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Monday
Oct012012

I won an award!

At my Sydney Herman and Rosie book launch on the weekend, Markus Zusak presented me with a rather unexpected honour. Can't believe I'd never heard of this award! Amazing!

Here it sits next to a beautiful potted plant that Laura Harris, my publisher at Penguin, presented me. What a nice day I had.

Here's a closer look.

Can't imagine anything topping that! The launch was a lot of fun. Good crowd (85 I'm told) and signed a bunch of books for a ton of good people. Will post up some photos soon.

Friday
Sep142012

Reviews...

When review time comes around I am equal parts anxious and intrigued. Obviously I hope that book reviewers will like my book (I would be lying if I said I didn't care) but I am also intrigued to see, sometimes for the first time, an outsiders interpretation of my story. Like a piece of art I suppose, it's interesting to hear what others read into the story and it's layers of narrative. Sometimes I discover things myself that came through the story telling process almost by osmosis, by way of knowing the back story without actually having recorded it in any way. Like the French author and illustrator Hervé Tullet so succinctly describes; 'I don't know everything about the book. To write the book and to read the book are two different things.' I like it when someone really understands what I was trying to do (and I must admit I hate it when they don't!) It's sort of scary when they do - like they have been swimming about in my brain. Either way, you can never get too carried away by them - the good and the bad. They just sort of exist as a general guide. It's the readers at home that I'm most anxious about - those guys tell brutal truths!

Here's one I like from 'The West Australian'.

Here's a review from 'Sydney's Child' (Adelaide/Perth/Brisbane/Melbourne etc.)

One from 'Magpies Magazine'.

And lastly from 'The Canberra Times'. Here Rosie is a goat!

Like The Fantastic Flying Books, Herman and Rosie (Penguin. 32pp. $24.99) has a very American vibe. Set in New York, it is an urban love story which touches the heart and stirs the imagination. Herman and Rosie lead ordinary lives. Herman, a crocodile, lives in a small apartment, works in a call centre, plays the oboe and watches films about the ocean. In the building next door lives Rosie, a goat who works in a restaurant, sings jazz songs, and watches films about the ocean. Will these characters, who are so obviously meant to be together, ever actually meet in this big, bold city?

Gus Gordon, an Australian author-illustrator, has skilfully brought the buzz and sensory overload of New York to life in this soulful tale about overcoming adversity and following your dreams. His multimedia illustrations - which include cartoon-style drawings and collages made from photographs, documents, postcards and newspapers - are visually arresting and highly appealing. Full of rich cultural and musical references, this is a clever and vibrant tale, which, like a catchy jazz riff, lingers in the mind.

Thursday
Aug162012

Herman and Rosie is being launched. From everywhere.

Herman and Rosie is finally in the book stores next week (Aug 22nd). We have, rather exitedly (and probably far too ambitiously) decided to have a number of book launches all over the country. I am doing speaking tours in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in August and September so we've decided to do a launch at our favourite book stores in each city.

At each event I will be reading Herman and Rosie (which won't take too long I'm guessing) and speaking about the art and inspiration for the book. There will be drinks and signing and I'll probably do some drawing as well (if you're nice.) I also have some pretty cool friends to launch the book in each store. The first launch begins at the very funky Riverbend Books in Brisbane where it is being launched by the especially talented author of 'Dust', Christine Bongers.

The next launch will be in Melbourne at The Little Bookroom which is the world's oldest children's book store (seriously!) The book will be launched by the amazing author/illustrator Leigh Hobbs.

... and in Sydney, Herman and Rosie will be officially launched at the The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft. This is a really amazing specialised children's store - love going there! The book is being launched by Markus Zusak, the incredibly well sold author of 'The Book Thief'. He also happens to be a rather nice guy.

Should be great fun. Love to see you there (and the kids of course) if you happen to be around. Many thanks to Tina Gumnior and the Penguin design team for doing these snappy invites.

See you soon!

GG x

Friday
Jul272012

Here is some news...

Well, since this is the news area of the new site, I thought I'd better write something newsy. Luckily I have some news. This is pretty fresh news too!

I have been warming myself in the sunlight ever since the US deal for Herman and Rosie was announced - especially as it went to auction. I never expected that to happen. Macmillan/Neal Porter Books won the North American rights to publish H & R and I have only just found out that they will be publishing in the Fall of 2013 - don't know the exact date yet. Pretty excited I must say. Looking forward to getting over to New York next year for the launch and we are planning a bit of a tour as well. Anyway, to other news stuff... (and I am really chuffed about this), we have just secured publishing deals in France and Germany! In France H & R will be published by Gallimard and in Germany it went to auction (these auction things are new to me) where Knesebeck won the rights to publish. My agent in New York, Charlie Olsen and the foreign rights team at Inkwell Management brokered the deals. Charlie has been bloody amazing. Boy, do I owe that guy some beers!

I am so pleased. You have absolutely no idea whether or not your book will resonate with people or if it will just miss the mark somehow and no one will get it. I try not to think about it during the creative process but picture books are a long process and I'd be lying if I said that it didn't cross my mind now and then. Mostly you just brush those thoughts aside and get on with it. The book isn't out yet (early September in Australia & New Zealand) and it may well sink to the bottom upon release but at least it's got off to a steady kind of start. Not a great deal I can do now.

Well, that's my news. This section will probably go south from here. We are working to get the rest of the site up soon. Organising prints at the moment to sell in the store area if anyone is interested. Back soon people.

Tuesday
Jul032012

... and here it is!

Well, it took a while (more than I had intended, sorry) but I've finally got my site up. I have no idea how people find time to do these things. Web sites can look simple enough, but geez Louise, they take some fiddling and tweaking. And thinking too - I didn't want to put up something that was just 'here are my illustrations, now go away.' I wanted something a bit different. Something with a style that (hopefully) reflected my illustrations and my books. I'm not sure if I have achieved it but that has been the aim all along.

A huge thanks to Sean Pinwill at SMPC who is a master at all website technical, codey, function-please, wizardry. When I talk to him about anything 'web sitey', I wear my best furrowed listening brow and all knowing nose for about fifteen seconds when at which time I begin to nod my head at a rapidly increasing rate while 'The Entertainer' plays on a piano accordian in the background (at least that's how it feels). I then hope he doesn't ask me what he just said. Then he goes away and does things... and then BAM!! There it is! Like magic. He has spent a crazy amount of time putting it all together.

There a still good deal of things I (Sean) need to do yet but it's well on the way. Please let me know if something isn't loading or working or if it just looks crappy. I will be putting stuff up and tweaking things on a semi regular basis - just like my old blog. In the meantime, grab a coffee, take a look around, sample a vegetable or too. Love to know what you think. See you soon - I have some exciting Herman and Rosie selling into other countries, news!

PS. Busy working on 'I am Cow, Hear Me Moo! at the moment. The illustration above of Nadine appears on the title page.