Total Quack Up is out from today

Earlier this year I got to illustrate a story written by Paul Jennings.

Yep, you heard right.

Paul.

Jennings.

Back in May, authors Adrian Beck and Sally Rippin were putting together an anthology of funny short stories written by some of Australia’s best kids’ authors. They were calling it Total Quack Up. All the writers were donating their time, Penguin was publishing it, and all profits were going to Dymocks Children’s Charities. The only thing they didn’t have yet was an illustrator.

I caught up for coffee with Adrian in Melbourne. He explained the project, but he didn’t say who any of the authors were. He said everyone was donating their time, and whoever illustrated it would need to do it quick – they’d only have a month to do 30-40 illustrations including a cover.

I said PLEASE LET ME DO IT PLEASE YES IT SOUNDS AWESOME.

He said, ‘are you sure?’

I said YEP COUNT ME IN ALL GOOD LET’S DO IT PLEASE AWESOME THANKS YES.

So Adrian and Sally and Penguin said okay, and I’m glad they did, because Mr Paul Jennings was one of the authors contributing to the anthology.

So …

… I got to illustrate a Paul Jennings story! OMG!!

I loved reading Paul Jennings’ stories as a kid; I would get chills from the spooky stories, and laugh myself silly at the funny stories. And of course I was glued to the TV whenever Round The Twist came on. So it was a fantastic surprise to find out that Paul was one of the authors in the anthology and that I’d get to illustrate one of his stories.

 


This is all a very long-winded way of telling you that I’ve illustrated an anthology called Total Quack Up!

It features stories from Paul Jennings, Deborah Abela, Tristan Bancks, Adrian Beck, Jacqueline Harvey, Alex Miles, Oliver Phommavanh, Sally Rippin, R.A. Spratt and Matt Stanton.

It also includes a story written by Ella Wallace (aged 11 and three-quarters), whose story won out over 172 other entries in the Total Quack Up kids writing competition. It is an incredibly funny story and easily my favourite in the whole anthology. Ella is a young writer to watch.

Continue reading “Total Quack Up is out from today”

Gastronauts is officially released today (and a Dead Bunny is back)

My new book Gastronauts is officially released today!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out … though I do wonder if I crossed the grossness threshold with this one.

Here’s the synopsis:

Sally Tinker – the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve – has developed her greatest invention yet. But when Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows it with disastrous (and gaseous) consequences, Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves, venture into the very bowels of Joe, and shut down the invention before it’s too late. What could possibly go wrong?

Magpies magazine calls it ‘hilariously funny … it will  be devoured by emerging readers. Perfect for school and public libraries.’ Cheers, Magpies!

You can read a free sample here, and check out some of my favourite images below.

Continue reading “Gastronauts is officially released today (and a Dead Bunny is back)”

Here comes the Gastronauts book tour

My new book Gastronauts is out in bookstores!

Even though the official release date is Oct 1st, there was a sneaky early release, so you can find it across the country and online. If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy, you can always ask them to order it in.

To celebrate, I’m traveling around WA, NSW and VIC from Sep 26-Oct 14 to do four book launches, a bunch of comic-drawing workshops and a couple of festivals too.

Scroll down for the list of events and dates. For full details, please visit my events page.

See you on the road 🙂

– James


Gastronauts

Buy local – find your closest bookshop

Or order online:
– Booktopia (Australia and NZ only)
Angus and Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Boffins
Dymocks
Book Depository

 

Gastronauts book launches (WA)

Hi everyone,

it’s almost time to officially launch the latest book in my ‘S.Tinker Inc.’ graphic novel series – it’s called ‘Gastronauts‘!

Here’s the synopsis:

Sally Tinker – the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve – has developed her greatest invention yet. But when Sally’s baby brother Joe swallows it with disastrous (and gaseous) consequences, Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves, venture into the very bowels of Joe, and shut down the invention before it’s too late. What could possibly go wrong?

If you’re in my hometown of Perth, there are two book launches: one north of the river and one south. Please come along and spread the word!

Sept 26:  Gastronauts book launch, Fremantle

gastronauts launch bannerCome help me celebrate the release of Gastronauts. The Paper Bird book club kids will preside over proceedings and officially launch the book!

WHEN: Wednesday Sept 26
TIME: 3pm-5pm
WHERE: Paper Bird Children’s Books and Art, 42 Henry St, Fremantle WA
AGES: the book is aimed at 7-10yo (but the whole family is welcome)
COST: FREE
BOOKINGS: essential; click here.

 

Oct 3:  Gastronauts book launch, Perth

This is in fact a group book launch called the ‘Great Big Dark and Spooky Book Read’!

It’s presented by my publisher Fremantle Press, the State Library of Western Australia and AWESOME Arts.

Follow the torchlight to your seat around the ‘campfire’ for a thrilling story time experience with amazing local writers. The Great Big Dark and Spooky Book Read features Gastronauts author and illustrator James Foley (that’s me!), Bush and Beyond  author Cheryl Kickett-Tucker, Off the Track author Cristy Burne, The Hole Story author Kelly Canby, In the Lamplight author Dianne Wolfer, and Ian Mutch, author of More and More and More. From the shadows cast by war to the inside of the human body, from cozy boltholes to the vastness of space, don’t let your fear of the dark discourage you. These fun and exciting stories will light up imaginations of children aged 5 and up!

