The Centre for Children’s Literature

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Romancing the Stars – Sunshine Coast 2017


Date: Friday 24th February, 2017

Starts: 6.30pm.

Venue: Immanuel Lutheran College, 126-142 Wises Road, Buderim

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

Discover what books our local authors and illustrators have been creating for children and young adults by speed dating 20 Sunshine Coast and Brisbane based stars.

Find out how to play Story Sports with Brian Falkner. Meet others informally. Great food and drinks. View and buy books and illustrations. Raffle and quiz competition. MC: Pat Flynn

Bookings taken up to one week prior to event via Trybooking.

Meet our stars:

Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison is an award-winning Australian children’s author who writes picture books, chapter books and novels. Her much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship, teamwork and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction) for her picture book, Our Class Tiger. Aleesah has published over thirty-five books including Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine, Awesome Animal Stories for Kids, the Unicorn Riders Series, Mama and Hug (koalas) and Running from the Tiger.


Aleesah Darlison wrote– Little Witch 1: Spells and Secrets with Big Sky due March 2017  and Running from the Tiger with Empowering Resources due Feb 2017

Allison Paterson

Allison grew up on a farm surrounded by sheep, dogs and chooks. She spent many years teaching and is now an author. Her first book for children was the 2016 ABIA and CBCA longlisted title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front. Then came Granny’s Place, a picture book inspired by her grandparents and their farm.  Her next book Shearing Time will be released in 2017. The May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust recently awarded Allison a 2017 Creative Time Fellowship, four weeks in Canberra just to write! She enjoys writing, reading, swimming and walking on the beach.


Allison Paterson wrote –Anzac Sons in April 2016 with Big Sky Publishing and has Shearing Time coming out in March 2017

Anil Tortop

Anil Tortop is an illustrator, designer and sometimes an animator. She has lived in Brisbane since early 2010 when she left Turkey.

She gained a bachelor degree of animation in 2005 and has more than 30 storybooks and some educational books. She has also designed, illustrated and animated some apps, TV games and multimedia education materials as well. She used to work in Top Publishing in Turkey as a full time illustrator. Anil usually illustrates digitally. In 2015 her first book with Scholastic called River Riddle was published and she has a new title coming out with them in April called Supermum.


Anil Tortop illustrated – Digby and the Yodelayhee… Who? Written by Renee Price for Create it Kids due out Feb 2017

Avril Sabine

Avril Sabine is a Queensland author who writes mostly young adult and children’s speculative fiction. She has been writing since she was a young child and wanted to be an author the moment she realised someone wrote the books she loved to read. Avril is the author of more than forty books, including the Demon Hunter series, Dragon Blood series, Realms Of The Fae series, Elf Sight and The Irish Wizard.


Avril Sabine wrote – Rosie’s Rangers -Book 1: Justice June 2016 and Book 2: Vengeance Nov 2016

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.

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.

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

Elaine Ouston

Elaine Ouston has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing. Through Gondor Writers’ Centre she offers many services to authors interested in preparing for submission or self-publishing – including manuscript appraisals, edits and writing workshops. She organises literary festivals and school literary camps for Australian Literary Festivals and Book Fairs.

She has many published children books, including picture books, chapter books, and middle grade novels. She is passionate about teaching the children of Australia about our unique megafauna and has written several books that feature them. She will be presenting her latest in that series, Meet the Megafauna and Dippy the Dancing Diprotodon.


Elaine Ouston wrote – Meet the Megafauna 2016 ; Dippy the Dancing Diprotodon Illustrator: Kevin Burgemeestre  Aug 2016

Elizabeth Kasmer

Elizabeth Kasmer lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband, three boys, a dog and a snake. She has been an exchange student, a donor attendant, security shredder and a primary school teacher. Becoming Aurora is her first novel and the first young adult work to win the Queensland Literary Awards Best Emerging Author prize since it was established in 1999.


Elizabeth Kasmer wrote – Becoming Aurora for UQP Aug 2016

Gary Crew

Professor Gary Crew has published over 70 novels and illustrated books. Gary has a Doctorate of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) and is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. He is particularly interested in researching the mysterious and the macabre. In recent years he has devoted many of his titles to eco-critical and environmental issues. Among his many awards, Gary has won the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year four times, twice for his novels, twice for the illustrated book category. Gary is crazy about dogs, especially Jack Russell terriers.


