Posted in Australian fiction, awards, beautiful monster, Crashing Down, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, Fremantle Press, Getting published, In Ecstasy, Kate McCaffrey, literary appearances, Saving Jazz, The Australian Therapists' Award, WritingWA

Book Talks 2019: An Open Invitation

Dear Schools and Libraries,

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.

Don’t delay! Book now for 2019.

Cheers,

Kate

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Posted in Australian fiction, Books, cyber bullying, cyber bullying resources, Fremantle Press, friendship, Getting published, Kate McCaffrey, Lamont's Standing Order, Penguin Books, Saving Jazz, teacher librarians, teachers, teaching notes, Uncategorized, writing, WritingWA

Saving Jazz Book Launch

 

SJ banner

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.

And Jasmine Lovely is officially here…

Justin SJ

Justin Whitt

Kris Norman SJ

Kris Williams and Norman Jorgensen

SJ launch

Dymocks

Posted in Australian fiction, cyber bullying, Fremantle Press, Getting published, Lamont's Standing Order, Magpies, ReadPlus, reviews, Saving Jazz, teacher librarians, teachers, Uncategorized, writing, WritingWA

Reviews Saving Jazz

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.

Magpies
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.

Read Plus
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.
Posted in cyber bullying, Fragments of Life, Fremantle Press, Getting published, Kate McCaffrey, Saving Jazz, teacher librarians, teachers, The Australian Therapists' Award, Uncategorized

Saving Jazz

Saving Jazz coverHere it is, my latest novel, and to date, my favourite yet.  The novel is written as a blog, from the point of view of Jasmine…

Post 1: In the beginning

My name is Jasmine Lovely, Jazz usually (unlessI’m in trouble), and I’m a rapist. In fact, I’m guilty
of more than just rape but, as my lawyer says, in the interests of judicial fairness, we can’t be prejudicial. It’s hard enough to admit to rape. As a girl, it’s exceptionally hard. People look at you blankly. Not that it’s something I admit to in company, like I just did to you. I don’t normally preface my introductions with that abrupt statement, and I’m not part of a self-help group, where you hold your hand up, state your name, then your addiction, affliction, crime.
But this is the truth. I’m sixteen now, but twelve months ago that is what I did, I raped a girl. Her name was Annie Townshend. I could sound all David Copperfield and say, ‘To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday,’ but I’m not recording this as an act of prosperity. In fact, I’m really just creating this blog to address everything. This platform is where things began, so I guess this is where I set the record straight.

The novel is Jazz looking back on an event that went viral, one that shaped her existence…

This is what Fragments of Life had to say about it…

 

Upon cracking open Saving Jazz, I did not know, exactly, what to expect. After the first chapter, Saving Jazz instantly cemented its spot on my list of favorite YA contemporary novels. The writing itself was beautiful and fluid. The storytelling was on point, spiraling in and out of the dramatics, the scandals and the tragedies of the lives of the characters. McCaffrey laid out an entertaining cast; each one of the characters was perfectly realistic, a blend of the good and the bad, a study of gray areas. I won’t dig too deep into their characters in this review, so as not to spoil you, my dear readers.

Jazzmine was a flawed and lovable character. At the beginning of her blog posts, I was able to see a Jazzmine who was determined to fit in well with her peers, at her school and in her community. She tried to be as pleasing as she could be, with her pretty face, her pleasing personality and her high grades. She ran with the popular crowd. She partied hard like the rest of the Greenheads. However, unlike her meaner friends, Jazz actually had a heart. She was really bothered by the way boys viewed girls, like they were objects. She was also bothered by the slut-shaming going on in her school, as manifested in social media platforms Facebook and Snapchat.

Jazzmine’s involvement in the Greenhead party, the night that changed everything, would be an integral albeit painful part of her life. I liked her growth and transformation throughout the book. After the whole thing blew up, Jazzmine’s parents kept her isolated in their home. Jazz felt the distance between her and her parents, as if they couldn’t quite look at her. She also lost her two closest friends, Annie, the victim, and Jack, her longtime best friend. She felt alone in all of the chaos and the roller coaster of emotions. I liked how Jazz took the long but difficult road after the incident. She tried to fix her life and get back on track, even if the road itself was already crumbling to dust. Through it all, she has matured and could then look at the world from a different perspective.

I liked how friendship was discussed and dissected in Saving Jazz, especially between Jazz and Jack and between Jazz and Annie. Jazz and Jack have been friends for years, since the first day of Jazzmine at her new school. Jack has been with her through the good times and the bad times. He held her hand during her first period. He defended her when someone picked on her. Jack was a constant in her life, always there by her side. As Jack and Jazz grew up, things started to change. I really loved how the author dissected Jazz and Jack’s friendship through all the things they have been through.

