The Centre for Children’s Literature

Image Alt

Romancing the Stars – Gold Coast 2017


Date: Friday  17th February, 2017, Starts 6.30pm.

Venue: All Saints Anglican School, Highfield Drive, Merrimac Qld 4226

Cost: $25 Book Links members, $35 non-members

On Friday evening 17 February discover what books our local authors and illustrators have been creating for children and young adults by speed dating 20 local stars.

Meet others informally. Find out how to play Story Sports with Brian Falkner. Great food and drinks. View and buy books and illustrations. Raffle and quiz competition. MC: Professor Francesca Falconette, Harry Potter enthusiast (Nadia Sunde)

Bookings taken up to the Wednesday prior to event via Trybooking.

 Meet our stars:

Andrew King

Andrew is an engineer and teacher who is passionate about the role that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (the STEM subjects) have to play in our sustainable future.

Children are very interested in the things that engineers do yet there are very few engineers in children’s literature. Consequently, Engibear and his friends Engilina and the Bearbot were created as a “friendly faces” of engineering – a way to introduce engineering to young children.

Engibear’s Dream was awarded the President’s Prize at the 2012 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards.


Andrew King wrote – Engibear’s Bridge illustrated by Benjamin Johnston for Little Steps in Oct 2014 and will have Engilina’s Trains out later this year.

Angela Sunde

Children’s author and illustrator, Angela Sunde writes novels, picture books and short stories. She is the author of the light-hearted fantasy novels, Snap Magic and Pond Magic (an Aussie Chomp – Penguin Australia), and illustrator/co-author of the children’s novel, The Coral Sea Monster.

Formerly an award-winning language and literacy teacher, Angela now combines judging and mentoring writing competitions with delivering engaging presentations and inspiring workshops at schools, libraries, festivals and writers’ groups.

Awarded a Creative Time Residential Fellowship by the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust 2013; an Illustrator Residency at Pinerolo Children’s Book Cottage 2014; First Place (National Best Book – illustrator/co-author) in the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day awards 2011; 3rd place in the CYA Conference ‘Illustrated Picture Book’ competition 2009; and short-listed (twice) for the Charlotte Duncan Award 2009, Angela loves to inspire the imaginations of children by showing them how to uncover magic and humour in daily life.


Angela Sunde wrote – Snap Magic for Red Pedal Press in Oct 2014

Brian Falkner

Brian Falkner was born and raised in Auckland but is currently living on the Gold Coast.  He has worked as a radio journalist, advertising copywriter, computer consultant and as a graphic designer.

He is the author of several novels for children and young adults including, The Flea Thing, The Real Thing, The Super Freak and The Tomorrow Code and Brainjack.

His most recent books have been his Recon Team Angel series about humanity losing a war against alien invaders with a team of teenagers risking everything to overcome the odds and finally a new Rampage at Waterloo, the first of the new Battlesaurus series – an alternative history re-imagines the 1815 Battle of Waterloo as a victory for the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte, when he unleashes a terrible secret weapon – giant carnivorous survivors from pre-history – on his unsuspecting British and Prussian adversaries.

Brian Falknerbrian-falkner-book-cover

Brian Falkner wrote – Battlesaurus: Clash of Empires in Aug 2016 and Shooting Stars for Scholastic in February 2017

Candice Lemon-Scott

Candice Lemon-Scott is an award winning Gold Coast author, editor, freelance writer and workshop facilitator. She enjoys writing stories about turbo space cars, hurtling asteroids and evil villains. Her quirky style, fast-paced narratives and originality appeal to reluctant boy readers in particular. She recently released a six-book series for children, Jake in Space, with New Frontier Publishing.

Other books include: Silver the Silly Sorcerer and Hubert and the Magic Glasses in the Little Rockets series; Stinky Ferret & the JJswith Penguin Books’ Aussie Chomps series and The Day the Energies Saved the World with Pearson Education. Her debut novel for adults Unloched received a commendation in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards for an unpublished manuscript.

Candice has a Bachelor of Communication / Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing). Her books can be found on the Premier’s Reading Challenge lists and she is a Books in Homes role model.


Candice Lemon Scott wrote – Jake in Space: Saving Saturn for New Frontier in May 2015

Chris Bongers

Christine Bongers is a former radio and television journalist who is now happier writing fiction. She has a Master of Arts (Research) in Children’s and Youth Writing.

Christine’s latest teen novel Intruder won the 2015 Davitt Award for Best Debut Crime Book and was shortlisted for the 2015 CBCA Book of the Year for Olders Readers.

Her debut novel Dust was a CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers and Highly Commended in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Children’s Fiction.

Her middle school novel starring the irrespressible Henry Hoey Hobson was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the WA Premier’s Book Awards.