Gary Crew wrote – Voicing the Dead for Ford Street Publishing Aug 2015 and ‘Timing the Machine’ with Paul O’Sullivan, for Harbour Publishing House September 2016

Gregg Dreise

Gregg Dreise is the award winning author and illustrator of Silly Birds (Illustration Showcased for the Bologna International Book Fair –Italy 2015; Selected by Leigh Hobbs – current Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016 – 2017 as a showcase of Australian Illustrations through The Guardian UK;  & Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award winner 2015), Kookoo Kookaburra and Mad Magpie. All of these stories are about teaching morals. Silly Birds is based on the saying, “It’s hard soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys”. Kookoo Kookaburra is based on the saying, “Kindness is like a boomerang – if you throw it often, it comes back often. If you never take the chance to throw it, it never comes back”. Mad Magpie is based on the words, “Stay calm like the surface of the water, yet strong like it’s current. And know that there is a song out there for everyone.” Also the illustrator of Di Irving’s retelling of the classic story Tiddalik the Frog. Gregg is a gifted storyteller and musician, and he features the didgeridoo and guitar in his performances at schools and festivals. He is a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Yuwalayaay people of south-west Queensland and north-west New South Wales.


Gregg Dreise wrote and illustrated Mad Magpie for Magabala Books May 2016

Helene Magisson

Helene Magisson is a French Australian illustrator, who graduated from the painting restoration school “Art et Avenir”, Paris (France). She worked as a painting restorer for several years in Paris, working for both private individuals and antique dealers.

She was also trained in the art of medieval illumination, exhibiting her work in Europe and teaching the history and techniques of medieval miniature in primary and high schools, both in France and in India, where she lived for a few years.

When Helene settled down in Australia with her husband and three children, she decided to start a new career in children’s book illustration. Her numerous trips in Europe and Asia, as well as her childhood spent in Africa inspire and enrich her work. She believes that travelling with an open mind enables capturing the beauty of each and every instant, and is a fantastic source of inspiration.

Helene was awarded the first prize in the illustration category at the 2013 CYA conference. Shortly after, she signed a contract with New Frontier Publishing to illustrate three beautiful classical tales: “The Velveteen Rabbit” published in 2015 and two others came out in March and November 2016.


Helene Magisson illustrated – Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins for Gumbootspearlz  October 2016 and The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, for New Frontier November 2016

Karen Foxlee

Karen Foxlee grew up in Mount Isa and still frequently dreams she is walking barefoot along the dry Leichhardt River there. She has worked as an underground cable mapper, pool kiosk attendant, library assistant and hotel laundry hand and eventually became a registered nurse. All the while she never gave up her secret dream of becoming a writer.

Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings won numerous awards including, the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. Her second novel about the disappearance of a girl in tropical north Queensland, The Midnight Dress, won the Sisters in Crime Best YA Debut Crime Novel in 2014.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, Karen’s first novel for children was published internationally in 2014 to much acclaim.


Karen Foxlee wrote – A Most Magical Girl for Bonnier in Sept 2016

Karen Tyrrell

Karen Tyrrell writes empowering books to help kids live STRONG through humour and self-belief.  She’s an experienced Brisbane school teacher and key note speaker. She’s a passionate writing workshop presenter and interactive story teller wearing fun costumes.

Her acclaimed books  STOP the Bully,  Bailey Beats the Blah, Harry Helps Grandpa Remember, Jo-Kin Battles the It, Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra and Song Bird Superhero ignite imagination and positive self-esteem.

Karen has won 3 awards, 3 literary grants and a mentorship through the Society of Editors (QLD)


Karen Tyrrell wrote and illustrated – Song Bird Superhero Sept 2016

Louise Guy

Louise Guy is best known for her popular Minecraft based series, The Crafters’ Club. Writing for 8-12 year olds, Louise draws on inspiration from her own two boys. Their interests sparked the idea for the Crafters’ Club and now her youngest son’s love of adventure, creating potions and exploring a world of fantasy have led to her latest series, The Secret World of Curly Jones. The first two titles are scheduled for release in April and August 2017 respectively.


Louise Guy wrote – The Crafters Club series for Go Direct Publishing with the final Book 9 The End out in Nov 2016

Mark David

Mark started out as a cartoonist, appearing regularly in The Sydney Morning Herald, but also in The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Bulletin and other publications, and in lots of languages, around the world. Mark’s illustrations and cartoons have appeared in more than a hundred books.

