Today we welcome Elaine Ouston to Promote Me Please to talk about her new book, The Bunyip in the Billabong.
Q.1. The Bunyip in the Billabong is the first in a new series called Bush Tails. What came first, the idea for the story or the idea for the series? Will later books also feature Matthew and his family?
A.1. The bunyip story was written some years ago for The School Magazine. I had just had a short story, A Close Call, published in their magazine and wrote a couple more for submission to them. They said they loved the story, the mystery, and the way it was written, but they asked me to change the ending. In that first draft, I had Nathan taking the lambs and killing them for food. Apparently, they considered this too gory for their readers so they asked me to come up with another ending. At the time, I was busy with other books and just starting with publishing, so I put it aside to rewrite it at a later date. Recently, I was going through files looking for another story and came across it. In the same file were several other stories loosely based on life on the station where I lived as a child. I decided they would make an interesting series. One of the other books features Matthew and Kate.
Q.2. A billabong with an underwater cave entrance is guaranteed to excite young readers. Is this based on a real place? If not, where did you get the idea?
A.2. We had a billabong in our front paddock on the station where I lived. It was a spring-fed waterhole. It was very deep at one end and had a rocky ledge we jumped off when we swam there. The rest came from my imagination as I plotted the story.
Q.3. The Bunyip in the Billabong is set firmly in the outback. How would you introduce the story to a child of the inner city?
A.3. Most children have heard of the bunyip and love mystery and adventure stories, so I don't think they would care where it is set. Besides, it teaches them how the country kids live and most kids are inquisitive.
Q.4. The way the story is presented makes it suitable for a wide range of ages. It could be read to younger children, read by independent readers, and would also suit less able or less confident older readers. Is this a happy coincidence or a deliberate strategy?
A.4. Deliberate strategy. I have many grandchildren of all ages who are reluctant readers and try to come up with ways to get them to read.
Q.5. What are three words you’d use to describe the Bush Tails series?
A 5. Fun, adventure, mystery.
The Bunyip in the Billabong will be available in book shops through Dennis Jones and Associates, from all library suppliers, and on many online bookshops through them and Ingrams. The eBook will be on Amazon and all eBook distributors.
Check out the links below.
Click HERE for our review of The Bunyip in the Billabong.
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