Each ticket includes your choice of one of the books being launched on the day.

(I don’t mind which book you pick, they’re all good books! But if poo and fart jokes and comics are your thing, then *cough cough* I’d suggest Gastronauts, not biased or anything, of course, ahem).

WHEN: Wednesday Oct 3rd
TIME: 11:15am-12:30pm
WHERE: State Library Theatre, State Library of WA
AGES: 5yo+
COST: $25.20 (includes entry for a family of four, and one copy of a book of your choice); $5.20 for additional tickets
BOOKINGS: essential, click here.


If you can’t make it to a launch, don’t worry: you can already find Gastronauts in lots of bookshops around Australia and online (see links below).

GASTRONAUTS BOOK TOUR – WA, NSW, VIC

Check out my events page for details of my BOOK TOUR!
I’m doing over a dozen events in WA, NSW and VIC between Sep 26-Oct 14.


Buy ‘Gastronauts’

Buy local – find your closest bookshop

Or order online:
– Booktopia (Australia and NZ only)
Angus and Robertson (Australia only)
QBD (Australia only)
Boffins
Dymocks
Book Depository

World Change Challenge 2018

room-to-read-world-change-challenge-2018-1440x546

  • Did you know that there are nearly 800 million people in the world who can’t read?
  • Or that two thirds of those people are women and girls?

That’s why I support the amazing charity Room To Read as a Writer Ambassador.

Room To Read is looking for 50 schools around Australia to support 50 girls in the developing world. Each school needs to raise just $365 – that’s enough to send a girl to school for a year.

Two of the schools I’ve visited this year have already got involved. Maybe your school would like to organise a fundraiser around Book Week?

You can read more about the campaign (including more fundraising ideas) on Tristan Bancks’ website.

rtr_logo_color_large-400px-high

get-active-for-education-room-to-read-tristan-bancks

Give your kids Gastro this October!

Hello! I haven’t posted in a while, as things have been very busy at home – my wife and I now have a beautiful 5-month old baby. AND I’ve been working on a new book, which just went off to print today!

GASTRONAUTS is the third graphic novel in the S.Tinker Inc. series, featuring the irrepressible Sally Tinker. She’s the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and there’s no problem she can’t solve. Unfortunately there’s no problem her inventions can’t cause, either; she’s already built a robot that went completely out of control, and created a giant dung beetle that terrorised her town. In this new story the problem is a lot smaller, in that her baby brother Joe has swallowed a teeny-tiny invention.  Sally and her friend Charli must shrink themselves and venture into the very bowels of Joe to shut down the swallowed invention before it causes some unintended (and very gaseous) consequences.

Gastronauts will be out in bookshops and online on October 1st, 2018. Your kids have probably given you gastro a few times, so now you can return the favour 😉

And here’s the cover! I’m so happy with how it turned out. Big thanks to the awesome team at Fremantle Press for being wonderful, as always.

If you’re super keen to grab a copy and don’t want to forget or miss out, you can pre-order now at Booktopia.

I’ll do some more posts the closer we get to the book birthday.

And FYI, there will be launches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, so stay tuned for details!

Thanks for reading,

James

 

Events for Sept-Oct 2017, including the Dungzilla book launch

I’ve got some Perth-based school holiday workshops, and the Perth book launch of Dungzilla!
Plus, some fantastic events in Queensland in early September, including the My Dead Bunny musical.

Continue reading “Events for Sept-Oct 2017, including the Dungzilla book launch”

Upcoming events for April/May/June

I’ve got bunch of workshops and talks over the next three months, including sessions at writers’ festivals in Armadale, Midland, Margaret River and Sydney!


To get email notifications of future events, you can either:
– subscribe to new blog posts via the little box on the right.
– sign up for my newsletter, The James Foley-o, and get all my news and events in a quarterly email.


April 8-23 – Eggsibition

Exhibition,noun = a public display of works of art or items of interest, held in an art gallery or museum.
Eggsibition, noun =  an exhibition about Eggs!

The eggcelent creatives at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators have cooked up a cracking good collection of work. Come along to Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts in Fremantle to see what they’ve hatched.

 

Continue reading “Upcoming events for April/May/June”

Upcoming events, January-March 2017

I’ve got bunch of workshops over the next three months, most of them free! But firstly, a public service announcement:

Please check my upcoming events page for updates to these and other events – sometimes new events are added at the last minute, or details can change.

To get email notifications of future events, you can either:
– subscribe to this blog via the little box on the right; you’ll get each post emailed to you.
OR
– sign up for my free newsletter, The James Foley-o, and get all my news and events in a single quarterly email.

Jan 21 – Books From Your Backyard – FREE EVENT

I’m doing a free mini-workshop this school holidays!

Come to ‘Books From Your Backyard’ at the State Library of WA. I’ll be there along with 9 other local authors and illustrators – Frané Lessac, Gabriel Evans, Kelly Canby, Teena Raffa-Mulligan, Bec J. Smith, Cris Burne, Aska, Elaine Forrestal, Dianne Wolfer and Norman Jorgensen. We’re each hosting a little session, giving readings, and running fun activities for kids. And it’s all FREEEEEEE. My session is from 3-3:25pm, after which I’ll be signing copies of my latest book Brobot.

Continue reading “Upcoming events, January-March 2017”