In 1991, Mark was the president of The Australian Black and White Artists Club (now known as the Australian Cartoonists Association). He has taught cartooning to thousands of people of all ages, in schools and seminars around Australia and has appeared on television, spoken on radio and appeared in many newspaper articles in his capacity as a cartoonist.

Mark now spends a lot more time doing photography, especially when it involves pointing a camera at critters.

Mark lives in rural Queensland, Australia — writing and illustrating, building websites and selling photos of wildlife.


Mark David wrote and illustrated – Crazy Cars for Little Hare in April 2006

Michel Deverall

Originally from Melbourne, Victoria, Michel currently lives with her family on the Sunshine Coast and has done for the last twenty-six years. Most of Michel’s working life has been in the medical industry—working in both radiology and general practices. However, after having her son in 1993 all that changed. If it wasn’t for all those years of reading to her son when he was growing up, Michel probably would never have started writing children’s books in the first place.

In saying that, it took a number of years before Michel eventually enrolled in a course in Professional Children’s Writing and Publishing, at The Australian College of Queensland—where she graduated three years later, proudly receiving High Distinction in nine out of twelve subjects. Michel’s tutor at the time was renowned children’s author, Margaret Clark.

In 2014, Michel submitted her first junior fiction manuscript, Maxidents Happen, to a publisher—which was accepted. As a result, Maxidents Happen was published by Dragon Tales Publishing in July 2016.


Michel Deverall wrote – Maxidents Happen: Flood Zone  – Dragon Tales – May 2016

Paul Hamilton

Paul is a Primary teacher in Queensland, Australia. Passionate about introducing students to coding concepts through a variety of ways, including the non-digital, Paul is a renowned, inspiring public speaker and advocate for the effective use of technology in schools. He has toured America, Africa, and Australia delivering Keynotes and spreading the message of enhancing learning through the use of technology. Paul is a husband and father of three beautiful girls.


Paul Hamilton wrote and illustrated – If I were a wizard for Educ Tech Team October 2016

Paul O’Sullivan

Paul O’Sullivan is a voracious artist, philosopher and collector of ideas. He attended Plymouth College of Art in England and completed an OND in Graphic Design.  At Plymouth College of Art Paul developed a life long passion for sketching. After Plymouth Paul opted to specialise in illustration. Paul worked for serveral years in London and Kent agencies before becoming exclusively freelance. In 2000 Paul moved to Australia and became friends with Dr Gary Crew, leading to a collaboration  with Gary on the creation of ‘The Visions of Ichabod X’, Harbour Publishing House 2015. ‘The Visions of Ichabod X’ was shortlisted for the ABDA award and was a major contributor in ‘Rich and Rare’ with Paul Collins.


Paul O’Sullivan illustrated – ‘Timing the Machine’ with Gary Crew, for Harbour Publishing House September 2016

Shannon Horsfall

Shannon Horsfall is an author illustrator with a background in graphic design. Her first picture book ‘Was Not Me!’ was published in 2016 by Harper Collins, who are also publishing her next picture book ‘Nomax’ in June 2017.

Her head is always filled with characters creating mess, mischief and mayhem. Oh, wait a minute, that’s her actual house.

Shannon lives on a beautiful island north of Brisbane, with her two sons and a rescue hound who thinks she’s a supermodel. She describes herself as a grown up whose inner child is not always kept safely inner. (She has been known gate crash the odd game of Red Rover and elastics.)


Shannon Horsfall wrote and illustrated – “Was Not Me!” for Harper Collins in July 2016

Yvonne Mes

Yvonne Mes is a children’s author, illustrator and devourer of books. Yvonne grew up in Amsterdam but has made her home in Australia. She writes short stories, picture books and junior novels.

Her first picture book, Meet Sidney Nolan, was published by Random House Australia in October 2015. Her stories are published in the School Magazine, on the Kids Book Review website and as part of anthologies. Her second book Oliver’s Grumbles, illustrated by Giuseppe Poli, was based on her own son.

Yvonne is active in Write Links, the Brisbane children’s writers and illustrators group and Book Links QLD (Inc.) she reviews for Buzz Words Magazine and occasionally for the CBCA QLD newsletter.


Yvonne Mes wrote – Oliver’s Grumbles illustrated by Giuseppe Poli for Dragon Tales in Oct 2015 and  Meet Sidney Nolan had a new print run in Aug 2016  


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