Stolen Wallet, published by I-Proclaim Press March 2008. He has been on Blog Road since Wednesday so if you'd like to follow his tour from the beginning , visit

Stop 1: 18 March with Dee White regional Victoria

Stop 2: 19 March with Sally Odgers Tasmania

Stop 3: 20 March with Sally Murphy rural WA

* * * * *

And here we are at Stop 4:

Hello Brenton,
Thank you for visiting my blog spot today. I can see you’ve had a very busy week stretching across the continent to tour blogs all around Australia ... and today we’re still in the Western Australia

Thank you Mabel. Yes, so far I’ve visited Victoria, Tasmania and WA, …. All via computer!

Mabel: I’m intrigued by your title: Ronda’s Gang and the Stolen Wallet. Tell me about your book.

Brenton: My book, Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet, is the first book in a series of just three books. It is about a mystery solving gang of 11 year olds, with the leader of the gang, a 12 year old girl named Ronda. The gang are worried that they will get no more cases and their mystery days are over, when they put an advertisement in their local newspaper and get a phone call from a Mrs Kratzman, a teacher at a local elementary school whose wallet has been robbed from her classroom. The Gang go to investigate and find some startling clues that might just lead to the suspect ...

Mabel: Thank you, Benton. Would you tell me more about the gang? I must say (that as you are a boy of about the same age as Ronda) I was surprised that you chose a girl to be the gang leader. Are all the gang members girls?

Brenton: No, there are two girl members and three boy ones, and I chose to have the leader a girl because she was the oldest and it was also a fun experience to try writing her.

Mabel: Can you tell me about cases have they solved before?

Brenton: I can't answer what other cases they've solved as it gives something away in the second book.

Mabel: Well that should keep my blog readers intrigued. What about the first starling clue?

Brenton: I don't want to answer about the first startling clue as not to give it away

Mabel: Aha! You’re really going to make us read the book, aren’t you? Right! Let me back track a little. You said earlier, you chose a girl leader because it was a fun experience trying to write her. Tell me a bit about how you went about developing Ronda as a person

Brenton: Well, she is sort of a universal character, but her attitude and means and antics are real, based on that of one of my friends. I can really understand Ronda as if she’s a real person, living and breathing. She’s my favourite character.

Mabel: I like that. And now to conclude. Is there a segment of description, action or dialogue you would like to share to tempt our readers with.

Brenton: Yes! This piece:
"I have an announcement to make. Yesterday I got a phone call from this lady named Mrs. Kratzman. She would like us to solve a mystery, because her wallet was stolen from her desk. She's a teacher at Murray Elementary School."The buzz of chatter rose but quieted down a fair bit when Ronda raised her hand, as a signal for them to shush."Now, tomorrow afternoon we have to be at her classroom at the school at 3 PM. All right? Now, we're all going to meet there. Her classroom number is 6K. Everyone got that?""Yep", they chorused."All right, meeting dismissed."

Mabel: Thank you, Brenton. Will it be alright if I record a short sound file of that section and include it on this blog?

Brenton: Yes, its OK for a recorded reading, as long as you put the copyright Brenton Cullen, author and my publisher I-Proclaim Press For sure!

Mabel: I’ve enjoyed chatting with you and I will certainly be reading more of your work. You’ve made an impressive start with your writing and I am eager to see in what directions your writing career may develop.

Brenton: All right, Mabel, thank you very much! And remember, if you want to find out those startling clues, pick up a copy ….

Click the on play button below to listen to an excerpt from Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet

Join Brenton's tour and leave your comments

Saturday, March 14, 2009

ORIGAMI BIRDS, BOOKS - and this week's Blog Tour

I'm in the midst of making one thousand origami birds. No, I tell a lie! It's only one hundred and fifty - but what's a little exaggeration between friends. I am after all, a storyteller. And that's why I've spent today folding and tucking all these little birds for a school performance next week.

Now I need a break so I thought I'd add to my blog. That beats doing other stuff, like washing my hair or cleaning out my cupboards.


A week or so ago I attended a 'Night of Stars', a promotion by Westbooks of recently published Western Australian writers and their books. It was a wonderful evening of meeting authors, exploring and purchasing books. I came home with an exquisite signed copy of the children's picture book,Tuart Dwellers written by Jan Ramage and illustrated by Ellen Hickman. It is published by the Department of Environment and Conservation. I plan to write more about this book when I've explored it more closely. Another recent children's picture book by a Western Australian author well worth putting on your shelves is Willit the Wombat by Frances Maber. Now this clever little fellow even has his own website at

This coming week there is another blog tour. Brenton Cullen of Kingaroy, Queensland is taking Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet on the road, so why not blog along with him. On Wednesday, 18 March, 2009 he will stop by regional Victoria to talk with Dee White at; on Thursday, the 19th, you'll find him with Sally Odgers in Tasmania; Friday, 20th he drops in on Sally Murphy in the Western Australian Wheatbelt; and, come Saturday, he stays over in the west to chat with me here

Click the play button to listen to an excerpt from Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet
Please feel welcome to join Brenton's tour and leave your comments

That's it for today. I'm back to folding and tucking those little origami birds ready for their school flight

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Need more to read?

