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10 August 2009 ·

A tangle of projects

Thought it might be worthwhile explaining why I’ve been so bad at blogging since we got home from our travels. (I mean, apart from the mouse invasion that meant cleaning everything in the house – and throwing quite a lot out)

Raven’s Peak is the main novel I’m working on. I’d promised my agents I’d have it ready to send last week – and I did finish that draft two weeks ago; read it over as a a whole, and made notes. I’ve still got 32 pages to go over and correct the things I’ve noted, plus all the other little changes that have happened as I’ve worked my way through the manuscript. In fact, it’s turned out to be an entirely new draft. So, with a bit of luck, it’ll be ready to read right through again in a couple of days. As I think it’s nearly ready to send, I’ll be reading it aloud this time, which will take a few days, and many cups of tea. (It’s 42,000 words).

My picture book editor has now sent through the roughs of The Princess and the Panther, and we need to discuss them on Tuesday. Lauren Stringer’s pictures are absolutely glorious, evocative and sometimes scary; I think it’s going to be a beautiful book. However the editor and I still have some sorting out to do with the text now that we can see them in place, so I’ve got a lot more reading aloud to do there in the next couple of weeks.

My very patient editor at Henry Holt reminds me occasionally that the second of the Rainbow Street Animal Shelter series is due in December. This year. The story is forming in mind, but I can’t start on it till I finish Raven.

And for films:

I’m in the middle of signing a contract for an option on a film of Nim at Sea… more when that’s all signed and sealed!

The screenwriter Jill Baer and I are still working on our pitch for The House at Evelyn’s Pond. We’re both passionate about it, but it’s had to fight for its bit of time amongst all our other work.

And apparently an Australian director is very interested in Peeling the Onion! That’s happened before, but maybe this will be the one to follow through.

So… that’s what’s keeping me busy. As things calm down, I’ll share a bit more about each of the projects.

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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