Alice-Miranda: a journey across the world
Hi, my name’s Jacqueline Harvey and I am a brand new writer. Well sort of. I’m brand new to the United Kingdom and still just out of the packet in the United States. At home in Australia, I’ve spent ten years honing my craft and I am beyond thrilled that my Alice-Miranda series is a best-seller with five titles released in the past two years. But in the rest of the world I’m new, or ‘newish’. Hence I’m going on tour. What started as Long Service Leave from my full time job working at Abbotsleigh, an independent school for girls in Sydney, has morphed into a fully-fledged book tour. My dreams of travelling to exciting new destinations and doing lots of writing transformed when I realised that my leave coincided perfectly with the release of the second Alice-Miranda title in the United States and the first in the United Kingdom.
It’s interesting planning a tour using nothing more than email and the Internet and of course several friends and contacts here in Australia who have been able to recommend places to visit and people they know. The world really is a small place and getting smaller. In the US I’m visiting schools and bookshops from San Francisco to Lansing Michigan, Greenwood South Carolina, New York City, New Jersey and Boston – that’s not the whole list but it’s getting there. The tour has been built through contacts I’ve made in many different ways. From doing an interview here and there to a school friend I haven’t seen for over 25 years, to people I met when I visited the US in 2010, to friends of friends and just contacting schools through their websites. People’s generosity and kindness has been incredible.
So in April we head for the United States and then after five weeks we will be in Britain and I cannot wait. Apart from the fact that it will be Spring and I’ve only ever been to England once before in the middle of winter, I am looking forward to meeting the children’s team at Random House; my publicist Emily who hails from a suburb half an hour from where I live in Sydney; my editor Parul, who commissioned those gorgeous covers and had faith in Alice-Miranda from the beginning and everyone else who has a role to play in getting Alice-Miranda into the hands of the readers.
Mostly I’m looking forward to meeting children. I’ve lined up lots of schools to visit – again some through contacts from Australia and others have been through friends working in the UK. We send many of our girls from Abbotsleigh to the UK on gap year, so there are schools I know through that network too. I can’t wait to get to Hornsby House, Danes Hill, Leaden Hall, Anselms and Moreton Hall, to name but a few. I can’t wait to talk about Alice-Miranda and her friends and the joys and challenges of heading to boarding school aged seven and one quarter. There will be time at the end of the trip for some writing – and as Alice-Miranda In Paris is shaping up to be her 8th adventure, a week or two in the city of lights will be a lovely way to finish three months away from home.
Read more about Jacquie and Alice Miranda here: http://jacquelineharvey.com.au/
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