On the morning of 12th January, Tasmanian author Kate Gordon (Three Things About Daisy Blue) tweeted: “Really want to do something to help QLD flood victims, but what can a broke writer do to help? Any ideas, fellow broke writers?”
Within a few hours, Melbourne-based author Emily Gale (Girl, Aloud), children’s author Katrina Germein (My Dad Thinks He’s Funny), from Adelaide, and South Australian Fleur McDonald (Red Dust) found themselves organising with Kate a mass auction of ‘whatever an author can offer’ – they suggested signed copies, manuscript assessments, mentorship phone calls / meetings and asked their fellow authors to ‘be creative’ … since then people have donated original picture book artwork, interview slots on busy review websites, sets of books and it keeps coming…
The four founding authors have never met, and only know each other through Twitter.
For now there is a Facebook page where authors can suggest donations and start to spread the word. Recent graduate Nyssa Pascoe – who is responsible for Fleur’s lovely website – is currently making a dedicated website for the auction itself.
Each author’s items will be listed; bidders will be able to browse and then bid in the comments section, moderated by Kate, Emily, Katrina and Fleur. Full instructions will be given on the site in due course. We are working under the umbrella of Toni Coward’s Queensland Flood Appeal Auctions – see her Make it Perfect site http://www.tonicoward.blogspot.com/ so we are hoping to open the auction on Monday 17th and close it on Monday 24th.
So far, top name authors who have made donations include: Craig Silvey, Maggie Alderson and Katie Fforde – but please see our Facebook page because there is really so much on offer!
Who is behind this initiative?
Kate Gordon grew up in a very booky house, with two librarian parents, in a small town by the sea in Tasmania. She always wanted to be a writer, and spent many a lunch hour walking around the playground reciting poetry. The other children thought she was a little bit odd. After studying performing arts and realising she was a terrible actor, Kate decided to give in to genetics and study to be a librarian herself. She never stopped writing and, in 2009, with the encouragement of a very nice man called Leigh (who is also her husband), she applied for and won a Varuna fellowship, which led to all sorts of lovely writer things happening.
Kate’s first book, Three Things About Daisy Blue – a Young Adult novel about travel, love, self-acceptance and letting go – was published in the Girlfriend series by Allen and Unwin in 2010. Her second novel, Thyla – a paranormal thriller about shapeshifting Tasmanian Tigers – will be published by Random House in 2011.
Now, Kate lives in the big city of Hobart, in a small mint green house, with her husband and her very strange cat, Mephy Danger Gordon. Every morning, while Kate writes, Mephy Danger sits behind her on the couch with his tail curled around her neck. She dreams of a day when Mephy Danger will be joined by some goats and chickens and a cottage in the country. In the meantime, she fills her house with books, perfects her oven-baked-chip-cooking technique, listens to music you can headbang to, and she writes.
Children’s author Katrina Germein writes picture books that delight primary school children, preschoolers and adults alike. Her stories have won Notable Book Commendations from the Children’s Book Council of Australia and her book Big Rain Coming has been published around the world, remaining in print over a decade after its release. Katrina’s book Baby Gets Dressed was selected as an Advertiser Little Big Book Club reading pack title and the hilarious My Dad Thinks He’s Funny instantlyproved so popular that it was reprinted within a month of being launched. Katrina lives in Adelaide with her husband, their three children and an old dog named Sunny.
Katrina can be found at www.katrinagermein.com
EMILY GALE is a born and bred Londoner who has been living in Melbourne for three years with her Gold Coast-born partner and their two children. She previously worked as an editor of children’s books in the UK (Penguin, Egmont). Her children’s books (licensed character and original works) have been published by Ladybird, Frederick Warne and Parragon. Her first novel, Girl Aloud, was published in 2009 by Chicken House and is currently shortlisted for the Lincolnshire Young People’s Book Award.
Emily can be found at emilygale.co.uk
Fleur can be found at fleurmcdonald.com