Call me accident-prone if you like (you wouldn’t be alone), but I may be the first author to sprain an ankle on a virtual book tour. As you know, over the past month, I’ve been visiting writing buddies across the country talking about my first book in the Choose Your Own Ever After series – How to Get To Rio (HGE, 2014). As it’s been a virtual tour, I’ve been able to do all of my interviews and guest posts, without having to get on a plane or disrupt my family schedule. But that’s where things got dangerous.
Mid blog tour, I was enjoying a family holiday in Noosa when trouble struck. While most people know the glossy side of Noosa, many don’t know its wild side. On the north shore of the Noosa River is a largely unspoilt wilderness of tea tree swamps, riptides, snakes, stingrays and sharks. You don’t have to try too hard to get into strife there. The bush tracks and sandbanks were the setting for my first kids’ adventure series – Hazard River (Ford Street, 2010)
Conditions were perfect this Easter. The weather was glorious, and I hadn’t seen a snake, a shark or even a cane toad. I’d been able to attend to my virtual blog tour responsibilities efficiently (a post here, a share there, everywhere a tweet, retweet) and still had plenty of time to get to the beach and go for lots of lovely early-morning bike rides. Glory days! My mistake however was to get involved in a friendly game of North Shore beach soccer.
It was boys against the rest, as usual, and we were not going too well. The parents were down five-nil, when I was passed the ball. I dribbled it towards the goal, feeling confident. But before I had a chance to launch my strike, I was taken out by a slide tackle. I can’t name names, but mothers of boys will understand who was responsible. I went down in agony and the game was abandoned.
Now I’m sitting at my desk with an icepack on my badly sprained and discoloured ankle, even though it’s the weather for Ugg boots. I should be walking the Great Ocean Road with my book club pals, instead, I’m over-sharing on social media. I’m wondering how things would have turned out if I’d packed my bags and gone on an actual book tour to launch the Choose Your Own After series.
This is just the sort of thing I explored in How to Get To Rio – a pick-a-path story for girls 10-14, where every choice has its consequences. By complete coincidence the main character feigns a sprained ankle to get out of a camping trip. I can’t tell you what happens from there, but Kitty gets a nasty surprise too, on one of the pathways. But if the reader doesn’t like the outcome, she can always go back and pick a different path.
Of course, that doesn’t work in real life. What’s done is done. All I can do is hope everyone learns from their mistakes. I have. My beach soccer striker days are definitely over (some might say they never really began). I’ll stick to the sidelines from now on or suggest a safer game. Just what that might be I’m not sure. I know a mother who broke her arm playing beach cricket with her kids, and I heard of another mum who banned her son from all competitive sport because she feared an accident. He fainted during a choir rehearsal and broke his wrist.
As for virtual blog tours, I’m prepared to take my chances again next time. They aren’t always dangerous. The biggest risks are probably tripping over the dog on the way to make toast or having a panic attack when the tea bags run out. Having said that, life is full of surprises!
Thank you to my talented and generous author friends who hosted me on my on this tour. You are legends.
Thanks also to Amazing Australia for including me on their website. Not an intended stop on my book tour, and not a list I wanted to be on, either (see the garfish section). This one’s for extreme animal attacks – another wrong place, wrong time holiday story.
Here’s a wrap up of my tour, just in case you missed any of my stops.
Sherryl Caulfield – Interview
Australian children’s and young adult author, Julie Fison, has a new book out this month called How To Get To Rio. It’s part of a cool new Choose Your Own Ever After series that lets the reader decide how the story goes. I have loved this concept ever since I read The French Lieutenant’s Woman which had three possible endings … (read more)
Kids’ Book Review – The unintended consequences of writing
Authors can find themselves in the strangest situations. Admittedly, they are mostly in our heads as we duck and weave our way through fictitious plot twists. And with the amount of information on the internet, we scarcely even need to leave our desk for research purposes. A walk to the kitchen to put the kettle on is a big excursion some days … (read more)
Dee White’s Writing Classes for Kids: Writing a pick-a-path story
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with one good ending so I’m totally in awe of people like Julie who are able to write a book with multiple endings and the reader gets to choose their own path… (read more)
Cereal Readers – Interview/review
Cereal Readers is pleased to welcome a new Australian series out this month, called Choose Your Own Ever After. The series has been written for girls aged 10-14 years with a focus on realistic situations relating to friendships, family, school and budding romance. As in every day life, dilemmas arise for the main characters – situations in which they must make decisions and determine their own path. Each of the books is structured so that the reader becomes integrally involved in the direction of the story, making choices for the main character at critical points along the way and there by affecting the outcome of events … (read more)
Dimity Powell’s Boomerang Books Blog – Interview/review
The choices kids are offered in life are often not worth writing about, at least not in their books. ‘Eat your brussel sprouts or go to bed hungry.’ Hardly welcome decision making. Yet understanding action and consequence is vital for building character, strengthening confidence and learning that ‘choice, not chance, determines ones future. Opportunities might come our way by chance, but it’s what we choose to do with them that is important,’ so believes author, Julie Fison … (read more)
Buzz Words – Interview/review
A different spin on the idea of choosing your own adventure, is a series aimed at 10 to 14 year old girls, where the reader gets to make decisions about her ‘ever after’. Based around the character’s relationships with girl friends, cute boys and family, this story plays out various scenarios based on choices the reader makes as she goes along … (read more)
City North News – feature
Extra dates announced!
May: Bug in a Book – Review
Kitty McLean faces the dilemma of choosing between her old best friends, Mia and Izzy, or her new, cool friend Persephone – all in the pursuit of Rio, the cute boy that catches her school bus each day, whom she has a crush on. Kitty has to decide whether she will spend her holiday camping without power with Mia and Izzy, or spend a week at a resort with Persephone and meeting up with Rio at the beach. (Read more)
June: The Book Chook – Writing tips
‘Tween girls will simply love this choose your own adventure style new series. Dealing with real world issues, How to Get to Rio gives the reader a delicious amount of power over the story they read – what will your Ever After be?’ The Little Bookroom
‘This is a perfect girls novel, where the reader gets to make Kitty’s decisions. Full of friends, family, school and first love, this book is fun, sensitive and has great characters that the girls will recognise and relate to (especially the annoying little brothers!). Best of all, you can read this book lots of times with lots of different stories. Perfect for Year 7 & 8 girls.’ Lamont
Pub Date: April 2014
Choose Your Own Ever After: How to Get to Rio
Author: Julie Fison
198 x 128mm