It’s now time to start thinking about booking your guest speakers for 2019.
I am available for classroom talks, seminars and workshops.
I can discuss the issues in my novels: cyberbullying, drugs, eating disorders, mental health, teenage issues, as well as the road to publication and the life of an author. I can deliver Professional Development in Creative Writing to English teachers, as well as Creative Writing workshops for students.
It was a great turn out on Tuesday night- despite the wet weather and the Census Epic Fail. About 150 guests turned up to greet Saving Jazz as she enters the world!
My thanks to Catherine Kolomyjec and her team at Sacred Heart for all their work. Peter Bothe ( and Trevor Lynch) for so graciously allowing Sacred Heart to host it. Justin Whitt for an amazing job as the official launcher. Bianca, Zoe, Anthony for their contributions on the night. All of my students who had an input and interest in the development of the novel. Fremantle Press, in particular Cate – for her ongoing support and Naama for her meticulous editing and appreciation of who Jazz is.
The book launch is nearly upon us and the reviews are starting to come out… so far, so good…
Writing WA: Love to Read Local
In Saving Jazz, the lives of Jasmine Lovely and her friends are destroyed after a sexual assault at a party goes viral. The narrative takes us beyond the immediate aftermath of the assault and shows its long-term consequences, as well as the complicated moral landscape Jazz finds herself traversing. The novel deals with gender relations, the power of the internet, and personal responsibility in a comprehensive and compelling way; this is a book that will keep you up all night and keep you thinking for weeks afterwards. Saving Jazz is McCaffrey’s most powerful book yet, and it deserves to be widely read and discussed.
Kate McCaffrey is known for tackling issues that may be prevalent in the lives of young adults, sometimes before these issues are recognised in the wider community. She has explored cyber bullying, drug use, abortion and eating disorders. Her new novel Saving Jazz is so confronting it gave me nightmares, but this should not deter people from reading it (except maybe at night) because it is an important cautionary tale.
Lamont’s Standing Order
Kate McCaffrey writes hard hitting, contemporary issue based novels and Saving Jazz is precisely that.
Jazz lives in a small, reasonably well off community north of Perth, where you make your own fun. This all gets out of control, when at an alcohol fuelled party, things are done to Jazz’s best friend Annie that Jazz had a part in at the start.
When one of the boys boastfully posts photo’s and eventually a video that lead to scorn for Annie and Jazz and rape charges for three people, including Jazz, their worlds are forever changed.
We see the result of this bad decision and its far reaching, devastating effects on all their lives.
The subject matter of this book probably makes it best suited for older secondary students, but in some ways, younger mature students would certainly understand the precautionary tale that is being presented.Well written, insightful and wholly believable, Saving Jazz can change attitudes and actions that could indeed save some.
McCaffrey has written a book that will be hugely popular, gaining an audience through word of mouth, readers taking to heart this cautionary tale comparing it with the ‘what might have been’ in their own lives and questioning the role of social media in their lives.
Crashing Down by Kate McCaffrey (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $19.99
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin
Crashing Down is an engaging, insightful and realistic read for teenagers and adults alike.
This story is fast paced and fun and McCaffrey uses common turns of phrase that are engaging and accessible to today’s teenagers. Her writing voice and narrative is strong and genuine and written in an Australian cultural context that we would all understand.
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs is an intense boyfriend. So Lucy innocently breaks up with Carl at the school dance. She admits it wasn’t great timing with exams coming up, but it felt like the only way to keep her dreams on track.
Things haven’t been great with her and Carl for a while now and she knows this is the right thing to do. She feels completely smothered by him and his expectations of the future are so very different to her own. All he can talk about is living locally, with no plans of university, settling down and having kids.
Unfortunately some good decisions can have bad consequences.
Carl leaves the dance angry and hurt and stoned. Driving recklessly, he crashes his car, badly smashing up not only himself but also his best mate JD.
After coming out of his coma, Carl is a changed man. As a result of his brain injury, he’s angry and paranoid and acting completely irrationally. And he can’t remember breaking up with Lucy. She doesn’t want to hurt him so she keeps up the pretense.
Everyone is extremely upset and then McCaffrey throws in a curve ball that will send you into a spin: Lucy is pregnant. She tells Carl she doesn’t want to keep it and he has a brain aneurism! His parents then slap an ‘injunction order’ on Lucy to stop her from having the baby aborted.
Wow, this story has got it all. It’s fast past with a winding plot and complex characters. Even so it raises some valid questions about how these situations could be handled.
Crashing Down is written in a distinctive and engaging style and is thoroughly recommended to Young Adult readers.
This is Kate McCaffrey’s second novel and now I’m going to track down her first book to read!
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her next book is an Indigenous folklore story called ‘Kick it to Me’. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy!).
It seems appropriate to update this blog with the biggest news of late- my fourth novel Crashing Down was launched last night at Sacred Heart College Sorrento. It was a fantastic night, a turn out of about 140 people ranging from students, teachers, parents through to industry folk- oh, and of course, family and friends. Catherine Kolomyjec did an awesome job organising the event, aided by Emma Killian and supported by some of my Year 10 Lit kids- who were absolute standouts both in front of, and behind, the camera. News from my publisher is that the first print run of Crashing Down is already 3/4 sold! Not bad news to hear on the night of the launch.
