How a Book Cover is Designed

CTV smallMy awesome publisher (Random House Australia) recently blogged about the process of choosing a book cover — and they used Chasing the Valley as their example!

I find cover design fascinating, so I love this article. It reveals several alternatives for Chasing the Valley and explains the selection process. As you’ll see, the cover could have looked quite different.

Check it out here:

Editing & Flashmobs


Typeset pages for BOOK 2

Yesterday I received the typeset pages for Book Two. This is my first glimpse of the text with proper fonts and internal formatting. Now it’s time to check for errors and make any final changes before the book goes to print.

I’m also hard at work on Book Three’s structural edit. Exciting to think that by this time next year, all three books will be published!

To celebrate National Bookshop Day, I recently participated in a flashmob sing-along at Readings. The mob included many authors and illustrators, as well as great musicians. It was a fantastic day and I was lucky enough to meet some lovely Melbourne authors.

Can you spot me in the crowd? (Hint: Look for the pale scarf/ dark hair on the right edge of the screen at 1:33 – 1:36 mins. Yep, gotta be quick to catch it!)

Radio Interview

The lovely Jan (host of 'Published or Not')

The lovely Jan (host of ‘Published or Not’ on 3CR)


Yesterday I was lucky enough to participate in the show Published or Not on 3CR, hosted by the lovely Jan Goldsmith and David McLean. We had a great chat about Chasing the Valley and it was exciting to learn how a radio station functions.

If you missed the live broadcast, you can listen to the interview online:

Title Time!

Time to reveal Book Two’s title!

I’m excited to announce that the book will be called… BORDERLANDS.

BORDERLANDS title reveal

The book will be published in January 2014 by Random House Australia. More information is coming soon.

SciFi Channel Competition

Hi guys! I’m still editing Book Two, but I have a few quick snippets of news:

1. It’s competition time! The SciFi channel is giving away 15 signed copies of Chasing the Valley. The online entry form is available here:

Alternatively, click the button below:


2. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), the Sunday Times (Perth) and the Sunday Mail (Adelaide) have also published lovely pieces about the book:

Newspaper Articles

3. I’ve just glimpsed Book Two’s cover roughs, created by Sammy Yuen (the trilogy’s amazing cover designer).

I’m incredibly excited about the design and can’t wait to reveal the final cover!

Herald Sun Interview

Screen Shot 2013-07-20 at 7.23.54 AM

I’m in the Herald Sun newspaper (Melbourne) today! If you’re interested, grab a copy to check out the interview and laugh at my crazy photo.

In other news, I’m excited to say that we’ve chosen a title for Book II. I can’t announce the name just yet, but I can reveal it takes the form of a subtitle.

For example:


(Well, obviously not ‘kerfuffle’, but you get the idea.)

I also received my edits for Book II yesterday. I’ll be busy whipping this manuscript into shape, so apologies if I’m slower than usual in replying to emails/ tweets over the next few weeks!

Q&A Video

Last week, I participated in a Q&A session at the launch of Chasing the Valley. This video includes a few excerpts from the session:

In other news, I’m lucky enough to be ‘Young Adult Author of the Month’ at Dymocks! It was a lovely surprise to spot this in the catalogue:

dymocks catalogue chasing the valley

Chasing the Valley has also been selected as one of the ‘Best Books of July’ on the Australian iTunes store:

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 1.43.22 PM


And finally, Random House is running a competition to win one of TEN copies of the book:

It’s certainly been an exciting week!


My publisher (Random House Australia) has produced some official Chasing the Valley wallpapers to download and use on your devices.

1. Click your chosen wallpaper to view the full image.

2. Right-click and save the image to your computer.

3. Install the image as your wallpaper (the details of this step will depend upon your device).

Hope you guys enjoy them!

Computer Wallpapers:

Wide Desktop Wallpaper (Biplane)

Wide Desktop Wallpaper (Biplane)

Wide Desktop Wallpaper (Danika)

Wide Desktop Wallpaper (Danika)

Desktop Wallpaper (Biplane)

Desktop Wallpaper (Biplane)

Desktop Wallpaper (Danika)

Desktop Wallpaper (Danika)

Phone Wallpapers:

Phone Wallpaper (Biplane)

Phone Wallpaper (Biplane)

Phone Wallpaper (Danika)

Phone Wallpaper (Danika)

Tablet Wallpapers:

iPad Wallpaper (Biplane)

Tablet Wallpaper (Biplane)

iPad Wallpaper (Danika)

Tablet Wallpaper (Danika)

Launch Party

Chasing the Valley was launched at Wheelers Hill Library on Wednesday night. It was a lovely evening and I’m so thankful to all the friends, family and colleagues who came along to support the book.

Special thanks to the lovely Sandhya from Monash Public Library Service and Mike from Dymocks Glen Waverley.

Here’s a photo gallery of the event. Click any image to enlarge:

Upcoming Events & Reviews

I have a couple of public events coming up:

I'm signing books at Dymocks Glen Waverley this Saturday

Dymocks Glen Waverley

  • My ABC3 interview will air on TV next Wednesday (10 July). It will be the second segment of a 6:30am breakfast show called Studio 3.

* * *

In other news, reviews for Chasing the Valley are starting to appear online. I must admit that I was nervous about reviews, but I’ve been lucky enough to receive some lovely feedback from blogs and review sites.


  • “‘Chasing the Valley’ could be the next dystopian hit… [It] will leave you wanting more.”
    — Marama Whyte, Hypable
  • “An insanely glorious blend of Steampunk Adventure and Dystopian Fantasy with a touch of Romance and the promise of a great series to follow. In other words… awesome!” — Sarah McDuling, Booktopia
  • “[A]nother great young adult debut… Even as an adult I’m looking forward to book two.”
    — Jen, the Co-op Blog

Thanks again to all readers who have sent me emails or messages. It’s great to hear from you and it means a lot that you enjoyed the book.


Publication Day: Part II

The moment when I found Chasing the Valley in a bookstore for the first time!

The moment when I found Chasing the Valley in a bookstore for the first time!

Exciting news! Chasing the Valley has been selected as a “Kids & YA Highlight” for July at Readings:

It’s also “Book of the Month” for July at Random House:

And to top it all off, I walked into Collins at Fountain Gate and saw it in a bookstore for the first time (see pic).

All in all, it’s been an amazing day!

Publication Day

chasing the valley out nowIt’s been several years since I wrote the first draft of Chasing the Valley: a flurry of frantic words before my mid-year exams. Since then, I’ve finished my degree, traveled to Europe and New Zealand and drafted five or six other fantasy manuscripts.

Many thanks to those who have encouraged me along the way: family, friends, teachers and colleagues. Thanks also to my agents, Rick and Anjanette, and the amazing team at Random House.

And now (*insert drum roll here*), I can finally say it…

Chasing the Valley is OUT NOW!

First Bookstore Sighting

Yesterday, the lovely Tracey Eldridge tweeted this picture:

Tracey’s photo is my first glimpse of Chasing the Valley in a bookstore! The official release isn’t until tomorrow, but a few places are already offering the book for sale. Needless to say, I’m skipping around in excitement.

ONE day to go!

eBook Available Now

Chasing the Valley ebook on iPad

Chasing the Valley eBook


Although Chasing the Valley won’t officially hit bookstores until Monday, I’m excited to announce that the eBook is available early for Android, iOS, Kindle and Kobo.

You can purchase your digital copy through the links below. Happy reading!


Google Play:

iBookstore (Australia):

iBookstore (New Zealand):



Would you like to read some older news? This is page 4 of 6« First...Page 2Page 3Current Page ( 4 )Page 5Page 6