The print edition of A Hundred Words for Butterfly is now available through any bookshop, across Australia! Returning from my big five-week trip to Europe–including to the Basque country–I was delighted to receive copies from my lovely publisher, Bronwyn Mehan of Spineless Wonders, and to meet in person with her and SW team members Camilla Cripps and Bettina Kaiser, on a beautiful sunny day in Sydney!
Fun writing comp, #100words4butterfly
I am absolutely delighted to announce that today Spineless Wonders Audio, who are publishing my audio novel A Hundred Words for Butterfly(which will be out on September 13)are launching a fabulous writing competition linked to the novel. Called #100words4butterfly, it invites people to create ‘100 of your best words’, whether that be micro stories, poems, songs, etc, around four intriguing writing prompts: Pilgrimage; Fork in the Road; Blast from the Past; and Confession. (All the prompts gesture back to themes/motifs in the novel). And there must also be a reference to food and drink in each piece, as that too is a feature of the novel 🙂
The comp is free to enter (via Submittable), and the prizewinners in each category will each win a copy of the audio book of A Hundred Words for Butterfly, while both winners and runners-up will have their work published in a special ebook created for the occasion, as well as being invited to read their work at a fantastic online event celebrating the release of the novel.
Head over to the competition page here for all details. Have fun–and good luck!
Some great news for my audio novel!
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 🙂
Advance copies of The Ghost Squad!
So exciting when you get advance copies and can hold your book in your hands! Thank you so much to Anna and the team at MidnightSun Publishing–it’s gorgeous!
It’s out February 2021.
What a lovely launch of French Fairy Tales!
It was such a wonderful launch last night, so much enjoyed it! Below you can find a link to the video of the launch(which was live online)
To get a copy of the book, visit the Serenity Press website. Here’s a link to the print edition: https://www.serenitypress.org/product-page/french-fairy-tales
And here’s a link to the flipbook edition(like an ebook, only better!): https://www.flipsnack.com/…/french-fairy…/full-view.html
First advance copy of The Snowman’s Wish!
So exciting to receive the first advance copy of The Snowman’s Wish, my upcoming picture book with the fantastic illustrator Ronak Taher! It is such a thrill always to hold that first copy in your hands, to touch it and turn its pages and revel in its presence in the physical world…and this is a book that in every way has been a truly magical experience, from the very first spark of the story idea, to right now, seeing and holding this stunningly beautiful book. Thank you so much to my co-creator Ronak, to wonderful designer Hannah Janzen, fantastic publisher Margrete Lamond, and all the team at Dirt Lane Press who have brought the world of the snowman to such gorgeous, sensual life. Thank you also to Robyn Ewing for the lovely back cover quote.
The Snowman’s Wish comes out with Dirt Lane Press in July and will be available in all good bookshops around Australia, including online. You can also pre-order copies now by contacting Dirt Lane Press at email@example.com.
See some of the beautiful internal pages below.
Revealing the gorgeous cover of French Fairy Tales
Absolutely delighted to be able to reveal the gorgeous cover of my forthcoming book, French Fairy Tales, illustrated by the wonderful Lorena Carrington, to be published by Serenity Press in late October this year!
The book is a collection of five French fairy tales which I’ve chosen, translated and retold. Each means something special to me, and they come from different parts of France, including those where my family originates. Some are stories that have never been translated into English before, and some you might think you know well but which in these entirely newly translated and retold versions will, I think, surprise, and hopefully, delight you!
This project has been a dream of mine for a long time, and creating the retellings was such a pleasure. I am just so thrilled that Serenity Press not only loved them, but also paired me with such a fantastic artist as Lorena, whose extraordinary illustrations, inspired not only by the stories but by her own visits to France, so astonishingly bring to enchanting visual life the magic of these beautiful tales.
A new article on publishing matters in New Writing
I’m pleased to announce that my scholarly research article, Signing on the dotted line: the lived experience of book contracts in contemporary Australian small-press publishing, has just been published in the prestigious international journal New Writing. You can read it here.
Thank you to everyone-authors, illustrators, agents, publishers and industry reps–I interviewed, whose frank and illuminating answers provided me with such great material!
Announcing some exciting news!
It’s now official as there’s been a news item in Books+Publishing yesterday so I’m delighted to be able to share this exciting news about the acquisition of my YA speculative fiction novel, novel, The Ghost Squad, by the fantastic publisher, MidnightSun Publishing. This is the novel that I wrote during the three years of my PhD, and it’s a novel very close to my heart–so it’s just so exciting to know it has found its perfect home in MidnightSun!
Below is the article from Books+Publishing, with due acknowledgement to B+P.
Masson joins MidnightSun with spec-fic YA novel
MidnightSun Publishing has acquired world rights to Sophie Masson’s YA speculative fiction novel The Ghost Squad.
Set in ‘an alternative yet jarringly familiar reality’, The Ghost Squad follows 16-year-old Polly after her mother, a respected homicide detective, goes missing and she is subsequently catapulted into a very different world.
MidnightSun director Anna Solding called The Ghost Squad ‘an exciting hybrid narrative that blends realism with the disorienting atmosphere of speculative fiction, mixing elements of detective fiction and ghost stories’, adding that she is ‘very excited to have Sophie Masson join the MidnightSun family with this gem of a novel’.
‘With a highly original plot premise, vivid characters, intriguing world-building, and twists and turns, The Ghost Squad is a novel that will keep readers guessing—and keep them awake at night!’ said Solding.
