24 April 2012
Long wait pays off for Oliver
RMIT University Professional Writing and Editing teacher Judith Rossell will soon have her picture book Oliver published by HarperCollins in New York.
The plot is about a loveable little boy whose curiosity leads him to extraordinary places.
He goes on an adventure in a submarine, down the bath drain, where he meets a bunch of holidaying penguins who fly around with jetpacks.
The story was inspired by Ms Rossell's three-year-old nephew Henry.
"He was so funny at that age, so cheerful and active," Ms Rossell said, "that I was inspired to create a little boy character who asks lots of questions and is into everything."
Ms Rossell was contacted by HarperCollins in New York after they saw a book she wrote and illustrated: Ruby and Leonard and the Great Big Surprise. They asked her to send through a proposal for a picture story about a strong character.
"It was a great moment for me when they accepted it for publication," Ms Rossell said.
The book was written with the help of a May Gibbs Fellowship in 2009 and its expected to be published next month.
The long wait was due to administrative issues. Before the contract could be signed, Ms Rossell had to get a US tax number, and that took more than a year and four separate applications.
Ms Rossell teaches the Writing for Children short course as well as the Writing for Older Children subject in the Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT.
Over the past 12 years Ms Rossell has written 10 books and illustrated more than 80. Her books have been published in the UK, the USA and have been translated into more than 10 languages.
"I love the look of my book, I'm very happy to see it at last," Ms Rossell said.
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