An article on community writing challenges in the pandemic

An article in which I was a joint contributor, wearing my hat as Chair of the New England Writers’ Centre, has just been published in the international academic journal Reflections, which focuses on issues of community writing engagement. The article, written with Ariella van Luyn from the University of New England(who is also on the NEWC Board) and Lyn Aspey, current NEWC program manager, is about how NEWC had to move our program online during 2020 and the first covid lockdown, and is centred in particular around the online course in historical novel writing which Ariella ran that year. Each of us wrote our sections from a particular perspective; myself as Chair, Ariella as course facilitator/presenter, and Lyn as both a course participant and later program manager. Ariella also wrote the introduction and conclusion.

Thought it might be of interest to readers: check it out here.

Proof copy of Magical Tales from French Camelot

Just before New Year, what a lovely surprise in the mail: a proof copy of Magical Tales from French Camelot, my forthcoming book with the fantastic Lorena Carrington! To be published by Serenity Press in March 2022, it features my original translations and retellings of some great French Arthurian classic tales from the Middle Ages, principally stories by the great twelfth-century French writers Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, illustrated by absolutely superb pictures by Lorena. It’s so good to be able to leaf through this first copy–looking wonderful!

By the way, the book is for adults and teenagers–certainly not for ‘7 plus’ as some websites have it.

Illustration by Lorena Carrington for ‘The Boy in the Forest, the Girl in the Wasteland, and the Fisher King’, from Magical Tales from French Camelot.

Cover reveal of Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!

I am delighted to reveal the fabulous cover of Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, my forthcoming picture book with Kathy Creamer, to be published by Little Pink Dog Books in June 2022. Isn’t it fantastic!

Here’s the blurb of the book:

Richie the rooster loved waking up the farm each morning. He loved it so much that he began to crow earlier and earlier. Again and again!  Stop, everyone cried. But Richie wouldn’t stop. Until one day…

A hilarious story about how sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, by the acclaimed author and illustrator team who also created See Monkey and Join the Armidale Parade.

This was a story that was such fun to write, and pure joy to see the wonderfully riotous, colourful and characterful visual world Kathy has created for the noisy but endearing rooster Richie, his long-suffering friends on the farm–and the sneaky intruder with the red coat 🙂 I think readers are going to have a lot of fun with it, too. Can’t wait till it comes out!

Find out more and pre-order the book at the Little Pink Dog Books website, here.

A Hundred Words for Butterfly now available on Audible

For anyone who uses Audible, some good news: A Hundred Words for Butterfly, narrated by the wonderful Sarah Kennedy and published by Spineless Wonders Audio, is now available for purchase there, just in time for the holiday season! You can get it free with an Audible trial if you’re not yet a member, buy it within a subscription, or buy it separately, as a non-member. If you do decide to obtain it via Audible, I’d be delighted if you could put up a review of it there. Many thanks!

And remember, you can of course also get the book on many other platforms, see the full list here. Reviews on any site very welcome!

Cover reveal for Sydney Under Attack!

I am excited to reveal the absolutely stunning cover of my forthcoming historical novel for middle-grade readers, Sydney Under Attack, which is set in late May and early June 1942, at the time of the Japanese midget submarine attacks in Sydney Harbour.

The book will be published in March 2022 by Scholastic Australia, it was edited by Clare Hallifax, and the cover was designed by Chad Mitchell. Isn’t it striking!

Here’s the blurb of the book:

In 1942, 12-year-old Nick lives in Rose Bay, Sydney, with his mum, dad and sister, and dreams of becoming a writer like his dad. But with the world at war, Nick is constantly on alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary and then late one night he sees it! A plane! But no-one believes him! Then, the unimaginable happens. Sydney is attacked! And Nick starts noticing people behaving strangely. Is it just his imagination or something more sinister?

I hope readers will much enjoy this novel, which is as much a mystery and spy story as it is historical novel and war story. Nick was a great character to write–he is so lively, energetic, and imaginative, even if he does sometimes gets hold of the wrong end of the stick 🙂 And it was a fascinating book to research, too–trawling through documents, archival films and photos, and Sydney newspapers of the time (thank you, Trove!)

