I recently did a Book Fair author visit to Shelley Public School in Blacktown, NSW. It was the first school visit I’ve done and I was a bit nervous about it. Would the kids care about my books? Had they read them? Would they be interested enough to ask questions?
Well, I needn’t have been worried. The kids were amazing. Almost half of them had already read Extinction: The Day The World Ended, and a few had read Give Me Four Reasons. The questions they asked showed that the kids were passionate about books and literature, and I think this is due, in big part, to their wonderful librarian. Of course I had a couple of the “How much money do you make?” questions. Kids are always interested in that side of things when deciding on a career path. But the most interesting questions were the ones about the plot.
“Why didn’t I introduce the American twins earlier?”
“Why did I decide to have twins at all?”
“Did I travel all over the world to research the book?”
“Is the purest source of air really in Tasmania?”
“What’s under Rufus Keller’s mask?”
“Why did the kid’s powers keep running out?”
These questions showed that the kids really knew and loved my books. I was so impressed and made to feel so welcome. I will come back anytime you ask, Shelley Public School!
Recently I ran a competition through the public libraries in Newcastle where kids could design an alternative cover for Extinction 2: The Explosive Conclusion. I had a tough time deciding on the winning entries. I was so impressed that I ended up choosing four, rather than three as I had outlined in the competition rules. Check out the winning designs below. Each winner received a signed copy of Extinction 2.
- By Iris age 12
Extinction 2: The Explosive Conclusion
Phew! I have just finished the final proofread of Extinction 2: The Explosive Conclusion. Now it will be sent to the printers and it will be in your local bookstores or on-line book store in August.
I am really proud of Extinction 1, but I feel that Extinction 2 is even stronger and more action-packed. You certainly won’t be disappointed. Travel to five continents awaits you as the the Chosen Ones try to complete their mission. Trouble in the form of humans, animals, climatic factors, and of course Rufus Keller will keep you on the edge of your seat, or bed or wherever you like to do your reading. And of course there will be a lot of time travel. The ending is truly explosive. You’ll need sunglasses just to read it! I wonder who will be the first to leave me a comment on my website after reading it?
Only two more months to wait . . .
- The Newcastle Herald, The Weekender
I have been receiving amazing feedback from my fans, young and old, about “Extinction: The Day The World Ended.” I remember reading once that the test of a good children’s book is that adults enjoy it too. The article was referring to C.S Lewis‘s Narnia Series. Whilst I am not placing Extinction: The Day The World Ended in such high and distinguised company as these acclaimed books, it is nice to know that it’s not just 12 year olds who love and are buying my book.
One woman commented that Extinction: The Day The World Ended has a “cheeky sense of humour”. I’m sure kids have noticed that too. There are many layers in my story and something different unfolds on each reading and with each reader.
Another adult fan told me that he reads lots of apocalyptic fiction
and that he liked the different take on it that Extinction had. And he loved the cliff-hanger ending.
My four year old daughter, Isla, loves the fact that the book has been dedicated to her. When I showed her the ‘For Isla’ dedication at the beginning of the book, she recognised her name and then ran off with the book, believing it to be hers. When a fan approached me recently at Isla’s gymnastic’s class, asking for me to sign her copy of the book, Isla grabbed the book and wouldn’t give it back. “It’s mine,” she told the woman. I can’t wait to start reading Extinction to her. I know she is a little young yet, but I have students in Year 2 (age 7) who are reading, and loving my book.
So how can publishers accurately put an age on a book? To do so will potentially limit the book’s audience. I know it’s necessary at the younger end of the scale, but to shelve C.S Lewis’s books in the children’s section is doing his brillaint stories, and others, a great disservice. And for readers, don’t bypass the children’s section, thinking that you are too “grown-up” for a great adventure story. No-one ever is.
Wow! My publishers, Scholastic, have made a book trailer for me! And thanks to James and Joshua for showing me how to embed it on my website. Watch it. It is absolutely awesome! It was made by a very talented film student in Sydney. She used stock images and clips and sounds that are available on various internet sites. I am so impressed with what she has done.
When I first watched the trailer, I got chills. It is so powerful and energetic. Is my book really that scary? I guess I kind of forget that it is, knowing it so well and being so close to it. Tell me what you think. And send the trailer to all of your friends or show them how to find it on YouTube by searching for Lizzie Wilcock Extinction.
I didn’t realise my website had risen in the google ranks and is now able to be found until I got a lovely message from a girl named Jane. She had already read Extinction and enjoyed it so much that she sought me out on the internet to tell me! Now I understand the purpose of a blog, and how rewarding it can be to keep in touch with your fan base. So Jane, thanks for spurring me into action.
I was actually surprised that Jane had already read Extinction, as I wasn’t aware that it was already out in the shops. I thought it was due to be released in March, but I guess we’re only a few days off that now and she must have a great local book store. I only received my complimentary copies from my wonderful publishers, Scholastic, yesterday, so my husband hasn’t even read Extinction yet!
When the box of books arrived yesterday, I was so excited. I tore open the box as though it was Christmas and I was ten years old. I certainly wasn’t disappointed that all it contained was books. As a kid I loved receiving books. I’d never before got 12 of the same title before, though! I felt the shiny cover. I smelled the pages. I looked inside for the dedication to my 4 year old daughter, Isla. And then I gave one to my husband, Phil. He had not read any part of the unpublished manuscript before. I am funny like that. I don’t share my ideas or sentences or chapters with anyone (except my editors of course) until the book is published. Phil started reading it and was still reading it late into the night. Normally it’s him asking me to turn the light off, as I am the one with my head in a book, but last night I allowed him to read to his heart’s content whilst I slept. He’s not much of a reader of fiction, so the fact that he couldn’t put it down meant so much to me.
So, to all my old fans, and my new, leave me messages to let me know what you think of Extinction. And in return, I will keep you posted on my new books due out later this year. Plus I will soon have some great competitions on this site, where you can win copies of my earlier books.
So here’s my first real “blog”, dedicated to you, Jane.