As many of you will know, I write across genres and age groups. But publishing a picture book has always been a secret wish. Thanks to Adrianne Fitzpatrick and Books To Treasure Publishing, that dream has finally been realised. I’m delighted to share with you the full cover of my picture book entitled, SERIOUS SAS AND MESSY MAGDA. Below that are some of the internal ullustrations. Rachel Brigden has created such fun pictures for the book!

You can buy the book online through the usual outlets; including FISHPOND, BOOK DEPOSITORY, AMAZON UK, AMAZON, and the publisher themselves. It’s a perfect gift for any young family.

click to enlarge both

I find writing the year in review is a bit like a meditation, so I hope it doesn’t bore you too much while I relfect and wonder.

Professionally, this has been the year of me regrouping and seeking renewed enthusiasm to write. By the middle of 2012, I was burned out and finding my writing and the industry in a head-bashing and brick wall relationship. I stepped into this year with a fresh perspective and thought far less about selling books and far more about writing them. When Angry Robot made an offer on PEACEMAKER I was thrilled to be finally writing the book I’d long been itching to complete (but kept being told wasn’t commercial enough). WIN!

I did some writing teaching, judging competitions and took a bit of time putting in a PHD application to Curtin Uni. The workshops kept a little bit of cash coming in (thank you Redlands Council), and the PHD app was only partially successful – I got in but didn’t get the living allowance scholarship. I’m forced to make some new choices for the future now and I’m taking the Christmas break to consider what they might be. Partial WIN!

In an attempt to supplement this year’s meagre income, I launched my own social media consulting business which has been a bit of a financial failure. The reality is that no one in the writing industy wants to pay for anything. In fact, I spent some time looking for freeleance web content work, and almost 90% of the jobs advertised were voluntary/interns positions. Writing is very devalued. No WIN.

The end of the writing year had some highlights though. The cover for Peacemaker turned out to be sensational (IMHO), and my first children’s picture book was released – see SERIOUS SAS and MESSY MAGDA. Both these events were golden moments in the year for me. WIN.

Personally, I began coaching a junior girls basketball team. I’ve long put off coaching sport for many reasons, but the time finally felt right. It’s been one of the most stimulating and enjoyable projects I’ve embarked on in a very long time. Great team, great parents, great manager and co-coaches.

I’ve also connected with Lauren Galley from Girls Above Society. Lauren is an extraordinary young woman who it is well worth your time getting to know. WIN. WIN. WIN. WIN.

I could spend hours talking about my family but I won’t! Suffice to say they are all well and getting about their lives, leaving me to enter the next stage of mine. I’m working through the desolation of empty nest and thinking about the future. Long term WIN; short term sadness.

2013 in Entertainment is better summed up but the Guardian than me, so check this out.

On the world stage, we lost Nelson Mandela but Obama is still president and gay activism reached an all time high. On the down side, there was way too much talk about Miley! I’ve found it fascinating how social media allows us to obsess on a subject/object for a very short hyperreal moment or two before we’re hauled inexorably onto the next thing. How we think is most definitely being shaped by how we communicate.

The Escape Club website continues to be a labour of love, putting together fun content for teens and young at hearts, and I want to publically thank my team – Bel, Mandy, Joelene, Krista, Lisa, Jamie, Bec, Diana, Amy, Chris and Phil for everything they do. Without them my life wouldn’t be nearly as rich or as much fun! Next year I hope to be welcoming Kylie back to the bunch.

On this website, I’ve blogged mainly about the TV series I’m enjoying, but next year I will extend that to include reviews of music videos as well. MDP On MusicVids.

So, in closing, I just want to say thank you to those of you who actually read this blog and especially those who comment. You gotta know that a hello from any of you always makes my day! 

I’m leaving you with some music – love the energy and honesty in this remix. There is so much talent in this world!

Merry Christmas!

Marianne xx








davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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