Karen McMillan, from the Hibiscus Coast north of Auckland, is about to publish her 18th book. She tells us a bit about the latest book in her popular Elastic Island Adventures series for 8-12 year old readers in this ‘writing life’ segment.
When did you start writing? When did you get serious about approaching publishers or indie publishing?
I started writing when I was 10 years old, and I had stories published in the kids’ pages of a nationwide Sunday newspaper. I thought all children wrote stories and had them published, so I didn’t think about it too much. My first book was published in 2003 by a mainstream publisher, and I’ll soon have my 18th book published – mainly through publishers, but some I’ve self-published.
What are you working on at present? Are you going to publish it and when?
I’ve just done the page proofs for Elastic Island Adventures: Kingdom of Blong, the latest in this fun series for children aged 8 to 12. It will be published in New Zealand and Australia on 1 July, which is very exciting! My publisher is a (lovely) slave driver, so I’m already partway through the next adventure in the series, which will be published next year.
Since you’ve been a published author, is there anything that someone’s said about your work that has surprised or delighted you?
I’ve had so many lovely reviews from media, which is always wonderful to get, but it’s the direct, unfiltered feedback from children that I treasure the most.
I love this email I received from Elsa saying, “You are probably my favourite author that writes fiction books. Bye Elastic Island GO! GO! GO!”
I find myself pondering what it would take to be chosen as her favourite author, not the probably favourite author…