The Break has landed!

The Break, my first title for adults, has landed! It was launched in fine style at New Edition Bookshop in Fremantle on 1 September. It was an amazing night and the bookshop ran out of books. I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come!

Here are some reviewers’ thoughts on The Break:

‘Fitzpatrick’s love and knowledge of her home state is evident. Her prose is fluid and evocative […] the sea is almost another character in the novel. The Break will resonate with fans of Tim Winton, as Fitzpatrick writes about the natural environment with similar texture and intensity.’ — Books+Publishing

‘There is some startlingly good, original and moving writing about landscape and place in this novel. It’s a brave writer who takes on landscape writing, in an area so close to the region that Tim Winton has over decades made so unforgettably his own. But Fitzpatrick’s best writing about the place and its ecology is almost mystical, with an attention to detail at once lyrical and microscopic.’ — Canberra Times

‘Quiet, refined, and captivating, The Break explores the emotional fissures that open up inside and between people, and, ultimately, how those rifts are healed.’ —Australian Book Review

‘The novel explores the experience of settling in and adapting to a rural lifestyle in contrast with the feeling of being trapped into living a parent’s expectations rather than following one’s own. Conflicts and doubts are often unspoken, and the boy’s awareness of his parents’ crumbling marriage is touching to read. […] The fragility of the environment is mirrored in the fragility of the human relationships under scrutiny.’ — ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

New book and updates

2014 has already been so much busier than I could ever have imagined!

I had a ball at the 2014 Perth Writers Festival in February, giving author talks and workshops on Schools Day and Family Day. I met Morris Gleitzman and heard so many fantastic authors talking about their books and their ideas.

I then enjoyed a week at Duncraig Senior High School as writer-in-residence, with the Years 8, 9 and 10 students and their teachers. Thanks for some great moments of fun and creativity, guys!

Thanks to the support of writingWA, DCA and the National Book Development Council of Singapore, I attended the incredible Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2014 in Singapore in June, an event that ‘brings together content creators and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children around the world’. I learnt so much during the conference and met some writers from our regain, near and far.

In September I have a new—adult!—title coming out. Updates soon—watch this space!

I’m also very excited about the forthcoming US publication of The Amazing Spencer Gray, following the successful sale of the foreign publishing rights of the book to Star Bright Books in Massachusetts, USA.

2013 Newsletter

2013 has been a fun and really exciting year.

In May I participated in the English Teachers’ Association of WA (ETAWA) all-day event, ‘A Day at the Museum’, at the Maritime Museum in Fremantle, meeting loads of high school students and their teachers and having some very funny conversations about what makes a bogan.

In June I had a stimulating and busy week as writer-in residence at the Warnbro Community High School Library. Librarians Kate and Bev made my job look easy and the students gave our creative writing workshops their all, producing some excellent original writing. Thank you all!
July was busy, with my beloved annual trek down to Balingup for the Telling Tales Festival, followed by a flight north to Kununurra, where I had the pleasure of participating in the Kimberley Writers Festival. It was as far north—and east—I’ve ever travelled in WA, and the landscapes and people were magnificent. We were treated to a spectacular boat trip up the Ord River, which firmed my resolve to go back to this beautiful part of the country with my family. The writers had a ball being shown around and guided through the program by the staff of the Kununurra Community Library, and the Kununurra District High School, making lots of new friends. Thank you Jo Roach and your team!

During Children’s Book Week in August 2013 I was delighted to meet students, teachers and library staff at: Murray Public Library in Pinjarra (where I met a student whose name is Spencer Gray—I kid you not!), Bentley Library, Coolbinia Primary School, Subiaco Library, Duncraig SHS and Whitford Library. Then I flew across to Kalgoorlie where I spent the week meeting kids from the many schools in the beautiful Goldfields. Thank you Carolina and all the staff at the William Grundt Library in Kal! The month of August was capped off by presenting award-winners with their prizes at the annual Newspapers in Education (NIE) Young Writers’ Contest 2013. The quality of the entries was phenomenal, and it was a real honour to be able to congratulate the winning students and meet their teachers and parents. Here’s a photo of me and Sylvester Andrysiak, courtesy of Newspapers in Education and Claire Miller of Fremantle Press.

Deb presenting an award to Sylvester Andrysiak from Inglewood Primary School at the Newspapers in Education (NIE) Young Writers’ Contest 2013.
• My new book, The Amazing Spencer Gray, is set to be released on 1 May 2013! It’s an adventure story for kids aged 9 to 12.
The Amazing Spencer Gray will be serialised in The West Australian’s Ed! section every Tuesday in Term 2 of 2013. Watch out for the weekly instalments and ask your teachers to get a copy of the paper to share with the class!
• I’ll be attending this year’s All Saint’s College ‘Litfest’, from 20 to 22 March, along with lots of other exciting and entertaining Australian writers. Hope to see you there!
• I’ll also be at the annual Balingup writers and readers festival, ‘Telling Tales’, in the July school holidays, along with a few of my friends. Come down for the weekend and bring your mum and dad – we’d love to meet you.

Have you seen Ally Queen? was listed as a Notable Book for 2012

It’s been a big year. Have you seen Ally Queen? was listed as a Notable Book for 2012 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, as well as being listed in the Premier’s Reading Challenge in South Australia.

I’ve been busy visiting schools and libraries and attending writers and readers festivals, including:
Rosalie Writers Festival
Telling Tales Festival in Balingup

Darling Range Sports College Writers Festival
I’ve been part of the Jean Genies traveling pants library program

I’m taking part in the WritingWA Writers on the Road regional program in November this year, visiting some libraries in the south-west of WA.
Children’s Book Week is coming up and I’m thrilled to be visiting libraries in the City of Swan, Nedlands Library, Rockingham Libraries and St Stephens School in Duncraig.

90 Packets of Instant Noodles listed as a Notable Book for 2011

Noodles on Notables! I couldn’t have been more delighted to hear that 90 packets of instant noodles was listed as a Notable Book for 2011 by the Children’s Book Council of Australia!

Notable Australian Children’s Books 2011

720 Radio Interview

720 Radio Interview

Audio interview with 720 Radio host Gillian O’Shaughnessy