Frank was one of the reasons why I liked this book so much. He was a cheerful, charming and handsome barista. He was the love interest. Although he was just found in small scenes, I found his presence in the book to be overwhelmingly inspiring. He worked at Chicco, the best coffee shop in the area. As a coffee lover myself, who has spent hours and hours in cafes, I enjoyed the sections with Frank and Jazz in the coffee shop. It was a breather from all the heavy emotional, guilt-stricken plot. The author balanced out the good and the bad with enough charm and humor.

In the end, I gave Saving Jazz 4.5 cupids because I was beginning to forget some of the small details of the book a few days after reading the novel. Saving Jazz is a gritty, suspenseful contemporary that delves into the side of humanity that is linked and almost always submerged in the waters of social media. Although I knew what was supposed to happen, as Jazzmine took us back to the past with her blog posts, the author managed to keep me sitting at the edge of my seat, with goosebumps on my arms and my heart accelerating. It was a quick read that had me immersed and lost into Jazzmine’s world. The writing was hypnotic and the plot was fluid. There was never a dull moment. I felt like I was riding an almost never ending roller coaster of emotions, zooming through the feeling of being betrayed, guilt, love, loss and the sense of being broken. I highly recommend it to readers of contemporary (particularly Australian contemporary), readers who are looking for pop culture references and a more modern take on realistic stories, and readers who are looking for books that tackle relationships.

Many thanks to Precious for this wonderful review.
But wait, there’s more… Saving Jazz is being launched in August… and then there is another baby out there in the world… Go gurl…
Posted in Australian fiction, awards, beautiful monster, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, eating disorders, The White Ravens, Uncategorized

A Rather Long Hiatus

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

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DTrCGwTEbCus%26feature%3Dshare&h=b67a5

Check it out

 

Posted in ASLA Conference, Books, Booktalkers, CBC, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, drugs, ETA, In Ecstasy, international rights, Kununurra's Wrtiter's Festival, literary appearances, Literary Awards, Matt Ottley, Media Appearances, Somerset Writer's Festival

Why I Can’t Say Sorry

I know I should– but it’s shallow and empty now, isn’t it? I leave this blog for lengths of time and then breeze in when I seem to have nothing better to do. So I will not insult you with another apology. Instead I’ll try and justify my absence by bringing you all up to date with the latest happenings.

I handed over the manuscript ‘Murder Within’ in January- just before school started– then was inundated with the trials and tribulations of teaching! I flew off quickly to Melbourne- for Booktalkers at the State Library of Vic, with none other than the legendery John Marsden– I pulled my 12 year old daughter out of school to attend with me. Unfortunately John’s farm fell within the bush fire zone and he was unable to get a car out to attend the night. Twas still great– with Kirsty Murray, Sue Saliba, Tim Pelger and Don Henderson in fine form commenting on what influences our writing.

A week later I was off to Somerset Writer’s Festival in Queensland. What a fantastic week that was. Andrew Stark– organiser of the library conference performed magical acts to pull the event together and then the Writer’s Festival itself followed. I was in the company of some brilliant people, terrific authors and illustrators– Lee Fox, Tobhy Riddle, Suzanne Gervay, Kate Forsyth, Garth Nix,Debora Abela, Tristan Bancks, Shamini Flint, Rob Newton, and Matt Ottley. Just on Matt, for a second, not only was I impressed with his sandgroper status– yes he also crossed the spinifex curtain to attend Somerset– but the man is an all out genuis. I tell you- how can anyone not read Requium for a Beast and not see genuis at work?? Not only are his illustrations brilliant– but Matt composes his own music! I’m not being parochial when I say that Matt deserves all the credit and kudos he is receiveing (especially with his latest nod from the CBC!!)

Following that– teaching, marking, reporting and a few visits to schools. School holidays- which is a laugh, isn’t it– whose holiday is this??? Not mine!! I’d received word from the publisher that I needed to re-write a part of the latest book– oh, only about 20, 000 words!!! Hello! So first week of my delightful holiday was spent doing such. Second week– marking 4 classes of work– delightful!! And now I’ve just teed up the latest gig guide with my publicist– so I’ll let you have it:

16 May- ETA panel-  at Perth College- discussing female vs male protagonists (I think!!)

23-27 July Kununurra Writer’s Festival (I’ve never been to the Kimberley– I’m really looking forward to it)

25 & 27 August- Morley library– for CBC Book Week (PS Aug 25 is my birthday!!!)

