16th October 2017
Clover’s BIG Ideas
Written by Georgie Donaghey
Released: 1st October 2017
Book title: Clover’s BIG Ideas
Author: Georgie Donaghey
Illustrator: Emma Middleton
Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books
Intended Audience: 3 - 7 years
Author’s website: www.georgiedonaghey.com.au
Tell us about yourself
I discovered my love for creative writing at the age of seven. Apart from the colourful tales I would entertain my peers with, I entered and won my first competition. Although the hand written award from the Sun Herald Junior writing competition is now faded and the poem I submitted a distant memory, my passion for writing continued to bubble just below the surface as I pursued other paths in life.
My inspiration was renewed after the birth of my first child. My son was a difficult sleeper, so each night I would sit by his bed and tap away at the keyboard while waiting for him to drift off to sleep.
My son was soon craving bed time stories, so I replaced the fictional knives and suspense of my murder mystery with cranky crickets, ill-behaved gnomes and fairies with a taste for the mischievous. I found creating stories for children as comfortable as easing into my favourite pair of slippers. I had found her writing home.
With an overpowering desire to create new adventures, I filled note book after note book. I immersed myself in the children's writing industry; joining writing groups, attending festivals and enrolling in courses. It was at a NSW Writers' Centre children's & YA festival that I met Di Bates. This is where my journey took a clear direction. With the encouragement of Di Bates, I relaunched the Sutherland Shire Children’s Book Council of Australia. This opened many doors and allowed me to make beneficial contacts.
As President of the CBCA Sutherland branch, I helped promote children’s literature in my local community. Shortly before the birth of my third child, I stepped down from the CBCA for a less hectic life.
From my supposed ‘quiet’ time, my dedication to helping other emerging authors couldn’t be silenced. Unable to find a suitable site where emerging children’s authors could come together and find tips, information and at the same time display their work, my imagination went into overdrive. In November 2011 Creative Kids Tales was launched. Now an industry recognised website, CKT is designed by emerging children’s authors for emerging children’s authors, with a smorgasbord of services to assist those on their journey to publication.
I even took her love of writing to the airwaves with the radio show, The Author’s Shelf.
Never losing site of my publication dream, I kept writing and editing and in 2013 I was shortlisted in the Picture Books Preschool and Chapter Book for Older Reader Categories in the CYA Competition. I also received a Highly Commended in the 1st-page submission competition with Writing Classes for Kids Competition. My first adult story was awarded second place and subsequently published in the 2014 Heat Anthology available on Amazon. In the same year, I was awarded third place in the CYA Competition Primary Picture Books category for I Like Dragonflies.
In 2015 my first picture book, Lulu was published through DragonTales. In 2017 Lulu was re-released through Wombat Books. My second picture book, Clover’s BIG Ideas was released through Little Pink Dog Books. Two of my short stories were published in the CKT Story Collection also released in 2017. In 2018, In the Shadow of an Elephant will also be released through Little Pink Dog Books.
I have been fortunate to interview and meet some wonderful souls of the writing industry, such as Kate DiCamillo, James Patterson, Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey, Jackie French, Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), McLeod’s Daughters creator Posie Graeme-Evans, Andy Griffiths, Morris Gleitzman, Paul Jennings, Kate Forsyth and many other talented authors and illustrators.
I realised being accepted by a publisher straight away, wasn’t going to happen. I had to earn my stripes. I always believed I would be published. With every rejection I received, I used it not to discourage me, but to fuel my passion and determination.
I am just like any other children’s author – full of passion and thankful I am able to share my stories.
Writing is a journey. The most wonderful, heart-wrenching, exhilarating, goose bumps expedition you can venture on. Build your name within the industry. Work hard at your writing. Wear rejections like a badge of honour. Be proud and celebrate each and every achievement, no matter how small. Most of all believe, always believe, because that acceptance letter is on its way.
Some of Georgie’s Achievements:
- Speaker and Presenter at Sydney schools
- Runs a fortnightly creative writing workshop for kids
- Corporate Sponsor of the KOALA Awards
- Chairing the Illustrators’ panel at the 2016 NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & YA Festival
- Lulu chosen by Sutherland Shire Library for their 2015 Reading Hour promotion
- Speaker at the 2015 CYA 10 year Anniversary Conference in Brisbane
- Chief social media correspondent at the 2014 & 2015 CYA Conferences
- Roving Reporter of the 2014 SCBWI Australia & NZ Conference
- Partner with Love2Read
- Chaired the Writing, Pitching and Publishing a Series panel at the 2014 NSW Writers' Centre Kids & YA Festival
- Head tweeter of the CYA Conference 2014
What is your book about?
Being the smallest in the paddock isn’t easy. Clover is always being teased. When three naughty lambs go too far, Clover and her big ideas step in. Discover how Clover shows being little makes her more determined and clever than they could ever imagine.
Who is your target audience for this book?
This book is suited for 3-7 year olds. The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I am so happy with the direction Emma Middleton took this story. They tell a whole story of their own and the overall book has a classic feel that will resonate with lovers of picture books past.
What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
This book hit many firsts for me:
- The partnering with Emma Middleton
- my first publication with Little Pink Dog Books
- and the wonderful friendship I now have with editor, Emma Cameron.
In my goody bag from the NSW Writers’ Centre Kids and YA Festival a few years ago there was a voucher. It was for a kick start mentorship with Emma Cameron. I sent Clover to Emma and she loved it! Emma offered to work with me and further develop it. The rest is history.
I loved the whole process of bringing this story to publication. Although towards the end it was both exciting and bittersweet as Emma M and I knew we were getting closer to having our book baby published but we also knew it would be the end of our partnership for this project.
Peter and Kathy Creamer were dream publishers to work with. They allowed Emma and I to just run with our ideas and were very supportive of every step.
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
Clover’s BIG Ideas invites the reader into a world of gentle story-telling and demonstrates that looks are not always what they seem. Clover’s BIG Ideas celebrates friendship, instils the importance of understanding and acceptance.
How did the idea for this book come about?
Clover’s BIG Ideas offers a voice to all who have endured teasing. I wanted to show the reader that it doesn’t matter how we look on the outside it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Because passion, determination and courage to stand up to those who try to bring us down will always be more powerful and win against the bullies.
Find out more about Georgie Donaghey
Georgie Donaghey's website: www.georgiedonaghey.com.au
Facebook (Georgie Donaghey): www.facebook.com/georgie.donaghey
Facebook (Clover's BIG Ideas): www.facebook.com/CloversBigIdeas