#Adventure

The Fun of Book Launches and School Visits.

One of the best things about being a children’s author, is being able to take kids along on an adventure with you through story time fun. Over the past month I have launched the second book in my Adamson Adventures, A Lighthouse in Time. This has given me the opportunity to do just that.

During the official book launch at Paperchain bookstore in Manuka and throughout the many school visits I did, kids were enthralled with my story telling as I took them on a journey from my inspiration behind writing the book to decisions I made by asking those constant what if questions. Every time I began my cutting out story, you could hear a proverbial pin drop in the room as every pair of eyes gazed in wonder and amazement at what I was saying and doing. Their faces lit up with awe when the final shape was revealed. I had them not only intrigued with the story but hooked on reading.

Kids ask the best questions and I always answer them as best I can. Here are a few samples along with my answers.

  1. Who is your favourite character? My characters are like my children, I love them all equally and individually for their own unique personalities.

  2. How do you make your books so realistic and interesting? I like to set my stories in real places. That means I can do lots of research about the area, explore and take plenty of photos and add little bits of information into the story to make it more real. Kind of like adding non-fiction to a fiction story but then expanding on it and having a bit of fun with it. Naturally the caves at Caves beach don’t go back as near as far as I take them in the book, but it adds to the mystery and intrigue by creating a sense of drama and wonder. By the time we finish talking about the Jervis Bay area, Cape St George Lighthouse, Caves Beach, and Wreck Bay, they all want to go down the coast for a visit.

  3. When did you start writing the book? When I explain to the kids just how long a book can take from the initial idea, to writing the first draft, then re-writing and editing many, many times before I am happy with a final draft, they are amazed. I have been showing them the original handwritten manuscript where they can see all the scribbles and changes. This brings more astonishment as they realise even authors make a mess when they are starting out planning their story. Kids learn from this that it is ok to make a mess. Ideas and creativity flows better when you are not concentrating on grammar, spelling and neatness. That can all come later.

Sometimes great questions come from parents, teachers and other authors too. During my story time session at the Canberra Writers Festival and my South Coast book launch with the Shellharbour Writer’s & Illustrators group I had to stop and think quickly when asked these two.

  1. Are you concerned with the lack of girls as main characters in children’s books? And do you feel you have a responsibility towards including them? My initial manuscript for Secrets Hidden Below contained three brothers as the characters. It wasn’t until my publisher pointed this out that I had to rethink it. As my characters were based on my own three sons, it seemed natural and fine to me. However, my publisher pointed out, and rightly so, that the books would appeal to a wider audience if one of my characters was a girl. I had to agree. That being said, I feel there are plenty of books coming out these days with great strong female lead characters, let’s not forget our boys still need to want to read too. It’s a fine balance to get right.

  2. What is your favourite scene in your newest book, A Lighthouse in Time? I had to think long and hard about this one. Then I remembered the feeling I had when I re-read the manuscript after leaving it to rest for a few months. When I reached a certain part in the story I had tingles. I sat and thought, ‘wow, did I really write that?’ I’m not going to give the scene away, you’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself which scene you think I might be talking about.

I loved being swamped by kids asking for my autograph. I felt special and was honoured by how excited they all were to meet me. I was even stopped on the stairs outside the National Library of Australia as I left after my session at the Canberra Writer’s Festival. A young fan who had just bought A Lighthouse in Time raced over to greet me, show me she had the book and eagerly pulled a pen from her bag for me to sign her copy. It made my day.

Do you attend book launches and events? What are some of your most memorable experiences? Let’s chat in the comment section below.

A Lighthouse in Time is now available here on my website along with Secrets Hidden Below. https://sandrabennettauthor.com/books#the-adamson-adventures

Or through Elephant Tree Publishing.

https://elephanttreepublishing.com.au/current-titles/

Both books are also available through your local bookstore. If they don’t have either of them, simply ask them to order through Peribo Distributors.

Planning a Trip to Bali with Kids? You Need This!

Are you planning a holiday in Bali?

Do you have kids?

Whether you are going during school holidays or school term, I have found the ideal way to keep the kids entertained and occupied.

Let’s face it, kids get bored easily. From the minute you are on the plane, the ‘Are we there yet?’ questions begin. You don’t want them to spend the entire holiday on their mobile devices but what else can you do?

I have found the perfect solution. - ‘My Awesome Bali Adventure - A Travel Journal For Kids, written by Eliza McCann and Phillip Gwynne. It has everything you are searching for to keep the kids busy and have a memento of their awesome holiday.

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From the minute you step onto the plane until you return home, this journal has it all.

There are questions to complete about their flight and information about Bali to get the kids excited. One of the things I love about this journal is that it is suitable for all the family.. Kids will enjoy the word searches, crosswords and puzzles, younger kids have the opportunity to colour and play spot the difference, While there are also plenty of pages for the older kids to write about their experiences.

Bahasa Indonesia is of cause the main language spoken in Bali, and throughout the journal there are plenty of fun ways to learn a little Bahasa by completing fun activities.

In fact there is so much information packed into this journal, I can’t believe someone hasn’t thought of it before. Your kids will treasure this book for years to come. There are even spaces for all sorts of cool stuff that the kids have collected. They can glue in boarding passes from the plane trips, entry tickets to places they have been to in Bali or perhaps even that menu from a favourite restaurant. I was lucky to receive a couple of postcards with mine, maybe you will too.

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As a former Indonesian teacher and a parent, I can see that this is packed full of value. Worried the kids are missing out on all that learning at school? Worry no more, they will learn so much language, culture, geography, even a little natural science from completing this journal and take home amazing life experiences that they can never learn in the classroom. Best of all they will have had an Awesome Bali Adventure.

To purchase a copy of this fantastic journal head on over to Eliza’s website -

https://www.myawesomeadventure.com/

Connect with Eliza and check out more on this awesome idea -

https://www.facebook.com/MyAwesomeAdventure/

https://twitter.com/@kidstravelbook

https://www.instagram.com/awesomeadventurejournals/

https://www.pinterest.com.au/myawesomebaliad/

Looking for an awesome Bali Adventure to read with the kids while on holiday too?

Don’t forget to check out my own chapter book for kids aged 7-12, ‘Secrets Hidden Below.’ Join the Adamson family in an adventure of secrets, mystery and intrigue. There is pirate treasure to be found, but beware the guardian snake, lots of rotten-egg gas and a volcano spirit you don’t dare to anger.

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To learn more about ‘Secrets Hidden Below,’ you can find it right here on my website. Simply click on the link at the top of the page to my books.

If you arrive in Bali and still haven’t purchased a copy of these awesome adventures, don’t fret. ‘My Awesome Bali Adventure’ is available in all Periplus bookstores throughout Bali.

‘Secrets Hidden Below’ is available at Ganesha in Ubud, Biku in Seminyak and will soon be arriving on the shelves at Spellbound in Seminyak.

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Are you planning a holiday in Bali? What are you looking forward to most of all? Please leave a comment below.