It's free E Book week until midnight on March 14th. The full range of books that are available especially for this week can be accessed at:

Monday, March 9, 2009


If you’re new to the world of blogging (as I was until four weeks ago) you may be interested to know that the word, blog, is a contraction of the word weblog or web log an online journal.
It was about … weeks ago I was invited to join an online discussion group to promote Australian Children’s Writing at
It was there I met several Australian published authors and learned something of their writing history. But this is no site for chitchat. It is a site set up specifically to publicise one another’s published work and enable fellow members of the group to take each other’s book on tour on their personal blogs. In this way an author and book is able to tour from one blog to the next and be exposed to readers/followers of each blog involved.
Once I understood the process I realised being a member of the group was not enough. I needed a blog. So here we are. This is my blog.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to some of the authors and books that have already been on tour and alert you to the tours yet to come.
Remember these authors are Australian writers introducing recently and about to be published Children’s Books. I invite you to check out the titles in bookshops or online for yourselves.

First cab off the rank - Sally Murphy from Corrigin in Western Australia. As you can see from Sally’s blog she has an impressive list of published titles under her name but the book that toured was The Big Blowie part of the Aussie Aussie Aussie series published by Aussie School Books and distributed by Blake Education. The Australian landscape is littered with BIG things - the big pineapple, the big rock, the big dog and many more so why not the BIG blowie. You can follow the big blowie’s journey from to on to stopping by and finishing at

The next book: The Writers: A Collection of Australian Writers' Biographies toured was by twelve year old Brenton Cullen of Kingaroy in Queensland. You can meet Brenton online at or and read a review of The Writers at Read and Reviewed.
During his tour, in answer to Sally Murphy’s question at : How long have you been writing for children? Brenton replied Since 2002. I have written fifty four manuscripts (plays, poems, stories included) but only two have been published!
On his tour Brenton also visited: Spinning Pearls on Sunday, 22 February and Tips for Young Writers on Monday, 23 February.

Flax the Feral Fairy by Sally Odgers (writing as Tiffany Mandrake)
also toured in the latter part of February. Tiffany Mandrake, the GOOD author of books about BAD fairies visited Dee White at to talk about this first title in her Little Horror Series which also includes Mal the Mischievous Mermaid (already out), Nanda the Naughty Gnome (coming soon), Tikki the Tricky Pixie (coming a bit later). You may like to travel back with Tiffany to listen in as she talks with Claire Saxby at: www.letshavewords.blogspot, Robyn Opie at, Sally Murphy at and Brenton Cullen at,

The next book tour begins on 18 March when Brenton Cullen goes on the cyber road with his book, Ronda's Gang and the Stolen Wallet. Visit with him as he talks with Dee White at and follow his trail as he meets up with Sally Odgers at, Sally Murphy at and Mabel Kaplan at
Also in March, Mabel Kaplan’s tour with Connie and the Pigeons will run from Monday to Friday 23-27 March. Her first touchdown will be where she’ll be interviewed by Sally Murphy. From there Mabel will be a guest of Sally Odgers at and before flying on to visit Dee White at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


The World Storytelling Day logo is the design of Mats Rehnman of Fabula Storytelling, Stockholm
World Storytelling Day has its roots in a national day for storytelling in Sweden, circa 1991-2. At that time, an event was organized for March 20 in Sweden called "Alla berattares dag" (All storytellers day). The Swedish national storytelling network passed out some time after, but the day stayed alive, celebrated around the country by different enthusiasts. In 1997, storytellers in Perth, Western Australia coordinated a five-week long Celebration of Story, commemorating March 20 as the International Day of Oral Narrators. At the same time, in Mexico and other South American countries, March 20 was already celebrated as the National Day of Storytellers.
When the Scandinavian storytelling web-network, Ratatosk, started around 2001, Scandinavian storytellers started talking, and in 2002, the event spread from Sweden to Norway, Denmark, Finland and Lithuania. In 2003, the idea spread to Canada and other countries, and the event has become known internationally as World Storytelling Day. World Storytelling Day 2005 had a grande finale on Sunday March the 20th. There were events from 25 countries on 5 continents, and 2006 saw the program grow further.
Each year, many of the individual storytelling events that take place around the globe are linked by a common theme. Each year, the theme is identified by and agreed upon by storytellers from around the world. In 2004 - Birds; 2005 - Bridges; 2006 - The Moon; 2007 - The Wanderer; 2008 - Dreams.
In 2009, the theme is: Neighbours
Details of World Storytelling Day events around the world can be found at
In Western Ausralia
Three events have been scheduled:
1. 'Room for Stories' at Caversham Primary School.
Class teachers will rotate from room to room to tell a story and move on to the next class. Facilitator: Neville Blampey
2. 'Introducton to Storytelling' [Open to the Public]
Saturday, 21 March, 2009 2.00-4.00pm
at the Joondalup Library.
Facilitator: Bill Park
3. 'Who is my Neighbour?'
A storytelling concert at Our Lady of Mercy Primary School, Girrawheen.
Facilitator: Mabel Kaplan
But don't let these scheduled events prevent you from celebrating the day in your own way.
Make time to share a story with a friend or neighbour.
Hold a house-party or barbecue
and spin a yarn