The book is part of Scholastic’s Australia’s Second World War series–it’s the third one, in fact. And I wrote the first in that series, too, War and Resistance, which was published in 2019. Sydney Under Attack also has a link not only to War and Resistance, but to another novel of mine, 1914, published in 2014, which was part of another series Scholastic published, Australia’s Great War. The three novels are linked through one French-Australian family, the Jullians, who appear in different roles in each of the three books, as main characters in the first two, across two generations, and as important but not main characters in the the third. It has been absolutely amazing to have been able to do that and keep the link through the three books!

Crowdfunding campaign for Inside Story!

I’m very pleased to announce the launch of the crowdfunding campaign for a unique and wonderful book I’m involved in, as part of the writing and production team–Inside Story: the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books.

Inside Story will be a full colour illustrated book, an invaluable resource and guide for aspiring writers, illustrators, editors and designers, but also of great appeal to anyone interested in the wonderful world of Australian children’s books. Commissioned by the New England Writers’ Centre, with the support of Create NSW, it is being produced and published by UPA Books, the collaborative imprint newly launched by United Publishers of Armidale partners Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books, working with a team of local professional writers, illustrators, designers, and editors. Contributions from other creatives and professionals–writers, illustrators, editors, designers, agents, publishers, booksellers and reviewers- from across the country are also included. The book will be published under the UPA Books banner in May 2022.

The crowdfunding campaign is to raise funds for printing, marketing etc.
Here’s the direct link to the campaign, which includes a video, lots of good FAQs, and all details of perks etc:

There are great perks available for campaign backers, including, of course, copies of the book. Regular updates on progress of the book will be posted on the campaign page. The crowdfunding campaign will end on Dec 2.

And here below is the fabulous video to introduce the crowdfunding campaign, and the project itself. Hope you might consider joining us!

Registration link for A Hundred Words for Butterfly event

On this Wednesday, September 15, at 6pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, we are going to be launching A Hundred Words for Butterfly with a fabulous online event, including interviews (of me and the narrator Sarah Kennedy), readings by the finalists of the #100words4butterfly comp, a virtual cocktail and pintxo party, games, and more!

You can join the event via the event page on Spineless Wonders Facebook or if you are not on Facebook, register via the booking link here (it’s free, but registering will mean you get all info, the link and a calendar reminder of the event).

Hope to see you there–it’s going to be such fun!

First review of A Hundred Words for Butterfly!

Delighted to say that the first review of A Hundred Words for Butterfly has just appeared, on the Kobo website, which is one of the retailers where you can buy the book. It’s an absolutely lovely review by the fantastic artist Lorena Carrington. Here’s a short extract:

Sophie Masson’s A Hundred Words for Butterfly is a wonderful listen. The relationship and tension between twins Helen and Alex felt very real, and the gently unfurling relationship between Helen and Tony was refreshing and so lovely. And of course the wonderful descriptions of the towns and countryside – and food! – made me feel an intense longing for the Basque Country...

You can read the whole review on the Australian Kobo site and the US Kobo site.

Butterfly now available at several retailers

I’m delighted to announce that just one week away from official release and our celebratory event, A Hundred Words for Butterfly is now available to buy at several online audiobook retailers across the world, including Authors Direct, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, Audible, Libro, Apple, Booktopia, and others.

Authors Direct: https://shop.authors-direct.com/products/a-hundred-words-for-butterfly-a-novella

Scrib: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/521946210/A-Hundred-Words-For-Butterfly-A-Novella

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/hundred-words-for-butterfly-a

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Sophie_Masson_A_Hundred_Words_For_Butterfly?id=AQAAAEC85Eak6M

Chirp: https://www.chirpbooks.com/audiobooks/a-hundred-words-for-butterfly-by-sophie-masson

Audible: https://www.audible.com.au/pd/A-Hundred-Words-for-Butterfly-Audiobook/B09M99H3BC

Nook: https://www.nookaudiobooks.com/audiobook/1050161/A-Hundred-Words-For-Butterfly

Libro: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781667036939

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/id1583208746

Booktopia: https://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?keywords=A+hundred+words+for+butterfly&productType=917510

The book is three hours and 10 minutes long, and superbly narrated by the wonderful voice artist Sarah Kennedy. Sound design and editing are by Martin Gallagher, and production is by Spineless Wonders Audio. Hope you enjoy it! And please do consider writing a review and sharing it on the retailer platforms, your social media, etc.