blog 86: in which I farewell 2015

Hey, it’s December 31st and you know what that means. Yes, time for my annual shower! But apart from that, it’s also the last day of 2015. So I thought I should do a final blog to see off the year.

The last time I blogged was mid-November. Shocking and pathetic, I know. I resolve to be much more consistent and frequent with my blogging next year! Which is the same resolution I had this year and the year before and the year before that, so I’ve sort of got that ‘consistent’ thing going already, right?

Anyway, how did the year end for me, I don’t hear you ask.

Well, I had my last author booking/school visit in mid-November.


Overall, I spent around 60 days at schools or festivals which took me to Sydney (twice), Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Gippsland, Ipswich, Gladstone, Emerald, Biloela, Leeton and many places around Brisbane and SE Qld.

A big thank you to all the schools, teachers and students who made me feel so welcome and special. It’s an honour and a privilege to be invited into schools. A big thanks also to the great folk at BOOKED OUT Speakers Agency who handle all my bookings in such an efficient and professional manner. They are an awesome group of people to work with. Check them out if you’re ever in the market for an author/artist/illustrator/inspirational speaker visit.

After my author visits had finished I had the final editing to do on my new YA novel which is due out in April 2016 with Omnibus Books/Scholastic Australia. (See work-in-various-stages-of-progress below.)

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The new book is a light-hearted story with some serious bits told by a 15-year-old narrator named Maggie. Originally I was going to call it Star Wars: The Force Awakens but apparently someone else stole that title. Bummer! (Same thing happened with my War and Peace picture book.)

Anyway the working title of the new novel is The Pain and Me. The actual title that appears on the cover is about three times longer than that. Hopefully I’ll be able to show the cover design sometime early in the new year. I’m really looking forward to this one coming out. After all the fun of the Eric Vale and Derek Dale books for younger readers it will be great to have a YA novel hit the shelves.

By the time I’d sent in the last edit of The Pain and Me, Christmas was fast approaching so I got a tree …


… which really came up a treat once it was decorated!


Soon I was totally into the nightmare before Christmas spirit.


We had a lovely Christmas with family at our house and the next day headed to the Gold Coast and beautiful Burleigh Heads Beach to spend the last days of 2015. Not that hard to take.

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While we were at Burleigh we went for a number of walks in the National Park where we came across trees that were even older than me …


as well as shy, cute, woodland creatures …


All in all we had a wonderful time at the beach, apart from the day we went to see The Force Awakens and my wife joined the Dark Side and threatened to leave me for a Storm Trooper – and not a very handsome one at that!

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And that’s about it for 2015.

So on behalf of Joe and Meg …



and me and Ard …


I’d like to wish all my long-suffering, patient, obviously not very discerning and certainly easily amused readers, a very Hoppy New Year and a roo-ly wonderful 2016 .


I’m grateful for anyone who has taken the time throughout the past year to read any of my rabbiting on and super grateful to anyone who has left a comment. Much appreciated.


(PS: In 5 days time I head off to China and will be away most of January. During that time I’ll be visiting three schools, so I should have some interesting blogs to start the year.)



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8 Responses to blog 86: in which I farewell 2015

  1. Elaine says:

    Happy new year, Michael. I look forward to working with at school events in 2016.


  2. Ged Maybury says:

    Very droll, sir. And greatly entertaining for one as easily amused as myself. Naturally I envy you intensely … oops! sorry, that should read: “I’m delighted by your continued success and wish you a whole lot more of it in the New Year.”
    – Just a thought: I wonder how long it stays ‘new’? (Until you have to clean all the crumbs and burnt cheese out of it, I suppose.)
    Anyway, behave for at least five minutes, could you?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. karenwrites19 says:

    Hi Michael, Love reading your photo journal Blog and your tribute to 2015. Congrats: very impressive tally on school visits. You inspire me to work harder and at the same time enjoy myself and have fun. Happy 2016 to you … Karen Tyrrell 🙂


  4. Sam Eeles says:

    Have enjoyed your blogs, Michael, and can’t wait to see the one(s) from China!

    Liked by 1 person

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