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1 January 2006 ·

Happy Writing Year

New Year’s Day in Australia, and I’m probably up earlier than many people as husband Tom is in the volunteer CFA (country fire authority) and was on standby because with a temperature of about 40′ and predicted high winds, there was a high fire danger. So after a lovely surprise phone call from our daughter, who spent Christmas and New Year’s in India, we decided it must be midnight somewhere in the world, went to bed early – and woke up this morning to a cool 29′ and not one call-out during the night.

The start of a new year is always a time for reflection, and I’ve been looking at my projects. After varying times of gestation over the past four years, three books will come out in Australia in 2006: ACROSS THE DARK SEA in May, TOO MUCH STUFF! in July and MOKIE AND BIK in August. The American edition of MOKIE AND BIK won’t be out till spring 2007, with sequels to follow in spring 2008 and 2009. This is the first time I’ve been asked to write a sequel before the first book has been published, which is a tiny bit daunting – and very exciting. I do love the Mokie and Bik characters, who have taken quite strong identities of their own, even though they were based on my dad and his twin sister.

So, when I hand in the ‘first’ draft of the NIM’S ISLAND sequel in two weeks, (it’ll actually be my third draft, because I won’t let even my editor see my first one) I’ll start planning out the next Mokie and Bik. It’s due in September, so I’ll go back and forth between the two manuscripts. At some time I’ll also have edits to do on the picture book ONE NIGHT, which will come out in the USA in 2008 – and if everything goes very smoothly, I’ll go back to the novel that I started three years ago today. I was partway through the second draft when working on the Nim’s Island filmscript took over, and the poor thing has been neglected since!

Here’s a wish that all our dreams and projects for the year take shape – they won’t all be the shape we planned, but some of them may be more exciting the way they turn out than anything we imagined.

Happy 2006

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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