Masson said: ‘The Ghost Squad is a novel which isn’t easily categorised. It takes risks with an unsettling theme and genre-bending narrative yet is also immediately immersive: a book close to my heart … I’m so thrilled that is has been acquired by MidnightSun Publishing because I know that here, in a publishing house which is open to the bold and the unusual story but which also never forgets the reader, my novel has found the perfect home.’
Masson is founder and publisher at NSW-based children’s publisher Christmas Press, and the author of more than 60 novels, mostly for young adults and children. Earlier this year she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her ‘significant service to literature’ as an author and publisher, and through her roles with industry organisations including the New England Writers Centre and the Small Press Network.
The Ghost Squad is scheduled for release in February 2021.
Category: Junior Local news Rights and acquisitions
Interview with Sandra van Doorn of Red Paper Kite
Today I’m delighted to bring you an interview with Sandra van Doorn. I met Sandra and her husband Edward at last year’s Independent Publishing Conference in Melbourne and we had a great time chatting about books, publishing, creative work, and France!
Sandra is a French illustrator who has had books published in several different countries, including the award-winning Sleep Well, Siba and Saba (written by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl). Born and brought up in France, then globetrotting to the UK, USA, Russia, Europe she’s now living with her husband Edward in sunny Perth, Australia.
But now Sandra is embarking on a brand-new adventure. She is the founder and publisher of Red Paper Kite, which will exclusively publish picture books, and is launching its first title (Hugo) in May 2019.
Sandra, can you tell us about how you came to establish Red Paper Kite?
The idea of creating a small press for picture books simply came from a need for more creative space and professional growth; publishing picture books felt like a natural evolution from being an illustrator.
As someone who has also done the ‘double act’ of creator and publisher, I know it’s a steep learning curve, setting up a publishing house. How’s the journey been so far for you?
You are right it is a very steep learning curve!
And it can be overwhelming at times.
As a tiny press, I juggle many facets of the business on my own. Finding the right information is not always easy, you find yourself constantly asking “Am I making the right decision?”
But you do knock on a few doors, and meet amazing people along the way, people who are genuinely interested in making your journey easier. People like you Sophie!
I feel grateful for the support I have received from within the industry – particularly my publisher in the UK (Lantana Publishing), who has been very generous in sharing their journey as a small publisher.
But in truth part of the adventure is figuring things out.
What can you tell us about RPK’s Books?
When I was a child, I used to scribble in all my books. It got me into a lot of trouble, but I firmly argued it was meant to be that way. I wanted that idea to translate into our books by creating books that give permission to our readers to scribble and add to the narrative. So, all our books include colouring pages.
Our readers become the illustrators and authors for a moment, they are part of the story. They can stay with our books a little longer, get to know our characters a little better … It’s a fun experience.
Visual narratives can be understood across the world, but of course different cultures have different approaches to illustration and picture books. What are the differences (and commonalities) that you see between, say, French and Australian picture book traditions and trends? (Please do mention any other picture book cultures you might like to as well!)
In France picture books are more than a childhood phase – there is a love for visual art rooted in our culture that goes beyond age, and so we are huge consumers of picture books – even in our adult life whether you have children or not.
Our cultural heritage definitely influences our approach to illustration; our illustrations can be more poetic, sentimental and censorship is a little broader in France.
But rather than comparing, we can choose to embrace and mix all those differences, aiming at creating a richer reading experience. Because really, who wants to read the same type of books over and over?
What are you looking for, in terms of both texts and illustrations, for Red Paper Kite?
There is no perfect profile, but we are curious about authors and illustrators who don’t feel too mainstream. A little fun, a good dose of quirkiness. Stories that reflect the world we live in.
Stories that will appeal to grown-ups too. A story within a story.
I guess we love stories and people with that little “Je ne sais quoi”.
You will be launching the first Red Paper Kite book in May can you tell us a little about it?
HUGO – The boy with the curious mark, (written by Yohann Devezy and illustrated by Manuela Adreani) is coming out in May.
It’s a sweet story about a boy born with a curious mark, a rainbow.
Hugo’s Rainbow broaches a theme that gets revisited over and over, but with a contemporary edge to it.
His story will teach the importance of acceptance no matter what your difference.
You will love HUGO. Because really, who doesn’t like a rainbow?
How has starting a publishing house impacted on your career as an illustrator? (Or how do you see it impacting it?)
Well … I miss my drawing table!
Hopefully I will get an opportunity to draw again. I still hope to illustrate a few classics, such as Alice in Wonderland or Le Petit Prince.
Can you tell us something about your work as an illustrator, and the books you worked on? How did you start as a professional illustrator?
My career as an illustrator started when I was living in Vancouver, Canada.
I decided to attend art classes at Emily Carr’s University, and Paper Hearts – my first picture book project – was picked up for publishing. It was the beginning of an amazing (and sometimes wonderfully hard!) journey.
After that, I was lucky enough to meet Alice Curry (Lantana Publishing) via the Bologna Children’s book fair which led me to illustrate books about Uganda. It was a wonderful experience, pushing boundaries professionally and culturally – sitting at my desk, I was travelling and discovering a part of the world I didn’t know much about.
Meanwhile another publisher in Greece contacted me and that’s how I worked on texts I couldn’t even read!!
What illustrators have influenced you–from childhood to now?
My all-time favourite is Lisbeth Zwerger– her work is pure poetry and her talent is beyond words.
And then you cannot go past Rebecca Dautremer, Manuela Adreani, Benjamin Lacombe, Elodie Nouhen and Anne Herbauts.