Christine lives in Brisbane and enjoys writing for both young people and grown-ups. Drongoes, her illustrated chapter book for newly independent readers, was published by Scholastic in February 2013. She is currently working on a middle grade novel, How to Destroy Earth (Part One).

christine bongerschristine-bongers-book-cover

Christine Bongers wrote – Intruder for Random House in 2014 and they issued a reprint of Henry Hoey Hobson in March 2016

David Lovegrove

David is a well known artist and writer based in Australia. He writes and paints graphic novels and comics, develops concept art for film & TV, unique fine art works and illustrated science fiction stories.

He is also famous for being one of the very first artists to draw and paint with both hands at once ( since 2002) and he has been demonstrating this skill at schools, libraries, literature festivals and public events ever since.

Because of his unique skill David was commissioned to create an ad for Qantas Airlines, this amazing ad being seen by millions daily on prime time TV, online and during inflight entertainment on all Qantas flights.


David Lovegrove is currently working on Daruma the first illustrated novel of a trilogy aimed at the Y.A and adult market. This is a work in progress!

Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell has trekked through many parts of the world and across several of its oceans collecting crazy story ideas. She loves transforming these into children’s stories because she believes kids and great stories are life-essentials, like ice-cream.

Her words appear in school magazines, anthologies, on line, as immersive digital narrative, in junior novels, in picture books and as creative content for children’s apps, one of which, Circus School features in Virgin Australia’s inflight kids’ entertainment program.  Her choose-your-own-adventure styled story, The Chapel of Unlove is a digital narrative that is part of the free Story City app and was Shortlisted in the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards 2016.  Her short story, Concrete Boots won First Prize in the 2016 Charlotte Duncan Award.

Dimity’s debut junior novel, PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? celebrates the magic of Christmas. Her debut picture book, The Fix It Man releases in March 2017, with another to follow in 2018.

Dimity thrives on celebrating the profound art of story and is mildly suspicious of too much spare time so fills hers with reviewing the ones she loves on line at Boomerang Books Blog and at Kids Book Review for whom she is the Managing Editor. Dimity lives on the Gold Coast where dreams sparkle.



Dimity Powell wrote –The Fix-It Man for EK Books illustrated by Nicky Johnston due out March 2017

James Moloney

James  is one of Australia’s leading writers for children and young adults. His passion for story telling has seen him produce more than forty books right across the age range from ‘seven to seventeen year-olds.’ Many have won literary awards, but he gets his greatest satisfaction from regular shortlistings in the Children’s Choice awards. His YA novel ‘Silvermay’ won the Gold Inky Award, the foremost readers choice award for teenagers in Australia.

James grew up in Brisbane, where he was more interested in playing Rugby than anything to do with books, but during teacher training he succumbed to the lure of literature. Two years teaching indigenous children led to his ground-breaking novels Dougy and Gracey which take an unflinching look at Australian racism and identity. A Bridge to Wiseman’s Cove, a study of loneliness and a young man’s attempts to redeem his family’s past is one of this country’s quiet best-sellers and widely studied in high schools.

In recent years he has branched out into fantasy and humour. ‘I always swore I’d never use any of my family as characters,’ he maintains. ‘Then I wrote Black Taxi where the feisty heroine is a dead ringer for my daughter. Just as well she thinks it’s a hoot.’ His fantasy, The Book of Lies, brings him more emails from readers than any other book and prompted two sequels, Master of the Books and The Book from Baden Dark.

James most recent titles are Bridget: A New Australian and The Beauty is in the Walking, a YA novel about a young man with cerebral palsy to sets out to solve a shocking crime in his home town.

James Moloneybeauty is in the walking

James Moloney wrote – The Beauty is in the Walking for Harper Collins in Aug 2015

Kerry Brown

Kerry Brown grew up in Carnarvon, a coastal country town in Western Australia. Her childhood was typical of most children of that time, playing endlessly outside with her friends and spending holidays at the family ‘shack’ near the Blowholes.

Her imagination worked overtime as she made new discoveries and invented new games behind the sand dunes with her friends. This imagination may have lay dormant for a few years but never strayed far, and was reignited soon after the birth of her two children, who continue to be her biggest inspiration.

Kerry’s excitement and passion for children’s literature is extended beyond the classroom and into her picture books. She is dedicated to developing early literature skills in children and enjoys helping children tap into their own magical worlds and words! Best known for her picture book Can I cuddle the Moon, her most recent books are All my kisses illustrated by Jedda Robbard and Lest we Forget, illustrated by Isobel Knowles and Benjamin Portas.


