I'm standing in the school gym with at least fifty red faces staring at me, waiting. This is the Bayview Primary School Disco. My legs are glued together, wrapped in blue jeans sitting so far up my waist that they'd pass as a T-shirt if I added sleeves.
Bernard Beagle Kicks Off, page 160
This is the entrance to Activity Room 1 at Braeview (not Bayview) Primary School. The Activity Room was the inspiration for the disco scene in the final chapter of the Bernard Beagle Kicks Off. Bernard dances in front of about fifty people, learning to overcome a bit of anxiety. Then he moves outside with his friends to wait for his dad to pick him up.
It was in this very room that I experienced a smoke machine for the first time, played Snowball with the girls, danced to S Club 7 and tried to do the Worm. Discos were massive when I was at Braeview! For a $2 ticket, we got about 3 hours of music, a can of soft drink and a slice of pizza. I wanted Bernard to feel the same as I did, that it was okay to dance in front of everyone else, even if it felt stupid!
My first article for Writer's Edit in 2017 (in September ... damn, where have I been for 8 months?) is all about Advanced Reader Copies. I found this topic to be very interesting as it was totally new to me.
Similarly to my previous article about writing a great author bio, I couldn't find a truly comprehensive source of information about ARCs. I've tried to pull together bits and pieces from different places to create the ultimate ARC guide. I hope it does the job!
How Indie Authors Should Use ARCs
Over the past three weeks, I've had the opportunity to visit four different primary schools in the region to help out as part of their Book Week celebrations. I spoke about what it's like to be an author and gave Bernard Beagle some time in the spotlight.
A special thank you must go out to all the schools for hosting me. It was great to see all the kids enjoying books and the writing process.
TUESDAY 22nd AUGUST - STIRLING NORTH
My 2017 Book Week Tour began at Stirling North Primary School, one of my regular TRT destinations. The day kicked off with a rousing Book Week parade. My favourite costume was Grug - one kid walked around under a dome covered with brown and yellow streamers. After the parade, I visited five different classes to present my presentation called 'Daniel Murphy Kicks Off', all about what it's like to be a writer.
WEDNESDAY 23rd AUGUST - MELROSE
On a brilliant winter morning I hit the road in my trusty Impreza to drive to Melrose, the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges.
At Melrose Primary School, I spoke to five primary and eight junior primary students about writing, being a writer and reading books. It was a nice little school. After recess, the kids had a chance to flip through my books and ask some questions. In the junior primary class, I had a look at a reception student's story. There may well be a future best-selling author right there!
WEDNESDAY 30th AUGUST - GLADSTONE
The following week, I travelled to Gladstone, a one-and-a-half hour journey south of Port Augusta. At Gladstone Primary School, I faced my largest group yet - about 60 students, all squeezed into the library. Despite some minor technical difficulties, the presentation was a huge success!
I took the back streets to get home, a pleasant drive from Gladstone to Laura, Laura to Stone Hut and on to Wirrabara, where I treated myself to a pasty and a Legend at Old Ev's Wirrabara Bakehouse for lunch.
I can't remember visiting Wirrabara before. It seemed like a nice town, with old-school charm.
Onwards from Wirrabara. After passing through Murray Town, Mount Remarkable loomed in the distance as I closed in on Melrose once again, this time from the south. It was a beautiful day and the countryside was stunning. From Melrose to Wilmington, then home to Port Augusta.
TUESDAY 5 SEPTEMBER - WILMINGTON
My tour came to an end on Tuesday 5 September with my last visit, this time to Wilmington Primary School. With lots of oohs and aahs, and loads of laughs, this was my best presentation yet, a great way to finish Book Week celebrations for 2017.
You know when the corner of your novel's pages get bent or torn - Blog Ears.