Sunday, April 28, 2013

Autumn travels

I have just recently returned from two weeks of school visits in Singapore and Malaysia where I was thrilled to discover that the Billie and Jack books have already found themselves a little following over there! This was partly due to the brilliant preparation put in by the librarians who booked me to visit their schools, but also because, luckily for me, the books were already available to buy in both these places. Often international schools have to order my books in from overseas so this was a lovely and unexpected surprise. One delightful children's bookstore in Singapore had even put them in her shop window! Of course I HAD to take a photo.

I love visiting South-East Asia, not only because I spent a big part of my childhood there, but also because my mother now lives in Kuala Lumpur, so my week in schools there was a great chance to get to spend some time with her, too. I love the hot humid weather, the food, the people, and I love speaking in international schools where the kids come from so many different backgrounds and have already lived such fascinating lives at such a young age. My last three days in Kuala Lumpur were in a really lovely smaller international school, where there were turtles in the gardens and the girls wore quite possibly the most adorable school uniform I have ever seen.

The students were wonderful, so engaged and switched on and SO enthusiastic about my visit. Every lunch time I was visited by dozens of students in the library who wanted to chat with me or have me sign autographs. I had been instructed by the librarian, as I often am in schools, not to sign scraps of paper, only autograph books, so one little girl who was determined not to miss out on my signature, dashed off and came back in a few minutes with this.

I thought she deserved extra points for her creative genius and told her so.

Now I am back home and back at work. My latest Hey Jack! has arrived in the mail and I'm about to start the next draft of book four of my Our Australian Girl series, before I have to head off to Sydney in a few weeks for the writers festival and another book tour. I am also working on something very new and exciting for any Billie B Brown fans, but I can't say yet as it is all still Top Secret! Hopefully I will be able to give you some clues in my next blog post.

Until then, I will dream of spicy Indian-Malay breakfasts while I eat my very boring muesli back in Autumnal Melbourne, where the leaves of my young mulberry tree are just starting to fall and I am happy to be home.


  1. You can't go past gingham and is sort of a Gone with the Wind meets Madeline kind of thing.

    Welcome home!

    1. Yes, so sweet, I was almost tempted to visit the uniform shop myself - but alas have no daughters to dress them up. Mind you, Eleanor might have looked cute in green gingham and ruffles! x

  2. My 6 year old son goes to the gingham n ruffles school you mentioned above .. And he was raving about your visit . I asked him what you were like and he said ' she is very nice and has twirly whirly hair ' :-)
    He read The Crazy Cousins which he borrowed from the school library and loved it . (I do too!). We visited a local bookstore yesterday and were delighted to find your books there, so came home with a few of his very own Sally Rippin books !

    1. Thanks for your comment! That's great to hear your son enjoyed my visit. It's a lovely school. Thrilled to hear he is enjoying the series too.

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