Kerry Brown wrote –All My Kisses illustrated by Jedda Robaard in June 2015 for ABC Books

Kim Michelle Toft

Kim Michelle Toft’s passion for the ocean and the coastal habitats which support it are at the core of her multi-award winning children’s books and her vivid hand painted silks. Kim is considered to be one of the foremost silk artists in the world and has been a full time exhibiting artist for more than 29 years.

Each book is a work of art and takes approximately 2 years to complete. Among her many books (which are all still in print) her first book, One Less Fish is a sentimental favourite and her latest book I Can Swim A Rainbow  covers all subject areas including a music with a CD and sheet music included.  Kim continues to remind children and adults how important it is to respect the unique beauty of all the varied creatures of nature , especially that of the underwater world.

Kim’s background in teaching has also helped spread the message as she now visits over 30 schools nationally and internationally /  year.

“ I believe children are our future and the sooner we switch them onto the importance of conserving our coral reefs and oceans the better. Through my silk paintings and prose style text , my goal is to capture their imagination and educate them at the same time.” For more info go to

Kim Michelle Toftkim-toft-book-cover

Kim Michelle Toft wrote and illustrated– I Can Swim a Rainbow for Silkim Books in June 2015

Lachlan Creagh

Lachlan Creagh was born in Townsville. He studied industrial design for several years at university but realised this career wasn’t for him and moved to Canberra where he completed a 1 year post graduate degree in computer animation. He then worked for three years at a video production company working on TVCs and corporate videos.

Lachlan spent the next 12 years working full time in the computer games industry in Brisbane and doing part-time freelance work in his spare time. He worked as a 3D artist, Lead artist, Lead Animator, senior animator/concept artist and, most recently, senior concept designer during this time. Lachlan was involved in the formative teams of Auran Games, Evolutions Games and Pandemic Studios Australia. Lachlan has created animation, concepts and illustration for games on PC, Xbox, Playstation and next generation consoles. He has produced animation for TVC’s, theme parks and events, and created concepts and designs for launches, sculptures, events and displays.

In 2008 he made the decision to pursue a full time career as a freelance illustrator, concept designer and animator. He packed his family up and decided on a sea change to northern NSW near Kingscliff for some beautiful sunsets, fresh air and inspiration. He has since illustrated over ten books for children. Lachlan illustrated the Little Mates series of alphabet books for Scholastic, the wombat series and Dinosaur Rocks.

lachlan-creagh-close-upvery wombat christmas

Lachlan Creagh illustrated – The Little Bad Wolf written by Sam Bowring for Lothian in Aug 2016

Lance Balchin

Lance Balchin grew up in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood and now lives in Brisbane. He comes from a background of art, fashion and skateboard photography and has taught adults in these areas for fifteen years. He holds a Masters in Arts and also recently completed a law degree. Having always enjoyed story telling, Lance draws on literature, history and science in his writing. He started using Photoshop in 1991 and a quarter of a century later has developed a comprehensive understanding of it as a creative tool in both portrait photography and illustration. Although he spends most of his life in front of a computer, he can be seen most weekends wobbling around the Paddington skateboard park with his 12 year old son Frank. His book Mechanica: a beginner’s field guide came out in September 2016.


Lance Balchin wrote and illustrated – Aquatica for Five Mile Press due out Feb 2017

Lucia Masciullo

Lucia is an award-winning children’s book illustrator born and bred in Livorno, Italy. She moved to Australia in 2007 and she now lives and works on the beautiful Gold Coast.

Lucia has collaborated with several top Australian and English Publishers and illustrated fifteen books, among which the CBCA Honour Book and Prime Minister Award shortlisted Come Down, Cat!, written by award-winning author Sonya Hartnett, CBCA shortlisted Family Forest and the best-selling series Our Australian Girl.


Lucia Masciullo illustrated – The Ballad of Henry Hoplingsea written by Julia Hubery for Little Hare Sept 2016

Natalie Jane Prior

Natalie Jane Prior is the author of numerous books for children and young adults. Her work includes the classic picture book The Paw and its sequels (illustrated by Terry Denton), the internationally successful fantasy series Lily Quench, which has well over half a million copies in print, and which was broadcast on BBC Radio in 2006, and The Minivers, a four book series published by Penguin Australia and Scholastic UK. Natalie has collaborated many times with Sydney based illustrator, Cheryl Orsini, most recently on the picture book PomPom (Penguin, 2013) and story book The Fairy Dancers (ABC Books, 2015).

Natalie’s books have won the Aurealis Award (for fantasy and science fiction), the Davitt Awards (for crime writing), and have been Honour, shortlisted and Notable Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. She lives in suburban Brisbane with her husband, teenaged daughter and two long-haired red miniature dachshunds called Theo and Jasmine. When not writing she likes reading, gardening, knitting and sewing.