2 October– breakfast at Frasers for ASLA Conference. Later that day I’m sure I’m on a panel!!

That’s it so far. Will keep you posted on other happenings.

 

Oh, by the way– Hungary has bought rights to Destroying Avalon– now I can boast I share JK Rowlings publisher!! (if only it was her bank balance!!!) That’s me– up to date i think. Will try and be a better blogger!!!

Posted in Australian fiction, Books, CBC, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, drugs, In Ecstasy, international rights, literary appearances, Media Appearances, teacher librarians, teachers, writing

What’s Up?

It’s time for me to tend to this rather neglected blogsite and dust away the cobwebs and up date the latest happenings. Where to begin?

Saw out the end of ’08 down south in the most magnificient part of WA the Margaret River Region. It is a debauched writer’s heaven what with winery after winery! And also one of the longest water ski areas in the West too. I did plenty of skiing and also tried to master the wakeboard too! But though the holiday home I have presents as a writer’s haven up until the 11th of January no writing was done!

Panicking– I promised my publisher the latest book in January, I had no choice but to push through the writer’s block and turn those 28 000 words into a 56 000 word manuscript! Is it good? Time will tell- but for now it’s a draft- albeit a rather rough one. Which is good because on the 27th I returned to teaching– taking on a much bigger load than ever before!

So– I’m hoping that ’09 will see me juggling all those balls very nicely! Teaching, writing/editing and being a contributing member of society– did I forget family? My eldest daughter has sailed into Year 8 and my youngest into Year 3– so there’s another ball to throw up into the mix!

This week has been inundated with radio interviews on ‘sexting’– most ABC stations have asked me to talk about this phenomenon as well as the cyber bullying one too!

Upcoming Appearances

On March 3rd I appear at the Centre for Youth Literature in Melbourne with the likes of John Marsden– my 12 year old daughter is coming to, excited to meet a ‘real’ Australian writer!

On March 5th I’ll be at WA’s Night of Stars– with my great friends at Westbooks!

From March14th – 21st I will be soaking up the sunny rays of Queensland at the Somerset Festival for Literature– attending both the Librarian and Writer’s components of their festival. And then after that there are more appearances on the cards.

Oh– and here is the ‘book trailer’ for the American release of in ecstasy— I thought it was pretty cool. Tell me what you think. Now if only the North Americans like it– there could be an overseas tour in the pipeline!

<embed src=”http://blip.tv/play/AemIBZD+ZQ” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”320″ height=”270″ allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true”></embed>

Posted in Books, cyber bullying, Destroying Avalon, In Ecstasy

Hello -I’m back!

inecstasy_cover_r4Hi ya- I’d apologise, but why should I really, it’s my blog site and i think I’m allowed to do what I like! Anyways, I have been kinda busy- what with the north American rights to in ecstasy and now confirmation on some interesting news I’ve been keeping secret. So now the contract has been signed I’ll let you know the guff. The option has been bought on Destroying Avalon to turn it into a film. Now, I know, before we crack the Vueve Cliquot, that thousands of novels are optioned and very few made into films. But all I can do is hold my breath for a couple of years and wait and see!!

Back to North American in ecstasy– when the international rights were bought I was asked if I would be happy to ‘Americanise’ the language- and even the setting, as even though the setting on Perth’s west coast was potentially recognisable as California- we needed to tighten it up. So we did. But the edit got even tighter. I had  to shorten the ending- not change the plot but make significant changes to the storyline, nothing significant to the story as such- but as a writer I had to let go of a lot of little phrases and things I quite liked. It was tough and a bit of to and fro but eventually we got there. I have their cover to show you, and it’s appearance in their catalogue. Let me know what you think!

Posted in Australian fiction, Books, cyber bullying, cyber bullying resources, Destroying Avalon, Louis Braille audio books, teacher librarians

Louis Braille Version of Destroying Avalon

When I first received the audio version of Destroying Avalon I had mixed feelings. I think mostly because I’d only ever heard myself read the text- so it was a complete jolt to hear someone els’s voice. The other thing was I’d never listened to a talking book before- so that, in itself, was a new experience for me. Having said that once I continued to listen I found myself drawn into the story (which was surprising as I knew how it went!!) and found myself becoming involved on a different level. I guess at that point I realised that though this was still my story it was now a completely different form of work. I could see the value of the different voices the reader (Kellie Jones) used and the way she drove the narrative along. Having spoken to people with vision problems, they’ve told me how much they value the reader changing the voices, it makes it so much more interesting for them listening.

I found this review of the Audio version- on the Read Plus website. Check it out. ReadPlus