I’m delighted to reveal the gorgeous cover of Four Up In Lights, the third and final in the fun little chapter-book series I’ve created with the wonderful illustrator Cheryl Orsini. The series, which has been very popular with young readers, is about the funny, fast-paced adventures of four friends who just happen to be vintage vehicles–two cars, a motorbike and a tractor–and I’ve really loved writing it, and loved, too, collaborating with Cheryl, who has made our four friends come to such lively, characterful and endearing life! Four Up In Lights will be released in September by Christmas Press, and is a sequel to Four On The Run(2020) and Four All At Sea (2021).
Isn’t the cover just beautiful! And below the cover you can also see the books as a set–they look pretty good together, don’t they!
Last night was the opening of my Angel Time exhibition with the wonderful painter Angus Nivison, at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale. It was so exciting to see it up: it looks absolutely wonderful, so gorgeously and imaginatively displayed, immersive and extraordinary, my words and Angus’ striking, haunting artworks flowing in and out of each other beautifully. As well as my poems, song lyrics and prose fragment displayed on the walls next to the paintings they are inspired by, there are several audio readings, accessible via QR codes, of extracts from my novel The Ghost Squadwhich directly inspired others of Angus’ paintings, and also a ‘word cloud’ which is projected onto translucent hangings: looks so spookily effective! There was a big, interested crowd present and lots of great comments–people were really intrigued by it. The exhibition is on till August 28, so lots of opportunities for people to see it! Below are some pics from the exhibition.
This was an absolutely fantastic creative collaboration, the whole way through, and I am so grateful to Caroline Downer and Arts North West for initiating it, and to Rachael Parsons, Belinda Hungerford and the whole NERAM team for showcasing it so magnificently. And of course, the very warmest of thanks to my co-creator, Angus Nivison, who’s not only a most extraordinary artist, but also a lovely, generous human being and a real pleasure to work with!
Today I met with the wonderful locally-based painter Angus Nivison, as well as Arts North West director Caroline Downer, New England Regional Art Museum Director Rachael Parsons and NERAM exhibition director Belinda Hungerford, to plan the final stages for a wonderful collaborative exhibition that Angus and I are creating. Called Angel Time, it will open on July 1 at NERAM and will go till August 28. It is something that grew out of an Arts North West workshop last year called Looking Both Ways, where artists and writers were paired together to create joint works. Angus and I led that workshop and part of it was that he and I would then create works for an exhibition this year. Angus had recently read my book The Ghost Squad and to my delight he loved it so much that he decided to use it as the basis for a series of paintings, based on certain elements of the book and its themes and allusions. Then, based on my seeing these paintings, in my turn I created some new pieces for several of his artworks: poems, prose, song lyrics and more…As well, for several of the paintings directly inspired by incidents or moments in the book, I’ve recorded short readings from The Ghost Squad.
It’s been such an inspiring and exciting process–and today, with both painting and word-based works created, it was all at the stage where we could sit down with the NERAM directors and talk about how it will all be shown in the physical space of the gallery. It’s going to be just amazing, I can’t wait!
More lovely book news, and another gorgeous cover reveal: this time for my forthcoming book with Lorena Carrington, Magical Tales from French Camelot, which will be out late this year, with Serenity Press. Like French Fairy Tales, our previous title together, it focusses on stories from the French tradition, this time from the Middle Ages, and the extraordinary work of the great Arthurian writers of the twelfth century in France. My new translations and retellings of some of my favourites of these stories are accompanied by Lorena’s glorious, enchanting and atmospheric illustrations, like the beautiful one on the cover below. It has been an unalloyed joy and pleasure to work with Lorena again and we are both delighted to be published again by the fantastic team at Serenity Press.
Here’s a bit more about the book:
The legend of King Arthur began in Britain. But it is in twelfth-century France that the stories really took off, with gifted writers creating a panoply of vivid new characters and elements such as Lancelot, Perceval, the Grail and the doomed love between Lancelot and Guinevere, within a richly imagined, action-packed world of adventure, magic, romance and mystery. Women as much as men are important characters in the French stories, there’s an intriguing take on shapeshifters and other supernatural beings, and fascinating glimpses of the patterns and customs of medieval life as well as explorations of conscience and the true nature of courage. In the process these extraordinary medieval writers, such as Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, created a whole new immensely popular genre of literature whose appeal and influence endures to this day.
This beautiful new collection of stories translated and retold by Sophie Masson and illustrated by Lorena Carrington will introduce you to some of the most striking tales and extraordinary characters and places from the French Arthurian tradition, transporting you into a gripping, magical world like no other.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ve signed an audio production contract for A Hundred Words for Butterfly, with the fabulous independent publisher, Spineless Wonders Audio.
Spineless Wonders Audio, which was launched in late 2020, is an enterprise of the innovative, award-winning digital publisher Spineless Wonders who, with founder Bronwyn Mehan at the helm, for the last ten years have not only consistently supported and promoted great short fiction, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, but found new and interesting ways to publish and showcase them. And Spineless Wonders Audio grew naturally out of that experience.
I am absolutely delighted to be working with Bronwyn and her fantastic team, and in the next few weeks will be telling you more about the novel’s journey to becoming an audio book. In the meantime, I’d better finish that last chapter 🙂
I’m delighted to announce that French Fairy Tales will be launched in an online event on Friday November 20, at 6.30 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Here’s the description of the event from the publisher, Serenity Press:
Join us to celebrate the release of French Fairytales by Sophie Masson and illustrated by Lorena Carrington. Both Sophie and Lorena will be in conversation with the publisher Karen Mc Dermott. It will be an evening of celebration for this beautiful book and all things French Fairy Tales. You can join us on zoom (Link posted before the event) or watch live on Facebook.
All welcome! The Facebook link to the event is here.
I am delighted to announce that today my lovely illustrator friend Kathy Creamer and I are launching a fabulous new creative resource for children, families and schools: the Cat and Mouse Creative Activity Pack. Fully illustrated in colour, it’s packed full of fun reading, discussion, writing and art activities, and is a follow-up to the very popular Fox and Chooks Creative Activity Pack, which Kathy and I launched back in April.
In this new Pack, you can find fun facts and stories about cats and mice; story starters to get you writing, a look at books featuring cats and mice as characters and a look at some fabulous artworks featuring these animals (with many thanks to the wonderful people at NERAM!); great drawing, colouring and modelling activities, and more. We hope you will enjoy it and let your imaginations roam free!
Note: the Cat and Mouse Creative Activity Pack, like the earlier one, is free to download, use and print at home or in schools, but must not be used commercially in any way, except with our written permission.
I’ve made a video presentation about the inspirations and sources behind my retellings in French Fairy Tales, which includes both personal and family connections, as well as information about the tales themselves. Hope you enjoy!
And by the way, on November 7, at 2-4 pm(Australian Eastern daylight saving time) I’m running an online creative workshop for the New England Writers’ Centre, via Zoom, on how to retell fairy tales and how to adapt them for your own fiction. You can check out details here.
Today I’m welcoming my wonderful co-creator, Lorena Carrington, to this blog, to write about the travels in France that helped to inspire her glorious illustrations in French Fairy Tales. All photographs in this post are by Lorena. French fairy tale travelling, by Lorena Carrington In late September last year, I touched down in France with […]
Over the next month or so, I’ll be posting bits and pieces about my forthcoming collection, French Fairy Tales. With magical, extraordinary illustrations by Lorena Carrington, the book will be published by Serenity Press in late October, and I am so looking forward to its release! So, for this very first post about French Fairy […]