Here is the cover of my brand new Our Australian Girl. Her name is Pearlie. Isn’t it gorgeous?
And isn’t Faye gorgeous too? Before my publisher sent me Faye’s photo, I didn’t have a clear picture of Pearlie in my mind so it was lovely to know what she really looked like.
If you like to write yourself think of a friend or cut a photo out of a magazine. It always helps to know exactly who you are writing about. You need to know your main character inside and out. And your minor characters too for that matter.
Pearlie is quiet and not very brave. She likes to read and write. She’s scared of heights. She loves animals. She is kind.
Her best friend Naoko is completely opposite in personality. She’s very brave and loves adventure. She doesn’t like to read or write but loves to draw.
My editor and I chose the background colour when I was in the Penguin offices at Docklands one day. My editor is Davina Bell. You can check out her website here. She is lovely and very clever because as well as being a super editor, she also writes books.
She authored the Alice books in the OAG series.
Davina said to me, ‘What colour would you like the cover to be, Gabi?’
‘I’m not sure,’ I replied. In my mind I was thinking along the lines of reddish brown to go with the muted colours of Darwin. But brown is not a good colour for a children’s book is it?
I walked across to the bookshelf to get some colourful ideas. I didn’t have to look very far. There it was!
A soft dusty pink.
On the cover there’s a Japanese sword. I’m not telling you why the sword is there because I don’t want to give anything away. There’s also an illustration of a book. This is the scrapbook that Pearlie and her best friend Naoko share. It is a book that binds their friendship together.
This is the blurb:
‘It’s 1941 and the war is changing Pearlie’s life every day. Darwin is full of soldiers, there’s a spy on the loose, and people are turning against Pearlie’s best friend, Naoko, just because she’s Japanese. When everything falls apart, will Pearlie be brave enough to stick up for what’s right, or will her old fears get the better of her?
Meet Pearlie and join her adventure in the first of four exciting stories about a courageous girl in a world at war.’
At the moment I’m writing the first draft of Book 3 which is called Pearlie the Spy.
Book 2 is written but needs to be edited. It’s called Pearlie’s Pet Rescue.
I haven’t begun Book 4 yet. It will be called Pearlie Finds a Friend.
I still have a long way to go with Pearlie but I’ll keep you posted.