I’m really delighted to welcome debut author Dimity Powell to From Hook to Book and congratulate her on the launch of her exciting new chapter book Who Stole Santa’s Mail? published by Morris Publishing Australia.
Welcome, Dimity, and thanks for stopping by to answer some questions about the creation of your story and celebrate the publication of your very first book.
Let’s get started with an easy question.
Can you describe your book in five words or less?
Presents, elves, mayhem, it’s Christmas!
Of course, next, I have to ask how did the idea/s for the story come to you?
The original manuscript was the result of an assignment required for the completion of my Writing for Children Course back in 2008. The initial idea stimulus came from a newspaper article about how local council was rumoured to take away post boxes on the Gold Coast thereby decreasing their numbers dramatically or perhaps entirely. I thought this would make a good light-hearted mystery novel based on the ‘what if all the post boxes in a small boy’s town suddenly and inexplicably disappeared just two weeks before Christmas?’
What would you most like readers to take from your story?
That there really is a Santa Claus! That Christmas is worth believing in. Oh, and that believing strongly enough in something and yourself can achieve great and magical things.
What led you to writing in the kid’s lit genre?
I delight in writing for children, especially those in the ‘golden age’ of independent reading. They seem have a greater propensity to believe in magic and that anything and everything is possible at that age while paradoxically being the hardest to convince. I find this simultaneously challenging and rewarding.
Does the life of your main character parallel yours in any way?
Yes. Sam is a firm believer in Santa Claus, as am I (hand on heart). Apart from that, I’m not as good on a scooter as Sam is and I don’t hang out in shopping plazas much.
How did you become a writer?
Like most people, I went to school first. My happy place was in the world of books and reading, which led me to spending long hours penning stories about lost ponies. In English class, I loved composition exercises the most. And to this day have never forgiven my Year 8 English teacher for ‘losing’ a story that had taken me weeks to perfect – an anthropomorphic tale about ants. Even at the tender age of 12, I suspected foul play. I never got it back and am still wondering why…
Can you tell me about your story’s main character, Sam, and what inspires you about him?
Sam is a likeable small town 8 year-old whose main mission in life is to ask Santa for his first really big present, his own bike. I love Sam’s determination to track down the missing post boxes and rescue his little sister, and the missing Christmas mail. He shows grit and courage but is not infallible and would not succeed at times if it weren’t for his close bumbling friend, Tobii. I’d like to have a mate like Sam; not too overbearing, not too perfect, but steadfast.
Who stole Santa’s Mail? uses different settings and we don’t know a whole lot about Santa, so did you have to do much research for the book?
I confess, I have never actually made it to Lapp Land, current residence of Santa Claus, but I have been to his birth place in Turkey, if that counts. Santa’s Winterworld is based on documentaries, articles and pictures I have seen and read of his Lapp Land home.
Congratulations, Dimity, on the launch of your first children’s book. I wish you and Who Stole Santa’s Mail? great success and sales. I’m sure we’ll be celebrating more books from you in the very near future. Meanwhile, I hope Santa brings you something truly wonderful and lots of writing time in 2013.
In conjunction with Dimity’s blog tour, Morris Publishing invites you to enter the draw to win one of three copies of her book PS: Who Stole Santa’s Mail?
Send your answer to the question: ‘What do you think Santa wants for Christmas?’
. In the subject line put, PS: WSSM entry.
The competition closes at midnight on November 30th
, 2012. All entries will be assigned a number that will be entered into the prize draw. Winners will be notified by email. If you are not the lucky winner, you can purchase the book at your local bookshop. Please ask them to order it in for you if it is not in stock. A signed copy can also be purchased from http://morrispublishingaustralia.com
You can follow Dimity’s blog tour at the following stops:
Tania McCartney, Susan KBR 17 November 2012
My Little Bookcase 18 November 2012
Sheryl Gywther 19 November 2012
Morris Publishing Australia 20 November 2012
Kat Apel 21 November 2012
Elaine Ouston 22 November 2012
Renee Taprell 23 November 2012
Alison Reynolds 24 November 2012
Buzz Words, Vicki Stanton 25 November 2012
Chris Bell From Hook to Book 26 November 2012
Dee White 27 November 2012
Jackie Hosking PIO 28 November 2012
Alphabet Soup – Rebecca Newman 29 November 2012
Angela Sunde 30 November 2012