Jan Nichols, in top form, dressed as a midwife to “birth” the new baby (the theme of the book being teen pregnancy). The celebrity guest in Norman Jorgensson (Jack’s Island and The Last Viking- to be launched in September at the State Library) was a true crowd pleaser.
The reviews are coming in- the latest can be accessed via this link
My apologies for the wait between publications, but since Beautiful Monster was released in 2010, a lot of things got in the way- namely life! My dad died and that changed all the dynamics! Since then my family has made huge adjustments- moving houses, changing jobs, and all that fun stuff- but even though I wasn’t publishing- I was still writing. Now, the final proofs are in, the novel is at the printers- review copies are out. And so I’d like to announce to the world the birth of my fourth paperback baby… Crashing Down!
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs now is an intense boyfriend. Breaking up with Carl feels like the only way to keep her dreams on track.
But good decisions can have bad consequences.
And leaving Carl is going to be a whole lot harder than Lucy could ever have imagined.
I’ve been relatively quiet of late, so many things have been going on that attending to my blog has been pushed to the back of my To Do list. So here I am to make amends.
What’s been happening?
Firstly, my lovely father Michael McCaffrey died in November and it threw life as we knew it well and truly off the rails. In that head space writing , living and just existing becomes challenging. Six months on and things have straightened out somewhat- big adjustments on a daily basis still being made.
In this time I have managed to write a novel– but it has undergone two major transformations and is now heading for a third! I have been having a problem deciding on the target audience, as it’s quite different from anything I’ve previously had published. But now, after meeting with my publisher, I have a relatively clear idea of where it’s meant to go and who it is for. Stay tuned!
In other news: beautiful monster was acknowledged as a White Raven 2011. This is taken from their website and explains what the acknowledgement means:
Throughout each year, the language specialists (Lektoren) at the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library / IYL) select recently published books that they consider especially noteworthy. This »premium label« is given to books of international interest that deserve a wider reception on account of their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design.
That’s pretty cool huh?
And then there’s more- this amazing kid has created a book trailer for Destroying Avalon and posted it on You Tube. I think she deserves an
Pics : Kate Mac, Jane Mac & Jon Doust Kate Mac, Liz Byrski & Jon Doust
Returned from Kununurra this week. I was flown up there to be a guest of the Kimberley Writer’s Festival. First impressions of Kununurra- man it’s hot! It might seem like stating the bleeding obvious- but for a city girl (whose furthest trip north was Monkey Mia, back in the 80s) I left hail storms in Perth to 37 degrees on my arrival!!! The other thing I noticed quickly- was unlike Monkey Mia, where they have dolphins, Kununurra has crocodiles!!! Several crazy authors dived from the boat and swam in the Ord- I wanted to scream, “People there are crocs in there!” But apparently the ‘freshies’ only take a small bite- unlike the “salties” who have a palate for humans. Either way I wasn’t taking any chances!!!
Writer’s Festivals are great in so many ways. Firstly you travel to exotic and remote locations (meet the locals and get eaten by them), you have an opportunity to discuss literature (and often yourself) to communities that often miss out and you get to meet other writers and illustrators. It’s like professional development for the Arts World. This trip was brilliant- I met some fantastic people. Here, let me list them:
Jon Doust- my favourite Perth author. Jon is the greatest ‘people person’ I have ever met. He was like the Pied Piper of Hamelin- with his trail of school kids who followed him everywhere.
Liz Byrski- my other favourite Perth author. Jane and I shared a place with Liz and it was wonderful- a girls’ weekend away, much laughter and merriment. Liz is a highly successful writer and shared a lot of advice.
Jeff Raglus and Vicki Phillip- musos and performers- what a fantastic team. Crazy cats!
Bruce Whatley and Rosie- they are lovely people and we shared some lovely moments.
Phil Kettle a most prolific writer of children’s books- somewhere in the vicinity of 5 million copies sold. I know, hold onto your hat!!!
Neil Murray- songwriter and poet (a lovely poem about step daughters), Anna Jarrett (story teller), Ambrose Chalarimeri (autobiographical writer).
We worked hard! Lots of functions, school sessions and public workshops, big thanks to Emma, Marie and Jo- for shuttling us around and catering to our strict dietry requirements (Jon and I are both vegetarians and gluten intolerant! Yes, we are those people! The caterer’s nightmare. But in my own defence at least I’m not lactose intolerant too!! Jon!!)
Then back to the real world- teaching, editing (my latest work) and spending time with my children! That’s the hardest thing about tours and festivals- leaving the kids. But they were pleased with the mosiac geckos and crocodiles in eggs I brought back!
What now? Book Week is coming up, I have a couple of visits to the Morley library. In October I have the Singapore Writer’s Festival and maybe a trip to Sydney. Did I mention that ‘in ecstasy’ won the Australian Family Therapists’ Book Award? I was so pleased- finally a gold sticker- it lives in Destroying Avalon’s shadow!!
I was on ‘the couch’- a Perth TV show aired on Aurora channel.