Natalie Jane Prior wrote – The Tales of Mrs Mancini illustrated by Cheryl Orsini for Harper Collins in Nov 2016 and Lucy’s Book also illustrated by Cheryl Orsini for Lothian is due out Feb 2017

Nette Hilton

Nette Hilton was born in Traralgon, Victoria and completed her teacher-training at the Wollongong Teachers’ College. She is one of Australia’s best loved writers for younger children and she has written several award-winning children’s books. Nette shares her life with four children, a patient husband and many furred and feathered friends where she lives in New South Wales. She writes picture books, junior fiction, and for older readers.


Nette Hilton wrote – The Smallest Bilby and the Easter Tale illustrated by Bruce Whatley for Working Title Press in Feb 2014

Nick Earls

Nick Earls has written 26 books for adults teenagers and children. His novels have won awards in Australia and the UK, and appeared on bestseller lists in both of those countries and the Amazon Kindle Store. 48 Shades of Brown was a CBCA Book of the Year winner (older readers), and his recent children’s book New Boy, won Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year (8-10 years) and was shortlisted for the Children’s Peace Literature Award and the Griffith University Children’s Book Award.

His most recent work for adults is the novella series Wisdom Tree, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as ‘a triumphant and extraordinary piece of fiction’. His latest work for children is Word Hunters: Top Secret Files, a new glimpse into the world created for the successful word Hunters series.



Nick Earls wrote– Top Secret Files illustrated by Terry Whidborne for UQP in Nov 2016

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca Johnson is an author, part-time primary school science teacher and mother of two.  She has now written over 100 books and regularly visits schools in around Australia, presenting writing workshops. Her past experience as a wildlife carer has given her an extra insight into the behaviour of our native animals, giving her fiction stories a taste of realism.

Rebecca wrote for Steve Parish and has an Insect Series published by Pascal Press with strong links to the Australian Curriculum, presenting facts and scientific knowledge in a fiction format with stunning photographs. This series won the 2014 Whitley Award for Best Educational Series.

Rebecca teaches to primary school age children as a specialist science teacher, a job she loves and feels very passionate about. Together with the help of her teaching partner and the school’s ‘Green Team’, they have developed over two acres of gardens containing native, endangered and indigenous plant species and grow vegetables to sell each week. Rebecca received the 2010 Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. Other awards include the 2016 Griffith University Alumni of the year is Education, Law and the Arts, winner of the Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children’s literature 2014, and the Winner of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.



Rebecca Johnson wrote – Rainforest Camp the latest book in her Juliet, Nearly a Vet series for Penguin in July 2016.

Tamsin Ainslie

Tamsin says: “I was born and educated in the UK, travelled & moved a lot through my teenage years and early twenties before settling in Murwillumbah, Northern NSW, with my two daughters Olympia and Matilda. I work from my studio where I spend most of my time illustrating children’s books, drawing, painting, printmaking and playing with paper and colour. I like to draw the things around me, making illustrated journals of my travels and everyday life, the people, objects and moments that surround me, these often find their way into my books. Spending time with my family, surfing, cooking, playing and all these little most important moments in life add to my work. A word, a colour, a toy, a moment. This is what my illustration is, always a work in progress, always evolving and telling a story.

“My illustration can be found in children’s books, on book covers, stationery, greeting cards, children’s games and toys, posters, promotional material and in advertising. I have illustrated over 45 books. They are sold all over the world. A number of my books have been translated into different languages including French, German and Korean.”


Tamsin Ainslie illustrated – The Sisters St Clair written by Carlie Gibson for Allen & Unwin in Sep 2016

Terry Whidborne

Terry Whidborne has worked in the advertising industry for many years, and is now recognised as one of Brisbane’s most senior award-winning Art Directors. But as Terry’s family grew, so did his interest in illustration. He began developing his style for clients such as Vogue, Virgin Blue and many of London’s top ad agencies, before deciding that what he really wanted to do was concentrate on books, film and animation. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and two kids.

Terry’s website of his artwork:

For an interview go to:


Terry Whidborne illustrated – Top Secret Files written by Nick Earls for UQP in Nov 2016

Tristan Bancks

Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater Coolhunter (Australia and US) and Two Wolves, a crime-mystery novel for middle-graders. Two Wolves won Honour Book in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. It also won the YABBA and KOALA Children’s Choice Awards. It was released in the US as On the Run in November 2015 (Farrar Straus Giroux).

Tristan’s short films as writer and director have won a number of awards and have screened widely in festivals and on TV. His most recent book is My Life & Other Stuff Massive Mistakes, a third book of weird-funny-gross, semi-autobiographical short stories. Tristan is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create.


Tristan Bancks wrote – My Life and Other Weaponised Muffins for Random House due out Feb 2017

1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680

Error: Contact form not found.

Free shipping
for orders over 50%