Perth Writers’ Festival sessions, and advice from Andy Griffiths

Andy-Griffiths-and-me

 

I first presented at the Perth Writers’ Festival in 2013. I sat on a signing table next to Andy Griffiths. And this year I’m back for more sessions about my latest book, The Last Viking Returns.

I’ll explain the story with the photo above, but first I’ll give you the details for this year’s festival.

Perth Writers’ Festival 2015

Thurs 19th- Schools’ day. I’m doing a panel session with Kyle Hughes-Odgers where we’ll talk about our different approaches to illustration. We’ll also get started on a mural that students can contribute to.

Sun 22nd- Family Day. Kyle and I will continue with the mural and kids can come help. I’m also doing a talk at the Tropical Grove at 1pm about Vikings. It’s free!

For more info check out the Perth Writers’ Festival website.

Advice from Andy

I, like many other authors, have experienced the feeling of insignificance one gets when sitting next to Andy Griffiths at a signing table. I’m sure the Germans have a word for it. Luckily this photo was taken while I had a book to sign, and at such an angle that you can’t see the immense queue waiting for Andy.

I was too awestruck to say hello, and in all honesty I didn’t want to bother him while he was so busy signing. But I met him properly later that year at the Literature Centre’s annual conference.

I said to him I was just starting out in the industry, and that another children’s book creator had told me you really need to stick at it for a while in order to ‘make it’. He replied, “you never really ‘make it’ … And if you think you have, you’ll lose your audience”.

I couldn’t believe I was hearing this from Andy Griffiths, arguably Australia’s most successful children’s author (and writer of Australia’s No.1 bestselling book for 2014, no less).

It was wonderful to hear such humility from someone so successful, and I need to remember it, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the race to ‘succeed’ while missing out on important things along the way. And if I ever reach the stratospheric success of Andy (and partner-in-crime Terry Denton) I want to stay humble and appreciative of my audience like they are; God help me if I become an arrogant attention junkie. If that happens I’m sure my friends and family will book me in for an emergency recto-craniotomy.

Author: James Foley

James makes books for courageous kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016) and Dungzilla (2017) star Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The third in the series, Gastronauts, will be published in late 2018. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015) In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. James comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta @jamesfoleybooks, or at www.jamesfoley.com.au .

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