AWC alumni Catherine Pelosi is kicking goals again with the publication of her second book this year. Something for Fleur is Catherine’s first picture book and it comes hot on the heels of her first junior fiction novel, Quark’s Academy.
So it’s been a big year for the author who completed the course How to Write for Children and Young Adults at the Australian Writers’ Centre.
Something for Fleur is illustrated by Caitlin Murray and published by Hachette Australia. It’s about two unlikely friends, a hippo and flamingo, and their friendship.
“In the story, Bo the hippo is sending his friend the perfect gift. Fleur starts to guess what the gift might be. She’s a highly imaginative and fun flamingo who gets completely carried away. However, in the end, she realises that her friendship with her best friend is the greatest gift of all. For me, it’s a story about friendship.”
See Catherine’s story:
For Catherine, the process of writing a picture book isn’t that different to writing longer works of fiction.
“I start with an idea and let it roll around until it ‘sticks’. I’ll then spend a lot of time plotting and thinking about the characters. This mostly happens in my head usually when I go on long walks. Once I’m happy with it, I’ll start to put the story down on the page. There is a lot of editing that happens over several months. Picture books are seemingly simple but are complex to write. There are so few words to tell the story, and there must be room for the illustrator to contribute to the narrative as well.
“I adore finding names for my characters. I use name websites. Usually I have a sense of what letter it should start with – it’s just a feeling I get. I then trawl through the list until one name pops out more than the others. It’s not a very scientific process but I’ve done it for every character I’ve ever created.
“Thanks to doing AWC’s How to Write for Children and Young Adults I belong to a community of writers and it’s so important. Before I did the course I didn’t know anyone who wrote children’s books, and I didn’t know anyone in the publishing industry. Through the course I met other writers and presenters who are very well aware of the industry and know editors so they can give you very good insight into what’s involved.
“It opened that door into the community which I just haven’t left since.”
Congratulations Catherine. We are thrilled for you.
Check out the full story on Catherine here: