2nd December 2015
Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author
Written by Hazel Edwards
Released: November 2015
AUTHOR: Hazel Edwards
ISBN: 1922175803 978-1922175809
FORMATS: Print and eBook
DISTRIBUTOR: Pan MacMillan
Available on Amazon
PUB DATE: November 2015
Hazel Edwards has a cake-eating hippo on her roof , an OAM for Literature and thousands of book-children,as well as a real family. Plus a readership in thirteen languages.
Using ‘anecdultery’, Hazel explains why longterm writing is risky but vital culturally. The hippocampus is where memories are kept, even those of Antarctica, where Hazel was an expeditioner. She shares her author workstyle, Hazelnuts mentoring and the quandary of how much to reveal.
(OAM is not for Hippo as an Outsized, Awesome Myth.)
- Back to School Day
- Literary Speed dating
- Plateau of Boredom
- Story Stealing
- General Store and the Cobwebs of ideas
- Fan Mail
- Highlights of Hippo History....100 memories
- Choosing Apt Titles
- Come and Meet My Camel
- Is Writing Your Family Trade?
- Domestic Survival; Being a Parent and a Writer
- Mentoring Minties and Hazelnuts
- Do You Put Real People in Your Stories?
- Trekking in Nepal
- Antarctic Writer on ice
- Ideas Addict
- Why Collaborate?
- Charitable Overload
- On Tour
- Not Just a Piece of Cake
Q. Tell us about yourself
My first book was published when I was 27, the same year I had my first baby.
‘There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake’ was actually my third book, but is now the best known.
My most extreme research has been on an Antarctic expedition. Plus trekking in Nepal and being a reading ambassador in China. Plus having a family. And living in suburbia.
I have two adult children and two grandsons for whom I write a book each birthday. Recently I was asked if books were our family trade. My daughter is my marketing manager ( she teaches me digital stuff) and my son has co-written two adventure memoirs. My husband does my accounting and as a family we enjoy places like Clunes Booktown.
In 2013 I received an OAM for Literature in the same week our co-written ‘f2m;the boy within’ a coming of age YA novel about transitioning gender, was put on the ban shelf in a regional library. So being an author has never been boring.
‘Hijabi Girl’ a junior chapter book, co-written with Ozge, a Muslim librarian, is my latest project.
I have a significant birthday soon, and last year I had some health issues and couldn’t fly.
So I decided to write a very unconventional memoir in the form of anecdultery, based on anecdotes. ( And partly as a way of de-cluttering my study & literary administrivia…)
Q. What is your book about?
More than just the roof-top, cake-eating hippo, although I don’t mind being called the Hippo Lady.
A quirky look at the realities of being an author longterm when you also have a family. It’s a questory…. Quest+story. Memoir is such a staid term, although it does mean just a slice of a life, not the whole autobiography.
Plus embarrassing moments, answers to fan mail, and literary speed dating with my characters via Q & A.
Q. Who is your target audience for this book?
Nostalgic adults who enjoyed sharing the cake-eating hippo and those who are interested in the process of creativity which may include aspiring writers of any age. Another niche reader is someone interested in self-employment in the arts or the sociological changing roles of females in recent decades. I’ve interviewed some interesting personalities in connection with some of my adult non fiction such as ‘Difficult Personalities’ and ‘Authorpreneurship;The Business of Creativity.’
Q. What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
Being candid. But also not having a formally plotted structure. It’s an exploration and ‘demo’ of the process of the process of creativity.
Although there are humorous aspects of being the author of the hippo book, it’s about much more. It’s quite personal and philosophically humorous while ‘Authorpreneurship’ is more of a ‘how to’.
Q. Why does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
It’s Australian and yet universal in the challenge to be creative in a versatile yet business- like way. Tackles the realities that writing for children is undervalued and asserts it’s possible to write for diverse readers in varied formats. One is not superior to the other art form. Also reassures that those who exercise the muscles of their imaginations, have a more satisfying life, rich in experiences, even if not in money.
Q. How did the idea for this book come about?
I wanted a different challenge and way of writing. I’d been running ‘Writing a Non Boring Family History’ workshops for a long time , which I enjoyed but I never wanted to write a conventional family history. This is more a serendipitous mapping of a mind using anecdultery.