Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SUPANOVA Sydney 2015 - fantastic event!

I had the MOST FABULOUS TIME at the Sydney Supanova this year. Caught up with my publisher, Stephen Ormsby of Satalyte Publishing and a couple of other friends in the literary world.

I loved seeing some of my best fantasy and sci fi characters - Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, Dr Who, Transformers, plus some Disney favourites and anime. The Artwork was outstanding. Check out the metal sculptures!I took home a fabulous dragon made up scrap metal and machine parts. (see below)

It was fun sitting in to listen to Brady Bunch stars Mike Lookinland, Susan Olsen and Christopher Knight. I also managed to sneak in at the very last to see Mr Gorgeous himself, Nathan Fillion, of Castle and Firefly fame. What a truly funny guy! He knows how to hold an audience in the palm of his hand.

Plenty of people dressed up for the event, going to lots of trouble to look as authentic as possible. Impressive!

Among the many stalls and exhibits I saw amazing creative talent and purchased a few new treasures. These photos only show a fraction of what was there! What was so fantastic was that it was family friendly, there was no alcohol, no rubbish lying around, no drunken louts yelling and swearing - just hordes of smiling people having a great time and enjoying their favourite stories come to life. Brilliant!

If you're thinking of going next year, book early, book your parking and enjoy the hassle-free, well organised event in style! I came home with a brain bursting with ideas and couldn't wait to start tapping on my laptop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Writing the first 50 pages of your novel

  • Ever wondered how to get started on a book?
  • Ever wondered if there was some secret to writing success that you had somehow never learned?
  • Ever felt directionless? Frustrated? Unsure of your main character?
  • This book, by Jeff Gerke will help - "The First Fifty Pages" (How to engage agents, editors and readers, and set up your novel for success).
Gerke discusses practical topics such as how to write a proposal for your story, introducing the main character, the inner journey, establishing your story's world, how to conclude the story satisfactorily in this easily digestible book. You can dip in and out of it anywhere and find something helpful. It certainly helped me write my last YA novel, which got the contract. 
And it's not just about novels. Gerke's advice can be applied to any writing project. The basic structural questions are essentially the same.
Here's a snippet from page 103:

"Into the lives of all these characters - including you hero's - some rain must fall. Indeed, your story is going to royally wreck those expectations. It's almost a sadistic sort of fun to fill you main characters' head with these assumptions, knowing fell well you're going to throw her a curve ball. Ah, the joy of being a novelist."

Gerke refers to  many  popular stories and films to illustrate his points making it easy to identify and relate to the information and apply it to your own work. Make that first page sparkle!

With the market swamped by how-to books on writing it's sometimes hard to know which ones are worth investing in. Gerke's book is simple and easy to use, with sound advice that works.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Books by Dawn Meredith at BOOKTOPIA, Barnes & Noble

You can now order three of my seven books here, at BOOKTOPIA  and Barnes & Noble

"The Wobbly Wombat" takes a fresh look at an overused term these days - Bullying. What advice is good advice? As Woody asks Koala, Father of the Forest, Wise Possum and Dingo how to handle the teasing he is suffering, he finds that understanding others, and himself, helps a lot.

"12 Annoying Monsters - Self Talk for Kids with Anxiety" is a practical book for children and adults which provides the facts about the confusing and often overwhelming physical sensations that accompany anxiety while helping children (and adults) to be mindful of their intrusive thoughts, in the form of annoying monsters. 
What readers say: "I wish I had this book when I was a child."  - "Thank you for this book. It really has made a difference to us." - "This book is compelling. You can't put it down!"

"Sir Donald Bradman" was not only an astonishing athlete, but a world leader in the sport of cricket and a gentleman. Read all about his amazing rise to fame, from the boy who hit a golf ball off the side of a water tank, to the holder of a world record that still stands today, half a century later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Books in Homes Program gives new treasures to underprivileged kids

I was lucky enough recently to be invited, as an Ambassador for the Books In Homes Program, to a lovely school in Western Sydney. The kids were brilliant and loved receiving their bag of free books! Its a joy to be a part of such a fantastic endeavour, that provides underprivileged kids (every single child in the whole school) with brand new books of their choice to treasure for always. I was made to feel so welcome! And the librarians did a magnificent job on the display.

The covers of some of my books were on display, along with library helpers portrayed as elves!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Help Your Anxious Child

Wow! I am so happy to see this review of my book:

"We have tried so many books and workbooks for my anxious 6 year old son and this is the one that 'spoke to him' and has been an ongoing, useable resource. I found the information in the book really helpful for understanding anxiety and particularly the body's response to it, and then the 12 monsters themselves are a useful tool for a child to identify with. Reading the title of each made me smile as Dawn Meredith certainly has done an amazing job of identifying the different types of anxiety. Thank you for this book, it really has made a difference to us, and I've recommended it to others many times."

It means so much that this little book has helped kids and their families.
click on the right side bar "my books" to see more about it.

And here's another review from parent and publicist Flavia Young (Part of it here:)
"... Dawn uses each of her monsters to educate kids about the negative emotions associated with these feelings. She expresses how these feelings might sound as self-talk and further puts the reader at ease by explaining that their emotions are normal. Then, with every monster, she does something magical and beautiful. She de-mystifies them. She dispels their power and highlights the reader as being the champion over them."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Facial Features and Emotions - helping kids READ people

In researching Sensory Processing Disorder I came across this brilliant website human anatomy fundamentals  for artists on how to draw facial expressions. It's actually a terrific resource for the kids I work with who struggle a bit with understanding people and their surroundings.
There are detailed drawings of facial expressions plus notes on which facial features are used to convey these moods. Feelings are grouped on an 'emotion tree' to show variations and degrees of emotion. Such as these below.

It's very similar to a section in my 12 Annoying Monsters - Self Talk for Kids with Anxiety book, where I list words for the various emotions to help kids express more accurately how they're feeling. You can buy the book here: 12 Monsters  It would be pretty easy to print off the faces as cards and play a matching game to the words that describe them. Anything that helps kids understand others is a good thing. :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Serious Writers - NO Pussyfooters Allowed!

So, you want 'to be a writer'. I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said that to me. 'Oh, it must be so nice to just sit and write all day.' HA! HA! and HA! If only.


Things have changed. To be a successful writer these days you have to also be a publicist, social media expert, publishing guru, business owner, crystal ball gazer and salesperson. Publishers are no longer satisfied with just your brilliant work, they want to know how it will sell, what it is similar to, who will buy it and why, even which section of the bookshop it will belong to. In short, they want us to be market analysts as well as writers.

This sits ill with a cave dweller.

Then there's your 'writers journey', or as my husband puts it, being 'forged in the fires of rejection.' How badly do you want to be published? How much do you believe in this story/project? How much are you willing to sacrifice for this goal? I recently signed a contract for a book that was previously submitted to 13 publishers over a period of five years. It's changed a lot since the beginning because I kept asking for feedback. What was wrong, what I needed to fix. And then I fixed it. And then I fixed it some more.

You need balls of steel for this job.

That is why I say writing is not for the pussyfooters. You cannot hope for success if you whine about how unfair it is. You must believe in what you are writing, that the message is worthwhile, has something valuable or interesting or refreshing to say. And keep going. Ask for advice and listen to it.

If I knew at the beginning what I know now.....