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7 August 2005 ·

Book Planning in New York City

What a fantastic city New York is (I know that many people have commented on this before, but it was my first visit – and I hope, not my last.) The best thing was seeing it through through not just my own eyes, but the eyes of Nim, an eleven year old girl who’s spent her whole life on a tropical island with only her father, sea lion, marine iguana and sea turtle for company – and also through the eyes of Alex Rover, the agrophobic adventure writer, as she leaves her apartment and makes her way to the airport to visit Nim.

If you know Nim’s Island, you’ll know that Alex has already done that journey in the book (but you never know what details might still wiggle their way into the film script, which is why I was curious about the airport and taxi experience)! But if you’re wondering about Nim seeing New York… yes, I’m nearly ready to start writing the sequel, and the most logical place to set it is on Alex’s Island: Manhattan.

(Is it scary admitting that in public, before I’ve even written a word? Yes! But I know roughly what happens and how it starts, so I decided to be brave.)

New York is also the home of Random House/Knopf Publishers, and so I visited them, with their lobby of magnificent bookcases of even more magnificent books, and met the people who’d published Nim in North America. Then there was a visit to Henry Holt, in the extraordinary Flatiron Building, to talk about the North American ‘Mokie and Bik,’ which will come out in 2007 – and finally lunch with Holiday House, who published Peeling the Onion in its beautiful hard cover edition. What a treat to meet all these people, get to know them a bit better, and hear their thoughts on the work. I have been exceptionally lucky with my publishers!

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio